Daily News
Tracking the Senate
Here's the key number you need to know for following the battle for control of the Senate: 10.

There 33 seats up for grabs. Of the seats not up for grabs, 40 belong to Republicans and 27 belong to Democrats. That stacks the odds quite a bit against the Dems, but polls are showing that Dems are strong in most of the races. So the number to follow is whether the Repubs can win just 10 of the 33 to create a 50-50 split, in which case Vice President Dick Cheney would cast the tiebreaker vote in close Senate votes.

CNN has already called the low-hanging fruit, the obvious races: Lugar (R) will win in Indiana, and Bernie Sanders (independent, but usually votes with the Dems) will win Vermont. So the Republicans have nine to go.

And realistically, there are six more seats that are considered safe for the Repubs, so really, they have only three to go. Fortunately for the Dems, there are eight seats that are considered neck-and-neck: Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Arizona, and Montana.

6:00PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Election Night Parties
Here's the list of "victory parties" (they always call them that, even when the candidate in question has no chance of winning) that we know of at the moment. We'll update this list as we receive more info. For the most part, we expect Austin candidates will all converge at the celebrations of their respective political party to be with like-minded revelers.

5:18PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

It's Almost Time …
Polls close at 6pm (Central Time) in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia, followed by North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia at 6:30. We'll update you as soon as we get any numbers and can start getting a feel for how the battle for Congress is going, and then we'll post early voting numbers for Texas after polls close here at 7pm. Remember to stay with the Austin Chronicle Election Blog throughout the night as your one-stop shop for election results ranging from the local bonds all the way up to the fight for Washington D.C.

5:18PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Voter Suppression Round-Up
High GOP trickification is afoot in several combative districts nationwide. A sampling of GOP vote suppression and all-around fuckery follows:

In Maryland, homeless people were bussed in from Philadelphia, took a meeting with incumbent Republican governor Bob Ehrlich's wife (!), and then proceeded to pass out campaign literature identifying Ehrlich as a Dem.

In the tight Virginia race between George Allen and Jim Webb, the FBI is looking into claims of phone calls directing voters to make-believe precincts.

There's also reports of Latino voter harassment in Arizona and Colorado.

And if isn't enough, melted-plastic automaton Laura Ingraham is urging her listeners to phone-jam a voter protection hotline. Luckily, her audience doesn't know how to use such complicated technology.

If you see any forms of voter intimidation, or receive any mysterious calls saying your polling place has moved to Baghdad, call the Election Protection Coalition at 866/OUR-VOTE (866/687-8683).

5:00PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Wells Dunbar Read More | Comment »

It's Official: Radnofsky Stuns Hutchison, Democrats Upset Abbott and Dewhurst
Well, sort of official: Those are the results from 8,000 Austin ISD students as part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, an exercise to teach civic participation to schoolkids. Man, look at those Libertarian numbers! Glad they'll have something to toast at their party at Legends tonight.

Overall results:
U.S. Senate: Radnofsky (D) 46%, Hutchison (R) 38%, Jameson (L) 16%
U.S. Representative, Dist. 10: McCaul (R) 40%, Ankrum (D) 37%, Badnarik (L) 23%
Governor: Perry (R) 29%, Friedman (I) 25%, Strayhorn (I) 22%, Bell (D) 19%, Werner (L) 5%
Attorney General: van Os (D) 40%, Abbott (R) 31%, Roland (L) 28%
Lieutenant Gov.: Alvarado (D) 53%, Dewhurst (R) 27%, Baker (L) 20%
State Senator, Dist. 14: Watson (D) 56%, Howard (L) 44%

4:12PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Report From the County Clerk

We’re having a great Election Day in Travis County. Polling places are quite busy, and lines have been steady throughout the day. The overwhelming number of calls to the County Clerk’s Elections Division did result in a steady busy signal for a few minutes as voting got underway. The eSlate equipment has worked exceptionally well today. Other than a few loose cables and early morning jitters that were resolved quickly, we have had no major problems none with the voting system. Early this morning, we did experience some set-up issues with a few election workers who got flustered and were still setting up booths when voters arrived. As they are trained to do, these workers called for help and a team of troubleshooters was immediately dispatched to provide assistance. By mid-morning all polling places had settled into a steady, if somewhat frenzied, pace of processing voters. At this point, voters who haven’t gone to the polls yet should allow a little extra time because the period from 3:30 to 7:00 pm is traditionally the heaviest time of the day for turnout. Of concern, one voter said she had received an automated phone call at her residence incorrectly informing her that her polling place had changed. We hope for no campaign mischief, but we encourage voters to beware. Voters who want to verify their voting status or polling place can call the County Clerk’s Elections Division at 238-VOTE.

3:14PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

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Austin-Area Voting Problems
Karen Renick of VoteRescue, a national organization based here in Austin devoted to documenting voting "irregularities" has sent out an e-mail spotlighting the following reported problems. The Chronicle will try to verify with the County Clerk's office and provide more details as they become available.

Renick says:
* Wrong ballots issued in Cedar Park, PCT 277. No one answering at Williamson County election office. Secretary of State's office says they can't do anything; it's a county issue.

* Machines are breaking down in PCT 364, Westlake; voters being asked to vote on sample paper ballots.

* Power goes off at combined Precincts 439 and 465 in East Austin; machines are run on battery power.

2:30PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

War of the Roses (and Greens)?
The Quorum Report just posted a confirmed report that an "altercation" broke out in Hays County between state Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, and his Republican predecessor in that seat, Rick Green. Go to QR and click on "Daily Buzz." They also mention an unconfirmed report that Green threw the first punch. Wow, it was great enough seeing Green, possibly the biggest asshole in the Legislature, get tossed out by voters in 2002 – if we could send him off to jail too … hey, a man can dream, can't he?

1:31PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

The Final Countdown
This made me laugh.

A world without Santorum? What will Dan Savage do? (If your moral compass has been mercifully spared an explanation of "santorum," the frothy details start in the second to last paragraph here.

(Links NSFW if your employer's a dick.)

11:14AM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Wells Dunbar Read More | Comment »

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