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I understand the need to think out of the box in terms of national security in time of war. I know that terrorists would like nothing better than to disrupt our elections this November, and maybe some other events previous to that as well. Given all of that, you can understand why this idea would be inevitable -- and it's still tremendously foolish (via Power Line):
U.S. counterterrorism officials are looking at an emergency proposal on the legal steps needed to postpone the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda, Newsweek reported on Sunday. ... The magazine cited unnamed sources who told it that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department last week to review what legal steps would be needed to delay the election if an attack occurred on the day before or the day of the election.
The argument that "if [X] happens, the terrorists will have won" has become incredibly trite, but it applies here. We just had a controversial presidential election in our last cycle. Can you imagine the outcry if this election got postponed? Democrats would scream that Bush did it to bolster his political support or to somehow disadvantage poor and minority voters. The papers would talk about Reichstag fires and how even the Civil War didn't delay a federal election -- and they'd be right. Besides, any delay would have to be announced in advance, and all that would do would postpone any attack right along with it. We're not gaining anything from a delay.
The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November is Election Day, and that's when Americans vote for President. We understand the risks. We are at war to protect this very right, so let's show the world that nothing keeps us from exercising the freedom for which we've fought for over 200 years.
UPDATE and BUMP: Several people have raised the question of disenfranchisement after a massive attack either on or just before Election Day, including Shark, who went through this on 9/11 -- which was a primary day in New York:
That's nice. Remember 9/11? That was primary day in NYC. It was sorta impossible for people to vote that day. Am I to be disenfranchised in case of an attack?
Others have posted similar comments. If the planning at the Pentagon and White House is limited to regional contingencies, then I support their efforts. The article itself makes some reference to this. However, it also says that a wholesale delay on the election nationwide is on the table, and I think that's an extremely bad and destabilizing idea.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» NEWSWEEK: Proposal To Postpone U.S. Elections If Terrorist Attack On Election Eve Or Day from The Moderate Voice
A proposal is being floated and may be submitted to Congress -- and it should be opposed by voters and officials of BOTH parties. According to Reuters, citing a Newsweek report,, US counterterrrorism officials want to get a plan in [Read More]
Tracked on July 12, 2004 12:05 AM
» U.S. Mulling How to Delay Election in Case of Attack from Outside The Beltway
Reuters - U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack U.S. counterterrorism officials are looking at an emergency proposal on the legal steps needed to postpone the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda, Newswee... [Read More]
Tracked on July 12, 2004 8:16 AM
» Election Nightmare from The Beacon
Newsweek reported that the government is exploring the legal step necessary to postpone the November election: he magazine cited unnamed sources who told it that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department (news - web sites) last ... [Read More]
Tracked on July 13, 2004 10:45 PM
» About that Whole Election/Attack Scenario from Right Moment
In my original post I made the point that the election should go ahead unless an attack is of devastating proportions, and even then the election should go on in those areas not directly affected. I'm not even sure that would be legal but I posted it... [Read More]
Tracked on July 14, 2004 9:17 PM
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