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Last Sunday, a CBS News investigation found that the ongoing “Mortgage/Foreclosure crisis might affect Voting Rolls“:

“Voters in pivotal Ohio with outdated addresses face possible pre-election challenges and trips to multiple polling places. They also are more likely to cast provisional ballots that might not be counted.”

Current economic challenges have the potential to influence the numbers of ballots cast by low-income… typically Democratic… voters come November. Another factor that seems to be getting no attention: the possibility that high gas prices may result in fewer people willing/able to make the drive to their local polling station to cast their vote. And once again, the people most likely to stay home on Election Day because of the high gas prices are low-income Democrats.

During the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2006 elections (I do not remember on 2002), gasoline prices fell in the months just prior to the November election. In 2006, the price of regular unleaded fell locally to just $1.99/gal after selling for as much as $2.32/gal earlier that Summer. It is not uncommon for Administrations to pull out every trick in the book to bring gas prices down in time for the election, to create the impression that the economy is doing well.

Now in 2008, gas prices are over $4.10/gal with no sign of falling between now and November. Despite President Bush traveling to Saudi Arabia, hat-in-hand… like Oliver Twist begging for a second helping of Gruel… (More???) to beg his Arab Masters to increase production, the Saudi’s at first refused, claiming there was insufficient evidence that they weren’t already “meeting demand“. But on June 22, through increased U.S. pressure, the Saudi’s agreed to increase production by a paltry 500,000 barrels of oil (from 9.2 million barrels to 9.7 million barrels) a day… not enough to have any measurable effect on world oil prices (and even less of an effect on gasoline prices). On July 3rd, OPEC… in a ruling pushed by major member Iran… refused to increase oil production and help out the struggling U.S. economy. And why would they, when the U.S. and/or Israel are threatening missile strikes? So despite their best efforts to help John McCain this November by creating the false impression of an improving economy, gasoline prices are likely to climb even higher by November. And should a single Hurricane of any significant strength enter the Gulf of Mexico this Summer, with all its off-shore drilling platforms, the price of oil could easily surpass $175/barrel this Summer and push gasoline over $5/gallon.

Last July, two economics professors, Maarten Allers & Peter Kooreman, produced a report entitled: “More Evidence on the Effects of Voting Technology on Election Outcomes“. Among their findings:

[A]s voting machines are expensive, their introduction usually goes along with a reduction in the number of polling stations. Since this increases individuals’ average distance to a polling station – and hence costs of voting – the polling station density is crucial to control for in establishing the causal impact of electronic voting on elections outcomes, in particular voter turnout.” – (Pg. 3)

Quite simply, not only does the high cost of electronic voting machines mean poorer districts can afford fewer machines, which results in long lines that discourage voters unwilling/unable to wait, but it also means those few machines are spread out over greater distances, meaning longer drives to get to your polling station. (The Bush Administration, rather than compensate districts to purchase machines based on population, have instead decided to let districts, regardless of income, fend for themselves).

Between a Media that wants a close election and an Administration that will stop at nothing to depress Democratic turnout, the ONLY way for Democrats to lose in November is for Democrats themselves to allow this criminal administration to dissuade them from voting.

KNOW that they don’t want you to vote and use that in November as motivation to make that long drive and/or stand in that long line. Get a bunch of your family & friends together and carpool to the polls if you must. Volunteer to bring others with you to the polls. Get mad. Get out and vote. And remember:

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – (exact source unknown)

Or in this case, give in. I leave you with this thought:

George Bush… bin Laden’s best friend, let me count the ways:

1. Ignored the threat of al Qaeda before 9/11, allowing them to pull off their spectacular attack. 🙁

2. Helped bin Laden’s family flee the country in the days after 9/11.

3. Tora Bora.

4. Pulled U.S. troops, stationed in Saudi Arabia, out of the country (a stated reason OBL gave for attacking the U.S.).

5. Turned sights from completing the job in Afghanistan to focus on Iraq (even pulling troops out of Afghanistan to go to Iraq) to overthrow a secular dictator that OBL himself sought to overthrow.

6. Turned Iraq into a "terrorist training ground"… exactly what he said invading Iraq would help us avoid.

7. Befriended Pakistan, a known supporter of terrorism, in exchange for "fly-over" rights into Afghanistan. Pakistan, in return, created a terrorist sanctuary in Northern Pakistan, where bin Laden and al Qaeda are believed to be hiding, and denied the U.S. access to the region.

8. Bankrupted the U.S. economy, devalued the dollar, pushed the U.S. into a recession, and now has oil trading at over $144/barrel, exactly where OBL said it "should be" trading.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: "Just whose side is George Bush on???"