Rolling Stone has just published a compelling, massive article on the alleged Ohio vote fraud in the 2004 Presidential election. This thing is really long (and extensively annotated), but it’s well worth reading if you’ve got the time. If the Republicans in Ohio (especially Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Katherine Harris of 2004) and their supporters actually pulled even a quarter of the shenanigans detailed in this article, the implications are both staggering and maddening. If the allegations in this article are true — and a great many of them certainly seem at best plausible, at worst likely — John Kerry should be coming up on the end of the first half of his first term as President of the United States right now.
At this point, I have to admit that I’m less concerned about what happened in Ohio in ’04 — like so many others not in the media, I was convinced on Election Night that some serious fraud was going on based on the “faulty” exit polling numbers — than I am with finding a way to make damn sure it doesn’t happen again in 2008.  I just want everyone’s vote counted fairly. I would be less angry with our current administration (like, say, only at the “outraged” level rather than at the “scorchingly livid” level I’m usually at) if I were convinced Dubya had been legitimately elected either time, but the stink of fraud that hovers around both elections just makes this White House’s reprehensible acts that much more distasteful.
A quote from the article’s author, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr (yeah, that name doesn’t make him sound all that non-partisan, does it?):
If the last two elections have taught us anything, it is this: The single greatest threat to our democracy is the insecurity of our voting system. If people lose faith that their votes are accurately and faithfully recorded, they will abandon the ballot box. Nothing less is at stake here than the entire idea of a government by the people.
 I’m certainly not claiming the Democrats are all Dudley Do-Right to the Republican’s Snidely Whiplash. Yes, I believe the Democrats likely cheat much like the Republicans do — hey, it’s politics, after all. The fact of the matter is that the Republicans are just plain better at it.