Following 18 months of incredible propaganda, political manipulation from both camps and a compliant media, the big day is finally upon us. Voting in the US Presidential election is now underway, with the election centres and the counts expected to drag on well into the next evening. Now that it's all in the hands of the bureaucracy, you might well expect all the craziness to be over – but there's plenty more potential for chaos and craziness yet...
Voting irregularities are rife
As with the previous three elections, tales of voting and vote-counting irregularities are rife. Funnily enough, these legal wrangles and accusations are most common in the swing states, where a few disqualified votes here, or a few discouraged voters there can make all the difference. Voting stations in predominantly black and Democrat areas have reportedly been closed down after only a few hours, leaving voters who were queuing round the block waiting to vote little recourse, while allegations have it that high-end Republican areas have seen the opening hours of their voting centres extended.
Racial profiling and something rotten in Pennsylvania
Others have complained of racial profiling, with black and Hispanic voters having ID demanded of them while whiter voters are allowed through on 'trust'. This has been an especial problem in Pennsylvania, whose Republican-controlled legislature did pass a voter ID law, but was overruled by a court on 2nd October which said that the law must not apply for the 2012 Presidential election. The state judge ruled that while voters can still be asked for ID, those without ID must be allowed to vote. Despite this, signs at some polling centres in central Pennsylvania have been falsely telling voters they need photo ID.
Legal challenges raise fears of court chaos stealing the election
But the worst potential chaos in the wake of the polls itself will occur in the event of a tie. Both Obama and Romney's campaigns have been preparing for legal battles in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio, if the voting proves close enough for a court challenge. This of course raises worrisome memories of the notorious 2000 decision by the Supreme Court of the US, which declared George W Bush the winner of that year's election despite the fact that many did – and still do – believe that all the evidence shows challenger Al Gore had a clear majority of the vote.
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown warns that this year “each campaign has more lawyers than you can shake a stick at, deployed to capitals in all of the key battleground states.” In such a situation, the only winner will be the Oligarchy and its lawyers, while the losers will be every American who still believes in democracy.