Monday, January 24, 2011

Omaha Recall : What Do the Early Numbers Mean?

A robust number of voters have requested early ballots. Maybe it means nothing more than avoiding bad weather. But as long as Gary DeSilvestro is in play, anything is possible.


DeSilvestro was the mastermind of the homeless bus/vote for $5 scheme. That was clumsy and visible.

What if, instead of bringing the voters to the ballots, you instead bring the ballots to the voters? You order early ballots in the name of registered voters and then pay the voters in the privacy of their homes.

Or have a voting party. You bring your ballot, we'll provide the food and drink -- and maybe even a fiver for your trouble.

What's to stop a union from requiring members to request early ballots and then stand over their members' shoulders as the members vote "no" on recall?

Either side could do this. Many Democrats signed the recall petition. Prominent Republicans have spoken out against it. But Democratic party leadership has argued that the recall is an effort to overturn the result of the 2009 mayoral election in which a Democrat won fair and square. So there is a partisan flavor to the recall.

Democrats are more organized and aggressive on getting out the vote and related activity. It comes out of the tradition in the early 20th century of Democrats figuring out that political organization can produce victory for an underdog.

In Nebraska, where the Democrats are in the minority, they have had to be better at organization than Republicans to compete. That's why, over the years, you have seen so many liberal Democrats in key leadership positions in the Nebraska Legislature.

Do not underestimate hardcore Democratic insiders in get-out-the-vote crunch time.

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