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    Liveblog: The Motherboard Command Center Is the Only Election Resource That Matters

    Written by

    Derek Mead


    It’s hard to imagine it’s possible, but it sure feels like the wealth of political media and pundits have grown since 2008, and the political news cycle has become even more compressed, bizarre, and detached from reality. Combined with politicians who simply don’t stop campaigning, we’ve been breathlessly hearing about today’s election for four goddamn years. So, while all the talking heads hunker down in their TV studio Election Compounds, Fort Decision 2k12, Vote Bunkers, and Presidential Showdown Moon Bases, I thought I’d hop into the old Motherboard Command Center to start liveblogging (this may get erratic) the most important decision America will ever make. Hell, I even put on a collared shirt today, because folks, I care about exhaustive wheedling over election minutiae this country. Onward!

    6:01 PM Folks, I’m hitting the road to go vote, so I’ll just leave you with a trio of tweets that sum up the day’s coverage. It’s about time to switch over to the big guys’ live blogs and live coverage, so you ought to switch anyway. They tried really really hard, so don’t disappoint them.




    5:50 PM More robocalls in Florida, with over 12,000 people being told by an ‘election official’ that polls are open until tomorrow. This makes me physically ill.

    5:48 PM Obama took to Reddit to ask people to vote, saying that it’s like upvoting but in real life.

    5:43 PM The Economist has a moderately-rosy prediction for the coming economic climate, which will be a bit of a boon for whoever wins tonight.

    5:32 PM From the Daily Dot:

    5:05 PM Smithsonian has a rad roundup of presidential campaign swag from throughout the years.

    4:58 PM Why the entire world need to ditch e-voting systems as fast as possible.

    4:37 PM Folks, don’t Instagram your ballot, because in some states that’s illegal.

    Matt Taibbi is hammering at his keyboard, as usual.

    Chris Christie said a hug from Bruce Springsteen made him weep.

    A quick update on voter lines from around the country.

    The USA Today editorial board defended the absurdly long campaign season.

    4:27 PM Voting is not a shitshow in Florida… yet.

    What if it were illegal not to vote? It is in a number of countries, who tend to shift to the left.

    Making voting a pain in the ass is the American way.

    4:20 PM This is my favorite post I’ve seen today: 37 reasons why Rasheed Wallace would be a great president.

    4:06 PM NPR has a great interactive site for keeping up on states as they report tonight.

    3:58 PM Here are some tweets I thought were funny at some point in the day and whose tabs I need to close:







    3:50 PM So that vote flipping video from earlier, in which a voter’s pick for Obama kept switching to Romney, is nothing new, but here’s what to do if it happens to you.

    3:40 PM Apparently Nate Silver was responsible for TWENTY PERCENT of the NY Times’ traffic on Monday. Update: 20 percent of visitors looked at FiveThirtyEight, which is still insane. Holy shit.

    Also absurd: the story of a man who died at the polls, came back to life, and asked if he’d voted yet.

    3:37 PM What are the two candidates doing today? Well, Romney is campaigning while Obama shoots hoops. If you’ve been waiting for that news to make your decision, you’re a bozo.

    3:33 PM NYC Mayor Bloomberg compared the voting process in NYC to a third-world nation. Ouch.

    3:30 PM Our Brian Merchant explains the New Jersey email voting process, which is a first for civilians in the US. You just email a PDF to some dude’s Hotmail account. (Seriously.)

    3:28 PM Is Nate Silver a witch?

    3:21 PM A “dark money” group tied to Citizen’s United was forced to reveal its donors, which is kind of a big deal for transparency advocates.

    Chrysler gave workers the day off to go vote. A jab at Romney’s ridiculous ads about Chrysler shipping jobs to China?

    Because why the hell not, Buzzfeed rounded up 37 people who said they’d move to Australia if Obama wins.

    3:15 PM After voting, the most important thing to do today is ignore every exit poll you see.

    Another good one from Foreign Policy, breaking down how the world has changed since Obama was elected in 08.

    The NY Times wants you to Instagram the election for them, because a nation’s worth of photographers would be kinda expensive.

    From earlier, a quartet of election disaster scenarios.

    2:55 PM Because Based God, here’s Lil’ B’s Obama mixtape:

    2:53 PM Michael Tracey has been reporting nonstop from New Jersey:



    2:49 PM Important: Hallucinating Peruvian Shamans Predict the Election Winner, thanks Brian Merchant.

    2:40 PM Another link blast:

    Foreign Policy has five voting systems worse than our electoral college. Myanmar is insane.

    Drew Magary shares his voting fiasco bland experience in GQ.

    A good Philly-based liveblog cooking at Newsworks right now-. Pennsylvania remains an extremely important race, and the voter fraud/voter intimidation battle is messy right now. Note that the Romney campaign said they thought Pennsylvania is in play at the last minute. Should they pull off a disenfranchisement-boosted win (Romney could, very improbably, win in a clean election, but this one isn’t clean), they’ve already set the stage for making it seem normal.

    Mobute Seso Seko on Romney being a robot, doing what he does best.

    In a throwback to vote-buying schemes long ago, folks in South Carolina and Kentucky still can’t buy booze on election day.

    2:36 PM Now Today has the story of a Facebook hoax designed to trick voters into not clicking for Democrats when they’re in the voting booth. The people that try to win an election like this — on either side, but this specific hoax is indeed aimed at tricking Democrats — are fucking scum.

    2:33 PM Read this: Mother Jones has a great running liveblog of voter intimidation and voter suppression incidents, along with a killer map. Seriously, they’re doing the good work.

    2:28 PM Slate really likes having its writers write letters to each other, but this piece about how Democrats aren’t worried about losing Pennsylvania because of their supreme voter mobilization skills is an interesting read. Maybe it’s just because every storyline has been covered exhaustively, but is it really that much of a surprise that the group that expects to be better at convincing people to go vote also expects to win?

    Here are Romney and Obama’s positions on the arts and art funding. One candidate isn’t a fan of arts funding, I’ll tell you that.

    Here’s a shitty idea from inside an intellectual bubble: Steven Levitt at Freakonomics shares Glen Weyl’s voting mechanism, in which we would pay for as many votes as we want, with each vote costing subsequently more cash. That way you’d only vote as much as you cared to. Of course, I couldn’t afford to spend more than $100 on an election, while rich dudes could spend, I dunno, billions. They already are, sure, but at least you can hope that at some point people give up on ads. And yeah, it would get more expensive for a rich guy to vote more — say that his 100th vote costs $1 million. But that million bones could also buy a lot of poor folks their fifth, sixth, and seventh votes…



    2:01 PM Uplifting piece from Danger Room: 7 Technologies That Will Make It Easier for the Next President to Hunt and Kill You.

    CNN’s COMMAND CENTER is going to be in the Empire State Building. I’m currently wrapped in tinfoil at the VICE office.

    Obama, Bruce Springsteen, and Jay-Z hung out last night, VICE was there.

    Bloomberg, looking for “viral hits,” asks which candidate would better deal with a zombie attack. It’s a nice read though, so go enjoy it damnit.

    1:43 PM The campaigns spent a combined $6 billion this year, which is a new record. It’s also totally insane, but it might not be bad business. Remember, whoever controls the White House and Congress gets to control the $3.5 trillion federal budget, as NPR noted with this great graphic by friend-of-Motherboard Lam Thuy Vo. Not to be too cynical or anything, but that’s a small chunk of change to spend to (sort of) control an ungodly amount of spending.

    Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

    1:27 PM Election 2012 everybody:


    David Carr with a nice piece about the rise of fact-checking in 2012. Spoiler: fact checking didn’t change anything.

    Libertarians may secure permanent ballot access in D.C. thanks to Bruce Major.

    A key reminder:


    12:57 PM According to Pew, 22 percent of voters will make their vote known on social media, 30 percent have been encouraged to vote for Obama or Romney by friends and family on socials, and 20 percent have done so themselves.

    After speaking with failed candidates, the Daily Beast explains what it feels like to lose an election.

    12:18 PM Roseanne makes a last-ditch effort by dropping every key buzzword in politics:


    Sandy is keeping New Jersey voters from the polls, and the email system Gov. Christie approved is confusing and perhaps not even legal.

    A mysterious company donated $5.3 million to a GOP super PAC at the last minute, and no one knows who funded it. Meanwhile, the cash-rich Romney campaign is paying volunteers to hit the streets.

    12:08 PM Whatever happens in the presidential election, the GOP is set to make gains in governorships.

    12:05 PM The actual results (you know, that shit that matters!) start rolling in around 7 PM EST. Here’s a guide to when results can be posted, but legal shenanigans could delay an official result for weeks.

    Add bomb scares to the list of voter suppression issues already plaguing this election.

    Oh, by the way, 16 states have districts that rely on glitchy paperless voting tech. Have faith, people!

    12:02 PM Google has you covered on finding your polling place.

    12:01 PM

    If Obama doesn’t pull out a win, this image of him speaking at his last campaign event last night is going to be the stuff of a million terrible memes:

    Via @dougmillsnyt, Buzzfeed

    But odds are that won’t happen. Nate Silver has Obama at 90.9 percent to win, while Intrade has it at 73.6 percent as of right now. Here’s Silver on the Colbert Report:

    Romney knows he needs Ohio, so his last pitch was to say that he’s the only one that can work with the idiots in Congress.

    He also needs Wall Street, which John Carney thinks may have deserted him at the last minute.

    11:52 AM Props to the HuffPo Hill Twitter crew for this one:


    11:41 AM Oh, good! The truth monkey got off his ass and voted:

    Also, because “millennials” don’t like to “read things without pictures,” the Guardian has a graphic novel about the election.

    11:35 AM Saw this from @FARTDAUGHTER:

    It seems sad to divide the election across racial lines, but hey, that’s been the GOP’s stated strategy for the last few years (and decades, I guess).

    11:17 AM Iran’s state news agency says Americans are stupid as hell, but we’ll vote anyway!

    Since Ohio is quite possibly the only state that matters, the Washington Post explained how to follow the state’s results as closely as your heart can handle. But thanks to Husted’s shenanigans and other legal wrangling, Ohio’s official tally might not come until December&.

    11:00 AM Let me fire some links at you to start off. First, we’ve got that ridiculous video of a voting machine switching from Obama to Romney, over and over and over.

    Over at The Atlantic, Ta-Nahisi Coates says we should fire the pundits. I’d say toss them in a volcano, but to each his own. The crux is the uproar over Nate Silver’s sophisticated prediction machine; Pundits hate the idea that you could put intelligent odds on a race because their entire careers are based around being gasbags talking about “momentum” (self-created media momentum, that is) and living inside a bubble where you’re never wrong if you never say anything substantive, and are always right as long as you’re loud and play loose with the facts. It’s sad because, as pundits increasingly become polarized to try to stand out, viewers are dragged around through career-driven bullshit that’s difficult to distinguish from the news.

    The Smithsonian has a nice election psychology piece discussing things that influence your vote even though you don’t think they do. Included are timing, location, and whether “your guy” is winning, among others.

    Props to Slate for wrapping up the number issues surrounding last-minute changes to Ohio’s voting rules. The long and short of it is that Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted, has continually tried to push changes (that have been continually contested in court, and overturned until now) to Ohio’s voting regulations up until the last minute under the guise of voter fraud and streamlining the count. At best, it’s shady. At worst, it’s voter suppression in the most important swing state in the nation. Expect this story to play out for a long time, and if I may say, Husted’s a real piece of shit for continually screwing with the voting process at the last minute, despite court rulings and Ohio’s own election laws.

    Speaking of piece of shit, the people backing robocall campaigns feeding false poll information to black neighborhoods in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and who knows where else, deserve to be handed down some street justice. Already this is shaping up to be a filthy election, which is ridiculous.

    Which is a great time to drop this hammer from CNN, explaining why America’s voting system is a disgrace. All this extralegal wrangling, recounts, and intimidation just don’t happen in some European countries. Then again, no one is getting their hands chopped off for voting in the US (yet).