Many American news services claim the vote on Wednesday is just too close to call between Obama and Romney. That elevates a problem that, it seems, no one wants to talk about, rigging the enormously vulnerable electronic voting systems so many States use.
First of all, if someone tinkers with these machines it won't be to skew the election Obama's way. The main companies that make and service these machines are tied to Republican interests.
For inexplicable reasons these machines have never been made tamper proof. The vulnerabilities that have plagued them back into the Bush II days are still there. Worse yet, the inability to detect tampering still exists. There is still no way to independently verify the voting results these machines tabulate. Their results are unassailable even if they come out rigged.
In "How to Rig an Election" in the November issue of Harper's, Victoria Collier chronicles America's vulnerability to electronic vote tampering and how it is a taboo subject even among the Left.
In his 2011 paper "To the American Media: Time to Face the Reality of Election Rigging," Jonathan Simon accuse the press of maintaining a Mafia-style omerta on the subject. "The gruesome truth is that American elections can be rigged, and are being rigged, because the American media treats election rigging as something that - all evidence notwithstanding - could never happen here."
Few people know this better than NYU professor Mark Crispen Miller, whose books 'Fooled Again' and 'Loser Take All' document a wide assortment of G.O.P. vote-stealing tricks in every major election from 2000 to 2006. When the books were published, he told me, "I got no interviews and almost no reviews, despite the wealth of evidence I'd gathered. The corporate media was silent. But the left-wing press was hostile."
Like Canada (so far), Europe has rejected American-style electronic voting.
It is Germany, however, that has now become the standard-bearer for clean elections. In 2009, that nation's constitutional court upheld the basic principle of the public nature of democratic elections. By ruling that the vote count must be something the public can authenticate - and without any specialized expertise - the decision directly challenged the use of computers in elections.
Ireland followed suit in 2012, sending all its electronic voting machines to the scrap heap.
America has a rich history of outrageously rigged elections and 2012 seems primed to continue this sad tradition.