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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Pennsylvania

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November 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

VIDEO: Possible voter fraud in Pennsylvania — or just voting machine malfunction?

Update: Reports have confirmed that the Pennsylvania voting machine in question has been taken out of commission.  Multiple states across the country have tried to preempt voter fraud this election cycle. Largely driven by Republican legislators, these preventative measures have been decried as attempts at voter suppression, specifically of groups who tend to…

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Comments | More in National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Pennsylvania

May 1, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach discusses the political climate and parallels to Washington State

Senator Daylin Leach Campaign Headquarters in Bryn Mawr, PA. (Photo by Derek Walker/UW Election Eye)

The political climate in Washington State may become similar to that in Pennsylvania should Rob McKenna become Governor of Washington State this fall. UWEE sat down with State Sen. Leach to discuss the similarities.

BRYN MAWR, Penn. — During our Pennsylvania road trip, we traveled to the 17th Senatorial District to interview State Senator Daylin Leach (D). Senator Leach served under Pennsylvania’s former Governor Ed Rendell (D) and has seen the dramatic changes in the State government under its current Governor, Tom Corbett (R).

The political climate in Washington State may become similar to that in Pennsylvania should Rob McKenna, who is currently favored to win, become Governor of Washington State this fall. McKenna has made promises similar to those Corbett made while campaigning:  Prioritizing education, putting cost cutting reforms into place in order to balance the budget, and managing state services.

We arrived at the Senator’s office to a flurry of activity. Volunteers were preparing to “Get Out The Vote” by canvassing neighborhoods and making phone calls. We asked Senator Leach, a self described liberal, to discuss changes he has seen under the new administration and to address issues that his constituents have faced since Governor Corbett has taken office.  Our hope was to shed light on possible parallels Washingtonians may themselves face should McKenna be elected.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Daylin Leach, Ed Rendell, Environmental Proection

March 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Fishy Robocalls — 'tis the season

King County voters received phony robocalls, claiming the Republican caucuses on March 3 were cancelled.

King County voters received phony robocalls that claimed the Republican caucuses on March 3 were cancelled. (Photo by tj scenes/Flickr.com)

Nowadays, robocalling is standard practice for political campaigns. In a presidential election year, almost everyone can expect an automated phone call here and there. This nomination season, voters in contested states, like South Carolina or Ohio, racked up dozens of robotic voice mails. Sometimes it’s Robo-Robert on the other end of the cord, sometimes it’s Barbara Bush. Usually, it’s just annoying.

Nevertheless, setting up an automated phone bank is usually easier than finding flesh-and-blood volunteers. With companies like Republican Robo Calls — who assure the customer they’ve never worked with a Democrat — charging only two to seven cents per call, million dollar campaigns can hardly afford not use them.

Yet for a system supposedly designed to avoid human error, there’s certainly a lot of it. Whether it’s scandalous content, like accusing John McCain of fathering an illegitimate black child in 2000, or just ringing the wrong households, like Rick Santorum phoning Democrats in Michigan, robocalling can be disastrous for both its users and subjects.

The robocalls that peppered Washington state in anticipation of the Republican caucus had their share of trickery as well.

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Comments | Topics: Barbara Bush, campaign oddities, Caucuses