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If you voted for Ron Paul, or if you intend to vote for Ron Paul, register your vote TODAY!
Ron Paul has said firmly that he does not believe he was cheated of votes by fraud in New Hampshire. A few overzealous supporters aren’t listening—that’s their prerogative. But some of them are also doing things that embarrass Dr. Paul and reflect badly on his movement. The Concord Monitor reports one dismaying episode: a town clerk in New Hampshire, Jennifer Call, is getting harangued by people who refuse to believe she made an innocent mistake when she under-counted the Paul vote in her area.
On election night, she reported zero votes for Dr. Paul. It was an error — Dr. Paul had actually received 31 votes — and by morning it had been corrected. But that wasn’t enough for some folks, and Call found herself getting hostile calls and being attacked on-line: “my name is being splashed across the internet as this horrible person,” she told the Monitor.
Can you imagine Dr. Paul haranguing anybody for a simple mistake? Of course not, and Paul supporters who are acting in good faith shouldn’t do so either. Never be rude to election officials, most of whom, like Ms. Call, are regular people. They should be treated just like your neighbors.
Dr. Paul puts the highest premium on courtesy, and people always deserve the benefit of the doubt. Machines are a different story: nobody has to like the Diebold voting machines. I know I much prefer paper ballots. But here too, Paul supporters need to keep their priorities straight. Dr. Paul is running a political campaign, not a detective agency. If you’re serious about helping Paul, put your efforts into canvassing and getting out the vote. Protests and investigations into Diebold won’t win the nomination.
Yes, New Hampshire counties where votes were cast using machines gave Dr. Paul proportionately fewer votes than counties where votes were tallied by hand; the difference was about 2%. But there were bigger disparities in the machine and hand votes for Mike Huckabee (2.6% fewer votes in machine-counted counties) and John McCain (nearly 3% fewer). And if you think Mitt Romney supporters were rigging things, why wouldn’t they rig them so he’d win the gold, rather than the silver?
There are all kinds of other wacky theories going around that ought to be shot down: for example, the idea that because a Jan. 5 Rasmussen poll pegged Dr. Paul’s support at around 14% in New Hampshire, fraud must account for the final outcome. Trouble is, a final Rasmussen poll in New Hampshire found Dr. Paul’s support at 8%. The numbers don’t suggest any funny business.
Anyone who really wants to see Ron Paul win the nomination should focus their attention on getting out the vote, and should never be rude or hostile to election officials.