Ballot confusion. Voters denied access to polls. Calls for a Justice Department investigation. Yep, the polling-place "irregularities" on South Main Street in Santa Ana are shaping up to be the big national election story of the year. The dozen or perhaps even dozens of votes at the center of the Santa Ana shitstorm could tilt the presidential election from an elitist out of touch with the common man to, uh, what were we saying? Oh, yeah: on Nov. 7, poll workers at South Main failed to show up, which is quite understandable, given that it's always hard to remember when you're supposed to go to work when you work just one day a year. Some would-be voters who did show up to the nonpeopled polls found a way to cast provisional ballots, some got instructions on how to vote, and some were simply told to go home and watch Live! With Regis. Though the polling place was in a Hispanic neighborhood, no accusations flew about mysterious forces (Orange County Republican Party Hidden Reference Alert!) trying to thwart the Latino vote, as has happened in our fairly recent past. But questions were raised about a lack of resources for these neighborhoods. After all, have you ever heard of, say, Newport Beach polling places not opening due to lack of staff? Of course not. That'd be silly. You're stupid even to think such a thing could happen. Jeez, what's wrong with you?
THIS JUST IN The problem-plagued polling place was in the South Main Street building that houses Teen Challenge, the nonprofit group that sends mostly minority kids into white neighborhoods at night to sell candy to keep them off the streets—particularly your street, if you don't hurry up and just buy some goddamn candy. Cognizant of the towering importance of the Election 2000 controversy—and not wanting to sully its hard-earned reputation—Teen Challenge faxed Clockwork a statement on Nov. 9 denying it had anything to do with the polling-place fiasco. They simply provided the polling space to the county. We immediately responded by faxing in our order for a giant Kit Kat bar.
GLOBAL ROASTING Considering the Election Day shenanigans in Santa Ana and elsewhere across the country (we have it on good authority that there may be problems in Florida, but don't quote us on that), we might want to accept offers made Nov. 10 by the governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Agence France Presse reports those nations stand ready to send "international observers" to ensure we straighten out our election mess.
GANG GREEN Al Gore HQ, which calls Ralph Nader "the grim reaper," blames the Green Party presidential nominee for costing them the presidency, and everyone from Democrat sugar-daddy Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films to the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League is taking whacks at Sir Ralph. So for a defense, we turn to the center of our political universe, Palm Beach, where Sandy McMillan had no trouble finding Nader on that infamous Democrat-designed "butterfly" ballot. "Let the Democrats and Republicans stew in their own mess," she writes. "Nader and the Greens and others who supported him are not to blame for Gore's loss—if it works out that way. It remains beyond me how anyone truly familiar with Gore's disastrous record on the environment, civil rights [and] economic justice could really believe that he was the lesser of two evils anyway. All of the current Florida debacle just helps make more visible what a disaster our political situation is in this country. If Greens want to make some kind of impact for improvement, we should be aware that we will have to have even more resolve to stand a lot stronger than some did this go-round, and that our skins will have to get a lot tougher for the attacks ahead."