Police fear riots if Barack Obama loses US election
Law enforcement officials say the intense public interest and historic nature of the vote could lead to violent outbreaks if people are unhappy with the results, encounter problems casting their ballots or suspect voting irregularities.
Police departments say they cannot rule out disorder and are mobilising extra forces and putting SWAT teams on standby.
In Oakland, near San Francisco, police will have tactical squads, SWAT teams and officers trained in riot control on standby.
"We always try to prepare for the worst," said Oakland police department spokesman Jeff Thomason.
"This election is going to mark in history a change in the presidency: you're going to have a woman in the presidency or an African American as president. I think everybody around here is voting for Obama, so if he gets in the White House everybody's going to be happy.
"But we'll have our SWAT teams on standby and traffic teams here, so if something goes off we'll organise and take care of the problem."
There have also been internet rumours about plans for protests or civil disobedience by supporters of Democratic candidate Barack Obama if he is beaten by Republican rival John McCain on November 4.
Hyperbole? Look at this:
James Carville, a strategist for former President Bill Clinton and advisor to his wife Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign, hinted Democrat supporters could be angry if Mr Obama lost, given his lead in the polls.
"If Obama goes in and he has a consistent five-point lead and loses the election, it would be very, very, very dramatic out there," he told CNN.
There's even worse at the article itself.
And then there is this horror:
Richard said the robber took $60 from the woman, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.
I hope this one turns out to be a hoax. Update 10/24/08: Her story is beginning to fall apart. Update 2 10/24/08: Police: Campaign Volunteer Made Up Attack Story
Personally, I'm in an area where if there's going to be any violence, I'll hear the shooting start. I hope what I'll be hearing in less than two weeks are jubilant celebrations.
Bush should have never, ever been permitted his first term. Subsequent revelations of new voting machines not being tamper-proof are only adding to the build-up to a possible explosion. As are the revelations of new rules allowing each state to trash voter registrations. So far, it seems my own registration has not been entered into the system to permit me to vote.