by Max Brantley
I'm off early to get in some gym time before tonight's five-hour marathon on KARK-TV and its sister station KARZ. I'll join Bill Vickery, Gabe Holmstrom and Clint Reed for commentary breaks during Channel 4 coverage and, I gather, some extended periods on the other channel.
I'll try to post a bit on the blog, as will other Times staffers who'll be circulating to key election night events. But use this and any subsequent open lines to report and comment as you can.
President, highway tax, medical marijuana, state legislative control, Little Rock City Board, North Little Rock mayor, Pulaski Quorum Court. Also, Congress looks like a sweep for Republicans in Arkansas. In the wishful thinking department: A Herb Rule victory in Pulaski County would take a little of the glitter off Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's designs on a U.S. Senate race in 2014, even if he's re-elected. Nationally, continued Democratic control of the U.S. Senate and the fate of gay marriage proposals in four states are items of high interest. I'd trade a lot for an Elizabeth Warren win for Senate in Massachusetts.
Other odds and ends:
* HAIL TO THE VICTORS VALIANT: It was announced today that the Arkansas Razorbacks have agreed to a home-and-home football deal with Michigan in 2018 (Ann Arbor) and 2019. That ain't ULM.
* ELECTION DAY WEIRDNESS: Truncation of early voting in Florida. ID barriers to voting in Ohio. Right-wing complaining about vote fraud in Northern Virginia (a sure sign that polls are trending badly for Romney there). If this election is definitively decided tonight, I'll be somewhat surprised, given the possibility of recounts for narrow margins and legal challenges. Speaking of which: I've heard complaints about extraordinary ID checking of students in Washington County, Ark., that has created a slowdown for a number attempting to vote.
* DEAD MAN VOTES IN MICHIGAN: Great story. Not fraud. Revived at the poll. A key element is missing, though. Who the hell did he vote for?
* UPDATE: HALLUM RULED OFF THE BALLOT: Judge Mary McGowan ruled today that votes shouldn't be counted for Hudson Hallum, the former Democratic state representative from Marion, who resigned after ballots were prepared as a result of a guilty plea in a vote buying scheme. That clears the path to election for Fred Smith, a Green candidate and former legislator onced ruled off himself for a theft conviction that was later removed from his record.