This blog is likely to suffer over the next eight days, as I do it on my free time and I have very little of that any more.
More than half of Iowa's 99 counties will use a Web site to post results - a number that's grown gradually in the past few years.
Polk County, among the first in Iowa to launch a Web site, has relayed live election results since at least 2000.
Which is great, Mike, but Johnson County's had a web site since 1997, and was posting returns on a Gopher server (anyone else here old enough to remember that?) as far back as 1993.
One interesting side effect has been the slow decline of an old tradition: the crowd in the courthouse (or rather the Administration Building) on election night. Used to be throngs of folks eagerly awaiting each precinct. But with live internet and cable TV, most folks just stay at the victory party (it's always the "victory party" even if you lose) rather than rubbing elbows with the other team, and the crowd has dwindled to a handful of traditionalists and reporters.
The Polk County Auditor gets a couple other metions this morning including a well-deserved Register endorsement:
Mauro has been the elections chief for the state's largest county for more than 20 years. He has done the job competently, with openness and high ethical standards. Those are standards all Iowans should expect from the next secretary of state. Mauro would meet them.
And Mike met with The Invisible Woman at a forum. Hanusa would rather those 1100 busy Hy-Vee voters would make an extra trip:
Hanusa expressed concern about the prevalence of absentee voting - originally intended as a tool for the infirm or those who would be unable to make it to the polls on Election Day.
"There need to be safeguards in place to make sure the requirements ensure legitimate voters and protect against fraud," she said. "It needs to be looked at."
Mauro, who said 72,000 Polk County residents cast early ballots for the 2004 general election in which President Bush won a second term, countered that absentee voting was safeguarded and that it is well-accepted by the public.
"Early voting is here to stay, and we need to take the 'absentee' out of it," Mauro said. "I think people like it, and I think it works."
Helping you vote vs. making it harder for you to vote. Maybe the easiest choice on the ballot.
Driving by Republican HQ the other day I saw a cluster of signs by the road: nothing for the Invisible Woman. And they had signs along the road for one of their supervisor candidates - but not the other. Is the local GOP undercutting one of their own candidates?
Packers Keep Ball Rolling With Win Over Cardinals, Favre scores a rushing touchdown and attempts a Lambeau Leap, and I miss it all. If they keep winning, I may just have to quit watching.