The Note: It's Not Whether You Win or Lose, It's How You Play the Game

All MSM journalists: check your bias meter on this one -- if the administration were Democratic, and the group was the Christian Coalition, how would you react?

ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: legal wars:

Please send your tips, comments and questions on any ballot matters to politicalunit@abcnews.com

On the basis of the Ohio and Wisconsin voter challenges, a coalition of civil rights groups filed suit in Federal District Court in New Jersey in Newark to reopen the consent decree that the Republican National Committee is currently operating under going back to voter intimidation issues from the 1980s in New Jersey.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 1.

Reports the Washington Post's Jo Becker: "Republicans argue that their program -- the most robust in recent history -- is necessary because unprecedented voter registration drives by Democratic-leaning interest groups have produced thousands of phony registrations. But Democrats say that the GOP's Milwaukee challenges are a perfect example of the party trying to imply fraud where none exists. Lawyers for John F. Kerry's campaign successfully argued before the election board there that the analysis the GOP used to challenge voters was riddled with mistakes." LINK

"Courts in the past found that Republicans used tactics that were aimed at intimidating minority voters and suppressing their votes. The consent decrees in New Jersey stemmed from several incidents in the 1980s."

"In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls. The RNC sent off-duty law enforcement officials to the polls and hung posters in heavily black neighborhoods warning that violating election laws is a crime."

"In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"

The New York Times' Lyman and Yardley on the surge in early voting that could end up being as high as 20% of all ballots cast. LINK

Ann Gerhart smiles on the lawyers who "have already had their day in court" in Ohio. LINK

1,090 election observers head to the polls. LINK

The New York Times' editorial board looks at the return of the butterfly ballot to Ohio. We'd like to issue a reminder that the good people of Ohio have used butterfly ballots successfully in the past, and one state's foibles don't necessarily foretell those of another state. LINK

The Washington Post's editorial board on election day uncertainty. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Florida:

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