Presidential Election Rocks The Robot Vote

Illustration for article titled Presidential Election Rocks The Robot Vote

With the Presidential election less than a week away, it looks like the campaign is taking a more scifi turn as it heads into the home stretch. We've heard about the McCain campaign's controversial use of robocalls, but the Obama campaign is going one better, and using full-on robots to get out the vote.Well, sort of. Our hopes for an appropriately Voltron-esque democratic showdown were raised by a story in yesterday's New York Times about the problems that McCain supporters are having getting college students interested across the country, which contained this fascinating snippet:

The University of Florida in Gainesville is home to one of the country’s largest McCain student groups, with more than 1,000 members. Some of its volunteers stand for nine hours a day in a central campus plaza, pitching to students and selling T-shirts, their only source of campaign money. The Obama group on campus, though, has hired a shuttle bus to drive Obama-supporting students to an early voting site 20 minutes away. “Obviously, we don’t have the resources for that kind of thing,” said Joshua Simmons, 20, the chairman of Gators for McCain. “Right now, we’re just making sure that students know that this organization does exist, and that there are students out there who support McCain.” As if to punctuate his point, Mr. Simmons was stopped midsentence while walking through campus recently and talking on his cellphone. “What is that, a robot?” he said, exhaling noisily. “The Obama campaign has a robot set up in the plaza. It’s holding a sign that says ‘Powered by hope.’ Which I don’t think is entirely accurate.”


An actual Obama-supporting robot? Powered by hope? Our hopes were raised by the possibilities... and then dashed by the reality:

Illustration for article titled Presidential Election Rocks The Robot Vote

As Politico's Ben Smith complained, the robot "isn't quite as tricked out as one might have hoped." That's definitely one way of putting it - and yet more proof of being misled by lies and distortions of unscrupulous politicians (Insert your own political bias here). The robot gap, cont'd [Politico]

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[Insert Obama robotic follower joke here]