The polls all point to a Democratic sweep in November. The
news pours in about pedophile Republicans and Team Bush contempt for their fundamentalist
bedmates. Iraq implodes. Deficits soar. Katrina lingers. Scandal is everywhere.
On the other hand, there are rumors of an "October
Surprise." An attack on Iran. A new terror incident. Osama finally
Gas prices are down, the stock market up.
None of it dampens the Democrats' euphoria. They think they
are about to win. In conventional terms, they should.
But think again. Please.
It will take just two Biblical fixes for the GOP to keep the
Congress, and thus solidify their power in this country, possibly forever: a
loaves and fishes vote count, a Holy Ghost turnout.
We coined the phrase "loaves and fishes vote
count" to describe the tally in Gahanna, Ohio, 2004. This infamous
precinct in suburban Columbus registered 4,258 votes for George W. Bush where
just 638 people voted. The blessed event occurred at a fundamentalist church
run by a close ally of the Reverend Jerry Falwell.
These numbers were later "corrected." But they
reflect a much larger reality: the 2004 election was stolen with scores of
dirty tricks for whose second coming the Democrats have yet to fully prepare.
In the two years since the fraudulent defeat of John Kerry,
we've unearthed an unholy arsenal by which that election was stolen. They
include: outright intimidation, wrongful elimination of registered voters,
theft, selective deployment of (often faulty) voting machines, absentee ballots
without Kerry's name on them, absentee ballots pre-punched for Bush, absentee
ballots never mailed, touch screens that lit up for Bush when Kerry was chosen,
lines for black voters five hours long while white voters a mile away voted in
15 minutes, tens of thousands of provisional ballots pitched summarily in the
trash, alleged ex-felons illegally told they could not vote, Hispanic precincts
with no Spanish-speaking poll workers, deliberate misinformation on official
web sites . . . and that's not even the tip of an iceberg whose bottom we may
Thanks to a federal lawsuit, we have finally been able to
look at some of the actual ballots from Ohio 2004. Just for starters,
researchers Stuart Wright and Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips have found a precinct
in Delaware County where 359 consecutive voters allegedly cast ballots for
Bush. Dr. Ron Baiman found another precinct in Clermont County where a random
inspection found 36 straight replacement ballots, a phenomenon that can be
accomplished only by divine intervention or outright fraud.
These initial snippets have been unearthed with no
cooperation or participation from the Democratic Party. The official Democratic
spin is that they have "looked into the matter." But public records
indicate that they have yet to visit the actual ballot storage facilities to
examine the public records from the 2004 election.
In sum, we see no indication that the Democrats are prepared
for the inevitable . . . that Karl Rove will steal again, and more, in 2006.
In Ohio alone, four election boards have already eliminated
some 500,000 voters since the 2000 election -- 10 percent of the state's
electorate -- from the registration rolls in four Democratic counties. No
similar purges have occurred in rural Republican counties. The Democrats have
said or done very little about it.
To date, there is no logical explanation from John Kerry as
to why he conceded with 250,000 votes still uncounted while Bush's alleged
margin was just half that. Nor have we heard about Democrat plans to monitor
the ever-larger numbers of electronic voting machines deployed throughout the
United States with no paper trail and no transparency for programming codes and
memory cards that are privately owned, with no public inspection allowed.
Which is brings us to the Holy Ghost turnout. As Robert F.
Kennedy, Jr., has reported in Rolling Stone Magazine, in Georgia 2002, U.S.
Senate incumbent Max Cleland went into Election Day with a very substantial
lead in the polls. He proceeded to allegedly lose by a substantial margin.
Church-state operatives like Ralph Reed attributed this astonishing turn-around
to an alleged last-minute mass turnout of evangelical voters.
Similar things were said about Florida and Ohio 2004.
But it never happened. There are no visual reports or other
reliable indicators of extraordinary lines or massive late-in-the-day crowds at
the polls. Throughout all those election days, it was every bit as quick and
easy to vote in rural precincts that gave Bush his miraculous victory as it was
impossible to do so in your average black neighborhood. But there was no
extraordinary turnout of last-minute Bush voters.
What happened instead hearkens to the Holy Ghost, made
manifest in electronic voting machines that cannot and will not be monitored.
The miraculous pro-Bush margins give new meaning to the phrase "ghost in
the machine." While the Democratic vote count was slashed and trashed in
urban precincts, the rural voting stations, through the miracle of untrackable
electronics, materialized just the right number of GOP votes to keep the Men of
God in the White House (where it's recently reported they dare to mock those earthly
evangelicals who allegedly gave them their margin of victory).
There's absolutely nothing to prevent this from happening
again in 2006. Major studies from the Conyers Committee, the Government
Accountability Office, Princeton University, the Brennan Center, the
Carter-Baker Commission, and esteemed others, have all come to the same
conclusion: it takes just one individual with inside access -- or even just a
wi-fi machine -- to change the outcome of any election anywhere.
Electronic voting machines can be preprogrammed,
reprogrammed, recalibrated, electronically adjusted, hacked, jimmied, jammed or
otherwise blessed with a few well-placed electrons and -- LO AND BEHOLD! -- a
Democratic landslide can be born again to a Republican deliverance.
We already see the signs. The corporate bloviators predict a
last-minute surge for Bush. The Fox/Rove media machine has planted suggestive
stories at the New York Times and elsewhere about the alleged hidden powers of
the GOP juggernaut. They will, they say, once again turn out those invisible
legions of evangelical voters when and where necessary.
Every two years, Rove leaks some story that is implausible
and easily refuted: 4 million new evangelical voters are identified nationwide;
or, a late surge of homophobic Old Order Amish rush to the polls in Ohio; or
shy and reluctant right-wing Republican women flood the polls at closing and
slip out unseen without speaking to exit pollsters (but, they are only shy in
the early evening in Republican counties).
And the Democrats? They say they are also turning out
voters. But what happens when their names are miraculously gone from the new
electronic registration rolls? When there aren't enough machines in their
precincts on which to vote? When they press a Democratic name on their touch
screen and an anointed Republican's lights up? Or when techno-gods from private
partisan vendors barge in unchallenged to "adjust" the e-machines in
the middle of the voting process.
So far, the Democrats have heaped abuse on those who dare to
warn of all this.
But as it is written, so it shall be: unless there are
armies of trained, dedicated citizens prepared to monitor this upcoming
election, electronic and otherwise, the Holy Ghosts will vote, the loaves &
fishes will multiply and be counted, and the GOP will once again emerge with
total control of the checks and the balances -- this time, perhaps, for all
Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of WHAT
HAPPENED IN OHIO?, just published by The New Press. Fitrakis is of counsel and
Wasserman is a plaintiff in the King-Lincoln lawsuit that has preserved the
Ohio 2004 ballots. Fitrakis is an independent candidate for Ohio governor,
endorsed by the Green Party; Wasserman is author of SOLARTOPIA! Our
Green-Powered Earth, a.d. 2030.