Writer after writer keeps talking about how we are just
going to march into the polls come November and vote the monsters out. If only
that were true.
The system is rigged, folks. Just like oil and water, computers
and voting don't mix. And that includes touch screens, optically-scanned
ballots, even punch cards that are tabulated by computers. Worse, the voting
equipment is in the hands of partisan private firms and they deny you the right
to see the code, claiming it is proprietary information.
Adding so-called "verifiable" paper receipts to
touch screens would be meaningless, because a handful of scumbags still can
change the results just enough to give their candidates a win without
triggering a hand recount.
Is this so hard to understand? It must be, because we, Bev
Harris, Lynn Landes Bob Fitrakis and others have been screaming about this
elephant in the room for nearly six years.
Bev Harris and her Black
Box Voting team have proved in state after state how easily computers can
be rigged. Lynn Landes' voting
rights lawsuit has made its way to the US Supreme Court (Docket No. 05-930), where she
intends to represent herself.
"I tried to get civil rights organizations interested in this case,
but had no luck. Their disregard for this issue is incredible. It's
clear to me that without direct access to a physical ballot and meaningful
transparency in the process, our elections have no integrity whatsoever,"
Fitrakis and three other attorneys, who filed a 1awsuit
questioning the results of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, found
themselves the target of Ohio Attorney General James Petro, who sought stiff
legal sanctions against the four for filing a "political nuisance"
In a Feb. 3, 2005, Free Press
article, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman wrote, "In documents
filed with the Ohio Supreme Court, Petro�s office charges that the citizen
contestors -- Ohio voters -- and their attorneys lacked evidence and proceeded
in bad faith to file the challenge. Petro says the election challenge was a
'political nuisance' lawsuit, and as such, the legal team should be fined --
personally -- many thousands of dollars."
That ploy backfired on Petro, when more documents were
entered into evidence, including the 102-page Status Report of the House
Judiciary Democratic Staff entitled "What Went Wrong in Ohio?",
further exposing the 2004 skullduggery. While Petro's sanction motion was
denied by the Ohio Supreme Court, the voters lost again when the case was
But instead of remedying the situation, the legislature
passed and Gov. Robert Taft, the only sitting Ohio governor ever convicted of a
crime, signed into law on Jan. 31 a draconian bill (HB 3), which Fitakris noted
in a Dec. 7 article, "HB3's most publicized
provision will require positive identification before casting a vote. But it
also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts
electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of
citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a
presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. When
added to the recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be
dominated by the wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list
of GOP attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over."
So what chance do you think Fitrakis, who is now a Green
Party candidate for Ohio governor, has against the winner of the GOP primary --
either Petro or Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, the man at the center of
the 2004 vote horror? Ditto for whoever wins the Democratic primary.
While the Bushistas have learned to be a bit more careful in
the wake of the 2000 Florida debacle, stuff happens, as Donald Rumsfeld would
say. Perhaps Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 were diversions to keep people
from looking at the skullduggery that went on everywhere. For example, George
W. Bush received an extra 100,000 votes -- "phantom votes," as Chris
Floyd called them -- in Alaska in 2004.
Floyd wrote, " A
good example of how this control really works can be found in Alaska. There,
the state Democratic Party has long been seeking an audit of some of the 2004
Diebold-counted returns, which produced a series of strange anomalies �
including awarding George W. Bush an extra 100,000 votes that turned out to be
phantoms. First, state officials blocked the request because that information �
the vote count of a public election � was a "company secret" that
belonged exclusively to Diebold, Friedman reports. Then they decided that the returns
could be examined � but only on the condition that Diebold and the Republican
officials be allowed to "manipulate the data" before it was released.
In the end, even this tainted transparency was too much for the Bushist ballot
crunchers; late last month, Alaska officials suddenly declared that examining
the returns would pose a dire but unspecified "security risk" to the
Yet, writers blat on and on about what the Democrats need to
do to win, as if the Democratic cretins were any better than the Republican
cretins, and how "progressives" of any stripe need support in the
primaries and general election.
Meanwhile, the Bushes and their criminal allies continue on
their merry way, pulling off "miraculous" win after
"miraculous" win. Hey, God is on their side and if the exit polls say
the other guy or gal should have won, declare the exit polls erroneous.
Some pundits are even foolish enough to think that a little
bribery scandal spells the end of Rep. Katherine Harris' bid for a US Senate
seat. Harris, who, as Florida's secretary of state, pulled every dirty trick in
the book to hand the Sunshine State's electoral votes to George W. in 2000, was
rewarded with a seat in the US House of Representatives. So why not a Senate
seat? Harris, unlike Tom DeLay, hasn't yet been indicted, and an indictment
didn't stop DeLay from "winning" his primary bid against three opponents.
Harris will be gone only if the powers that be, not the voters, want her gone.
Elections, for most people, used to be a relatively simple
thing. They took a paper ballot into a voting booth and penciled an X next to
the names of the candidates they favored. The paper ballot was then dropped
into a locked box. At the end of the voting day, the box was opened and the votes
were counted one by one. Most states even allowed the public to witness the
Sure, it was slow and, depending on the length of a ballot,
the election board workers tended to gripe. For the voters, though, election
nights used to be filled with anticipation and excitement as the results trickled
in. So the question comes down to do we want accurate and honest vote counts or
fast and crooked vote counts?
it's fast and crooked, stay with easily rigged computers. If it is accurate and
honest, demand a return to paper ballots, which make it much harder to steal a statewide,
congressional or presidential election.