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 Post subject: Elections Are Still Stolen the Old-Fashioned Way
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:21 am 
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http://alternet.org/story/38119/

What's a bigger problem with American elections: disenfranchisment of minority voters or new electronic voting machines stealing votes?

Most people on the political left will answer electronic machines. But last week, House Republicans showed America exactly why old-school election thuggery is a far more pressing problem. In fact, it was Jim Crow tactics, not computer hacking, which gave George W. Bush his Ohio victory in 2004. And such tactics are exactly what a handful of southern GOP congressmen defended on Wednesday when they derailed renewing the National Voting Rights Act, complaining it does not end federal oversight of elections in their states and requires multilingual ballots.

These Republicans want elections in their states to return to the good old days, when mostly white people voted -- just substitute registered Republicans in 2006 -- and ballots were only in English -- no Español, por favor. Their grassroots rebellion reveals a dirty secret about elections that liberals and Democrats still haven't learned from the 2004 presidential race: The GOP wins elections by targeting likely Democrats, especially minorities and new voters, by creating barriers in voter registration and obstacles to voting itself and ballot counting.

What's the biggest mistake made by the political left when considering whether the 2004 presidential election was stolen? Democrats need to understand that if they don't want a replay of swing states like Ohio tilting the outcome in 2008, they can't think that electronically hacking into vote-counting computers alone delivered George W. Bush his victory. A Republican do-everything-dirty strategy tilting the electoral process was the real culprit -- targeting every phase from voter registration to vote counting. Perhaps Wednesday's racist display by the House GOP will change minds. Perhaps we will realize that we need to expand the Voting Rights Act to ensure protections in every state, not just the South.

Unfortunately, far too many people on the left believe American elections were becoming freer and fairer until new, paperless, audit-averse electronic voting machines crept into the process. Concerns about the latest wave of election technology are realistic and are not political fantasy; just visit votetrustusa.org to see what may come this fall.

But problems with electronic voting machines were the tip of a much bigger iceberg in 2004's presidential election -- especially in the final swing state of Ohio. The real -- but still submerged -- story there was the deliberate, partisan targeting of every phase of the election process to hurt Democrats while benefiting Republicans. There wasn't much that was electronic about that nasty campaign or about the kind of tactics that southern House Republicans defended on Wednesday. Ohio in 2004 showcased virtually every underhanded election tactic devised in recent decades.

Start with the run-up to Election Day. Acting under orders from a partisan Republican Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who also co-chaired the state's Bush-Cheney campaign, local officials purged 300,000 voters from the state between 2000 and 2004. Did Democratic groups registering new voters in the summer of 2004 know they were playing catch-up, not getting ahead, with registration? No. Did these same groups know which precincts in minority and other Democratic strongholds would receive insufficient numbers of voting machines, causing thousands of people to leave without voting? No. Did they know which precincts were going to be relocated? No. Did they know that outdated voter lists would be delivered to those precincts? No. Did they know last-minute rules would invalidate provisional ballots if they were turned in at the correct precinct but the wrong table? No.

Ohio's secretary of state defended these -- and other tactics -- in congressional field hearings in early 2005 as prerogatives of local control. In a nation with 13,000 separate and unequal election jurisdictions, heavy-handed partisan elections are exactly what the southern Republicans want to see written into a renewed National Voting Rights Act.

But it's not just southern Republicans who want to game the election system. What else did Ohio's Secretary of State do under the false guise of local control? He rewrote the voter registration laws to reject applications that weren't on the right weight of paper. He made it harder for provisional ballots to be validated. Provisional ballots allow people to vote who believe they are registered but don't find their names on the rolls at a polling place, with election officials later investigating to verify the voter's eligibility. Blackwell threw up obstructions to the validation process by moving Democratic precincts without informing voters, not training poll workers and requiring new identification. He tried to summon 10,000 students to a sports arena saying they had to prove their registrations were valid. He stood with GOP officials who said they were going to try to stop 35,000 people from voting at the polls. He ran television ads that didn't tell people they could also vote at county boards of election.

Of course, the Democratic Party and their allies will never admit they should have known better and acted to stop these tactics. But you can read between the lines of the DNC's 2005 report on Ohio that said two percent of Ohio's 5.8 million voters who intended to vote were stopped from doing so. That's 116,000 voters in a state where George W. Bush's margin of victory was 118,775 votes.

On Wednesday, House Republicans reminded Americans that the ghost of Jim Crow is still hovering over our elections. It's time for Democrats and voting rights activists to look up from their computers and pay attention to the tactics that the Republicans are embracing and continuing to espouse. The problems with electronic machines will remain. But to ignore the ways the GOP wants to disenfranchise voters, complicate voting, discount ballots and manipulate the vote count is to duplicate what happened in 2004. Does the left really want history to repeat itself?

Steve Rosenfeld is executive producer of RadioNation with Laura Flanders, heard on Air America Radio. He is co-author of What happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election, to be published by The New Press this fall.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:23 am 
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From comments on the piece above:

As a resident of Ohio I'm here to tell you that Ken Blackwell is CONTINUING his relentless efforts to disenfranchise Ohio's Democratic voters and prevent new voters from registering. (A partisan panel just approved new rules Blackwell drafted governing new voter registration activities. Among other things, failure to HAND-DELIVER registration forms to the correct board of elections will now be a felony. As you can well imagine, new voter registration events have virtually ground to a halt in Ohio.) Adding insult to injury, J. Kenneth Blackwell is now running for governor of our state and he is steadfastly refusing to step aside as Ohio's chief election officer. (Why he isn't being FORCED to step aside in the face of such a blatant conflict of interest is completely beyond me!)

Anyone who thinks other GOP-controlled states haven't looked at how successful Blackwell was in handing our state to George Bush in 2004 is living in a dream world. Those states will be using Ohio as a model for disenfranchising millions of Democratic voters. Do I trust the electronic voting machines being jammed down our throats here in Ohio? Hell no! When I vote this November I'll be casting a paper "absent voter" ballot. Ken Blackwell may toss it in the trash but at least my vote won't be switched and it won't wind up in some cyber sewer system. But, as Mr. Rosenfeld so clearly points out, the real threat to fair and honest elections in this country lies in each state's ability to control who can and can't vote.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:08 pm 
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That article brings up a very important point. Ken Blackwell also found another low-tech method of fixing elections. He simply made sure that heavily Democratic precincts didn't have enough voting machines, so people in Cleveland had to wait 11 hours in the freezing rain to vote,

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while heavily Republican precincts in southern Ohio had an excess of voting machines and no waiting!

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This was the easiest fix of all, and there is no way for anyone to find out how many people just gave up after several hours of waiting in the sleet, and went home. Talk about not having to worry about a paper trail!

Now there is no doubt that this did happen. Yet, the mainstream news media has chosen to ignore this story.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:19 pm 
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Shoeless, this is the very thing that made my ex's doctor vote Dem. He is the only doctor as far as he knows in Roswell Park Cancer Institute that isn't R.

He said the Rs determination to not allow blacks to vote is despicaable--along with so many other ways they are wrong. But it was that very picture in his mind, the one you have above, that made him think about what these people are determined to turn our country into.

We should make sure that picture is foremost in people's minds!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:13 pm 
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This is exactly why Howard Dean has been focusing the DNC on local and state elections. It has become abundantly clear that the elections in any state controlled by Republicans will be stolen at the whim of the RNC.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:47 pm 
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We sure do have a lot of Republicans in this blue state. If it weren't for New York city you could exchange us for Alabama.

Heck, even New York city has an R Mayor.

Dems must be somewhere here....aren't they?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:22 am 
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Dori, I am from Ohio too. I live in Warren County - you know - the county that was in the news for suspect in voter fraud. I am a registered Dem in a 90% republican county. I have voted since I turned 18. That is 35 years ago. My ballot was put in a provisional envelope. My name WAS on the roster. I questioned why my vote was being put in a "provisional" envelope. The people working the polls "had no idea other than I had not voted for the last 2 primary elections." This was a lie and I said so. I know my vote was in one of those bags they found uncounted. My ex had the same thing happen to him. Justinmoon22 is from Ohio and he said he was provisional also.

What can we do to stop this man? If Kenneth Blackwell is "elected" governor it is going to be worse than Taft!

I blame the Dems for rolling over too soon. If Blackwell "beats" Strictland, I hope Strickland will NOT concede until the votes are recounted and proven to be accurate!

We have to stop Blackwell but I don't know how.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:21 am 
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Yes I was. Not a R, D, or a I. I was a P. I bitched and was told if I didnt shut up I would be asked to leave. If I didnt like what was going on i could call the Ohio Board of Election. Gee who does that funnel to.
Kenneth Bankwell (Blackwell). Hmmmmmmmmmmm making the connection. But Im just a sore loser, remember.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:42 am 
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Here is an interesting report. It details some of the complaints about electronic voting machines. One of the more interesting aspects is the fact that machines in several states were set up with a default setting to automatically cast a vote in the case of presidential undervotes. Guess who the the "default" candidate was.

You only get one guess, and if you guess John Kerry, your guess will automatically be changed.

http://web.northnet.org/minstrel/youngstown.htm

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:15 pm 
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Remember when we were talking about having a guest for the chat room, and I mentioned Riqster from SmirkingChimp? He is from Ohio and is working very hard on this issue. He knows his stuff backwards and forwards.

Would you mind if I take your posts just above and send them to him? I know he would love to have more people who are interested in getting this horrible situation fixed so people can vote their choice, not the machine's choice.

And does he ever know Ohio--and the sites on the internet to follow to work on this problem.

If we don't fix this, we will be R forever!


Last edited by dori on Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:34 pm 
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Rigster IS marvelous. He's one passionate guy about the voting fraud going on in our country. We need him at TVNL in the chatroom and/or all the other forums.

Use all your powers of persuasion, dori.

Catherine

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:54 pm 
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Just got this from MoveOn:

More Good News:

Arizona Passes Paper Trails!
Arizona just passed a law requiring a paper trail on every voting machine in time for the November election. Arizona is the 27th state to require a paper trail, adding to the growing public demand for paper trails nationwide. The law also requires a random audit to detect any discrepancies in the vote count.


baby steps, but still.... :D

Catherine

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~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:38 pm 
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Ive heard here in Ohio that to vote you are going to have to show some sort of state I.D. I dont know if its true or not. I heard something like that on the radio yesterday.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:08 pm 
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A good thread to insert this link to the report I posted over a year ago about the DEATH OF ALTEN GIBBS, the INVENTOR OF TRUVOTE:

Quote:
Black Box Voting

Death of a patriot

By Bob Fitrakis
Senior Editor, The Free Press

March 19, 2004—The subject line on Tuesday’s email read: “Another mysterious accident solves a Bush problem. Athan Gibbs dead, Diebold lives.” The attached news story briefly described the untimely Friday, March 12, death of perhaps America’s most influential advocate of a verified voting paper trail in the era of touch screen computer voting.

Gibbs, an accountant for more than 30 years and the inventor of the TruVote system, died when his vehicle collided with an 18-wheeled truck which rolled his Chevy Blazer several times and forced it over the highway retaining wall where it came to rest on its roof.

Coincidence theorists will simply dismiss the death of Gibbs as a tragic accident..

Gibbs’ death bears heightened scrutiny because of the way he lived his life after the 2000 Florida election debacle. I interviewed Athan Gibbs in January of this year. “I’ve been an accountant, an auditor, for more than 30 years. Electronic voting machines that don’t supply a paper trail go against every principle of accounting and auditing that’s being taught in American business schools,” he insisted.

“These machines are set up to provide paper trails. No business in America would buy a machine that didn’t provide a paper trail to audit and verify its transaction. Now, they want the people to purchase machines that you can’t audit? It’s absurd.”

Gibbs was in Columbus, Ohio, proudly displaying his TruVote machine that offered a “VVPAT, that’s a voter verified paper audit trail” he noted.

Gibbs also suggested that I look into the “people behind the other machines.” He offered that “Diebold and ES&S are real interesting and all Republicans. If you’re an investigative reporter go ahead and investigate. You’ll find some interesting material.”

Gibbs’ TruVote machine is a marvel. After voters touch the screen, a paper ballot prints out under plexiglass and once the voter compares it to his actual vote and approves it, the ballot drops into a lockbox and is issued a numbered receipt. The voter’s receipt allows the tracking of his particular vote to make sure that it was transferred from the polling place to the election tabulation center.

My encounter with Gibbs led to a cover story in the Columbus Free Press March-April issue, entitled, “Diebold, electronic voting and the vast right-wing conspiracy.” The thesis I advanced in the Free Press article is that some of the same right-wing individuals who backed the CIA’s covert actions and overthrowing of democratic elections in the Third World in the 1980s are now involved in privatized touch screen voting. Additionally I co-wrote an article with Harvey Wasserman that was posted at MotherJones.com on March 5. Both articles outlined ties between far right elements of the Republican Party and Diebold and ES&S, which count the majority of the nation’s electronic votes.

As I wrote in the Free Press article, “Proponents of a paper trail were emboldened when Athan Gibbs, president and CEO of TruVote International, demonstrated a voting machine at a vendor’s fair in Columbus that provides two separate voting receipts.”

In an interview on WVKO radio, Gibbs calmly and methodically explained the dangers of “black box” touch screen voting. “It absolutely makes no sense to buy electronic voting machines that can’t produce a paper trail. Inevitably, computers mess up. How are you going to have a recount, or correct malfunctions without a paper trail?

Now, the man asking the obvious question, and demonstrating an obvious tangible solution is dead in another tragic accident, a week after both articles were in circulation.

When I called TruVote International to verify Gibbs’ death, I reached Chief Financial Officer Adrenne Brandon who assured me “We’re going on in his memory. We’re going to make this happen.”

Every American concerned with democracy should pledge to make this happen. To beat back the rush for state governments to purchase privatized, partisan and unreliable electronic voting machines without verified paper trails.

Gibbs’ last words to me were “How do you explain what happened to Senator Max Cleland in Georgia. How do you explain that? The Maryland study and the Johns Hopkins scientists have warned us against ‘blind faith voting.’ These systems can be hacked into. They found patches in Georgia and the people servicing the machine had entered the machines during the voting process. How can we the people accept this? No more blind faith voting.”

Dr. Bob Fitrakis also is a political science professor, and author of numerous articles and books.

Link: http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/03 ... rakis.html


Catherine


http://tvnewslies.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1261

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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That's all there is to it."

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:08 pm 
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Brent Budowsky: 'The most important investigative news story in America: Voting machines'

Sunday, July 16

Brent Budowsky, The Huffington Post

As America approaches enormously important Congressional and Presidential elections, there is no story more important than making certain that votes are counted honestly.

I would pose these questions, worthy of the most serious, deep and long form treatment:

First, as a purely technical matter, based on the opinions of leading experts without bias, what is the technical feasibility in theory of doctoring the vote count, through voting machines, to steal an election? In theory, can it be done, and if so, how would it be done? Objectively.

Second, a thorough examination of the foreign and domestic companies that manufacture, run, or profit from these machines. There are major objective truths that can be ascertained about these companies, without alleging or denying misconduct. If they are foreign, do they have potential national interests of their own, which might be served by influencing a U.S. election?



If they are foreign or domestic, have they supported or opposed any candidate or party, and if so, who? Have they lobbied for or against any specific policies that affect their business interests, and, if so, would that suggest a financial interest in election winners, or not?

Third, as a matter of principle and policy, should any company that owns, runs or manages the vote counting machinery be permitted to keep secret any aspect of the technology of the vote count?

To state my own bias, the answer should be absolutely and unconditionally no, and this should be non-negotiable. The essence of freedom and democracy, the actual counting of votes to allocate power and governance, is not another proprietary product. It creates a grave danger to democracy itself, to keep secret the very means of protecting the integrity of the vote.

It is not the mission of fearless investigative reporting to simply repeat my view, or any view. It is the job of fearless investigative reporting to give the audience the maximum available facts, and to air all sides of opinion in a great, informed public debate. My point here: there needs to be a great national debate today, about whether the means of counting votes should be treated as a proprietary product for profit, surrounded by secrecy, or treated as a sacred public trust, with our citizens given the facts necessary to best protect the integrity of our freedom.

Fourth and finally, after fairly ascertaining the potential dangers to the integrity of the count; after objectively reporting whatever political or financial or national interests are held by American or foreign companies that run these systems; and after a serious public debate about openness versus secrecy; there should be discussion of whatever concrete proposals have been offered to better protect the integrity of the vote count.

This is not to charge, or refute, allegations of what may have happened in the past. This is to propose a mission for the investigative journalists of America:

To fearlessly, honestly, and objectively gather together in long form all facts that are clearly provable; to define without fear or favor the objective interests of those who seek to count the vote through secret means; to initiate a great debate about whether secrecy should be acceptable or unacceptable in this matter; and to put before the public those who believe reforms are needed, those who believe reforms are not needed, and therefore honor the First Amendment vision of an informed citizenry making the core decisions that govern our democracy.


Copyright 2006 © HuffingtonPost.com, LLC

Source: The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brent-budowsky/
the-most-important-invest_b_24998.html

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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