This is The Monday Line
by Denis G. Campbell
Every four years the world is ‘treated’ to a Presidential election in the USA. Every four years a handful of states display a level of vote larceny that, if it occurred in a third world dictatorship, would have former President Jimmy Carter leading a group of sober faced UN election observers to carefully parse words and discuss “irregularities.” Every four years we are subjected to right wing talking points about Democrats stealing the election because they demand to vote while coffee spews out our noses because the coordinated theft is on the Republican side. These same flim-flam artists stand before microphones and say, teary-eyed, “God Bless our best Democracy in the world!”
Well screw parsing. I’m call ‘bullshit’ and so should you.
Voting is a right and a responsibility. In the 2008 Presidential election, only 61.6% of those eligible to cast votes did, and that was up from the average since 1980 of 56%. As a state official in charge of elections, Secretaries of State used to run adverts encouraging people to vote. Now they spend their time in highly politicised battles to remove voters from the opposite party? That’s what they do in Iran and Uganda, not the USA.
The machines with no paper trail…
As we reported here last week there is a need to match hand recounts by precinct size. Paper ballots leave a trail that can prove election fraud deep inside the computerised voting system. So when an Arizona citizen’s group was forced to file Mandamus brief and suit to force the county to follow the law, a (recent Republican Governor Jan Brewer appointed) Pima County Judge got the case. He will rule later Monday on a motion that will force election officials to select and sort ballots in their 1% random hand-count sample along precinct lines.
That specific sort and reporting will help to prove retired NSA Analyst Michael Duniho, Francois Choquette and James Johnson’s assertion that there is a real software ‘fix’ built into the machine.
Of course local county election officials continue to fight this tooth and nail because the trail could lead to them. They have fought transparency since 2006 and yet were quick to claim in the Arizona Star that voting was safer and more secure than ever.
The best example though of how states and counties avoid being called to task is in this letter from the Arizona Secretary of State. The only link back to election machine software fraud is via the Duniho/Choquette/Johnson assertion that the fix is in for larger precincts. So the Pima County election commission conveniently and quietly through secret petition to the Sec State office made sure no one would ever be able to connect those dots.
The Arizona Secretary of State wrote into the 2012 election manual that it would be a good idea to sort paper ballots by precinct for the mandatory hand count by precinct. BUT, Pima County requested and won an exemption from following the state’s election directive for… (wait for it…) the 2012 Presidential election.
So the new rule that would prove election fraud built into the machines has been conveniently overturned by the Republican Arizona Secretary of State. Bananas anyone?
Ohio and Florida Incompetent or Criminal?
The GOP is not even trying to gloss over their attempt to steal this election in key swing states. In Florida and Ohio their work is legend. Even in Pennsylvania the House leader actually went on camera and said, “voter ID, that will win this state for Mitt Romney? (Job) Done!”
And the USA’s gutless wonder of an Attorney General, Eric Holder, sits back and lets them do it? Jack and Bobby Kennedy would have had federal troops stationed in both states and Ohio Secretary of State Husted and Florida Governor Scott would have long been removed in handcuffs and leg irons with the Feds supervising these elections.
Husted ignored multiple direct judicial orders. He appealed them all the way to the US Supreme Court and LOST yet still blithely sits in his Columbus, Ohio Office and denies the extension of early voting hours in his state.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has directly defied several court defeats and still tries to purge hundreds of thousands from the voter rolls just before the election. He also refused to do what two Republican governors did before him, expand early voting hours. He instead cut the number of hours by 1/3, eliminated Sunday voting (when African American churches would carpool after services to vote), the elderly have had to queue in the hot sun for up to five hours to cast a ballot and whoops, there have been voting ‘mistakes’ in a state and election George W. Bush won by 537 votes?
- 1,000 African American votes had a ‘glitch’ in Miami,
- Palm Beach County (the county of the 2000 butterfly ballot debacle) had 30,000 absentee ballots go out with the wrong bar code and have to be re-marked by officials on new ballots to be counted (what could possibly go wrong there?) and
- heavily Democratic Broward County also has huge irregularities as problems appear only in large Democratic leaning counties?
Millions enjoy the flexibility of early voting. This means they can vote on the weekend to avoid losing time at work. Early voting though favours Democrats and urban voters. So Republican election officials in the six swing states of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Michigan have tried throughout this campaign to limit voting, require IDs many elderly and minorities do not have (or they must buy them effectively creating a Jim Crow law poll tax) or simply removed these people from the vote rolls altogether.
Why? Because President Obama leads Hispanic voters by 65 percentage points, African Americans by 90 points and women by 50 points.
And What if I told you…
The President’s brother was a Governor of a key state during a hotly contested election and in another the challenger’s son controlled the largest electronic voting machine company? You would think we’re talking about Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela or Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe right?
You would be wrong. George W. Bush’s brother Jeb was Florida Governor when that state pushed him over the top in 2000. Mitt’s son Tagg Romney controls Hart Intercivic and the four other companies are run by bundlers and huge donors for him.
Remember when politicians did everything in their power to avoid the appearance of impropriety? Remember when the crises exploded over under-the-table money hidden in freezers? Now they don’t even try to hide it.
- – - – -
So tomorrow night we will cover the election and pray it does not again become another conservative Supreme Court ‘selection.’ Armies of lawyers have been dispatched around the USA to document and file emergency motions if the election does not go their way.
It could be a very long night or voters, tired of GOP attempts to block and steal could seal the deal very early. There is not much chance of it being anything in between.
In any event, US Democracy loses a bit more lustre and the rest of the world wonders why anyone would buy that export? What good is a win if you steal it? Why is the US GOP only focused on what they can get away with rather than governing?
This is not my late-father’s Republican Party.
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
Email this author | All posts by Denis G Campbell