Friday, September 25, 2009

Forget ACORN

Now, even your paper ballots aren't safe.

Harvey Wasserman on the Smirking Chimp delivered some horrifying news that will no doubt dredge up PTSD among those who remember the '00-'04 elections all too well.

Republican-connected ES&S has just bought up Diebold's electronic voting machine division. The United States is the only industrial country in the world in which virtually all of its voting tabulation systems are controlled by corporations inextricably tied to one political party.

The sale of Diebold's voting machine division to ES&S will hopefully be blocked by Attorney General Eric Holder on the basis of anti-trust violations but it would be a pyrrhic victory at best. As Wasserman states:
For even if Holder does void this purchase, ES&S and Diebold in tandem will still control four of every five votes cast on touchscreen machines. As the US Supreme Court seems poised to open the floodgates on corporate campaign spending, the only difference could be that those who would buy our elections will have to write two checks instead of one.

That includes optiscan and other machines that still electronically tabulate paper ballots for the few states who still use them (including Massachusetts). The implications would be catastrophic during not just the upcoming midterms but the next general election of 2012. The Republican Party could easily steal back control of both houses of Congress not to mention the White House, a ballsy move that's been supported by both the Supreme Court and lower courts that allow companies such as Diebold from revealing their proprietary source code.

With the advent of HB3 and the removal of over 1,000,000 voters (no doubt most of them Latino and African Americans) in Ohio, getting coverage from the judicial system who insist that proprietary knowledge is more important than the democratic electoral process, we could be in for some rude surprises courtesy of a Republican Party that has the audacity to make claims of voter fraud on the part of ACORN.

But, as always, the news gets worse. For Wasserman goes on to remind us,
The merged ES&S/Diebold now also controls the electronic voter registration systems in many counties and states. With that control comes the ability to remove registered voters without significant public accountability. In the 2004 election, nearly 25% of all the registered voters in the Democratic-rich city of Cleveland were purged, including 10,000 voters erased "accidentally" by a Diebold electronic pollbook system. So in addition to controlling the vote counts on touchscreen and optiscan voting machines, the merged Diebold/ES&S and sympathetic hardware and software companies that service computerized voting equipment will control who actually gets to cast a vote in the first place.

All this means is that GOP-connected ChoicePoint, the scumbag company in Alpharetta, GA that had purged over 150,000 Floridians from the voter rolls in 2000 on the dodgy claim that they were ex felons (most of them weren't) will be out of a job.

Diebold or ES&S? ChoicePoint or Diebold and ES&S? Paper or plastic? Does it make a difference? All we're seeing is one fox relieving another one at the end of his shift at the henhouse. And, like Wasserman says, only a very vocal grassroots uprising will prevent massive electoral fraud on the part of the GOP and can save the '12 elections. But with the '10 midterms coming up, it's already too late to avert what may be a massive, artificial sea change in Congress.

And I don't count on us taking to the streets in protest of the tainted results as Iran, Afghanistan and Mexico did.


At September 25, 2009 at 9:04 PM, Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

They wont do anything in 2010, they'll wait and steal everything in '12. The longer it's been since the last scandal, the less people will be paying attention.

At September 25, 2009 at 11:14 PM, Anonymous Dr. Geophysics said...

This is serious business. It is clear by the exit polls that there was major voter fraud beginning with W's first stolen election. I think that the plan was for Hillary to loss by a margin to he-who-can-not-be-mentioned-and-the-krazy-chick as Gore "lost". This would have happened by voter fraud. Unfortunately Obama came in and opened a larger margin then could be cheated away with machines like these. I still think there was probably about 10% fraud in (pick your favorite red states, Ohio? Florida? Texas? etc, etc).

Nice blog--thanks.

At September 26, 2009 at 8:12 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Exactly, Doctor. I think that Rove seriously underestimated the sheer number of people who would vote for Obama in all 50 states. It's pretty tough to knock 70,000,000 voters off the rolls. The youth vote definitely made a difference and Rove was counting on their apathy.

At September 26, 2009 at 10:24 AM, Blogger Fran said...

In a perfect world, we would get rid of all electronic voting machines- maybe revert to the Iraqi style purple ink on fingers??

These shiny Trojen horses were not even subtle in their fraud last presidential election, where people chose Obama & the machine switched it to McCain. I would pitch a royal fit if that happened (remember the old cartoon-- Hit any key to continue & the computer user stands over the machine with a sledgehammer?)....

Ex Pres Jimmy Carter has established a fair voting protocol used internationally, for countries wanting to set up reliable voting systems.
The US process?
Would not pass the muster.

A true/fair/reliable vote MUST be auditable.

You have to be able to go back & do a recount. The touch screen machines do not allow for that if the voting machines can switch votes or be tampered with, meaning you would be recounting incorrect data.

The only question is why do we put up with it?
Some States did ban the machines & more states need to.

While thinking of banning things, I'd like to get rid of the Electoral College, Caucus voting, & Superdelegates too. Texas double dips in primaries with both caucus AND primary voting. What a messed up "system" we have.

Also the Brits have an 8 week campaign season, a series of required debates. None of this 2 year election marathon stuff.

I resent the amount of money spent of lengthy campaigns.

Also this year so many of the debates were only televised on cable/dish TV.... pay to view.

I don't recall how many debates they had, but very few were on national TV.

Plus the media should not be allowed to "Kucinich" candidates.
One station uninvited Kucinich-- deciding he was not a viable candidate, therefore we should not let him weigh in on topics.

This matter went to the courts....
a lower court demanded the station give Kucinich air time, the station appealed to a higher court..... based on (can you believe it???) FREE SPEECH-- yes the TV station claimed their free speech/freedom of the press was in jeopardy, because they should have the freedom to cut off a candidate from speaking!

How twisted is that?????

The higher court overturned the lower court ruling & Dennis Kucinich was not allowed to participate in that debate, to protect the broadcasting station's right to free press.

Freedom to ban a legitimate candidate.

This caused us to dub it "he'd been Kuciniched" as in denied the right to speak.

We should all be lamenting that now.... as Kucinich is a true progressive and had excellent counterpoints.

Loved his speech @ the DNC (also not given much airplay)

At September 28, 2009 at 12:59 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Thank god the Democrats are on this 110%!

At September 28, 2009 at 3:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP, I've read 30,000 were stricken from the FL'00 rolls. Before I begin citing the 150,000 figure in discussions, do have a source for that number? Much appreciated...

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