[Marxism] Here's how the 2006 mid-term election was stolen

Y. K. ykleftis at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 7 17:21:07 MST 2006

This is one reason that conjunctural voting makes little sense at this 
point. Why should anyone view the US as democratic, especially the US left, 
given the electoral conditions?

I expect to hear the usual explanations in non-rightist media, often falling 
into the 'sign of the times' or 'just another bad election' variety. I'm 
starting to wonder: is the problem cowardice or delusion? I'm inclined to 
the latter.

This is not a question of "elections in general"; it is specific to US 
conditions. The racial and class component is clear. To repeat: the best 
position on electoral matters for US radicals to gain ground in the 
"progressive" community isn't "Democrat" vs. "Green" vs. "Independent"... 
it's "clean and fair elections".

To take the argument further: the US has become formally a kind of 
dictatorship and one-party state with some elements of liberalism and 
fascism. Amplifying anti-capitalist politics within the US means thinking 
and acting within this new framework. I contend that this is the only 
serious starting point for discussions about elections among US radicals. 
Not a moment too soon: the 2008 electoral spectacle is already underway.



Published by Greg Palast November 6th, 2006 in Articles

by Greg Palast

for The Guardian (UK), Comment is Free
Monday November 6, 2006

Here’s how the 2006 mid-term election was stolen.

Note the past tense. And I’m not kidding.

And shoot me for saying this, but it won’t be stolen by jerking with the 
touch-screen machines (though they’ll do their nasty part). While 
progressives panic over the viral spread of suspect computer black boxes, 
the Karl Rove-bots have been tunneling into the vote vaults through entirely 
different means.

For six years now, our investigations team, at first on assignment for BBC 
TV and the Guardian, has been digging into the nitty-gritty of the gaming of 
US elections. We’ve found that November 7, 2006 is a day that will live in 
infamy. Four and a half million votes have been shoplifted. Here’s how 
they’ll do it, in three easy steps:

Theft #1: Registrations gone with the wind

On January 1, 2006, while America slept off New Year’s Eve hangovers, a new 
federal law crept out of the swamps that has devoured 1.9 million votes, 
overwhelmingly those of African-Americans and Hispanics. The vote-snatching 
statute is a cankerous codicil slipped into the 2002 Help America Vote Act — 
strategically timed to go into effect in this mid-term year. It requires 
every state to reject new would-be voters whose identity can’t be verified 
against a state verification database.

Sounds arcane and not too threatening. But look at the numbers and you won’t 
feel so fine. About 24.3 million Americans attempt to register or 
re-register each year. The New York University Law School’s Brennan Center 
told me that, under the new law, Republican Secretaries of State began the 
year by blocking about one in three new voters.

How? To begin with, Mr. Bush’s Social Security Administration has failed to 
verify 47% of registrants. After appeals and new attempts to register, US 
Elections Assistance Agency statistics indicate 1.9 million would-be voters 
will still find themselves barred from the ballot on Tuesday.

But don’t worry: those holding passports from their ski vacations to 
Switzerland are doing just fine. And that’s the point. It’s not the number 
of voters rejected, it’s their color. For example, California’s Republican 
Secretary of State Bruce McPherson figured out how to block 40% of 
registrants, mostly Hispanics. In a rare counter-move, Los Angeles, with a 
Hispanic mayor, contacted these citizens, “verified” them and got almost 
every single one back on the rolls. But throughout the rest of the West, new 
Hispanics remain victims of the “Jose Crow” treatment.

In hotly contested Ohio, Kenneth Blackwell, Secretary of State and the 
Republican’s candidate for Governor, remains voter-rejection champ — partly 
by keeping the rejection criteria a complete secret.

Theft #2: Turned Away - the ID game

A legion of pimple-faced Republicans with Blackberries loaded with lists of 
new voters is assigned to challenge citizens in heavily Black and Hispanic 
(i.e. Democratic) precincts to demand photo ID that perfectly matches 
registration data.

Sounds benign, but it’s not. The federal HAVA law and complex new ID 
requirements in states like New Mexico will easily allow the GOP squads to 
triple the number of voters turned away. Rather than deny using these voter 
suppression tactics, Republican spokesmen are claiming they are “protecting 
the integrity of the vote.”

I’ve heard that before. In 2004, we got our hands on fifty confidential 
internal memos from the files of the Republican National Committee. Attached 
to these were some pretty strange spreadsheets. They called them “caging 
lists” — and it wasn’t about zoo feeding times. They were lists (70,000 for 
Florida alone) of new Black and Jewish voters — a very Democratic 
demographic — to challenge on Election Day. The GOP did so with a vengeance: 
In 2004, for the first time in half a century, more than 3.5 million voters 
were challenged on Election Day. Worse, nearly half lost their vote: 300,000 
were turned away for wrong ID; 1.1 million were allowed a “provisional” 
ballot — which was then simply tossed out.

Tomorrow, new federal ID requirements and a dozen new state show-me-your-ID 
laws will permit the GOP challenge campaign to triple their 300,000 record 
to nearly one million voters blocked.

Theft #3: Votes Spoiled Rotten

The nasty little secret of US elections is that three million ballots are 
cast in national elections but not counted — 3,600,380 not counted in 2004 
according to US Election Commission stats. These are votes lost because a 
punch card didn’t punch (its chad got “hung”), a stray mark voided a paper 
ballot and other machinery glitches.

Officials call it “spoilage.” I call it, “inaugurating Republicans.” Why? 
According to statisticians working with the US Civil Rights Commission, the 
chance your vote will “spoil” this way is 900% higher for Black folk and 
500% higher for Hispanics than for white voters. When we do the arithmetic, 
we find that well over half of all votes spoiled or “blank” are cast by 
voters of color. On balance, this spoilage game produces a million-vote edge 
for the GOP.

That’s where the Black Boxes come into play. Forget about Karl Rove messing 
with the software to change your vote. Rather, the big losses occur when 
computers crash, fail to start or simply don’t respond to your touch. They 
are the new spoilage machines of choice with, statistically, the same racial 
bias as the old vote-snatching lever machines. (Funny, but paper ballots 
with in-precinct scanners don’t go rotten on Black voters. Maybe that’s why 
Republican Secretaries of State have installed so few of them.)

So Let’s Add it Up

Two million legitimate voters will be turned away because of wrongly 
rejected or purged registrations.

Add another one million voters challenged and turned away for “improper ID.”

Then add yet another million for Democratic votes “spoiled” by busted black 
boxes and by bad ballots.

And let’s not forget to include the one million “provisional” ballots which 
will never get counted. Based on the experience of 2004, we know that, 
overwhelmingly, minority voters are the ones shunted to these baloney 

And there’s one more group of votes that won’t be counted: absentee ballots 
challenged and discarded. Elections Assistance Agency data tell us a half 
million of these absentee votes will go down the drain.

Driving this massive suppression of the vote are sophisticated challenge 
operations. And here I must note that the Democrats have no national 
challenge campaign. That’s morally laudable; electorally suicidal.

Add it all up — all those Democratic-leaning votes rejected, barred and 
spoiled — and the Republican Party begins Election Day with a 4.5 
million-vote thumb on the vote-tally scale.

So, what are you going to do about it? May I suggest you… steal back your 

It’s true you can’t win with 51% of the vote anymore. So just get over it. 
The regime’s sneak attack via vote suppression will only net them 4.5 
million votes, about 5% of the total. You should be able to beat that 
blindfolded. If you can’t get 55%, then you’re just a bunch of crybaby 
pussycats who don’t deserve to win back America.




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