[Marxism] Here's how the 2006 mid-term election was stolen
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
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.
HOW THEY STOLE THE MID-TERM ELECTION
Published by Greg Palast November 6th, 2006 in Articles
by Greg Palast
for The Guardian (UK), Comment is Free
Monday November 6, 2006
Heres how the 2006 mid-term election was stolen.
Note the past tense. And Im not kidding.
And shoot me for saying this, but it wont be stolen by jerking with the
touch-screen machines (though theyll 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
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. Weve found that November 7, 2006 is a day that will live in
infamy. Four and a half million votes have been shoplifted. Heres how
theyll do it, in three easy steps:
Theft #1: Registrations gone with the wind
On January 1, 2006, while America slept off New Years 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 cant be verified
against a state verification database.
Sounds arcane and not too threatening. But look at the numbers and you wont
feel so fine. About 24.3 million Americans attempt to register or
re-register each year. The New York University Law Schools 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. Bushs 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 dont worry: those holding passports from their ski vacations to
Switzerland are doing just fine. And thats the point. Its not the number
of voters rejected, its their color. For example, Californias 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
Republicans 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
Sounds benign, but its 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.
Ive 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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.
Thats 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 dont 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 dont go rotten on Black voters. Maybe thats why
Republican Secretaries of State have installed so few of them.)
So Lets 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 lets 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 theres one more group of votes that wont 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. Thats 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
Its true you cant win with 51% of the vote anymore. So just get over it.
The regimes 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 cant get 55%, then youre just a bunch of crybaby
pussycats who dont deserve to win back America.
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