In a statement dated September 19, 2008, Congressman Conyers said:
"The Republican Party has had a long record of blocking eligible voters from voting. In the past two Presidential elections, the country witnessed appalling efforts to limit voter participation in Ohio, Florida and throughout the country. It is beyond disgraceful that the Republican Party now seems to be targeting those who are suffering the most. It appears that individuals who can’t recall how many houses they own don’t understand how awful it is to lose your home to foreclosure, and don’t know that you don’t need to own property to vote in the United States of America. It should surprise no one that the people who gave us the worst economy since the Great Depression would now want to prevent those victimized by this economy from voting in the coming elections. Senator McCain needs to step forward now and halt the Republican Party’s efforts to profit politically from the economic misery of others."
Local and state governments have spent $1.5 billion since 2003 to purchase electronic voting machines, many of which have been proven to contain programming errors and faulty designs resulting in mistakes and/or allowing the machines to be easily hacked to produce a fraudulent outcome.
Although some states and localities have abandoned the electronic machines, their use is still widespread enough to cause grave concern that voters’ choices will be subverted or ignored. Recent machine failures in Washington, D.C., Florida, Arkansas, and Ohio have caused a number of states to return to all-paper-based ballot systems.
Voters would be more likely to have confidence in the electronic machines they vote on were it not for the fact that all of the machines are manufactured by companies controlled by individuals who uniformly support the Republic Party. All of the machines operate on proprietary programming codes that are secret, even from the government entities that purchase them.
The conservative conspiracy to disenfranchise an entire class of vulnerable American voters has been highly successful in recent elections and is again poised to circumvent the will of the people. Democracy requires that every qualified person have the right to vote, and that government efforts encourage rather than discourage universal suffrage.
To the extent our governments aid and abet the conspiracy to disenfranchise our fellow voters, and to the extent these efforts are successful in the 2008 presidential election, the future of our nation is at risk.
It is not difficult to see why some evangelical Christians believe we are living in the "End Times" and that the "Rapture" is imminent. America is entering the most threatening period in its history since the Great Depression, and perhaps even since the Civil War. As a nation of borrowers and consumers, our economy and banking systems are bankrupt, and our government’s only solution is to take from the poor and bailout the rich.
As a result of 30 years of deregulation and the giveaway of trillions of dollars of cheap credit by the Federal Reserve System, our economy has now pyramided out of control to the extent $500 trillion in totally unregulated derivatives are being traded without any accounting or governmental supervision. That is $1,669,357 for every single one of us!
As a temporary measure, President Bush has proposed, and both presidential candidates have agreed to, a $1 trillion government bailout. This solution will only cost each of us $3,320, which is just the first installment.
Millions of workers who have grown accustomed to the good life are now unemployed. Food and fuel costs are skyrocketing, and medical insurance has become unattainable. Our savings, investments and retirements are threatened and may become worthless. Our SUVs and BMWs are being repossessed, we are being evicted from our apartments, and our McMansions are being foreclosed upon because we can’t make the payments.
After years of declining crime rates, gun-related violence is on the rise in many of our cities, disproportionately targeting young black males. Forty percent of these young men are out of work; one of every 20 over the age of 18 is in a state or federal prison; and 28.2 percent of all African-American men will be confined at least once during their lifetime.
Overall, the United States is now incarcerating more than seven million people; one in every 32 American adults is locked up, on parole, or on probation.
Attempts to control gun violence by imposing reasonable restrictions on gun ownership were recently shot down by the Supreme Court when it overturned Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun possession. While the decision was praised by the National Rifle Association, and presumably by Sarah Palin, professional law enforcement officers across the nation fear that it will never be possible to control gun violence.
Our occupation of Iraq and our pursuit of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders continues in Afghanistan and, increasingly, into Pakistan. There is also a great risk that our outgoing president and vice president will start a hot war in Iran and/or a cold war with Russia on their way out the door.