From the Fun-With-Irony section of the July 12th New York Times comes the following:
KABUL, Afghanistan -- After nearly 12 hours of often tense negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday that Afghanistan would audit all eight million votes cast in a runoff presidential election last month as part of a deal to end a tense power struggle between the top two candidates.
The audit, intended to resolve allegations of widespread fraud, is to begin almost immediately, he said, and will be supervised by international monitors. Its results will be binding, and the winner will go on to head a national unity government whose shape has yet to be finalized. "Every single ballot that was cast will be audited," Mr. Kerry said. at a news conference where he was flanked by the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who endorsed the agreement.
John Kerry. Insisting that every single ballot be audited. In Afghanistan. Because America cares about democracy (in Afghanistan at least).
When this same (I think) John Kerry fell all over himself to concede Ohio and the presidency in 2004 (in an election as forensically red-flagged as anything Afghanistan has seen), I don't recall "every single ballot cast" being audited. In fact not a single ballot cast in Ohio was audited. Zippo. Not a single memory card examined. Zippo. Let alone servers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, set up by Karl Rove's own IT guru, the late Mike Connell, to "process" the Ohio vote.
And that was just Ohio , where the "late" vote, ostensibly counted on those servers, made a fool out of the exit polls ("they must have oversampled Democrats again") and put Bush back in the White House. Bizarre statistical patterns all across Afghanistan (I mean America) were ignored, dismissed, chalked up to "conspiracy theory." International monitors were politely invited to leave the country: "this is America, the Beacon of Democracy! Why in God's name would we ever need international monitors?"
I am not talking here about a re-do of E2004, nor about the cornucopia of fruit from that poison tree, which of course includes Justices Roberts and Alito and a slew of 5 -- 4 SCOTUS decisions such as Citizens United . Yes, America would be a very different place, but oh well.
No, I am talking here about the flourishing insanity that is the American computerized vote counting system. I am talking about an election this June in which Eric Cantor, the far-right Majority Leader of the US House, was unseated in a Virginia Republican primary by David Brat, a far-far-far-right Tea Partier who trailed by 30%+ in every poll. A typical American election, very un-Afghanistanian, in which not a single ballot (or memory card or line of computer code) was ever counted, audited, or examined by a human being.
An election where altering the outcome would have been as simple as adding three lines of code to the 500,000 or so already on the memory cards to reset the zero-counters on each machine so rigged to, say, +50 for Brat and -50 for Cantor, thereby shifting a net of 100 votes per precinct while recording the right number of total votes to match the poll books and satisfy the election administrators that all was well.
An election that could be rigged with zero risk for huge reward. An election whose politically seismic result was described by the Times as "unimaginable" but nonetheless accepted on blind faith, not so much as a single eyebrow raised or question asked about the secret vote counting system that produced it. A system that would never in a million years have passed muster in Afghanistan where, after 12 hours of often tense negotiations, an agreement would have been reached to audit every single ballot that was cast (though of course this would have been impossible in Virginia, where most of the ballots were cast on paperless, unauditable touchscreen computers).
And I am talking about all our elections since the computers took over and moved the counting into the pitch dark of cyberspace. And most of all I am talking about our elections yet to come, beginning with 2014. I am talking about our future.
I have written a book about this: CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century . It is about what has happened to American elections, American politics, and America since computers took over the counting of votes.
It is readable : in extensive laboratory testing not a single eye has yet to glaze over. The technical is cordoned off into its own supplementary chapter, while the main part tells the story, answers questions, offers insights, and calls for action.
Here are some of the questions CODE RED asks (and answers):
In 100 words or less, tell me what you believe is happening with American elections.
Haven't there always been attempts to steal elections? Why is now any different?
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