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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/4/18

EI: What Have We Accomplished since 2000?

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Election problems took front and center stage for the first time in recent history in the historic hanging-chads debacle in the Florida presidential election in 2000. Far more was at issue really than hanging chads. One blatant example was the 94,000 eligible voters who had been expunged from the rolls for no reason other than voting while Democrat and, in 54,000 of those instances, voting while black. Greg Palast discovered those corrupted county-by-county lists in late November 2000, plenty of time before that tragic day, 12/12, when SCOTUS delivered its infamous decision to select G.W. Bush to step into Clinton's role as the most powerful person in the world. And the repercussions were huge.

There had been plenty of time to publish Palast's discovery worldwide, and everyone read about it except for 99.9 percent of the U.S. reading public. and one unknown, small newspaper published this earth-shaking news in this country. The truth was that Gore had won hands-down, with 500,000 more popular votes than W.

And so, yet again, 18 years later, in the same part of the country, the Peach Tree State, Mr. Palast published another list of even more voters scrubbed from the rolls illegally, more than 300,000, for voting while Democrat and, in the majority again, voting while black. This time the race was at the gubernatorial level but once again, as in Ohio 2004, a presidential race, an SoS strongly preferred the GOP candidate--Katherine Harris: George Bush :: Kenneth Blackwell : George Bush :: Brian Kemp : Brian Kemp.

In the interim, our beloved country acquired DREs to make massive-scale election corruption far easier; rampant gerrymandering fine-tuned by way of advanced digital technology; an epidemic of the voter ID requirement; gutting of the VRA's most vital section, which screened legislation in the most discriminatory areas of this country to be sure that it did no harm to voters of any persuasion (read: black and other likely-Democratic voters); the interstate crosschecking process that pares down registration lists with blatant mismatching of common names mostly likely identifying likely Democratic voters--most notably, as usual, blacks. Then there's absentee voting, a method hugely prone to a variety of corrupting devices.

The general public of our country trends progressive when polled on key issues, so the GOP fine-tuned its agenda to get around this. You've got to admire them for their multi-faceted and unscrupulous skullduggery. But one thing the public does favor is voter ID, especially with the myth most lately circulated that undocumented immigrants are voting in large numbers. Many of these people have been persuaded of the validity of the myth of voter fraud, despite all the studies proving that it occurs close to never.

So what has the EI movement accomplished? Reactive measures to fight back. That's better than nothing, but we need to ascend to proactivity. If you divide up our arenas of difficulty three ways, they turn out to be registration, voting, and counting the votes. Beneath these headers are scores of devices that hugely limit the franchise.

But we have greatly reduced use of the GOP-sponsored DREs in favor of equally hackable opscans, whose tangible paper records are rarely recounted. We have managed to bring this issue, as well as gerrymandering, more to the forefront of the media and Congress than it was previously; and some of us are as a result labeled as conspiracy theorists in the bad sense of the word. Other eligible voters have read about all the obstacles not only to voting but to registration and having votes counted and are as a result discouraged from even trying to vote. But we have people all over the country addressing election corruption at every level. They are professional, articulate, accomplished, and determined. But there are just too few of them.

We moreover have an army of energetic and inspired youth going from door to door to enlighten the populace: democracy in action. Its numbers must grow to encompass a large percentage of the populace.

Democracy as hard work we must all be doing is surely a growing principle. The founding fathers knew its importance and some of them feared its literal realization as tyranny of the majority.* The minority, Republicans, tend to win when fewer people show up to vote, and their tactics succeed.

So now that they've done their work, with Trump as the epitome of a project begun in the early 1970s, it's time to shove their dreams-come-true down from the mountain for good. But that's more than a blue landslide at all levels. It has to be a people's landslide for our governing process to become a true democracy. That's lots of proactivity on the horizon, a seismic shift whose strongest aspect entails the vote and contact with all of the people to end election corruption.

Remember that they all poll progressive in their aspirations toward recreating this country as it should be.

Massive proactivity is needed: herd the masses to the polls; shift one-on-one activism into sixth gear.

Can we do it? The stakes are colossal: the people and their environment--the world as we know it that is rapidly deteriorating. We have no choice.

*John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, for example. The composition of the Senate and the Electoral College are two ways the founders fought back against it.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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