Will Americans Be Able to Trust the Vote Count in 2008? And, What Can We Do to Protect the Integrity of Elections?
By Kevin B. Zeese
The campaigns are in full gear, the candidates are picked, TV ads are running, and election corruption is taking hold. Around the country, particularly in swing states, there are stories of efforts to undercut voter registration especially by poor and African American voters. In addition, this summer has seen story after story of the potential corruption and likely dysfunction of electronic voting machines.
The combination of corruption of the voter registration system and corruption of the vote counting machinery means that 1 + 1 is not likely to equal 2 when it comes to counting the vote. The public is better informed and more fed up than ever with these election shenanigans. It is time to get informed and organized so that Americans will join together and refuse to accept another stolen election.
Voter Registration Corruption: Suppressing the Vote in Key States
It is the season of intensive voter registration drives – Virginia, for example, just ordered 200,000 voter registration forms because of shortages – and of voter suppression efforts as well. Throughout the country, particularly in battleground states, Republican voter registration challenges are moving forward aggressively.
In the last two presidential elections voter suppression may have been the key to Republican “victories.” (Note: I am not a Democrat or Republican. I am a voter that does not support either of the major political parties manipulation of American democracy.) Many have concluded that the 2000 election was corrupted in Florida by operatives in the Jeb Bush administration who suppressed the black vote and undermined the vote count, as well as by the partisan Supreme Court justices who stopped the recount. But, now it is also evident that the 2004 election was corrupted by the Republican Secretary of State in Ohio who undermined voter registration in black communities and made sure that there were not enough election machines in Democratic Party-leaning precincts. (If you have any doubt that the 2004 election was stolen see the film “Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections” available at: www.uncountedthemovie.com or “Stealing America Vote by Vote,” www.stealingamericathemovie.org which document election theft.)
Now, we are seeing many of the techniques used in those elections to suppress the vote in 2008. The McCain-Palin campaign and Republican Party are aggressively seeking ways to reduce the number of Democratic voters. Here are a few examples:
- The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge voters on Election Day. Ohio Republicans are considering the same tactic. This mean-spirited approach to denying people their vote will not only intimidate voters but will create long lines in Democratic-leaning precincts. A coalition of faith-based, community and labor organizations protested outside of McCain-Palin’s Michigan office against this tactic.
- In Wisconsin, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen a Republican and co-chair of the McCain-Palin Campaign in Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit demanding Wisconsin election officials verify voters' identity before the November election. This could lead to frustration at the polls and exhausted clerks in a hotly contested state in the presidential race. One million people have registered since January 1 and if successful the lawsuit would require every new registrant be checked.
- The Florida Secretary of State decided on September 8th to enforce the state's "no-match, no-vote" law, a voter registration law that blocked more than 16,000 eligible Florida citizens from registering to vote in 2006, through no fault of their own, and could disenfranchise tens of thousands more voters in November. Republican Secretary of State Kurt Browning's last-minute decision to implement the law in the final month before the registration deadline will post a significant hurdle to eligible Florida citizens hoping to vote in November. It will disenfranchise voters who do not send or bring a photocopy of their driver's license to county election officials' offices after voting, even though these voters will have shown their driver's licenses when they went to vote at the polls. The decision will put thousands of Florida citizens at risk due to bureaucratic typos that under the 'no-match, no-vote' law will prevent them from voting this November.
- On September 11, 2008 Air America the Tom Hartmann Show received calls from people in swing states who had received “absentee ballot request forms” from the McCain campaign. These were being sent to people registered as Democrats or Independents, but there seemed to be errors in the forms, instructions and/or the return addresses on the envelope for mailing back the forms.
- Also in Ohio, a Republican passed election law could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters. The Democratic Secretary of State describes it as an unconstitutional law that allows Ohio county election boards to cancel a voter's registration solely because some election notices mailed to a home address come back undeliverable.