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Bob & Harvey's 3-Step "Ohio Plan" for fair and reliable voting and vote counts

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Bob & Harvey's 3-Step "Ohio Plan" for fair and reliable voting and vote counts
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
January 16, 2008

America is awash in suspect and stolen elections. Since January, 2001, the nation has been saddled with an unelected chief executive. The consequences have been predictably horrific.

Along the way, three US Senate contests in 2002 and numerous other Congressional and local elections have been subjected to partisan disenfranchisement of qualified voters, and vote counts that smack of theft and fraud.

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Even now the primary in New Hampshire is rightly being challenged to do an expensive but necessary recount procedure that could and should have been avoided.

As has been shown in the Free Press and elsewhere through the stolen 2000 and 2004 presidential contests, there are scores of ways by which elections can and have been rigged and ripped off in this new century. And there are scores of cures that can be put forth.

But we believe they can boil down to a basic three:

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Since the beginning of the American republic, more than 200 years ago, voters have signed their registration forms, then signed again when they came to vote. Falsifying a signature is a felony. All studies indicate that the number of people who vote fraudulently is miniscule.

In recent years, Republican operatives have attempted to hype so-called voter fraud into a major issue. The Bush Administration has fired nine US Attorneys for their failure to find large numbers of people committing this crime.

Nonetheless, the GOP and its minions in the media have hyped this non-problem into a national crisis, whose "solution" is to demand photo ID at the polling stations.

It's well-known that the impact of this demand would be to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of elderly, indigent, homeless and other citizens, most of whom happen to vote Democratic. A lower court has rightly labeled this requirement to be a "poll tax" which is specifically barred by the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution.

But the US Supreme Court now has at least four members who will vote for anything that serves the partisan interests of the Republican Party. There is a widespread feeling the Court will approve this requirement, with adoption in many states run by the GOP.

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During Ohio 2004, and in New Mexico and other swing states, the GOP also found ways to prevent many thousands of voters from registering at all. The list of dirty tricks is too long and insidious to report here. More are being unearthed every day.

The one most likely to surface in a big way in 2008 is the practice of disqualifying voters if the spelling of their name or their middle initial (or lack thereof) somehow varies from the one in the computer-generated registration books. Since the voter rolls in some counties and states have already been privatized, and are being run by partisan for-profit vendors, we can expect widespread, systematic disenfranchisement if this system remains in tact.

Our "Ohio Plan" solution is simple: everyone in the United States should be automatically registered to vote upon turning 18 years old. Forms addressed to election bureaus, with free postage, should be made available in high schools and colleges, at motor vehicle bureaus, social security offices, post offices, union halls, in military recruiting offices and barracks and numerous other locales throughout the nation.

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