"Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights." --Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), p. 842.
At the time Jefferson made this statement, only white males who owned property could vote. Since then, though, We The People have amended our Constitution to extend the right to vote to former slaves, minorities, women, and 18-year olds. The majority of Americans believe that every citizen should have an equal voice in the government that represents them. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees.
The same Republican strategists who gave us Ronald Reagan and a pair of Bushes realized that their platform of tax cuts for the rich, cuts in social programs, and perpetual war would not be popular with American voters for very long. They knew they could never win a fair election, so they set out to make sure they never had to.
"Florida was so successful [stealing the election], the Republicans.. have been busy "floridizing" state elections procedures from sea to shining sea." --Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, NY: Plume, 2003.
"Officials [in Ohio] purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency." --Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Rolling Stone, June 2006
"Since 2000 more Americans are at greater risk of being disenfranchised than at any time since the days of segregation. Provisional ballots that are not counted, substandard voting machines, and chicanery such as in Ohio that literally denied black voters the means to vote, all conspire to maintain the status quo that has established one party Republican rule." --Margaret Kimberley, The Chicago Defender, 11/18/05
Republican strategists know that even though they have used every illegal, under-handed, dirty trick-in-the-book to suppress the Democratic votes; they still don't have enough die-hard Republicans, Dittoheads, and people willing to vote against their own interests to win an election. That is why they have also taken control of every aspect of our electoral process.
"Republicans build the voting machines, Republicans write the secret software, Republicans count and compile the totals. The Republican machines allow no auditing of the vote totals they report. So Republicans have the ability to "win" elections, regardless of the will of the voters. There is compelling evidence that they have done just that." --Dr. Howard Dean, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, 12/13/05
"80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S. ...The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers (and Republican Donors). ...30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail. ...All-not some-but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates." --from Twenty Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA, opednews.com, 1/8/06
"The United States is the only major democracy that allows private partisan corporations to secretly count and tabulate the votes with proprietary non-transparent software." --The Free Press, October 26, 2005
"[The General Accounting Office] report now confirms that electronic voting machines as deployed in 2004 were in fact perfectly engineered to allow a very small number of partisans with minimal computer skills and equipment to shift enough votes to put George W. Bush back in the White House." --Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, The Free Press, 10/26/05
In response to the huge number of problems with electronic voting machines (both deliberate and accidental), Rep. Russ Holt (D-NJ) sponsored a bill (HR 550) requiring all voting machines to produce backup "voter-verified paper record". The bill was originally called The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003. Then it was called The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2004. Then it was called The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of of 2005, and now I assume it is now called The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2006. When last seen, it was disappearing into a black hole, called the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee. You get the idea.