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Can we work "within the system"? A response to those who think we can.

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   11 comments, In Series: Politics and Policy
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We pretend to vote, they pretend to get elected. Michael Collins Election Fraud News Is it practical or useful to attempt to work within the current legislative system to change election processes and regulations? This is a critical issue for elections activists. This statement is my firmly held position. I do not intend to offend anyone. Rather, my goal is to focus on the abundantly clear realities we face and the directions we must take based on those realities. On the issue that interests me the most, election fraud, we clearly need to work within the system to gather that data sufficient to determine if election fraud occurred in a given election. We have no ability to critique and judge the system if we lack access to the available data. This working within approach has been highly effective as evidenced by the work of TruthIsAll, Simon, Freeman, and ElectionArchive.Org/Baiman. With regard to the other focus of the clean elections interest group, influencing the type of voting and tabulation systems in use, the legislative regulation of those systems, and the quality assurance component, post election audits, the choice is not as straight forward. The legislation that established our current nightmare, the Help America Vote Act, was a bipartisan effort. It received overwhelming approval in the House and Senate. The record of the final action should have warned us. Convicted felon, Rep. Robert Ney, R, OH is listed as the principal sponsor. Ney principal sponsor. That legislation claimed to solve the problems of Florida 2000. It did nothing of the sort. The problems of Florida, a stolen election if there ever was one, had little to do with hanging chads here and there and voters struggling with a deceptive butterfly ballot. The problems of Florida were the 50,000 or more black Floridians taken off the voting rolls by felon purge software (who were unable to vote in Election 2000) and the more than 170,000 spoiled ballots which occurred mostly in minority dominated precincts in Republican controlled counties with significant black population. This is all well documented. Truth #1: The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) was born of a bipartisan lie, one that ignored the theft and all the very public evidence of that theft. A likely suspect, the voting machines, was framed with full knowledge that those problems were secondary to race-based strategies that resulted in Al Gore losing tens of thousands of votes. . As HAVA was implemented, we began to see questionable election after questionable election. At the same time, groups falsely assumed to be of the left began to lobby for HAVA. Those concerned with election fraud were marginalized as spread sheet wielding conspiracy theorists and a new focus emerged taking the name election integrity. The bits and bytes, machine based effort focused intensively on this or that type of electronic voting device (although little was done about tabulators). Paper trails were touted as a solution, e.g., voter verified paper ballots. As it became painfully obvious that touch screen paper trails were meaningless, a shift occurred. Optical scan readers and the paper ballots fed through them were suddenly touted as the solution that would provide integrity to our elections. Never mind the fact that there were obviously people behind all those close Republican wins, again and again. The perpetrators were cast aside and, in a modern version of animism for all but a few; the machines acquired the ability to systematically produce questionable results in a questionable way without any reference to human involvement. . The apotheosis of this fallacy is seen in the central argument in Jennings election contest argument that voting machines in Florida's 13th Congressional race consistently favored the Republican candidate due to machine malfunction. Apparently those machines have a mind of their own. Truth# 2: Neutralizing concerns about election fraud in favor of election integrity ignore the obvious: election fraud is the primary reason to be concerned about election integrity in the first place. Marginalized concern about election fraud was accompanied in a shift of focus to monitoring and altering voting machines, software, and technical methods to improve elections. Crime scene evidence is gathered every election cycle and then used to convict inanimate objects. Who benefits? The machines? We are now two huge steps away from Florida 2000 (which many will agree has repeated itself over and over in different localities). The real causes of Florida 2000 were ignored, spurious causes assigned, and we were blessed with HAVA. In the process, the focus on election outcomes was neutralized and sanitized as though it was really all about machine and software malfunction. Is it practical or useful to we work within the system? Can we achieve reliable and believable elections within this system? Legislative behavior and action provide the evidence to answer this question. We have a Congress elected in 2006 that has failed to take any substantive action to stop the war in Iraq. The Senate can't eve hold a debate on Iraq. Much like Odysseus waving his sword at the Cyclops after his boat was far from shore, the House failed to express the public will by passing a resolution on Iraq that has no effect whatsoever on the status of the war. We have a Congress that ignored and now ignores the 450 to 650 thousand Iraqi civilians killed in the current war. If they don't concern themselves with the 3 thousand soldiers who have given their lives and the tens of thousands of soldiers seriously injured, why would they care or even note the loss of life among Iraqi civilians. This blindness to death and injury is a bipartisan effort. We had a Congress that passed an act canceling the product of 1000 years of struggle, habeas corpus. We are now all subject to arrest should we be marked as terrorists by some anonymous authority. Once arrested, we have no right to hear charges, no right to speak to a lawyer. However, those of us with an egalitarian bent are comforted knowing that we will be subject to the same torture administered in Cuba and Iraq. Globalism redux. We had and now have a Congress that ignored the real problems of Florida and every other questionable election. Their solutions range from the make nice Holt HAVA revisions to alternatives that are much worse like Clinton - Tubbs-Jones. There is still no mention of corrupted outcomes and how those highly questionable results occurred. We've had no investigation of Florida 2000, Ohio & USA 2004, and Georgia 2002. The current solutions to our wrongly identified troubles all entail making machines more efficient (a sort of technical scared straight program) and introducing quality assurance in the form of post election audits. Truth # 3: There is little difference between the political parties on electronic voting and tabulation. Both are subject to a seemingly inexorable technophilia that adds increased complexity to overly complex system now in place. Each and every one of these alternatives to the current election system comes with a full, 100% guarantee that understanding of and access to any real systems knowledge will be impossible for 99% of the citizens of the United States of America. Truth # 4: As a result of the current options of notable versus whole scale leaps forward in the reliance on computerized voting, there is a widening breech between those elected and their voting system choices and the public and its increasing lack access to those choices. Therefore, at some point in the not to distant future, the parallel lines of voting system complexity and total public disillusion due to lack of knowledge will merge. The result will be ELECTION PROCESSES WHICH PRODUCE ZERO FAITH IN ELECTIONS AND THOSE SELECTED TO RULE. The new motto of the day will be We pretend to vote, you pretend to get elected. After due consideration of all the facts, the only reasonable (predictable) answer to the intent of Congress is simple - Congress intends to make electronic voting permanent and it intends to make elections more complex and less available to public participation and scrutiny. We will enter the era of the election experts, heirophants who turn the people's elections into a mystery cult. How can anyone trust Congress to be honest brokers in election system reform? The only measure that promised a start to real elections available to the public, HR 6200, is no longer on the table. What remains represents a gleeful head first dive into the shallow end of the election pool. After all, these are the politicians who enabled and continue a war which bankrupts the nation, kills our soldiers, negates our civil liberties at home, and proves fatal to those we liberate. Where can one single shred of evidence for that trust be found? Where can one single politician be found who says "Yes Virginia (and Ohio, and Florida), there are stolen elections." Therefore, we have no reason whatsoever to predict anything close to a positive outcome from working within the system. The system reflects the realities of Congress, not the preferences of the people. Not one shred of evidence predicts anything positive coming from dialog and debate by those who failed to understand and note the initial problems of the 2000 election and continue to compound that error by acting as though machines not people are the cause our electoral disarray. They casually dismiss the clear truth that the real solutions to election problems are based on these truths. " Enforce the right to vote for all citizens so qualified. " Institute a program of citizen run elections with hand counted paper ballots. The notion of elections so complex, so computer dependent that that the people have no way of judging outcomes is offensive to those who aspire to be a free people. We the people will define our own system and those chosen by the corrupted process can endorse citizen generated changes and cooperate or face a public that will be ready to say loudly and firmly, we have no reason to believe that you were elected in the first place. We're at a point where more 60% of Americans oppose the War in Iraq. That opposition grew despite mainstream media misrepresentations and suppression of the facts. We have reason to believe that the opposition to inherently unverifiable elections due to computerized voting and election fraud is just a strong. The effort spent cavorting with a Congress, doing the Washington two step, would be much better spent developing a truly effective election system based on real paper ballots and taking that case to broad segments of the general public. Our myopic, tone deaf representatives are not only ineffective, their efforts all generate election proposals that produce more harm that the legacy they seek to correct. The people and a citizen run election process are the only hope to truly elect a Congress that is both a responsible steward for democratic processes and an accurate reflection of the decency and common sense of the citizens of the United States of America. END
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