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Electronic Voting is a Slam Dunk for Republicans

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Message Missy Beattie
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Progressive writers for print media and internet sites are hammering away, sometimes daily, often weekly, to vent frustrations and direct attention to the outrages of the Bush Administration. Many pen paragraphs on the spectrum of abuses, the George W. crime du jour. Others hit the keyboard about corporate greed, global warming, or illegal spying on American citizens. Some focus on George's who-gives-a-rat's-ass reaction to numerous things, for instance, a category five hurricane and its aftermath. I concentrate mostly on the war and the impact my nephew's death in Iraq will always have on my family but, sometimes, I detour.

Now is the time, though, for all of us to spotlight a grave concern that is essential to our principles and our liberties""an issue that affects all the others""voter fraud. 'If your vote doesn't count, neither do you.' Neither does anything else.

It's not that one area is more important than another""the deaths of our troops, the deaths of people in other countries, the deaths or displacement of people shunted off when disaster, natural or manmade, strikes, wiretapping without warrants, misplaced use of power or global warming. But without verified voting, we will be able to do absolutely nothing to change the violations that we see flowing like Lake Ponchartrane from the White House, submerging our sensibilities and drowning our values.

California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson has just certified Diebold voting machines after putting them through a battery of tests and reviewing the results""results which proved the technology isn't just sensitive to hacking but, instead, is frighteningly simple to manipulate. These punch-screen toys of the Republican Party, owned by a Bush-friendly corporation, will be in place just in time for the 2008 elections. And there are other companies manufacturing these devices. All are owned by Republicans. The Sequoia machine is the baby of a business partner of the Carlyle Group, the firm that's provided an obscene amount of money for the Bush family. Democrats need not apply. No progressive or independent should waste a dime of campaign money on a race, because it just won't matter. The Bush Doctrine, regardless of George's unpopularity, is not in jeopardy; rather it will live on in perpetuity, wreaking its imperialistic havoc on the world.

And that's one of the reasons this incompetent president never backs down, never says he's sorry, and never listens to constructive criticism. There's no reason for George W. Bush to rethink his radical agenda. Disengaged as a human being and transparent in his indifference to suffering, he demands that his "will be done."

Without voting integrity, there's no reason for me to write about the war. In fact, there's no end to war and no taking back the country. There's no end to spying, no end to abuse of the environment, the poor, and our Constitution. There is no end to the criminal doctrine which defines George W. Bush. As long as punch-screen machines are in place, people of compassion might as well stop what we're doing, shut down our computers, roll over and cry, "Uncle." It's a slam dunk for Bush and the end of civilization for us.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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