Elections -- The War on our Ballots
I still believe that most people do not align with the ultra-right
wing (the Tea baggers and the Wisconsin recall
results notwithstanding). So how can we
explain the shift in the vote to the right wing, represented by the Republican
party? As someone who cares deeply about
these issues and who has been following them since the 2000 Florida presidential election, I cannot help
but conclude that Republicans are rigging elections by means of all electronic
voting machines. I also cannot help but
ask why the Democrats are silent and, therefore, complicit.
See Richard Charnin 's ground-breaking and
brilliant work for an account of what really happened in the totaling of votes
in the Wisconsin recall of Governor Scott
Walker (R). Charnin talks of
"adjusted exit polls", meaning exit polls that the corporate media
"adjust" to match the rigged outcome of the elections. Our elections
are not owned by the people. Our elections are rigged by a
privatized electronic voting machine industry, a few corporations. The people who are behind these corporations promote
their hatred of women and control of our bodies via rigged elections.
There is an enormous amount of evidence that electronic voting machines
are vulnerable to errors, to hacking, and to fraud, and that such breaches of
democratic process have repeatedly occurred.
See more evidence here
and here. I cannot think of any Democrat who has won an
"upset" election since the 2000 presidential election. Can you? I can think of many Republicans who are in office from such "upset" victories. I cannot think of any state or legislative
body where the democrats are in control and where legislation against women gets
introduced and passed. Can you?
Some say it can't happen here. But an honest look at U.S. history tells
us we have never had democracy for the 99%. First, Europeans came and slaughtered the
Native peoples; then, the oppressors enslaved people of African descent (60
million Africans shipped here like cargo from Africa);
women did not vote until 1919, and we continue to fight wars all over the
Rigging elections is a hydra-headed monster. Voter ID and other means of suppressing the
vote of elders, students, and African Americans occurs
everywhere, and these measures are mostly, if not entirely, introduced by
Republicans. Money and Citizens United
also play their part. In Massachusetts in 2010, millions of dollars from out of
state poured into Scott Brown's (R) coffers and in the Scott Walker (R) recall
in 2012 millions also poured in from out of state. Yet, even if all the suppression of the vote
and the money were stopped immediately, election fraud will continue as long as
the electronic voting machines are in use.
Rigging our elections via electronic voting machines allows
the ultra-right wing to triumph in its hatred and fear of women and its ardent
desire to control us, and few realize that this is going on. All the electronic voting machines are
tallied in ways not visible to the human eye and recounts are difficult, if not
impossible. How does this work? Direct
Recording Electronic (DRE) and touchscreen electronic voting machines often do
not have a paper trail at all, so elections cannot ever be recounted. Optical scan machines do have a paper trail,
but obtaining a hand recount is expensive and riddled with regulations. Optical scan machines, as well as
touchscreens, are susceptible to error, hacking and fraud. Hand-marked,
publicly observed secure hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) elections are the
only way to ensure that our elections are fair and that our precious votes are
counted as cast.
To the Occupy
I know, I know -- many people in the Occupy movement and
elsewhere see no difference in either major party and say voting is
irrelevant. For me, there is a
difference even between -1 and 0. I want to know first that our votes are
counted as cast, and next who really won the election. On the machines there is
no way of knowing. Both
DRE's/touchscreens and optical scan electronic voting machines have been hacked
by computer scientists, without trace. The Election Assistance Commission
(EAC) issued a warning in December 2011 about ES&S
DS200 IntElect optical scan electronic voting machines errors during
voting. These machines were used in Florida,
and New York
and will be used again in 2012. There
will be no decertification of these machines, according to the EAC's Brian
Hancock, "Our goal is not to decertify systems. We never want to be in a
situation of putting counties in a position where they cannot run an
Read more details here
about the most noted hacks of electronic voting machines by computer scientists. .
Watch Hacking Democracy
free on your own computer for one of the most famous hacks, done on the same
machines on which Volusia County counted its vote in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. In this hack, Harri Hursti also demonstrated
that he could go in and tamper with the program of the machine and leave no
trace. Read the full description of what happened in Volusia.
I love the Occupy movement and
am part of Occupy Boston. We in the
voting rights movement need you, the Occupy people: your honesty, courage, mic
checks, steadfastness, analysis, reaching millions of people, street creds and
non-violent civil disobedience. I implore
all Occupy people to join us and help stop election fraud, the war on our
ballots, and thus also the war on women.
I am completely responsible for the text and any errors in it. This article may be reproduced in whole or part, with attribution of authorship given and link to this article.
Thank you to all the sisters and brothers fighting both these wars everywhere, Elizabeth Nash, Jackie, Michelle Weiser, Mindy Fried, Nina Moliver, Stephen Caruso.
Bio: Parks is the Founder of the Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, and a long-time ardent Socialist Feminist and Internationalist. She spent a year in prison for the 13th non-violent Plowshares action against first strike nuclear weapons and defended the abortion clinics with her body for a very long time. She does not want to go back to doing that and fervently hopes that those of you who have not had to do so, never have to.