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Reply #13: Welcome to DU. Here's my answer. [View All]

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-10 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Welcome to DU. Here's my answer.
Edited on Fri Nov-05-10 07:16 AM by Fly by night
Tennessee's state elections have not been trending Republican -- we have had a Democratic legislature (and primarily Democratic governors) since Reconstruction. Likewise, our Congressional delegation has always been majority Democrat until this election.

However, the introduction of unverifiable voting equipment everywhere in our state (except Hamilton and Pickett counties) -- pushed constantly and incessantly by Brook Thompson, the former State Election Coordinator; and facilitated by Brook's requirement that new election officials be indoctrinated by the Election Center, a pro-DRE "think tank" funded by the voting machine companies to push their hack-friendly wares; and perpetuated by Brook's refusal to allow election integrity activists to even speak to election officials at their conventions -- all played a part. This change was crammed down the throats of all counties, even those who used punch-card, optical scan and lever machines -- who were happy with their existing equipment and process. (These counties were told -- erroneously, it turns out -- that they had no choice but to abandon their equipment. HAVA did not say that -- it still doesn't.)

I think other things have played a part. Almost without exception, the Dem appointees to county election commissions I have met are either dim bulbs or not Democratic, while the Rethug appointees are bright, well-versed in pro-DRE arguments, very sinister and functioning in lock-step -- just as you would expect the anti-democratic Rethug borg to be.

It is very telling that, when the Rethugs took control of the Secretary of State's office, they executed mass firings and kicked employees out of the SoS office on the first day they took power. Except for their friend and benefactor (or is it the other way around?), Brook Thompson. Him they kept and placed in a cushy and high-paying position as an Administrative Law Judge. Go figure (but you won't have to go very far).

Since you are an election official, you should know that the TN Voter Confidence Act passed almost unanimously in 2008 in our legislature (unanimous in the Senate, all but four "yeas" in the House) but only because the bill's sponsors agreed at Rethug insistence to delay implementation until 2010. The bill was endorsed by both the TN Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) and by the legislature's Joint Committee on Voter Confidence, in each case after more than a year of study on the issue.

Then when, against all experience and expectation, the Rethugs took control of our state legislature in 2008 on the unverifiable equipment but only by winning EVERY open seat in our state (again, something that had never been done before), they couldn't wait two days before announcing that one of their three top priorities was to repeal the TVCA -- even though DRE voting is 10-15 times slower than paper ballots/opscan, is 40-50% more expensive and is COMPLETELY unverifiable. They succeeded in delaying TVCA implementation until 2012 and (with the help of greasy, shit-eater grinning DINOs like Harry Tindell) have so gutted the bill that, if enacted, it will do little to protect our elections. Even so, I predict it will never be implemented now.

I could say more but if, indeed, you are an election official, I expect you have heard it before. However, since you are new to DU (welcome again), you can click on the envelope by my nickname and send me a private message if you'd like. I would be happy to continue this discussion with you over the phone or face-to-face. Anywhere. Anytime.

(Should I meet you by the powder rooms or can you find your way to a level playing field?)

One final point: the most recent voter preference survey I've been able to find shows that 8% more Tennesseans still self-identify as Democrats as Republicans. That means that Dems would have to recruit less than 20% of Independents to win elections while Rethugs would have to recruit 80%+ to win. In addition, until 2008, we have had a long history of ticket-splitting in Tennessee, where Dem voters vote solidly for local Dem candidates while not always supporting the top of the Dem ticket (for President). Again, until recently....

One other final point: Shortly after HAVA passed the (Republican) Congress, Congressman Rush Holt recognized the perilous effect that unverifiable voting equipment would have on our elections. He proposed a bill that would have banned that equipment in 2002 (I believe). However, even with more than 200 co-sponsors, Rep. Holt was unable even to get a committee hearing for his bill. It would be nice to ask the Rethug committee chair at the time why no hearing, but I think he (Bob Ney) has only recently stopped representing Cellblock 9 in federal prison, where he resided after his corruption conviction. Again, go figure (but don't drop your soap in the showers.)

Yet one other final point: Our new State Election Coordinator is a far-reich wing hillbilly who obtained his law degree (a profession he has never practiced very well) from Regent University, the Pat Robertson-created cradle of Christian dominionism. (It shows.)

The consent of the governed is the only legitimate basis for government power in America. Here in Tennessee, since I cannot confirm that our elections have truly measured that consent, I do not consent. I never will, until we return to free, fair and verifiable elections.
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