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Andrew Gumbel: How to Steal an Election (Excerpt)

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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 03:30 PM
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Andrew Gumbel: How to Steal an Election (Excerpt)
Excerpt: How to Steal an Election

By Andrew Gumbel, AlterNet. Posted February 15, 2006.

Americans cling to an idealized image of our political integrity, but a look at how we run our elections tells a very different tale.

If you do everything, you'll win. -- Lyndon Johnson

A few days before the November 2004 election, Jimmy Carter was asked what would happen if, instead of flying to Zambia or Venezuela or East Timor, his widely respected international election monitoring team was invited to turn its attention to the United States. His answer was stunningly blunt. Not only would the voting system be regarded as a failure, he said, but the shortcomings were so egregious the Carter Center would never agree to monitor an election there in the first place. "We wouldn't think of it," the former president told a radio interviewer. "The American political system wouldn't measure up to any sort of international standards, for several reasons."

What, after all, was to be done with a country whose newest voting machines, unlike Venezuela's, couldn't even perform recounts? A country where candidates, in contrast to the more promising emerging democracies of the Caucasus or the Balkans, were denied equal, unpaid access to the media? There were a number of reasons, in the sharply partisan atmosphere surrounding the Bush-Kerry race, to wonder whether campaign conditions didn't smack more of the Third World than the First. Every day, newspapers recounted stories of registration forms being found in garbage cans, or of voter rolls padded with the names of noncitizens, fictional characters, household pets, and the dearly departed. The Chicago Tribune, a paper that knows its voter fraud, having won a Pulitzer for its work on the infamous Daley machine, found 181,000 dead people on the registration lists of six key battleground states.

Bush opponents were all too inclined to believe, in fact, that the Republicans were about to steal the presidency, just as they believed it had been stolen the last time. The Republicans, for their part, laughed this off as conspiratorial nonsense, but they also weren't shy about announcing how hard or how dirtily they were prepared to fight if it came down to another Florida-style tug-of-war. Long Island's GOP congressman Pete King, caught on camera by the documentary maker Alexandra Pelosi during a White House function on election day, bragged even as the first polls were closing that Bush had already won. When Pelosi asked him how he knew, he answered, perhaps jokingly, perhaps not: "It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."

Election day itself, at least in the battleground states, was a deeply jarring experience for America's trusting majority, which had led itself to believe that all was for the best in the best of all possible democracies. Everyone bristled with suspicion and mutual mistrust. The Republicans accused the Democrats of trying to sneak ineligible voters to the polls and threatened to deploy official challengers to sniff out the mischief -- something much discussed ahead of time but that ultimately failed to materialize on any scale, perhaps because of a flurry of negative publicity stirred up on the eve of the election...

http://alternet.org/story/32084 /
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RufusEarl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 03:46 PM
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1. Stunning
I find the quote by former president Jimmy Carter, that the Carter center would never oversee an american election because.

"The American political system wouldn't measure up to any sort of international standards, for several reasons."

This is proof enough that neither party cares about Die-Bold, so why do i keep banging my head against the wall? If the congress don't care and former presidents don't seem to mind, what in the hell am i doing here.

Why bother to vote, let alone give money and time to a candidate. Really why? It's all a waste of time, they already know who going to win these thing it's all a fucking joke.

To bad i quit drinking, because this would be a very good excuse to get drunk!


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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 04:30 PM
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2. thanks, read his book "Steal This Vote" which gives a great historical
analysis of voting in the US but ends weakly.

I have problems with his comments on the Dems using ineligilbe voters. I worked closely with the Kerry campaign in Columbus, Oh (ground zero for the election). I held many responsibilities and was included in staff meetings. I will honestly say that I NEVER heard any attempt to sneak ineleigible voters or do anything unethical. There was NO attempt to suppress Republican votes or any mention of dirty tricks, of whcih our voters were victims. This excuse was used to introduce OHHB 3, but in fact there were only 4 documented cases of election fraud in the state of Ohio for the '04 election. I truly believe this was another rovian attempt to divide the country and cast suspicion away from where it belonged. Did the dems challenge voters? Did the Dems pass out misinformation or place calls containing false statements? The answer is NO. It didn't materialize because the Kerry campaign wanted the cleanest of campaigns. We played by the rules and the other team didn't.
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RufusEarl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Sounds like you worked hard,
and did the right thing. I worked for Kerry here in Texas, not wanting to toot my on horn but i knew all along Kerry couldn't carry Texas, but that didn't stop me.

Principals used to mean somethings in this country even in politics, but unfortunately those days or gone. With the Karl Roves of the world, it's going to take some strong men & women to ever get this country back on the right track.

And thanks for all your hard work in Ohio, it's nice to know that integrity still exist.
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I'll say it ends weakly! Check this out:
"Regretably, the reform movement did not help itself by peddling overheated theories about Republican vote therfte based on eithe unnreliable or non-existant sources offering no shred of credible evidence."

Apparently he doesn't consider Conyers credible, either.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Or the GAO. But, this article does bring up an important point.
You can't have dirty elections without dirty politics because people will do whatever they can get away with.

We tend to focus on the apparatus but that apparatus wouldn't be possible absent the current political climate.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R(nt)
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. Incorrect fact: This happened in summer at a White House BBQ months
before the election,not on election day. Watch the video...it's summer time.

Long Island's GOP congressman Pete King, caught on camera by the documentary maker Alexandra Pelosi during a White House function on election day, bragged even as the first polls were closing that Bush had already won. When Pelosi asked him how he knew, he answered, perhaps jokingly, perhaps not: "It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. kick.nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-16-06 05:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. K&R n/t
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