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Ex-DOJ Attorneys Accuse Bush Admin of Restricting African American Vote to Favor Republicans

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 10:39 AM
Original message
Ex-DOJ Attorneys Accuse Bush Admin of Restricting African American Vote to Favor Republicans
Edited on Tue Apr-24-07 02:23 PM by Skinner
Source: democracy now

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
Ex-Justice Dept. Attorneys Accuse Bush Admin of Restricting African American Vote to Favor Republicans


Another scandal is brewing inside Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department. Former Justice Department attorneys have publicly accused the Bush administration of politicizing the department's Civil Rights Division which was formed 50 years ago to protect the voting rights of African-Americans. According to a recent report by the McClatchy newspapers, the Bush administration has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates. Were joined by Joseph Rich, the former head of the civil rights division of the Justice Department, and Bertha Lewis, Executive director of New York Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters on Monday he would not step down because of the scandal involving the firing of eight federal prosecutors. Earlier in the day President Bush voiced support for Gonzales and praised his appearance last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While last weeks Senate hearing focused on the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys another related scandal is brewing inside Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department. Former Justice Department attorneys have publicly accused the Bush administration of politicizing the department's Civil Rights Division which was formed 50 years ago to protect the voting rights of African-Americans. According to a recent report by the McClatchy newspapers, the Bush administration has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration did this in part by alleging widespread election fraud in largely Democratic areas and to push new voter ID rules. Civil rights advocates contend that the administration's policies were intended to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor and minority voters who tend to support Democrats. ..

Read more: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/24/1446251
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Election Fraud

"Did Bush Commit Election Fraud?" YES!!!!! Nailed! GUILTY - Scoop
by autorank

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x730962
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. Looks like the Santa Ana winds are fanning the flames of corruption
that are breaking out all over much more quickly than Rove and his water pistol can put out. Here's hoping that this entire misadministration gets caught up in the coming firestorm and burns clean our democracy once more.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. Republicans' rhetoric notwithstanding
It's just laughable the way the Republicans gnash their teeth over their failure to make inroads in the African American vote. Here's a clue, guys, offered free of charge, because I know you won't take advantage of it: Stop disenfranchising Black voters.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. Someone turn off those fans. There is shit flying everywhere.
Damn. That was the first time I wore that new white shirt.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Where the Hell is law in this country? Tell me that this shit is going to
end in 2008. Please!
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. Fat Lady, are you ready? Say la la la! I hear a tune a comin'.
K and R
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swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Let's hum a few bars for her!
K&R
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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Can't SOMEONE file charges SOMEWHERE???
I mean, flag down a COP for crying out loud.
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Baron Harkonen Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. maybe that Attorney General guy could...
what's his name again?
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maxrandb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. "I don't recall"
No, wait a minute, "I don't recall" is at Homeland Security, "Whatever" is the guy at Justice, "I don't know" is at EPA.

Our fucking entire democracy has been reduced to an Abbott and Costello skit.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. "Who's on first?"
"I don't recall."
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Abu ... something... Abu Normal?
Welcome to DU!
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is what it is all about. Karl Rove's job is to keep the junta in power.
Everything Rove does is designed to maintain the coup that took place in 2000. If Rove is involved in something, then it has to do with election fraud - guaranteed.

Cheney's shop, on the other hand, is in charge of maximizing private profits related to wars.
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IWantAChange Donating Member (974 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. Am I correct in assuming actual voter fraud versus votes cast nationally is a 1000th of 1 percent??
Small wonder Republicons pursue it so vigorously - it's KKKarl's math!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. The number is actually close to ONE TEN THOUSANDTH...
OF ONE PERCENT considering that there are 215,000,000 voting age Americans.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. Could THIS be an impeachable offense? ... where's the tipping point? n/t
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. The tipping point seems to tip so much and so far, it's spinning. nt
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Hart2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
15. How damning that the Party of Lincoln is caught disenfranchising black voters!
They really should change the name of the party to Imperialist, since they no longer are republicans with a small r. Watch the fools defend the emperor now that we can see that he has no clothes.

:popcorn:

http://www.garyhartnews.com
http://www.rungaryhart.com/
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x3193854


:kick: HART 2008! :kick:

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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. And THAT is one FUCKING GREAT MEME!!!! Holy COW!
How damning that the "Party of Lincoln" is caught disenfranchising black voters!

How damning INDEED!

God, what a great week! And it's only Tuesday!

Btw, Welcome to DU! Glad you're here, especially with strategic thinking like this! Now get back to work:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x745207
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Hart2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. We are the Hartistas. We have the memes, and always did! n/t
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chiffon Donating Member (527 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. Does this BS ever end with this misadministration?
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
20. Still waiting for a mea culpa from all the DUers who argued so vociferously FOR voter ID
Voter ID is and always was about shaving off a percentage of the poor but mostly African American voters who do not own automobiles.

If you don't drive and you are poor there is absolutely no reason to own a photo ID. If you had one at one time and you are robbed, evicted or just plain lost your photo ID, if you are poor there is not a truly compelling reason to obtain one and I am sorry but the reality is that if you are poor there really is no reason to vote if you have to jump through hoops or expend funds to obtain said photo ID JUST SO YOU CAN VOTE since that act is not likely to make much differnce in your chaotic hand to mouth life.
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Roy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
21. all these charges, hearings, investigations and exposures are fine
But, until someone, somewhere file criminal charges for some of the blatant criminal activity, am I right to assume all of this goes nowhere save to rally already informed dems to want to vote the idiots out?

They won't feel they have to turn over evidence or tell the truth without criminal investigators.
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
22. The answer to the question...
"Is nothing sacred?" is yes, nothing is sacred. At Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department they all worship their sacred nothingness. All power and glory to the glowing, gleaming genius of Rove! Can I get an amen?

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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. In other news today
water is wet:sarcasm:

















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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
25. I haven't turned on the TV, but I'm sure it's wall-to-wall coverage of this, right?
I just KNOW that the networks and cable news channels are running all sorts of in-depth stories on all this election tampering.

:sarcasm:
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-25-07 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. Too busy with Cheney's clot
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NastyRiffraff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-07 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
26. Anyone smell the smoke swirling from the gun?
Folks, this is big. Absent actual murder by Bush himself, it's as big as it gets. If the former head of the Civil Rights division is willing to come forward and name names, we've got something.

BIG K&R
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-25-07 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
27. I think it's a red herring, even though it is THE most viscerally disgusting thing
that the Bush Junta has done, aside from torturing prisoners, slaughtering over a half a million innocent people to get their oil, and leaving poor blacks to die in New Orleans.

Disenfranchising black voters, after their 200 year struggle to overcome slavery and achieve full citizenship, with so much pain, suffering and death along the way, and so much courage and beauty beyond measure, stands out as the signature meanness and ugliness of the Bush Junta. It is also the most stupendous insult they could inflict on the great progressive American majority, which rose to the occasion of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Righting a wrong. Attempting to reverse centuries of injustice. That was one of the finest moments in our history. The Bush goons have spat upon it, have tried to grind it into dust. What worms they are!

I've gone back and forth about the events in Ohio in 2004, in an effort to understand what really happened in that election. Why did the Bushites commit such blatant, open, actionable violations of the Voting Rights Act, when, throughout the nation they had installed new electronic voting systems, run on 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, with virtually no audit/recount controls? With these extremely insecure and insider hackable voting systems, they had created the capability of stealing the election INVISIBLY--with almost no way to detect it--so, why did they need to stomp black voters into the ground? Was it gratuitous evil? They did it because they could? (--a possibility, considering the SOBs we are talking about.) Did they have no fear at all of a potential John Kerry-appointed AG coming after them, post-election? Were the dirty Bushite players in Ohio considered expendable? Or, did Rove not trust the Diebold techies' promises? The technology was too new, hadn't yet been tested out on a nationwide basis*, and so the smashing of black voters in Ohio (and some other places, like Florida) was EXTRA insurance? Or, were both methods needed--the electronic coup AND the suppression of black votes--to overcome a Kerry landslide?

I still don't know for sure. I'm favoring the latter theory--they needed both methods to overcome a grass roots-driven, Kerry landslide. But I do know this, for sure: If we focus too exclusively on a matter that is remedied by EXISTING law--the Voting Rights Act , if only it were enforced--we are in peril of missing the big picture: the laws that were passed permitting 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code in our election system. The foundation laid by these laws--that resulted from the passage of the "Help America Vote for Bush Act" of 2002--giving private corporations (and Bushites, no less!) PROPRIETARY "rights" over the vote counting and the results of our elections, is so corrosive of democracy as to be the END of democracy. It's over. There is no more democracy here, with private, secret vote counting. We are in Stalinist Russia.

That's how serious this is. It far more serious than violations of the Voting Rights Act. And I say this, having been a volunteer in Alabama in 1965, in SCOPE, the voting rights campaign of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, headed by Dr. Martin Luther King. I was one of the white northern students who traveled south during that period to put our bodies on the line for democracy. Three civil rights workers had been murdered in Mississippi the summer before. We wanted to widen the target, and demonstrate that the American promise of justice and equal rights had broad support nationwide. I personally fought for, and risked my life for, the Voting Rights Act. I do not put violations of that law in a secondary position of seriousness lightly.

I think that the Democratic Party leadership has been in collusion with the Bush Junta to privatize our elections and put them under corporate control. I don't say that lightly either. But I think it is the naked truth. I've been struggling with this one as well. How could our party have betrayed us in such a fundamental way? What can account for their mind-boggling silence, as BUSHITE corporations took over the counting of our votes? Venal corruption? The $3.9 electronic voting boondoggle--all that money trickling through their fingers to the states? I also worry about demoralization. If our own party leaders are such traitors to us, and to the American people, who can we look to, to help us restore our democracy? So I have hesitated to place blame where I think it belongs. I have named a few names--Christopher Dodd, Terry McAuliffe. But the truth is that our entire party leadership is responsible for this. No exceptions. Everyone in office. Everyone in a position of leadership. Not one of them has spoken out against it. Not one! And of course they are doing NOTHING about it. Diebold and ES&S will be counting all our votes in 2008 under a veil of corporate secrecy--and it won't matter if there is a "paper trail" or a lousy stinking 2% audit (the Democratic proposal in Congress). The PRINCIPLE of transparent elections--vote counting that everyone can see and understand, vote counting in the PUBLIC VENUE--is grossly violated by these machines, 98% of the votes will remain unseen and uncounted, and a "paper trail" is useless if you don't have lots of money to hire lawyers to overcome all the restrictions on getting a recount.

'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY vote counting is not a Bushite coup. It is a CORPORATE coup. And the Democratic Party is in on it.

It is EASY for our party leaders--and for much of the left as well--to glomm onto violations of black voting rights, and curse the Bushites for their racist behavior and their crimes, and maybe even investigate them for it, and maybe even prosecute them. So what? So they enforce the Voting Rights Act? That puts us back at square one. Everybody can vote. Hoorah! Meanwhile, in Florida, where 18,000 Democratic votes for Congress were 'disappeared' in ES&S voting machines, in the FL-13 election ('06), and where the lawyers for the Democrat who lost (ahem...who else would be losing in a Diebold/ES&s election, hm-m?) asked to review the programming code in the ES&S machines, to try to figure out what happened to all those votes, ES&S refused, and maintained that disclosure of their secret vote counting code would violate their "right" to profit from our election system! And the court agreed! Because, guess why? That's the way the law was written! No matter that it violates the deepest premise of democracy. No matter that it is wrong. It is now written into every state law code in the country that, EVEN in the case of 18,000 'disappeared' Democratic votes, the public has NO RIGHT TO REVIEW THAT CODE.

And the Democratic leaders in Congress and throughout the country endorsed that view, and continue to endorse it. Not one peep out of them. Not one word of objection to the DESTRUCTION OF OUR DEMOCRACY.

In '06, the people outvoted the machines, in their anger at this war. And yet, with 75% of the American people opposing the Iraq War, we could only achieve a 50/50 Congress. THAT is the cost of having Diebold and ES&S "counting" all our votes with "trade secret" code. My guestimate--and that of statisticians and other experts--is that Diebold/ES&S are putting a 5% to 10% "thumb on the scales" for Bushites, warmongers and corporatists. That is the handicap that the American people have, going into any Diebold/ES&S-run election. And it could be 15% or 20% in 2008, for all we will be able to tell. "Trade secret" code means that, UNLESS THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT AUDIT (50% to 100% handcount), nobody knows. Nobody can tell. The electrons zing through the central tabulators--subject to lines of code we know not of--and send their Rovianized "results" to a single AP computer, which "reports" them to the networks. The networks declare who "won." And that's that. Try getting it reversed--with the entire Democratic Party leadership endorsing this rotten-to-the-core system!

So, it doesn't matter if blacks get to vote. Or poor folks get to vote. Or brown people get to vote. Electronic voting with secret code is the perfect system for 'disappearing' their votes. And, by the time anyone is able to catch up with the deception, it's all over. Fini! Faux News says so.

There is another purpose to Rove's US Attorney purge, and its obvious intent of suppressing black and other progressive votes. It is a hedge against the American people finding out about Diebold and ES&S and throwing these election theft machines into 'Boston Harbor" forthwith. Without this election stealing capability, fascists and warmongers and corporatists stand naked before the voters. They will all be voted out, Republican and Democrat alike. All who have fomented and funded unjust war. All who have cunningly colluded with the corporate rulers in the theft of our country. The voters outvoting the machines in '06 scared Karl Rove, I think. And he then hastily implemented the US Attorney purge, to have toadies in place in the justice system, to, among other things, prevent honest, objective investigation of real election fraud, and to try to block recount challenges, in '08. (Also, to stop prosecution of Republican corruption.) The Bushites have much to cover up , in the most criminal regime in our history. But there is more to the story than this, much more. The powers of the "unitary executive" cannot fall into true progressive hands. A true peoples' candidate cannot be permitted to be elected as president. This goes beyond Rove and the Bush Junta. This goes to the military budget and corporate rule itself--the fundamentally wrong turn that our country has taken--so wrong that it could end in corporations gaining direct control over the counting of our votes with "trade secret" code.

Think about how wrong that is. And think about how you are being manipulated--even by some leftists (perhaps inadvertently)--to look the other way.

If Martin Luther King were alive today, he would not only be protesting violations of the Voting Rights Act. He would be protesting Diebold and ES&S. Believe me. By the end of his life, he understood the economics of war. He knew who the culprits were. That's probably why they killed him. He had gone beyond civil rights, to war and money. That's what Diebold and ES&S are all about--how to get your money to perpetrate unjust war. Poor peoples' money. Not the rich. They are exempt. How to pick the pockets of the poor, and how to recruit cannon fodder from poor communities, to go kill disregarded people on the other side of the world, to get their oil. Diebold and ES&S are the perfection of this rotten scheme. How to deny true representation of the great progressive American majority forevermore. How to turn the United States of America into fascist state, run by global corporate predators. That is the program, and, very unfortunately and very sadly, the once great Democratic Party, champion of the people, has fallen prey, at the leadership level, to the fear or to the corruption that the Bush Junta, and their cronies at Diebold and ES&S, have inflicted on our democracy.

Until our Democratic leaders stand up and object to "trade secret" vote counting, it is fair to judge everything else they have to say--including their lamentations about the suppression of black votes--as hypocrisy. The evil of the Bush Junta--including its ugly bigotry--is the visible ghoulish mask of corporate rule. But the OTHER mask--the one our leaders wear when they talk about a 2% audit of rightwing Bushite-controlled voting machines--may be more damaging, in the end. It means that the remedies that are truly needed--such as the cutoff of funds for aggressive war (drastic cut of the military budget), dismantling of corporate monopolies (including news monopolies), and curtailment of the power of global corporate predators (such as Halliburton and Exxon-Mobile), cannot even be discussed, let alone implemented. It means that no serious reform can occur, and this downward spiral that we are on--with the thorough looting of our country, and its status as a "Banana Republic" for the corporate rulers--cannot be stopped. We're back at 1929. And there is nothing we can do about it, as long as vote counting remains in the hands of people who despise us and hate our democracy. And they are...

DIEBOLD: Until recently, headed by Wally O'Dell, a Bush-Cheney campaign chair and major fundraiser (a Bush "Pioneer," right up there with Ken Lay), who promised in writing to "deliver Ohio's electoral votes to Bush-Cheney in 2004"; and

ES&S: A spinoff of Diebold (similar computer architecture), initially funded by rightwing billionaire Howard Ahmanson, who also gave one million dollars to the extremist 'christian' Chalcedon Foundation (which touts the death penalty for homosexuals, among other things). Diebold and ES&S have an incestuous relationship; until recently, they were run by two brothers, Bob and Tod Urosevich.

These are the people who "counted" 80% of the nation's votes in 2004, under a veil of corporate secrecy. And they are still "counting" our votes with SECRET CODE. Do you wonder why we are still at war?



---------------


*(In Venezuela, they vote electronically, but it is an open source code system--anyone may review the code by which votes are tabulated--and they handcount FIFTY-FIVE PERCENT of the ballots, as a check against machine fraud. 55%! Here, many states have a ZERO audit--no handcount, no ability to handcount; no ballots. The best states--the best!--do a 1% audit (completely inadequate). Our system was put in place not only with "trade secret" code, but also with NO REQUIREMENT whatsoever for ANY audit of the vote. Our electronic voting systems are questionable in themselves--unreliable, insecure, extremely hackable, and very expensive to purchase and maintain--not to mention the ownership and control of the "secret code" by BUSHITE corporations. How could this system have been put in place without a 100% audit being required, at least for the first few national elections? And how can our party leaders now be saying: just add a "paper trail" and a 2% audit, and everything is fine. Past sins forgiven. And now we hear that the corrupt bastards in our election system--the local/state election officials who took the lavish lobbying junkets and the offers of future jobs in the industry, and who love the heady power of secret vote counting--are lobbying Congress to prevent even a "paper trail"! It's unbelievable how much corruption we are facing. Election officials opposed to a "paper trail"! So, I repeat: We need a 50% to 100% audit. We need a significant check against machine fraud, now. And I don't care if it takes them a week, or a month, and cuts into their lobbying junket time with Diebold and ES&S, to count the goddamned votes! COUNT THE VOTES!)
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clixtox Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. Absolutely Recondite Summation..

of the ugly political reality in the USA! Particularly your expose of the Democratic Party leadership's hypocrisy and complicity, that sure resonated with me.

I hope that this essay is edited for context and published far and wide. I am so happy to have the opportunity to read your analysis, "Peace Patriot" here, and before on DU. Your fluid, focused writing style and keen perceptions are illuminating. You are truly gifted, Thank you so much for sharing. I am a fan...

See you in the detention camp for Americans with brains that can think critically, mostly full of folks from our generation who matriculated when one could be a total screw-up, like I was, and still get a useful education. Berkeley High "64".

Just joking, I hope...
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-25-07 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
28. kick
More sunlight on this topic!
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clixtox Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
32. Too Good To Fade Away...


I have to give this thread a kick! My first kick ever on DU, awareness of this issue is crucial to understanding why we are in deep doo doo.
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