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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:19 AM
Original message
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 04:47 AM by autorank

AMERICAN COUP II: 1999 Present

Below are the first two articles in the Scoopdocumentation of the silent but deadly coup against democracyh and the will of the people. The American Coup II Collection from "Scoop" is a unique resource that charts our history in ways few if any publications can. See the message in the thread for more. THANK YOU "SCOOP" -

WARNINGS OF N5 SCOOPS OPENING ARTICLES ON THE AMERICAN COUP: Two articles warning about the American Coup, re-published on Scoop soon after:

- Recovered History: U.S. Election Fraud Circa 2000 - C.M. Ross
- Guest Opinion John Kaminsky - Why US Election Votes Won't Matter


Top 9 Rating Scoop U.S. Elections Related Stories 11 days to November 16th 2002
Source.. Scoop Ratings: Post US Elections Top 30 Stories -

Nov 16th, 2002

1: US Election Vote Fixing Reports Hit The Mainstream
SCOOP LINKS: 8 November 2002 (NZT) - 7 November 2002 (EST) Scoop has in the past 48 hours published several real deal media commentaries ( C.D.Sludge, Michael Ruppert, John Kaminski ) pointing to problems with the electronic voting systems used extensively in Tuesdays mid-term elections in the United States.
The following six article extracts (and links) from mainstream news providers show that it is not only the alternative media who have been reporting these problems.
Readers may also like to try a Google Search on Voting Machine and follow some of the links. Doing this makes it fairly obvious that these problems are far from isolated.
2: Sludge Report #143 - Think People!!! The Fix Was In
3: Voting Machine Company Demands Removal Of Articles
4: US Election 2002: Senate Races - A Runner Stumbles
5: Republicans Make the US Elections Voting Machines

Never forget the pursuit of Truth.
Only the deluded & complicit accept election results on blind faith.
Denying that 2004 was stolen is like denying global warming.

Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News August 21, 2006

All members welcome and encouraged to participate.


for the Greatest Page (it's the link just below).

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:21 AM
Response to Original message

When people dont get the vote or their votes are not counted, when people lose hope that current social institutions can address their problems, you have either acquiescence or rebellion. Nobody in Oaxaca is giving in. Good luck getting a real democracy for a change.

General Strike in Oaxaca: 80,000 Workers Participate in Stoppage to Support the Popular Movement
Former Chiapas Bishop Ruiz Makes Second Visit to Oaxaca for National Forum

By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
August 20, 2006

The doomed ex-governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, has appeared on mainstream national Mexican television both on Televisa and TV Azteca, the two major national networks. His grip on the spin is slipping. Oaxaca is at peace, no pasa nada en Oaxaca, are phrases no longer accepted even by the sycophants at Televisa.

Events are curiouser and curiouser or, leaving Alice behind in Wonderland, things are furiouser and furiouser. So Ill start with the summary: repressions accelerate. A national forum was convoked to discuss Building Democracy and Governability in Oaxaca, but the title didnt spell out the thinking behind that forum. Heres a hint: the former Bishop of Chiapas Samuel Ruiz Garca made his second appearance in Oaxaca.

Because of abductions and attacks by government thugs, the people got really pissed off. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO) apparently thought that he could turn the people against the social movement by turning the screw. What URO doesnt understand is that the social movement IS the people, and every time he ratchets up the repression the people get furiouser.

On Wednesday morning, August 16, the teacher-led social movement called a statewide work stoppage for Friday, August
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. OH: Cincinnati Stopping Gay Equality Petition w/Fraud Change

OK, Cincy. You obsessed on Robert Mapplethorpes exhibit years ago but when the Warren County elections division claimed that they had to block public viewing of the vote counting due to a terrorist alert, you did nothing. A couple of articles, thats it. Claiming that must be some sort of federal crime but noooo, nothing form you. Now youre all up in arms because 19 out of 7500 signatures are wrong for a gay petition. Maybe this is the new election fraud. Any large drive will have incorrect signatures. Does that mean that they just find them and then bust people they dont like?

Cincinnatti Euquirer: 08.19.06
Prosecutor looking into petition fraud
Allegations arise after failed gay rights referendum attempt
The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office is investigating alleged election fraud in the failed attempt of a group called Equal Rights Not Special Rights to force a ballot referendum on whether over gay people should be protected by Cincinnati's anti-discrimination law.

Equal Rights Not Special Rights officially withdrew its petitions Thursday, saying it discovered one paid signature gatherer had fraudulently signed 18 names in the more than 7,600 signatures that were validated by the Hamilton County Board of Elections last June.

Thousands of those validated signatures were to be challenged Thursday by a pro-ordinance group called Citizens To Restore Fairness, which said the referendum sponsor was systematic in its use of fraud and tampering of petitions to push the issue onto ballots this fall. A protest hearing at the Board of Elections, scheduled for Thursday, was canceled when Prosecutor Joe Deters started his investigation.

Deters wouldn't say Friday if his investigation is focusing on one signature collector, or alleged "systematic" fraud by the petition sponsors.

"We will go where the evidence leads us," Deters said. "There could be a wide variety of offenses that go well beyond election-law violations. We're in a very preliminary phase, but the investigation is actively looking at all the materials now."

Enquirer staff, what did you do when his
civil rights and artistic freedoms were violated:

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. USA: Hard and productive thinking about racism - rokken!!!
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 04:26 AM by autorank
to the puzzle. The US strongly supports the Ukrainian peoples Orange revolution for real democracy, including using Exit Polls to monitor elections and avoid fraud. But in Egypt a few years later, the WH supported the government while voters waiting in line for hours, were harassed. And in Mexico, the WH cant get enough of the Fox government and Calderon, the thief apparent. So what is the differencebetween Egyptians and Ukrainians; Mexicans and Ukrainians; and do Egyptians and Mexicans have something in common other than pyramids (although thats a great deal!). I dont know, there just seems to be an answer thereOh sorry, Im being robo called by Senator Allen ;)

OPEd News. 08.15.2006
Election Fraud in Mexico: NY Times balks again
by Kenneth Anderson

Election rigging has been a stolid feature of so-called democracies for a long time. But it has been rather recently that recognition and acknowledgement of the practice has become scant, unless, of course, the people doing the rigging are not part of the acceptable establishment. We saw Democrats laughed at in 2000 for claiming such a thing, so in 2004, they didn't; too afraid to be called names by the GOP machine. Meanwhile Republicans -- who actually conducted the worst of the rigging -- audaciously, though spottily, projected accusations of election fraud onto the hapless Dems. If I lived on the Moon and had watched this from afar, I would have been laughing myself. But there was nothing funny about either the sad sight of the sorry Democrats being slapped senseless or the bellicose and wholly contemptible players of the GOP in the charade that we still insist on calling an "election."

Despite the corporate media's inability to recognise election fraud here, it was easily spotted elsewhere when being conducted by unseemly regimes friendly toward Russia. We saw the Bush administration and the US media's haughty disregard of the Ukraine elections in 2004; exit polls were amiss, clearly there was a problem. US diplomats, led by Colin Powell, bewailed the vile practice of election fraud when it was the Russian-friendly incumbent Prime Minister Yanukovich who had been doing the rigging.

Reports then indicated that thugs loyal to Yanukovich had beaten Ukraine voters at the polls and US diplomatic remonstration was severe, but in Egypt -- an ally in the War on Terra -- where much worse took place as state police actually shot and killed voters and barracaded polling stations, Condoleezza Rice meekly admonished these shameful activities. But since those actions were directed at the party of the Muslim Brotherhood, well, no declarations about election fraud ensued. Of course, the Ukraine election result was recalled, the Egyptian one stood.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:27 AM
Response to Original message

Well, heck, lets go for it. If the right wing government wins another squeaker then all will knowits the one trick pony.

Reuters. 08.21.2006
Mexico left holds slim lead in tense Chiapas vote

Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:58 AM EDT172
By Mica Rosenberg

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexico's main leftist party held a razor-thin lead in a governor's election in the largely Maya Indian state of Chiapas on Sunday, adding to tension over a fiercely contested presidential vote.

With results in from two-thirds of Chiapas polling stations, Jaime Sabines of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, had 49.2 percent of the vote, a lead of 1.8 percentage points over his main rival, according to Chiapas electoral authorities.

The PRD's presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, cried fraud after narrowly losing the July 2 election and has led weeks of massive protests that have left the nation reeling and brought chaos to the center of Mexico City.

A victory for his party in Chiapas would bolster Lopez Obrador's bid to build a national campaign to prevent his conservative rival, Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, from taking office.

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. OH: That Special Prosecutor has hot One

Kevin Baxter was appointed with a broad assignment and he failed to do anything other than indict two election workers. Sounds like one of them is feeling the impact of all this. Anyone frm OH capable of clearing this one out. Its got to be embarrassing locals.

EDITORIAL - Baumgartner Prosecutor Abusing Power, Position

SANDUSKY, OHIO---It's common knowledge in northern Ohio that Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter is, in common laymen's terms, out to get Elsebeth Baumgartner for her charges of corruption and wrongdoing against himself and other judicial and legal officers in northern Ohio.

It's a gross abuse of public office.

Baxter has openly admitted his conflicts of interest involving Baumgartner and although he has in the past disqualified himself from prosecuting her in Erie County, he's violated state statutes and ethics laws by then handpicking her persecutor, erprosecutor, choosing Daniel Kasaris who was a former assistant in Baxter's office and is now an assistant prosecuting attorney in Cuyahoga County.

Kasaris is prosecuting Baumgartner on charges of intimidation and retaliation for sending e-mail messages to retired visiting judge Richard Markus, asking her to do his job properly, criticizing his past judicial performances and accusing him of being corrupt.

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. FL: English Only Ballots, State Failed Spanish I - private sector, FIRED!

BoE Director: The office did not have time to print ballots in Spanish and hire an outside company to provide the translation for the audio ballot, McFall said. What a slacker. They have all this HAVA money, couldnt they find the time. What do they do WHEN ITS NOT AN ELECTIONWhat do they do? Sit around and think of ways to CONTRACT THE FRANCHISE. Those are the ultimate choices in voting rights, contracting or expanding the franchise. Those who want to contracted it or support policies that do that, e.g., Voter ID restrictions known to kick people off the rolls, are anti democracy and ultimately elitist. Thus endeth the lesson ;) 08.21.2006
English-only ballots -- for now
Spanish version to be offered in 2008

Staff Writer

DELAND -- As he prepares Cuban sandwiches and pastries, Mario Flores converses in Spanish with coworkers at Elsie's Bakery.

But the 30-year-old Honduran immigrant, who expects to become a citizen in 2007, is looking forward to participating in the political process -- in English.

Voters must present a photo and signature identification. If the photo ID does not have the voter's signature, an additional piece of identification with the signature is required. Those who do not furnish the required identification can vote only by a provisional ballot.

Elections Supervisor Ann McFall had planned to provide Spanish ballots this year, but the department obtained new touch-screen voting machines that included an audio ballot for the disabled. The office did not have time to print ballots in Spanish and hire an outside company to provide the translation for the audio ballot, McFall said.

But advocates for greater outreach to non-English speakers say the ballot issue has nothing to do with dissuading people from learning English. And illegal immigration isn't a factor in the debate because only naturalized citizens have the right to vote.

Bilingual ballots allow more people to cast informed votes, advocates say.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. MA: Bush v. Gore Case Avoided Deliberately at Law Conference

Gee, why. Maybe because its one of the worst decisions ever. Greatthese guys sElect Bush in 2000 against all their states rights rhetoric and then they wont talk about it. It makes sense.

Axis of Logic: 08.20.2006
Has Bush v. Gore Become the Case That Must Not Be Named?
By Adam Cohen

At a law school Supreme Court conference that I attended last fall, there was a panel on The Rehnquist Court. No one mentioned Bush v. Gore, the most historic case of William Rehnquists time as chief justice, and during the Q. and A. no one asked about it. When I asked a prominent law professor about this strange omission, he told me he had been invited to participate in another Rehnquist retrospective, and was told in advance that Bush v. Gore would not be discussed.

The ruling that stopped the Florida recount and handed the presidency to George W. Bush is disappearing down the legal worlds version of the memory hole, the slot where, in George Orwells 1984, government workers disposed of politically inconvenient records. The Supreme Court has not cited it once since it was decided, and when Justice Antonin Scalia, who loves to hold forth on court precedents, was asked about it at a forum earlier this year, he snapped, Come on, get over it.
There is a legal argument for pushing Bush v. Gore aside. The majority opinion announced that the ruling was limited to the present circumstances and could not be cited as precedent. But many legal scholars insisted at the time that this assertion was itself dictum the part of a legal opinion that is nonbinding and illegitimate, because under the doctrine of stare decisis, courts cannot make rulings whose reasoning applies only to a single case.

Bush v. Gores lasting significance is being fought over right now by the Ohio-based United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, whose judges disagree not only on what it stands for, but on whether it stands for anything at all. This debate, which has been quietly under way in the courts and academia since 2000, is important both because of what it says about the legitimacy of the courts and because of what Bush v. Gore could represent today. The majority reached its antidemocratic result by reading the equal protection clause in a very pro-democratic way. If Bush v. Gores equal protection analysis is integrated into constitutional law, it could make future elections considerably more fair.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. NH: Ballot Position Debated - Court Reaches Equitable Conclusion
Little things like this turn into big things over time

Nashua Telegraph: 08.20.2006
A Telegraph Editorial

BACKGROUND: The New Hampshire Supreme Court has struck down a law that guaranteed the top vote-getting party in a general election the top spot on the following elections ballot.
CONCLUSION: The law, in effect, guaranteed GOP candidates the strategic top spot for 40 years, a practice that hardly promoted fair elections.

Courts ballot ruling improves elections

What is the purpose of an election in our democratic society?

Is it, as in some oligarchies, for show, a means of preserving the status quo while allowing the people to feel they are somehow participating in setting their own destinies, or is it a genuine attempt to allow the people as a whole to choose a candidate who best reflects the peoples will and preference?

We remain happily convinced it is the latter. And for that reason, we believe the New Hampshire Supreme Courts recent ruling eliminating the enshrined top ballot spot for the party that recorded the most votes in the prior general election is a boon to our democracy. The court also struck down the alphabetized placement of candidates on ballots.

The way the system has worked in the past is this: The party that received the most votes in the prior election had its candidates placed first on ballots in the next election.
The practical result of this was that Republicans have been first on the ballot for 40 years. This unfairly helped Republican candidates. It also gave GOP incumbents an undue advantage

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:38 AM
Response to Original message

AMERICAN COUP II - 1999-2005

American Coup: Michael Collins Scoop Exclusive Defense[/i> Of RFK Jnr.] - The prevailing silence on election fraud 2004 was interrupted June 1 by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in his article Was the 2004 Election Stolen? He argues clearly and forcefully that the 2004 election was stolen, basing his analysis and evidence on events and outcomes in the state of Ohio. Had Kerry won the Ohio race, he would be president today. Hence, the theft of Ohio was the theft of the election. See... Salon, Mother Jones & the Tortured Dialogue & Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Was the 2004 Election Stolen[br />
Cliff Arnebeck - Response To RFK Jnr. 04 Election Article
Katherine Yurica - A Vast Political Misfortune
John Gideon - Daily Voting News For June 14, 2006
Evelyn Pringle - Pringle: Bush Election Theft Saga Heats Up In Ohio
John Gideon - Daily Voting News For June 19, 2006, June 18, 2006, June 17, 2006 & June 16, 2006
Mark Crispin Miller - Mark Crispin Miller: Some Might Call It Treason

American Coup: The Rolling Stone Election Fraud Debate Continued. - The fight started in the Salon response linked above over the sufficiency of the evidence to prove a stolen election in 2004 that was amassed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a great disservice to democracy, because it fails to take the risks to democracy seriously. It's net effect is to say it's "ok go back to sleep, no need to be alarmed" while also suggesting we get together and deal with issues like voter suppression. See The False-Fake Debate over RFK Jr's RS Article

Ron Baiman - More Manjoo Fallacies and Lack of Comprehension
Evelyn Pringle - How Bush Rigged Ohio Election - The Noe Factor
John Gideon - 'Daily Voting News' For June 8, 2006
Dennis Loo - The Theft Of The 2004 Presidential Election

American Coup: - Robert F. Kennedy Junior On Election Theft 2004 Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush - and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in "tinfoil hats," while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as "conspiracy theories," and The New York Times declared that "there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale." See... Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Was the 2004 Election Stolen


Ernest Partridge - Debunking the Debunker
Ron Baiman - Manjoo RFK Jnr. Critique Superficial & Erroneous
Thom Hartmann - Stand Up for Democracy With Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Evelyn Pringle - Most Hated President Ever Stole Both Elections
Bob Fitrakis - RFK And Rolling Stone Nail Ohio's Stolen Election
Harvey Wasserman - Why Is Blackwell Stonewalling Greens In Ohio?

American Coup II: Ohio's Official Presidential Election Results Challenged by Recount and Lawsuit Filed in State Supreme Court - Interview with Cliff Arnebeck, lawyer representing the Alliance for Democracy, conducted by Scott Harris See... Ohio's Election Challenged by Recount and Lawsuit

American Coup II: Rep. Conyers: What Is Ken Blackwell Hiding? - Yesterday, it came to the attention of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff that efforts to audit poll records in Greene County, Ohio are being obstructed by County Election officials and/or Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. See... U.S. Rep. Conyers: What have they to hide?

American Coup II: The College Vote That Wont Go Away - Startling new revelations about Ohio's presidential vote have been uncovered as Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee join Rev. Jesse Jackson in Columbus, the state capital, on Monday, Dec. 13, to hold a rare field hearing into election malfeasance ... See... New Revelations At Congressional Vote Hearing

American Coup II: William Rivers Pitt: The Greene County Lockdown - There are people out there who think we are crazy, who think we are bitter-enders, sore losermen, conspiracy theorists and tinfoil hatters. See... William Rivers Pitt: The Greene County Lockdown
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:45 AM
Response to Original message
10. 11.07.2002 "Scoop" Sludge Report #143 - Think People!!! The Fix Was In
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 04:45 AM by autorank


Sludge Report #143 - Think People!!! The Fix Was In

Thursday, 7 November 2002, 3:33 pm
Column: C.D. Sludge
In This Edition: Think People!!! The Fix Was In - Who Now Rules The World

NOTE: Authors of this report will be anonymous and wide ranging, and occasionally finely balanced. Indeed you are invited to contribute: The format is as a reporters notebook. It will be published as and when material is available. C.D.

Sludge can be contacted at . The Sludge Report is available as a free email service..
Click HERE - / to subscribe...

Sludge Report #143

Think People!!! The Fix Was In

Watching the television coverage of Jeb Bushs victory in Florida yesterday was stomach turningly unpleasant.

George senior, Poppy embraced his son in a god-father like embrace. The gangster comparison would be apt but for its unfairness to organised crime. At least the mafias drug dealing murderers do not pretend to be anything else.

In the images off the satellite from Florida, Sludge could see arguably the most ruthless and successful drug dealing murderer of all time - former CIA don, Iran-Contra architect and bin Ladens recruiter Poppy Bush embracing his second small minded, bigoted, deceitful and corrupt son. And all the time posing as the defenders of democracy and world peace.

You only need to look at Jebs podgy cheeks, squinty eyes and slimy grin to know that he is a person who deserves about as little trust as any politician alive.

Which begs the question, how could the people of Florida and America have done this? Again?

CNNs John King then pondered whether Jeb, in the wake of his victory, might now be considering following in his big brothers footsteps with a shot at the White House come 2008. At which point Sludge, chocking back the bile, made a quick sign of the cross. God forbid!
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
11. Kick to the top!
Thank you, autorank. And an extra thank you for the clear commentary you add to the ERD. :thumbsup:
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. Kick.(nt)
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
13. kick.nt
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
14. Zogby Poll - Voters Know Rights 92% want to view tabulation;ask ?'s
Land Shark and I ask that you spread
this wide and far, on as many lists as
you're willing. Thanks, autorank & Land Shark

Link to "Scoop":

New Zogby Poll: Its Nearly Unanimous

Voters Insist on Right to Observe Vote Counting
Plus other findings from this unique poll

Michael Collins
Scoop Independent Media
Part I of a II part series.
Washington, DC

A recent Zogby poll documents ground breaking information on the attitudes of American voters toward electronic voting. They are quite clear in the belief that the outcome of an entire election can be changed due to flaws in computerized voting machines. At a stunning rate of 92%, Americans insist on the right to watch their votes being counted. And, at an overwhelming 80%, they strongly object to the use of secret computer software to tabulate votes without citizen access to that software.

The American public is clear in its desire for free, fair, and transparent elections. An 80%-90% consensus on the right to view vote counting and opposition to secrecy by voting machine vendor is both rare and remarkable in American politics. If only the public knew that these options are virtually non existent in todays election system.

Viewing vote counting will soon become a process of watching computers, somewhat akin to watching the radio, but without sound. Secret vote counting with computer software that citizens cannot review is now a fait accompli. Most contracts between boards of elections and voting equipment manufacturers bar both elections officials and members of the public from any access to the most important computer software; the source code that directs all the functions of the voting machines, including vote counting.

As a result of the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), a majority of these voters will be using touch screen voting machines with a lesser amount using special paper ballots counted by optical scanning devices. There are very few localities using paper ballots for the November 2006 election. If the federal government gets its way, they will be a thing of the past.

The supreme irony is that HAVA was sold to Congress as the solution to the problems of the Florida 2000 election. Of course, we now know thatas many as 50,000 black Floridians were wrongly removed from the voting rolls through a highly suspect felon purge that missed felons but captured legitimate registered voters. And we know further that over 100,000 ballots in mostly black precincts were disqualified due to the old voter suppression standby, spoiled ballots. Neither of those voting rights and civil rights problems is addressed by HAVA. Its all about the machines.

A Zogby Poll was commissioned and sponsored by election rights and business law attorney Paul Lehto of Everett. Washington. This author, Michael Collins, Editor, was a contributing sponsor. It consisted of 1018 interviews over a five day period beginning August 11, 2006. For further details, please see the Appendix at the end of this article.

This article focuses on three key questions from the survey. The responses reveal public attitudes as they were measured very recently. The outcome should give policy makers and bureaucrats serious pause for reflection upon just exactly what they have done to Americas system of elections and just how far from public beliefs they have strayed.

Voters Aware of Risks of Electronic Voting Changing an Entire Election

How aware are you that there have been reports of flaws in electronic voting or computerized voting machines that make it possible to tamper with one machine in such a way as to change the results of an entire election?

Very aware - 28.5%
Somewhat aware - 31.8
Somewhat unaware - 14.9
Very unaware - 22.8
Not sure - 1.9

Aware - 60.3%
Unaware - 37.7

The response shows a wide spread awareness of the potential for flawed voting machines to overturn an entire election. This is highly significant since the change in election outcome represents a violation of the expressed will of the people. Elections using touch screens computers or optical scan tabulators would seem to present entry level doubt concerning any election, particularly the type of nail biters that are common in America over the past few years.

All subgroups were near or exceeded 50% or greater in awareness (very, somewhat) of the risks of electronic voting.

The breakdown politically is instructive. Combining the very and somewhat aware responses shows a near parity by political identification: Democrats 59.9%; Republicans 58.3%; and Independents, the highest at 63.8% awareness. Dividing the sample by political ideology shows Libertarians with the highest level of awareness concerning the risks of computerized voting, 81%, and Moderates with the lowest at 55.9%. Of interest, Liberals and those describing themselves as Very Conservative were nearly identical in their awareness at 62.7% and 61% respectively.

Near Universal Demand to See the Votes Counted

In some states, members of the public have the right to view the counting of votes and verify how that process is working. In other states, citizens are in effect barred from viewing vote counting even if they would like to view the process. Which of the following two statements are you more likely to agree with A or B?

Statement A: Citizens have the right to view and obtain
information about how election officials count votes. - 91.8%

Statement B: Citizens do not have the right to view and
obtain information about how elections officials count votes. - 5.9

Neither/Not sure - 2.3

Most all likely voters (92%) agree that citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes (Statement A). Just 6% feel citizens do not have this right (Statement B).

Four fifths of respondents within every demographic group selected the right for citizen review and access, Statement A. This includes overwhelming majorities of both Kerry (92.8%) and Bush supporters (90.8%); independents (96.9%); Catholics (92.8%), Protestants (90.8%), Jews (87.2%), and those with no religious affiliation (93.3%); and two points above the average, NASCAR fans, 93.9%.

If and when citizens begin demanding this widely assumed option, they will be gravely disappointed. Viewing vote counting in the era of electronic voting means something different than it did in the days of paper ballots. In the case of touch screen devices, the vote count consists of poll workers or technicians taking data tapes out of a computerized touch screen device. With optical scan ballots and voting machines, tabulation (vote counting) involves pressing a button for a total count after the special paper ballots have been scanned through the computerized scanning device.

The process of removing public review of voting and vote counting began in earnest with the 2002 Help America Vote Act. In a previous article with Paul Lehto, the clear intent to herd local and state governments into the seemingly happy pasture of touch screen voting devices is described in depth. In essence, the three step process of forcing locals to accept touch screen devices, stripping voters and government agencies of their rights to review and understand voting, and locking that system in place for the indefinite future is nearly complete.

The 2006 election represents the brave new world of electronic voting. The American people want something entirely different: free, fair, and transparent elections with full citizen participation and review. The following questions and responses provide convincing evidence to support that claim.

Voters Opposed to Secret Software to Count Votes

With computerized electronic voting machines, votes are counted using proprietary or confidential software from corporate vendors that is not disclosed to citizens. Do you agree or disagree that it is acceptable for votes to be counted in secret without any outside observers from the public?

Agree - 13.7%
Disagree - 79.8

Not sure - 6.5

There is overwhelming objection to vendor specific secret software used to count votes outside the purview of public observation. This is a sentiment shared by no less than 70% of the people in any sub-group in the survey. This includes every political party; political ideology; race, religion; age group; educational level; and income group. This included 85.5% of rural residents and 79.8% of NASCAR fans.

Once again, the public is in for a profound disappointment. Nearly every state and county board of elections has a contract with the voting machine vendors that prohibit access to and review of voting machine source code, the software that controls all of the key functions of vote counting. These contracts are freely entered into by government officials and in place for a period of months or years. Even with full access to source code, the level of expertise and manpower necessary to police malicious acts, which we know can occur, makes such disclosure a Pyrrhic victory; a distraction from the return to real ballots, counted by real people, open to full supervision and inquiry.

The Publics Right to Know and Their Right to Know What They Dont Know

The Zogby Poll makes it clear that the public insists on the right to view vote counting. At 92% agreement with Statement A above, the public clearly thinks that it should have this option. There is also strong agreement that computerized voting should be transparent; that secret software, meaning secret vote counting is totally unacceptable.

What will people think and do when they find out that these rights are (a) not granted universally either in law or by custom and (b) that even if they are granted, they are virtually unobtainable due to the nature of computerized voting. Invisible ballots cannot be observed by voters. Computer software calculations cannot be observed by voters. Inquiring about and receiving information on these invisible processes requires an act of faith of epic proportions. Voters are expected to believe summary data and tables from election officials who routinely deny and/or discourage access to vote counting and who sign contracts with private vendors like Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S, that surrender the right of officials or the public to inspect the most important software in the voting machines, the source code.

There has been a virtual media blackout on in depth coverage of these issues by the national corporate media. The work of Lou Dobbs and Catherine Crier are notable and powerful exceptions. Lou Dobbs coverage includes online polls that consistently show 80% and greater preference for a complete dismissal of voting machines and a return to paper ballots.

The public has the right to observe the entire election process. Its called transparency. The public has a right to get information on how that process works in order to satisfy the requirement for free and fair elections. These rights are unavailable and the public does not even know it. If and when these issues are covered by the broader media with insight and attention, there may very well be the type of outrage at the loss of our liberties that we have seen from Lou Dobbs and Catherine Crier. That would be a most unpleasant event for those who have bargained away voting rights for the sake of a free Federal grant to buy voting machines people inherently distrust.


Copyright. Permission to reproduce in whole or part with attribution to the author, Michael Collins, a link to Scoop, and attribution of polling results to Zogby International.

Michael Collins is a writer who focuses on clean elections and voting rights. He is the editor of the election fraud web site, . He has written articles on a number of topics for Scoop Independent News including: The Disenfranchisement of Katrina's Survivors; |The Unanswered Question: Who Really Won In 2004?; Secret Vote Counting, a scathing critique of HAVA; and Kennedy's Challenge, a detailed response to Salons attack on the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. article on stolen election 2004. Special thanks to Stella Black for editorial assistance; Paul Lehto for very helpful suggestions; and acknowledgement and thanks to the Zogby professional (R) who did such an outstanding job summarizing complex data.


The Zogby poll was conducted from August 11 through 15, 2006. 1018 adult voters were interviewed by phone. The sample of people interviewed reflects the demographic and regional diversity of the United States. Due to the size, it has a 3.1 % (+/-) margin of error. 95% of Zogbys political polls have come within a 1% margin of accuracy in predicting election outcome. The survey was commissioned and sponsored by election rights and business law attorney Paul Lehto of Everett Washington. This author, Michael Collins, Editor, was a contributing sponsor.

Voters were asked what type of voting machines they used to cast their votes. All but 4% knew the answer to this question. A plurality said that they use touch screens, 32%. Optical scanning devices for special paper ballots were used by 18% of voters and the same percent used plain paper ballots. Lever machines were used by 14% of voters with punch cards representing 12% of the sample.

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