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US Elections: Win, Lose or Steal?
An organized assault on the voting process has become an election day tradition since 2000
Dominic Ambrose (Nicangelo)     Print Article 
Published 2008-10-01 10:43 (KST)   
As the nation argues about the theatrical antics of candidates, preachers and late night comedians, an army of troublemakers is wreaking havoc with the election rolls in many swing states.

Add to that the traditional Election Day dirty tricks which physically shut people out of the polling stations, and the ample evidence of computer rigging in recent years, and the US election in 2008 is shaping up to be the most dishonest in history.

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In the 2000 elections, the disastrously mismanaged voting process in the state of Florida (governed by George W. Bush's brother, Jeb) led to weeks of controversy with the election outcome in the balance. Eventually, the very conservative US Supreme Court upheld the Republican request to have ballot counting stopped in Florida and to have the state's electoral votes given arbitrarily to Bush, effectively giving him the presidency.

The Republicans took the White House, without even winning the popular votes that were counted. It was an impressive, bold move, a perfectly legal coup d'etat, but it was embarrassing and messy. The Republicans knew they could not get away with such blatant manipulation again.

Thus the Republican controlled Congress passed legislation in 2002, giving party loyalists the legal means to sabotage future elections in a variety of ways, both covertly as well as right before the eyes of the people. Listen to Robert Kennedy, Jr. discuss the situation in a recent radio interview.

HAVA, the law with the appropriately Orwellian name, Help America Vote Act, includes Trojan horse provisions that give state election boards broad powers to purge voter rolls using a list of arbitrary criteria. New voters were now saddled with a long list of regulations regarding the types of identification they would need to vote: some photo IDs, but not others, two or three documents in which their names are spelled in exactly the same way, addresses that can be cross-checked across a large number of registers.

Moreover, no provisions were made to publicize these regulations, or to notify voters of their disqualification, so that people are often totally unaware of the problem. These stringent requirements have the effect of decimating new voter rolls when they are applied, and they are only applied very selectively. Biased state officials can use them in certain districts and not in others, and Election Day poll watchers sent out by political parties can aggressively challenge individual voters' credentials at the polls.

Another provision of HAVA has been the encouragement of computerized voting, even though all evidence shows that these machines are vulnerable to fraud at all steps in the vote counting process. Several digital machines were being developed, none of them safe from hacking. A large contract was awarded to the Diebold Company of Ohio, run by outspoken Bush supporter, Walden O'Dell.
It comes as no surprise that the Diebold machines have been implicated in several puzzling state elections since then. The Diebold machines were bought by the state of Maryland in spring, 2002. Later that year, Maryland elected its first Republican governor in 40 years. The machines were declared faulty a few months later, but the election was never challenged. In the same year, the Democratic governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman, a target of Carl Rove dirty tricks, was defeated in what he calls an "electronically stolen" election. In fact, electronic fraud was rampant in 2002, according to many reports. See a list of voting fraud articles here.

The next big test of the impact of these machines on Presidential elections was in 2004. Read about the 2004 election irregularities across the country. From Alternet.

The most well known example is the extremely suspicious flip to Bush in New Mexico. It is documented in this video.

On Election Day 2008, expect to see scenes of tens of thousands of young people shut out from polling stations because of Byzantine identification rules, long waits of four or five hours in African American districts, and line-free walk-in voting in white, suburban districts, and complaints about machines that don't work or that have not been delivered in Democratic wards.

Most painfully, watch a whole string of swing states that had been running solidly for Obama in opinion polls for weeks, that seemed to be going for Obama according exit polls all day, then at the last minute flip inexplicable to McCain. One by one, the criminal assault on our democratic process will take its toll, and the Republicans will have another four years to continue their hated policies throughout the world.

So, you don't like this scenario? Then do something to stop it from happening! Check out the non-partisan Voter Protection Coalition Web site, and see what you can do today and on Election Day. Daily Kos has some information for taking action as well.

Get informed and get involved and protect your freedom.

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©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Dominic Ambrose

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