March 6, 2008
|Once again we are supposed to believe that it was the leaked memo, or the red phone ad, or buyer’s remorse or some other such nonsense. In reality however, she won for the same reason George Bush has been president for eight years. She won because this country still uses Diebold and ES&S voting machines that have time and again altered the outcome of our elections. I don’t think I can say it any clearer than that.|
It’s unfortunate that the American people still just don’t understand. It’s hard to watch them be so easily swayed by the endless mainstream nonsense while the truth is right in front of them. It’s by design of course, and the perpetrators have had a lot of practice at this.
Granted, this has been an ugly Democratic Primary season. I’ve seen things come out of the Clinton campaign that I would have never expected, and surely I’m disappointed. I would have hoped that the Clinton’s would have had more respect for the positive direction that the majority of the country is determined to take, rather than the pursuit of “winning” by any means. The fact that the Republicans have gleefully done all they can to ensure Hillary continues this behavior should be a clear indication of what side she is benefiting.
However, this is not why she won three of the four March 4th contests. Once again we are supposed to believe that it was the leaked memo, or the red phone ad, or buyer’s remorse or some other such nonsense. In reality however, she won for the same reason George Bush has been president for eight years. She won because this country still uses Diebold and ES&S voting machines that have time and again altered the outcome of our elections. I don’t think I can say it any clearer than that.
The challenge in demonstrating this reality is finding some kind baseline or control factor for comparison. These machines have all but replaced actual vote counting in this country which makes it incredibly difficult to find any measure of truth. In my last writing on Diebold ( which I suggest you read ), the fact that so many hand-counted districts were right next to Accuvote districts made the discrepancies glaringly apparent.
Although we don’t have a comparable arrangement in this case, we do have similar components. We have touch-screen counted votes and hand counted votes, but we also have something entirely new. In fact this new factor is ( as far as I’m concerned ) the definitive evidence.
Let’s start with Rhode Island. Unfortunately, the state is entirely touch-screen voting. No real paper trail, and no chance of arguing with the machine. However I will point this out. If you exclude the imaginary results we’ve been given, this margin in Rhode Island coincides nicely with the margins we have seen consistently over the previous 11 contests. 58% – 40% is an Obama margin we’ve seen repeatedly.
To illustrate that point, let’s look at Vermont. Here we have an almost identical margin ( 59% – 39% ) except this time it is for Obama. The difference in this state – as you might expect – is that Vermont uses hand counted ballots in the majority of it’s municipalities.
The Texas two-step gives a look at both machine count and hand count. The primary in Texas is all machine count and it gives the win to Clinton 51% – 47%. However the caucus results ( hand count ) reflect the opposite and then some ( 56% – 44% Obama ).
But without question, the Ohio results are by far the most interesting. Although this superficially looks like an across the board win, there is a fascinating hidden story. It’s rare that I get to point to champions for democracy and I’m quite pleased to have the opportunity to do so here. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Jane Platten ( director of the Cuyahoga County elections board ) undoubtedly walked through the fires of hell to implement the paper ballot plan and I’m extremely glad that they did. Because of their incredible efforts there is some data about the Ohio elections that can actually be trusted, and I have something legitimate to work with.
The story of this plan is a fascinating one. As you may recall Cuyahoga County in Ohio has been the location of a number of election problems over the years. Just last year, two election workers were convicted of rigging a recount of the 2004 presidential election, and in May 2006, election results were delayed five days while absentee ballots were hand-counted due to a “printing error”.
The plan to abandon touch-screen and switch to verifiable paper ballots has been progressing since Dec. 21, 2007 when Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner broke a 2-2 deadlocked election board vote regarding the change.
In an effort to put an end to the horrific election problems of the past, Director Platten implemented several changes to the way votes are handled. To prevent absentee ballot problems for instance Platten had all of the absentee ballots counted and stored on hard disk prior to election day. To ensure the integrity of those ballots, the disk was stored in a safe, monitored by security cameras, and guarded by a Sheriff’s deputy 24 hours a day until polls closed on the 4th. Contrast this with the embarrassing display of ballot custody in New Hampshire and the empty ballot boxes scattered on the floor.
“There are a lot more controlled environments now in place based on what we’ve learned from past experiences,” said Platten.
What is most interesting is who surfaced in opposition to this new system and their supposed “reasoning” for their objections. I can only imagine how many people this was upsetting to ( because of the totality of established vote control in Ohio ) but the surrogate used to stop this move to a real voting system was the ACLU.
CLEVELAND (AP) Jan 18, 2007 — The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge on Monday to block the March 4 presidential primary in Ohio’s biggest county if it switches to a paper ballot system that doesn’t allow voters to correct errors.
In a follow-up to a suit it filed Jan. 17, the ACLU of Ohio asked for a preliminary injunction against any election in Cuyahoga County if the switch is made.
The lawsuit argued that the proposed paper-ballot system would violate voters’ constitutional rights because it doesn’t allow them to correct errors on ballots before they are cast.
“The evidence is overwhelming that when voters do not have access to technology that notifies them of ballot errors, many more ballots are left uncounted,” said Meredith Bell-Platts, a voting-rights attorney with the ACLU.
What an astonishing argument for the ACLU to make. Here we have the American Civil Liberties Union claiming that voters are too stupid to tell if they are filling out the right circle and that the only resolution is a machine to tell them who they voted for. Yet over a concern for the voter’s ability to “correct” a ballot error, they ask a judge to prevent the county from voting at all.
Jennifer Brunner also noted this would rule out the use of absentee ballots period, since those voters wouldn’t have the opportunity to check their ballot before they were counted either.
Thankfully, U.S. District Judge Kathleen O’Malley denied the ACLU’s injunction request and Platten’s plan was allowed to proceed. In the short amount of time that was available before the primary ( and the amount of time wasted by the ACLU ) only two counties actually got the paper ballot systems implemented… Those were Cuyahoga and Franklin counties.
Franklin County was also under assault to prevent the use of paper ballots. Judge Eric Brown ( D ) from Franklin County Common Pleas Court lifted Judge Richard E. Parrott’s ( R ) restraining order against Brunner that prevented her from ordering the use of paper ballots.
So I retell all of this to illustrate a very simple point. Someone seriously did not want a system that actually counted and secured votes to be implemented in Ohio, and they tried very hard to prevent it… Let’s see why they went to so much trouble.
On the day of the primary, only Cuyahoga and Franklin County were actually prepared. The rest of the counties were instructed to also offer paper ballots but there are a number of reports indicating otherwise. During the day however, two other districts had significant machine problems and thus used a portion of paper ballots. Those counties were Montgomery and Delaware. Additionally Hamilton County already used paper ballots that ( previously ) were scanned locally instead of the new centralized system.
As you can see from the map, the only counties where Obama won are also the counties that had secured, centrally counted, paper ballots.
So here we are once again with a situation we’ve seen several times before. Underneath the smokescreen of the kitchen sink strategy we see the real problem. Once again ( when viewing all four contests ), the machine vote goes to Hillary and the paper ballot ( or hand count ) goes to Obama. The fact that Hillary’s actions and reactions have coincided so seamlessly with the Republican, Rovian, Limbaughvian philosophy and tactics, could actually lead one to question if it is coordinated.
I’m not suggesting it is. The people who are in control of our election system probably don’t want Hillary to be president any more than they want Barack to be. It doesn’t bother them one bit however watching the Democratic race degenerate into a hate fest and anything that will slow the vote momentum or make people feel “hopeless” is a good thing to them.
So before anyone questions whether I wear a tin foil chapeau, ask yourself why United Technologies Corporation is so determined to purchase Diebold ( a company currently under investigation by the DOJ and SEC ) before election day. You can bet Charlie Black ( McCain’s Campaign Director and lobbyist for United Technologies ) has a very good reason for this arrangement.
So once again, I beg you to pay attention to the puppet masters and don’t be lead astray by their fake arguments and explanations. Instead of playing into Republican hands and wasting energy on infighting, the Democratic Party needs to unite and ensure that these machines don’t steal another election from under the American nose. The world desperately needs us to wake up and take this country from rulers that have oppressed and lied to us all.
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