READER COMMENTS ON
"GOP Votes Against Fair Elections!"
(35 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 3:49 pm PT...
The Republicans gained power by nefarious means and are going to hold onto power using more of the same. No surprise there.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 3:58 pm PT...
No surprise at all. But it is so transparent. They are truly in a glass bowl now. All that remains is to get the blinders off the people. It really is a single issue: election tampering, which I think has been going on for a long time, and is now coming into the light. In the beginning of this nation, I believe it was only the wealthy white landowners that were allowed to vote. So this is a problem with deep roots.
I am so glad that the Bradblog and VR are focusing so intently on the major problem. If we only could get the whole opposition to realize this.
Let's stay tight and keep digging till we get to the bottom root.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 5:16 pm PT...
The last thing repugs want is election reform, they
can only stay in power thru fraud, cheating, lying
and stealing votes. My fear is that we will be sitting
here four years from now saying same.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 6:13 pm PT...
Why am I not shocked? The TRULY shocking thing about this isn't the GOP covering its collective tail. What's really gruesome is that the MSM have not one word to say about this - at least that I have been able to ascertain. Conyers deserves more attention and respect than this! g-r-r-r-R_R_R_R!!!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 6:40 pm PT...
When you think about it, the only way the wealthiest 2% of the population can obtain and hold onto power against the remaining 98% of the population is thru fraud. They simply cannot win in any fair election because they are hugely outnumbered. The people of the United States of America will have to take action; e.g., hold your own paper ballot elections. You do not need "the government" to organize an election, particularly when "the government" won't hold a fair election. Organize your own election and inform the "unelected government officials" they are out!
P.S. I guess the Repubs. will next run someone against Conyers, and the Repub. will "win" by receiving the most votes as recorded by the Republican "computer".
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 9:40 pm PT...
If there is one more election that shows that amount of fraud the last one did, I might have to change my voting methods.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 10:41 pm PT...
I catch your inference, Sally. I've been thinking the same thing. If this doesn't get stopped, the "Revolution" will be anything but "Velvet".
As for the voting issue: The results were to be expected. The right wing voting for voting reform Is akin to voting for their own death.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2005 @ 11:32 pm PT...
I pray that something of a legal nature will start to materialize. We're having our country stolen away from us by coporate interests.
As I mentiones in another post, my country is becoming a strange place to me. All my life, I've considered my self to be quite moderate, centrist. I didn't change, the power structure of the country did. Now it appears I'm on the left, just by being myself. With all of this political manipulation going on today, it's no longer even clear that there is a "center".
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 3/4/2005 @ 1:49 am PT...
My feelings exactly, Bob. I'm an Independent who has actually voted for more Republicans than Democrats in my lifetime.
The vote on the amendment was to be expected. The word goes out from Delay..."No amendments from Democrats," and all the sheep have to fall in line. If they don't vote as a bloc, the rebels get punished with lousy committee assignments and other dirty tricks. That's what's going on here.
I think we should emphasize that the G.O.P. voted as one to block a NON-PARTISAN effort to clean up a filthy electoral system. The more we can paint this as not about Democrats and Republicans, the better.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 3:12 am PT...
Kudos to Bob Bilse;you've said it very well for nearly all of us.
I've thought a little more about the notion of touch-screen voting machines, and the logistics of such a system make no sense at all. Why have thousands of expensive machines sitting on shelves for all but a few days a year, when paper ballots fed thru a much smaller number of scanners can accomplish the same task without the possibility of creating a bottleneck at the polls, and when they provide an auditable paper trail as well? If too many voters show up at the polls, the problem can be fixed easily by setting up a few more stand-up, pencil-and-paper workstations. With touchscreen machines, the waiting lines get so long that many people just give up and go home.
Of course, the scanners could be rigged too, but with proper hardware and software design and testing, that possibility can be reduced to extremely unlikely.
It seems like the purchase of touch-screen voting machines is, at best, really just another way of steering oodles of public funds to a handful of greedy businessmen. At worst, it could be a scheme for rigging elections.
By the way, the use of proprietary software in such equipment appears to be, one could hope, just another element of the scheme to push up the cost, since fielding each terminal requires license fees.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 4:03 am PT...
The catch-22 is that we cannot vote these guys out, because they have the power to vote against laws for fair voting!!! That's the real problem.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 4:56 am PT...
Big Dan's right about the Catch 22. We need more citizen-initiated REFERENDA on this! My homestate, Maine still does this: you can get a Referendum Question up there to vote on with enough signatures on a petition. It's hard work, but with enough volunteers to do the footwork, it's entirely possible! (I myself got a Resolution against the "Patriot" Act passed through our Town Meeting in Mount Vernon that way last year~it passed overwhelmingly by show-of-hands vote!)
We're also still lucky enough to be able to vote with paper and pencil in most towns (i've helped count for many local elections and believe me, there's NO WAY anyone would ever consider cheating with someone from the opposite party sitting next to you and re-counting everything to check! )
I see absolutely NO reason why larger communities can't do the same: so it takes a couple of days, and you have to hire more people (what's wrong with THAT in an age of unemloyment? some countries use school kids to help count: THEY really take it seriously!) Make it a national holiday! Isn't Democracy at least tHAT important?
Beyond that, I've always recommended not just a Paper Trail (That can also be monkeyed around with, ballots "Lost", "spoiled", etc), but a RECEIPT for every voter so he can not only check his vote, but KEEP his copy in case there needs to be re-count (maybe even a small tax credit as incentive). Obviously not everyone will keep his "ticket to Democracy", but just the fact that these receipts are OUT THERE as available proof will discourage most of the fraud, I'd think.
One thing's for sure: If we can't have a decent honest Democracy HERE, we sure as H*ll don't have any business shoving it down the throats of others, especially with the blood of our citizens!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 8:21 am PT...
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 8:40 am PT...
Thanks for that eye-opener Bob #8, that is exactly what has happened to me as well. I am only comforted by my feeling that the election was stolen and that there really are more of us than there are of them.
News Junkie #10 and BIA Winter #12, I am totally with your logic on the opscan. Would it be a good or bad idea to have the voting form include a scannable ID that can identify a person (in case the form won't run through the scanner you could be contacted to fill out another form).
The only problem I see with the national voting holiday is that many of the people who couldn't get away from work for long enough is that these are likely the same people who are not paid on holidays. The opscan paper/pencil idea could allow us to vote in the wink of an eye.
I think I am now convinced that the electronic voting technology is out. Totally out.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 8:49 am PT...
Rather than the pre-printed scannable ID (which would fall prey to more provisionals if they couldn't find your form), is bubbling in our own ID - name and address.
OTOH, the really odd thing about that ID thing is that I can't help but feel that it would have allowed this administration to come after you if you voted "incorrectly"! I have had that feeling ever since this election. It's a horrible feeling! I hope it goes away soon.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 10:51 am PT...
Modifying the mechanics of elections is necessary, but not sufficient. We have a more fundamental problem, which includes corporate power, but also includes deep hatred of the nation and people of the United States of America. One manifestation of this hatred is the charge that people who obviously love the U.S. and its people actually hate it. Ann Coulter is the archetype; she is projecting her own hatred. The corporations are taking advantage of people who detest the United States, abhor its people, and wish to destroy both. "Voter initiative" alone will not stop the alliance.
I find myself unable to hate the American haters of Americans, but I am very, very angry at them.
:angry: :angry: :angry:
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 12:10 pm PT...
There's another problem with our voting system that might be even bigger than the Diebold-type machines, or at least as big. Below is an excerpt of an interview with Greg Palast (a link to the full interview HERE, in case you're one who hasn't read it). Look below at the final paragraph. Palast sums this problem up simply, and to the point:
"...One state that people havenít looked at is Arizona. People say, ďWell, it wasnít close,Ē but I suspect that Kerry won Arizona. Iím pretty confident he won Ohio, dead certain he won New Mexico, where, supposedly, Bush won by 5,000 votes, but you had a massive non-count of Hispanic and Native-American votes. If youíre Navajo, they throw out your ballot. You get provisional ballots, crap voting machines and they just donít count them........if we particularize (the problem) to Ohio, we miss the goddamn point. The problem is systematic. Itís national. Itís racist. Itís classist.
You cannot fix the system through technical means. They tried that in 2000 and ended up with the provisional ballot, which was originally intended as a reform. Actually, it was Conyers who proposed the fucking provisional ballot and now heís writing a report saying this is one of the worst things that ever happened to us.
If you donít address the main issue, which is racism in vote counting, and you donít address our failure to commit ourselves to democracy, then forget itóthere is no technical fix which will work...
...I love Conyers. Everything in his report is right except the implication that something was wrong in Ohio. Something is wrong in America and the disease erupted in Ohio."
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 12:13 pm PT...
I have the same experience as an above poster. I have not essentially changed my values and outlook, but I have moved (or the country has moved under me) from being a Republican to being far left of the Democrats. I find it quite strange how many people don't want peace or (even more unthinkable to the wealthy class) prosperity for the ordinary working person. I started out attending John Birch Society meetings with my Dad at age 13 and now I would be happy to have truly steeply progressive taxes again and all our military brought back to the United States. What has changed in this country? I am watching it be destroyed by its elected leaders.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 12:34 pm PT...
Spot on. The society which the founding fathers sacrificed so much for has been eroded and stolen by those who hold that set of ideals in contempt.
That contempt extends to all those who the architects and signatories of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution sought to protect with those documents.
That's us. All of us. Not just Americans but all peoples everywhere.
Did they write these words:
"That all white, middle class, right wing christian males are created equal."
Or did they write these words:
"That all men are created equal."
Those who continue to steal our birthrights and our heritage from us view us with nothing but contempt because we are not as they.
I am proud to be so, yet because I do not view the human race as sheeple to be led, harvested and slaughtered for my own financial gain, it is considered acceptable to relieve me of those rights which I was born with. That I do not now and never will accept, it offends every fibre of my being.
These "hawks" shall have their wings clipped, they serve us, not we them and we shall have our free and fair elections. That we will not get them quickly or easily is obvious to me, but we shall have them.
May we we value them more highly and use them more wisely next time.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 1:16 pm PT...
Right on, Da Wookie - sod all that!
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 2:23 pm PT...
Reading through all the comments on this thread, I find myself smouldering with fury and swelling with pride at the same time. Fury at the amoral gansters that are stealing OUR country and OUR lives out from under us, and pride that we are who we are, that we think and act rightly in spite of societal pressure, and that we come together with such openness and real conviction.
We mustn't lose each other! All of you, RIGHT ON!!!
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 2:25 pm PT...
KestrelBrightEyes #113 -
OT, how'd you do that with the frame-around-a-smilie thingy?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 2:40 pm PT...
Well put, Chemoelectric #16.
It has become a cult of hatred. I get temporarily angry with the hate spewers, but I am more discouraged with the whole society that keeps rewarding this aggressive, destructive behavior. They pour their money into supporting all the media events that express this. They cannot get enough. They create these hideous pop stars then revel in their suffering. They watch them diet ad nauseaum waiting for them to get fat and explode. They wait for their divorces, abuses, and tragic demises.
They worship screaming and punishment. That's why I quit watching TV. I couldn't figure out what I did to be yelled at and beaten up.
Da Wookie #19....In some ways our founding "fathers" were idealists but I think they also spoke with a forked tongue to some degree, since they talked about freedom but reserved the right to vote for themselves--wealthy white landowners. They also owned slaves, and certainly kept women in the underclass. So much for "created equal".
The old adage about having your deeds speak for you seems true. Maybe we are just now recognizing our need for equality, justice, and THE RIGHT TO HAVE OUR VOTE COUNTED AND APPLIED.
And Bob Bilse #17.... you are so right to quote this. The blatant return to Jim Crow in this last election was just the culmination of ages of voting right racism. And the elite perpetuate the hatred knowing how it weakens the collective. So our only hope is to stop playing the ethnic, racial hate game, starting on the individual level. And working with laws and reform as much as possible.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
Mark Lloyd Baker
said on 3/4/2005 @ 3:15 pm PT...
I think Sally has the right idea in #6.
The old means of voting no longer works. The Republicans win no matter how many people vote for them.
What if 50 million+ non-Republicans refused to pay taxes?
What if 50 million+ people boycotted corporate media altogether, and let them and their corporate advertisers know about it?
Things have gotten WAY out of hand in this country.
Most countries put criminals in jail. We put them in office.
We've got to do something, somehow.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 3/4/2005 @ 3:20 pm PT...
I believe the road to almost all political power is paved with crime.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/6/2005 @ 10:52 am PT...
Why the fuck do I have to read your (absolutely great) blog to learn this? Why aren't the dems shouting this from every microphone they can find? Why do they continue to "play nice" with these pigs, when so much anitseptic sunshine is needed to show their slimey corruption? Enough of this shit, or I'm going to Canada ...
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/6/2005 @ 5:25 pm PT...
Good questions, George T.
Some cynics think the Democrats and Republicans are just two sets of marionettes who dance to the same tune and whose strings are being pulled by the same unseen hands.
These cynics tend to believe things that others find too repulsive to think about: that Kerry lost the election primarily because he didn't really want to win, for example.
In my estimation, the Democrats' silence on this issue would tend to support the cynical view of American politics.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 3/7/2005 @ 4:18 am PT...
The Democrats have been involved in the vote rigging in this country for years. The major players are controlled by the same people. The elite masters are pulling the strings and anyone who wants in, answers to them. It really is a Faustian deal. If it suits their purposes to have a warmongering state, then that's what we'll have. But there's no guarantee that they want this.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 3/7/2005 @ 12:38 pm PT...
...Winter Patriot said on 3/6/2005 @ 5:25pm PT...
"Some cynics think the Democrats and Republicans are just two sets of marionettes who dance to the same tune and whose strings are being pulled by the same unseen hands."
By this point, I'm left to think it's more than cynicism that would cause one to reach such a comclusion.
Why is the Demo reaction to all-that's-going-on so weak? Why the deafening silence? One is left to think that "upsetting the applecart" will topple many of them, also, at least to a degree that intimidates them into silence, while our government is turning our country into a warmongering, fascist state.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 3/7/2005 @ 9:43 pm PT...
True, The Democrats have engaged in such practices, particularly winning John F. Kennedy the presidency, with Richard Daley stealing Illinois for the Democrats. The Republicans are taking it to unprecedented heights. I, personally, want to see an end to this chicanery. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
There's one thing that I can't get over: do you think there's any possibility that the high-office-holding Democrats don't know EXACTLY what's going on? Think Kerry/Edwards/Kennedy/Soros/ etc., know less than Brad, Winter Patriot, Bev Harris, et al?
Don't kid yourself, they know, even better than us. We are left to decipher why they do so little about it. It is truly a shadow government, on both sides of the coin. It's all about manipulating the masses to gain power.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 3/8/2005 @ 8:13 am PT...
Since we can't vote the criminals out...it seems just about the right time to stop paying taxes. No taxation without representation...April 15th at the Boston Harbor. Bring your own teabags. Does anyone know Bruce Springsteen? It would be very nice if he did a live concert.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 3/8/2005 @ 12:52 pm PT...
I think it's games within games within games. Ultimately everyone is out for himself, and no position of power is secure. I really don't think the elite is united against the masses. There is a huge competetive game within the group, and that in itself protects us and provides the system of checks and balances.
Some of them believe in crippling the masses, but others believe that a healthy population benefits all. They battle among themselves, and the balance of power is always shifting. Sometimes things get done. Sometimes, even progress occurs.
In the end, the rulers' power is probably equal to ours. The ball is constantly being tossed around and no one wins. That would be the end of the game.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 3/8/2005 @ 4:09 pm PT...
A Solution For Fair Elections-
Here are a few changes that might be implemented into the United States' election process to guarantee fairness-
1) First and foremost, people will NOT be required to register in any political party. This system now guarantees that we will always have a divided nation NOT focusing on the real issues that concern us all. It insures that the American people remain divided and conquered while the Republican and Democratic puppet masters serve their corporate handlers. Without a registered party affiliation, it will be more difficult for either party to target voters BECAUSE of their party registration and make the election a more nonpartisan race.
2) All Americans are eligible for a series of primary contests that will pare the final candidate count to a specific number. This will prevent a final presidential election with scores or hundreds of candidates, meaning that the possibility of a candidate with only 10-20% of the vote winning the election will be minimized. For instance, the candidate "ceiling" can be ten, meaning the ten candidates who acquire the most votes in primaries get to be put on the national election ballot.
3) Our Congress is a bipartisan venture. Our Supreme Court is supposed to be free from the grips of partisanship. Why not make the Executive branch a bipartisan branch, also? The taxpaying people of this nation should be the ones who appoint Executive branch members. Leaving this up to the winning presidential candidate only invites a compromising of the executive branch by powerful corporate interests. The presidential cabinet should have to get their jobs like everyone else on Capitol Hill- by election! This would more greatly ensure a "check and balance" within the executive branch itself and not leave the executive branch as the "check and balance" against the rest of us.
4) Probably the most important aspect of my plan would be the amount of money that can be utilized in the campaigns. This is a free country, or so the saying goes, but is it really free when powerful and wealthy or wealth-backed candidates can dictate campaign rhetoric and issues simply because they can outspend their opponents? Television air time is very expensive and not all candidates have the funds to reach the American public this way. This has to be remedied. All candidates that qualify for the final election(those "ten" mentioned in #2 above) would receive government funding for their campaigns and there will be a ceiling on the amount of money that can be spent on their campaigns. This may sound dictatorial to some, but it would certainly let the American public know which candidates are REALLY the best ones, not just which candidates have the money and resources to propagandize us all for votes. These monetary issues would be decided by the Congress.
5) Voter forms will be standard for ALL Americans. Since we are electing national officials, we should all have a uniform voting system and ballots. National elections should be overseen by a Congressional committee which is permanent and representative of ALL candidates. We have committees for just about everything- intelligence, military, spending- why not one exclusively to patrol the appropriateness of our electoral system?
6) Election votes will be tabulated by people, not machines or computers. All election counting will be subject to oversight by the candidates involved. This may sound like a tedious system of counting, but this is a process where we are electing our national leaders, and the amount of work should not be a factor when it comes to fairness. If it takes a week to count the votes, then so be it! Remember, all candidates have the power of oversight in the vote tabulation process, even though they are not required to exercise this right. It is strictly up to them. This system would have prevented something like Florida 2000 from happening, installing a president who clearly had not been proven to be the winner of the election.
We definitely need campaign reform in the United States. It is a gross irony indeed that our leaders talk of spreading American democracy around the world when our own system of electoral representation has been compromised, if not destroyed, by powerful interests. It is time for the American people to take back their true and unadulterated place in the electoral system. If we can't, then we should not be held accountable to our leaders or any of their unaccounted-for dictates!
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 3/14/2005 @ 6:31 pm PT...
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 3/19/2005 @ 4:42 am PT...
Nice job Tom. You put a lot of thought into your proposal and I like it. One problem that I see with electing cabinet officials is the fact that the result would produce a bunch of individuals that the President would have to somehow form into a team. After watching our Congress perform over the years and the gridlock it's produced I think there's a chance the same consequence may happen with elected cabinet officials.
I guess no system could be perfect, but I'm all for removing the partisan nature of our current political system. The "us" against "them" mentality is getting us nowhere but frustrated. And worst of all is the result that has evolved from the candidates with the most money winning because they were able to make their voice heard, and these candidates end up with the most money because of the corporations that put these people in office, then expect payback in return. That's how they've been able to pass a law like the bankruptcy bill in spite of the fact that very few Americans would have supported it.
But first things first. We have to clean up the fraud that's allowed these criminals to get elected into office. Seems that the legal system provides the best way to address this problem, since Congress is now controlled by the criminals. We need to identify the particular individuals responsible for the election fraud (Kenneth Blackwell, etc.) and prosecute them for their crimes. Or perhaps there's a way to prosecute the GOP as a criminal enterprise under the RICO statues. I know it sounds pretty far-fetched, but something has to be done to prevent this from happening for the third Presidential election in a row.