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Palast writes: "The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door - to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote."

Author and journalist Greg Palast discusses election fraud during a keynote speech at the 2008 Green Festival in San Francisco. (photo: Luke Thomas/FogCityJournal)
Author and journalist Greg Palast discusses election fraud during a keynote speech at the 2008 Green Festival in San Francisco. (photo: Luke Thomas/FogCityJournal)


7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits

By Greg Palast, Greg Palast Investigates

07 August 12

 

1. Don't Don't DON'T Mail In Your Ballot

For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don't know, do you? I can tell you that in the last election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses. And when they don't count, you don't even know it. Worse: Tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them - in which case you're out of luck. Most states won't let you vote in-precinct once you've applied to vote absentee. Every time I hear of a voter going "absentee" to avoid computer screens, I want to "go postal."

2. Vote Early - Before the Ballot Bandits Wake Up

Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don't wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration's "inactive," (9.9 million of you) or you're on some creep's challenge list. By Election Day, if your name is gone or tagged, there's little you can do but hold up the line.

3. Register and Register, then Register Again

Think you're registered to vote? Think again, Jack. With all this purg'n going on (13 million and counting), you could be x'd out and you don't know it. So check online with your Secretary of State's office or call your County Board of Elections. Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman and your mommy. Then contact the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote and commit to a couple of days of door-to-door registration, especially at social service agency offices. In Florida, that means you'll get arrested. I'll send a file in a cake.

4. Vote Unconditionally, Not Provisionally

In 2012, they'll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, a couple million to Hispanic voters alone. If your right to vote is challenged, don't accept a provisional ballot that likely won't get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won't decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication on the spot of your right to a real no-BS from poll judges. Or demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if that's the problem. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. If you've taken Step 1 above and voted early, you have Election Day free to be a poll watcher. You'll need training and credentials, either from a voter group or, in some states, a designation from a political party. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of "suspect" voters. Be firm, but no biting.

5. Occupy Ohio, Invade Nevada.

The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door - to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union (if you're not in a union, why not?) or to the troublemakers listed here. This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but I know of no other method more effective for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that would seize the White House.

6. Date a Voter

Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson says, make a date to 'Arrive with Five.' And keep a copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits in your holster, our website on your iStuff (we'll have help lines on our site), and a photo ID that matches your registration name and address. And Bobby, make sure your ID says, "Robert F. Kennedy JUNIOR" - or your vote is toast.

7. Make the Democracy Demand: No Vote Left Behind!

I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who's wrongly declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: "Count the votes." You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don't demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink.

Democracy requires vigilance The Day After. That's when you check in at BallotBandits.org one more time.

Who are these masked men? Who are the Ballot Bandits?

Find out: Get your own copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, including the comic book by Ted Rall. This guide is published by the not-for-profit non-partisan Palast Investigative Fund.

To get updates - and to download the movie, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits to go BallotBandits.org and join the fight on facebook/GregPalastInvestigates

 

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+11 # Buddha 2012-08-07 15:59
All great ideas. The problem is Americans are lazy, or it never would have been allowed to come to this in the first place. And if all the Americans that currently can vote, even with the disenfranchisem enf of the voter-ID requirements, actually stood up and did vote to the levels of their representation demographically , the GOP would be toast. I'm looking at you kids
 
 
+11 # waltben 2012-08-07 17:55
I've been an Virginia election officer for ten years. Something to keep in mind (in spite of loving to have conspiracy theories) is that us poll workers are all volunteers - some times we get paid less than minimum wage, but it's usually only retired people that have the time to do this. Before getting all excited about those old farts messing up 'your' election, how about you joining them? Certainly would make life easier for us - Oh, you don't have the time? You'd rather complain instead?

Like all states, each county has their own election board, and the folks that decide what provisional ballots get counted are usually some of the lower paid county civil servants. If you want more effectiveness, how about voting to increase your county taxes to support having more effective people in those offices?

Last point I'd like to make - I absolutely and completely agree with your "Register, and register, then register again" comment. Almost all issues with voters are created when someone moves, even if only a block away. In Virginia, there's also some strange disconnect that can happen when they register at a state DMV and it somehow isn't sent to a county. It won't hurt a bit to do it over and over every few years.
 
 
+15 # michellewey 2012-08-07 18:36
This is what has become of our country. We need this desperate guide to how to exercise our right to vote in 2012. I want to know what kind of psychotic power hungry inducing drug Republicans are taking that can make them believe they love this country at the same time they actively work to destroy all that is good and special about it. I know. I am not offering a positive solution with this comment. I am wallowing in despondency as I watch the culmination of years and years of attacks by the right on our basic rights and freedoms.
 
 
+13 # pernsey 2012-08-07 22:23
They pull all this crap, because its the only way Mitt the Twit can win. Go vote and make sure everything is in order.
 
 
-16 # astorian 2012-08-07 22:37
Gee, hope Palast isn't just flogging for the democrats. They're certainly as adept as the Repubs at stealing votes. Both 'parties' are spending bucketfulls of 'Citizens United' bucks, and there's not even a dime's worth of difference between the two. j

There are a couple of interesting third-party candidates running this time. Dr Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala are running for Green party president and vice-president. Both were arrested last week protecting a foreclosed home. Now, is that something a DemoPub would do? Of course not.

Get over the duopoly and think about how a third party vote could really change the face of American politics. And don't swallow the tired, old DNC nonsense that you're 'throwing away' your vote, or 'vanity' voting for a third-party. Think 'Sanity Voting".
 
 
+6 # Stephanie Remington 2012-08-08 01:43
In this case, I think he's just trying to get fair election results. Third party candidates could be affected just as easily as anyone else. If rigged results show low support for them, it reinforces the common belief that there's no point in supporting third parties. If a fair election shows strong support for them, even if they don't win it could make people realize that they can win in the future.
 
 
+9 # michellewey 2012-08-08 07:00
I strongly disagree. If you look at where each party stands on just about any particular issue, there is a huge difference. The Democrats are definitely a far better choice than the Republicans. Even if they are not progressive enough or effective enough, they are certainly better than the alternative. The vanity vote argument is totally legitimate. Wasn't 8 years of Bush enough to convince you that it does matter who is in office?
 
 
+4 # Stephanie Remington 2012-08-08 17:31
If there is such a "huge difference" why is the only foreign policy topic of 'debate' between Romney and Obama a competition over who will be most likely (self-proclaime d) to bomb Iran on behalf of Israel?

Mitt Romney would do nothing but harm to this country, if elected. But how anyone can claim that a man who is so destructive to democracy itself – a man who assassinates people, including children and American citizens, without a shred of due process, a man who advocated for and then signed a bill to enshrine preventive detention (again, with no due process) into law, a man who persecutes whistleblowers and journalists while protecting cheating bankers, oil companies, Monsanto types, and other mega corporations from accountability for their abuses and crimes that hurt millions of Americans, a man who signed one bill after another that limit the right to protest and assemble to redress grievances – could be considered a “far better choice.”

If you find “the vanity argument totally legitimate” – i.e. the argument that voting one’s conscience is pure vanity – that says a lot more about your own morals and ethics than it does about the supposed vanity of those of us who find Obama’s record too horrible to support.
 
 
0 # michellewey 2012-08-09 08:07
No need for personal attacks because we disagree on politics. Even without trying to debate a single point that you bring up about the atrocious wrongs committed by the Obama administration, I still strongly believe that Obama is a "far better choice" than Romney. Even though they are complicit sellouts, Democrats stand on the right side of issues as far ranging as womens rights to taxing the wealthy to healthcare reform and so much more. How anyone can think that there is no difference between the party who has brought under attack voting rights, womens rights, and unions and who has demonstrated a willingness to literally hold the political process hostage just so they can defeat Obama every step of the way. How that party is not a much much worse choice than the Democratic party who at least tries to defend these basic rights is beyond my comprehension. I can only imagine what Obama had to promise to his enemies in the House and Senate to get the much watered down healthcare reform act passed. (And I am so glad it got passed.) It would be interesting to find out. I am not making excuses for some of the abominable decisions Obama has made, I am only acknowledging the very toxic political climate he is working in, and
I do believe a vote against him is not a luxury that any of us have.
 
 
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-08-09 19:39
Quoting objectiveobserver1:
No need for personal attacks because we disagree on politics.


That's an interesting statement coming from someone who just called those of us who vote our conscience vain (refer to your previous post, if you've forgotten).

You refer to "basic rights" that Democrats and Obama supposedly "defend." The basic rights upon which all others are derived are enumerated in our constitution. Obama has claimed powers and advocated for and signed legislation that infringes upon, or even eliminates, the basic protections of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments:

Advocacy for women’s rights, while admirable, is meaningless if you advocate policy and sign laws that allow women – as well as men – who try to exercise their first amendment rights to speech, assembly and redress of grievances to have their property confiscated, be fined and imprisoned, strip searched, pepper sprayed, beaten, and deprived of due process.

It is obscene to call a man who demanded, as part of the GM bailout that union employees take a pay cut from $28 to $14/hour as well as cuts to their pensions. The same man who was at the helm when the FBI arrested union organizers in multiple cities and confiscated their possessions, claiming that they were terrorist suspects.

You claim that Obama has defended voting rights. What actions are you referencing? Or are you just talking about words?
 
 
+6 # pernsey 2012-08-08 07:53
The typical Republican answer when they get caught cheating. Both parties do it. Thats not true, the dems dont have to cheat, the repubs do! The dems will always get the majority without the GOP rigging it, and thats why they do it. Mitt the Twit cant win without an unfair advantage and they knows it.
 
 
-6 # barbaratodish 2012-08-08 01:00
Greg Palast, start a movement or a petition, etc, for ON LINE WRITE IN VOTING NOW so we can get the ALL political parties out along with the CORRUPT FIXED POOL OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND other political parasites like poll workers! They are the absolute worst, in both parties. They are all absolute, mean BULLIES! They are all wanabe political NAZI "cops"!
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2012-08-08 11:31
Quoting barbaratodish:
Greg Palast, start a movement or a petition, etc, for ON LINE WRITE IN VOTING NOW so we can get the ALL political parties out along with the CORRUPT FIXED POOL OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND other political parasites like poll workers! They are the absolute worst, in both parties. They are all absolute, mean BULLIES! They are all wanabe political NAZI "cops"!


And, how are you going to guarantee that the on-line voting system is not hacked? How are you going to be able to verify that your vote was counted? Since the electronic systems currently being employed (touch-screens) are privately owned and the software that runs them is considered "proprietary" so that no one is even allowed to check it; i have no faith that an online system will be any less unsafe. And, it has been documented how easily they can be hacked.

Instead we need to be demanding paper ballots with receipts that can be checked and verified. The only reason we have moved away from this is that the corporate-owned media wants to be able to continue to "report" elections like sporting events and be able to give you instant results. F**k that. We need accurate results first and foremost in which all votes are counted and where 13 million people (as Palast talks about) are not someone just removed from the rolls and 19th century poll tax like laws are put back on the books to restrict who votes (mainly disenfranchisin g the poor and people of color).
 
 
-1 # barbaratodish 2012-08-08 12:36
Quoting dkonstruction:
Quoting barbaratodish:
Greg Palast, start a movement or a petition, etc, for ON LINE WRITE IN VOTING NOW so we can get the ALL political parties out along with the CORRUPT FIXED POOL OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND other political parasites like poll workers! They are the absolute worst, in both parties. They are all absolute, mean BULLIES! They are all wanabe political NAZI "cops"!


Quote"(W)e need to be demanding paper ballots with receipts that can be checked and verified. The only reason we have moved away from this is that the corporate-owned media wants to be able to continue to "report" elections like sporting events and be able to give you instant results. F**k that. We need accurate results first and foremost in which all votes are counted and where 13 million people (as Palast talks about) are not someone just removed from the rolls and 19th century poll tax like laws are put back on the books to restrict who votes (mainly disenfranchising the poor and people of color)."

Direct this to Greg Palast, the INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST! He will answer your questions!
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-08-08 13:15
Quoting barbaratodish:
[quote name="dkonstruction"][quote name="barbaratodish"]Greg Palast, start a movement or a petition, etc, for ON LINE WRITE IN VOTING NOW so we can get the ALL political parties out along with the CORRUPT FIXED POOL OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND other political parasites like poll workers! They are the absolute worst, in both parties. They are all absolute, mean BULLIES! They are all wanabe political NAZI "cops"!


I was not asking a question and Palest was not calling for on-line voting in the piece which is what i was responding to.

In general, i think the concept of online voting is great but the technology at this point is still so unsecure that i think it is dangerous for us to be calling for it (the same goes for electronic touch-screen voting where the software that runs the machines cannot be independently checked and one can get no paper receipt to verify that votes have been counted).

If memory serves, Palest has written on the problems with the touch-screens but not 100% positive (could have been antoher reporter).
 
 
0 # barbaratodish 2012-08-09 11:29
Quoting dkonstruction:
Quoting barbaratodish:
[quote name="dkonstruction"][quote name="barbaratodish"]Greg Palast, start a movement or a petition, etc, for ON LINE WRITE IN VOTING NOW so we can get the ALL political parties out along with the CORRUPT FIXED POOL OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND other political parasites like poll workers! They are the absolute worst, in both parties. They are all absolute, mean BULLIES! They are all wanabe political NAZI "cops"!


I was not asking a question and Palest was not calling for on-line voting in the piece which is what i was responding to.

In general, i think the concept of online voting is great but the technology at this point is still so unsecure that i think it is dangerous for us to be calling for it...

Then let's have Greg Palast (or ANYONE but me,(because unfortunately either I have many enemies or I am just not taken seriously enough because I am a woman, etc???) ask for ,demand, etc., A FEDERAL RICO (RACKETEER INFLUENCED CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS) INVESTIGATION OF WRITE IN VOTING! Whenever I, for one, EVER submitted a write in vote (NUMEROUS TIMES) it went DISSAPPEARED!
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-08-09 15:03
Quoting barbaratodish:
[quote name="dkonstruction"][quote name="barbaratodish"][quote name="dkonstruction"][quote name="barbaratodish"]Greg Palast, start a movement or a petition, etc, for ON LINE WRITE IN VOTING NOW so we can get the ALL political parties out along with the CORRUPT FIXED POOL OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND other political parasites like poll workers! They are the absolute worst, in both parties. They are all absolute, mean BULLIES! They are all wanabe political NAZI "cops"!



I, for one, am not your enemy and if i didn't take you seriously i would not bother to respond at all to your posts. But, you did not respond to the point i was making which was that i think it is dangerous to call for online voting until the technology is secure.

You raised the issue of calling for online voting (which i take as a serious proposal and as i have already said i think is great in theory but at this point do not trust the technology to have our elections determined by an online system that is going to be run/owned by private companies using proprietary software that no one or gov't or independent entity is even allowed to look at) and so i raised what i thought was a legitmate concern. So, i'm not sure what your response has to do with the issue of online voting or the concern i was raising for further discussion.
 
 
0 # barbaratodish 2012-08-09 19:13
Well, if we wait for any guarantees for anything, I guess we will have more of what we have now! I try to call for a revolution in my own way, and I am ignored or called crazy. I write books about how THE SOCIAL CONTRACT and especially the NORMALIZATION of SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE (bullying and provocation) and ACTUAL VIOLENCE (form child abuse to domestic abuse to war, etc.) is the root problem, and especially the concept that we CAN own property, when we hardly own our own personalities because instead of being ourselves we are our politically correct "IDENTITIES"! ( For instance, the CHICK FIL A controversy: lining up to be seen as a conspicuous supporter-consu mer of conservative values! This is what I call "EATING" our DRONE "identity" (If you are interested in learning more about this read the free sample of my latest book "Drone "Identity" Is Self Validity Lie, Be Absolute To Yourself, Instead of Relative to Others") But, then again I, and my 4 books are ignored AND VILLIFIED AND DEMONIZED simultaneously, so I have turned to alternative stand up comedy and IMPROV as an outlet for my frustration! rotflmao
 
 
-1 # dkonstruction 2012-08-10 07:09
Whoever said we "should wait for guarantees?"... well some might be but certainly not I. As for the root problem, to me it is not violence but rather the class structure of capitalism (as well as how race and gender relate to/interact with the class structure. In other words it is about power relations...vio lence can be a symptom but it is not a cause. I don't bother with "identity politics" since, for the most part, i think it is a distraction and has become part of the problem and not part of the solution...none theless a boycott or show of support by "consuming" a partucular producer's wares are indeed a way to make a "real" statment (it ain't the revolution so don't get me wrong)...e.g., the boycott of grapes in the 1970s to support the farmworkers who, partially as a result of the boycott won the right to organize; or the boycott against Nestle to get them to stop pushing baby formula in underdeveloped countries...so, i disagree with poo pooing boycotts as you seem to be suggesting...bu t again, you don't seem to be responding to the issues raised: namely, that calling for electronic voting without being able to guarantee the security of the technology is dangerous (and this latest one you have raised seeming to suggest that boycotts of any kind are not legitimate form of progressive (or even revolutionary) struggle.
 
 
0 # barbaratodish 2012-08-12 21:30
Quoting dkonstruction:
Whoever said we "should wait for guarantees?"...well some might be but certainly not I. As for the root problem, to me it is not violence but rather the class structure of capitalism (as well as how race and gender relate to/interact with the class structure. In other words it is about power relations...violence can be a symptom but it is not a cause. I don't bother with "identity politics" since, for the most part, i think it is a distraction and has become part of the problem and not part of the solution...nonetheless a boycott or show of support by "consuming" a partucular producer's wares are indeed a way to make a "real" statment (it ain't the revolution so don't get me wrong)...e.g., the boycott of grapes in the 1970s to support the farmworkers who, partially as a result of the boycott won the right to organize; or the boycott against Nestle to get them to stop pushing baby formula in underdeveloped countries...so, i disagree with poo pooing boycotts as you seem to be suggesting...but again, you don't seem to be responding to the issues raised: namely, that calling for electronic voting without being able to guarantee the security of the technology is dangerous (and this latest one you have raised seeming to suggest that boycotts of any kind are not legitimate form of progressive (or even revolutionary) struggle.

Maybe power relations are practice for absolute self validity mastery?
 
 
-6 # RMDC 2012-08-08 04:55
What is they held an election and no one showed up to vote. Neither candidate had the moral character to be president of any nation must less command the most powerful military in all human history. Both were likely to aid global banks in looting whole nations. Both were committed to expanding imperialist wars all over the world.

Thanks for the tips, Greg. All good advice, I am sure, if we only had decent candidates to vote for. Your advice does not help when both candidates are puppets of the military-indust rial-banking-co mplex.

I'll be staying home.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-08-08 09:48
Am I to assume you will be happy when RoMoney invades Iran?
 
 
+6 # Vardoz 2012-08-08 06:54
They really want to steal this election badly so do what ever you can not to let that happen. If you can go door to door do it. Do what ever you can do. Make sure you have the right ID. Don't send in your ballots. There is a reason they want to steal this election so badly and it's not because they want to see things go good for Main Street or the 99%. They want full and total corporate and financial control, they want to take our tax dollars as they continue to impoverish us, wipe out all protections, safety nets and laws that help us. If the GOP steals this election our very lives will be put at risk. So this is why they are working so hard, spending tens of millions of CORPORATE dollars to steal this election. There is a lot at stake for us and a lot to lose. They will not create more jobs, they will not pay us more, they will not outsource less and they will not have a responsoible govt that serves the people of the naiton, there will not be more money for schools, teachers, firemen, roads and there will be more environmental destruction. People will starve, become homeless and have no healthcare, Soc Sec or Medicare. They will ravage our nation. So open your eyes and do what you can. This is serious stuff.
 
 
+1 # Dale 2012-08-08 09:28
Mobilize with Occupy and other grass-roots campaigns, but vote!!! Who? the Zombie Repblicans or the cave-in Democrats who, like Obama, do the bidding of Wall Street, the oil interests, and the military industrial complex?? No way.
 
 
+2 # astorian 2012-08-08 15:45
OK. Let's look at what Obama has done. He's codified Bush's war crimes and civil liberties violations, wildly expanded them, and has made them legal. Appointed two ineffectual Supreme Court justices. Obama and his Chicago boy henchman Secretary of Ed Arne Duncan have just about completed the destruction of our public school system. Obama et al have widened Bush's 'War' further into Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Mali, and soon, Iran. with the cosiest administration to Israel in history.He personally reviews 'kill lists' and massively expands drone use all over the world. Millions of children live in poverty in the 'richest country in the world'(US and Romania have the highest child-poverty rates of industrialized countries) Thousands of immigrants held in ICE detention centers, while crops go unpicked, and people go hungry. No parole for Native American activist Leonard Pelltier, increased civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart sentence to ten years, even after she'd already been sentenced to two years by another court-(B of R is DOA) Holder and Obama recriminalizing marijuana, building more and bigger prisons, pushing nuclear(even with Fukushima still simmering), and natural gas from shale oil, doing zilch about acidification of the oceans, destruction of the last trees, overuse of fossil fuels, contributing to the worst drought in US history.

So, Dems on RSN, think about the real differences between the candidates, and tell me some.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-08-10 11:10
So, Dems on RSN, think about the real differences between the candidates, and tell me some.

astorian, first i am not now nor have i ever been a dem. second, i agree completely that there is no substantive difference between the two parties and that both ultimately represent the interests of the 1%. that having been said though, i have a hard time with those that say there is no difference at all..e.g., if the dems vote to extend unemployment benefits (which the repubs wanted to cut off) this makes a differnence to millions of ordinary people; the same goes for health care reform (which i agree is not real reform at all and essentially a give away to the big pharma and health care insurers) where if the dems proposal says insurers cannot deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, this too makes a real difference for millions of ordinary people. So, again, while i agree completely that there is no substantive difference between the two parties (and for the most part think the dems are as much slime as the repubs...it was after all a dem, bill clinton that gave us financial deregulation and ended "welfare as we know it" so i'm not defending them by any means) and my goal is to see capitalism abolished on a global scale, i think it is still dangerous and not accurate hyperbole to say there is no difference at all
 

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