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Gibson writes: "Fact: There are two things that occur more often than the right-wing myth of 'voter fraud': UFO sightings, and election-rigging."

More than 1,000 union members and supporters re-enact the famous 1965 Selma to Montgomery march to protest voter ID laws. Larry Cohen, president of CWA, is at center. (photo: Newspaper Guild)
More than 1,000 union members and supporters re-enact the famous 1965 Selma to Montgomery march to protest voter ID laws. Larry Cohen, president of CWA, is at center. (photo: Newspaper Guild)


Target Election Fraud, Not "Voter Fraud"

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

09 August 12

 

act: There are two things that occur more often than the right-wing myth of "voter fraud": UFO sightings, and election-rigging. Statistically, you're 3,615 times more likely to report seeing an alien than you are of seeing voter fraud. And we watched the right wing nakedly steal three elections in recent memory.

The entire reason we invaded Iraq, lost thousands of American troops and massacred hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens, was because machines in Volusia County, Florida tallied NEGATIVE 16,022 votes for Al Gore when his name was checked at the ballot box in 2000. Despite the clear controversy, Bush won Florida, where his brother was governor and a presidential election was ultimately decided with a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court.

During the 2004 election, where Ohio was considered one of the most crucial battleground states, an executive for Diebold, a private company that sells voting machines, penned a fundraising letter that promised to deliver votes to Bush in Ohio in 2004. Bush ended up winning that state, and winning re-election. Diebold continues to sell voting machines unabated.

David Prosser, an arch-conservative justice on Wisconsin's Supreme Court, won his 2011 election against Joanne Kloppenburg, ultimately because Waukesha County Clerk Cathy Nicklaus, who used to work for the GOP caucus that Prosser oversaw, "miscounted" 14,315 votes after Kloppenburg emerged with a slim lead. Nicklaus' "error" gave her former boss a 7,500-vote margin of victory, which almost exactly matched the amount of votes needed to avoid a state-funded vote recount. Nicklaus apparently forgot to click "save" on a Microsoft Access template. Convenient, no?

It's actually really easy to rig a Diebold voting machine. In fact, a Department of Energy security assessment team figured out a way to do it via remote control. All it takes is $10 to $26 in parts, an 8th grade science education, and a key that can access a rudimentary lock for any Diebold Accuvote machine, which is easily available at any office supply store and can be copied without much of a hassle. Up to 30% of Americans will be using these easily-hacked machines on election day. And that DoE security assessment team said the fact that so many of these machines can be hacked so easily without leaving a trace is a national security issue. So why are Republicans so hell-bent on stopping the myth of "voter fraud" instead of the actual national security issue of election fraud?

It could be because Republicans just don't want black people to vote. Jim Greer, Florida's former GOP chairman, admitted to state party officials having regular meetings about "keeping blacks from voting." Florida, a contentious battleground state, is one of several states that passed a law requiring voters to have a photo ID to go vote. A similar voter ID law was passed in Pennsylvania, another battleground state. Pennsylvania's house majority leader openly admitted it was "gonna allow Governor Romney to win" the state in November. Wisconsin Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman said the same thing not long ago (Also, dressing as a banker and sarcastically heckling Grothman as he walks into the state capitol should be a national pastime).

There are over 250,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania whose right to vote may be infringed because of new voter ID laws. Some were born to a midwife in a house instead of a hospital, and never had a birth certificate, which is a requirement to get a photo ID. Some are veterans who only have their veterans' ID, which isn't sufficient enough to get a photo ID. Some live miles away from the nearest ID issuing station, don't own a car and have no public transportation in their communities. Others work 9 to 5 jobs, and can't afford to take off work to get a photo ID during business hours out of fear of losing their jobs in this troubled economy. The voter ID laws have stipulations that make the state provide a free photo ID for registered voters who don't have one, but usually nothing gets done.

Since the Republican Party is largely made up of old, wealthy white men, and seeing as the Republican party has gone out of their way to hate on and disenfranchise everyone who isn't a wealthy white man, like women, students, black people, immigrants, the LGBT community, and the working poor, they figure it's an easier solution to simply keep the aforementioned groups from voting through laws that undermine their right to vote. It makes sense, considering that the voter ID laws passed in the last year were based on the ALEC model Voter ID Act. After all, ALEC co-founder and conservative operative (re: scumbag) Paul Weyrich famously said, "Our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down."

If we're to have democracy again in this country, the first step is obviously to repeal any law aimed at disenfranchising the voting rights of American citizens, especially registered voters. And we have to strike down the voter fraud myth every time we hear it - even the right's loudest voices are silenced when asked to provide a specific example of voter fraud. But we can't stop the fight until unaccountable private corporate entities like Diebold stop marketing easily-manipulated machines to our states, and all Secretaries of State have mandatory paper trails for all ballots in all voting precincts. Like Tom Stoppard wrote in his play Jumpers, "It's not the voting that's Democracy, it's the counting."



Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and listen to his online radio talk show, Swag The Dog, at blogtalkradio.com/swag-the-dog.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+36 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2012-08-09 16:55
The teathuglicans, republicriminal s, gangsters of prejudice (GOP), or whatever you want call them, KNOW that they DO NOT have the number to win fairly and that their CASH TSUNAMI is NOT WORKING like they had hoped. Even THEY KNOW the cash has its limits. Stripping ACORN of its funding for that contrived scheme by Faux Media and their ("pimp & whore") was appalling. It was not even BELIEVABLE; at least not to me. Congress bought that lie and voted to defund ACORN with no real proof of fraud.
I BLESS THE DAY THAT FAUX MEDIA, MURDOCH, THE TEATHUGS, THOMAS, SCALIA, & THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM SINK LIKE THE TITANIC....AND IT WILL HAPPEN!!! Meanwhile, let's continue to GET OUT AND VOTE EARLY, BY ABSENTEE BALLOT, AND HELPING THE SENIORS!!! OBAMA 2012!!!
 
 
+7 # mppeace 2012-08-09 21:47
Carl Gibson made a very convincing case, and I agree fully. However, he and the vast majority of "progressive" writers fail to include--wittin gly or not--the BIGGEST election fraud in the USA Failed State: namely, that having a "choice" to elect candidates from only 2 corporate-bin-L aden parties amounts to an election for the Dictatorship of the Profitariat! Pure and simple.
 
 
+15 # swissms 2012-08-10 03:04
Are they still planning to use those Diebold machines without modifying them against fraud? I thought the issue was taken care of long ago, because it was shown how easy it is to misuse them.
 
 
-34 # edge 2012-08-10 04:43
STOP ALL FRAUD!

What a racist article!
 
 
+19 # robniel 2012-08-10 08:08
We forget the biggest fraud ever: Bush as "president" and Cheney as puppetmaster..
 
 
+11 # dkonstruction 2012-08-10 09:28
Quoting edge:
STOP ALL FRAUD!

What a racist article!


Since i'm assuming that the line to which you are commenting is the one in which the author says that:

"Republican party has gone out of their way to hate on and disenfranchise everyone who isn't a wealthy white man, like women, students, black people, immigrants, the LGBT community, and the working poor..."

the proper response would be that the article is "classist" but since this country was founded on both "class warfare" (i.e., only white men with property were included in the body politic" and "race warfare" (slavery) and that both continue to this day (albeit in different forms than when the country was founded) it is high time that the vast majority of americans (who are indeed either poor or working class) start fighting back a hell of alot harder than we have been fighting these past 40 years or we will find that capitalism has in fact regressed to neo-feudalism with debt and economic insecurity being the main weapons of social control (plus, of course all of the repressive apparatus of the national security state and increasingly the militarized local police to do their bidding)
 
 
+21 # Norma 2012-08-10 05:07
I work the elections in Oklahoma. Last time we held a primary I had to turn away 2 voters because they didn't have their I.D.. The worst part is I knew these two people. I have lived next door to them for years! As a matter of fact I personally know MOST of the people who vote at our precinct because we are a small rural community. Yesterday we had a re-fresher class at the election board and I brought this up. They Re-Iterated that I HAD to do it that way even though we lost those two voters! It's the LAW! We even have to show each other our I.D. before we vote.
 
 
+13 # newsmom 2012-08-10 07:39
Quoting Norma:
I work the elections in Oklahoma. Last time we held a primary I had to turn away 2 voters because they didn't have their I.D.. The worst part is I knew these two people. I have lived next door to them for years! As a matter of fact I personally know MOST of the people who vote at our precinct because we are a small rural community. Yesterday we had a re-fresher class at the election board and I brought this up. They Re-Iterated that I HAD to do it that way even though we lost those two voters! It's the LAW! We even have to show each other our I.D. before we vote.




...a classic case of the inmates running the asylum. three cheers for you for caring.
 
 
-22 # phantomww 2012-08-10 09:44
Great!!! Everyone should be required to show a picture ID before they can partake in one of the most important acts a citizen (as opposed to an illegal) can perform in this nation. It is way to easy to commit voter fraud in this nation. We need to stop it NOW!
 
 
+3 # ABen 2012-08-11 17:45
But do you have any hard evidence that such is happening? If you do have such evidence from some credible source (not Fixed Noise), please share it with the rest of us.
 
 
0 # phantomww 2012-08-11 19:19
Hard evidence? Like when there are more votes in a district than there are registered voters? Like when I was canvassing for someone and came to a house with a name from the voters registration list and when I asked for the person, he came and told me that he did not vote because he was illegal yet his name was on the rolls. Oh but you might say that it doesn't prove he actually voted, but you would be wrong because this list was from the registrar that removed all the names from people who did not vote in the last general election so SOMEONE voted for him.
There are cases of dead people voting and people in assisted living who have voted yet then have cases of alzheimers or demetia.
Finally, it is so easy that when I received my license renewal there was a voter registration card inclosed. I could have filled it out using my daughters name and social (she lives in another state) and signed her name and then marked that I wanted to do permanent vote by mail. IF I had done that I would get 2 votes. It is way too easy to commit voter fraud and anyone who thinks it is not has there head in the sand.
 
 
0 # phantomww 2012-08-11 19:22
Finally, just google "voter fraud" and see how many hits you get. How about the recent conviction in MN of 177 people?
 
 
+1 # robniel 2012-08-16 09:24
Perhaps we need to require photo ID with any e-mail from the right-wing fringe because lies = fraud.
 
 
+26 # Barbara K 2012-08-10 05:36
The real fraud is not voter fraud, but election fraud, being done by the states who are trying to cut down Democratic votes. Let's just put blame where it belongs. The voting machines? They should be burned and replaced with good, foolproof, safe, provable machines that give a paper printout. They should be encouraging the people to get out and vote instead of trying to use their fraud to keep them from voting. I hope they have prevented more Rs than Ds from voting, that would be real justice. Let them outsmart themselves. Meantime, we know who we cannot trust in our governments, DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN AT ANY LEVEL, got several states to clean up too. DO VOTE OBAMA 2012 all the way.
 
 
-10 # MidwestTom 2012-08-10 06:39
Of you can still find it, read the book Landslide Lyndon, it details how Lyndon Johnson received 9000 more votes in Lake County Indiana than there were registered voters.
 
 
+9 # newsmom 2012-08-10 07:38
Quoting MidwestTom:
Of you can still find it, read the book Landslide Lyndon, it details how Lyndon Johnson received 9000 more votes in Lake County Indiana than there were registered voters.


no matter who committed it, it wasn't right -- certainly no more right than the highest court in the land halting a recount that might have reversed the gore/bush results.
 
 
0 # MidwestTom 2012-08-10 06:42
Do a search under the Athens Tennessee war, you will find that in that town it was who counted the votes that counted.
 
 
+6 # NAVYVET 2012-08-10 07:24
In PA, be sure to join your county's efforts to help people overcome the voter disenfranchisem ent law. You can even come from NJ or Delaware and help out! Phila's Committee of Seventy can show any Pennsylvanian how to find the action to get VOTER IDs in your county. Phila and Bucks counties are already up and swinging. Montgomery Co is conducting training tomorrow & the 25th:
"VOTER ID CLINIC:
"Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church will hold voter ID clinics on Saturday, August 11, and Saturday, August 25, from 10:00 am-2:00 pm at New Life Plaza located at 25 E. Marshall Street in Norristown. There will also be a clinic on both dates to train volunteers at 9:00 am. Register by contacting Sharon Williams and Donna Windle at 610-277-1729 or happytail@cavtel.net."

For further info contact Comm. of Seventy at www.seventy.org. & click (on the left) on PAVoterID Coalition, or
use Twitter, https://twitter.com/#I/PAVoterID
or Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/PAVoterIDCoalition/403831659629393
 
 
+7 # bmiluski 2012-08-10 08:51
I absolutely HATE the paperless voting machines. They ARE east to manipulate. What can be done to get these machines out of our electoral system? To whom can we write letters?
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-08-10 09:14
I say again that one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the populace is the US election cycle which is far too long, starting almost after inauguration day, thereby playing into the hands of the moneyed owner-class who can pour seemingly bottomless pits of money in to their wholly-owned media in convincing the numbed populace to swallow their propaganda and vote against their own interests and those of their better-informed neighbors'.
In other countries (with more alternatives to vote for from right to left and independent), generally two months and it's over so that they can get on with the work of governing according to their lights instead of nose-jobbing their electorate.
Haven't head of too many irregularities in Europe where voters are more engaged.
Perhaps some European envoys should be brought in to monitor US elections, as Jimmy Carter has done in so many other countries.
It really is a Banana Republic folks.
 
 
+5 # cordleycoit 2012-08-10 10:09
Don't worry the Republicans will rig the vote under the guise of stopping voter fraud. It is the nature of Fundamentalists to lie to the general public. They cannot help but lie because that is how to win. Does it matter who sits on the golden throne? It only matters to the victims and they will be dead.
 
 
+3 # PABLO DIABLO 2012-08-10 13:06
Take back our democracy.
 
 
+6 # HowardMH 2012-08-10 13:42
Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
 
 
+3 # ABen 2012-08-11 17:43
the Greed Obsessed Party is pounding the drum about voter fraud even though the identifiable instances of such are so few as to be statistically insignificant. Election fraud committed by officials entrusted with overseeing fair elections is the true threat to our democracy. The voter ID laws being enacted in many states around the country are nothing less than Jim Crow 2012. ALL patriotic voters should not stand for this blatant attempt to disenfranchise certain segments of out population, and those who think it is OK need to revisit the idea of democracy. Raise bloody hell when you encounter such anti-democratic policies!!
 

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