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Michael Collins: The Long Road to Democracy (3)

The Long Road to Democracy


By Michael Collins
December 25, 2006 *** Published every Monday

The Election Fraud News Weekly Comment on key news in the public media.
See… " Featured Links to Articles & Resources " for links and comments on these weeks’ top stories.
Election Fraud, Voter Suppression &
Disenfranchisement & Voting Processes

Rumor is that President Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, may run for president. Rumor is? According to Florida voting machines, he's already won.

- Jay Leno

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he wants to be president. Well that's good, somebody will have to pardon his brother.

- David Letterman

************

Florida 13th Congressional District Challenge Heats Up

"The public deserves to know what is going on with these machines," Jennings said.
What's more important to you: Knowing that your vote is counted, or knowing that the company that sold the county voting machines is able to keep its trade secrets private?

- Daytona Beach News Journal Editorial, 12.21.06

We agree whole heartedly with candidate Jennings!!! Thank you very much for being such a great candidate and representative of the will of the people. Also, highest compliments go to the Daytona Beach News editorial authors. How much more sensible can you get?

Election politics makes for strange bedfellows. Democrat Christine Jennings is challenging the likely fraudulent outcome in her race for Congress. She’s represented in state court seeking evidentiary access to critical software and methods of the ES&S touch screen devices The request is a conflict between Jennings and the public right to know what really happened to the 18 thousand votes versus the “trade secret” status that ESS claims for their source code. Let’s see, democracy versus a last in class tech companies inferior software trade secret? That one will be hard to decide.

At the federal level, Jennings has filed a challenge known as an election contest before the House of Representatives. The Jennings Notice of Contest filing by distinguished Miami attorney Kendall Coffey can be seen here. It’s an impressive document that asks the House of Representatives to overturn the election based on a number of compelling arguments. There is a tremendous irony playing out also.


Sly fox? Steny Hoyer, D, MD (right), House Majority Leader, and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House (left).

Two months before the mid term elections, Steny Hoyer, D, MD urged fellow House members to make the Election Contest rules for the House more even handed. He was turned down by Republicans. In retrospect, this was quite a move by Hoyer. He may have had some doubts about a Democratic victory due to an awakening of sorts on election fraud or may have been pre positioning Democrats for an election contest like this one. Hoyer can now say, “Look I tried to help” when Republicans complain about rules for any election contests.. (If he doesn’t say that, lets all say it for him.) Speaker Pelosi had her own epiphany just before the election when she called for legislation to provide voters with emergency paper ballots. This shrewd move on her part as well. She' been a lock step proponent of the HAVA Frankenstein of computerized voting until someone explained it to her, at least in part. When they both support H.R. 6200 and amend it to demand that all federal elections are conducted with hand counted paper ballots, we'll know the education is complete.

In the State of Florida court challenge to the election, parallel to the House contest, Coffey brought two witnesses forward who stirred the pot. Charles Stewart, PhD of MIT is a long time proponent of touch screen voting. Yet in a Tallahassee courtroom, he argued that the only plausible explanation for the lost votes was machine malfunction. (See his declaration captured by DUer philb ). Had Stewart testified in behalf of ESS, it would be easy to write off his testimony as that of a sympathetic expert. However, he’s testifying against systems and machines that he has endorsed in the past. This is an interesting development. It makes you wonder if something is really wrong in voting machine land.

The real verdict is in.

Could they have known?

In the court of public opinion, the verdict it in. Florida voting and Jeb Bush are now fully understood by the general public, we can assume. Back in the days of three networks, people used to say when Johnny Carson started attacking you with humor, your days were numbered. With a few hundred channels, it takes two late night hosts to serve as harbingers of doom. Mission accomplished.. A few days before Jeb Bush responded to a question about his political future by saying “I’m finished” Dave Letterman had this to say:

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he wants to be president. Well that's good, somebody will have to pardon his brother.

Another weatherman indicating which way the public wind blows is Jay Leno whose joke was perfect for our discussions today.

Rumor is that President Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, may run for president. Rumor is according to Florida voting machines, he's already won.

Let’s hope that members of congress and the Florida judiciary are watching Dave and Jay for those special messages from the television intended for just for them;)

************

Controversy Erupts: Call for Paper Ballots from Election Integrity Groups Includes Optical Scan Ballots.

I wrote and article with the provocative title Coalition Paper Ballot Call Spares Vote Villains in which I analyzed the implications and argued against any action or process that would support the retention of optical scan machines and their Republican vendors. . Rather than slip away into cyber land, the article generated some real controversy and debate. Brad Friedman of “The BradBlog” challenged my arguments and the debate was on . I have my own opinion on that process and what it means but I’ll just give you the link. I link, you decide.

************

Voter Suppression

This was a very good week for voting rights advocates. In South Dakota, a notoriously conservative state, Native Americans won a redistricting case. Despite comprising 45% of the population in Pierre, SD, Native Americans never won election for town council. Why? Each seat is elected city wide placing those in the 45% group at a permanent disadvantage. The US District Court had a different idea. They viewed this city wide super district as a means to keep Native Americans from office. This is federal court so the trend may be reversing on matters like this. Let’s hope so.

An even bigger development was the decision by California Appeal Court. This allows the vote for those in county jail serving time for felonies as a condition of their probation. The ruling enfranchises 100,000 Californians. The unconstitutional practice of denying these citizens their vote was introduced by outgoing Secretary of State Bruce McPherson.

The notion that people serving time or formerly convicted of felonies cannot vote arose in earnest after the end of Reconstruction. It was a tactic used in the former Confederacy to take away the votes of black Americans by disenfranchising current and former felons. The notion is ridiculous on its face. If you can’t vote, then you shouldn’t have to pay taxes. By that logic, we might deny the citizens of our capitol democracy the right to vote. Imagine such a thing!

END

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