Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Appeal to Edwards - Take a Stand for Voting Rights

"…the ballots shall not be counted in secret."
South Carolina Constitution



An Appeal to John Edwards to Take a Stand for Voting Rights


Michael Collins
"Scoop" Independent News
Washington, DC

Media, election, and judicial reform advocate Mark Adams, JD, MBA of Tampa, Florida discovered something very important in the South Carolina Constitution. It provides for secret voting but bans secret vote counting.

All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot, but the ballots shall not be counted in secret. The right of suffrage, as regulated in this Constitution, shall be protected by laws regulating elections and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence from power, bribery, tumult, or improper conduct. South Carolina Constitution, Article II, Section 1

The South Carolina primary occurs Saturday Jan. 19th for Republicans and the following Saturday the 26th for Democrats. With a recount in New Hampshire and the questions about that outcome, we may be looking at a series of questionable results in subsequent primaries. U.S. meddling in elections overseas has blown back to "the homeland." Secret vote counting is one of the key elements driving questions and forms a core criticism of the various state election schemes.

In a Zogby Poll in August 2006, 92% of the respondents said yes to the question: "Citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes." In the same poll of over 1000 registered voters, over half expressed little to no confidence in the 2004 elections.

Welcome to 2008.

On January 16, 2008, Mark Adams sent this email to candidate John Edwards and others in the campaign offering a perfect opportunity to strike a blow for voters of both parties to challenge secret vote counting.

"Subject: Senator Edwards, Will You Take Action to Make Sure that South Carolina's Elections Comply with its Constitution

"Senator Edwards:

"I heard your call for eliminating touch screen voting machines. Of course, being from South Carolina you are certainly aware of its use of touch screen voting machines. Last Friday afternoon, I looked into South Carolina's use of the infamous iVotronic touch screen voting machines, and I discovered that it's banned by South Carolina's Constitution.

"Some of the key information from my article "South Carolina Elections Are UNCONSTITUTIONAL" I published on Monday January 14, 2008 on OpEdNews.com follows.

"Article II, § 1 of the Constitution of South Carolina states, "the ballots shall not be counted in secret." Although there is case law which supports the right to have votes counted in public, this is the election integrity jackpot, a Constitutional provision prohibiting counting votes in secret! No more need to refer to case law, evidence, or logic to argue against secret vote counting, at least in South Carolina.

"Many are worried about election integrity. In fact, a Zogby poll from August of 2006 indicates that 92% of Americans are worried about our votes being counted in secret. See, Zogby Poll

"South Carolina is the best opportunity to make a case against allowing computers to count the votes in secret. I've discussed this with two leading election law advocates who have also brought election contests. They both think that this is the best opportunity to act that they have seen. The South Carolina Constitution prohibits secret vote counting! The election reform community expects one of the Presidential candidates to take action. Snip

"You know what to do, but to help expedite things, I suggest that you or your representative send a letter to the South Carolina State Election Commission pointing out that using touch screen computers to count the votes in secret violates the prohibition in Article II, § 1 against secret vote counting, and I would demand that they take immediate action to implement the use of paper ballots which are counted by hand in public to conduct the upcoming primary. I would notify them that you will take legal action as soon as possible to seek an injunction requiring that the election process comply with Article II or postponing the primaries until such time as they can be conducted in a Constitutional manner." Snip

Carpe diem,
Mark A. Adams JD/MBA (Full letter here)

Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again

In a very real sense, each primary will be about doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. We've got federally mandated and funded electronic voting machines throughout the United States thanks to the bipartisan Help America Vote Act and billions of taxpayer dollars. We have just a few voting machine types, with demonstrated security problems in every state. And we have the foundation for suspicion and disaffection with the political process through secrecy and obscurity in voting systems, regulations. All this is consistently dismissed by a political class irritated with the increasing demands for openness and accountability.

One more ingredient in the mix is the foreshortened primary season. We're rushed to pick a final candidate through "super" Tuesdays designed to force a selection with months to go before the national conventions this summer. What do we really know about the leaders in the field? One thing for certain is that they're the best funded of the lot. They have to be. The compressed primary schedule requires one thing above all others, money and lots of it.

So we're on the precipice of what has to be the most important election in the nation's history given the stakes and all we've got is the vulgar quatrain of anti democratic processes in place: heavily funded campaigns from private interests (i.e., legalized bribery); ongoing voter suppression of the poor and minorities; secret vote counting; and a rush to judgment that prevents real deliberation and debate. It's another mission accomplished by The Money Party.

"Those few of you who still think that we can trust having our votes counted in secret will be happy to know that your view is shared by many powerful and influential people. For example, Joseph Stalin said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." If you want to roll back the evolution of civilization from citizen influence over government to a form of feudalism, then you might as well quit reading now."

Mark Adams, JD, MBA

END

RESOURCES:
VoteCount2008.org - Adams web page
Mark Adams at FCC hearings, Tampa.
South Carolina Elections Are UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Mark Adams

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Myopia Of The Business News

Listening to the business news is a bit like eavesdropping on the radio transmissions from space aliens. There is no discernible connection between the concerns of the captains of these space ships – the bank economists and the finance house spokesmen – and the concerns of ordinary listeners back on Planet Earth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Clinton, Sanders, Trump And Cruz

Come November, the world will have a new US president-elect and the least unlikely winner still looks to be Hillary Clinton. Right now though, the polls are showing a rocky stretch ahead for her in the immediate future. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Sean Penn And El Chapo - Vanity, Hollywood And Reportage

Leaving aside Sean Penn’s personal history with drug use, let alone alleged efforts to get a slice of celebrity in portraying a drug lord, the furore surrounding his interview with El Chapo is instructive in a few respects. One is worth noting: the blind rage it has provoked with some US political figures and advocates who show how utterly lacking in understanding they are of their own liberal market system... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Podemos, And Spain’s Election Stalemate

By hard grassroots effort, it convincingly rejected the fragmented, individualising forces that had shaped political life for the past few decades – instead, it organized its supporters on the basis of their common, communal experience via collective decision-making aimed at rolling back (a) the austerity-driven cutbacks in public services and (b) the home evictions of those unable to meet their mortgage payments. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Merkel, Refugees And The Cologne Attacks

Huge pressure was already on Angela Merkel’s shoulders prior to the New Year celebrations. When it came in its waves of chaos on the eve, the security services in Cologne were found wanting. The police document from Cologne, leaked to Der Spiegel, speaks of chaos and lack of control. More>>

NZ Media In 2015: ‘Digital First’ Strategies Put Journalists Last

Journalism in New Zealand is threatened by the constant culling of editorial jobs and current affairs programmes… Additionally, journalists investigating issues which are in public interest have become under scrutiny as seen most clearly in the cases of Nicky Hager and Heather Du-Plessis Allen. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news