WIDE AWAKE in a TURDBLOSSOM NIGHTMARE
WIDE AWAKE in a TURDBLOSSOM NIGHTMARE
by Sheri Leigh Myers , Wake Up And Save Your Country
Here's how it happened. It was a hot and clammy North Carolina night, even at two a.m. I was resentfully awake, sweating over an update for the re-print of "Cheated!."
"Cheated!" is a non-fiction graphic novel that narrates what happened in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election: the too-long lines, malfunctioning voting machines, the sudden upswing in Bush's numbers after the polls closed.
"Cheated!" reports what happened after the election - inspiring history that a lot of Americans don't know - that some ordinary heroes did not concede the election, but fought tooth and nail in Ohio for a fair recount. A month after the election, no mainstream media bothered to show up for the Conyers hearings in Columbus. But I was there, and heard the collective gasp from the audience as Clint Curtis revealed under oath that he'd been hired by Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida to write vote-stealing software in October of 2000. Hours of shocking testimony of election fraud were barely reported. No wonder people still think Bush won Ohio in 2004!
Americans should know that when the late, great Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones declared that she would formally object before Congress to Ohio's electoral votes on January 6, 2005, thousands of citizens rallied to support her. I joined fifty disenfranchised Ohio voters and activists who traveled from Columbus to Washington, D.C. The Winter Freedom Bus Riders, led by Reverend Bill Moss, packed a bus and rode 400 miles to urge a Senator to stand with Rep. Tubbs-Jones. Here's Wil b at the D.C. rally, singing our theme song.
Nearly forty years before, Winter Freedom bus rider Cheryl had marched from Selma to Montgomery with Martin Luther King. Now, she needed a cane to get around, but she was fiercely determined to get in the face of power, and tell them how it felt to be denied a proper ballot. Cheryl wasn't on the 2004 voter rolls at her precinct. How could that be? She never missed an opportunity to vote! Can you imagine caring so much about your vote, that you are physically sick when you can't? Cheryl told me she felt violated. Actually, she said "raped."
So, on that sleepless night, with the crickets clicking sweetly and the humidity gathering on my forehead, I was updating the book and thinking of Cheryl. I was reading about the EAC - Election Assistance Commission - the federal agency charged with overseeing elections. What exactly were they doing to straighten out the mess that we experienced in 2004?
Voting Problems in Several Swing States is a CNN.com report that the Election Assistance Commission has not notified election officials across the country about "electronic voting machine failures and registration glitches." "Glitches" is misleading. We are not looking at temporary hiccups here and there, we are peering down into big black holes in the database into which hundreds of thousands, if not millions of voters will fall. Maybe you. Maybe me. Maybe Cheryl from Ohio. Again. Here's more bad news...
Common Cause and the Century Foundation find that 10 very vital swing states have had significant voting problems that have not been addressed since the last election. In some cases, the problems are worse than in 2004. And who exactly has not addressed these problems? The Election Assistance Commission.
Perhaps it was my ancestors breathing down my neck that night, adding to the heat. In the 1600's they'd sailed fitfully over a vast sea because they could not bear living under the tyranny of a willful, unjust king. They grew generations of New Englanders who farmed and taught school and sent their husbands and sons off to war, who participated in the matters of their villages, because they felt a duty to speak fully and freely and run their own country. They were proud to be Americans. Now, in the dark and the damp, they were outraged and demanded that something be done.
You see, on that sleepless, hot Carolina night two years ago, my look at the Election Assistance Commission eventually led to Texas in the 1980's, where a Plan was put into play to corrupt our election system and destroy our democracy. That's why we are in such danger this November. The Plan has come to fruition.
Harry Bridges, the famed union organizer was fond of saying, "I may be wrong, but I don't think so." Here's what I've deduced from my two years of obsessive research:
The first stage of The Plan involved the take-over of the elections industry. Certain people knew full well that the machines could be hacked; computer scientists had already presented studies warning of security dangers. This 1972 New Yorker article, "Six Ways Your Vote can be Stolen" (A) warned that "Skilled technicians can trigger a computer to switch a candidate tally on every tenth or twentieth ballot." Ronnie Dugger, founding editor of The Texas Observer, described the spread of computerized voting and the dangers in his profoundly researched Annals of Democracy, first published in the New Yorker Magazine in 1988.
Next step of The Plan was made under cover of a private, "nonprofit" "nonpartisan" organization called The Election Center that served as a nexus for the voting machine vendors and election officials. A core group from the Election Center seized control of the testing and certifying of the voting machines and spawned another private, "nonprofit" "nonpartisan" organization called NASED, the National Association of State Election Directors.
(SEE "The Scoop on Turdblossom" PDFs 1A - 25 below)
In one fell swoop, NASED took away American voters' ability to oversee our own elections. Under NASED, source code - the keys to the electronic kingdom - became proprietary. The secret vote-counting software now belonged to the voting machine vendors who would pay for the testing and certifying of their own software and hardware. And how convenient and suspicious that the first NASED-certified voting systems - Microvote and AIS - were repped by ex-Election Center director Gary Greenhalgh. Another key Election Center/NASED election official who left "public service" to hawk NASED-certified systems was Deborah Seiler, (see Kudzu List #16) who became a sales director for Diebold, then Sequoia (PDF B).
I think it is correct to point directly to Karl Rove as the mastermind behind this successful Plan to corrupt America's democratic process. Rove's m.o. is always to do his dirty work through a surrogate. A cut-out.
Both Karl and Carol Garner, the Republican operative who became director of The Election Center after Greenhalgh, (PDFs 10 & 11) worked on the 1978 Clements campaign for Governor of Texas (PDF 12). After Clements' election, Rove was hired as Chief of Staff to the Governor. Garner continued her work for the Governor in "Ballot Security."
In this 1989 letter (PDFs 17A & B) Garner proposed that the Election Center take over from the FEC the task of managing the testing and certifying of the voting machines. And incredibly, the FEC agreed. Another indication that Rove might have been pulling these strings, is the appointment of Tom Harrison as the first Executive Director of NASED in 1990 (PDF 19). At the time, Harrison was "special assistant for elections" to Rove's client, Governor Clements. In 1991, Harrison worked to bring the newly-certified DREs to Texas, (PDF 20) and establish national Voting System standards that recommended that all certified software "should not be public information." (PDF 21) Under Harrison, NASED established once and for all that vendors had ownership over secret voting-counting software - dealing a terrible blow to our democracy.
If only we had been awake in 1988, when the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, urged the creation of a testing system where "vendors would be required to provide software that could be readily analyzed."
Just a thought... Maybe there's another reason why "genius" Karl was able to turn Texas from blue to red in such a short time. Not only was Harrison in Austin working in the Secretary of State's office to bring DREs to Texas, but Election Center operatives were "counting" the vote on hackable voting machines in key Texas cities: Connie McCormack in Dallas, (Kudzu List #11 & pdf 25) and Beverly Kaufman in Houston (see Kudzu List #9).
Another link between Karl, the Election Center and The Plan is Doug Lewis, (see Kudzu List #10) who took over from Carol Garner as director of the The Election Center in 1994 - the same year that GW Bush was "elected" Governor of Texas. In 1978, when Rove rolled into Houston to work for Bush Sr, Lewis was raising money for John Connally Citizen's Forum. Two Republican operatives raising money in Houston, I've got to imagine their paths crossed...
As Turdblossom explains in his "secret" online lecture, once the "hanging chad" charade played out in Florida in 2000 with Election Center officials in key supervisory positions, (PDF 26) Doug Lewis and his gang were center stage calling for an overhaul of our "broken" election system. Lewis bragged in his alma mater's magazine, Spotlight of Emporia State:
" Few could have been more relieved by the relative success of Election 2004 than R. Doug Lewis (BA 1968). As head of the Election Center, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works with election administrators to improve the voting process, Lewis found himself in the spotlight in 2000. In the 24-hour period after the election, he had requests for more than 200 interviews, and found himself granting 30 or 40 a day. CNN. C- SPAN. The Today Show. They all wanted to know - what went wrong
Congress turned to Lewis and the Election Center for assistance in evaluating Election 2000. The two-year report resulted in the Help America Vote Act, which reforms the election process with $3.5 billion in Federal funding to modernize the process, from voting equipment to policies and procedures."(#23 p.12)
Why do we have a badly broken election system in America? I'll bet that Rove and his operatives pushed for the passage of HAVA, in order to install unreliable, hackable voting machines across the country. And, that once HAVA created the Election Assistance Commission, the same anti-democracy operatives packed the Advisory Board, the Voting Systems Standards Board and the four-person Commission. (See The Kudzu Effect Chart)
The EAC has failed to contact election officials around the country about the voting machine failures, failed to safeguard our democracy, because that's The Plan. I've got to conclude that my hero Cheryl in Ohio is not any better off in 2008 than she was in 2004. In fact, it's looking a lot worse for a lot more of us.
I was writing a book with all this research, but I really worried that the people I needed to reach, the young voters, would never read it. So, we created a short animated film to grab them for six minutes and urge them to protect their vote. Of course, the film is for everyone. But, I really worry (right now, I worry A LOT) that if this election is swiped out from under their noses, our country will lose a generation of hopeful young citizens.
We cannot let Turdblossom call this election!
After you watch the movie, PLEASE read our "Count Me In" Voters Guide, get informed and engaged. Don't leave it to someone else!! This election needs ALL of us out there on election day, (and on the days following) eyes wide open, taking back our country.
Our ancestors will be proud.
Onward, to a true democracy,
Sheri Leigh Myers
"In the end, our only goal is the creation of the beloved community." MLK
To find out what to do for election protection and to help us complete Part 2 of the Turdblossom Lectures please visit our show support page!
Now, more than ever, we must urge Congress to hold Rove in contempt for failing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee... Please take a minute to support ex-Governor Siegelman's courageous campaign:
Thanks to Tim Howard, who assisted with the research and Dan Moore, the true hero of this project and love of my life who supports this work in every which way.
A NOTE TO RESEARCHERS, journalists, investigators, bloggers, and elected officials:
Bev Harris, Jim March, Brad Friedman, John Gideon, Michael Richardson, Nancy Tobie, Mark Crispin Miller, Steve Freeman, Steve Rosenfeld, Richard Hayes Phillips, Paddy Shaffer, Lynn Landes, Fitrakis and Wasserman, and a number of dedicated election integrity researchers are hard at work, unearthing important material about the corruption of our election system. You have led the way. My contribution, I hope, is to connect more dots. In the days to come, I will organize and upload as much of my research as I can, so that any and all can make use of it.
So y'all know....I had the great, good fortune of obtaining (through the Freedom of Information Act) the 1985 - 91 correspondence between The Election Center and Jim Douglas, the Secretary of State of Vermont. I've linked to some of the material in my missive above, but there's a good deal more in the Research Compendium below.
"The Scoop on Turdblossom"
Election Center - early history pdfs:
A Harpers' Magazine 1972 #1A GREENHALGH LINKS #1. Hewlett Foundation funding 1984
(for the Center on Election Law and Administration through the BSSR)
#2 EC BOARD & MEMBERS 1985 #3 BSSR FOLDS 1986 #3A GREENHALGH LAUNCHES ELECTION CENTER #4 EC FUNDING 1986 #5 EC MEMBERS' DISABILITY "CONTEST" #6 VENDOR MEMBERS 1987 #7 GREENHALGH TO SHOUP 1987 #8 EC Funding 1987 #9 EC Conference 1987 #10 GARNER HIRED #11 GARNER/CLEMENTS APPLICATION FOLDER
(also contains letters of recc. from RNC heavies)
#12 ROVE/CLEMENTS APPLICATION #13 GARNER - NEW EC COMPUTER SECURITY SECTIONS #14 EC VOTING CERTIFICATION guide #15 EC Sections 1989 #16 EC CONFERENCE 1989
NASED - early history pdfs
B EC / NASED / VENDOR PROXIMITY
#17 GARNER/NASEDP1 #17B GARNER/NASEDP2 #18 NASED FORMED 1989 #19 NASED EXEC.COMMITTEE 1990 #20 TOM HARRISON/DRES TEXAS 1991 #21 SALTMAN REPORT RECOMMENDS TEXAS STANDARDS #22 CSPR RESPONDS TO SALTMAN #22A NASED/ABE_FRANK
#22B NASED/FRANK_ITAs & VENDORS
#23 Doug Lewis Spotlight Interview 2005 #24 Chapter Six: Black Box Voting EC & ROVs paid off #25 CONNIE MCCORMACK DALLAS 1985 #25 McCormack oversees Fraud in Dallas #26 FLORIDA PROXIMITY CHARTS
Wake Up and Save Your Country is a group of creative individuals (writers, designers and film makers) committed to making sure that every American citizen is given the opportunity to vote and ensuring that every one of those votes count!