Opinion: The 2004 Election Has Already Been Rigged
The Neocons have determined that elections can be manipulated easily with the new touch screen voting systems and when accompanied by a media pounding of lies, the public will accept the rigged election results as fact.
The 2004 Election Has Already Been Rigged
By Schuyler Ebbets
Posted September 2, 2003 thepeoplesvoice.org
The pollsters have recently been forced to admit that the majority of Americans are against the re-election of George Bush. Two wars, thousands of dead human beings, and nine million lost jobs later and people are beginning to realize that something is very wrong. In spite of this gradual awakening most registered voters continue to depend on TV for their news and they are kept woefully in the dark about issues like election reform and touch screen voting. The media has gone to great lengths to foster an illusion of legitimacy and normalcy surrounding the electoral process. People have been intentionally lead to believe that their vote counts and Bush could actually be booted out of office on Election Day. No way is Bush going to lose, it just can't happen. The 2004 election has already been rigged. The corporations and the military industrial complex have bought them selves a government and they aren't going to let some silly little presidential election jeopardize their investment.
On February 23, 2001 Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris suggested that Florida rent rather than buy touch screen voting machines in time for the 2002 midterm election. She said, "I think it would be wrong-headed and precipitous to purchase any equipment now. If you buy now, you're buying antiquated technology". According to her twisted logic, it was acceptable to use faulty voting systems in the election, it just wasn't a good idea to purchase them.
Prior to Florida's outrageous September 10, 2002 primary election, poll data showed heavy support for Janet Reno in Broward County, but election results from one Broward precinct alone revealed an impossible 0% turnout among more than 800 registered voters. Reno requested a recount of eighty precincts containing 31,375 registered Democrats because they reported only 1,952 votes. Her request was immediately turned down by the State Elections Board. According to an AP analysis, if those precincts matched the average county turnout, they should have produced 10,260 votes, more than five times the number recorded by the Election Systems & Software (ES&S), iVotronic touch-screen voting machines.
Almost two months later on election night, November 5th, 2002, tens of thousands of Floridians experienced difficulties using the iVotronic machines. Voters called in to Neil Rogers AM radio talk show the day after the election and complained of "broken" voting machines, and machines that voted multiple times for Bush when McBride was selected. Electronic voting expert, Rebecca Mercuri told American Free Press, "Numerous severe voting system problems occurred throughout Florida electronic voting on November 5th, but none of the major news networks are covering these problems," On November 6th, David Host, spokesman for the Florida Secretary of State, declared the elections, "an unqualified success", and the Associated Press reported, "The closely watched contest for governor in Florida was decided without a hitch." This propaganda might have been believed if 103,222 ballots in Broward County alone had not been "misplaced".
Katherine Harris is infamous for using her position as Florida's Secretary of State during the 2000 election to unjustly purge over 90,000 predominantly black and Hispanic Democratic voters from the rolls. People remembered how Harris had taken away their civil rights when she prevented them from voting. On November 5th, 2002, most of the Democratic electorate of 3.7 million people turned out to vote. Although registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 340,000, it was too late, the new ES&S iVotronic machines had already been installed in eleven key Florida counties. On November 5, 2002 Jeb Bush became governor of Florida again, and Katherine Harris was given a seat in the House of Representatives with only 138,940 votes, defeating Democratic opponent Jan Schneider's oddly low 114,618 votes.
This wasn't the first Republican victory involving "Election Systems & Software" (ES&S). Former right wing radio talk-show host and CEO of ES&S, Chuck Hagel, decided he would run for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska with his own ES&S machines counting the votes. Hagel failed to mention that he had been both CEO and Chairman of ES&S on his disclosure documents, or that he was an owner in the company that installed, programmed, and operated the voting machines used by most of the citizens of Nebraska. In 1996, Republican Hagel won the race in Democratic Nebraska for the U.S. Senate easily carrying both the primary and general elections. According to Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.com, Hagel scored lopsided victories in almost every demographic group, including Black communities that had never voted for a Republican. With the widest margin of victory in state history Hagel became the first Republican in 24 years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska. On November 5, 2002 Hagel ran against Democrat Charlie Matulka and was re-elected to his second term in the United States Senate by an unreal 83% of the vote. Again, the votes were counted by computer-controlled voting machines built programmed and installed by Hagel's company Election Systems & Software.
In Georgia, Republican Saxby Chambliss repeatedly questioned the patriotism of Democratic incumbent and triple amputee war hero Max Cleland during his campaign. Chambliss made the absurd claim that he was more patriotic than Cleland even though he had avoided service in the Vietnam war with a "medical deferment". A Poll taken by the Atlanta Journal Constitution published on November 1st, just five days before the election, showed support for Georgia Democratic Senator Max Cleland at 49%, clearly 5% ahead of Republican Saxby Chambliss at 44%. Many People in Georgia, particularly veterans, had been angered by the crude remarks made by Chambliss and they turned out in record numbers to vote for Cleland. When the 'Diebold' Electronic Voting tally was made public it stunned and confused the Georgia voters. Saxby Chambliss had won with 53% of the vote compared to Max Cleland's 46%. It represented a 13% pro-Republican swing that seemed to materialize out of cyberspace. The victories of Chambliss and Hagel, along with the tragic October 25, 2002 plane crash that killed Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone, virtually guaranteed Republican control of the Senate.
The Neocon election rigging juggernaut lurches forward unstoppable in the guise of so-called election reform. Two Republican dominated corporations, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Diebold Voting Systems, now control 80% of the vote count in the United States. As this transition has moved forward, a pattern of election upsets which overwhelmingly favor Republican candidates is emerging. These are test runs in preparation for the 2004 presidential selection. The Neocons have determined that elections can be manipulated easily with the new touch screen voting systems and when accompanied by a media pounding of lies the public will accept the rigged election results as fact. The greatest advantage of the new touch screen voting scam is the removal of a paper trail and the blockage of access to the inner workings of the software. When a voter touches the screen to select a candidate there is no confirmation that the machine has actually registered the correct selection. In the old punch-card and fill-in-the-circle paper systems, voters could see their choice marked on the ballot. In the event of any confusion or question, a record of the vote existed and a recount was possible. Since the new electronic systems leave no paper trail there can be no recount and the results must be accepted as fact. Attempts to examine the code used by the machines in Florida were blocked in the courts by the GOP citing, "proprietary/trade secrecy" protections under a law, which made it impossible for the DNC to ascertain how the machines tabulated votes.
It would be admirable if the American people could resist the next rigged presidential election as they did the scam of 2000. Of course the 'Supreme Court five' would uphold the "proprietary/trade secrecy" protections and the bogus election results would be ruled as legitimate. The coming election fraud has been so well planned that it probably won't make it into the courts. With the help of the media, the Neocons will deliver the deathblow to democracy at the touch screen voting terminals.