The fraud of voter fraud
The Chron picks up the story, but you really need to read the whole thing, because the Chron version cuts off before it gets to some of the more appalling parts. I'll let Kevin Drum give what he calls the "nickel summary":
In 2002, DOJ changed their guidelines to make it easier to prosecute voter fraud. They made it a priority to find voter fraud cases. They appointed a clean slate of U.S. Attorneys loyal to the Republican Party. They set up training classes to help prosecutors charge and win voter fraud cases. But after all that, they managed to demonstrate fraud in a grand total of only 86 cases over four years. And even then, many of the cases of confirmed fraud were simply mistakes, while virtually none of them were actually designed to affect the outcome of an election.
So in four years of concerted effort, the Bush Justice Department managed to come up with maybe half a dozen cases of actual voter fraud. In other words, two or three per election cycle. Mostly in rural districts for low-level offices. And because of this, we're supposed to believe that it's a high priority to spend millions of dollars on voter ID laws that plainly do nothing except make it harder for poor people to vote.
Can we now please put this nonsense to rest? Can we please stop writing stories that treat voter ID laws as if they're sincerely designed to stop voter fraud? There's no longer any excuse.
Indeed. And if the people who have flogged this were capable of being shamed by it, they'd be hip deep in sackcloth and ashes now. Sadly, they aren't and they won't be, but they should be. Josh Marshall
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 13, 2007 to National news
The minute you give up trying for a pure and honest democracy is when you have lost something important.
And, yes some hands are filthy dirty while others smudged, and others clean as a whistle in a system that was very gamed, lopsided, unchecked, unbalanced.
But, now some checks and balances are restored which provides an opportunity to do the right thing while we can.
Holt's HR811 keeps in place those e-voting machines which hide paper ballots that gave us the crappy late results for Gore and Kerry. Holt's HR 811 also gives more power over all elections to the Election Assistance Commission which has a majority of Bush appointees who, as you know, are picked on the basis of partisan loyalty...to a fault.
A press release from the office of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) begins:
In the wake of a news report that the Election Assistance Commission altered its findings to overstate the pervasiveness of voter fraud, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today asked the Senate Rules and Administration Committee to look into the matter. Menendez has written Committee Chairwoman Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), expressing his concern over the revelations and asking her to examine the process by which the EAC report was produced. Menendez maintains that the use of the EAC to advance a political agenda is a blow to the integrity of the electoral system and that an investigation into the motivations behind the panel's report is warranted.
Seems like Hand Counted Paper Ballots are just the thing to keep dirty mitts off of our votes.
THE most important action to take right now, is to contact your House Representative by visiting their Capitol office and/or mailing or faxing a personal letter urging him/her to sponsor HB 3894 (the bill for Hand Counted Paper Ballots 2007) NOW! Please go to our newly overhauled website at www.voterescue.org for contact information and an overview of the bill. When you receive a favorable reply, please let Karen Renick, Director, know at 496-7408 as soon as possible.
About last week's efforts:
To give our bill, HB 3894, the "Texas Hand-Counted Paper Ballot Bill of 2007", a huge boost to garner wide support in the Texas House and Senate, we held a series of high-visibility events at the Capitol this past week. By far, it was our best effort yet in getting the word out about hand-counted paper ballots in lieu of the easily rigged and hackable electronic voting machines.
With the very generous support of a wonderful friend of VoteRescue in Fort Worth, a computer security expert for Fortune 100 financial companies and election integrity activist, Bruce O'Dell, was brought in from Minneapolis to participate in all four of our scheduled events.
Starting on Wednesday, the House Elections Committee, heard 15 minutes of testimony from Bruce who eloquently spoke out against the voting machines and essentially "apologized" for the misleading actions of his computer scientist colleagues who have much to gain financially if computers continue to count our votes.
From 11:15 am to 12 noon on Thursday, we held a press conference in the Capitol's large conference room facility. Our line-up included: Abbe Waldman DeLozier (moderator), Rep. Lon Burnam (the bill's sponsor), David Rogers (attorney and HCPB advocate), Bruce O'Ddell from Election Defense Alliance, Sputnik (head of the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association), Vickie Karp (who spoke about the false safeguard of audits and recounts), Joni Ashbrook (who presented the first phase of her in-depth research into the real costs of electronic voting and the savings HCPBs would bring), and Karen Renick (who explained that HAVA does NOT require an electronic voting machine and introduced the non-electronic ballot marking device for disabled voters, the Vote-PAD).
Immediately following the press conference, VoteRescue volunteers provided a buffet lunch to at least 100 House and Senate staff persons along with several Representatives and Senators, while Bruce introduced the hacking excerpt from "Hacking Democracy", the HBO special that first played from early November to mid-December, 2006. Bruce reported afterwards that he could sense a huge shift in comprehension of the issue by all of the audiences who attended the 3 back-to-back presentations. We also handed out packets of information that supported our push for HCPBs. All in all, both the press conference and the repeat film & talk luncheon were extremely successful.
On Thursday evening, we held a showing of the HBO film "Hacking Democracy" at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, with Bruce giving a great talk before the film. Even though the turn out was very light, there was excellent audience participation during the Q & A at intermission.
Support State Rep. Lon Burnam's HB 3894 for Hand Counted Paper Ballots in Texas.
But, protest Holt's HR 811 which gives more power to Bush for the 2008 election.
ACTION ITEM NEEDED NOW:
Election Defense Alliance
HALT HOLT! H.R. 811 is the "Patriot Act of Elections"
EDA Halt H.R. 811 Action Page
"The Patriot Act demanded that in exchange for safety, we must give up civil rights.
The Holt Bill demands that in exchange for a paper trail, we must transfer control of elections to White House appointees."
Bev Harris, Founder of BlackboxVoting.org
*Custom Letter to E-mail Congress and the Press, via the PEN.
The PEN letter generator enables you to write and send your own letter to three members of the House Committee on Administration, your own Congressional representative, a letter-to-the-editor at one or more daily newspapers in your region, and copies of this action letter to many others--all at the same time!
Election Defense Alliance
Or if you prefer:
You can also
Call Rush Holt's office 202-225- 5801 and your Reps 202- 225- 3121.
This is our democracy at stake. Please take action.
PFAW, MoveOn, and Common Cause among others after seeing the above problem of partisanship with the Election Assistance Commission, may now want to retract their odd and curious support for Holt's HR 811 and join the majority of their own membership to move against Holt's HR811. Let's see what they do. But, much, much more importantly, let's see what their members do.