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Green Party: Threat of another stolen election missing from ’08 national discussion

Refusal by media, Democratic and Republican candidates to address election integrity raises danger of another stolen election in 2008, say Green Party

GOP tactics used to rig the vote in 2000 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio, New Mexico, possibly other states) will be used again in 2008; Greens say that Democrats as well as Republicans have undermined fair elections

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPOmOTyDm1w]

Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and her running mate Rosa Clemente have made election integrity a major theme of their presidential campaign.  The Green Party listed several serious threats to fair elections in 2008:

  • In many precincts, the same computer voting machines that have been proven vulnerable to tampering are still in use throughout the US.  In 2004, machines with the highest breakdown rates were used in Ohio precincts with large African American, Latino, student, and poor populations.  The Green Party has called for voter-verified paper ballots to provide an auditable record of votes cast on computer voting machines and for source code designed to be open for public inspection and verification before and after an election.
  • Rules meant to purge unqualified, deceased, and relocated voters are being used in many states to raise the bar high enough to disqualify legitimate voters.  Disqualification of voters unable to produce photo IDs or drivers’ licenses has disenfranchised has diluted the voting power of African American, Latino, and low-income populations in several states.  (See “Did the US Supreme Court Just Elect John McCain?” by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, Truthout, April 30, 2008, http://www.truthout.org/article/bob-fitrakis-harvey-wasserman-did-us-supreme-court-just-elect-john-mccain)
  • Election officials in some states have used lists of convicted felons to expunge legitimate voters who share the similar names.  Journalists Greg Palast (http://www.gregpalast.com) and others have documented how Florida, with the help of ChoicePoint, purged thousands of mostly African American voters in 2000.  See also the documentary ‘American Blackout’ featuring Cynthia McKinney (http://www.americanblackout.com).  The Green Party supports restored voting rights for convicted felons who have served their sentences.
  • In Ohio, decisions were made by election officials under the authority of J. Kenneth Blackwell, Secretary of State and Ohio chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, that led to the placement of fewer working computer voting machines in certain precincts, ensuring that long lines would discourage voters.  56 of 88 counties in Ohio destroyed 2004 ballot materials, in violation of federal law.  Journalists Bob Fitrakis (who was also 2004 Green candidate for Governor of Ohio; http://www.fitrakis.org), Harvey Wasserman, and Mark Crispin Miller have reported on how such tactics were used to inflate the vote count for the Republican ticket in Ohio and other states, and are likely to be used again.  See Mr. Miller’s article “None dare call it stolen: Ohio, the election, and America’s servile press” (Harper’s Magazine, August 2005, http://harpers.org/archive/2005/08/0080696) and his book ‘Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000 – 2008.’
  • In Wisconsin, Democratic voters in at least two jurisdictions have received mailers with absentee voting forms from the McCain campaign that, if used, would increase the likelihood of their votes not being counted.  See “GOP absentee ballot mailings called voter fraud,” Racine Post, September 12, 2008 (http://news.racinepost.com/2008/09/gop-absentee-ballot-mailings-called.html).
  • Ralph Nader, independent candidate in 2004 and 2008, has collected evidence that Democratic Party officials conspired to intimidate his petitioners and abuse the legal system to obstruct his ballot access in 2004 (Nader v. DNC, http://www.polidoc.com/pdf/Nader_vs_DNC_4-4-08.pdf).  In Pennsylvania, twelve Democratic officials have been indicted for paying staffers taxpayer-funded bonuses for their efforts to keep Mr. Nader and 2006 Green candidate Carl Romanelli, who ran for the US Senate, off the state ballot.  Some Democrats have confirmed that such actions are been motivated by revenge for Mr. Nader’s presidential run in 2000 (http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/11/2460/).

The 2008 election is in danger of being compromised by vote manipulation and obstruction of voters, say Green Party candidates and party leaders.  “We’re likely to see a repeat of the kinds of election irregularities that were uncovered in 2000 in Florida and in 2004 in Ohio and New Mexico,” said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

“The weaknesses in voting infrastructure that allowed the theft of the last two elections have not been corrected.  Counties and precincts with a high percentage of African American voters, student voters, and poor voters will probably be targeted again,” Ms. Everette added.

“Democratic apologists who accuse the Green Party and Ralph Nader of spoiling ignore the real reason for the Bush ‘victories’ in 2000 and 2004 — Republican manipulation and obstruction and a politically motivated Supreme Court ruling that denied the right to vote.  Many Democrats would rather lose to Republicans than tolerate elections that allow candidates outside the two-party status quo.  Democratic Party leaders who defend intimidation and the manipulation of the court system to block other parties’ candidates and independents have the same contempt for fair elections as their GOP counterparts who rigged the 2000 and 2004 vote,” said Jill Bussiere, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

In 2004, presidential nominees David Cobb (Green Party) and Michael Badnarik (Libertarian Party) launched investigations and recount campaigns in Ohio and New Mexico after complaints began to surface (http://www.openelections.org).  Democrats took no action after John Kerry conceded the race, until Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) began to investigate.

“Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama, are as unwilling as Republicans to discuss the threat of another stolen election, even though such irregularities cost them the last two presidential races,” said David Cobb.  “The major media are also ignoring the topic, despite overwhelming evidence, including the Conyers Commission’s findings, the conviction of two Republican election officials in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for their role in tampering with the 2004 recount, and a 2007 Ohio study finding ‘critical security failures’ pervaded the state’s election system in 2004.”

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