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Steal Back Your Vote October 15, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in U.S. Election 2008.
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by: Sari Gelzer, t r u t h o u t | Report

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast have teamed up to tell voters how to ensure their votes will be counted. (Artwork: http://www.stealbackyourvote.org)

    Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. believe that the 2008 elections have already been stolen. What’s an American to do given these circumstances? They suggest: “Steal it back”.

    Palast, an investigative journalist, and Kennedy, a voting rights attorney, paired up to create a nonpartisan voter guide that illustrates the six ways that American votes will be stolen this election and seven ways to steal them back.

    You may ask who’s stealing your votes. Palast and Kennedy believe that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), created in 2002, is one of the main reasons votes are systematically being stolen. Secretaries of state attempting to comply with HAVA are purging voters from the registration rolls and blocking new ones from registering. The purging occurs if a voter’s name does not match a government database.

Those who are at most risk for having their vote stolen are new voters, people of color, low-income, elderly and swing state voters, Palast told Truthout.

    In 2006, Palast says that 40 percent of citizens who were purged from the voter rolls in California had Islamic, Vietnamese, Chinese and Hispanic names. These names were at most risk for misspellings.

    The Steal Back Your Vote Guidelines promote the importance of going to the secretary of state Web site for your state to confirm that you are registered ahead of the election.

    The New York Times appeared to confirm Palast and Kennedy’s findings on mass voter purges in its report last week titled “States’ Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal”. The newspaper found that tens of thousands of eligible voters were being illegally purged ahead of the 2008 elections.

    In the crucial swing states of Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, The New York Times reported that Social Security databases are being used to verify voters, as opposed to more accurate state databases. Federal law requires Social Security databases to be used for verification only as a last resort.

    The swing states of Michigan and Colorado are also violating federal law, according to The New York Times, because they are removing voters from the registration rolls within 90 days of the presidential election.

    When a name has been purged from the voter rolls, election workers will hand out a provisional ballot. However, Palast points to 1.1 million provisional ballots that went uncounted in the 2004 elections as proof that provisional ballots often go uncounted.

    “Once you sign that provisional ballot, the chances are officially one in three that your ballot will be thrown in the garbage can,” said Palast.

    In their guide, Palast and Kennedy write that a provisional ballot will most often render a vote uncounted. They suggest seeking adjudication on the spot, by calling a voter’s rights hotline instead of accepting and signing the provisional ballot.

    “Don’t go postal,” says Palast, urging voters not to mail in their ballot.

    Palast told Truthout: “All you need is the most minor error, like you didn’t use your middle initial in your registration; not enough postage cost a third of a million votes in the US the last time around because most ballots are two stamps, not one. There’s a million ways to not count your vote on a mail-in; don’t do it.”

    The other suggestions in the “Steal Back Your Vote” guide include voting early, getting involved in voter-registration and get-out-the-vote organizations, and pursuing legal action if disenfranchised.

    Palast and Kennedy will be following the 2008 elections as they unfold, including publishing reports in Rolling Stone and BBC news.


RFK Jr., Mike Papantonio: “Is Your Vote Safe” September 30, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Electoral Fraud.
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 Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Ring of Fire

September 22,2008

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has expressed concern for the safety of the vote in the 2008 election. (Photo: wikimedia.org)

    Transcript from Ring of Fire on Air America Radio

    Bobby: “There are about 30 scams the Republicans are deliberately using, particularly in the swing states to get Democratic voters off the rolls. These scams originate in the so-called Help America Vote Act which was passed after the Florida debacle in the year 2000. It was originally suggested by Democrats and Republicans but it was passed by a Republican congress with a Republican senate and a Republican president. And instead of reforming what happened in Florida it basically institutionalized all the problems that happened in Florida. And institutionalized a series of impediments that make it very difficult for Democrats to register, for Democrats to vote and then for Democrats to have their vote counted.

    “One of these requirements under HAVA is called “the perfect match” and what that does is little known but it is devastating. A quarter of the voters in Colorado have just been removed from the rolls because of this – just this one scam. And what it does is they use a computer system to compare your registration application to all other government records of you in the state. So they’ll look at your social security records, your motor vehicle records and any time you’ve had any interaction with the government and if there is any information on your voter registration that is different than the information on another government record that they find they remove you from the voting rolls.

    “For example, if I registered as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and yet my motor vehicle license said Robert Frances Kennedy Jr. I’d be removed from the rolls. If your initial is different, if you leave an initial out, if you leave a “Jr.” out, if you leave a hyphen out in your name. And what they’ve done is a study in New York that said 80% of the errors are errors that were done by state clerks who are taking down this information. And particularly immigrant communities that people tend to vote Democratic, people have names … spell Muhammad with an “o” instead of a “u” (crosstalk)

    Pap: “Are the Democrats Suing to Stop This?”

    Bobby: “No, the Democrats are doing nothing to stop it. In New Jersey, which is a swing state, 300,000 voters in New Jersey were just sent letters saying that they are now ineligible to vote. New jersey is nice enough to actually notify them – most states will not even notify them. And New Jersey intends to send out 870,000 letters so that is three quarters of a million people off the voting rolls in a state that could decide this vote by 50,000 votes. And these are Democrats that are being pushed off the rolls.

    Bobby: “Let me tell you about one other of these scams people should know about. If you’re a newly registered voter – and of course the Democrats have done these gigantic registration drives – 12 million people on registration – if you’re a new voter you MUST include your license or some other state I.D. when you come to vote. What that means is that if you’re a college kid (and college kids now – they’re sending in absentee ballots – they’re not going to the voting place, they do everything online or they do everything remotely – they don’t dream of going to the precinct house voting on election day and waiting in a long line) so if they send in the absentee ballot and they don’t include a color copy of their license their vote is going to be thrown into a trash can. And none of these people know this because you have had to read the law in order to know it. So there is no notification for when you fill out your registration form, so all of those 12 million people that the Democrats have registered: those ballots are going to be just thrown out.

    Pap: “And if Democrats won’t talk about this how the hell’s anybody gonna know about it? I’m involved with this kind of thing every day – I didn’t know that until you just told me. The media is not talking about it. How in the hell is somebody gonna find this out? It’s just incredible.

    Bobby: “Hopefully – Obama is getting 66 million dollars a month – hopefully somebody in the Democratic organization is going to pay some attention to this before election day.

Stealing Elections for Dummies: the Referendum in Ecuador September 11, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in About Ecuador, Ecuador, Latin America.
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Stealing Elections for Dummies


©Roger Hollander, 2008


You will, of course, recognize the author of “Stealing Elections for Dummies,” a man whose name will go down in infamy for his gift to the American people and the world of none other than George W. Bush.


I have just returned for another stint in Ecuador, and if Karl Rove is not here in the flesh, his spirit certainly has arrived to haunt an important election.  For nearly a year an elected Constituent Assembly has been at work to hammer out a new Constitution for the country, one that will, if adopted, mark the beginning of a new era of government.  The thrust of the proposed new Constitution would be to create government where priority is given to social justice and human rights, in a country where poverty, economic inequality and corruption have ruled since time immemorial.


A nation-wide referendum will be held on September 28 to either accept or reject the proposed new Constitution.  Campaigns for “Sí” and “No” are in full swing.  The left-progressive government of President Rafael Correa along with allied political parties and virtually every civil social movement are hard at work to promote the “Yes” vote.  The ruling oligarchy and the traditional center and right parties are desperate to achieve a negative result.


And this is where students of the fine art of Karl Rove come into play.  Although the Constituent Assembly  worked diligently to put together a draft Constitution that deals with the economy, natural resources, health, education, culture, provincial autonomy, the military, etc.; the “No” campaign is talking (yelling, screaming) about only two issues.   You guessed it … gays and abortion.  In a country that is over 90% Roman Catholic.


The new Constitution would define marriage as that between a man and a woman; but it does allow for the equivalence of civil unions for gays.  “No” campaign bumper stickers boldly carry sweet slogans like “No to Faggots.”


But an alien visiting Ecuador right now might thing there is a referendum on nothing other than abortion.  The new Constitution protects the sanctity of life beginning with conception.  However, it allows for the right of families to limit the number of children, which in essence gives legitimacy to birth control; but it goes further to state the abortion is not considered a legitimate form of birth control.  This somehow is not good enough for the Catholic Church leaders in the country, who have allied themselves with the political right in the “No” camp.


By far the most ubiquitous “No” campaign slogan is a simple “No to Abortion.”


Such strategies in the U.S, along with other nefarious tactics (such as denying voting rights to minorities who would likely vote Democratic and outright manipulation of electronic voting where there is no paper trail) have worked for Professor Karl Rove and his eager Republican students; and the McCain/Palin campaign has already began to clobber Barak Obama with what is tried and true.


The same “consultants” who advise the Republican Party in the U.S. also made there way to Mexico in 2006, and majority opinion in Latin America is that the presidential victory of rightist Felipe Calderón over progressive reformer López Obrador by less than one hundredth of one percent was another example of electoral thievery.


In Ecuador, however, where the young charismatic and progressive Rafael Correa came virtually out of nowhere to win the presidency in 2006; and where the referendum to hold a Constituent Assembly to restructure the nation’s political system was supported by a whopping 80% of the population; and where the supporters of Correa won over two thirds of the Constituent Assembly seats; a victory for the “Yes” campaign is almost universally expected to overcome the lies and distortions and approve the new Constitution.  We will know on September 28.


Assuming this to be the likely outcome, it is nice to know that somewhere in the world, even in the political backwater of a small country such as Ecuador, with its population of only 12 million, the wisdom of ordinary people can see through the manipulations of those powerful interests that have kept them in poverty and misery for such a long time.