block the vote

November 1, 2008

McCain is down in the polls but that doesn’t phase him.

Eight points is nothing when you have GOP-sponsored voter suppression and an unverifiable, possibly-hacked electronic voting system on your side.

In order for a McCain victory on Tuesday the maverick war hero needs to win all of the swing states and then some. But how is an out-of-touch governor supposed to do that when he is already posed to lose most of them? Hint: it’s the same way Dubya won the last two elections.

By taking advantage of both the easily-misused and wholly out-of-date electoral college and the easily-misused and entirely too-new-for-comfort electronic voting systems, the GOP is setting up for another stolen election that, regardless of its success, will force us to reevaluate how we choose our president.
Since early voting began last week, complaints of Democratic disenfranchisement have been pouring in from those teetering states McCain needs to win.

West Virginia, Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Nevada are experiencing Democrat-to-Republican vote flipping on electronic machines. Democratic voting precincts in Colorado and Florida prepared for the expected rise in voter turnout by cutting the number of polling places in half. And some voters—both new and long-time—are showing up at polling places in key battleground states to find that their names are one of the hundreds of thousands that have been purged from the local rolls, victims of an unjustified effort to “reduce voter fraud.”

Every vote counts, my ass!

Despite video documentation and requests for alternative options, these complaints have been met with zero action and haphazard solutions.

If you’re vote is flipping, officials say, maybe you need to cut your nails or you’re pressing too hard or the screen should be wiped down because the latent fingerprints of McCain voters are messing up your vote for change. If you’re name isn’t on the list, maybe you shouldn’t go by your nickname or you need to get more legible handwriting or that hyphen in your last name really threw off the election officials.

It’s never the fault of the Republican heads of the precincts in question. It’s always, somehow, the voters’.

But tactics like these aren’t new, just more obvious to an increasingly suspicious populace and, hopefully, frustration at the polls during the general election will show that the open pussy flesh wound in our electoral process needs some stiches, gauze and a lot of Vicodin.

The most aggregious error lawmakers have made with regard to our electoral policies is assuming that the voting process should be advancing parallel with our technological progress and it has proven to be a fatal—or perhaps intended—fallacy.

With its use on a steady incline from its first U.S. appearances in the 1990s, electronic voting systems (or DREs), mostly made by “securities” company Diebold, are showing to be more trouble than their worth. First and foremost, as investigative website BradBlog says, “it is strictly 100% impossible to verify that any vote ever cast on such a Direct Recording Electronic voting machine for any candidate or initiative on the ballot during any election, has ever been recorded accurately, as per any voter’s intent.”

The University of California recently conducted a study
that proves the ease at which a polling place computer can be hacked to not only change the tabulated votes but to also change the “paper trail” to match the falsified information and validating BradBlog’s claim that there is no way to know for certain if the machines have given us any truthful information.

By the mere fact of them existing, the security of Electronic Voting Systems is in jeopardy. Even if it only took one person to manufacture the machine and one person to write the voting-software code, then there are at least two people in the world who know how to get around the system’s intended methods.

And judging from the confusion associated with the 2000 and 2004 elections in areas using DREs, those two people are working for the GOP.

Relying on technology to “save paper” and make the electorate process more efficient is backfiring as the cost we could have used to make more verifiable physical ballots is being used for recounts and more control mechanisms.

But if we eliminate the suppression and thieving tactics illicited by the power-hungry Republicans, then we can finally begin restoring documented, verifiable democracy in America and put an end to the faith-based voting that is coming to define our democracy.


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