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Commentary :: Politics : Race
Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
Modified: 05:29:23 AM
If we look past the partisanship of the Republicans and Democrats, this election will go down in history as a huge victory for the impulse of US democracy and a huge defeat for actual democracy.

The largest turnout figures in the our history. The biggest get out the vote efforts. Unprecedented forces coming together to turn out those most disenfranchised. Unlike the official story, an incredibly close election with both Bush and Kerry getting more votes than any president in the U.S. history.

And more voters were actively disenfranchised probably than ever before. The election was called with over 1.6 million ballots uncounted in Florida; Bush only won by 380K and Democrat-leaning forces had been telling folks to vote by absentee ballot for months to avoid the electronic machines – how might that have affected the outcome? The election was called with 175K and growing uncounted ballots in Ohio; if you add Ohio’s undervotes and overvotes (majority people of color who overwhelmingly voted for Kerry) which would have to be hand-counted, well, Bush only won by 140K officially…
Add to those figures the say 60,000 absentee ballots that never got to voters in Florida, the hundreds of Democratic Nevada registrations pulled from the trash by police (among alleged thousands at that firm).

Then we have 10’000’s of voters from Florida’s intentionally vastly overly broad purge lists from 2000 -- very few of whom were ever able to re-register -- and their 2004 list which once again was almost all African American with almost no Latinos. That doesn’t count the police mysteriously being sent out to interview elderly black voters in Florida before the election. Early analysis of Florida computerized votes suggests very strategic hacking. Would the outcome be different if we the public hadn’t been distracted from Florida voters’ disenfranchisement by being directed to focus on Ohio?

Similar although smaller purge lists in Ohio, New Mexico and in Colorado where 1,000’s of names were illegally removed less than six weeks before the election precluding voters chance to challenge their removal before the election. The list goes on. These are estimated at almost 1,000,000 voters almost all of color – African American, Latino, Native American – who vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Nor the police visits to new Native American voters in South Dakota right after a massive voter registration drive on the reservation.

Nor the fliers distributed in African American communities this time around. The most well know are from the “Milwaukee Black Voters League” which threatened penalties of “up to 10 years of prison and removal of children” of voters who tried to vote if: you had already voted in an election this year; you have a relative with a conviction; you had even so much as a parking violation yourself; etc. Such notices appeared elsewhere in the US as well. In one major city, notices were posted that due to the huge number of new registrants, Republicans should vote on Tuesday and Democrats on Wednesday.

Problems of machines down in ten of Florida’s Broward County’s precincts and three primarily African American communities in Wisconsin. One machine malfunction in Iowa that delayed the entire vote count since the state was so close (Bush interestingly ended up officially winning there). The Wisconsin campus where students were supposedly allowed to register the same day but were turned away until the campus president intervened. Precincts where people were turned away because they ran out of pencils.

But let me return to the race story. Native Americans report being followed by police. A road block on a main route to a primarily African American voting place (it took miles to go around). Some voters were told to show multiple id’s (which is illegal) or in states that require no id, people were required to show one and then turned away if they could not. In 2000, this happened in mostly Latino areas; we await details now.

I won’t even go into the phone-banking scams that include Democratic voters being told Kerry is already going to win their state and not to go vote, etc. At least 2 reports of voting places (1 in Florida) where voters
had to report and/or were marked for party affiliation before being allowed to vote?

Then there are the issues with the new electronic voting machines. Computerized voting problems apparently mostly surface in the vote “canvass” – happens about 3-7 days after the vote. There are initial reports that getting your vote for Kerry recognized by many Florida machines was a problem. Many voters may not have had persistence to keep retrying to get it properly recorded; how many did not really check before they okayed the ballot? 20% of electronic voting machines tested by observers prior to the election had problems correctly recording votes. Only Nevada had a consistent paper trail of the votes out of the some 30% of voters who used electronic machines across the US this year.

Early exit polls put Kerry clearly in the lead; mysteriously by the end of the day, he was not and the Bush campaign was “confident” of the outcome. Hackers in minutes had been able to alter results both in particular machines and in the data transfer process in tests before the election. Computer experts may be able to track if machines were tampered with after the election– but what then?

Clearly, even if the votes we do know about had finished being counted, the outcome of the election could easily be different. But imagine the outcome if eligible voters who wanted to vote had been able to? And not had their vote tampered with? And they had actually been counted too?

Why the rush to resolution (by the Kerry campaign)? Why was the appearance of propriety, of a functioning democracy valued over real democracy, the counting of every voice? Whose voices get silenced, again?

I wonder if the systemic nature of the racism involved in the numerous strategies of vote suppression will ever get out? Many of these strategies are refined from ones used over and over by white right wing forces in the South against primarily African American voters. Many Republicans were explicit that suppression was their strategy: including Secretaries of State, election officials, Republican state parties and the more loosely affiliated “creative” groups. Clearly the Democrats are not interested in fighting for that story to come out even though in the short term, their candidates would be the beneficiaries.

So who is the big loser? As typical of systemic, intentionally enforced racism (dare I say apartheid), all of us.

I was asked by a reporter from the Final Call, shouldn’t we say Americans were disenfranchised instead of primarily Americans of color? My answer is no. If we cannot properly identify a problem, we cannot properly fix it.

And if white America cannot get it that it is our democracy, our spiritual integrity, our community, the hope for our future that is one and the same as the democracy, spiritual integrity, community and hope for the future for all our sister and brother Americans, well, we are all in deep trouble together.

May we remember: “What befalls the earth, befalls the people of the earth” and “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

But this hugest turn out and attempt to actually function democratically means the largest progressive forces in my life time were on the ground in the week leading up to and including November 2nd. If we can awaken the awareness in everyone, in all racial groupings in the US, that we are in this together and we act together, we will have an unstoppable force for progressive change in this country – regardless of who is in the top office.

Of course, younger voters, women, low-income voters also turned out in larger numbers and tend to vote progressively. Yet we must do more to overcome their disenfranchisement as well. But, as I keep reminding people these days, hopelessness is a tool of repression – we need to carefully nurture our own hope and each other’s hope and inspiration. If we figure out how to reach each other and keep those flames of inspiration burning, we will have the power to create the change we want.

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Comments

Re: The Real Election Results
08 Nov 2004
this is an excellently written article, one of the best I've read recently. Thank you, especially for talking about these facts which everyone is ignoring. John Kerry conceeded early because he wanted to convince everyone that our 'democracy' really works, when in fact he knows that if there was a full investigation, it would be clear that there were many many counts of fraud.
One of the big problems I see is that liberals keep saying that 'Well, we did a great job mobilizing the vote, and maybe next time we'll win." They don't realize the vastness of the problem. Of course voter fraud is terrible, but the system that enables it is the root of the problem. People need to stop thinking about change in terms of electoral politics (because that clearly won't work) and start thinking locally in terms of direct action.
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
I liked the article but the problem is that there is no way to tell if the voting machines were tampered with. The security systems set up for the voting machines are contemptible. Go to www.votergate.tv, download the video and watch it (the low bandwidth downloads the best), see Howard Dean taught to hack the central tabulator software in 90 seconds.
So the idea that the next so called election would be any different is mute.
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
you write convincingly , but what to do to change the dreadful situation that the whole world has found itself in since the 2000 elections?! Americans do wake up!!!
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
what i don't get is why kerry conceded-- drummer you say its cause he wants people to think democracy works. . .. i don't know. . . its such a HUUUGEEE wimp out. . . . reaslly makes my blood boil, and i didn't even vote for him! jeez. . .
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
Look Silly, he conceded because he's one of them. He doesn't want us to lose faith in the system. Faith in the system is more important to him than winning the election because if we lost faith in the system the gig would be up for him and his family and his skull and bones buddies.

He ran on a platform of killing "I will kill anyone..." he often said. I am pulling that out of context yes but I could not vote for a man who seems so proud to kill. There may be differences between him and Bush, but he would have continued our course in Iraq, we would not have pulled out during his four years.

When will people learn that the two parties are effectively one. They play with us by using these wedge issues and they've really perfected it now. It's time to abandon them both and focus on changing the electoral system from the bottom up and taking back our true political power one city, one county at a time.
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
Ballots are still being counted in NM. NM was bombarded with fear provoking Bush approved Ads, constantly, and NO Kerry ads. Scores of Native Americans were not allowed to register or vote, and TONS of young people stood in lines for hours to vote only to be told they WERE NOT REGISTERED, though they registered on Campus. Counting machines broke down, in some places only a few voting machines were open "because we didn't have enough operators". (What does that mean?? We have the same machines here and all it took was someone checking your voting status, giving you an electronic card which you slipped into any available machine, then you voted. The TV visuals for NM looked the same... so we conclude it was to keep people off balance and to get them to leave before casting their votes.)

This huge Texas County voted overwhelmingly for Kerry, even though we were not favored with visits or ads, (The NM ads were bleedovers, so we could view them if we turned to the NM stations.) The votes aren't all in for the surrounding NM Counties, so I can't report whom they favored.

I kept hearing Kerry lost by 3.5 million votes, but this article says it is much closer than that. Which is right?
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
09 Nov 2004
Kerry's considering unconceding and having a recount. He asked people to send firsthand experiences of disenfranchisement to his brother's law office and his office is eagerly counting calls that are encouraging him to unconcede and ask for a recount! There has been massive evidence of voting fraud (see bottom for links) and there are 2 organizations you can support to uncover hard evidence of this fraud.

In This Post
(1)Call/fax Kerry's senate office, the DNC, and the Ohio Democratic Party
(2)If you have first handexperience of voter disenfranchisement (not just articles) contact his brother
(3) Support Two organizations that are uncovering hard evidence of fraud:blackboxvoting.org and votewatch.us

(1)Kerry can still request a recount in Ohio (and he may have the best chance of winning with a recount there)and perhaps elsewhere! He has until they count the provisional ballots 11-15 days after counting the provisionals. (It doesn't matter if he'll have a hostile Congress to work with because even if he can't get much done as president at least he would prevent the havoc and destruction of 4 more years of W in which our rights, environment,economy, social security, and our very lives are at stake!)

When I called they put me through to someone who asked for my state: they seem to be adding them up! Contact Kerry at (202) 224-2742 -Phone
(202) 224-8525 - Fax
email form http://kerry.senate.gov/bandwidth/contact/email.html
and urge him to unconcede and do a recount in Ohio (and perhaps elsewhere)

Also contact the DNC about this since pressure from them either way would influence Kerry. This is their phone number: 202-863-8000 This is the page for their email address http://www.democrats.org/contact/

(2)If you have witnessed or experienced disenfranchisement you can contact his brother's law office--they are collecting this information which will be vital in considering unconceding at CKerry (at) Mintz.com (Don't just email articles or they will be inundated with emails. They already know about the articles.)

(3)Help These Two Organizations Prove Fraud
There is anecdotal evidence of widespread fraud with the paperless voting machines. There are two groups working to uncover hard evidence who need your support

(a) Please support the work of http://blackboxvoting.org-- which is the only group uncovering hard evidence of fraud of the paperless electronic voting machines--with donations and/or volunteer work--they need to raise $50,000 to file freedom of info act requests for as quickly as possible to pay for records and the fees some states charge for them. If you can't donate funds http://www.eservicescorp.com/form.aspx?fID=912 , please donate time.
E-mail to join the Cleanup Crew. (they need all types from doing grunt work, to lawyers and programers) crew (at) blackboxvoting.org

b)support http://www.votewatch.us
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
10 Nov 2004
Your article suffers a critical error that is as common as air. You purposely select only examples that support your view in the face of numerous similar examples of attempted fraud on the part of Democrats, and then use that one sided presentation to acuse your advisaries of racism. I'm sorry for you. I can list a couple of them for you, such as the NAACP recruiting crack addicts to register the likes of Mary Poppins and Michael Joran in Ohio, the slashing of 30 vans at a Republican office that was to drive people without cars to the polls (thats call enfranchisement by the way).
You can cry racism all day, you can hate, you can toil against the horror of the majority all you like. Recount if you so wish. But eventually I hope you can face defeat like an American, understanding that the majority rules, regardless of what you as an individual think. Majority rule and the constitutional system of this country has proven over time to protect minority and religious rights moreso than anywhere else, with the exceptions of, on your side, homosexual marriage (which I'll address next), and on our side, the unborn. The idea that there is systemic racism in this country today is a residual fantasy of liberals because without it, you loose a significant portion of your arguments supporting the redistribution of wealth from people who earn to people who don't. If it ain't "the black man" that's being repressed, and just "lazy people" of WHATEVER race that are poor, it's a bit harder for you to justify taking money from people who work for it to give it to people who won't work for it.
And just to touch on gay marriage. I don't think ya'll get it. It the WORD. Marriage. It means one thing. I and most of my Christian and nonChristian friends agree that homosexuals should have legally recognized unions with full legal rights. What we don't want is to loose what marrage is and has always meant. In a way its just semantics. But in reality its so much more. If homosexuals and activist judges would have left the word marriage alone, I think the ballot initiaves would not have happened. They brought it on themselves by trying to circumvent the system. Sorry, it's America. And let me remind you who are so sensitive to minorities being disenfranchised. The unborn murdered in the name of privacy never get a chance to vote for their right to live.
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
10 Nov 2004
randy for cheryl
i called Kerry's office and they said it was an internet rumor. Don't always believe everything you hear even on our side, ok?
the fraud is real though-and i doubt the dems care about the truth.
The Criminals Stole The Election. Again!
10 Nov 2004
Watch the video from MSNBC about the stolden election in Ohio and Florida!
MSNBC is the first major news media source to cover the story. See: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6442857/
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
10 Nov 2004
You make some important points, but I wonder why the obsession with when the race is "called", or whether or not Kerry "conceded". These factors have nothing to do with who is actually elected; they are different groups (news organizations and campaigns) issuing their opinion on what's going to happen. "Calling" Ohio early or late had no impact on who will get the state's electoral votes. A network projection of victory does not cancel the process of counting votes. If history is defied and the absentee and provisional ballots end up favoring Kerry by a huge rate, then he would still win the state.
Re: Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
11 Nov 2004
Anyone who thinks this election may not have been stolen has long ago lost their bullshit detectors. If it makes sense to you that, in the most heavily Democratic counties in Florida, all the registered Republicans, all the independents, and 40-50% of the registered Democrats would vote for Bush then you are so out of contact with reality that .... you must be from another planet. Get real, there is no evidence that independents all shifted to Bush, let alone that nearly half the Democratic voters did.

Anyway, the main way to prove that the election is stolen is that when you make a list of all the suspicious outcomes - suspicious from whatever point of view - they all happen to favour Bush. If the suspicious outcomes were all accidents of one kind of another, half of them should have favoured Kerry. But none of them do. This proves what Bush's evangelical supporters would refer to as intelligent design behind the fraud.
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