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Recipe for a Cooked Election

Greg Palast 

for Yes! Magazine

A nasty little secret of American democracy is that, in every national election, ballots cast are simply thrown in the garbage. Most are called “spoiled,” supposedly unreadable, damaged, invalid. They just don’t get counted. This “spoilage”Proportion of Ballots That were not Counted has occurred for decades, but it reached unprecedented heights in the last two presidential elections. In the 2004 election, for example, more than three million ballots were never counted.

Almost as deep a secret is that people are doing something about it. In New Mexico, citizen activists, disgusted by systematic vote disappearance, demanded change ”” and got it.

In Ohio, during the 2004 Presidential election, 153,237 ballots were simply thrown away ”” more than the Bush “victory” margin. In New Mexico the uncounted vote was five times the Bush alleged victory margin of 5,988. In Iowa, Bush’s triumph of 13,498 was …more