Last weekend in Portland, Matt Pascarella, chief elections researcher for Greg Palast, gave a presentation to the National Summit to Save Our Elections. He presented his research to-date on the privatization of centralized voter registration databases under Section 303 of the Help America Vote Act. Special thanks to Kat L’Estrange (pictured to the right with Matt) and Beth Hahn as well as all of the organizers who put together the conference. The article below is a brief write-up from Scoop about his talk.
By Matthew Pascarella
“Let us be clear. These are not elections. There are all processes of selections.” — Christian Arandel, Research Triangle Institute (A USAID contractor in Iraq)
It was January 30th 2005. Images of Iraqis’ bright purple fingers, dyed with ink from voting, were ubiquitous – appearing throughout American television and newspapers. The networks looped clips of English speaking Iraqis praising the United States, some thanking coalition troops, and some even expressing gratitude to President George W. Bush. Far from all of these happenings, far from the curfews and travel restrictions, far from the 15,000 American troops marching patrol in the dusty streets of Baghdad monitoring what had been praised as a “successful election,” I sat next to Sheikh Jawad Al-Khalesi as our bus sped along the bumpy highway leading to Porto Alegre.