Tag: voting rights

Democracy Now:
How they’re stealing Ohio

Vote machines audit function disabled—and worse

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast on the ground in the battleground state of Ohio: where he finds three ways the vote is, indeed, “rigged” – but FOR the GOP.

 

 [Election Day, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio] For two decades, computer touch-screen voting machines have been derided as “push and pray” voting. You had to take it on faith that the machine records your vote as you intend. The machines lacked a “paper record” to audit and recount.

So, voting rights attorney Robert Fitrakis was thrilled to learn that many of Ohio’s voting machines would, for this election, have a brand-new anti-hacking capability. The computers could now take a photo of every voter card loaded in, time stamp each marking, and keep the images in an order that allows an audit and recount.

But there’s one thing wrong with the new tamper-proof voting machines. “They’ve decided to …more

The Trump Who Cried Wolf

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein

Marc Silvey of Ignite NC a student voting rights group that works to defend the youth vote.
Photo by Zach D. Roberts

During an interview on Faux News, Donald Trump told Sean Hannity that the November 8th presidential election was going to be rigged. However, he conveniently forgot to mention the inconvenient truth that almost all of the rigging that’s going on is in his favor — and that much of it is being perpetrated by Republican lawmakers, who are taking advantage of a much-weakened Voting Rights Act.

While striking down one particularly onerous piece of legislation in the GOP state of North Carolina — which in addition to requiring voter ID, cut early voting, and eliminated same day registration, out of precinct voting, and pre-registration for those under 18 — the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court judge noted that the measures “targeted African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

It comes as no surprise that these GOP laws target people of color, who tend to vote overwhelmingly blue. Indeed, recent polls in Pennsylvania and Ohio have found that Trump is getting absolutely no support — zero, zip, zilch, nada — from Black Americans!

In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, the Sherlock Holmes of voting shenanigans, Greg Palast, and Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein discuss the North Carolina decision that struck down the state’s anti-voting law, alongside similar recent rulings in Texas, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. (A more temporary decision, which came down on July 29, also reversed vote suppression measures enacted by Kansas Secretary of State, and Vote-Rigger-In-Chief, Kris Kobach.) But first, Palast and Bernstein address Trump’s “concerns”.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on Aug 3, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: Let’s start with Trump and his claims of potential voter fraud. Here’s what Trump said about his fears:

“I’m telling you, November 8th, we better be careful because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

He went on to promise “a bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal the election.” Well, Greg, it looks like we’re back right in the middle of your hysteria factory.

Greg Palast: Every con man does the same thing. They tell you, …more

Mike Pence walks 10 Nuns
out of the Voting Booth

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein for Reader Supported News

09 Oct 1962, Akron, Ohio, USA - Sister John Bosco of St. Sebastian School - Image by © Bettmann/Corbis
09 Oct 1962, Akron, Ohio, USA – Sister John Bosco of St. Sebastian School – Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

Mike Pence is the poster boy for voter ID laws. No one has benefited more from this legalized form of vote theft than the Republican nominee for VP. In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last Wednesday, Pence said he “wants every American to succeed and prosper” — however he certainly doesn’t want every American to vote. Indeed it was thanks to Indiana’s voter ID laws — the first of their kind in the nation — that he squeaked into the governor’s office. These seemingly benign laws, requiring voters to show approved photo ID, have a sinister and very deliberate effect: they suppress black, brown, young, old, poor — and, above all, blue votes. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein gets the lowdown on the sleazy practice of vote-rigging-by-ID-law from political hanky-panky expert Greg Palast. They also discuss how these racist-by-design laws tap dance around voting rights and discrimination protections, and could ultimately help Pence and Trump waltz into the White House.

 

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on July 20, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: Today Mike Pence is front and center. He’s out there on his proverbial knees to …more

New York voting fiasco just the warm-up
for the November game

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast

Buckle up, America.  The voting demolition derby that was the New York primary on Tuesday was merely the crash test for the coming voting wreckage in November:  a carefully planned pile up.

Voter purgeImage from Palast’s upcoming film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
Watch the trailer
First, live from New York….

Francesca Rheannon, whom you may know as the host of Writers’ Voice radio, did the civic thing by volunteering to work the polls in a town east of New York City.

“I just got off my 17 hour shift as an election official.  In my election district, out of 166 Democratic voters, 39 were forced to file affidavit ballots.  The last [election] I worked in, exactly ONE voter needed an affidavit ballot.”

That’s nearly one of four voters. Why?  Their names had gone missing from the voter rolls.

An affidavit ballot (called a “provisional” ballot in most other states) is a kind of placebo ballot.  You get to pretend to vote – but the chance it will actually be counted is …well, good luck.  If your name is wrongly removed …more

Lee Camp Arrested At Democracy Spring

Greg Palast 

Lee Camp, host of RT’s Redacted Tonight and resident Palast Investigative Fund humorist was arrested Tuesday afternoon at the Democracy Spring protests in Washington DC.

He was one of hundreds who have been arrested in the actions, which are now on day three of ten days of protests. Democracy Sping is a coalition of like-minded groups working together for voting rights, getting money out of politics and protecting the environment.

Listen to Lee’s interview with RT’s Eunan O’Neill on his arrest.

“There’s a lot of people that are standing up and willing to get arrested to call attention to how money has corrupted our entire system,” Camp told RT in the interview.

Camp has since been released from police custody.

Check out Lee Camp’s videos on how to protect your …more

Scalia’s Black Beemer

Greg Palast 

By Greg Palast  |  For OpedNews

It was one of our team’s weirder investigative discoveries: The recently departed Justice Antonin Scalia— alev ha shalom — in 2011, was ticketed for recklessly driving his black BMW.To his family, I offer condolences.   To my readers, I offer the facts.  A man’s soul must be laid to rest, but history must not be buried as well, especially now that the Justice’s passing has become grounds for stories that border on historical obscenity, cf. the New York Times, “Liberal Love for Antonin Scalia.”

Love?? Well, if you want a Valentine, this ain’t it.

There’s been a lot of gleeful chuckling, for example, about Scalia’s courtroom bench “humor.”  But behind his jokey comments lay a cruelty aimed at the …more

Who hatched Rubio?

Greg Palast 

The big boys are confident that Sen. Marco Rubio has locked up the Republican nomination. But who’s locked up Rubio?

I called my bookie in London. The betting professionals were not surprised at Marco Rubio’s big Iowa showing. The smart money has been on Rubio since October 31–despite the fact that Rubio was polling at just 9%.

Paul Krishnamurty, politics odds analyst at Betfair.com, told me that, among professional betters, over just two days, Rubio soared from zero to odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination.

Why would the guys who bet the rent money place it all on Rubio—and what suddenly changed on October 31?


Because, despite the fact that 9 of 10 Republicans rejected him, on Halloween, Rubio won the only vote that counts: The Vulture’s.

It was page one news in the New York Times: Paul Singer, Influential Billionaire, Throws Support to Marco Rubio for President.

I’ve been hunting Singer, AKA The Vulture, for nine years across four continents. And now the carrion-chewing billionaire has decided who will be your next President.

The Vulture, not the Kochs, has become the Number One funder of the Republican Party. The Vulture’s blessing signals to the other billionaires where to place their bets.

Singer doesn’t “donate” to candidates. He invests in them. And he expects a big, dripping return on his money.

But why Rubio? Because Singer’s little hatchling is doing The Vulture’s bidding already. Singer has launched a murderous financial “vulture” attack on Argentina. Singer is shaking down the gaucho nation for $3 billion.

Here’s the story. Decades ago, Argentina’s military dictatorship issued bonds that sucked the nation dry. When democracy returned, 97% of the banks that had funded the dictatorship agreed to take …more

From White Sheets to Spreadsheets

Greg Palast 

By Greg Palast for Truthdig


I hate to spoil a happy ending.

The movie “Selma,” like this week’s commemorations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma, Ala., 50 years ago, celebrates America’s giant leap from apartheid.

Half a century ago Alabama state troopers and a mob of racist thugs beat African-Americans and others as they marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, demanding no more than the right to vote. By the time King led 25,000 demonstrators singing “We Shall Overcome” into Montgomery, the state capital, on March 25, the president of the United States had introduced the Voting Rights Act. Free at last—to vote. Roll credits.

Yet, just a few months ago, Martin Luther King asked me, “How long until African-American citizens of Alabama—and Mississippi and Georgia—get the unimpeded right to vote?”

Obviously I was not speaking with King Jr.—a bullet stole him from us in 1968. The question was posed by his son, Martin Luther King III. I spent an afternoon at his home in Atlanta, where we pored over the latest evidence that Americans of color were blocked at the doors to the polls in the 2014 midterm elections—by the hundreds of thousands.

As King’s 6-year-old daughter serenaded us with her toy drum set, we dived into a massive, secretive database used by elections officials—almost all of them Republicans—in 28 states. The scheme, called “Interstate Crosscheck,” threatens to disqualify …more

Karl Rove’s Carolina Scheme Faces Justice

Greg Palast 

By Greg Palast.
Updated from the original article published on
TheMudflats.net

Note from TheMudflats.net: In 2011 Karl Rove wrote a column called “Why Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012” – Rove was betting on North Carolina to be a swing state for the Republicans… Romney took the state but to Rove’s surprise he failed at stealing Ohio for the third time. Just Google “Karl Rove Meltdown,” and you’ll see a video from Fox News election night, he did not take it well.

After the knock-down of the Voting Rights Act by the US Supreme Court earlier this year North Carolina jumped at the chance to …more

RNC Opens with Pol who
“Should be in Jail”

Greg Palast 

For Truth-out.org

“Tim Griffin should be in jail.” That’s the conclusion of civil rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after going through the evidence I asked him to review.

But Griffin’s not in jail: he’s in Congress. And Tuesday, he’ll be the first Congressman the Republicans have chosen to bring to their convention podium.

Predictably, I haven’t seen one US press report noting that in 2007, Griffin resigned from the Justice Department in disgrace, ahead of what could have been (should have been), his indictment.

Kennedy thought a couple of other characters should join Griffin in the lock-up: first, Griffin’s boss, the man whom George W. Bush gave the nickname, “Turdblossom”: Karl Rove.

And there’s yet another odiferous blossom, Griffin’s assistant at the time of the crime: Matt Rhoades. Rhoades isn’t in jail either. He’s the …more

RFK: Rove And Rove’s Brain, ‘Should Be In Jail,’ Not In Office

Greg Palast 

NEW YORK — Monday, May 7, 2007RFK Jr and Greg Palast discuss Rove and the Missing e-mails -Photo by CS Muncy
Voting rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called for prison time for the new US Attorney for Arkansas, Timothy Griffin and investigation of Griffin’s former boss, Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President Bush.

“Timothy Griffin,” said Kennedy,”who is the new US attorney in Arkansas, was actually the mastermind behind the voter fraud efforts by the Bush Administration to disenfranchise over a million voters through ‘caging’ techniques – which are illegal.”

[Hear Kennedy on Griffin, Rove and ‘caging lists’ below or here]

Kennedy based his demand on the revelations by BBC reporter Greg Palast in the new …more

They Don’t Call it The “White” House for Nothing

Greg Palast 

Bush at the NAACP Convention

God lost this time. I counted: Bush mentioned God only six times in his speech to the NAACP today. The winner was ‘faith’ — which got seven mentions, though if you count “The Creator” as God, well, then the Lord tied it.

Coming in right behind God and Faith, other big mentions in the First Home Boy’s rap included: The Voting Rights Act, his family’s “commitment to civil rights,” the “death tax,” rebuilding New Orleans and “public school choice” and “soft bigotry.”

As the philosopher Aretha Franklin once said, “Who’s zoomin’ who?”

Let’s take it one point at a time. …more

How They Stole Ohio

ZACH 

And the GOP 4-step Recipe to ‘Blackwell’ the USA in 2008
Abracadabra: Three million votes vanish

A Buzzflash Exclusive

[Heads up! Catch Robert Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Greg Palast this next Saturday, June 10th, on Air America’s ‘Ring of Fire’ on the shoplifting of the last election & and the next one.]

This is a fact: On November 2, 2004, in the State of Ohio, 239,127 votes for President of the United States were dumped, rejected, blocked, lost and left to rot uncounted.

And not just anyone’s vote. Dive into the electoral dumpster and these “spoiled” votes have a very dark color indeed.

In another life, I taught statistics. And these statistics stank: the raw data tells us that if you are a Black voter, the chance of you losing your vote to technical errors in voting machinery is 900% higher than if you were a white voter.

Any guesses as to whom those African-Americans chose for president on those junked ballots? Check Ohio’s racial demographics, do the numbers, and there it is: Kerry won Ohio. And that, too, is a fact. A fact that could not get reported in the USA.

But the shoplifting of those votes in Ohio was just the tip of the theft-berg. November 2, 2004 was a national ballot-box bonfire. In total, over three million votes (3,600,380 to be exact) were cast—marked, punched, pulled—YET NEVER COUNTED. I’m not talking about the Ukraine or Uganda. I’m talking about the United States of America “with liberty and justice for all.”

Well, not “all.” The nine-to-one Black-to-White ballot spoilage rate is a national statistic—not just an Ohio trick. Last year, I flew to New Mexico to investigate the 33,981 cast but not counted ballots of that state in the 2004 race. George Bush “won” New Mexico by 5,988 votes. Or did he? I calculated that, of the all the ballots rejected and “spoiled,” 89% were cast by voters of color. Who won New Mexico? Kerry won—or he would have, if they had counted the ballots.

But they didn’t count them. And that was deliberate. It’s in the plan. It’s the program. And the program for 2008 is simple. Two million ballots were cast but not counted in the 2000 race. (Over half, 54%, were cast by African-American.) In 2004, the GOP kicked it up to THREE million. Get ready, these guys aim high: “four in ’06” and “five in ’08” looks to be their game plan.

How will they pile up five million un-voters in 2008? Let’s start with the three million “disappeared” of 2004:

Step 1: “Spoiling” ballots—1,389,231 of them. In the vote-count game, these are called “undervotes” and “overvotes.” You can recognize these lost ballots by their hanging chads, punch cards without punches (an Ohio specialty), paper ballots eaten by scanners, and touch screens that didn’t know you touched them.

Step 2: Rejecting “provisional ballots”– 1,090,729 in this pile. Voters finding themselves at the “wrong” precinct, or wrongly “scrubbed” from voter rolls get these back-of-the-bus ballots first inaugurated in 2002. In ’04, provisional ballots were passed out like candy to voters in the poorest precincts. They handed them out—then threw them away—one million dumped in all. In Ohio, Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell changed state rules, allowing him to toss out the ballots of legal voters who cast ballots in the wrong precinct although these citizens were told their vote would count after confirming their registration.

Step 3: Not counting absentee ballots—526,420 of them. At least, that’s what we figure from official stats. But it’s anyone’s guess how many mailed-in votes were dumped. (However, in one case, in Palm Beach, Florida, Jeb Bush’s candidate for Elections Supervisor, Theresa LaPore, counted more absentee votes than absentee ballots mailed in. Not the brightest bulb in the vote-fix biz, that Theresa.)

Step 4: Scrub’m, Purge’m, Block’m. These are the voters who never got to vote at all. This group includes those who found their registrations were never entered on the voter rolls. In Ohio, about one-fourth of those registered by Jesse Jackson’s 2004 voter drive, found their registrations delayed beyond the election date or lost.

Add to this un-voter group, those who were wrongly “scrubbed” from registries as “felons.” For example, there was Bernice Kines, purged in Florida in 2004 because she was convicted of a felony on July 31, 2009. I repeat: 2009. There was something especially odd about the Ohio felon purge: ex-cons are ALLOWED to vote in that state, Mr. Blackwell.

How many lost their chance to vote by scrubbing, purging and blocking? That’s anyone’s guess, but one million would not be an unfair estimate—and that’s not included in the 3.6 million tally of ballots uncounted.

Was it deliberate? Oh my God, yes. I’d like you to take a look at the “caging” lists the Republican National Committee concocted to challenge voters with “suspect” addresses. It included page after page of African-American soldiers, shipped overseas. Mission accomplished, Mr. President?

And there’s some new tricks for these old dogs. For the 2006 and 2008, the GOP is pushing new Voter ID requirements. Your signature won’t be good enough anymore.

What’s wrong with the new ID laws? This: in the 2004 election, 300,000 voters were turned away from the polls for “wrong” ID. For example, in the “Little Texas” counties in New Mexico, if your voter registration included a middle initial but your driver’s license had none, you were kicked out of the polling station. Funny, but they only seemed to ask Hispanic voters. We should see the number of voters rejected for ID to quintuple by 2008 based on the new “voting reform” laws recently passed in several states.

Also, coming to a polling station near you: more caging lists, scrub lists, ID challenge lists and more. Exactly why do you think they are compiling those “War on Terror” and War on Immigration databases? Behind the 2000 felon purge lists and behind the 2004 caging lists were databases from the same companies that now have those homeland security contracts. Are they saving us from Osama—or from Democrats?

I wish I could give you a book on a page, because information is our weapon: Turn on the lights and the cockroaches scatter. That’s why I’m asking you to read RFK’s article on the Theft of Ohio—and GET ANGRY. Then read, “Armed Madhouse: & The Scheme to Steal ’08“—AND GET READY.

**********
BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast is author of ARMED MADHOUSE: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, The Scheme to Steal ‘O8, No Child’s Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War—out Tuesday. Or order it at www.ArmedMadhouse.com

Also, check Bradblog.com and AirAmericaRadio.com for the audio of Janeane Garofalo, Brad Friedman and Randi Rhodes reading “Kerry Won” and other sections of Armed Madhouse.

Then belly up to the beast: Join Greg Palast and the Reverend Jesse Jackson (in Chicago), Amy Goodman (in New York), Bob Fitrakis (in Columbus) and others for the 24-city US/UK Armed Madhouse Class War Boot Camp meetings. They begin this Monday, sponsored by Ohio Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, Operation PUSH, Oregon Voter Action, Activist San Diego and Pacifica Radio. For dates and locations, go to www.GregPalast.com

American Blackout

Greg Palast 

"American Blackout," an engrossing, low-budget documentary, is a powerful examination of voting rights in America. The filmmakers intend to use the film as a political tool to galvanize voters. Director Ian Inaba, who is part of Guerilla News Network, an organization that covers stories the mainstream media overlooks, focuses on the disturbing incidents of voter disenfranchisement among African-Americans, who traditionally vote democratic. ...more