My very first US investigative report was published by Salon in 2000 about the theft of the vote in Florida, then still in progress. Fast-forward to 2018 and the photos are nearly identical to 2000 — GOP bullies trying to stop the vote count. (In 2000, a riot by GOP operatives in the Miami-Dade elections office successfully shut down the recount.)
This week in Florida, my camera crew (Jordan Freeman and Zach D. Roberts) captured menacing crowds supporting the GOP, chanting ‘Stop the count!’ — the exact phrase the GOP chanted in 2000. And in 2018, Democratic demonstrators are chanting, ‘Count all the votes! Count all the votes’ — the exact same (failed) chant from 2000.
In 2000, Democrats were calling for all votes to be counted — no games, no disqualifying ballots for ‘hanging chads’ or other gimmicks. The Republicans were adamant, led by Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State, Katherine Harris: don’t count all votes. In the end a whopping 178,000 ballots were disqualified — and George W. Bush won Florida and the US presidency by just 537 votes.
Eighteen years later and it’s still the same. I never could have imagined that my crews in Florida would be filming the same chants, same trickery, as in 2000.
And another ugly repeat. The “white consultants riot” that shut down the Miami count in 2000 was organized by Roger Stone. The Alt-right mob in 2018 in Florida is festooned with signs saying, “Stone’s the one.” I am worried that he is.
Greg Palast has written four New York Times bestsellers, including Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a major non-fiction movie, available on Amazon and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members!
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