Let’s face it, folks: unless we, the people, can find a way to clean up the elections, we will never get control of our government back in our hands. Instead, we will continue to be pawns to a government that hands the baton of power from one Neoliberal politician to another. Although they may be of different political parties, all Neoliberals are cut from the same cloth. This is the reason that in the last 30 years, we’ve seen little difference in the governance of Republican and Democratic administrations. The main goal of the Neoliberal agenda is to keep the power with the elites. Rigging voting machines and suppressing the votes are easy ways to keep fellow Neoliberals in power.
We first became aware of election fraud during the 2000 election that pitted GW Bush against Vice President, Al Gore. During that election cycle, Florida’s then-governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State commenced an early voter purge operation under the guise of removing felons from voter registration rolls. As a swing state, Florida soon found itself in the middle post-election crises when the popular vote count was too close to be accepted without a recount and verification.
MSM talked about hanging chads, and butterfly ballots that had disrupted the process of recounting the ballots. But, the real issue was the fact that an estimated 54,000 Florida citizens had been purged from the voter registration rolls as a result of the voter suppression scheme. Subsequently, the NAACP sued the state of Florida for violations of the Voting Rights Act that disenfranchised thousands of Black voters. A forensic audit of the voter suppression mechanism found that at least 12,000 registered voters were removed from voter registration rolls erroneously. Of those who were prevented from voting, at least 5,000 would have voted for Gore. Considering that Bush won Florida, and therefore the 2000 election, by a mere 537 vote margin of victory, there is no doubt that the purge cost Gore the election. And, yet, this issue was essentially ignored by MSM.
Because the media and the public did not demand an end to voter suppression and better ballot accountability in 2000, the practice continues to this day. What happened in Florida taught us that voter suppression can influence outcomes in tight elections. Since that time, voter suppression techniques have greatly expanded, particularly in Republican-controlled states. Just since the mid-terms in 2014, 22 states have adopted new voter regulations; essentially all of which make it more difficult to vote. When it was discovered that minorities took advantage of early voting opportunities at triple the rate of whites, Republican states commenced a campaign to end or greatly curtail early voting as well as cutting back on voting hours. More of these states have also passed laws requiring government-issued IDs to register to vote. These laws target minorities, the poor, as well as college students. States have also made it more difficult to register by placing restrictions on those with prior convictions, cutting the number of voting places (and thus creating long lines), and increasing usage of provisional ballots, which are more often than not thrown away before being counted.
According to author and investigative reporter, Greg Palast, the newest widely used voter suppression method is Crosscheck, which is supposed to identify voters who attempt to vote in more than one jurisdiction. Prior to the 2016 election, the scheme cast a very wide net, uses the most common names, but not the middle name, and ultimately sent more than 1 million voters off the rolls for what is often dubbed for dubious reasons.
In addition to voter suppression, there is also evidence that voting machines have been rigged to change the vote. This type of voter fraud was first discovered during the 2004 General Election when then-Senator John Kerry ran against President George Bush. The first indication that something was gravely amiss on November 2nd, 2004, was the inexplicable discrepancies between exit polls and actual vote counts. Polls in thirty states weren’t just off the mark ” they deviated to an extent that cannot be accounted for by the statistical margin of error. In all but four states, the discrepancy favored President Bush.
In fact, the exit poll created for the 2004 election was designed to be the most reliable voter survey in history. The nationwide poll selected a random subsample of 12,219 voters, which was 6 times larger than previous polls. In doing so, the margin of error was reduced to plus or minus one percent. On the evening of the vote, reporters at each of the major networks were briefed by pollsters at 7:54 p.m. Kerry, they were informed, had an insurmountable lead and would win by a rout: at least 309 electoral votes to Bush’s 174, with 55 too close to call. As the last polling stations closed on the West Coast, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in ten of eleven battleground states, including commanding leads in Ohio and Florida. The exit polls even showed Kerry breathing down Bush’s neck in supposed GOP strongholds such as Virginia and North Carolina. Against these numbers, the statistical likelihood of Bush winning was less than one in 450,000.
But as the evening progressed, official tallies began to show implausible disparities ” as much as 9.5 percent ” with the exit polls. In ten of the eleven battleground states, the tallied margins departed from what the polls had predicted. In every case, the shift favored Bush. Based on exit polls, CNN had predicted Kerry defeating Bush in Ohio by a margin of 4.2 percentage points. Instead, the actual election results showed Bush winning the state by 2.5 percent. Bush also tallied 6.5 percent more than the polls had predicted in Pennsylvania, and 4.9 percent more in Florida.
With the end result being so different from the exit polls, the six media organizations, which had commissioned the exit poll survey, treated it as an embarrassment. Instead of using the discrepancies as a story meriting investigation, the networks scrubbed the offending results from their websites and substituted them with ”corrected” numbers that had been weighted, retroactively, to match the official vote count. Rather than finding fault with the election results, the mainstream media preferred to dismiss the polls as flawed. Ironically, these same media organizations employed the same “flawed” exit poll surveyor in 2008.
This year, both voter suppression and election rigging were in the news surrounding the 2016 Democratic primary. The Democrats seem to follow the mantra: if you can’t fight ’em join ’em. Now they, too, have followed their Republican colleagues in voter suppression techniques. Prior to the primaries, state Election Boards were given access to detailed demographic information on registered voters from the DNC. Officials specifically targeted those who were likely to vote against Hillary Clinton and found ways to remove them from the registration rosters. Also, with a majority of states having “closed” primaries, it was relatively easy to shorten deadlines to register under a party affiliation, lengthen registration waiting times, and disseminate misinformation regarding polling places, etc.
In several of the most populated states, there were allegations of various forms of voter suppression, including, but not limited to tactics mentioned above. Citizens complained that in Brooklyn, New York, registered voters were arbitrarily removed from registration rolls (caging). The Arizona Secretary of State actually admitted to election fraud after thousands of voters claimed to have been knocked off of registration rolls without cause. In addition, exit polls substantiated that the odds that Hillary Clinton actually won the primary without election rigging at the ballot box was 1 in 77 billion. Other figures showed that at least 180K votes were stolen from Sanders in just New York and Arizona alone.
After the primary election, Sanders had a perfect opportunity to prove to his supporters that he was not just another Neoliberal politician spouting off democratic socialist ideology. He had the message, the following, and even grassroots monetary support. Sanders could have jumped on his high horse, contested the election results, Demexited, and led a movement that, up until the primary, was growing by the day. Jill Stein stated that she would welcome Bernie with open arms in the Green Party.
But, the fact is, Sanders took the low road rather than the high road. He proved that despite his rhetoric to the contrary, he really is just another Neoliberal politician looking for a way to enhance his career. He refused to address the issues of election rigging. He joined forces with, not only a Neoliberal, but the prototype Neoliberal. And Sanders not only supported her, he defended her and extolled that she should not be held accountable for her crimes.
Because Sanders and the MSM got away with denying that the 2016 primary was rigged, election fraud remains an unidentified problem. Although MSM has been silent on the issue, there are indications that election fraud continued into the 2016 General Election, as well. According to author and investigative reporter, Greg Palast, more than a million registered voters were prevented from voting as a result of voter suppression scheme, Crosscheck, which was employed by several states. This was another form a caging, in which people were removed from registration rolls if they had a similar, but not necessarily identical name to someone else who had already voted in another state. And, this method was used in addition to all of the other voter suppression techniques that have been put into place since the 2014 mid-term election.
After election rigging had been exposed following the 2016 Democratic primary election, the new media outlets were very cautious about publishing early exit poll results during the General Election. Instead, exit poll data was disclosed only after it had already been adjusted according to the actual votes, which rendered the information useless in exposing election rigging. However, according to Greg Palast, there is still enough evidence to show that Hillary Clinton won in several swing states, Florida and Ohio, and presumably the election. Unlike the Democratic 2016 primary election, in which several scholars proved that the election was rigged, to date, Palast stands alone in his allegations about the General Election rigging. MSM continues its practice of ignoring the unpleasant news, and Hillary was not in a position to contest the election results. So, we the people, do not have the full and complete story regarding the 2016 General Election.
Since Sanders took the low road, we the people are now stuck in a rut. With the MSM ignoring the issue of election fraud, nothing will be done before the next election to correct the problem. In the meantime, highly paid administrators continue to dream of new ways to identify people to discharge from the registration rolls. Anyone who presents any kind of threat to those already in power will be wiped off the rolls. Thus, voting has become a privilege of those who do not threaten the ruling elite: not a right afforded to all.
Despite his rhetoric to the contrary, Sanders has proven that he really does not live by the creed that he preaches. Since the 2016 Democratic convention, he seems to have done everything in his power to walk back the revolution that he created. Clearly, the DNC felt threatened by the popularity of his following; and gave him marching orders to undo all the damage that he had done. Fortunately, he was only partially successful. Unfortunately, the disappointing results of the 2016 Green Party election do not give us a solid political base with which to work. Unless politically like-minded people can unite into one party, they will not gain any cohesive political power.
We must remember that election fraud does not only effect the selection of the POTUS, but the make-up of the Congress, state legislatures, and even local politics, as well. If these tactics of voter suppression, as well as election rigging, are allowed to continue, the voter disenfranchisement net will continue to be cast wider and broader, and thus preclude even more citizens from their right to vote. If at some point, progressive Greens are identified and kept off voter registration rolls, it will be absolutely impossible for us to elect candidates who represent us, the people. We must act NOW to unite all Real Progressives, fight election fraud, and support candidates who shun the Neoliberal agenda.