From the Comic Pages of the July 12th New York Times comes the following:
KABUL, Afghanistan —Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday that Afghanistan would audit all eight million votes cast in a runoff presidential election last month . . .
The audit, intended to resolve allegations of widespread fraud, is to begin almost immediately, he said, and will be supervised by international monitors.
“Every single ballot that was cast will be audited,” Mr. Kerry said. (emphasis mine)
John Kerry. Insisting that every single ballot be audited. In Afghanistan. Because America cares about democracy. In Afghanistan.
When this same (I think) John Kerry ignored our pleas and fell all over himself to concede Ohio and the presidency in 2004 (in an election as forensically red-flagged as anything Afghanistan has ever seen), I don’t recall “every single ballot cast” being audited.
In fact not one single ballot cast in Ohio was legitimately audited. Not a single memory card examined. Let alone servers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, set up by Karl Rove’s own IT guru, the late Mike Connell, to “process” the Ohio vote. And that was just Ohio, where the “late” vote, ostensibly counted on those servers, made a fool out of the exit polls (“they must have oversampled Democrats again”) and put Bush back in the White House. Bizarre statistical patterns all across Afghanistan (I mean America) were ignored, dismissed, chalked up to “conspiracy theory.” International monitors were politely invited to leave the country: “This is America, the Beacon of Democracy! Why in God’s name would we ever need international monitors?”
I am not talking here about a re-do of E2004, nor about the cornucopia of fruit from that poison tree, which of course includes Justices Roberts and Alito and a slew of 5 – 4 SCOTUS (and lower court) decisions such as Citizens United. Yes, America would be a very different place, but oh well.
No, I am talking here about the thriving insanity that is the American computerized vote counting system. I am talking about an election this June in which Eric Cantor, the far-right Majority Leader of the US House, was unseated in a Virginia Republican primary by David Brat, a far-far-far-right Tea Partier who trailed by 30%+ in every poll. A typical American election, very un-Afghanistanian, in which not a single ballot (or memory card or line of computer code) was ever counted, audited, or examined by a human being. An election that could be rigged with zero risk for huge reward. An election whose politically seismic result was described by the Times as “unimaginable” but nonetheless accepted on blind faith, not so much as a single eyebrow raised or question asked about the secret vote counting system that produced it. A system that would never in a million years have passed muster in Afghanistan.
And I am talking about all our elections since the computers took over and moved the counting into the pitch dark of cyberspace. And most of all I am talking about our elections yet to come, beginning with 2014. I am talking about our future.
I have written a book about this: CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century. It is about what has happened to American elections, American politics, and America since computers took over the counting of votes. It is readable: in extensive laboratory testing not a single eye has yet to glaze over. The technical is cordoned off into the Appendix while the main part tells the story, answers questions, offers insights and ideas for action.
Here are some of the questions CODE RED asks (and answers):
- Haven’t there always been attempts to steal elections? Why is now any different?
- How do you know the computers on which we vote are so susceptible to fraud?
- If you wanted to alter the outcome of an election, give me some examples of how you might do it?
- How did America ever come to approve and accept such a dangerous system?
- You say that the system is indisputably vulnerable and dangerous, but what makes you so certain that it has actually been corrupted and elections have actually been stolen?
- Why has there been so little response from the “immune system”—election administrators, losing candidates, the media? You would think they would be all over this.
- Who are these corporations that count our votes? What makes you think they care who wins elections?
- How about audits? Can they be effective?
- Can we trust Internet Voting?
- Given the recent revelations about NSA surveillance, along with other signs that American democracy is deteriorating irrespective of which party governs, would an honest vote counting system even matter anymore?
- What can be done? Is there any real prospect of observable and honest elections in the United States?
CODE RED tells a story and this is how it concludes:
There are genuinely difficult problems facing us as a nation and as a species in the years to come: climate change, over-population, food and resource distribution, weapons control, protection of privacy, and all manner of ecological challenges, just to name a few. . . .
Compared to these challenges, the basic counting of votes—in an observable way that ensures the legitimacy of our elections and vouchsafes the public an undistorted voice in the making of all these hard choices—is an easy assignment. We need only to break a spell that has been cast on us—a spell of convenience, passivity, helplessness. We need only remember that democracy is not something that we watch, it is something that we do.
CODE RED is really about saving our democracy and our country. Now, before it is all gone. Please read it, review it, share it, discuss it. There’s so much consciousness to be raised here in America, and so little time.
Election Defense Alliance