Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Thursday, May 27, 2004

To Vote or Not to Vote?

Heard that...Heard a recorded talk of Greg Palast's in the early hours this morning, as part of the formerly titled "Please Kill Me Show".
My ears perked up.
It was part of the research and information (damning, a lot of it) he uncovered as part of writing up his book "The Greatest Democracy Money can Buy." Heard of the book, but the information he uncovers will shock you if it wasn't news to you already. I mean the *extent* of it.
Here's part of what I heard:
In relation to that farce otherwise called the 2000 U.S. election:-
of the people not allowed to vote because they were "criminals" in the Florida database: 94,000 names were targeted. One person was not allowed to vote because he was supposed to have committed a crime on the 31st January, 2007! Apparently they had tried to cover up this fiasco by eliminating the dates they were supposed to commit the crimes- so you had a slew of people who had blank criminal dates- but they didn't eliminate their ethnicity. 54% were black.

He went on to talk about the Help America Vote Act Bush signed, a 600-page document that would require every state to purge votes and make the voting system electronic. He goes into some detail about just how "reliable" these voting machines are.

James Baker proclaimed every vote was counted 6 times. "Then what about the votes in the dumpster"? Palast asked. Those were "spoiled votes". Palast had a look at some of those so-called "spoiled votes". One had the name Al Gore circled, the other had "Al Gore" spelled correctly.

A factoid he unearthed was that the areas in Florida that had the highest proportion of black voters also had the highest proportion of spoiled votes. He took the information he'd found and went to the Civil Rights Commission. 1.4% of white votes were not counted, but 14% of black votes were not counted.

"But that's not the bad news" Palast said.

According to them, Florida was "typical". They had gone to the dumpsters all around America and 1.9 million votes were cast but not counted in the whole of the U.S. 1/2 of which were cast by black people. One million black votes missing. Palast commented that was a "big Jim Crowe thumb on that voting machine", and black people had earned the right to vote, but not the right to have their votes counted.

"In the white districts the voting machines worked but in the black districts..." They couldn't find the passwords and a whole slew of votes went uncounted. I may be spelling this wrong but this is how it sounded ("Brauer county")

In one district where new voting machines- "iboltronics" or something similar sounding- the machine's company founded by a Republican, no less, there was a sudden "surprise upset" by the Repubicans, three of them won by exactly 18,181 votes. Same thing happened in the State next door. (Didn't catch the name of the states)

He went on to relate his amusing enedavour to uncover and prove that there was in fact a letter from Jeb Bush implying him in the illegal removal of thousands of voters. The audience listening to him applauded when he told them how he finally managed to get it, and the document's dated September 18, 2000.

That's just what I managed to write down hastily while listening to this. Never mind the television coverage showing black person after black person frustrated that they weren't able to vote succesfully.

Interesting, don't you think?

The link