Saturday :: Nov 20, 2004

One Man, Won Republican Vote

by pessimist

The list of places where it's clear something improper was done to the votes continues to grow.

State to probe Gaston election

The Observer [Charlotte, NC] reported Thursday that the numbers did not balance in more than half the precincts in Gaston County. Gaston elections officials said they had been unaware of the problem.

Of course not! That would mean they were doing their jobs. You know - the ones we taxpayers subsidize so that SOMEONE would be aware of a problem?

It is not likely that such a problem would affect results of the Nov. 2 election -- the differences total about 500 votes -- but jobs could be at stake. Employees at the elections office say they increasingly fear that possibility.

In Gaston, the state also will investigate whether a technician employed by a private company did work on Election Day that should have been done by elections officials. The Gaston Board of Elections paid for the presence of a technician from Diebold Election Systems, which manufactures the county's voting machines. Gaston Elections Director Sandra Page has told the Observer that the employee loaded the county's early votes onto a computer and otherwise assisted in the vote-counting process, a job reserved for elections officials.

Early votes - for Bu$h?

Gaston becomes the second county where the state has launched an investigation, joining Carteret County, where a machine lost 4,500 votes.

Covering Up

But the bigger issue has become the time it took for Gaston officials to catch the problem. Each precinct is supposed to record the name of each voter in a log book. The number of the names in the book at the end of Election Day should match the number of ballots cast. And counties are supposed to cross-check the numbers before submitting official results to the state.

Elections officials in neighboring counties said the discrepancies therefore should have tripped alarms much sooner. Gaston's apparent failure to balance the numbers "surprises me because I always just thought that's a part of the audit process," said Judy Caudill, director of elections in Lincoln County.

Page has said she simply cannot explain what went wrong. She has said that she was sick during the week after the election, and therefore prone to mistakes.

Can we indict her now?

Dr. James Zogby, whose poll during the run-up to the election tended to be closer to the facts than many others, had this to say:

US Election: Democracy in Question

When asked if he was aware of any parallels to the present election, Zogby replied, "I'm certainly aware of the election of 1960."

"It's been discussed, overtly, the roll that Richard Daley, and the roll that Lyndon Johnson played, separately," Zogby said, referring to an episode where the John F Kennedy campaign had supposedly asked, "How many votes do you have?", the reply allegedly being, "How many votes do you need?"

Of course, such examples also serve to highlight the influence "local people" can exert on an election's outcome. In the end, many people speculated that the 1960 incidents were not part of a grand conspiracy per se, but the cumulative effects of the actions of a number of individuals who shared a similar perspective, acted semi-independently, and did whatever it took to win.

Political "dirty tricks" culminated in the Watergate scandal, forcing then President Richard Nixon (1969-1974) to resign, ushering in a long era without similar illicit activity, until questions raised by the election of 2000.

With American democracy, until now, providing an effective model for many, as Zogby said, "we're talking about the Free World here."

"As far as I'm concerned, this election was clearly stolen. What they did in Ohio was systematically deny thousands of African Americans, and other suspected Democrats, the vote," charged progressive author, commentator and activist Harvey Wasserman of Franklin County, Ohio. "It was like Mississippi in the fifties, and it was deliberate ... had there been enough (voting) machines, and had people equal access to the polls with a reliable vote count, there is no doubt that John Kerry would have carried Ohio," he told IPS. "People are deeply concerned that this is the end of American democracy, that we cannot get a fair election," Wasserman said, poignantly adding, "there was no question of apathy in this election -- we had more volunteers than could be used ... thousands and thousands of grass-roots volunteers."

Of course, if this happened in almost any other country, this would be the result:

Santiago march turns violent

Tens of thousands of activists had marched peacefully in the police-authorised demonstration against the weekend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and its star guest US President George W Bush.

More than 25,000 protesters marched through downtown Santiago on Friday, demonstrating against an economic summit of Pacific Rim leaders, the attendance of President Bush and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The summit, which opens Saturday, has been greeted by four straight days of protests. Shortly before Bush arrived in the capital Friday night, a fresh round of protests broke out in Valparaiso, a port city 75 miles north of Santiago. Organizers of the Santiago march said 40,000 protesters took part in the government-authorized event far from the conference center where leaders of 21 Pacific region economies will meet. Police put the number at 25,000.

While some protesters said they oppose the APEC summit, which they likened to a rich man's club that does nothing for the poor, much of the rage was aimed at Bush and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Marchers chanted and held up posters criticizing the U.S. leader. Some also expressed sympathy with the Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah.

Thousands Demonstrate Against Bush in Santiago

"We want Bush to know that he is not welcome here," said Mónica Cerón, a college student who was wearing a "Bush Stinks" T-shirt and a red headband that with the words "Down with Bush" and a hammer and sickle. "Our government may want to do business with him, but the Chilean people oppose his genocidal war on Iraq and his designs on Latin America."

Citing the same international accords that made possible the detention of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Britain in 1998, opposition groups here even filed a complaint to have Mr. Bush held as a war criminal. A judge dismissed the complaint early this month, however, arguing lack of jurisdiction.

A few older demonstrators also complained of American support for the military coup that overthrew Allende on Sept. 11, 1973. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell offered an indirect apology for that policy last year, saying it was "not a part of American history we are proud of." But marchers like 58-year-old Tomás Soto described the episode as "an example of the kind of state terrorism that the United States always claims to be against."

Meanwhile, back in the States, Americans are turning on their TVs and tuning in to FAUX News to get a 'fair and balanced' report of all of the Communist radicals that rioted.

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pessimist :: 4:41 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!