Fight for a clean election

Whoever is the winner, we need assurances that he won fair and square

San Francisco Bay View - National Black Newspaper of the Year: Fight for a clean election:

What’s coming out about election suppression and fraud goes way past whether it’s too late to find enough votes to save Kerry. Post-mortems are important, but we have a genuine opportunity to reveal the Karl Rove vote suppression strategy.

Fighting for fair elections is fundamental not just for the future, but for the present. Bush won no mandate.

While all the evidence is not in, we should be sounding the alarm that it appears that the 2004 election had problems at least as serious as 2000, and that these problems should be fully aired in the next couple of weeks. The electoral votes are counted in early December, which could provide a moment of genuine drama if the results are clearly askew. The Cleveland Plain Dealer quotes Ohio Democratic Party head Denny White as saying, “People just need to be patient and calm down” until after the votes are “certified” on Dec. 1 and then ask for a recount. What is this man thinking?

The tough case, of course, is to prove electronic voting fraud. But the incredible discrepancy between the exit polls and the actual vote in the non-paper ballot swing states is being taken seriously by all sides. Robert Parry, an excellent journalist who helped break Iran-Contra, reports it was so serious that Bush was told by his aide Karen Hughes on Tuesday that he had lost the election.

Dick Morris, a Republican and Clinton’s former mentor, believes that there was “foul play” with the vote.

Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., a progressive African American on the House Judiciary Subcommittee, has asked the GAO to investigate in 34 states, joining other congressmen in a call saying that “in 2000, (our) confidence suffered terribly, and we fear that such a blow to our democracy may have occurred in 2004.” We should keep looking at the evidence during this critical time and evaluate it for ourselves.

Exit polls are used around the world to monitor elections to see if they are free from fraud, to “validate the outcome or mount a challenge to it.”

Challenges to the Ohio count depend on the provisional and spoiled votes and more disclosures like the nearly 4,000 Franklin County extra votes for Bush (see Greg Palast’s “Kerry Won” at http://www.truthout.org). In Franklin County, where 658 people voted, touch screen machines gave Bush 4,258 votes.

In one North Carolina county, the machines destroyed the votes of over 4,500 people. These isolated revelations are joined daily by new reports casting light on suspect vote totals in New Hampshire, Nebraska, New Mexico and Florida and on the suppression of African American and youth votes in Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa and many other states across the nation. The truth is breaking through.

Purging of supposed felons in Florida and Colorado disproportionately targets communities of color and may violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There were 1,074 instances of voter intimidation reported to the Election Protection Coalition.


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