GP: It’s uglier, more widespread and the racism in the latest purges of voter rolls is far worse in 2016 than in 2000.
(image by Daragh McDonagh) DMCA
My guest today is Greg Palast, famed investigative journalist, whose first book was New York Times Bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization, and High-Finance Fraudsters. His latest is Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.
JB: Welcome to OpEdNews, Greg. You’ve been exposing election fraud for many years. In fact, one of your early election stories was the Bush family role in stealing Florida, and therefore, the general election, for W back in 2000. Here we are in the midst of the 2016 presidential primaries. How’re we doing since then, in terms of election integrity?
GP: It’s uglier, more widespread and the racism in the latest purges of voter rolls is far worse in 2016 than in 2000. Originally for BBC and Al Jazeera, and now for Rolling Stone, I’ve been investigating the newest tricks.
The secret story of US elections is that we don’t count all the votes and we block voters by the millions. How bad is it? Dig this: based on the data from the US Elections Assistance Commission,
- 767,023 provisional ballots were cast and not counted;
- 1,451,116 ballots were “spoiled,” not counted;
- 488,136 absentee ballots were mailed in, but not counted.
- 2,383,587 would-be voters had their registrations rejected;
- 491,952 voters already registered were wrongly purged from the rolls; and
- 320,000 properly registered voters were simply turned away from the polls when they tried to vote, mostly for not having IDs acceptable to a poll worker.
Add it up and the total grows to no fewer than 5,901,814 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.
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That was based on 2008 data from my book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. 2016 will be far worse — because of the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act three years ago.
‘Billionaires & Ballot Bandits’ by Greg Palast
(image by courtesy of Greg Palast) DMCA
Look at the 1.4 million votes “spoiled.” Votes don’t spoil because they’ve been left out of the fridge. They spoil–that is, they are cast but not counted–because of a stray mark, a “hung chad,” someone checking a box instead of putting an “x,” all kinds of crazy nonsense to disqualify a ballot. Now, if it were random, it wouldn’t change elections. But here are the facts:
The US Civil Right Commission found that the chance your ballot will spoil is 900% higher if you’re black than if you’re white. So, God Bless America.
And purges of voter rolls? That’s my specialty. It’s not even close: voters of color, wrongly purged voters, (that is, voters removed from the voter rolls on false charges they have a felony record or voted twice, have a false address, etc.) constitute the vast majority of every purge I’ve investigated over twenty years, from Florida to Ohio to North Carolina. 2016: look out!
Ballots Rejected Black Voters vs. Non-Black
(image by US Civil Rights Commission) DMCA
JB: You’ve certainly gotten the ball rolling. We’re off to a great start. Let’s talk about what we’ve seen in some of the specific primaries so far. Let’s start with Arizona. There were massive screw-ups on many fronts and voters took it to court with nothing to show for it so far. Your thoughts?
Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more…)
Rise Up Times featured image My Vote by Ricardo Levins Morales. rlmartstudio.com Art for social justice.