Isn’t it funny how CEOs, marketing folks, and their eager friends in the mass media – in other words, people who are paid to sell us something – shape our language, our historic recollection, and our present day awareness of reality? For many of us, apparently, anything is true when it has been trumpeted often enough. At least, in the case of things like the origin of “Black Friday“, the issue is mild enough to amuse me. The story is different when it concerns serious issues like suppression of votes or the use of electronic voting machines which eliminate a paper trail of ballots and thereby make manipulation of vote counts untraceable. For what other purpose would such machines have been invented and installed all over our country, one may ask oneself? And, once in place, won’t those who control them take advantage?
Of course, there are many more kinds of election fraud which justify calling our 2016 election a farce as early as in the primaries, but trusting officially declared election results which came out of an easily manipulated computer and have no paper trail to back them up sounds a bit like just handing democracy over to a few programmers and election officials, doesn’t it? Hence this article to think it over a bit.
Proponents of our electronic voting machines will tell you they were installed to replace even more faulty optical punch card and scanning machines. I can only ask, is it really sensible to replace faulty machines with other faulty machines and eliminate the tried and true paper ballot trail in the process?
If you believe our mainstream media, everything is just fine and dandy with our political process. Yet, in those same media, exit polls disagreeing starkly with reported vote counts are red flags in all other nations every time, just not here in the U.S. where no-one would ever cheat. Or would they? Too bad we can’t ask Richard Nixon about it anymore. He could assure us that no U.S. President would ever be a crook.
I have a problem with this… When the news media on which so many of us rely implicate themselves in contradictions and implausibilities, which news can we then believe? The Internet is full of echo chambers one cannot necessarily trust either. Increasingly, the Internet also has a mushrooming industry of paid disinformation outlets and shills.
With so much disinformation and misinformation going around, one can only resort to the time-honored and time-proven tradition of vetting information by context, plausibility, and the types of sources: basically looking to see if there is enough smoke to indicate a fire.
The process resembles the reconstruction of a crime scene. On the issue of voting machines we get:
- In the year 2000 faulty “butterfly ballots” and some strange machinations lift G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney into the Oval Office. Investigations are stifled.
- Immediately after, all over the country, ballots are replaced in a hurry with electronic voting machines leaving little to nothing that in the future can be investigated.
- In 2004, the mainstream media announce the now extremely unpopular duo of highly unpopular smirking warmongers and butchers of our Bill of Rights as having been re-elected. This time, there are so many reports about false counts that official investigations are started (but constantly blocked and squelched). The Democratic party, interestingly, makes only a token protest. Do they hope to use the same methods?
- In the same year, the mainstream media keep celebrating the Ukrainian people’s repeated uprising against their rigged elections (three rounds in all) using discrepancies of the country’s official vote counts with its exit polls for evidence. At home, in the U.S., such discrepancies are meanwhile played down and the exit poll data recalled (i.e. censored). Irony, anyone?
- Finally, in 2005, the United States Government Accountability Office confirms the vulnerability of our voting machines in its September 2005 Report (a PDF) to Congress. Ouch!
- In 2008, Obama wins the election despite of those machines. Too much of a landslide for the machines to overcome? The GOP wanting to leave the Great Recession to him?
- Now, in 2016 the Hillary Victory Fund gives the majority of Democratic Party functionaries a motive to finagle her the nomination any way they can (because she controls all the money from this “shared” fundraiser), and once again there are massive reports of her opponent’s votes disappearing magically on the machines (a candidate’s count should keep growing on election nights, not shrink!) and the exit polls disagreeing way outside the error margin with the official vote counts.
So, if the motive is there and the means look very plausibly to be there, and if the results bear out the suspicion, doesn’t this suggest that all the smoke comes from a fire? Not to forget all the other fires and columns of smoke, like the massive voter registration purgings, all working to the same effect: to deny the rightful Democratic nominee the nomination and give it instead to Hillary Clinton. Screw us voters!
This really does look like our voting machines are used to steal elections, doesn’t it? And what if this should happen to be true: James-Hollomon explaining how electronic voting machines are designed to be misused?
To conclude, I usually avoid bringing up our voting machines since the sense of them easily being rigged can discourage people from voting or participating in the political process. However, removing the covers and a strong upsurge of indignation among a nation’s people coupled with a demand for reliable voting mechanisms can cure this particular disease, and it must do so when or if the disease is real. As our 2016 election is marked by a growing popular movement for integrity in our politics, I thought I would bring this up.
I agree with Victoria Collier (Harper’s Magazine 2012: How to Rig an Election): No matter how cynical we may have become about our elections, doing nothing to secure an accurate vote count is not really an option. A privatized, secret ballot count (which paperless computerized voting is) must be viewed as a violation of our civil rights. When we vote one way but machines later say we voted another way, then our voting is moot. It’s simply game over for democracy. However, the will of the people need not be so simply thwarted. Once we wake up to this, we can fight back.
A final word: To me it seems there is enough smoke to suggest a fire. I conclude our election is rigged (using voting machines and other means) turning it into a farce. But that’s me. You have seen my reasons. Now you must decide yourself if you think our voting process is currently reliable and what you can do about it.
P.S.: A very interesting related article from a self-professed former Hillary Clinton supporter: Hillary Clinton and Electoral Fraud – Why we need an investigation into electoral fraud favoring Hillary Clinton