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It has been four years since the Ohio voting controversy and eight years since the great Florida debacle.

With each passing week, more and more evidence comes to light which makes it patently clear that the Bush regime stole both elections.

Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media culture and communication at New York University, has written two books which provide comprehensive reviews of this evidence: Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008 and before that Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too.

Yesterday, Miller was a guest On Democracy Now where he warned that similar election theft mechanisms could be in play again for 2008

Mark Crispin talks to Amy Goodman about stolen elections

His interview is a must read. He details the specific mechanism--the so-called man in the middle set-up-- that allowed the e-vote to be hacked in Ohio (in a manner parallel to the way in which on-line credit card thieves work)

One of Miller's more ominous warnings is that the so-called Bradley effect could provide the necessary (and unverifiable) rationale to explain a massive discrepancy between the polls and the "actual" election outcome. He notes that there is little evidence that supports the existence of a Bradley effect, though this unsubstantiated theory is still being widely propagated in the media as a proven fact. He draws a parallel to the explanation that is often given to account for the exit poll discrepancies in the 2004 election. As the story goes, millions of values voters suddenly appeared to cast deciding votes later in the day once they saw that the vote was breaking Kerry's way. He notes that evidence for this major late surge of values voters is noticeably absent but the narrative stuck anyway.

In terms of Kerry (or Gore for that matter), how many times have you heard, or perhaps said, that these candidates lost the election because they ran poor campaigns or lacked sufficient charisma, or a clear message?
Well, the more evidence-based alternative is that Kerry and Gore each did enough to win a fair election, just not enough to compensate for hundreds of thousands stolen votes (not even counting disenfranchished voters erroneously purged from registration rolls).  

The inconvenient truth is that Americans just can't get their heads around the idea that something like this could happen here.When given a choice between recognizing obvious evidence of a stolen election or embracing a very strained rationalization, as a society we have strong predilections for the latter alternative (and to keep whistling in the dark)  

As many of you know, Greg Palast and RFK Jr. have been sounding very similar warnings about election theft in 2008 and each has also argued that 2004 was a stolen election.  

Palast and RFKjr Steal bac k your vote

When I bring this threat/scandal/ong0ing problem up to other folks, their response is either a kind of denial through ignorance (i.e., oh really? Oh, if that had happened we would have heard more about that) or taking comfort in the idea that Obama will have a super majority that will overwhelm these vote theft efforts.  

Personally, I think the latter will happen. Obama will win but the election will be closer than polls suggested. The media will dutifully report (against all common sense) that the McCain campaign was closing ground in the closing weeks but just ran out of time. Still others may suggest that the polls were overstating Obama's lead due to the Bradley effect.

However, the real reason will be vote theft.

At this point, members of the Kos community and anyone who supports democracy needs to get made at members of both parties but particularly the Democrats since they have had the most to lose from election fraud (and the most to gain from making voting more secure).

Evidence and warnings about hacked electronic voting machines, voter roll purges, and other voter suppression tactics have been widely available since 2004 (and even 2002). Yet, the Democratic leadership has not made redressing these problems into a major issue. This failure to act has four consequences 1) it has kept the Democrats from claiming an issue (election integrity) which would have universal support; 2) it has allowed the Republicans to reframe voter fraud as something being perpetuated by the very groups they have disenfranchised (irony of ironies); 3) it has put this election, both Presidential and many down ticket races, in needless jeopardy; 4)to the extent that republican vote suppression works, it also lessens the degree to which the main stream media and political establishment must recognize nation's rejection of the Republican agenda of the last eight years.

Why has the Democratic leadership dodged such a "winning" issue? Well, one reason (though certainly not the only one) is that this issue would clearly align their political interest with those of low-income and minority voters, who are the citizens who primarily being disenfranchised . Yes, this is the democratic base but since Clinton, the democratic party (via the DLC) has spoken in a language which targets members of the white, suburban middle classes and steers clear of the working poor and inner city minorities.    

Assuming that the Democrats are able to gain the presidency and increase their majority in the House and the Senate, restoring the integrity of the voting system should become a priority. It would not be that hard to establish a standardized voting system that has a paper trail and to depoliticize the local offices in charge of voter registration and the election process.

After this election, the task of reforming the election system needs to be kept on the radar screen via  blogs, letters to elected officials, letters to sympathetic media voices like Amy Goodman, Maddow, and Olbermann.

Originally posted to madtownpopulist on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 03:12 PM PDT.

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