Global Hackers & the Russians Have Made Hand-Counted Paper Ballots an Issue of Urgent National Security

The world behind a guy who looks like Trump with the words HACKED

We have no evidence at this point that the Russians, or global hackers, hacked our electronic voting machines to put Donald Trump in the White House.

But we are 100% certain our electronic voting machines have been hacked by many many others, and could be in the future by virtually anybody with entry-level computing capabilities. As the New York Times and others have reported, cyberattacks have now become an integral part of the modern landscape.   A tool stolen from the very National Security Agency meant to protect us has been used to perpetrate more than 75,000 recent hacks—-and those are just the ones being reported.

The evidence that our electronics-based election system is particularly vulnerable to such attacks has long been well-established.  It ranges from a wide range of public vote flipping demonstrations to a computing professor using a voting machine to play the University of Michigan fight song.

But, why would you need to hack the machines if you are one of the private, for-profit partisan corporations that secretly program the computerized voting machines and tabulators with secret proprietary software? The lack of transparency with our “black box voting” means that none of our elections are truly verifiable.

In 2016 some 80 percent of America’s ballots were cast and/or counted on such machines and tabulators. Many touchscreen voting machines provide no usable paper trail and render vote counts that cannot be independently verified.  Scanners of paper ballots can be rigged to render dishonest counts that go undetected if the ballots are never manually audited.

Though we have no evidence of Russian hacking on our electronic voting machines in 2016, there is no doubt that they or any other hacker with an interest in the outcome could have done so if they wanted to.

Or, the private companies could have simply programmed the results

So that leaves us with one inescapable conclusion:  to protect the integrity of our future elections, our entire electoral system must convert to universal hand-counted paper ballots.

It has become an issue of national security.

The entire nation is now in an uproar over Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.  We know he was investigating possible Russian involvement in our election.  The Russians clearly wanted Trump to win.

During the campaign, Trump very publicly asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.  The Russians did, in fact, hack the Democratic National Committee, releasing documentation showing the DNC hierarchy worked actively against the nomination of Bernie Sanders.

We don’t yet know what else the Russians actually did or did not do, if anything, to help shape our choice of presidents in 2016.

We know further that someone hacked into the recent French elections on behalf of Marine LePen.

In an electronic era, election theft has now become a matter of a few keystrokes.

Indeed, election theft in the United States is very much a home-grown industry.  As we explain in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org) electronic machines are perfectly designed to steal elections.  As Bev Harris has shown, they are black boxes that give local election officials virtually unlimited power to shape the outcome however they like.

Thus we document clear instances of electronic vote theft in the 1988 New Hampshire Republican primaries won by George H.W. Bush, and in the general presidential elections won by George W. Bush in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004.

Along the way we have encountered likely electronic hacks in numerous other local, state and federal elections.  In Ohio 2006 a series of statewide election reform referenda were defeated with swings of more than 30% from pre-election polls to official outcome, a virtual statistical impossibility.   In 2014 and 2016, Republicans claimed six US Senate seats in elections where they lost in the exit polls by significant margins.  That six such vote counts would all go in the same direction is also a virtual statistical impossibility.

In 2016, the Electoral College was decided by five states—-Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—-where Trump lost the exit polls but won the official vote count.  That all five states would go in the same direction is, once again, a virtual statistical impossibility.

In Michigan, more than 75,000 ballots were counted in heavily Democratic Flint and Detroit metropolitan area without presidential preferences being registered.  This presumes that some 75,000 citizens took the trouble to vote (often waiting hours in line) but failed to choose a president.  In Wisconsin, electronic anomalies also abounded. In Wisconsin, a suspicious anomaly was uncovered across several voting precincts where the last number in Trump and Clinton’s vote totals appeared not to be randomly distributed in regards to zeros and fives. In these precincts, over half of Trump and Clinton’s total numbers ended with a zero or a five.

Meanwhile, countless black, Hispanic, Asia-American, Muslim and other non-millionaire citizens were stripped from registration rolls by some 29 GOP secretaries of state.  As shown in Greg Palast’s “Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” the far-right secretary of state from Kansas, Kris Kobach, spread the Crosscheck program around the country with the clear intent to strip as many likely Democrats from the voter rolls as possible.  Trump has just appointed Kobach to head his special commission on voter fraud, aimed at “proving” that millions of illegal voters cost Trump a majority in the popular vote.

Additional mass disenfranchisement has been done throughout the US through demands for photo ID, short-changing of precincts and voting machines, deliberate misinformation and much more.

There is little doubt that between stripping the voter rolls and flipping the electronic vote count, our electoral system is in shambles.  The Russians are clearly NOT at the root of the problem.  Election theft can be and has been repeatedly perpetrated right here, by Americans.

But the Russians could have done so.  In coming elections, they, other foreign powers and a veritable army of domestic hackers can deliver pretty much whatever outcome they want.

Our private voting machine companies like ES&S and the now-defunct Diebold have long had this power.

The solution is obvious:  we must secure our voting system entirely off-line. with outcomes that can be certified in real time, by real people.    We need universal automatic voter registration; a four-day natonal holiday for voting; universal hand-counted paper ballots; an end to gerrymandering and the Electoral College; and a ban on corporate campaign spending.

As we now know from this past presidential election, whether flipped by the Russians or not, it has become an issue of national security…and the future of our democracy.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-written seven books on election integrity, including the new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org).

 

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Bill Maher and the Corporate Democrats Need to Stop Scapegoating the Grassroots Resistance

Bill Maher. (photo: HBO)
Bill Maher. (photo: HBO)

Bill Maher and the Corporate Democrats Need to Stop Scapegoating the Grassroots Resistance

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

08 May 17

 

orporate Democrats and liberal commentators love to scapegoat the activist left for their catastrophic failures. The blame game just fell to a new low with Bill Maher’s latest attack on Jill Stein.

Like Hillary branding Trump supporters as “deplorables,” Bill tells American grassroots activists to “go f*** yourselves with a locally grown organic cucumber.”

Hillary says she was “on her way to victory” when FBI Director James Comey and “the Russians” intervened. Maher and others say Stein caused her defeat, as they blamed Ralph Nader for George W. Bush in 2000.

Hillary now pledges to “resist” Trump Fascism. Maher and other liberal pundits have been relentless in their attacks on him.

And the rest of us struggle with the keys to nonviolent resistance in the Dark Age now upon us.

But one thing is clear: what won’t work is another 16 years of liberals like Maher scapegoating left activists without facing the basic realities of where Trump came from:

    • Like Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
    • Counting 2004, which was stolen from John Kerry in Ohio, the Democrats have won every presidential election since 1992.
    • Gore and the Democrats have had 16 years to fight the Electoral College, a racist anachronism designed to enhance the power of slaveowners.
    • The EC has put six popular vote losers in the White House, nearly 15% of our presidents.
    • Rather than work to end the EC and win electoral reform, liberal bloviators and corporate Democrats have spent 16 years whining about Nader, one of America’s greatest activists.
    • Had they instead abolished the EC, Trump would not be president.
    • With the Electoral College in place, still more candidates who lose the popular vote will win the White House.
    • Had Nader NOT run in 2000, George W. Bush still would have become president.
    • Had Stein NOT run in 2016, Donald Trump still would have become president.
    • In Florida 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush used the Jim Crow ChoicePoint program (as reported by Greg Palast) to strip more than 90,000 black and Hispanic voters from registration rolls in a tally allegedly decided by 537 votes.
    • In Ohio 2004, Jim Crow GOP election boards stripped more than 300,000 primarily urban black voters from registration rolls in a tally decided by 118,775.
    • In 2016 nationwide, 29 GOP Secretaries of State used the Jim Crow CrossCheck program (as reported in Greg’s “Best Democracy Money Can Buy”) to strip countless thousands of black and Hispanic voters from registration rolls in states that decided the Electoral College.
    • In Florida 2000, electronic flipping in Volusia and Brevard Counties (as reported by Bev Harris) allowing Fox “reporter” John Ellis (a Bush cousin) to flip the network narrative from a Gore to a Bush victory.
    • In Ohio 2004, between 12:20 and 2 a.m. election night, a “glitch” in the state’s computerized vote count (as run under a no-bid contract by a Bush family operative in a Chattanooga bank basement) was used as cover to flip a 4.2% Kerry victory to a 2.4% Bush victory, giving Bush a second term.
    • Nationwide in 2016, electronic “irregularities” continually flipped Clinton exit poll victories to Trump official victories, including in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which gave Trump the Electoral College and the presidency.
  • As in New Mexico 2004 and elsewhere in both 2004 and 2016, thousands of ballots in heavily Democratic areas were allegedly missing a presidential preference, including some 75,395 in Michigan, which was decided by less than 11,000.

All this and more fits a clear historic pattern which we outline in our new “Strip & Flip Disaster of America’s Stolen Elections.”

Clinton Democrats and liberal pundits like Maher call this “conspiracy theory.” They refuse to deal with either the stripping of voter rolls or the flipping of electronic vote counts. Instead they attack grassroots activists who do.

Jill Stein, for example, attempted recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She fought corrupt officials in all three states (Pennsylvania has a Democratic governor) and hit nothing but brick walls.

Clinton sent “legal observers” but no financial or other meaningful help. Liberal pundits continually attacked Jill for her efforts. Despite the horrors of Trump fascism, the Democrats have said and done nothing about the total fraud that put him in the White House.

Al Gore essentially disappeared immediately after losing 5-4 in the US Supreme Court. So did Kerry and Clinton immediately after their own losses. Not one of them is working to abolish the Electoral College, or for a reliable election system. But the corporate Democrats and liberal pundits have plenty of energy to scream at the grassroots left.

Of course, in 2008 and 2012, that’s precisely who put Barack Obama in the White House. We have reported widespread electoral fraud in both years. But a powerful and diligent grassroots upheaval curbed enough abuses to save Obama from what doomed Gore, Kerry and Clinton.

Obama also used that grassroots energy to build a popular vote margin too big to steal.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders again unleashed that grassroots power. As an avowed socialist, he inspired millions of precisely the activists a legitimate Democratic Party should have welcomed — young, committed, energetic, idealistic, ready to work for a social democratic future.

We believe Bernie was the rightful Democratic nominee. We also believe that had she chosen Bernie for VP, Hillary could have walked into the White House.

Despite her miserable campaign, locking into the Sandernista movement would have allowed us to thoroughly monitor this election, curb some of the worst abuses and build a grassroots constituency that could have overwhelmed Trump’s fascism and put this country on the road to real social change.

In these dark days we must recall that in the spring of 2016 we enjoyed the HUGEST social democratic movement in a century, with tens of millions of optimistic Americans ready to work and win a bright and fair future.

Instead we face the grim realities of tangible fascism. It doesn’t help when liberal pundits and corporate Democats attack the grassroots activists who are on the frontline of the resistance.

The Democrats will stay out of power until they can convince the American public (even us “deplorables”) they can deliver on civil liberties, social justice, ecological sanity, and more. And that they can construct an electoral system that actually reflects the popular will.

Clinton, Kerry, Gore and the liberal punditocracy must finally deal with how they lost these three presidencies. And then DO something about it, so it doesn’t happen again.

They could start by demanding universal automatic voter registration; transparent registration rolls immune to Jim Crow stripping by programs like ChoicePoint and Crosscheck; universal hand-counted paper ballots; a four-day natonal holiday for voting; an end to gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and the corporate purchase of campaigns.

They might also THANK rather than scapegoat what was once the Democratic Party’s energetic base, including activists like Nader, Stein, Bernie and the rest of the grassroots movements that form our last and strongest barrier against the harsh realities of Trump Fascism.


Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT at www.freepress.org, where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES are available. Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.