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Unraveling A Rigged Election – Fitrakis & Wasserman

original site/link: http://planetarianperspectives.net/unraveling-a-rigged-election-fitrakis-wasserman/

Posted on December 20, 2016 by James Heddle

Harvey Wasserman interviews investigative reporting partner Bob Fitrakis about the rigged 2016 selection and the inside story of the attempted recount for his weekly radio program, the Solartopia Green Power and Wellness Hour. EON photo

The Woodward and Bernstein of Election Integrity
Every presidential election since 2004, we have traveled to Columbus, in key swing state of Ohio, to video document election protection efforts by Harvey Wasserman, Bob Fitrakis and the Columbus Free Press team (FreePress.org). We made the trip again this year and have just returned from filming post-recount interviews with both of them in Columbus last week.

Harvey Wasserman – an author, historian, celebrated journalist and lifelong activist, and Bob Fitrakis – a practicing attorney who holds doctorates in both political science and law – are also both popular professors in Columbus colleges.

Dubbed by admirer Jesse Jackson as ‘the Woodward and Bernstein of election integrity’ – after the Washington Post reporters that famously broke the Watergate story in the Nixon era – Fitrakis and Wasserman’s research and reporting on election theft has twice won Project Censored awards.

The Free Press and its sponsoring organization the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism (CICJ) has been in operation since 1970 and run since the ‘90s by life-partners Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer and their colleague Harvey Wasserman. Their work has been a vital epicenter not only of local community organizing and investigative reporting, but also of the national US Election Protection movement.

At the same time, they have either been consistently ignored or repeatedly denounced by mainstream media as “conspiracy theorists.”

Nevertheless, their ground-breaking findings have consistently been validated by subsequent developments. They were unfortunately right on target with their prescient analysis of the 2016 election in their book “The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows and Electronic Election Theft,” published in early 2016, months before the Nov. 8 vote.

For more than a decade, from their unique vantage point in one of the country’s main ground zero’s of vote rigging, they‘ve documented the multiple methods by which America’s elections have been stolen…and helped to galvanize grassroots awareness and resistance not only in Ohio, but across the country.

EON is proud to help give their important work wider exposure. Here are four recent video interviews done as the election saga unfolded, and links to recent articles.

[ In the works: A report from inside the recount saga and post-Electoral College analysis. ]

Interviews with the FreePress Team On EON’s YouTube Channel & Vimeo

Losers Win, Winners Lose
Bob Fritakis and Harvey Wasserman on the seriously flawed US voting and electoral college system and the outcome of the 2016 election. The FreePress.org reporting team that Jesse Jackson dubbed the Woodward and Bernstein of Election Protection comment on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and why the American election system needs a total overhaul from top to bottom.

Losers Win, Winners Lose – Fitrakis & Wasserman on Election 2016 from Ecological Options Network on Vimeo.

The Illegitimate Election 2016
What are the legitimate grounds for calling the recent election awarding the Presidency to Donald Trump illegitimate? Political scientist and attorney Dr. Robert Fitrakis and investigative historian Harvey Wasserman – editors of FreePress.org – summarize the evidence in this exclusive EON interview.

They are the co-authors of the book STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 – Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, available here –
http://freepress.org/store.php

Greg Palast interviews Bob Fitrakis on Voter Purges
How did the Ohio Republican Sec. of State purge and disenfranchise so many voters from the voter rolls? A conversation between Bob Fitrakis and Greg Palast, two of the leading investigative reporters on the many vote rigging methods at work in US elections.

Palast Interviews Fitrakis on Election Theft
Why before the Nov. 8, 2016 election, did Republican authorities in key swing state Ohio turn off the safety features for ballot records even though this security measure is already programmed into their electronic voting machine software?
A conversation between Bob Fitrakis and Greg Palast, two of the leading investigative reporters on the many vote rigging methods at work in US elections.

Clips from this interview were aired as part of Greg Palast’s report on Democracy Now

Election Coverage Links

Free Press Election Reporting

FreePress.org Articles

#4 Story at Project Censored

Greg Palast Reports

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About James Heddle
James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan administer this blog as well as eon3EMFblog.net. Award-winning media producers as well as educators and community organizers, they co-direct EON – the Ecological Options Network . The EON YouTube channel has over 400 posts and over 2,000 subscribers.
View all posts by James Heddle

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Did the GOP Strip & Flip the 2016 Selection?

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
NOVEMBER 18, 2016

Trump and Clinton each at a podium looking like they are yelling

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during United States presidential election 2016

Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory in the 2016 vote count continues to climb, at this point well over a million.

But her impending defeat in the Electoral College comes with familiar signs that the election was stripped and flipped.

These indicators include the realities of pre- and post-election polling; the massive stripping of primarily black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters from computer generated registration rolls mostly maintained by private partisan companies; unverifiable “black box” electronic voting machines and central tabulators, also mostly manufactured and maintained by private corporations, and much more.

Were this election held in any other country, the US State Department and independent monitors from around the world would denounce it as a fraud, and contemplate international intervention.

The Electoral College

Much is finally being said about the Electoral College, with new popular demands for its abolition. Clinton is about to become the sixth presidential candidate to win a traditional majority but lose the presidency. It also happen ed in 1800, 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000. Nearly 15% of our 45 presidents have been “selected” with the denial of the public will through an institution established in large part to enhance the power of slave owners.

In February, 2013, at progressive.org, we joined the multitudes throughout our history in calling for the EC’s abolition:

It will take a Constitutional Amendment, and a hell of a lot of work, to abolish this corrupt anachronism. But unless we want to see an endless succession of George W. Bushes in the White House, something better be done — and quick.

The consequences of inaction are all too clear.

Computerized Jim Crow Stripping of Voter Registration Rolls 

US history has been defined throughout by a divide-and-conquer strategy of racial manipulation. As we outline in our new Strip & Flip Death of American Democracy (freepress.org / solartopia.org): chattel slavery, the Constitution’s “three-fifths bonus,” Jim Crow segregation, third world imperial conquest and the Drug War have all played a role in denying African-American/Hispanic/Asian-American citizens their right to vote. From the foundation of the Republic, this disenfranchisement has defined the balance of power.

In recent years, the disenfranchisement has been most importantly done by the Republican Party, and by computer. As investigative reporter Greg Palast has shown in his book/movie The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (www.gregpalast.comin 2000 Florida Governor Jeb Bush used a program called ChoicePoint to strip more than 90,000 predominantly black and Hispanic citizens from the voter registration rolls in an election decided by 537 votes. The pretext was alleged felony convictions. The selection was “won” by Bush’s brother George W although a full recount (which was stopped by the US Supreme Court by one vote) would have given Al Gore the majority in Florida, and in the Electoral College.

As we have reported from Columbus, in 2004 more than 300,000 predominantly urban citizens were stripped from the voter registration rolls in an election the GOP won by 118,775. A quarter of all voters in heavily Democratic Cleveland were de-registered. Ohio’s ill-got electoral votes gave George W. Bush a second term. This became the only time in US history an entire state’s Electoral College delegation was challenged on the floor of the US Congress.

This year, Palast has reported that a new program called Crosscheck has been used by some 30 GOP Secretaries of State to strip more than 1.1 million predominantly black, Hispanic, Islamic and Asian-American citizens from the voter rolls.

Originating with far-right Republican Kris Kobach, Kansas’s Secretary of State, Crosscheck eliminated more than enough minority voters in at least three swing states to flip the entire presidential election.

Palast has reported Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted also used Crosscheck to eliminate some 497,000 mostly black, Latino and African-American citizens from the voter rolls in Ohio, falsely accusing them of registering in more than one state. Such eliminations went on throughout the US and may have involved more than a million legitimate voters.

According to Reuters, over the past five years Husted himself stripped some two million citizens from the voter rolls in Ohio without Crosscheck, with Democratic areas twice as likely to be striped as Republicans. Reuters points out that the neighborhoods that most heavily backed President Obama lost the most voters. (JUNE 2, 2016, USE IT OR LOSE IT; OCCASIONAL OHIO VOTERS MAY BE SHUT OUT IN NOVEMBER, Reuters, June 2, 2016).

The mass disenfranchisement also impacted races for the US Senate. At least four Democrats would likely have won seats (in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Missouri) that they officially lost (www.tdmsresearch.com. Similar results are evident from 2014 Senate races in North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska. Thus in the past two years, mass disenfranchisement and computerized vote stripping may well have stripped seven Upper House seats from the Democrats to the GOP.

Thus the electronic race-based stripping of voter rolls in the GOP’s favor has probably on its own taken to the far right the presidency, control of the US Senate and ultimately the US Supreme Court.

It should be noted that out of disgust with Donald Trump, the GOP multi-billionaire Koch Brothers shifted much of their massive financial weight from the presidential race to Congressional and other “down-ballot contests,” where these key Senate seats and others in the US House and state governments were almost certainly impacted.

Traditional Jim Crow Stripping of Voter Registration Rolls

Alongside computerized techniques, the Republicans have effectively deployed still more traditional Jim Crow tactics to strip black/Hispanic/Asian-American citizens of their ability to vote. In part these include: demands for photo ID, elimination of polling places, narrowing time frames in which citizens can vote, deliberate distribution of misinformation about voting requirements, non-counting of provisional ballots, failure to send out absentee ballots, intimidation and widespread confusion at polling places [Google voting map] and much more.

In its 2013 Shelby County vs. Holder decision, the US Supreme Court gutted protections provided by the 1965 Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates for Jim Crow abuse throughout the electoral system.

Numerous reports indicate that citizens were often confronted with photo ID requirements even where they were voided by the courts. As in Ohio 2004, reports indicate many citizens were directed by official websites to polling places that did not actually exist.  This year Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted failed to distribute more than 1,050,000 absentee ballot applications to citizens entitled to them.

On Election Day, media throughout the US reported the kinds of mass delays and confusion that defined the elections of 2000 and 2004.  Said the New York Times: “Voters nationwide endured long waits in line, malfunctioning voting machines, ill-informed poll workers and a litany of lesser annoyances on Tuesday with scattered reports that some voters gave up trying to cast ballots.”

David Becker, the Executive Director of the Center for Election Innovation, told the Times, “There are scattered indications of machine breakdowns that are being addressed.”

In an editorial the day after the election, the Times lamented that in North Carolina “The state’s Republican Party issued a news release boasting that cutbacks in early voting hours reduced black turnout by 8.5% below 2012 levels, even as the numbers of white early voters increased by 22.5%.” Fourteen states put in new voting restrictions including some states that were never under federal supervision like Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Throughout the US, voters with “problems” in their registration are routinely given provisional ballots, allegedly to be counted later. But the forms are often impossibly complex, with poll workers often failing to count them at the sight of a single minor error, such as writing below a line, omitting a middle initial, failing to include a birthday and much more. Ohio Secretary of State Husted won the right from the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to not count prevision ballots that contain a minor mistake. Thus tens of thousands of provisional ballots are thus routinely left uncounted, unbeknownst to the voters. More than 115,000 provisional and “spoiled” ballots from the Ohio 2004 election remain uncounted.

Polling Indicators

In the lead-up to November 8, pre-election polls strongly indicated a Clinton victory. Post-Election exit polls showed her winning as well, most critically in the swing states whose Electoral College votes could give her the presidency.

Exit polls are the accepted international standard for indications of election fraud and vote tampering. Eric Bjornlund and Glenn Cowan’s 2011 pamphlet “Vote Count Verification: a User’s Guide for Funders, Implementers and Stakeholders.” Their work, done under the auspices of Democracy International for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), outlines how exit polling is used to ensure free and fair elections.

It adds that “U.S-funded organizations have sponsored exit polls as part of democracy assistance programs in Macedonia (2005), Afghanistan (2004), Ukraine (2004), Azerbaijan (2005), the West Bank and Gaza Strip (2005), Lebanon (2005), Kazakhstan (2005), Kenya (2005, 2007), and Bangladesh (2009), among other places.”

In countries like Germany and Switzerland, which use hand-counted paper ballots, exit polls are accurate to a margin error of less than 1%.

Here the 2016 exit polls were paid for by a major corporate media consortium, as has been standard practice for years. Here they are designed to reflect the actual vote count within a 2% margin of error nationally.

But in the US, if exit polls don’t agree with official vote counts, they are regularly “adjusted” to conform to official results, no matter how implausible. This makes fraudulent elections appear legitimate.

During this year’s Republican primaries, unadjusted exit polls confirmed official vote counts in all cases. In the Democratic primaries, unadjusted exit polls significantly varied from the official outcome in 12 of 26 primaries. All the errors went in Hillary Clinton’s favor in her race against Bernie Sanders. This is a virtual statistical impossibility and suggests a rigged vote count.

In the general election against Donald Trump, things went the other way. In 24 of 28 states, unadjusted exit polls also showed Clinton with vote counts significantly higher than the final official outcome. The likelihood of this happening in an election that is not rigged are in the realm of virtual statistical impossibility.

In fact, based on the exit polls, the odds against such an unexplained “Trump Shift” are one in 13,110 presidential elections.

For example, Ohio’s exit polls showed Trump and Clinton in a dead heat – 47 percent for Clinton to 47.1 for Trump. Officially, Trump won with 52.1 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 43.5 percent. This unexplained and unexpected 8.5 percent shift for Trump is mathematically impossible. (See attached chart. (PLEASE POST CHART & PROVIDE LINK)

The exit polls also showed Clinton winning in Florida. But an unaccounted for 2.5 percent shift to Trump gave him a statistical long-shot victory that might occur in one of every 167 presidential elections. The odds that Trump won in Pennsylvania are even more absurd – one in 188,360. In North Carolina, the odds that Trump won are one in 186,938,411.

Given the prevalence of other Jim Crow tactics, it’s likely the exit polls were impacted by non-white voters in all the key swing states who were given provisional ballots (or they voted electronically) leading them to believe their votes were being counted, even though they were not.

In key Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Missouri, exit polls also showed Democratic candidates winning by statistically significant margins, but then losing the official vote count.

In 2014, Senate races in North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska ended with exit polls also showing Democratic Senate candidates winning the popular vote, while ultimately losing the official vote count. The odds against this happening in two consecutive elections that are not rigged are also astronomical. [PLEASE POST AT FREEP & PROVIDE LINK See chart below.]

Electronic Flipping

The vast majority of the popular votes in this election nationwide were cast on either computerized touch-screen electronic machines, or on scantron ballots that are counted by computer. In neither case are there public monitoring capabilities or legal recourse for vote counts that are flipped.

In 2016, as in all previous US elections at least since 2000, the electronic vote count remains anyone’s guess. In states with a governor and Secretary of State from the same party, the final tally can be whatever they want it to be.

Such techniques were used in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 to strip voter rolls and flip George W. Bush into the White House. More than 90,000 black/Hispanic voters were disenfranchised by Gov. Jeb Bush (George’s brother) in a Florida election officially decided by 537 votes. More than 300,000 primarily black/Hispanic voters were stripped from voter rolls in an Ohio 2004 election officially decided by 118,775.

In Florida’s 2000 presidential election, in Volusia County 16,000 votes cast for Gore were electronically subtracted and 4,000 were added to Bush, giving him a leg up on the evening’s vote count. This caused a Fox News commentator John Ellis (who was Bush’s first cousin) to call the election for George W. Bush.

In Ohio 2004, John Kerry was shown winning the election by 4.2%, more than 200,000 votes, at 12:20am. Then the electronic vote count ceased. At 2 a.m. a Bush lead began to emerge, somehow reaching 2.5%. The 6.7% flip is a virtual statistical impossibility.

All of this was done by private contractors working for the company SmarTech, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The key information technology specialist in charge of the vote count was Michael Connell, an Akron-based associate of the Bush family, who was hired by the Ohio Secretary of state with a no-bid contract to supervise the state’s official vote count. Connell later died in a mysterious plane crash after being deposed in federal court.

The fact that electronic voting machines cannot be monitored was voted a Most Censored story in 2016 with a key interview appearing on Amy Goodman’s DEMOCRACY NOW.

Computer “Black Box Voting” specialist Bev Harris, who uncovered the electronic vote flipping in Florida 2000, has warned this year that a method of “fractionated voting” could have been easily used to manipulate electronic vote counts. The manipulation could be done by Secretaries of State in conjunction with partisan for-profit corporations in ways that are virtually impossible to detect, and simply not open to legal challenge. According to Harris, this “fraction magic,” used in county central tabulators, could have flipped hundreds of thousands of votes.

In Ohio this year, a new generation of electronic vote scanning machines makes it possible to retrieve electronic images of ballots that have been cast on paper in the order that they were cast. These machines come with an audit log that would detect any illegitimate vote changes by central tabulators. But Secretary of State Husted opted to allow local election boards to leave both security functions—-the audit log and the image scanners—turned off. Co-author Bob Fitrakis sued in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, to have the monitoring functions turned on. But Judge David Cain ruled on Election Day that the election officials need not turn on those security features.

While in the US this year voter turnout dropped to a 20-year low of 55 percent, Wisconsin, which has Election Day registration, experienced an 82.74 percent statewide turnout. However, Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips found five municipalities in Wisconsin that had 100 percent voter turnout, or more. In 11 other towns and villages, the turnout is alleged to be “95 percent or higher.” In 80 more municipalities in Wisconsin, voter turnout topped 90 percent or higher. Phillips concluded that, “Either these voter turnout percentages are a historic achievement, unparalled in my experience, or the unofficial results are not true or correct.”

Throughout the US, including the swing states that will decide the presidential outcome in the Electoral College, and in those that have increased the GOP margin in the US Senate, the entire vote count remains an electronic mystery. Millions of dollars would be required to do meaningful recounts in states like Wisconsin, which may well have legitimately gone for Clinton and chosen a Democratic US Senator. Huge sums of money would be required to fund independent investigators to confirm who actually won these public offices as cast, recorded—and possibly manipulated—on these electronic machines.

So did the GOP strip and flip the 2016 election?

Let’s count the ways:

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton won America’s popular vote by more than a million votes.

That popular vote victory will be reversed in an Electoral College originally designed to enhance the power of slaveowners, now being used for the sixth time to deny the White House to the rightful winner.

There is no doubt that more than enough black, Hispanic, Islamic and Asian-Americans were electronically stripped from the voter registration rolls by Crosscheck and other means to have given Clinton victories in those swing states that would have swung the Electoral College in her favor.

There is no doubt additional Jim Crow tactics meant to further disenfranchise black/Hispanic/Asian-American—such as stripping away voting times and precincts, denial of absentee ballots, non-counting of provisional ballots and much more—stripped Clinton of hundreds of thousands of additional legitimate votes.

There is no doubt exit polls showed her winning in more than enough states to have given her a victory in the Electoral College.

There is no doubt that the election was largely conducted on electronic machines, and with electronically counted scantron ballots, that are completely beyond public accountability. These voting machines are run on secret corporate proprietary software to which the public is not allowed access.

As in 2000 and 2004, the actual final vote count once again resides in black box machines controlled by GOP governors and Secretaries of State whose easy ability to hack and flip the official outcome cannot be monitored or brought to accountability. In at least one state (Ohio) the GOP took legal action to prevent the public from gaining potential access to the electronic vote count….and won!

There is also no doubt that had this election been conducted as it was in virtually any other country, the civilized world would have denounced it as completely unreliable and almost certainly false. Had it been in our “national interest” to do so, American troops would have poured in to “restore democracy” after such an obviously rigged charade.

Throughout the campaign GOP candidate Trump cleverly complained of a “rigged election.” He continually warned of innumerable non-whites and Muslims voting multiple times for Hillary Clinton.

Of course the opposite happened. Hundreds of thousands of non-white citizens were systematically denied their right to vote. Since even that wasn’t enough to elect Donald Trump, the Electoral College will once again deny democracy. And thanks to the dark magic of electronic voting machines, we will never really know 2016’s true vote count.

Today’s most tangible tragedy is what may soon unfold in this country.

But the underlying nightmare is that this has been done before. That we’ve known about stripped and flipped elections for at least sixteen years. And that nothing has been done.

If anything, due to the spread of electronic voting machines, our electoral system is more corrupt and less accountable than it was in 2000, when the GOP first stripped and flipped George W. Bush into the White House.

We advocate universal automatic voter registration, transparent voter rolls, a four-day national holiday for voting, universal hand-counted paper ballots, abolition of the Electoral College, an end to gerrymandering, a ban on corporate money in politics.

There’s much more. But until we win those basics, democracy in America is an illusion….as is our chance to survive on this planet.

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of THE STRIP & FLIP DEATH OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT (www.freepress.org/www.solartopia.org). Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES and Harvey’s AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH also abide.

Charts courtesy of Rob Baiman, Assistant Professor, Benedictine University, and member of the Chicago Political Economy Group. The charts are a preliminary draft subject to revision as the data comes in.

Associated Files:

PDF icon 2016 Presidential exit poll – vote count comparative.pdf
PDF icon 2016 Senate exit poll – vote count comparative _13.EPNull.pdf

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The Other Side of the News November 14, 2016 – 2016 Election Roundup with Bob and Harvey

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman talk about the anomalies in the 2016 election.

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Solartopia Green Power and Wellness Hour – 11.10.16

http://prn.fm/solartopia-green-power-wellness-hour-11-10-16/

ANOTHER STRIPPED FLIPPED ELECTION?  We’re joined by my election theft co-author BOB FITRAKIS to sort through the rubble of the 2016 election.

For the sixth time in US history, the ELECTORAL COLLEGE has allowed the losing candidate to become president.  It worked for George W. Bush in 2000 and now it will work for Donald Trump.

Once again exit polls show the alleged loser, this time Hillary Clinton, being in fact the likely victory.

But most importantly we see the likelihood that the stripping of voter rolls rendered more than enough voters ineligible to have shifted the final outcome.

We are joined late in the show by voting rights activist Lynn Landes and CODE RED author Jon Simon for more important comment, which will be continued
as we try to make sense of how to live and make change in a country ruled by a system that nowhere nearly represents a democracy.

Photo of government session

For the sixth time in our history, a candidate for President of the United States may have won the popular vote and lost the White House.

This must end.

While the nation—and much of the world—shudders at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, our electoral system has once again failed to deliver a formal victory to the person who got the most votes.

Hillary Clinton appears to have won the nationwide popular vote. As of about 1 PM eastern time, the tally was roughly 58,909,774 votes (47.6%) for Clinton, versus 58,864,233 votes (47.5%) for Trump. (The exact numbers will change as the vote count continues.)

But Donald Trump’s Electoral College tally has exceeded the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House.

There is much more to tell about this. This year’s vote has once again been stripped and flipped by GOP Jim Crow segregationist tactics that disenfranchised millions of primarily African-American and Hispanic citizens.

But if the current vote tallies continue roughly they way they are, Donald Trump will join Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and George W. Bush as presidents who lost the popular vote but still took the nation’s highest office, in every case with huge impacts.

The Electoral College was established at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to prevent the public from voting directly on our national leader. Ostensibly, it was meant in part to protect small states from being bullied by bigger ones.

It also installed a “three-fifth bonus” that gave plantation owners a 60 percent headcount for their slaves. The ruse was counted into Congressional districting, giving the south a distinct advantage over the northern free states. That’s why every President from Jefferson to Lincoln either owned slaves or had a vice president who did.

In 1800, Jefferson beat the incumbent John Adams in an Electoral College swung by “bonus votes” that came from slaves who could not actually cast them. In 1824, John Quincy Adams made a deal with Kentucky slaveowner Henry Clay to steal the presidency from Andrew Jackson, who had beaten Adams by about 50,000 popular votes.

In 1876, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes lost to Democrat Samuel Tilden by about 250,000 votes. But the GOP used federal troops in the south to shift enough Electoral College votes to create a deadlock. Hayes then became president by agreeing to remove those troops and end Reconstruction, a catastrophe for southern blacks and a triumph for the Jim Crow segregation that has defined our national politics ever since.

In 1888, Republican Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote to incumbent Democrat Grover Cleveland but became president anyway. Cleveland won back the White House in 1892.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore beat Republican George W. Bush by a nationwide tally of about 500,000 votes. Gore was also ultimately shown to have won the popular vote in Florida. But Bush’s brother Jeb, then governor of Florida, used a computerized system to remove voters from the rolls, to steal Florida’s electoral votes and put George in the White House.

Much the same was done in Ohio 2004 to defeat John Kerry. Bush ultimately was credited with a victory in the nationwide popular vote.

This year, Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory will change history in unimaginable ways. But nationwide it appears he did not win the popular vote. Hillary Clinton did.

There is much more to this story. But one thing is clear: There is no useful function for the Electoral College, a vile 230-year-old holdover from the bad old days of the southern slaveocracy. It poisons our electoral process.

It will require a Constitutional Amendment to get rid of it. But if we are to have anything that resembles a democracy, the Electoral College must be abolished.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org) and six other books on election protection.  

 

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Democray Now Presents Bob Fitrakis And Greg Palast In Ohio, Speaking About Election And Security

“In an on-the-ground report from the battleground state of Ohio, investigative reporter Greg Palast has uncovered the latest in vote suppression tactics led by Republicans that could threaten the integrity of the vote in Ohio and North Carolina. On some polling machines, audit protection functions have been shut off, and African Americans and Hispanics are being scrubbed from the voter rolls through a system called Crosscheck. “It’s a brand-new Jim Crow,” Palast says. “Today, on Election Day, they’re not going to use white sheets to keep way black voters. Today, they’re using spreadsheets.”

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Trump’s Racist “Rigged Election” Attack is as Old as America

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Trump in front of flag with red baseball cap on

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump’s demand for “monitors” at polling places to prevent a “rigged election” is an old and ugly story.

It’s obviously aimed—-KKK style—-at stopping black and Hispanic citizens from voting.  But in fact both major parties have used such terror tactics—- and updated electronic ones—-since the birth of the nation.

The cure—-we call it “the Ohio Plan”—- is scorned by both corporate parties:  universal automatic voter registration, transparent registration rolls that can be easily monitored, a national holiday for voting, and universal hand-counted paper ballots that stay in one place and are tallied (and re-tallied) in full public view.

The “rigged election” story dates back to the Constitution.  Its Electoral College gave a three-fifths “bonus” to slave owners for blacks who could not actually vote.  The race card carried through Jim Crow segregation and the KKK terror unleashed against post-Emancipation blacks who dared try to vote.  It continues through the Drug War and the tens of millions of African-American and Hispanic citizens stripped of their freedom and franchise.

Today it’s being done by computer programs that quietly eliminate millions of black and Hispanic voters from the registration rolls.

In Florida 2000 Gov. Jeb Bush stripped some 90,000 mostly black and Hispanic citizens off the registration rolls in an election decided for his brother by 537 votes.  In 2004 GOP operatives did it again to some 300,000 Ohioans in a state Bush won by 118,775.

In moves that Trump should love, between the 2004 and 2008 elections, in a state with about 5.5 million eligible voters,1.25 million Ohioans were de-registered. In 2012, the number purged was 1.1 million. So far this year, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has de-registered over a million Ohio voters, more than 600,000 clearly eligible to vote and on the rolls of their county boards of elections.

Photo ID, limited polling station access, machines that break down, provisional ballots that don’t get counted, absentee ballots that don’t get sent, elimination of days to vote, deliberate official misinformation and intimidation—-all do exactly what Trump wants.  They eliminate the “threat” of non-white voters.

In reporting on Trump’s assertions, the New York Times quotes Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Husted as the “voice of reason.”  But like other Republican Secretaries of State across the US, Husted is aggressively stripping millions of black and Hispanic voters from the registration books.  Nationwide, tens of millions of exactly the kinds of people Trump doesn’t want to vote will have been stripped off the voter rolls come November.  Much of this is explained in Greg Palast’s new film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

As Michelle Alexander has explained in her New Jim Crow, tens of millions of blacks and Hispanics have been stripped of their votes since Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971.  Alongside filling history’s biggest gulag with about 2.2 million prisoners, America’s Drug War has anchored the GOP’s Southern Strategy by stripping blacks and Hispanics from the rolls in southern states where they comprise some 40% of the potential electorate.

Neither Trump nor his mainstream critics mention mass incarceration’s “twin” means of election rigging:  electronic voting machines.   Some 80% of this year’s votes may be cast on touchscreen and other computerized devices that are absurdly easy to flip.  The courts say the corporate-owned source code is proprietary.  So there’s no meaningful accountability.  Allegedly safe Scantron paper ballots are easily manipulated with corrupted tallying machines.

Significant computer manipulations helped rig GOP presidential victories in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, and critical down-ballot elections elsewhere.  These include 2014 US Senate races in North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska that now loom large in terms of who might or might not be confirming new Supreme Court appointments.

Corporate-sponsored critics brand this “conspiracy theory”.  But neither they nor Trump can answer this most basic question:  “how, in fact, do we verify the legitimate tally of votes cast on electronic machines with no effective paper trail, i.e. the vast majority of those that will be cast this November?”

If we’re to have meaningful elections in the future, they must be conducted on paper  ballots that are held at their precincts in transparent containers that do not move.  Those ballots must be counted in public, by hand.  Voter registration should be open automatically to all citizens, with registration rolls open to the public and easily monitored.  Voting should be open to all on the basis of a signature.  And we need a national holiday for voting so working people do not have to pay with their jobs for exercising their democratic rights.

The “Ohio Plan” would also eliminate corporate money from our elections, end gerrymandering and abolish the Electoral College.

This coming election, up and down the ballot, could indeed be “rigged”.  But it will happen exactly counter to what Trump says.  Rather than eliminating millions of black and Hispanic voters, as he wants, we need to guarantee their franchise.  We must be able to verify their presence on registration rolls.  We need to make sure they have reasonable time and place to cast their ballots—-free from KKK/Trump-style thugs intimidating us all.

Above all, as they now do in Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Japan and Canada, we need to cast our votes on paper ballots that are safety stored and counted by hand, preferably by our nation’s high school and college students, and our elders.

Maybe then, Trump or otherwise,  we can begin to think of America as a country where elections really aren’t rigged or stolen, stripped or flipped.

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016:  FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT has just been chosen as one of America’s most censored stories ( http://projectcensored.org/4-search-engine-algorithms-electronic-voting-… ).  It’s available at www.freepress.org, along with Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES.  Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.harveywasserman.com, along with AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH, available in 2017.