Tuesday, July 20

The Million Vote march-work in progress

Almost 2 million votes in the 2000 election were not counted. The Vote totals for the presidential race came in around 100 million. Actually closer to 106 million when all third and other party totals are included. A spoilage rate of slightly under two percent. I guess it could be worse. Well it turns out that half of these spoiled votes were cast by "non-white" voters.
Greg Palast who is such a good investigative journalist, (re. too hot to handle for the SCLM) that he gets paid to write for English papers and works for the BBC writes the following.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
by Greg Palast

In the 2000 presidential election, 1.9 million Americans cast ballots that no one counted. "Spoiled votes" is the technical term. The pile of ballots left to rot has a distinctly dark hue: About 1 million of them -- half of the rejected ballots -- were cast by African Americans although black voters make up only 12 percent of the electorate.
If this is news to you, there are a variety of books on the subject, starting with Greg's own "The Best Democracy Money can Buy". And if you do not find this disturbing, then there is reason to question your patriotism. If you believe that it is OK for your side to win using foul play, you are not a citizen or patriot. You are a partisan and put allegience to your party ahead of allegiance to your Country.
How do you spoil 2 million ballots? Not by leaving them out of the fridge too long. A stray mark, a jammed machine, a punch card punched twice will do it. It's easy to lose your vote, especially when some politicians want your vote lost.

While investigating the 2000 ballot count in Florida for BBC Television, I saw firsthand how the spoilage game was played -- with black voters the predetermined losers.
Since those pesky Negroes left the republican reservation when the party was hijacked by the Dixie-crats, they tend to vote 9 out of ten times for Democratic presidential candidates, which if you follow conventional wisdom, (proffered by the so called liberal media conspriracy) is "code" for too stupid to vote. I'm calling Bullshit!!.
Florida's Gadsden County has the highest percentage of black voters in the state -- and the highest spoilage rate. One in 8 votes cast there in 2000 was never counted. Many voters wrote in "Al Gore." Optical reading machines rejected these because "Al" is a "stray mark."

By contrast, in neighboring Tallahassee, the capital, vote spoilage was nearly zip; every vote counted. The difference? In Tallahassee's white- majority county, voters placed their ballots directly into optical scanners. If they added a stray mark, they received another ballot with instructions to correct it.

In other words, in the white county, make a mistake and get another ballot; in the black county, make a mistake, your ballot is tossed.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission looked into the smelly pile of spoiled ballots and concluded that, of the 179,855 ballots invalidated by Florida officials, 53 percent were cast by black voters. In Florida, a black citizen was 10 times as likely to have a vote rejected as a white voter.
So over 90,000 votes for president in the state of Florida cast by African Americans, dissappeared into Florida Swampland. That nearly 180,000 people cast uncounted ballots in this state alone should put a chill in anyone's spine. What really puts a chill in mine is that Florida accounts for 9.4% of spoiled ballots nationally. With a population of 16 million, Florida accounts for roughly 5.5% of the population of the United States. Gotta hand it to a state when it can beat it's spoiled vote quota by 75,000 votes. Maybe on another day we'll stroll on over to some of the Red states and see how close they got to their quotas. So it should come as no suprise that exit polling in Florida would indicate a Gore victory in that state, I'm sure that their exit polling tallies included many fine citizens who had no Idea that their ballots were spoiled and would never be counted.

If Greg is right about Talahassee, then one is likely to conclude that the 89,000 or so non "non-white" or "white-like" votes were cast in counties with unreliable machinery or a substantial lack of country clubs or SUV's. Not trying to suggest that all of those poor white folk were Gore supporters-lots of people vote against their self inerest-Jews for Buchanin anyone. It's just that there is the statistical unliklihood that bush could have claimed 90% of the 47 percent of florida's spoiled vote. The US commision on Civil rights report can be found here. I am going to take a look at it. I encourage you to do the same-more later.

From the executive summary of the report.
Poor counties, particularly those with large minority populations, were more likely to possess voting systems with higher spoilage rates than the more affluent counties with significant white populations. There is a high correlation between counties and precincts with a high percentage of African American voters and the percentage of spoiled ballots. For example:

  • Nine of the 10 counties with the highest percentage of African American voters had spoilage rates above the Florida average.

  • Of the 10 counties with the highest percentage of white voters, only two counties had spoilage rates above the state average.

  • Gadsden County, with the highest rate of spoiled ballots, also had the highest percentage of African American voters.

  • Where precinct data were available, the data show that 83 of the 100 precincts with the highest numbers of spoiled ballots are black-majority precincts.
Coincidence.....Well you say potatoe i'm inclined Tomato........wheeeee (hands up spinning in my chair like Jon Sterwart when talking to Wolf)....wheeeeee....wheeeeeee.......Ok back to some other goodness. Here we have the first paragraph of the conclusion of the executive summary.
The Commission found that the problems Florida had during the 2000 presidential election were serious and not isolated. In many cases, they were foreseeable and should have been prevented.The failure to do so resulted in an extraordinarily high and inexcusable level of disenfranchisement, with a significantly disproportionate impact on African American voters. The causes include the following: (1) a general failure of leadership from those with responsibility for ensuring elections are properly planned and executed; (2) inadequate resources for voter education, training of poll workers, and for Election Day trouble-shooting and problem solving; (3) inferior voting equipment and/or ballot design; (4) failure to anticipate and account for the expected high volumes of voters, including inexperienced voters; (5) a poorly designed and even more poorly executed purge system; and (6) a resource allocation system that often left poorer counties, which often were counties with the highest percentage of black voters, adversely affected.
I'd have to disagree with conclusion #5, I'd say the the purge system was by design and executed exactly as planned. In closing I'll offer the insights of someone who may know a little more about elections in her part of florida than I do.
Among the sworn testimony: One potential voter waited hours at the polls because of a registration mix-up as poll workers attempted to call the office of the supervisor of elections. The call never got through and the individual was not allowed to vote. A former poll worker herself, she testified that she never saw anything like it during her 18 years as a poll worker.

Reading some of the contents of the report plus goings on elseware (OHIO), lead me to conclude that we are far from over. So many outrages to flog so little time.