Friday, September 24, 2004

Millions Blocked from Voting in US Election

Millions of U.S. citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the Nov. 2 presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks, according to civil rights and legal experts.

The largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been released.

In total, 13 percent of all black men are barred from voting due to a felony conviction, according to the Commission on Civil Rights. Polls consistently find that black Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.

"This has a huge effect on elections but also on black communities which see their political clout diluted. No one has yet explained to me how letting ex-felons who have served their sentences into polling booths hurts anyone," said Jessie Allen of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. ...

Wired News

In 2000 five right wing Supreme Court justices selected George W. Bush as president by stopping the Florida vote count when Bush had 512 votes over Gore. For Jeb Bush, Katharine Harris, Clayton Roberts and the Republican Party it was a job well done, but for our democracy and the clear majority of potential voters, it was the theft of the presidency and an indecent outrage against the founding principles of this republic.

Our risk averse, government beholden US media corporations eagerly stepped up to pay homage to the interloper as president and subsequently failed in their duty to fairly pursue and report on the injustices that had bend one in our banana republic election at the hands of GOP operatives.

But unlike two other international elections that were stolen that year, because our media corporations supported the coup by failing to pursue and report it, there were no mass uprisings of outraged citizens marching up to the White House demanding justice, our election remained stolen and by far the worst presidency of 100 years was given a free pass to plunder our treasury, eviscerate our economy, and shred our Constitution. And what the GOP has in mind for this nation in another four years of power may very well make today seem like the good old days.

Greg Palast, American investigative journalist and film producer for the BBC and The Guardian, and author of best-selling The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, has done much to reveal this scandalous coup d'etat but generally stands alone crying in the US media wilderness. It was Palast who reported on BBC about the illegal "felons list" ordered by Jeb Bush, Katharine Harris, and Clayton Roberts as a Democratic hit list to prevent more than 50,000 eligible Florida Democratic voters access to the polls, and further that Katharine Harris prevented the counting of another 20,000 Democratic votes.

His findings were confirmed by the Commission on Civil Rights, as described and further elaborated upon by Alan Elsner, which states that nationally, the "largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been released" and that polls "consistently find that black Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats." That being the case, one can readily appreciate why any GOP dominated state legislature would be more than a little reluctant to allow ex-felons the vote and thereby give up their valuable felons list, accurate or not. Fourteen states still deny ex-felons the right to vote.

Add this to the fact that nationwide, predominantly black precincts are those that get the oldest, most often malfunctioning voting equipment. Any equipment delays or breakdowns in these precincts — which occur at a higher rate than in precincts with better equipment — therefore deprive more Democratic voters from casting their ballots. It is estimated that the votes lost in this manner exceeds 1,000,000.

Following are some Greg Palast links. Find out what the elite media corporations are unwilling to let you know.

GregPalast.com (links to Palast's writings and more of his A/V's)
BBC TV: Theft of the Presidency - What Really Happened in Florida?
Silence of the Media Lambs (audio)
The Bush Family Fortunes (complete video)
Jim Crow Revived in Cyberspace 05-13-03 (article)
Update 10-28-04: Palast's BBC 10-26-04 report on a Florida Republican "caging list" and other dirty (illegal) tricks (audio)

Another writer's 2000 election theft summary: Stolen Election Deja Vu, Steve B. Cobble, for Nov3.us