As pointed out in the online newspaper American Free Press, “Together, the computerized ballot scanners and touch-screen voting machines systems made by ES&S and Diebold recorded some 80 percent of all votes cast in the recent U.S. presidential election.”
The Center for Responsive Politics reveals large contributions from Diebold, almost all to Republican candidates, including $15,000 in 2000 to the Republican National Committee, $100,000 in soft money to the GOP in 2000 and another $100,965 in 2002. The insider touch got a bit disconcerting in August, when CBS News reported on a letter from Diebold's CEO, Wally Odell, who was also a Republican fundraiser. In an invitation to a Bush fundraising benefit, Odell wrote that "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." After the news item, Odell announced that he was getting out of politics.
This year the election was followed by so many complaints about vote fraud, vote suppression and other anomalies that on Dec. 8, Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) hosted a forum (aired on C-Span) to highlight some of the problems. Last weekend, demonstrations protested vote problems in Ohio, where the Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, was also Ohio’s Bush-Cheney state chairman. Blackwell certified Ohio election results this week. Jesse Jackson called on Blackwell to recuse himself from the election process, saying his objectivity is compromised by his position in the Bush-Cheney campaign. Conyers, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and dean of the Black Congressional Caucus, has also written to Blackwell, requesting his answer to questions that would have made headlines under any previous administration:
Conyers has promised that Committee Democrats will review vote problems, and the Government Accountability Office (formerly the General Accounting Office) is also launching a review of the 2004 election. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, has been quoted as saying he will hold hearings on the election, in 2005.
Meanwhile, a federal court ruled that Delaware County will have to participate in the Ohio recount, and the Kerry-Edwards team has decided to support a legal challenge by third-party candidates in Ohio who think it’s funny how many votes they got in proportion to the Dem. The Ohio Democratic Party is also looking for a few good volunteers to monitor the vote counting.
Note: For anyone doing holiday gift shopping, author and elections activist Bev Harris’ book Black Box Voting sounds like a terrific recommendation. I don’t have the book (yet) myself but have read some of Harris’ material online, and if there were a Nobel Elections Peace Prize she would deserve it. She has worked dedicatedly since 2000 to warn the electorate about factors undermining the integrity of the vote, one of the most fundamental threats a working democracy can face.
Margie Burns writes freelance in Maryland. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2004 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on December 9, 2004.
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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]