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Thread: Stealing Democracy

  1. #1
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    Default Stealing Democracy

    NYT
    "On Tuesday, the Justice Department opened an investigation into alleged election fraud in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District. Neither the details of the crime nor the culprits, however, match the scenario that has led to an array of Voter ID laws, voter roll purges and similar efforts “to protect the integrity of the ballot box.”
    The Republicans would have the nation believe that the threat to our democracy is from voter fraud, where someone impersonates someone else to cast an illegal ballot or multiple ballots to “steal elections.” But the chance of voter fraud occurring is, at best, 0.0000044 percent.
    The real theft of American democracy happens through election fraud and voter suppression. And Republicans are the thieves.
    What happened in North Carolina during the 2018 midterms was a textbook case of election fraud. That’s when a candidate’s campaign sets out to manipulate vote tallies to steal an election.


    In the Ninth Congressional District, the Republican candidate, Mark Harris, hired Leslie McCrae Dowless, an election operative with a “shady” reputation, to ensure that there would be enough votes to send Mr. Harris to Capitol Hill. Even though Mr. Harris’s son, an assistant United States attorney, repeatedly warned him against this hire.
    When the ballots were tallied, Mr. Harris was ahead by 905 votes. His total included 61 percent of the absentee ballots in Bladen County, though only 19 percent there were cast by Republicans.
    Something was also awry in Robeson County, where 40 percent of African-Americans’ absentee ballots and 60 percent of Native Americans’ absentee ballots were never officially turned in. Mr. Dowless, elections officials concluded, had illegally gathered, altered and discarded more than 1,000 absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson Counties. The election’s results were so bizarre that the state elections board refused to certify the vote.
    Mr. Dowless and four other people are now under indictment.
    Faced with this brazen attempt to steal a congressional seat, most of the national Republican leadership simply went silent.
    The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who has repeatedly articulated his contempt for voting rights, laid the blame for the election fraud debacle on Democrats and their refusal to back voter ID laws. This was catnip for the Republican base, which has been convinced that voter fraud happens regularly. And Mr. McConnell managed to swap the reality of election fraud for the fiction of voter fraud to mask that it was the Republican who hired the disreputable campaign operative.


    Mr. McConnell’s legerdemain also hid the fact that voter ID would have had no effect whatsoever on Mr. Dowless’s scheme because government-issued photo IDs are not required for absentee voting in North Carolina.
    Republicans in North Carolina’s state legislature, instead of addressing the obvious weaknesses in the absentee ballot procedure, or heeding a past court warning about the rampant racial discrimination in its voting laws, doubled down and continued to deploy the lie of voter fraud to craft yet another piece of voter ID legislation.
    Although it was stopped by a court, the targets of the new law, as before, were African-Americans, whose voter turnout rate had surpassed that of whites in 2012 but dropped significantly after the state implemented voter suppression legislation in 2013. The result of the statehouse’s new efforts, as an editorial in The Charlotte News & Observer noted, would most likely have resulted “in hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised voters.”
    The attempt to eviscerate American citizens’ voting rights was not just confined to North Carolina, however. In Texas, Republicans once again invoked “voter fraud” to mask their effort to steal democracy.
    In January, the interim secretary of state, David Whitley, issued a press releasestating that his office had uncovered 95,000 noncitizens on the voter rolls and that it appeared 58,000 of them had voted at some point in the state’s elections.
    This was the voter fraud beast that the Republicans had warned about.
    We knew it was happening and now we have proof,” asserted James Dickey, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party. “Our voter rolls must be purged to protect our elections.” Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately announced that his office “stands ready to investigate and prosecute crimes against the democratic process when needed.”
    Not to be outdone, President Trump used the bully pulpit of his Twitter account to point to Texas as proof that immigrants were a threat to American democracy. “These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg,” he assured. “All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped.” Then he added that special touch for his followers: “Strong voter ID!”


    Mr. Whitley advised county officials to identify the illegal voters and purge their names immediately. Mr. Paxton would take care of the rest.
    Within days, however, election officials in Harris County, which includes Houston, revealed that that 95,000 number was as solid as papier mâché. Mr. Whitley had used a driver’s license database that doesn’t track when or if an immigrant becomes a citizen during the six-year window when a license is issued and expires. Since more than one million Texans had become naturalizedcitizens during the time frame of the list, this was not insignificant.
    The Harris County election officials found in their initial review that about 60percent of the names flagged were of naturalized citizens. In short, Republicans in Texas were poised to purge thousands of American citizens’ names from the voting rolls simply because they had once been immigrants."




  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    People need to go to jail. Lots of them.
    Nosce te ipsum

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Many are saying it. Bigly

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    How did this guy know which ballots were cast by African-Americans and Natives? How did he obtain them? They are supposed to be sent to the County Board of Elections. Dowless must have deep contacts there, which means the entire system is a stinking, rotten pile of corruption.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Well that's not news is it? And not just in Texas. The whole setup is crooked and likely designed to be so.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    It was not designed to be crooked. It was designed to be non-centralized, robust, and distributed, as the US grew out of several very widely-dispersed colonies and many settlements at a time when "fast" communication was by sailing ship.

    There is no excuse for today.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    In North Carolina, Dowless didn't need to have deep connections. He had hired a crew who went around collecting absentee ballots under the pretext of "turning them in for you." The ballots would then be altered or just deep-sixed.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    which means the entire system is a stinking, rotten pile of corruption.
    Bing, Bing, Bing, We Have a Winner!

    Nation wide, our election machine - esp rural - tends to be run by 'baggers.. with no noticeable ties to integrity.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    It was not designed to be crooked.
    Dude. Excluding women and black people from the franchise, but counting black people as 3/5 of a "real" person for representation purposes, is absolutely designed to be crooked. The same impulses are still around, have experienced a resurgence after Reconstruction ended, and another when Turnip was elected; they're just hidden a little better.

    People who would subvert American democracy for the good of their party are the lowest form of scum.

    What are you doing about it?




  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    I was referring to the design of the electoral system, with everything done county by county, state by state, with little or no standardization, instead of being organized and operated under a single federal body, like we do here in Canada. We had a similarly dispersed population here in Canada, I wonder how we came up with what we have? Or was that the difference made by 100 years of technology, including railways and telegraphy?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Getting verifiable voting machines is not rocket surgery. Many states have 100% verifiable voting machines. Vermont (for example) required towns to have them a number of years ago & helped them financially to make the switch.

    States that don't currently have them have delayed getting them because they want to be able to play games like this. Figuring that out ain't rocket surgery either. Many, but not all, are Republican states.

    Info here: https://ballotpedia.org/Voting_metho...pment_by_state
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    I have no doubt at all that as far as party machines and voting scams are concerned neither have clean hands, or indeed may want to have. In a 2 party system its swings and roundabouts and their most important matter is never to allow a viable 3rd party to emerge.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    We had a similarly dispersed population here in Canada, I wonder how we came up with what we have? Or was that the difference made by 100 years of technology, including railways and telegraphy?
    There is a profound difference between enumerated powers at the federal and state/province level, respectively, in the two countries. This has left the US government less powerful, relatively speaking, and less able to regulate certain matters.

    What are you doing about it?




  14. #14
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    The real theft of American democracy happens through election fraud and voter suppression. And Republicans are the thieves.
    No, the real threat to democracy is a Congress that is for sale to the highest bidder. And the wealthy are the thieves. Both Democrats and Republicans are on the take.

    Lots of you seem to have forgotten that Sam Giancana delivered the election for JFK. I like JFK but you know, it's not good to act all saintly when you have feet of clay.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Stealing Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    No, the real threat to democracy is a Congress that is for sale to the highest bidder. And the wealthy are the thieves. Both Democrats and Republicans are on the take.

    Lots of you seem to have forgotten that Sam Giancana delivered the election for JFK. I like JFK but you know, it's not good to act all saintly when you have feet of clay.
    I will take comfort in the knowledge that you won't be voting.
    Rattling the teacups.

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