The imperial fraud that has corrupted our electoral process seems finally to be dawning on a broadening core of the American electorate—if it can still be called that. This shift is highlighted by three major developments.
1. The NAACP goes to the United Nations
In early December, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the largest civil rights organization in
The report analyzes 25 laws that target black, minority, and poor voters “unfairly and unnecessarily restrict[ing] the right to vote.” It notes “…a coordinated assault on voting rights.” The NAACP points out that this most recent wave of voter repression is a reaction to the “historic participation of people of color in the 2008 presidential election and substantial minority population growth according to the 2010 consensus.”
It should be no surprise that the states of the old Confederacy—
The report documents that a long-standing tactic under fire since the 1860s—the disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions—is back in vogue. This has been coupled with “severe restrictions” on persons conducting voter registration drives, reducing opportunities for early voting and the use of absentee ballots.
Most of these new Jim Crow tactics were initially drafted as model legislation by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive conservative corporate policy group whose founder, according to the NAACP, is on record in favor of reducing the voting population in order to increase their own “leverage.” The
An important statistic in all the legislation is that 25 percent of African Americans lack state photo identification, as compared to 15 percent of Latinos, and 8 percent of white voters. Other significant Democratic constituents—the elderly of all races and college students—would be dispropor- tionately impacted.
2. The Justice Department awakens
On Friday, December 23, 2011, the U.S. Justice Department called
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the requirement of a photo ID for voting. Undoubtedly, the attempt by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to challenge this will go to the most thoroughly corporate-dominated Court in recent memory. The depth of the commitment of the Obama administration to the issue also remains in doubt.
3. The EAC finds that voting machines are
programmed to be partisan
On December 22, 2011, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) issued a formal investigative report on Election Systems & Software (ED&D) DS200 Precinct County optical scanners. The EAC found “three substantial anomalies”:
· Intermittent screen freezes, system lock-ups, and shutdowns that prevent
the voting system from operating in the manner in which it was designed
· Skewing the ballot resulting in a negative effect on accuracy
The EAC ruled that the ballot scanners made by the ES&S electronic voting machine firm failed 10 percent of the time to read the votes correctly.
A flood of articles about these realities—including coverage in the New York Times—seems to indicate the theft of our elections has finally taken a leap into the mainstream of the American mind. Whether that leads to concrete reforms before another presidential election is stolen remains to be seen.