Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and co-author summarize their hard-hitting, eye-opening investigation here; you can download their Rolling Stone article plus a comic book voter guide free (or make a donation) at StealBackYourVote.org:
The Republicans have created an obstacle course of barriers designed to suppress the vote, purge tens of thousands of Democratic voters from voting rolls, create mayhem and delay at voting venues on Election Day, and stop millions of votes from being counted this election cycle.
Jailed GOP activist Jack Abramoff and his fellow convict, Congressman Bob Ney, wrote the most sinister provisions of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which Congress passed in 2002 creating a series of diabolically cunning new voting impediments. HAVA, for example, allows state voting officials to purge tens of thousands of voters from the polls using algorithms and voter ID requirements that disproportionately disenfranchise black, Hispanic and minority voters, and other Democratic demographics including senior citizens and young people.
In 2004, highly organized GOP tacticians helped disenfranchise no less than 2.7 million American voters. Almost a million of them were African Americans. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has found black voters were nine times more likely to have their votes discarded than white voters and that over one-third of the million provisional ballots cast in 2004 — ballots handed disproportionately to African Americans — were never counted but simply thrown into dumpsters.
In a technique known as “caging” RNC operatives send millions of first class letters to black voters across the country marked ‘do not forward.’ Republican operatives armed with lists then invade black precincts on Election Day to challenge those voters whose letters were returned to the RNC because the voter was not home to sign when the mail arrived. That tactic deliberately targets black voters, resurrecting Old Dixie’s Jim Crow procedures designed to rid the lists of black voters and create long lines in black precincts.
In this election, new HAVA mandates permit voting officials to precisely match registration form information with the voter’s driver’s license and Social Security application. While it may sound reasonable, in practice, any change, even a dropped hyphen, is cause for eliminating the voter from the rolls. Since 2004, Colorado’s Republican Secretaries of State have purged one out of every five voters from the rolls. The current Secretary of State, Mike Coffman, a Republican also running for office, recently purged an additional 37,000 voters and discarded 6,400 new voter registrations — overwhelmingly Democratic — based upon an obscure technical mistake that Coffman’s office encouraged voters to make in the first place.
The GOP “anti-fraud” campaign resulted in one in nine New Mexico Democratic voters finding their names had disappeared from voter roles during this year’s caucus.
Despite a recent Supreme Court decision upholding Ohio’s refusal to disenfranchise 200,000 legitimate voters based on this absurd demand to “match” voter names to databases, White House operatives are still fighting to purge these names from the rolls. President George Bush last week personally asked his Attorney General Mike Mukasey to renew Republican efforts to disenfranchise these voters.
Contrary to Mr. McCain’s assertions, the real threat to democracy is from the GOP itself. ACORN has served as a good distraction from Republican efforts to steal the vote from hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters, a genuine threat that has received almost no media attention.
They’re stealing your vote, but you can steal it back. Here are some steps you should take to protect your vote. First, avoid the November 4th minefield. Voters, wherever possible, should vote early and in person. Where feasible, avoid mailing in your ballot, many are rejected for flimsy reasons, and first time voters in many states must include a photocopy of ID. However, if you have a mail-in ballot, don’t throw it away. Follow directions, use the correct postage (that’s an error that cost a hundred thousand votes last time) and, if possible, walk it in to your elections office.
At the polling station, should you find yourself one of the 2.7 million purged, or your ID rejected, then do your best to resist a “provisional” ballot–one third of which are not counted. Return with proper ID, or call 1-800-OUR VOTE for legal assistance. And never just walk away discouraged. That’s just what they want you to do.
And once America gets that taken care of, I say we should steal back home education too.
I’m not convinced that parents advocating for “education” freedom really have an “education” advocacy. Strip away all the religious code and delegitimizing secular government including taxes, and it’s hard to find anything I (as education policy professional) recognize as being about actual education.
Joe Biden Monday morning gave a speech that referenced this whole historical issue of dividing us on purpose, scaring us into feeling someone wants to hurt our individual freedom, while persistently distracting us from what really matters to our own lives and families and communities.
He said that “they” — forces of the status quo who want to keep real power from real people — attacked Jefferson as not being a real Christian, Abraham Lincoln for wanting to take away individual rights, FDR claiming he would destroy the American system of life, and JFK as a dangerous choice in difficult times.
And then he asked: “Sound familiar?”
Why do so many people keep falling for it, from the founding of the nation right up to this morning? The answers lie in cognitive psychology, not political debate about taxes and parties. See how confirmation bias for example, blocks actual understanding and leaves one so sure — and WRONG — with no path forward.
Not a good public impression for home education parents asserting their own competence, imo.
The most stressful moment of my life was my doctoral dissertation defense. For two hours, a committee of people who already hold PhDs in the subject do their level best to make you screw up, to reveal gaping holes in your knowledge of the field. . . always with an eye to protecting their field from poseurs.
. . .[T]he whole purpose of the grueling, humiliating dissertation defense is to find these people out and show them the door.
Political campaigns at their best serve the same purpose, ferreting out candidates who are clueless. . .
For example, Dr. Daryl Cobranchi and Dr. JJ Ross are homeschooling parents who also know the challenge of successfully defended dissertations. (The 2008 Democratic ticket has three juris doctor degrees plus one education doctorate between candidates and spouses.)
If defending our freedom is the real goal, home education parents could use much more public credibility, not even less than we have left:
She kids us not! Fruit flies! What kind of stupid science is that?
The, uh…scientific kind. The smart and useful kind. . . fruit flies are the single most studied organism on the planet. . .It’s not okay for a potential policymaker to state an intention to foist breathtaking ignorance of the most basic science on the rest of us. Again.
There is irony as well. . .the fruit fly research she derides has recently provided breakthroughs in understanding autism. . . she achieves the opposite of her intended result.
This fits into a larger pattern — a world and worldview in which this kind of inside-out thinking is a way of life.
In the religiously conservative world Palin inhabits, you can be opposed to teen pregnancy, then advocate abstinence-only sex ed, which increases rates of teen pregnancy.
You can oppose antisocial behaviors in children, then advocate corporal punishment, which has been shown to increase antisocial behaviors in children.
You can decry immorality in children, then advocate a commandment-based authoritarian moral education, which reseach has shown to “actually interfere with moral development” (Nucci, et al.) more than any other approach.
Now imagine instead a person who wants all the same things — meaningful and useful science, a reduction in teen pregnancy, and kids who are well-behaved and moral — but goes beyond what “seems” right to find out what we’ve actually learned, through careful research, about genetics, teen pregnancy, and moral development.
Then vote for that person.