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.
Local Gov’t Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
08.15 Monsanto sold banned chemicals for years despite known health risks, archives reveal [immoral capitalism]
News Media Matters
08.18 Climate change will likely wreck their livelihoods – but they still don't buy the science [a willfully ignorant people? or a public conned by oil-industry subsidized news media distortions?]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
08.18 GOP Senator Drowned Out By Cheers for 'Single Payer' at Town Hall [might our 'representatives' understand better if we took their free healthcare away?]
08.18 The United States was never immune to fascism. Not then, not now [2:54 video; “Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
08.18 Trump's evangelical panel remains intact as others disband. Who are his religious cheerleaders? [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
08.17 Stranding CEOs Too Slow To Quit, Trump Disbands His Own Business Councils [could a wider boycott accomplish resignations or positive change?]
08.16 Mark Ruffalo, Michael Moore Lead NYC Protest Against 'Absolutely Racist' Trump [short video]
08.16 Companies Linked To Mike Pence Seek An Upper Hand In Infrastructure Policy [our Public Infrastructure is at risk of being transformed into Private Infrastructure with tolls ad infinitum]
08.16 Indiana prosecutors want to incarcerate the opioid crisis away [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
08.18 Buses in Seoul install 'comfort women' statues to honour former sex slaves [immoral crimes are hard to forget]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
08.15 Why Are Drug Prices So High? These Politicians Might Have The Answer [especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, BIG money corrupts & controls U.S. government to the public’s detriment]
International & Futurism
08.17 Investment Bank Report Predicts the Cost of Electric Vehicles Will Match Regular Cars by 2018 [pressure is building for electric utilities to become 100% renewable or we'll die]