Monday, January 03, 2005

Ohio: Re-vote in black-box and 2 hour line counties

The evidence is pouring in beyond the shadow of a doubt that black voters were systematically disenfranchised in Ohio. Listen to Air America radio: witness after witness attesting to 5, 7, 10 hour lines for voting in black precincts whereas you never had to wait more than 20 minutes in a SINGLE white precinct. (, Sunday evening Jan.2, Laura Flanders Show.) Think about how long it took you; have you ever waited 7 hours? Overheard conversations on cellphones by people in lines made clear that folks were reporting to other would-be voters still at home, who gave up when told the lines were not going down, or were getting worse. Election workers, both Republican and Democrat, puzzled over why there were fewer machines in these places than last year, despite record turnout expectations. There might have been 5 machines last year and now there were 2. "Black boxes," voting machines with no paper trail, also heavily concentrated in black areas.

What now? Armed revolution? Well, not so fast my stout-hearted laddies. First, the operative language in the law is the word "systematic"; any "systematic" effort to exclude any ethnic or religious group is a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act, and therefore the basis for a non-frivolous lawsuit. Should be easy to show where the long lines and black boxes were located. Then what? Simple. The only fair soluton is a re-vote in all counties affected by "black boxes" or by severe lack of voting machines. This is a reasonable and limited remedy. Say the average time for most people to vote state-wide in Ohio is a half-hour: quadruple that and say anyplace with longer than 2 or 3 hours enters the unreasonable. The entire election hinged on Ohio, so fortunately this is a fairly isolated problem, confined to certain counties and not even the whole state. In other words, it's a sensible solution for anyone who cares about democracy, be they Republican or Dem. We don't know what the outcome will be. What we do know is what happened is despicable.

Spearhead organization: Coalition Against Election Fraud. The people must lead and the politicians will follow. These folks have picked out key senators to call urging that an objection be lodged on January 6th, when the Electoral College meets to certify the vote. From the Coalition's website:

On January 6th, Congress meets to certify the Presidential election. If even one House member and one Senator object to the electoral votes of any state, this objection will be recorded: the vote will not be automatically approved. This has happened only once before -- in 1877. Its occurrence once again would draw historic attention to our shattered democracy and lead to an outcome that none of us can know.

AND IT'S FREE! Toll free numbers! Contact these Senators at 1-800-839-5276 or 1-877-762-8762 connecting all offices.

Barbara Boxer CA-D
Robert Byrd WV-D
Mark Dayton MN-D
Thomas Harkin IA-D
Jim Jeffords VT-I
Edward Kennedy MA-D
Patrick Leahy VT-D
Carl Levin MI-D
Joseph Lieberman CT-D
Barbara Mikulski MD-D
Barack Obama IL-D
Olympia Snowe ME-R
Charles Schumer NY-D


Mike Capuano MA-D (my own addition, Hi Mike!)

The dry legalese of this effort doesn't convey what happened; black folks coming from surgery to vote; people leaving work, giving up, coming back on their breaks, giving up again, all in a passion to vote even if it was for the first time in their lives. Our soldier-brothers are dying in Iraq because of this man Bush, not to mention 100,000 civilians and counting. Get on the phone, wear out those numbers. If the Ukranians can win their freedom, we can too. Move out.


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