The Deceptiveness of Election Season

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voting season
Stars, Stripes, Bookmark, Element

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Well, its election season.  It does not feel like four years has gone by since the controversial Donald Trump win back in 2016.  It was bad enough then with all the liberal fanatics running around protesting, destroying property, and even committing suicide in some cases over politicians that care nothing for them or even know they exist.  And now we are back again; except, this time the rioting and chaos is about five months premature.  Considering the murder of George Floyd and others the parties kicked off early.  Another difference from last election is that the Trump obsessed Qanon cult members are also taking part.  Unlike the previous election more than likely we will be seeing rioting, lootings, and shootings no matter who wins.  And how can we forget about Covid-19 that has been politicized by both parties capitalizing on the publics fear and dividing the country further.  Because society has become so polarized and so brainwashed by their political masters they feel as if the world will come tumbling down if their “gods” fail. 

The media has done a superb job at manipulating the masses.  The spell has been cast, and the public is for the most part, mentally shot.  At this point they eat up whatever the “gods” say and whoever worships the other “god” on the opposite side is an enemy and must be destroyed.  Meanwhile, those of us that still have some sense left, both common and sense of self, must sit and deal with all this insanity.  We have been forced to choose a side they say.  No more being in the middle.  It is either right or left.  Oh, and by the way get out and vote otherwise you are a threat to democracy.

Well, this may come as a devastating shock to the right and left cults, but voting is a farce.  It turns out that voting does not matter, that you will not make a difference and it has been this way for a very long time.  Putting aside the fact that neither party or pretty much any politician on either side of the tracks on the federal and state level care for the common folks, America’s voting system is a sham.  And no this is not about the Russian hacking nonsense that was spewed by the media back in 2016.  Although, one might argue that there was a stolen election at that time, that of Bernie Sanders.  This is about the computerized system that has been in place for decades.  For half a century at least, Americans have been scammed into believing that their vote matters.  To fully understand that it doesn’t we must go to Florida.  You remember Florida right with the recount debacle in 2000.  But this is not that either.  We must go farther back by about five decades to Dade County.

Kenneth Collier was running as a Democrat for the U.S. Congress in 1970 Dade County, Fl.  He would end up losing to Claude Pepper, however, Collier noticed something odd.  Immediately after the polls closed the Miami TV stations predicted the final vote percentages of each candidate and the projected vote totals.  The coverage on Channel 4(WTVJ) and Channel 7(WCKT) featured computer “projections” of voter outcomes as well as the final vote totals.  The projections made by Channel 7 were based on returns from only one voting machine. 

Collier suspected that the votes were rigged somehow and so his brother James and he took it upon themselves to begin an investigation.  They believed the election results were pre-arranged by both TV news departments who were attempting to promote the idea that the official returns from the Dade County courthouse would be delayed due to a “computer breakdown.”  This suspicion would lead the Collier brothers to two people.  Ross Beiler, a professor at the University of Miami and Mr. Elton Davis of the Cavanaugh Computer Corporation, who both apparently, programmed the computers for the Miami stations that ended up predicting the election outcome. 

The Colliers eventually figured out that the devices used for the election were printomatic machines.  This device is a piece of paper which is used on the back of the lever style voting machine.  It is slipped over the vote counters so that precinct workers can’t see the numbers.  A handle is cranked, and a piece of paper slides out of a slot in the back of the machine and so all the zeroes are printed there in the morning before the polls open.  “Precinct workers who complain that the numbers are cranked out again at night with no eyeball verification have their polling careers cut short by the Election Chief.” 

One would think that such a controversial topic would be something that the media would be all over.  But instead the Collier brothers were shut down as if they were fringe conspiracy theorists.  When attempting to publish a book on the matter their contracts were cancelled by the owner and publisher of Dell, Helen Meyer.  Meyer’s friendship with the “queen” of the “Miami press barons” Kathrine Graham goes a long way explaining why she was so hostile to publishing a book on voter fraud.  Katherine Graham was the publisher of the Washington Post and is most notably known for publishing Daniel Ellsberg’s controversial Pentagon Papers which caused Richard Nixon to have then Attorney General John Mitchell investigate her holdings in an attempt to ruin her empire.

Although Hollywood portrays Graham as a hero for social justice through Marly Streep, they never mention her and her family’s role as being an “imperial power in Florida.”  At the time of the Dade County fiasco Graham had been the owner of WPLG Miami and was always at the head of the table when it came to the media hierarchies of Miami.  In fact, Graham would chair the functions at media conferences that took place at the University of Miami which owned Channel 7 one of the channels that are suspected by the brothers of voter fraud.  It is also worth mentioning Graham’s brother-in-law was elected to the Florida legislature that same year and would go on to serve two elected terms as Florida governor before rising to the U.S. Senate. 

It was not just the Florida media that ignored the story but the national as well.  The Colliers would try Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes.  At first, he took the story and was attending on doing a piece on it, but nothing ever came of it.  Local freelance journalist Gaeton Fonzi was the only one to mention Mike Wallace’s interest in the Votescam story for the Miami Magazine.  However, a month after the Mike Wallace story Sylvan Meyer of the Miami News purchased Miami Magazine putting an end to anything relating to the Votescam debacle. 

The Colliers next stop would be to Attorney Ellis Rubin who was the lawyer for the Watergate burglars.  Rubin was to present evidence of the compromised election using printomatic machines.  However, he would end up backing off after bringing up the case to Assistant Attorney Janet Reno who decided that the “statute of limitations has expired.”  This would turn out to be false because Rubin presented her with the evidence of vote rigging forty-eight hours short of two years which meant that the statute of limitations hadn’t run out yet.  It was a shock that a lawyer who had CIA and FBI connections, represented the Watergate burglars, and visited Richard Nixon at his house could get scared into backing off like that. 

Other Ventures:

Although the Dade County incident was never thoroughly investigated the Collier brothers would go on to inquire on other incidents of fraud.  The media may had been able to stop any type of investigation from being done but they were not able to stop the word from getting out.  Towns and cities across the country would contact them to investigate suspected voter fraud in their local areas.  It turns out that the incident in Florida is not isolated.  In Cincinnati, they would discover that the League of Women Voters (LWV), a private political club, was using tweezers on the punch cards to alter the vote.  The Colliers would get all this on tape which was aired on their Channel 9 news which resulted in the local Election Chief quitting the next day.

Another incident occurred in 1982 in Miami where the brothers again videotaped the LWV using officially issued pencils to poke holes while unsupervised in the vote card.  The brothers were dragged out of the room and threatened with arrest.

The Colliers took their footage to Washington to RNC legal counsel Mark Braden who refused to investigate stating how the LWV does great work for America.  Braden had worked as chief elections official for the State of Ohio and maintained regular communications with the League.  The most Braden would do is send them off to see Craig Donsanto, the chief vote fraud prosecutor, who the brothers happened to reach out to back in ’72 and did absolutely nothing for them.  They did not feel it was worth it to see him again.

The next thing they tried was writing hit pieces on Janet Reno who was now Dade’s State Attorney.  For nine weeks straight they hammered her with articles in their Home News publication challenging her to answer questions about her conduct with Rubin in ’74.  Reno would call upon Governor Bob Graham, Katherine’s brother-in-law, for assistance with fighting the accusations that she was consistently protecting her vote-rigging friends.  Janet Reno would eventually go on to be U.S. Attorney General in the early nineties.  Joe Biden, the current presidential nominee gladly sucked up to during her hearing never mentioning her involvement in the Dade County vote-rigging scandal.

Nineteen-eighty-five was the year that the brothers would attempt to sue the RNC, the LWV and ABC for covering up the investigations.  This too would be a fail.  ABC, who were going to be sued for allegedly persuading the RNC to breach the terms of the reward offer and refusing to show the videotape of the LWV, who they employed, ended up selling their entire network to Capitol Cities Communication(CCC) which the brothers suspected of being a way to get out of the lawsuit because the new ownership could claim that they didn’t know what was going on because they didn’t own ABC during that time.  The principal financer in the deal was Warren Buffet who was a board member and mega investor in Katherine Graham’s Washington Post.  Notice we see the same names popping up in this conspiracy.

Another obstacle that prevented the brother’s lawsuit was the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) of Georgetown University.  Its goal is to provide the world media with so-called certified experts to comment on developments in international relations.  In 1985, its mission was to help Frank Fahrenkopf, the RNC Chairman who was a defendant in the lawsuit, with ways and means to better manage the major media.  “Powerful personalities in news and politics would weigh in with advice and would form the basis of an ad hoc election commission.”

Fahrenkopf met with CSIS executive director Robert Hunter to talk over proposed series of conferences.  The project was titled The National Commission on Elections and its goal was “developing ways and means to overhaul the U.S. voting system to better conform with the realities of a mass media environment.”  The Commission would come to decide to drop the LWV from its insider position in the presidential selection process.  No press covered this despite it being of historic significance.  This was due to the Commissions board being stacked with media moguls.  Among them were Katherine Graham of the Washington Post, Lawrence K. Grossman, then president of NBC News, Roone Arledge, producer of World News Tonight, 20/20 and Nightline, Robert Tisch, president of Loews Corp who held controlling interest in CBS and Hamilton Jordon, then political commentator for CNN, among others.  The media moguls did well playing the role of gatekeepers.

The Collier brothers final attempt at a lawsuit was squashed thanks to a pretrial that turned out to be a “star chamber session” which is illegal.  So, the politicians, the press and the judicial system were all against the word getting out that the election system is rigged.  This should be very telling to those that cling to the ideology that the powers that be are there to protect the people and that your vote matters.  It does not and the powers that be are the powers that should not be.

This is further illustrated in ’89 when the networks admitted that a consortium was formed by ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN who created the Voter Research and Surveys(VRS) and the News Election Services(NES) to filter their numbers through the same mainframe computer in order to conduct exit polls.  The NES has a button it can push in New York City that is able to change a vote in every county in the US which counts the computer vote at a central spot.  NES proclaims the presidency just minutes after the polls close.  Presently, NES has been renamed as the National Election Pool whose members consist of ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News. 

In a last-ditch effort in the early nineties the brothers tried to contact several people who intended on running for president.  The first was Mario Cuomo, who through his son Andrew refused to speak with the brothers or conduct any type of investigation.  The next was Jerry Brown of California who is press secretary, Eli Mellor was interested but when he pushed hard for a meeting with them while Brown’s campaign was in Boston, he was fired the next day.  Ross Perot was also contacted but chose to stay silent.  The Collier brothers would do a final hail Mary pass to a couple of media outlets.  Ted Turner refused to have CNN do a story on it as well as the Washington Times.  The FBI refused to investigate as well.

Votescam in the 21st Century

If ever voter fraud was blunter it has been in the 21st Century.  The year 2000 kicked off with a bang and not the big bang that so many people got into a panic over thanks to the media.  No, it was an election bang that consisted of an election juggernaut that revealed to the American people the sketchy nature of the Florida voting system.  Just before 8pm, several media outlets called the outcome in Florida for presidential candidate Al Gore.  This was based off their exit polls of voters that was compiled throughout the day.  George W. Bush, whose brother Jeb was the current Governor and who’s Party controlled all the machines in the state government, immediately denounced the projections and declared that the results would be in his favor. 

Early the next day Fox News would be the first ones to call Bush’s victory in Florida.  It is not just the fact that the highly right-wing Fox News was the first to call out Bush’s win nor how brother Jeb Bush was the Governor of Florida that raises an eyebrow.  The man heading the decision desk that the network reviewed vote totals and polls was none other than George W. Bush’s cousin John W. Ellis.  What is more, Ellis called the election before the Voter News Service did after he had a 2am phone call with George and Jeb. 

We again must go back to the Miami-Dade area, the location of the multiple Collier controversies where the 2000 election conundrum was prevalent.  There were numerous reports of ballots being distributed in Haitian immigrant areas that were pre-punched for Bush.  Also, in Duval County, the Jacksonville area, nearly half of the Bush favored ballots came in four of the county’s fourteen districts which were largely black and had gone heavily to Gore.

This would cause a recount of the voting machines which was required by Florida law.  The recount cut Bush’s supposed margin from 1,725 to 327 votes.  But because there were tens of thousands of ballots still uncounted that were concentrated in four major metro areas that were Democrat strongholds the recount was focused on those areas.

But with a Republican-controlled state government, the true results never had a chance of getting out.  The vote counting would be blocked. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, co-chairman of the Bush campaign in Florida and a Bush elector, ordered the counting to be stopped. When it was reversed in court, she said she would not extend the November 14 deadline for reporting the totals, despite her putting the brakes on the count, this made it impossible for three of the four counties to finish their recounts before the date.

More suspicious was how former Secretary of State James Baker, was the chief of the Bush recount team.  Baker declared that hand counts were not as reliable as machine counts.  This contradictory statement was made even though most states at that time accepted hand counts as the highest standard and that a Texas state law in favor of hand accounts was signed by Bush himself.  Moreover, the Bush campaign made an open appeal to the military to intervene claiming that the Gore campaign and the Florida Democrats sought to exclude absentee ballots that were casts by military personnel overseas. 

But it was not just the Republicans that made it possible for it to be an honest election.  The Democrats had a very lackadaisical attitude towards the situation.  One would think that with such cutthroat tactics being done by the Republicans the Democrats would be at least somewhat aggressive.  The Gore campaign went to court against Harris’s decision, but put no real effort into fighting the Republicans.  The Democrats and Gore in particular, restricted the recount to only four large metropolitan counties and opposed any attempts to mobilize supporters of the working class to put attention on the courts.

The Democrats nonchalant attitude was even more noticeable when Gore chose former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, a corporate lawyer who was strongly against any type of fight, in charge of his Florida recount effort. 

The outcomes of the recounts in Palm Beach and Broward counties put Bush’s statewide lead to only 537 votes. It is very possible that if the state’s heavily Democratic and largest county, had been permitted to do a similar recount, the small Bush lead would have been altered. Fortunately for the Republicans, the mellowed ambitions of the Democrats in Miami-Dade allowed Katherine Harris to declare Bush the winner of the state’s electoral votes on November twenty-sixth.

On December 8th the Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount of “all “undervotes” (ballots where punch card readers failed to detect the vote) in all Florida counties, so that in all cases where the voter’s intention could be determined by evidence, the vote would be counted.”  Just as the election officials in Florida started the recount the Supreme Court issued an emergency order to stop just a day after the Bush campaign appealed the recount decision.  The ruling found that “irreparable harm” would be done to Bush, in other words, “he would be deprived of the presidency by a valid count of the votes.”

Bush had won under extremely controversial circumstances and all Gore and the Democrats would do is accept the sketchy scenario as it was presented betraying the trust and intelligence of their supporters.  As much as Al Gore and the Democrats like to cry over the 2000 election, they never bother mentioning their cavalier attitude towards the matter.

Something similar would occur in in the following election in 2004: Bush vs. Kerry.  George W. Bush would again be the victor and again there would be controversary however, it would be more subtle than the first time.  Reports of “voter intimidation; mishandled absentee and provisional ballots; election results that contradicted exit polls…and then there were the electronic voting machines.”

A report on the safety of electronic voting machines by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is an investigated unit of Congress, stated three main issues with the machines.  One was that some of the electronic voting systems did not encrypt the cast ballots or the system audit logs.  This made it possible to alter the two without it being detected.  The second issue was that it was possible to change the files that define how a ballot looks and works “so that votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate.”  And the third issue was that the vendors “installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level.”

Professor of Media Studies at New York University and researcher into voter fraud Mark Crispin Miller notes the efforts made by the GOP to “cut back on the votes of those Americans living abroad, a constituency sometimes referred to as the 51st state, includes between four and seven million votes.”

Moreover, on Election Day, there was an undersupply of working voting machines in Democratic strongholds.  Particularly, in cities and college towns.  And in other places there were plenty of good voting machines that were held back and kept in warehouses.  A company called Triad, a manufacturer of all of the tabulators like the ones used in Ohio in the 2004 election, was “systematically going around from county to county in Ohio and subverting the recount, which was court ordered and which never did take place.”

And then there is of course the 2016 election which the media is claiming was stolen by the Russians.  Russian collusion this, Vladimir Putin that.  The media cannot get enough of it.  They like to blame everyone but themselves.  Instead of investigating the big tech companies like Google and Facebook (aside from Facebook’s Russian bots’ nonsense) they point the finger at a foreign entity.  This is not to say that Russia or anyone else would not try to hack a US election.  Its just the fact that its taboo for America’s own government and corporations to be the villain when in fact the source of voter fraud has historically been located on the Homefront.

Even the recent issue of Trump’s Postal Service mayhem with his buddy, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, only scratches the service of the type of issues this country has with the voting system.  But the core of the problem is always left out by the media which is the reality that the system is set up for failure from the get-go.  In short, the results of the 2020 election will either be blamed on Russia (Democrat rhetoric) or China and Iran (Republican rhetoric).  The US government and corporations will be excluded from that conversation.  Unfortunately, the American public will eat this one up to despite seeing the same story played out repeatedly over the course of decades.

Theirs a reason why Al Gore and his fellow Democrats never fought back hard against the Bush victory.  Its to keep the charade going.  To keep the illusion of choice and democracy alive.  Fundamentally, no politician, no matter who it is, cares to solve the issues of American society.  One of the ways they keep that facade going is a democratic election.  And so despite being cheated and unfairly outmaneuvered when it comes to the issue of election rigging both parties collectively fight to keep the truth from coming out even if it means calling your own supporters, that put time and effort into backing you, conspiracy theorists.

Real change is made on the local level, a place that never gets the attention it deserves. Everyone gets wrapped up with the big players on the federal and state level. But the decisions that are made and the policies that are put in place which effect us the most are the ones that happen in our own towns and counties. That’s not to say that vote-rigging can’t happen on the small stage it can and has happened on every level. But its easier to control the things happening closer to home. The way the United States is set up is that each area has its own set of rules. True, in the end we all are overshadow by the state and federal laws, but the policies that have the most impact always come from the home town. Yes, the system is rigged on the upper levels. But real democracy can still be found right in our backyards. So, despite everything that’s been written, go out and vote. Just don’t take the big dogs seriously put all your focus into your community instead. The state and federal levels are too corrupted for their to be any change. Therefore, keep it local.

Bibliography:

James M. Collier & Kenneth F. Collier, Votescam: The Stealing of America (New York, NY: Victoria House Press, 1992).

Patrick Martin, “Ten years since Bush v. Gore: The stolen election of 2000.” World Socialist Web Site 13 Dec. 2010. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/12/elec-d13.html

Democracy Now 4 Nov. 2005.  https://www.democracynow.org/2005/11/4/was_the_2004_election_stolen_a

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