Friday, October 24, 2008

The Right's Treasonous Ways #834: HAVA

"Say what you will about Nixon," the argument goes, "you could talk about Watergate and Kissinger and any number of other things; but you can't deny he did some positive things while in office. Vietnam ended during his run; he created the EPA, which is pretty progressive when you think about it; and he was the president that opened the diplomatic doors to China."

You could argue any number of things about that claim, but the essence of it is true. Of all the corrupt, paranoid and conservative presidents the US has elected since JFK was assassinated, Tricky Dick Nixon was probably the least harmful. He did enact a number of policies that could be called beneficial. With the exception of sending financial aid to Africa, the same cannot be said of W, by any means of the imagination. It may take generations before we're able to figure out the full deleterious depths of his administration.

It is fitting, then, that another Kennedy has taken to shining the spotlight on the darker corners of the Bush White House. This time it is RFK, Jr. who, during this election cycle, is taking on some of the crusader mantle his family is fabled for.

"Block the Vote," a piece written by RFK, Jr. and Greg Palast for Rolling's Politics page, exposes the various details of yet another Bush administration policy with a misnomer: HAVA, or The Help America Vote Act.

Initially drafted as a means to avoid the chaos and confusion of the 2000 election, Republicans are finding ways to exploit its rules and regulations in order to scare defraud, and disenfranchise the voting public.

...[F]rom the start, HAVA was corrupted by the involvement of Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, who worked to cram the bill with favors for his clients. (Both Abramoff and a primary author of HAVA, former Rep. Bob Ney, were imprisoned for their role in the conspiracy.) In practice, many of the "reforms" created by HAVA have actually made it harder for citizens to cast a ballot and have their vote counted. In case after case, Republican election officials at the local and state level have used the rules to give GOP candidates an edge on Election Day by creating new barriers to registration, purging legitimate names from voter rolls, challenging voters at the polls and discarding valid ballots.

From here, the piece connect the dots between HAVA to the DOJ scandal that led to AG Alberto Gonzales' resignation, and then lists some of the more successful tactics enacted by the right.

Considering that there are rising reports of faulty voting machines already, and that signs are pointing to another election night fracas in Florida this year; the more people are aware of these maneuvers the better.

Spread the word.

(tip of the hat to Stef)


Anonymous said...

Yes, good ol' Abramoff. Here's a personal story. Looking at my name online in this state, I am not listed as having voted at all in the '04 general election (though I did), nor am I listed in having voted in May's primary (though I did), nor am I listed with my new address (though I changed it now TWICE--filling out the required paperwork), nor am I listed as having voted early (last week).

I do THINK my vote counted last week, as I sat there and watched my ballot go into the machine, and the machine having counted it. However, the machine counts the number of ballots, not the candidate for whom one votes.

I called my state board of elections and "an investigation" is being conducted into my status and why I'm not listed as having voted both in '04 General and in May of this year in the Primary. I'll follow up after November, as I'm sure they're swamped...

To be continued.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this, will spread the not so good word.

stef said...

Thanks for the link, TBO.

I voted early last week and was a debacle concerning my last name. They had me listed under a name which had never been mine.

This wasn't an issue when I voted in the primary, so something changed in the system between then and a few weeks ago. Makes me nervous to say the least, even though they assured me it was fixed.

I watched the woman write my correct info on my ballot envelope and watched as it went inside the machine. She told me each evening they are taken from the machine and put inside a vault, not to be taken out until it's time to count them.

Still makes me nervous.

Anonymous said...

I was accused today of peddling conspiracy theories. Guess I now know how it feels to be considered completely off my rocker. I initially attempted to reach out to this person via email to try to understand what the hell possesses people, literally, to spew such garbage but it's a waste of time. I started off nice but ended up thoroughly angered and exhausted.

She thinks Obama is a terrorist and is going to take us down the road of genocide. This from another Harvard grad.

Turns out being educated doesn't necessarily foster critical thought. I feel bad for her children. I feel bad that she's such a fearful miserable person.

I want to move to a country with less people.

the beige one said...

Oh, that's priceless, coming from the woman who has nothing but right-wing propaganda on her blog (mostly from FOX - you know, the "news organization" that's now saying Obama has direct ties to a known Satanist, and is likely one himself) and you're the conspiracy peddler.

"And just in case you are confused, since your post you linked to seems to ramble a bit--all objective, independent observers who reran the Florida numbers found that Bush won fair and square."

Yes, sure, but perhaps (S)wine can explain what he means when he says his legitimate vote was never counted.

Deni said...

MOC - I want to move to a country with less Americans. It can still have a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

oh i don't mind the apparently fake Americans, it's the real Americans i seem to be at odds with.

JJisafool said...

And, actually, they found that Gore's challenge in Florida wouldn't have won him the state, but a state-wide recount would have.