03 May 2014

Here's how the 2006 mid-term election was stolen.

Note the past tense. And I'm not kidding.

And shoot me for saying this, but it won't be stolen by
jerking with the touch-screen machines (though they'll do
their nasty part). While progressives panic over the viral
spread of suspect computer black boxes, the Karl Rove-bots
have been tunneling into the vote vaults through entirely
different means.

For six years now, our investigations team, at first on
assignment for BBC TV and the Guardian, has been digging
into the nitty-gritty of the gaming of US elections. We've
found that November 7, 2006 is a day that will live in
infamy. Four and a half million votes have been shoplifted.
Here's how they'll do it, in three easy steps:

Theft #1: Registrations gone with the wind.

On January 1, 2006, while America slept off New Year's Eve
hangovers, a new federal law crept out of the swamps that
has devoured 1.9 million votes, overwhelmingly those of
African-Americans and Hispanics. The vote-snatching statute
is a cankerous codicil slipped into the 2002 Help America
Vote Act -- strategically timed to go into effect in this
mid-term year. It requires every state to reject new
would-be voters whose identity can't be verified against a
state verification database.

Sounds arcane and not too threatening. But look at the
numbers and you won't feel so fine. About 24.3 million
Americans attempt to register or re-register each year. The
New York University Law School 's Brennan Center told me
that, under the new law, Republican Secretaries of State
began the year by blocking about one in three new voters.

How? To begin with, Mr. Bush's Social Security
Administration has failed to verify 47% of registrants.
After appeals and new attempts to register, US Elections
Assistance Agency statistics indicate 1.9 million would-be
voters will still find themselves barred from the ballot on

But don't worry: those holding passports from their ski
vacations to Switzerland are doing just fine. And that's
the point. It's not the number of voters rejected, it�s
their color. For example, California 's Republican
Secretary of State Bruce McPherson figured out how to block
40% of registrants, mostly Hispanics. In a rare
counter-move, Los Angeles , with a Hispanic mayor,
contacted these citizens, "verified" them and got almost
every single one back on the rolls. But throughout the rest
of the West, new Hispanics remain victims of the "Jos�
Crow" treatment.

In hotly contested Ohio , Kenneth Blackwell, Secretary of
State and the Republican's candidate for Governor, remains
voter-rejection champ -- partly by keeping the rejection
criteria a complete secret.

Theft #2: Turned Away - the ID game

A legion of pimple-faced Republicans with Blackberries
loaded with lists of new voters is assigned to challenge
citizens in heavily Black and Hispanic(i.e. Democratic)
precincts to demand photo ID that perfectly matches
registration data.

Sounds benign, but it's not. The federal HAVA law and
complex new ID requirements in states like New Mexico will
easily allow the GOP squads to triple the number of voters
turned away. Rather than deny using these voter suppression
tactics, Republican spokesmen are claiming they are
"protecting the integrity of the vote."

I've heard that before. In 2004, we got our hands on fifty
confidential internal memos from the files of the
Republican National Committee. Attached to these were some
pretty strange spreadsheets. They called them "caging
lists" -- and it wasn't about zoo feeding times. They were
lists (70,000 for Florida alone) of new Black and Jewish
voters -- a very Democratic demographic -- to challenge on
Election Day. The GOP did so with a vengeance: In 2004, for
the first time in half a century, more than 3.5 million
voters were challenged on Election Day. Worse, nearly half
lost their vote: 300,000 were turned away for wrong ID; 1.1
million were allowed a "provisional" ballot -- which was
then simply tossed out.

Tomorrow, new federal ID requirements and a dozen new state
show-me-your-ID laws will permit the GOP challenge campaign
to triple their 300,000 record to nearly one million voters

Theft #3: Votes Spoiled Rotten

The nasty little secret of US elections is that three
million ballots are cast in national elections but not
counted -- 3,600,380 not counted in 2004 according to US
Election Commission stats. These are votes lost because a
punch card didn't punch (its chad got "hung"), a stray mark
voided a paper ballot and other machinery glitches.

Officials call it "spoilage." I call it, "inaugurating
Republicans." Why? According to statisticians working with
the US Civil Rights Commission, the chance your vote will
"spoil" this way is 900% higher for Black folk and 500%
higher for Hispanics than for white voters. When we do the
arithmetic, we find that well over half of all votes
spoiled or "blank" are cast by voters of color. On balance,
this spoilage game produces a million-vote edge for the

That's where the Black Boxes come into play. Forget about
Karl Rove messing with the software to change your vote.
Rather, the big losses occur when computers crash, fail to
start or simply don't respond to your touch. They are the
new spoilage machines of choice with, statistically, the
same racial bias as the old vote-snatching lever machines.
(Funny, but paper ballots with in-precinct scanners don't
go rotten on Black voters. Maybe that's why Republican
Secretaries of State have installed so few of them.)

So Let's Add it Up

Two million legitimate voters will be turned away because
of wrongly rejected or purged registrations.

Add another one million voters challenged and turned away
for "improper ID."

Then add yet another million for Democratic votes "spoiled"
by busted black boxes and by bad ballots.

And let's not forget to include the one million
"provisional" ballots which will never get counted. Based
on the experience of 2004, we know that, overwhelmingly,
minority voters are the ones shunted to these baloney

And there's one more group of votes that won't be counted:
absentee ballots challenged and discarded. Elections
Assistance Agency data tell us a half million of these
absentee votes will go down the drain.

Driving this massive suppression of the vote are
sophisticated challenge operations. And here I must note
that the Democrats have no national challenge campaign.
That's morally laudable; electorally suicidal.

Add it all up -- all those Democratic-leaning votes
rejected, barred and spoiled -- and the Republican Party
begins Election Day with a 4.5 million-vote thumb on the
vote-tally scale.

So, what are you going to do about it? May I suggest you
steal back your vote.

It's true you can't win with 51% of the vote anymore. So
just get over it. The regime's sneak attack via vote
suppression will only net them 4.5 million votes, about 5%
of the total. You should be able to beat that blindfolded.
If you can't get 55%, then you're just a bunch of crybaby
pussycats who don't deserve to win back America .


Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller,

For specific advice on How to Steal Back Your Vote, go to

Catch Greg Palast on Election Night on the new Mike Malloy
Show on many Air America affiliates.