Imagine Hillary Clinton's luck.
When she needed to win a primary in New Hampshire, the machines
glitched up, and she emerged with an unexpected margin of victory.
Whether it was due to electronic voting breakdowns is not clear. But
there was never a a full recount or a thorough investigation of the
serious problems that plagued the vote count in that state.
When she needed a victory in Ohio, Republican voters -- urged on by
Rush Limbaugh -- crossed over in droves and helped give her one.
Cross-over voting may also have been a factor in her critical victory
in Pennsylvania. There were also numerous instances of computer tabulation glitches in the Pennsylvania secretary of state's office.
Now the Indiana primary looms ahead. Less than a week prior, the US
Supreme Court has delivered a devastating decision on voter ID that
could again make a big difference in Clinton's favor.
Contrary to two centuries of American election law, the Court has
ruled 6-3 that it is legal for a state to require official photo ID in
order to vote. The lead decision in this case, written by liberal
Justice John Paul Stevens, acknowledges that there is no evidence of
voter fraud to make this requirement vital to the security of the
election process. Indeed, it is clearly stated in the minority
opinion that requiring photo ID to vote discriminates heavily against
citizens who are young, poor, elderly and of color.
The Indiana primary will now be the first in US history with a Supreme
Court-certified requirement for photo ID. GOP stalwarts -- led by
Limbaugh -- are positively ecstatic. There is simply no doubt this
requirement will eliminate hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters
in November. It is in place not only in Indiana, but in Florida,
Michigan, Louisiana, Georgia, Hawaii and North Dakota. Other
Republican-controlled legislatures will hasten to duplicate the
requirement, though it's unclear how many can pull it off before this
In the meantime, despite indisputable proof that electronic voting
machines are the perfect engine for stealing elections, millions of
Americans will still be voting on them this fall. In Ohio, e-voting will occur 53 of 88 counties even though Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's study documented the critical vulnerabilities of Ohio's electronic voting machines.
Whether that will guarantee the election of John McCain remains to be
seen, but it certainly won't hurt him.
And whether the photo ID requirement now enshrined in Indiana will
deliver the Hoosier State's primary votes to Hillary Clinton is also
But much of that may be up to Barak Obama. Obama did not rise to help
Dennis Kucinich obtain a recount in New Hampshire. He's said little
or nothing about GOP cross-over voting in Ohio and Pennsylvania or the electronic glitches.
Neither he nor Clinton has taken on the electronic voting machines
that were crucial to delivering the White House to George W. Bush in
2000 and 2004.
Nor has Obama risen up the challenge this latest GOP
disenfranchisement machine, the photo ID requirement.
In the interim, it seems clear the Republican Party and its
conservative bloviator corps is pushing Clinton, and fear the Obama
But will Obama step forward in Indiana -- as did Bobby Kennedy on April
4, 1968 -- to side with the people? If not, then what is the real
substance of his campaign?
Justice Steven's lead opinion is worded in a way that leaves open the
door to challenge this photo ID law. Obama and/or Clinton can and
must file a lawsuit on behalf of every Hoosier State voter who is
disenfranchised by this law. If we're to preserve any semblance of
democracy in America, there must be a real test of how this law is
applied in Indiana on Tuesday.
For example, the African-American woman who challenged the law in the
first place had been prevented from voting because her photo ID was an
expired driver's license. She also had two additional current
identity items including a utility bill showing she lived at the same
address. But she was still barred from voting.
You can bet that white suburbanites and rural Republicans will not be
held to the same rigid or stringent standards as urban minorities. As
Justice Souter noted in his dissent, roughly 6-10% of voting age
Americans lack photo IDs. And it's clear who they are.
If Obama doesn't stand up for these disenfranchised voters, he will
drop the bottom out of the "Obama Phenomenon". If Clinton is aided to
victory in the Indiana primary by this GOP engine of targeted
disenfranchisement, and ultimately gets the nomination, it could
nonetheless lead to her ultimate downfall.
For only one thing is certain: if this photo ID law is not
challenged, and it spreads to other states, or becomes a major factor
in November in the key states where it's already in place, it could
render this entire Hillary-Obama-Drama moot by putting John McCain in
the White House.
Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman co-authored HOW THE GOP STOLE
AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008 (www.freepress.org) and,
with Steve Rosenfeld WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO? (The New Press). This article was originally published by http://freepress.org.
Imagine Hillary Clinton's luck.