Michael Collins is a writer in the Washington, DC area. He got involved as a citizen journalist, outside his career, due to his concern about the dreadful series of elections that began in 2000 when, as he quotes, "the last became first." He writes for "Scoop" Independent News out of Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. "Scoop" Director and Co-Publisher Alastair Thompson has taken a keen interest in American politics for years. "Scoop" has published the who’s who of election news and commentary found in the compendium, American Coup II. Collins describes his excellent relationship with "Scoop."

I can’t say enough positive things about Alastair and the organization. I was in online services in the '80s and early '90s and I’ve followed the net’s expansion closely since then. "Scoop" has one of the best collections of internet publishing talent around, imho [in my humble opinion].

Collins is also the editor of, a web site devoted to election news.

What’s motivated you to write so extensively on voting rights and election fraud?

The 2000 presidential election was a wake-up call. We had the loser take power on the basis of a contrived Supreme Court decision. We had 50,000 people in the streets protesting the inauguration and nobody covered it. I followed the calamities of the Bush administration and agreed with Mark Crispin Miller that in the 2004 election, "The whole process had been overtaken by some higher power." I kept thinking, "He wasn’t elected in 2000 and people think he won 2004! Outrageous." Why do I do this? I’m a citizen. Writing on vital topics that the press ignores is one way to make a contribution.

Which of your articles do you think are most important?

The most important by far is Election 2004: The Urban Legend. This week, I’ll begin releasing a three part Urban Legend follow-up with my partner, Internet researcher Anaxarchos. This article shows the absurdity of the final results in 2004. Second place goes to the series on U.S. Attorneys and the voter fraud scam. I got lucky on timing with this article, Fired Federal Prosecutors and Election Fraud, March 12, which was right there when the very talented people at McClatchy Washington Bureau and elsewhere began their in-depth series focusing on the U.S. Attorney’s firings and abuse of power. It appeared right after the great article in Law.Com, which was so helpful in writing my piece.

In your opinion, what’s the status of our democracy and the election process?

Some people ask why we need to save our Constitutional rights and our form of democracy. My response to that is to tell them to wake up, quickly. We live in a nation without laws for the vast majority of citizens. Lawmaking is now for the benefit of the largest corporate and private interests. New laws use federal authority to preserve great wealth through the use of political power. Just look at the Department of Justice. There’s not much room for the rest of us in the system. The vital democratic assumption that a majority or plurality of voters will prevail in any election is defunct.

What do you mean by that?

I have a saying, "We pretend to vote; they pretend to get elected." How can you say that we really know who the "winners" and "losers" are of any given election when we see restrictive registration laws, voter suppression, and election fraud on a regular basis? A year ago, Zogby polls showed that 40% to 55% of registered voters doubted the results of the 2004 presidential election. Then there are the folks who consistently don’t vote. Those elected face a crisis since the legitimacy of their elections and subsequent actions are challenged by a large segment of the public that doubts the process. This crisis of legitimacy is one of the many that they continue to ignore.

That comment about "winners" and "losers" is pretty serious.

It is. Here are a few more. Is the current occupant of the White House the elected leader or a squatter? Just read Urban Legend and the follow-up series. The answer is obvious. Is there corruption in the election process? The recent discovery that ballots in 56 of 88 Ohio counties were destroyed should satisfy even the Democratic National Committee that election fraud was involved on a massive scale. The law was very clear about saving ballots for a certain period. Time’s not up and they’re gone. That’s called – election fraud.

What role does election fraud play in all of this?

Election fraud is one of the essential vehicles to lock down our freedoms and protections while the treasury is looted. Elections confer legitimacy on rulers who then take advantage of that trust and misrule. Election fraud is the means. The end is control of the public based on the notion that somehow we chose these harmful policies through elections. It’s an elegant process, very efficient.

What do you mean?

The majority of Americans would never support the policies we’ve seen for decades if they were not subject to systematic lies bought and paid for through the privatization of campaign financing and corporate media control. If the big lies fail, election fraud is always there to make sure things don’t get out of hand. It’s all about retaining wealth by holding onto power. The stakes are enormous. That’s why the politics surrounding election issues are so vicious.

Do you see any hope out there for free and fair elections?

Yes. Ironically, the successful blitzkrieg on democracy since 2000 created a serious backlash. Presidential approval is in free fall, 26% in some polls. The old way of doing things has been exposed due to the extreme greed of the current practitioners of the craft. Many, no, most people know that elections are a rigged game. The economy continues to stall. If everybody works at Wal-Mart, who’s going to buy laptops and SUVs? People fear for their future.

The public has moved beyond restive and is headed for furious. That’s when elections can start making a difference. The public will resulted in the break up of huge monopolies under Teddy Roosevelt and the social welfare programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It can happen again. We need to shine a bright enough light on election fraud to give the public will a chance to successfully navigate this most dangerous sea of corruption.

Are there any publications or videos/films you’d recommend to people who want to catch up before what you predict will be the debacle of 2008?

I highly recommend Mark Crispin Miller’s 2007 updated Fooled Again: The Real Case for Election Reform, Miller’s definitive statement to date on election fraud. Tracy Campbell’s Deliver the Vote is an excellent history of election fraud through our history. Democratic Contraction? Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States. This source is vital to understand conflict between those who want to expand and contract the vote. Voter suppression through spoiled ballots is demonstrated in Phillip A. Klinkner’s remarkable study, Whose Ballots Don't Count? Spoiled Ballots, FL 2000. American Coup II is essential. This Beginners Guide (2004): A Broken Democracy Crash Course has a great collection of well-organized articles. And of course, there’s RFK Jr.’s ground-breaking article in Rolling Stone on the theft of 2004 and many more resources. Finally, a comprehensive array of articles can be found at Election Fraud News.

Joan Brunwasser of Citizens for Election Reform is a citizen activist working hard to restore and preserve free and fair elections. She started a lending library project to distribute the "Invisible Ballots" DVD in mid September 2005. In the following eighteen months, she loaned the DVD to almost 3,200 'borrowers' in 37 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Canada, Holland, England, Ireland and Japan. Since the DVD's release in spring 2004, there have been numerous studies and hacks, all of them critical of electronic voting. Her new focus is on raising public awareness about what's wrong with our elections and how to achieve a fair, secure and transparent election system. She welcomes your help in spreading the word. She has been the Voting Integrity Editor for Op Ed News since December 2005, where this was originally published.