The Greens site the use of outdated voting machines. In the 2016 election the state of Wisconsin used technology that is now illegal in California. Why were they outlawed? It’s because the machines are susceptible to hacking. They have no security features. These things are highly vulnerable to just about any kind of shenanigans you could think of.
The recount effort isn’t about the widespread fear and panic caused by the election of Donald Trump. Stein and her party had no favorite between the two major candidates. They despised them both. To the Greens Democrats and Republicans are equally corrupt.
Stein says she’s standing up for the integrity of our elections. This is something the Democrats failed to do in both 2000 and 2004. Stein and her party say the Dems rolled over to give G.W. Bush the White house in order to protect the two party system. The same system the Greens say has betrayed you and me for decades now.
If the Greens are trying to lead the movement to protect our voting rights, I say right on! We need fair elections that count every vote. But this effort is also selfish. The Party has much at stake, namely its future. Stein is looking out for Green Party candidates in future races both local and national.
The Green Party claims Democrats are just as likely to cheat as Republicans. I don’t know about that, GOP dirty tricks are the stuff of legend. This is not even mentioning legal vote suppression tactics that went into effect this year. I’m not admitting that both sides do it, but any serious effort to make sure our elections are fair can’t be all bad.
What’s At Stake for Jill Stein
This recount effort is the closest Jill Stein has ever come to being relevant. Sure you could argue that her campaign hurt Hillary in swing states. But Stein isn’t the reason she lost. The problem was mostly on the Clinton campaign itself. Of course, James Comey and negative media coverage over the last week or so didn’t help her cause.
Jill Stein was and still is lucky to receive any media coverage whatsoever. So the demanded recount, no matter what the outcome, has raised her stature greatly. The fact that Donald Trump has chosen to go after Stein with guns a blazing is only going to help. This man and his party can’t deal with dissension of any kind. We saw this Republican trait during the Bush years. We’re seeing it again in their reaction to anti Trump protests and Stein’s demands.
I’m confident the recount (if it happens) isn’t going to change the outcome of this election. We’re too far down the road towards a Trump apocalypse. The risk of total chaos is far too great. Pissed off Neo-Nazis have already lashed out, even though their guy won. Lord help us if the recount reverses that. Or the Electoral College somehow still puts Clinton in the White House. If that happens blood will run in the streets.
But yes, the future of the Green Party is at stake. The Greens want to be the left’s alternative to the Democratic Party. Unfortunately for us the Dems have proven to be ineffective, even on the state level. And the party will die if it doesn’t change. If nothing else a serious challenge from the Greens will push Democrats in the right direction.
Hanging ChadsOn November 7, 2000 we went to bed not knowing who was going to be our new president. The state of Florida was still too close to call. Drama was unfolding. The battle for the Sunshine State was on.
According to Jane McAlevey’s book Raising Expectations Raising Hell the Gore Campaign shut down an AFL-CIO effort to demand statewide recounts. This wasn’t the only recount effort that was scuttled. Both the Gore Campaign and Rev. Jesse Jackson put in calls to political operatives in Illinois, asking them to “stand down.” Meanwhile every Republican kook you can think of made their way to Florida.
According to Stein’s Green Party faithful, there were rampant voting irregularities around the country in 2000. But Democrats failed to raise a fuss. The party claims to care about your vote. But actions speak louder than words.
As we know there were eventually some Florida recounts. But without the Democrats demanding a statewide accounting of the vote, the problem was isolated to only a few precincts. On December 9, the Supreme Court stopped the count. George W. Bush became president even though he lost the popular vote.
Little Black Box
In 2001 Congress responded to the Florida vote controversy by passing a new law. The Help America Vote Act provided millions in funding to states and counties to install direct entry voting machines. This is also known as “black box voting. ”
Black box voting records a voter’s choice directly into electronic storage. The problem is that audits are practically impossible. The black box system makes any manipulation of the vote very hard to detect. And anyone with access to the machines’ software can reek all of the havoc they want.
Tampering with software could explain certain irregularities. Like how exit polling is sometimes miles away from the actual vote count. This seems to occur more often in places with with black box machines. More on that later.
Fraud in Ohio
When it comes to sticking up for the integrity of the vote, the Democrats have much to be ashamed of. The party’s performance in 2004 was especially bad. Democratic Party big wigs sat idly by while G.W. Bush stole Ohio. Afterwards, the party declined to investigate. So as far as the public is concerned the 2004 election was a fair fight. It was not.
Every year we send observers overseas to watch over foreign elections. When exit polls and vote counts wind up miles apart, you know fraud took place. That’s easy enough to figure out, except when the election is held in America. Our government calls out the above mentioned scenario as a “fraudulent election.” We blast foreign governments for tampering with the vote while holding up our system as the model for the world.
But how is fraud overseas different from what was done in Ohio in 2004?
In the 04′ election the state of Ohio misplaced more than 300,000 votes. These were mostly the votes of students and people of color. According to Greg Palast they were stolen, lost, destroyed, or left uncounted.
Winning Ohio was crucial to Bush’s victory. Without that state John Kerry would have won. But Democrats refused to even demand the recounts necessary to start an investigation. They simply backed off.
In 2004 the vote count shenanigans were nation wide. And exit polls tell the story. In many places there was a wide gulf between the final count and what voters told pollsters after casting their vote.
For example, there were strong Republican precincts in which Bush had exit polls showing him at 65 percent. But when the votes were counted he was given 80 percent. How does that happen?
Black and brown voters in heavily Democratic districts experienced the same problems that plagued Ohio in 2000. Uncounted votes. Lost votes. Some people weren’t allowed to vote after being falsely labeled as “felons.” Furthermore, the black box voting machines simply ate some people’s vote.
In New Mexico Jon Kerry lost every single district statewide where black box voting was allowed. Could this be coincidence? Maybe. But it’s sure not likely.
Stein claims that 2016 vote totals were tampered with in several states. And this was uncovered by voting researchers. According to the Greens the researchers first offered their findings to the Democrats. But they weren’t interested.
The Greens’ Michigan recount request is based on 75,000 blank votes. They are seeking a statewide hand recount of some 4.8 million votes. The Michigan effort is expected to cost around $5 million. Stein has already paid $973,000 to cover some of the costs. Officially Trump won Michigan by only 10,704 votes. That’a a pretty close shave.
The case for fraud in other states is actually kind of weak. Stein’s claims are based on suspicion about miscounted paper ballots. She says you can’t tell what’s actually going on until you count the votes again. Technically she’s right, but that’s lot of money to spend based on suspicion.
Stein is also expressing concerns about “cyber hacking.” The Russian hack of the DNC gives this some credence. And black box machines are certainly vulnerable.
Why the Recount Matters
The Jill Stein recount effort is going to call attention to the Green Party. There’s no doubt about that. The publicity generated by the demanded recount is priceless for the Greens. There’s no fundraising effort, political speech or cable news interview that would ever come close.
Even the Clinton campaign has dragged its dead carcass into the recount fray. Hillary herself has expressed support. But what does she have to lose?
For his part Donald Trump has denounced Stein. And he continues to attack Hillary every chance he gets. Its ironic because Trump’s popular vote loss keeps just getting wider. (2.5 million and counting). He blames it on illegals immigrants voting by the millions for Hillary. The demand for vote accountability should clear up any issues and maybe even shut Trump’s mouth.
The recount will not stop Trump from becoming our next president. But it’s still worth doing. Any American who values the integrity of our process should support Jill Stein’s recount efforts.