Billionaires And Ballot Bandits
by Steven Whitney
From 2000 onward, intentional (and criminal) voter suppression has altered the political landscape on every level – local, state, and national. But from the 2000 Butterfly ballots in Florida that handed Bush the election, the Ohio locked-door counting of votes in 2004 that defeated Kerry, to the approximately 5.9 million votes lost (or stolen) in 2008, the problem has been more insidious and widespread than most of us realize. Most tragically, this happened in America – the country that invented modern democracy, but a nation in danger of becoming a plutocracy in which only money rules.
Just in time for our 2012 elections, award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast – arguably the foremost expert on voter suppression – has released a new book that offers prescriptive solutions to the gravest threat our democracy faces: the suppression and outright theft of votes across the United States.
As the title implies, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits exposes the billionaires (including the infamous Koch brothers) and bandit operatives (like Karl Rove) behind the various plots to reduce minority participation in all elections, from local dogcatcher races to national Presidential choices. These crooks are – as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes in his brilliant introduction, A Hostile Takeover of Our Country – committing treasonous actions that are subverting both the intent and reality of our democracy. So in the book Palast tells you who does it, why they do it, where they do it, who they do it to, the 9 different ways they do it, why they get away with it, and, importantly, what you must do to make sure your vote counts to stop the wholesale theft of up to ten million votes in the coming election
As an added treat, Ted Rall, one of America’s top political cartoonists, has contributed a 48 page comic book insert – Tales From the Crypt of Democracy – that is hilarious, shocking, and right on target.
These scandalous shenanigans are much worse than Watergate – they are the worst political crimes of our era precisely because they aim to steal the most precious commodity Americans possess – their votes.
Read the interview, then get Palast’s ground-breaking expose on the real voter fraud taking place all across our country. You’ll not only be buying an important book, you’ll be making a vital investment in our democracy.
Steven Whitney: Let’s start with the most famous example in our history: Florida, 2000, Katherine Harris and the Butterfly Ballot. Everybody knows about that, but didn’t the Florida election officials do lot of other shady stuff even before the election?
Greg Palast: You hear about Butterfly Ballots because it’s rich, white folks in Palm Beach with their summer homes that lost their ballots to the butterflies. That’s unusual – they aren’t used to having their votes flushed down the toilet. They aren’t used to getting their chads hung. It’s usually the poorest, blackest folk in Florida. Before the 2000 election, before the butterflies, 94,000 mostly black folk – were targeted as felons, wiped off the voter rolls by a computer drone system. They were accused of being illegal voters. In fact, every one of them was guilty of Voting While Black. The number of actual illegal voters on the list of 94,000 turned out to be exactly zero. None. That’s what elected your President – a program of lynching by laptop, an electronic program against black voters.
Now, of course, things have changed since those dark days. They’ve gotten darker. This year, the felon purge is back, it’s black, it’s nasty. The Republicans have gone back in with the same game. How do they do it? For example, this time around, you’ll see in Billionaires and Ballot Bandits that a Robert Moore commits a crime. Common name, but sneaky Robert Moore changes his name to Bobbi. So Bobbi Moore, a registered voter in Florida, loses her vote. You’ll notice I said Robert Moore/Bobbi Moore loses her vote – so, obviously he had a sex change. Not only that, since he committed the crime in the future, according to the records, it’s a very sophisticated computer program, which seems to knock out black and blue-ish voters, you know, Democrats.
SW: Was it possible back then in 2000 that the Butterfly Ballot became a ruse to distract from all the other purging that Harris and Jeb Bush did?
GP: Not at all. No one gives a flying fuck about black people, especially in the white press. As far as they were concerned, the only thing that ever mattered in that whole race was the Butterfly Ballots…See trophy wives losing their votes is an issue. Black people in Gadsden County, who lost their votes through machine manipulation …Here are the numbers by the way: 178,000 votes were spoiled, that is cast and not counted in Florida. According to the Civil Rights Commission, if you were black, the chance your vote will be lost is 900% higher than if you’re white, and it ain’t just whistling dixie, that’s all over the United States. Officially we had 1.5 million votes cast and not counted in the last election, spoiled as they say. And overwhelmingly, it was a majority black, Latino and hugely, this is an interesting one, Native American. Overwhelmingly Democratic group, concentrated in swing states, there’s nothing new under the sun. America has progressed—our manifest destiny is to fuck the hell out of the Indians.
SW: Well, I think they were born in Kenya, weren’t they?
GP: Yeah, exactly. I wouldn’t mind a Muslim President from Africa because we’ve had these white Christian pricks for so long fucking it up, let’s give someone else a try.
SW: Didn’t John Kerry lose the election in 2004 because of an imminent terrorist attack on an Ohio courthouse?
GP: That was one of the games that was played. And, by the way, remember the kid who was zapped with the taser in Florida — you know, “Don’t tase me, bro!” He was holding up my book. He said, by the way, that he never let it hit the ground even though he was being tased — it was like the flag. And he was yelling at Kerry, “Why did you give up when this author, Greg Palast, said you won?” And by the way, Kerry said, “Yeah, I read the book, Palast is right.” No one got that answer. And, yes, one of the biggest ways that Kerry lost is a rotten piece of shit trick, in other words, something from Karl Rove, called caging. It’s one of the nine ways they steal votes that we have in the book.
Here’s the quick game on CAGING, and what happened to Kerry, and what happened again in Wisconsin with the Scott Walker recall, is that Karl Rove’s operation – and I’m not guessing here – sent out letters to soldiers, to students at black colleges in August, and to Jewish voters in Miami who are snowbirds and go north in August. The letters said on the outside “Do Not Forward.” So the letters came back, that is they’re caged, and then the Rovebots challenge the voters as voting from fraudulent addresses.
If you look in Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, you will see these caging lists. One is nothing but soldiers from the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville. Now Mr. Rove, or “Turd Blossom” as George Bush called him, it was his nickname, Mr. Blossom, why wouldn’t a soldier be at their home base where they’re registered? Well, Afghanistan is one answer.
By the way, if you’re a soldier you’re allowed to vote from under your Humvee. But when those soldiers and those students and the elderly of Zion sent in their absentee ballots, they didn’t know that those ballots were under challenge and that they were thrown in the garbage. Go to Afghanistan, lose your vote, mission accomplished. You like that? That’s what the Rove Operation was doing. I’m not guessing because I have the actual caging lists…It’s not that Rove sends me his confidential evidence of felonious criminality, it’s that we had a friend of mine who owned a website – RepublicanNationalCommittee.org – and because they misaddressed the stuff, the stuff came right into him and he passed it to me. And as Bobby Kennedy, a Professor of Law who wrote the introduction and looked over the evidence, says, this is a “go to jail” crime. These people should be in prison.
SW: Why aren’t they?
GP: Because, it’s a lot easier to break into the vault when you’re the cops. For example, the guy that actually sent out the caging list is a creepy little shit named Tim Griffin who is Turd Blossom’s right claw. Griffin sent out the emails, which is a federal crime — several federal crimes as a matter of fact – and then when a US prosecutor began to grumble and complain, Rove had him fired and Griffin, the prime suspect, the guy who did it, he was named the new Federal Prosecutor. So you literally took the criminal and made him the lawman, gave him the badge. Fired the good guys. And, by the way, I got that information from a Republican Prosecutor, David Iglesias. The reason there’s a picture of Tom Cruise in the book is that in A Few Good Men the Tom Cruise character is based on David Iglesias. So they just got the wrong guy. They got a good man who wouldn’t go along with their racist scam.
SW: In Colorado, when Donetta Davidson removed almost 20% of the voters, how did she do it? And if we can’t put these people in jail, why can’t we make examples of them? Air an ad every day in Colorado informing people that Donetta stole their vote.
GP: [laughs] Why don’t the SuperPACs bust the Ballot Bandits? Because they are the Ballot Bandits. That’s why we called it Billionaires and Ballot Bandits. It didn’t say Billionaires versus Ballot Bandits, it’s Billionaires AND, or I should’ve really said Billionaires ARE Ballot Bandits. The guys who run the super duper PACs like Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brother’s SuperPAC, and American Crossroads, that’s Turd Blossom’s operation, the two organizations together have over half a billion dollars. No one can put in full-page ads every day except for them. They’re not going to bust themselves. They’re not going to say, here’s the crimes we’ve committed, we just thought that you should be an informed voter and know all about it.
Now, Donetta Davidson, I call her the Purge’n General. Yeah, she got rid of 20% of the voters of Colorado, which just made Katherine Harris green with envy. Well, she was already kind of greenish, but green with envy instead of rot. And, Donetta Davidson, instead of being read her rights and marched off to the federal penitentiary for this crime, Bush appointed her as Chairwoman of the US Elections Assistance Commission. They made her basically the Purge’n General in charge of elections nationwide. So that was the example, you steal enough and you get the reward. It’s a sick, sick system.
SW: What happened with the Scott Walker recall in Wisconsin this summer?
GP: I was just up in Baraboo, Wisconsin this week, and in Baraboo Obama won by 28%. That’s a crush, right? And yet, in the recall vote, Scott Walker won it big time. Now, come on, how does that happen? Well, let me let you in on a little secret. The secret is called Themis. Themis is the Koch Brother’s magical vote munching machine. It’s a data mining operation. It does two things. It’s capable first of something that’s creepy but legal. They fill out ballots for their own voters, mail them and tell them to sign it. It’s all perfect so they’re beyond challenge. So their voters are all taken care of basically, they’ve already been voted for if they sign.
Then, the Themis machine is capable of doing all the caging, all the challenging, the purging, and the blocking at the polls to keep away the voters. For example, if I went by the Brennan Center numbers, and these are experts and therefore no one listens to them, but if you do listen to the screaming, screeching, buried experts, 97,000 Wisconsinites, almost all of them students, were barred from voting because they lacked state ID. Even though they had state student ID, that’s not state ID.
But that wasn’t enough for the Themis machine. The Koch Operation, Americans for Prosperity, had its Chief set up a front called United Sportsmen of Wisconsin. United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, which appeared and then instantly vanished after the recall vote, using the Themis machine, were able to identify likely Democratic absentee voters in key recall areas. Because there were also votes, by the way, on legislatures. The Themis machine was able to get the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin to identify Democratic voters, send them letters saying here’s where you mail in your ballot, and here’s the deadline. The address was a phony, it was their own, and the date was after the legal date for submitting an absentee ballot. So, either way, you were fucked like a duck. The Sportsmen basically were hunting Democrats. That’s how it worked. And again, as Bobby Kennedy says – he’s Dean of Law School at Pace University – this is a crime. And it’s a double crime when you add in the fact that most of this is racially targeted.
SW: How many people do you think are going to lose their right to vote this November nationwide?
GP: I can give you the exact number for 2008 which was 5,901,814 — in fact, if you look in the book you can get the real serious point-by-point break down.
SW: Yeah, I’ve got the same numbers for 2008 and 2010.
GP: Here’s the deal, for 2012 we’re looking at double to triple the loss. And it will be highly targeted. We’re going to go from 488,000 absentee ballots, which were cast and not counted in 2008, to having 2 million absentee votes thrown in the garbage…and it will occur, of course, in very targeted areas. The magnitude of the steal in America is very large because we have an electoral system and of course, don’t’ forget, we have something called the United States Senate. Heaven help us. And not my numbers, but the University of Minnesota says that seven Republicans are sitting in the Senate not because they were elected, but because they didn’t count all the votes. So I see that magnified. I can see a complete shoplifting of the US Senate. So how many more than 6 million votes lost this time? I can only guess. My numbers are more conservative than the experts at the Brennan Center, so I’d say 10 million. They would have the number much, much higher.
SW: Will most of those be in the swing states?
GP: Most of those will be in the swing states, but the key thing is that most of those will be in the non-billionaire community. [It’ll be in areas where] the 47% of the lazy ass, dependent skivers that are sucking off the government’s tit – Democrats – live. Remember vote theft is class war by other means. I mean, there’s this whole ugly Ku Klux Klan counting system we have, but it’s really about class.
In fact, my studies were showing that the worst vote theft in some states is actually of the poor white voter. And while it will be in swing states substantially, it’s also because that’s where the congressional and senate races are hot. Like Missouri, like Ohio, that’s where you’re going to see it. Not even so much to swing the presidential election but to swing those congressional and senate seats.
SW: Could you explain what overvotes and undervotes are?
GP: That’s a fancy ass term for getting jacked on your ballot. For example, an overvote is where you vote twice, by accident supposedly, or often by deceptive ballot design, or someone has a reason to cut out your vote. I give an example, a true example, in which I saw ballots when I went down to Florida where in the Black community of Gadsden the ballot said: “write in candidates name.” So people wrote: “Al Gore.” But they also voted for Al Gore by punching the ballot.
Now, according to Katherine Harris, that someone voted twice. The old rule was that the voter’s intent counted. So like, excuse me, can you figure out the voter’s intent if they punch Al Gore and write Al Gore? Is that difficult to figure out their intent? But no, it was thrown out saying they can’t figure out the intent, overvote, it’s out.
Undervote works the other way. You didn’t vote enough. For example, and literally, two old people I know, two elderly people, my parents, okay — they wrote in a candidate’s name, a Democrat, Donna Frye, the surfer chick of San Diego.
SW: I remember her.
GP: And Frye won by a couple thousand votes for Mayor of San Diego in a write-in campaign. But then, after the fact, they disqualified 4,000 ballots, including my parents’, because while they wrote in Donna Frye, they didn’t blacken the bubble next to her name that said that they were writing in her name. Now, one way to figure out whether they wrote in her name was that they wrote in her name, but again, the new trickery that’s being done, now computer aided, they called that an undervote and it was thrown out. This was the problem. So Jesus Christ, don’t fucking go postal on me. Do not mail in your ballot. Shove it down their throats. Walk in with your ballot, even if you have an absentee ballot, take it to your Board of Elections and make sure there’s no problem.
SW: How do these officials get away with it? As I recall, the Voting Act of 1965 is all about the intent of the voter?
SW: How do they get around that when the intent is so clear?
GP: How do these guys get away with it? One, they fire the cops and they give themselves the badges, as we saw with creeps like Rove’s right hand man, Tim Griffin.
GP: Two, one thing about stealing an election is that you basically steal a police department. You’re the cops. There’s no enforcement because you steal the badges. You’re now the Justice Department okay? There’s a couple of other elements too. The Democrats have their hands dirty in this shit too. They’re not nearly as good, but they’re dirty enough, that they’ve got shit stains in their party underwear.
SW: Especially in New Mexico, right?
GP: Especially creepy things like in New Mexico, where you have this massive wipeout of the poor Hispanic voter. A wipeout. Purges, blocking, registrations thrown out, Native American registrations dumped in the garbage, provisional and absentee ballots thrown out. An entire precinct of Native American and Hispanic soldiers, where they claim that there was not a single vote for President of the United States. All these games, pulled off, all that vote blocking done against Hispanic Democrats, by Hispanic Democrats, by the elite. Again, this is a class war issue. People like Bill Richardson — do you know a lot of William Richardson’s who are Hispanic? So you figure that one out. And the Secretary of State, who I’m glad to say is on trial and hopefully on her way to prison for these games, that’s rare, but she couldn’t just steal the vote, she had to steal the money from the voting machine companies as well.
The thing is, the Democrats have their hands dirty, but the victims are always the same. You’ll notice that the Democrats go after Democrats and the Republicans go after Democrats, so it’s always poor defenseless voters who get it in the rectum.
SW: In the book, you detail the nine ways that are most commonly used to purge votes. We talked about caging, you defined that. Didn’t caging begin as a direct mail tool?
GP: What’s interesting is Rove & Company is a direct mail operation, which is why they used the term caging, because that’s used in direct mail. Usually, when people send back checks in the mail the letters usually have to be opened inside a metal cage, literally. That was one of the hints to me that Rove was in the middle of this.
SW: Rove made his fortune in direct mailing.
GP: Yes, and not only that, but the guy who sent the emails, believe it or not, the little criminal Tim Griffin – who by the way is not in jail, he’s in the U.S. Congress right now – I’m the only guy who actually believed [Griffin] when he said he didn’t know what he was sending out. Because Rove doesn’t have his own computer — Rove is a whiz kid with computers. He was the first guy to use computers in elections, which he did for Richard Nixon. While the rest of us were protesting the war, he was wearing a clip-on tie, a white shirt, and with his small, soft hands had all these computer tapes rolling to figure out who to electronically zap.
SW: He was mining databases back then?
GP: Yeah, the first guy to do it…and then working as a protégé to Richard Viguerie, a right-wing freak show [and the pioneer of political direct mailing]. Rove hasn’t denied it and Rove reads all my stuff carefully. I know because the Justice Department got his files and made them public. I said clearly Griffin has said that he didn’t know what caging is and his boss [Rove] doesn’t have a computer, so who sent out those caging lists? Well, golly gee, you figure it out. Now, it could’ve been Griffin’s assistant, a guy named Matt Rhodes. He’s not in jail either, he’s now the Campaign Chairman for Willard Mitt Romney.
SW: What a coincidence. Okay, tell me what TOSSING is.
GP: That’s tossing of absentee ballots. We mentioned that. If you mail in your ballot like my parents did, they throw it out because they didn’t like the size of your ballot, your postage is due, or you didn’t lick it correctly – I kid you not – you wrote the different name on the outside of the envelope than you did when you signed it on the inside, suspect signature. Now who’s suspect in America? And who suspects us? This is the game that’s played. Like I said, officially 488,000 absentee ballots were tossed out on the most cockamamie reasons and 2 million are going that way this November.
SW: Okay. How about computer hacking?
GP: What I call PRESTIDIGITIZING, because while hacking is an issue, I’m not an expert at that. I wanted people to focus on the other problems of computer voting, which is if you want to steal a vote by computer, the easiest thing to do is unplug it…And a favorite in places like Florida is to not give black poll workers the passwords to open the machines. So votes lost in computers, that’s a lot easier than when they play the game of supposedly switching your vote, which is complex and difficult. What’s real easy is for the machine just to go bluey and not record.18,000 votes went bluey in Democratic precincts in a congressional race in which a Republican won by only 500 votes. Katherine Harris’ old Sarasota District. All those votes just disappeared. “Gee, there was a glitch, what can we tell you? They just didn’t show up.” And, go ahead, try to find the fingerprints on that fucker.
SW: Is Diebold still in the middle of this or are there other manufacturers of electronic voting machines that are in on it?
GP: There’s plenty of operators in on the game. Like I say, they were bribing Secretaries of State like the Becky Vigil-Giron of New Mexico. The bribery is rampant and the games are rampant, but like I said, the big thing is the machines not working. Hugo Chavez’ buddies bought one voting company hoping to correct our elections, figuring [Chavez] had a better chance if Americans actually had their votes counted. But again, once they get the machines, they go zap. All they have to do is screw them up so that the votes do not appear. That’s the biggest thing. Precinct after precinct where you see zero votes on hot key offices. Zero votes. And, they go well, “What can we say?” There is simply no way to trace it back.
SW: What about SPOILING?
GP: In Gadsden, Florida, for example, where I saw these wonderful optical reading machines, that’s the best thing you could have, paper ballots that are optically read. In white rich areas, every precinct had its own little reader. If you make a mistake, and you accidentally add an extra mark or forget to vote for an office, you will get a message and you get to revote, correct your ballot, whatever. But in poor black areas, Hispanic areas, Native American areas, where they put in optically read balloting, these areas don’t have the money, just like they don’t have money for good schools, they don’t have money for good hospitals, they don’t have money for good voting systems, and everyone knows it. The ballots go to a central reader and if there’s an error, the ballot simply gets tossed out.
Now spoiling is no joke, we have nearly a million and a half votes spoiled every presidential election. A million and a half, and the chance of your ballot spoiling is 900% higher if you’re black than if you’re white. 500% higher if you’re Hispanic than if you’re white. And it’s statistically insane for Native Americans, how high the spoilage rate is. I have a chapter called “Indians Spoiled Rotten” because their ballots spoil all over the place. Again, because of the crap machines that they’re given, not because they don’t know how to vote.
SW: How about REJECTING?
GP: Oh excuse me, I’m sorry, I reversed these. Rejecting is disallowing absentee ballots. Tossing is throwing out provisional ballots. So just to get the terminology right here. Now what is a provisional ballot? As Lee Camp said in his SuicideGirls rant based on the book, when your name is purged or some bullshit, or you don’t have the right ID, they’ll say, “Oh, take this provisional ballot and we’ll count it later.” No they won’t. Lee said, filling out a provisional ballot is like voting on a fart, okay. It’s gone. Because whatever knocked you out in the first place stays knocked out. If they say you’re a felon, you have a felony record. And in Colorado, they removed all these people with felony records, despite the fact that in most states, including Colorado, you can vote with a felony record. But, forget all that, if they have it dead wrong and they give you a provisional ballot, they’re not going to count that vote, they’ll just say that they can re-register you next time. It’s a placebo ballot. They throw them out. I think it’s going to be big this time because when people go in with the wrong ID they’re going to be handed these provisional ballots so they don’t bitch. So, 767,023 provisional ballots were knocked out last time. Three quarters of a million — watch that double.
SW: Okay. How about ERRORS? Now, you talk about government clerks making mistakes. Is some of this intentional and some of it just human error?
GP: The answer is yes. It’s what I call vulture opportunism. I think 1 in 12 names are input wrong. You know, you fill out those forms and some knucklehead has to read it, you have sloppy ass handwriting, so they get your name wrong when they input it. And, it turns out that it’s especially unusual names like Mohammad or, in California, a lot of Filipino names and hyphenated names and Hispanic names with the funny accents on them and stuff. So they get it wrong. But they know who’s getting fucked on these errors and they don’t notify anyone. You don’t know until you show up that you lost your vote or that your ID doesn’t match the name they inputted. I mean, in Arizona we had Juarez spelled with a ‘W’ so people lost their votes because you know, their ID didn’t say Juarez with a ‘W’…I mean Paul Maez, his name was knocked off and he’s the Elections Supervisor in Santa Miguel County, which is a very poor Hispanic area. I asked why that happened and he said, “The answers on the down low.” That’s all he would say.
SW: What is EJECTING?
GP: We have a chapter called “Nuns on the Run” where I go through the case of the 10 nuns who didn’t have their driver’s licenses in Indiana, which has the worst ID law. It’s a good thing they didn’t because one of them was 98 years old. They’d been voting in the same place for decades. I understand this ID law is to prevent voter fraud, however, there has not been a single case, not one, of a nun or anyone else voting fraudulently, stealing someone else’s ID. See, the whole point of ID is to say, “I’m the person whose name is listed there.” No one does that crime because you absolutely get caught, you absolutely go to jail. You’re insane to do that to vote for a school bond or even to vote for Hillary Clinton or Ron Paul. No one does it. That’s why we don’t have those cases.
SW: On August 12th, the Carnegie and Knight Foundation report was released. After examining thousands of documents from 2000 to 2010, and looking at 600 million votes, they found only 10 cases of alleged in-person voter fraud. Those were just alleged and no there were no convictions. So, these two very bi-partisan foundations together said that voter fraud is virtually non-existent.
GP: As I point out in Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, Tova Wang, who’s from the Century Foundation, was asked by the Elections Assistance Commission to analyze voter fraud and she found only 6 cases a year. 6 million voters are knocked out a year to stop 6 cases of voter fraud a year! So she says you’re more likely to get hit by lightning. I actually calculated that you’re 60 times more likely to get hit by lightning then commit voter fraud.
SW: Okay, how about STUFFING?
GP: I left stuffing to Bobby Kennedy. That chapter is written by the Professor. He goes through the good old-fashioned stuff of cranking in the votes after the election is over to change the outcome. He just took a simple case, Don Siegelman of Alabama. By the way, most times it’s paper but sometimes, like in this case, it’s by computer. That’s very helpful because then there’s no trail. Don Siegelman was reelected Governor of Alabama by several thousand votes. Then, in a Republican area, the courthouse was sealed. They said a mistake was made, they had a recount of votes and they got something like 8,000 votes that they suddenly found overnight that had switched and Siegelman lost. There was no record of how this happened. No one was allowed to observe this so-called computer recount, or question why it took all night. Just a bunch of Republican officials locked in a room. And when Siegelman bitched, which you’re not supposed to do… Siegelman decided to scream bloody murder, and so he was arrested and today he’s in a federal penitentiary. Because they always have files on these guys. Everyone has a file, and they pulled it out on him. He still refuses to concede. He says, “I’m Governor. I was elected. I’m not giving up.” ….So what happened is, they kept him out of office by good old-fashioned stuffing.
SW: Okay, now. Where does lying come in? I’m talking about trying to convince ex-cons that they aren’t allowed to vote when in fact they are.
GP: The ex-con con is what I call BLOCKING. It’s part of the stopping of registration of legal voters. You know, one way is to make it illegal by simply arresting members of the League of Women Voters for having clipboards in public or something, which, basically, Florida tried to do. It was very effective. Black and Hispanic registration has dropped in America by 2 million since the last election. 2 million fewer black and Hispanic voters. Because we know fewer Hispanics have come in to the country and fewer are becoming citizens, is that right? No.
So, what’s happened? One way to block voters is to convince them, and even some minor officials, that they can’t vote when they can. The biggest unrepresented vote in America is not the youth vote, it’s not the Hispanic vote, it is the ex-felon vote. If you served your time in the United States of America, except for six old Jim Crow states, in 44 states, if you served your sentence, you can vote. You don’t become a non-citizen. You have to basically be in jail or under probation to have your vote removed in most states, and in most states even not on probation. You have 16 million ex-cons in the United States for committing crimes like doing a little blow and being poor. Obama did a little blow but he wasn’t poor. Or having a little J but not inhaling. That’s Clinton because he was at Oxford, so he’s got the Oxford elite exemption. So, remember, we’re not talking about people who have committed crimes, we’re talking about people who’ve been caught comitting in crimes in America, and those are two different categories – 46% are black and a lot are Hispanic, and that’s knocking out 16 million voters.
Here’s the interesting thing. Something the Democratic Party never mentions, and they should, which is that 88% of voters who go to prison come out Democrats. 88% come out Democrats. It’s16 million voters, you do the math. If the Democrats would stand up for these voters, they could never lose an election, but they won’t. In fact, it’s the opposite. They will take anyone that looks like a felon, in other words, black, BLA as they say on the Florida Voter Forms, and the Democrats let them be labeled felons and whistle at their shoes. It’s sick….And Obama, by the way, has nothing to say about that.
SW: We covered the nine ways they suppress the vote, could you go through for me the seven prescriptive solutions that voters can do?
GP: Yeah. One is don’t go postal. I just told you, they throw the crap in the garbage. I mean, you think these guys even want your vote, a bunch of partisan sharks and you’re going to mail it to them? Come on, get real. Second, vote early because when they fuck you around and say that Steven is a criminal, you can go back and say, well I served my time so I can still vote. Three is register and re-register. I know you think you’re registered. You voted last time, what’s the problem? The answer is, don’t be a schmuck. They’ve knocked out 22 million people in the last 2 years. Let me repeat that: 22 million people purged. That means you better get online and check if you are still registered. County Clerk or a Secretary of State’s office, get your name and get your address and make sure that your name is not spelled with an ‘F’. Okay.
GP: Number four, vote unconditionally, not provisionally. Don’t take one of these placebo ballots. Don’t vote on a fart. Five, occupy Ohio, invade Nevada. What I mean by that is, get your ass in gear, okay? Show your shit, do your thing. Martin Luther King took a bullet for the vote. You can take a bus. You can do something valuable. The revolution will not be digitized. Go to where the votes count. If you’re in a non-swing state, though look at those congressional districts, it’s not just about the presidency. And I don’t care whether you’re for Obammy or Mitt Romney, this is not a partisan issue, this is about protecting ourselves from the Ballot Bandits. Number six is date a voter. As I say, voting, love and bowling should never be done alone. There’s all kinds of reasons for that including when they jack you around that you have people with you. It’s always easier to stand up when you’ve got people watching your back. Because sometimes people complain and they get busted. And also convince your friends, your frienemies, whatever, to show up and vote.
I don’t want to hear any crap about it doesn’t matter, they’re going to steal my vote. Fuck you, okay? I’d take your name off my list, don’t read my books, you’re not getting a ride in my car – I’m not going to let you date my ex-wife. I don’t want to hear from you with that crap. It’s not about the candidates. It’s about this thing that we have fought forever for. As Jesse Jackson said, “Marched too long, worked too hard, died too young.” If you haven’t put those three things on the line, then you definitely don’t have no right to talk about whether we should vote or not.
Seven, make the democracy demand no vote left behind. The election is November 6th. I want to see your ass at BallotBandits.org on November 7th, because we’re going to review whose vote was stolen where. Even if they reelect Obama, that’s not the issue, you need to know which votes were stolen and believe me, how many congressional and senate seats were swiped, whether or Obama wins or not.
When Obama won in 2008, it doesn’t matter when 6 million votes are stolen. That’s sick business, and it’s got to stop, and we have to demand that the votes be counted. If Don Seigelmen is ready to go to jail because he said the votes should be counted, shit let’s do it. We saw this in Serbia, we saw this in Peru, we’ve seen people in the Ukraine, people stand up and say, you can’t steal the fucking election, not from me. That’s it. So, we have to stay with it. That’s the Seven Demands, that we don’t shrug our shoulders and do an Al Gore.
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