The RT video below, due no doubt to time limits, gives a very short recap of Greg Palast’s important work on how the 2000 election was stolen. Worse, his account was published in the UK while the hanging chads fight was on, when his work showed that the voters illegally removed from voter rolls in Florida swamped the number of votes at issue in the recount. Even more telling: no US media outlet picked it up when it mattered, as in when the election results were in play. As Palast remarked later, it was the Michael Moore book, Stupid White Men, which “broke” the story in the US, IIRC in April, and then the Washington Post deigned to pick it up.
His initial estimate was that at least 90,000 and probably more like 180,000 legal black voters were removed from voter lists, using the excuse in Florida that convicted felons can not vote in that state. Jeb Bush awarded the contract to the firm that submitted the higher bid. It scrubbed the voter rolls names that were clearly black (first name Jamail or Kinesha for instance), that bore an arguable resemblance to a felon’s name.
Just use Palast’s low estimate. 90,000 black voters x 30% turnout x 90% propensity to vote Democrat = 24,300 Democrat votes scrubbed – the 2,700 10% that would have voted Republican = 21,600 net Democratic votes. By contrast, the disputed ballots were on the order of 2,000 to the low 3,000s.
Palast also wrote at his site about problems with the New York election, and I suspect he’ll have more in relatively short order:
Francesca Rheannon, whom you may know as the host of Writers’ Voice radio, did the civic thing by volunteering to work the polls in a town east of New York City.
“I just got off my 17 hour shift as an election official. In my election district, out of 166 Democratic voters, 39 were forced to file affidavit ballots. The last [election] I worked in, exactly ONE voter needed an affidavit ballot.”
That’s nearly one of four voters. Why? Their names had gone missing from the voter rolls.
An affidavit ballot (called a “provisional” ballot in most other states) is a kind of placebo ballot. You get to pretend to vote – but the chance it will actually be counted is …well, good luck. If your name is wrongly removed, kiss your vote – affidavit or not—goodbye.
Rheannon’s experience was hardly unique. In Brooklyn alone, over 125,000 names were quietly scrubbed from the voter rolls in the five months leading up to the primary.
To put it in prospective, the number of voters purged equals about half of the number who got to vote. Scott Stringer, the New York City Comptroller will now audit the Elections Board–now that the election is over. Hey thanks, Scott.
Neal Rosenstein, the lead voting rights attorney for the New York Public Interest Research Group, which plans legal action, notes that part of the problem is that partisan hacks sit on the Elections board in New York—hacks from both parties.
Brooklyn is under the control of the Kings County Democratic Party, one of the last of the big city machines. Would they attack their opponents’ voter registrations? I don’t have to guess: in my wasted younger days, I was in the Brooklyn County elections office with the hacks where we were assigned by the Party to challenge voters’ signatures en masse. (I wouldn’t and nearly lost my state job.)
Am I saying the machine “fixed” the election for Hillary Clinton? Without further investigation, it would be irresponsible for me to pronounce judgment. Some of the purged may have moved, some have died. But those who waited in line only to fill out affidavit ballots are unlikely to be deceased.
If the Machine had been aware of the mass purge underway, would they have stopped it? As they say in Brooklyn, Fahgeddabouddit.
Hear Palast describe the rationale and methods for deep-sixing registered voters in the segment below: