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STEALING OUR FREEDOM TO VOTE - A Documented Report
Sequel in the making in 2004?
By Jerri Ann Lewis
The United States of America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
However, the last four years have made me seriously doubt the "land of the free" part. From the beginning,
George W. Bush's presidency has been a complete farce. Michael Moore hit the nail on the head when he called
the Bush presidency "fictitious".1 The 2000 Presidential Election should have been our wake-up call. Yet,
four years later, George W. Bush is campaigning for reelection and some Americans are still supporting him.
How can that be?
Let us review the facts:
- "George Bush lost the popular election by 500,000 votes, but won the electoral vote by winning hotly
contested Florida, the state that tipped the scales, and the state where his brother Jeb is governor." George
Bush was declared the winner by 537 votes.2
- A list of 8,000 names was compiled of former Texas residents that had moved to Florida. This list consisted
of people that had been convicted of felonies and were barred from voting. Nevertheless, almost none of them
were felons. Florida law also does not bar felons convicted in other states from voting.3
- Database Technologies (DBT) was paid $2 million to compile lists of people that were barred from voting in the
state of Florida.4
- DBT issued a list, with the help of Governor Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris (Secretary of the State) that
purged 57,700 people from the voter rolls in Florida. Upon closer examination, many of the people on the list
had names similar to the names of former criminals, had committed misdemeanors, were registered as Democrats,
or were black or hispanic.1
- Over 300 of the barred voters were listed as being "convicted" of crimes in 2007.
- In accordance with DBT's court documents, more than 90% of the 57,700 people should have been permitted
- When Katherine Harris' office was contacted to inquire about why many of the names on the list were African
American they replied, "Well, you know how many black people commit crimes."3
- ChoicePoint, a company closely tied to Republican circles, was paid $4 million to put together another list
of names. This list provided 40,000 more people who had been convicted of crimes but had had their voting rights
restored. Most of these people would have voted Democrat.1
- In testimony to a congressional committee, a ChoicePoint official testified that "ChoicePoint told state
officials that the rules for creating the list would mean a significant number of people who were not .....
a felon would be included in the list."1
- "Voting machines in Palm Beach misread 27,000 ballots. Katharine Harris ordered the hand-counting of votes
- Voting machines in Gadstone County misread one in every eight ballots. Once again, Katherine Harris stopped
this recount. (Was it just a coincidence that this county is highly populated by African Americans, low-income
citizens, and/or Democrats?)3
Yet, with all of this evidence, why was George W. Bush still permitted to take a seat in the
White House? Gore became the undisputed loser and none of this information became "front-page" news. What ever
happened to American democracy?
As for the "criminals" .... Everyone knows where President George W. Bush is. Katherine Harris
became a Florida Congresswoman in 2002. She is currently running for reelection in 2004.5 Jeb Bush was
reelected as the governor of Florida in 2002.6 That is American democracy.
As the 2004 Presidential Election nears, are we starting to see a sequel emerging?
Let us consider the information:
- The new "Help America Vote" law will cost taxpayers $3.9 billion. This money will be used, in part,
to persuade states and counties to implement computerized 'touch-screen' voting.7
- Computerized voting is not a full-proof system. Paper ballots leave a trail enabling votes to be
double-checked, if need be. With computerized ballots there is not. Some studies have shown that voting machines
may crash or may be rendered unsecured.8 If a problem such as this happens there is no way to trace the
votes.7 Thus, American voters must demand a receipt of their votes.
- The unbiased credibility of such (voting machine) corporations as Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S becomes a question
when ties to the Republican Party and Bush are exposed. The CEO of Diebold, one of the largest manufacturers of
voting machines has reportedly raised at least $100,000 for President Bush's reelection campaign.9
- Some reports have stated that the President is trying to rig the Florida votes again. The reports suggest that
President Bush and his brother, Governor Jeb Bush, tried to hire a legal firm (run by two of the President's
buddies) to defend the Broward County Board of Elections in Florida in case there are any lawsuits filed against
it during or after the 2004 election.10
- If people cannot be removed from the voting rolls this time, then why not use scare tactics to keep them from
voting against Republicans? To quote Vice President Dick Cheney, "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from
today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get
hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."11
We cannot sit idly by while our government steals our freedom to vote for whichever candidate
we want. We cannot allow President Bush to remain in office for another four years. What will our future be
like if he steals another election? I, for one, do not want to find out the answer to this question. Exercise
your right to vote on November 2, 2004. Vote for change and regain the freedom and hope that once made our
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