ABC'S GOOF-UP NOT IRON-CLAD PROOF OF VOTESCAM THEORY
On November 2, 1998, one day before the November 3rd election,
the ABC television network had briefly posted to Internet what
appeared to be actual election results. "How could ABC know the
election results one day before the election?" some wondered.
ABC's apparent mistake in posting the "election results"
prematurely led to speculation that their seeming blunder in fact
supported the "Votescam" theory.
-+- The Votescam Theory -+-
Some may object to calling "Votescam" a theory. In their book,
*Votescam*, authors Jim and Ken Collier do provide a fair amount
of evidence that the use of computers to tabulate election
results makes the process especially vulnerable to fraud. The
question is not whether election fraud exists -- it does -- but
whether it exists so massively that =all= major political
contests are fixed and the voters themselves, therefore, play no
real part in the process.
-+- Votescam: Background -+-
In an article by Clark Matthews, published in the Spotlight
newspaper ("Computer Bandits Can Steal Votes," 11/14/94), that
newspaper's science and technology expert gives an overview of
how computer fraud can make vote fraud easier to accomplish.
Matthews writes, in part, that
the rapid spread of advanced computer technology throughout
the American election process is a cause of growing concern
to citizens and computer professionals around the
country... [Some of these computer technologies] are
deeply troubling -- or carefully hidden from public view.
And the companies backing these technologies have very deep
pockets and a mysterious knack for insinuating their
equipment into major voting jurisdictions...
Adding credibility to concerns about computerized vote fraud is
an article which appeared in The New Yorker magazine ("The Annals
of Democracy," by Ronnie Dugger. November 1988). Matthews notes
how Ronnie Dugger, author of the article
conducted an in-depth investigation of electronic
balloting. Almost everywhere he looked, he uncovered a
voter's worst nightmare. Dugger focused on Computer
Election Services (CES). At that time CES was the largest
provider of computer ballots and tabulating equipment in
the country... [The computers] came complete with external
switches that allowed vote totals to be altered from
outside of the machine. The vote counting software used by
the machines was top secret.
In light of the warnings given about videotaping voters issued
during this latest election season, supposedly due to concerns
about intimidation of black voters and others, it is especially
interesting how Matthews relates what had happened to Jim Collier
(co-author of *Votescam*) when he, seeking concrete proof of vote
fraud, tried some videotaping of his own:
...Jim Collier entered the county elections' computer
facility with his video camera... [but] Collier was thrown
out of the building, camera and all... [Collier had]
videotaped an election worker running the same stack of
punch-cards through the old-fashioned tabulating computer
again and again and again.
-+- Vote Fraud: How Massive? -+-
Yes, there is vote fraud. Yes, the use of computer technology
makes that vote fraud easier to get away with, since there is not
so clear of a paper trail nowadays as there was when paper
ballots were prevalent. But has the vote fraud become so massive
that all election results can be known ahead of time? Conspiracy
Nation does not think it's gotten that bad -- yet. If the
process has become systematically rigged at the national level,
then why are politicians of both parties in such a frenzy to
receive campaign contributions? If the nationwide system were
truly rigged, it would be hardly important how much money any
politician had in their "war chest." Also, a preliminary
comparison by Conspiracy Nation between ABC's one-day-early
"results" and the actual election results shows that ABC was
=not= omniscient; ABC's one-day-early "results" were sometimes
inaccurate. For example, a quick check shows ABC had had Alfonse
D'Amato as the winner in New York, but Charles "Little Chuckie"
Schumer was the actual winner. ABC had had Jim Hodges losing to
David Beasley in South Carolina's gubernatorial contest, but
Hodges in fact won.
-+- The Real Systemic Vote Fraud -+-
But there =is= a type of nationwide, systemic vote fraud going on
of which there can be no doubt. Congress has failed to tackle
campaign finance reform. Through "soft money" contributions,
donors of such funds receive a *quid pro quo* from legislators:
political access and favorable legislation. Evidence of just
what a sweet deal large corporations have been receiving from the
U.S. Congress appears in, of all places, Time magazine ("Special
Report: Corporate Welfare, a System Exposed," 11/9/98). In the
first installment of a special series which Time says will
continue in coming weeks, details are given on just how much of a
bonanza corporations have been receiving, courtesy of the U.S.
taxpayer. Time magazine says that $125 billion is given away
yearly by the federal government in what Time calls "corporate
welfare." The standard excuse for these enormous give-aways is
that they result in increased employment. But Time smashes that
myth: Fortune 500 companies "have erased more jobs than they
have created this past decade, and yet they are the biggest
beneficiaries of corporate welfare." Unfortunately, Time
magazine does not, thus far, point out the obvious connection
between campaign contributions received from corporate donors and
the subsequent corporate welfare in its otherwise excellent
-+- Conclusion -+-
Systematic computerized vote fraud, at a national level, is not
in place -- yet. But vote fraud, always occuring in U.S.
history, still goes on and is probably on the rise. The use of
computers in the election process makes it easier to sabotage
honest elections, and can make nationwide, systemic vote fraud a
reality. The most glaring and unremedied vote fraud, campaign
donations which elevate money to pre-eminence in the election
process, remains legal.
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