October 30, 2008 - Issue 297
Keeping Our Eyes on the Prized Vote
By Jamala Rogers
lackCommentator.com Editorial Board


The day after I arrived in Boston for a meeting, the ACORN offices had been burglarized trashed and computers were stolen. Chris Leonard, with the Boston Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), was clearly being cautious when he dubbed the break-in “suspicious” but not politically motivated.

Recently, I wrote about what presidential candidate John McCain called “…one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” There were several online negative responses to my article that railed against ACORN. One responder rebuffed that the group had made its bed and would now have to lie in it.

McCain went on to amplify his unfounded allegations by accusing ACORN’s work around home loans as a factor in the home foreclosure crises. ACORN President Maude Hurd released a national statement in response to the growing chorus behind McCain’s lead smears.

Undoubtedly, there have been criticisms in the social justice movement over the years around ACORN’s philosophy and tactics. Let’s not miss the forest for the trees: ACORN is being used as subterfuge for additional voter suppression and for blame of GOP losses on November 4. We must keep our eyes on the prize by making sure everybody who wants to vote does and that their vote is counted.

The GOP and the rest of the rightwing want to act like we are left-wing conspiracy nuts as we warn of a third possible stolen election. How the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen has been documented in great detail.

Books on election thievery and thuggery include:

How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008, by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman;

Down and Dirty : The Plot to Steal the Presidency, by Jake Tapper;

Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, by J.H. Hatfield;

Grand Theft 2000: Media Spectacle and a Stolen Election, by Douglas Kellner;

Mediocracy: Hail to the Thief: How the Media "Stole" the U.S. Presidential Election 2000, by Danny Schechter;

The Accidental President: How 413 Lawyers, 9 Supreme Court Justices, and 5,963,110 Floridians (Give or Take a Few) Landed George W. Bush in the White House, by David Kaplan;

The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President, by Vincent Bugloss;

Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election, by Jeffrey Tobin

and many others.

Documentaries that show the real deal are:

Unprecedented - The 2000 Presidential Election - 2004 Campaign Edition, Peter Coyote;

Counting On Democracy: The Untold Story Of 175,000 Missing Votes In The 2000 Presidential Election [Bush Vs. Gore] [A Danny Schechter Film], Danny Schechter;

Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, John Conyers;

American Blackout, Cynthia McKinney

to name a few.

There are countless investigative articles by the likes of Greg Palast, Bobby Kennedy, Jr., and others. There has even been college courses designed to dissect the phenomenon like NYU’s “How to Steal an Election”.

And who would dare argue with a Republican and one of the world's leading experts in cyber crime. That would be Steve Spoonamore who says the Diebold voting machines can never be trusted.

The vote suppression efforts of the South during the Civil Rights era has evolved into a high-tech and sophisticated suppression with sweeping ramifications more devastating than Mickey Mouse appearing on a voter registration list gathered by ACORN workers. The suppression has disproportionately targeted Democratic voters who are poor, black and brown. The tactics includes arbitrary cleansing of voter lists, lack of sufficient machines in high voter turnout areas, the overuse of provisional ballots (who knows how many of those get counted!) and a host of other deceitful methods.

Currently, there is a huge network of voter protection efforts across the country in acknowledgment of the fact that 2000 and 2004 were truly stolen. I am involved in one such effort, the No More Stolen Elections! Over 17,000 have taken the pledge to “take action if the election is stolen again… to support efforts to protect the right to vote… and to join nationwide pro-democracy protests…” The NMSE! website gives and receives updates on voting problems and is working to be proactive. If you are poised to do some protest actions should the election be stolen, please let us know.

The progressive movement has had eight years to study how an election can be stolen. We should be organized by now to prevent a third stolen election. Si se puede - yes we can - stop the attacks on one of the most participatory acts in this so-called democracy.

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Jamala Rogers, is the leader of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis and the Black Radical Congress National Organizer. Click here to contact Ms. Rogers.


Your comments are always welcome.

e-Mail re-print notice

If you send us an e-Mail message we may publish all or part of it, unless you tell us it is not for publication. You may also request that we withhold your name.

Thank you very much for your readership.