From a reader…

Hello Dr. Miller,

I am reading your book “Fooled Again” after seeing you on C-SPAN, and it is absolutely terrifying. I think an honest vote is the most important issue that progressives should be working on.

Have you contacted a prominent progressive group like to recruit volunteers to watch the 2006 elections? I realize that they need regular people to get involved too, but someone with your expertise and ability to document previous election abuses would be of great use in setting up some kind of system to closely monitor the elections this time around.

Such evidence (for example of plans to purge voter rolls or of voter intimidation), especially if publicized before the actual election, would help counter criticism that we are just crazy conspiracy theorists.

How can organizations such as be used to that effect?

MCM replies:

Of course, it’s crucial that we monitor the races closely on this next Election Day, but there is something even more important to be done, and which we therefore must start planning NOW.

This year there will be no official exit polls conducted. The media consortium that paid for them in previous elections isn’t going to do it any more, ostensibly because such polls have been “exposed” as unreliable; and so we will have no way to determine whether the official vote-counts can be trusted.

What we need, then, is a grass-roots exit-polling operation, preferably conducted nationwide, or at least in all those states where Senate seats are up for grabs, and in those districts where Republicans are looking vulnerable. If we don’t make this effort, we will have no empirical basis for judging the credibility of the
official numbers. If, on the other hand, we DO conduct such crucial polls ourselves (that is, if we, the people, do it), we will have grounds for refusing to acknowledge all the startling “upset victories” that Team Bush surely has in store for us (again).

This is what happened in Ukraine–a grass-roots exit-polling effort that enabled the Ukrainian people to stand firm against the government. We should do likewise; and it should be rigorously non-partisan, using student teams of pollsters, under the close
supervision of professional statisticians.

So far, NO national organization has taken on the growing danger of election fraud. While MoveOn claims to have been heavily involved in this all-important fight, that’s really ALL that they have done (i.e., make that claim); and no other national org–not Common Cause, not People for the American Way, not the League of Women Voters, nor any other national group–has stepped up to the plate.

There are terrific grass-roots groups at work from coast to coast, doing all they can to block the use of DRE machines and otherwise clean up the system: in New York, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Arizona, Washington, New Hampshire and elsewhere. In short, the troops are out there, and the spirit’s more than willing, and God knows the need could not be greater; but there isn’t any of the funding necessary to meld such disparate groups together into an effective national movement for reform.

So if you have any ideas as to how to get MoveOn, and/or any other national group, to do what must be done–a stepped-up campaign for election reform; thorough monitoring of races nationwide; grass-roots exit polls–please share them. All I could do was write the book, and all I can do now is talk it up as much as possible. To spark the sort of movement you describe, we all need to push really hard, and push together.

0 thoughts on “From a reader…”

  1. My wife and me went to Arizona in November 2004 as part of Election Protection to monitor polling sites. They are non-partisan, perhaps they could help with setting up exit polling operations.

    So there is my idea on this. I saw you on C-Span as well but didn’t get to see all of your speech. You confirmed what I had been reading. It is really scary to think how desperate Rove and the GOP is going to be to not let the House go Democrat. They know there would be investigations that would expose the administration’s criminal acts.

  2. Mark, I look forward to reading your book, and agree that monitoring exit results is the only way to modestly validate the election.

    All systems that do not generate a papertrail from the moment the votes are recorded, clearly, must be abandoned.

    Consider for one moment, though, the amusing thought that a significant percentage of those polled in November 2004 actually were embarrased for having cast their vote for Bush, versus those embarrased to admit they had voted for Kerry. It is truly not hard to imagine that this collective national embarrasement factored as the majority of the margin of error between the exit polls and actual tabulations.

    We trust those exit polled to be honest (or at least, uniformly dishonest). If that breaks down out of fear of the established politics, or embarrasement over established politics, the numbers don’t balance at the end of the day.

  3. Mr. Crispin, I watched you on a C-Span Book TV re-broadcast this morning. The idea of using an example of ancient Jewish laws from the book of Leviticus to explain the spirit of “acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government” speaks to why people might view you as paranoid.

    First of all, this country was founded with religious freedom. I t was also founded with the belief of a “supreme being” God gave us certain inalienable rights.

    If I accept the premise of your argument, I could turn around your statements and say you are just like the soviets that put people in gulags because they worshiped God. I could say that you want no God in the State just like the communists that jailed and tortured people for worshipping God. I’m sure you would look upon this comparison as “way off base or paranoid”

    Now look at your permutations of what will happen if something like H. R. 3799 were to be passed. What would Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson say to you if you said to them; “I don’t think we should display a granite representation of the 10 commandments on a courthouse lawn.”? Or “I don’t think we should put “In God We Trust” on our currency.

    This same approach to arrive at political outcomes was used as the domino theory for fighting in Viet Nam. If you smoke marijuana, you will be come a heroin addict. If you allow God as a source for governing, you will be stoning people who commit adultery.

    Come on… I you want people to take you seriously, don’t insult our intelligence.

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