Published on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
A Loaves & Fishes/Holy Ghost Victory for the GOP in November?
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The polls all point to a Democratic sweep in November. The news pours in about pedophile Republicans and Team Bush contempt for their fundamentalist bedmates. Iraq implodes. Deficits soar. Katrina lingers. Scandal is everywhere.
On the other hand, there are rumors of an “October Surprise.” An attack on Iran. A new terror incident. Osama finally captured.
Gas prices are down, the stock market up.
None of it dampens the Democrats’ euphoria. They think they are about to win. In conventional terms, they should.
But think again. Please.
It will take just two Biblical fixes for the GOP to keep the Congress, and thus solidify their power in this country, possibly forever: a loaves and fishes vote count, a Holy Ghost turnout.
We coined the phrase “loaves and fishes vote count” to describe the tally in Gahanna, Ohio, 2004. This infamous precinct in suburban Columbus registered 4258 votes for George W. Bush where just 638 people voted. The blessed event occurred at a fundamentalist church run by a close ally of the Reverend Jerry Falwell.
These numbers were later “corrected.” But they reflect a much larger reality: the 2004 election was stolen with scores of dirty tricks for whose second coming the Democrats have yet to fully prepare.
In the two years since the fraudulent defeat of John Kerry, we’ve unearthed an unholy arsenal by which that election was stolen. They include: outright intimidation, wrongful elimination of registered voters, theft, selective deployment of (often faulty) voting machines, absentee ballots without Kerry’s name on them, absentee ballots pre-punched for Bush, absentee ballots never mailed, touch screens that lit up for Bush when Kerry was chosen, lines for black voters five hours long while white voters a mile away voted in fifteen minutes, tens of thousands of provisional ballots pitched summarily in the trash, alleged ex-felons illegally told they could not vote, Hispanic precincts with no Spanish-speaking poll workers, deliberate misinformation on official web sitesÅ and that’s not even the tip of an iceberg whose bottom we may never see.
Thanks to a federal lawsuit, we have finally been able to look at some of the actual ballots from Ohio 2004. Just for starters, researchers Stuart Wright and Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips have found a precinct in Delaware County where 359 consecutive voters allegedly cast ballots for Bush. Dr. Ron Baiman found another precinct in Clermont County where a random inspection found 36 straight replacement ballots, a phenomenon that can be accomplished only by divine intervention or outright fraud.
These initial snippets have been unearthed with no cooperation or participation from the Democratic Party. The official Democratic spin is that they have “looked into the matter.” But public records indicate that they have yet to visit the actual ballot storage facilities to examine the public records from the 2004 election.
In sum, we see no indication that the Democrats are prepared for the inevitableÅ that Karl Rove will steal again, and more, in 2006.
In Ohio alone, four election boards have already eliminated some 500,000 voters since the 2000 election—ten percent of the state’s electorate—from the registration rolls in four Democratic counties. No similar purges have occurred in rural Republican counties. The Democrats have said or done very little about it.
To date there is no logical explanation from John Kerry as to why he conceded with 250,000 votes still uncounted while Bush’s alleged margin was just half that. Nor have we heard about Democrat plans to monitor the ever-larger numbers of electronic voting machines deployed throughout the United States with no paper trail and no transparency for programming codes and memory cards that are privately owned, with no public inspection allowed.
Which is brings us to the Holy Ghost turnout. As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has reported in Rolling Stone Magazine, in Georgia 2002, U.S. Senate incumbent Max Cleland went into Election Day with a very substantial lead in the polls. He proceeded to allegedly lose by a substantial margin. Church-state operatives like Ralph Reed attributed this astonishing turn-around to an alleged last-minute mass turnout of evangelical voters.
Similar things were said about Florida and Ohio 2004.
But it never happened. There are no visual reports or other reliable indicators of extraordinary lines or massive late-in-the-day crowds at the polls. Throughout all those election days, it was every bit as quick and easy to vote in rural precincts that gave Bush his miraculous victory as it was impossible to do so in your average black neighborhood. But there was no extraordinary turnout of last-minute Bush voters.
What happened instead hearkens to the Holy Ghost, made manifest in electronic voting machines that cannot and will not be monitored. The miraculous pro-Bush margins give new meaning to the phrase “ghost in the machine.” While the Democratic vote count was slashed and trashed in urban precincts, the rural voting stations, through the miracle of untrackable electronics, materialized just the right number of GOP votes to keep the Men of God in the White House (where it’s recently reported they dare to mock those earthly evangelicals who allegedly gave them their margin of victory).
There’s absolutely nothing to prevent this from happening again in 2006. Major studies from the Conyers Committee, the Government Accountability Office, Princeton University, the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Commission, and esteemed others, have all come to the same conclusion: it takes just one individual with inside access—or even just a wi-fi machine—to change the outcome of any election anywhere.
Electronic voting machines can be pre-programmed, re-programmed, re-calibrated, electronically adjusted, hacked, jimmied, jammed or otherwise blessed with a few well-placed electrons and—LO AND BEHOLD!—a Democratic landslide can be born again to a Republican deliverance.
We already see the signs. The corporate bloviators predict a last-minute surge for Bush. The Fox/Rove media machine has planted suggestive stories at the New York Times and elsewhere about the alleged hidden powers of the GOP juggernaut. They will, they say, once again turn out those invisible legions of evangelical voters when and where necessary.
Every two years, Rove leaks some story that is implausible and easily refuted: four million new evangelical voters are identified nationwide; or, a late surge of homophobic Old Order Amish rush to the polls in Ohio; or shy and reluctant right-wing Republican women flood the polls at closing and slip out unseen without speaking to exit pollsters (but, they are only shy in the early evening in Republican counties).
And the Democrats? They say they are also turning out voters. But what happens when their names are miraculously gone from the new electronic registration rolls? When there aren’t enough machines in their precincts on which to vote? When they press a Democratic name on their touch-screen and an anointed Republican’s lights up? Or when techno-gods from private partisan vendors barge in unchallenged to “adjust” the e-machines in the middle of the voting process.
So far, the Democrats have heaped abuse on those who dare to warn of all this.
But as it is written, so it shall be: unless there are armies of trained, dedicated citizens prepared to monitor this upcoming election, electronic and otherwise, the Holy Ghosts will vote, the loaves & fishes will multiply and be counted, and the GOP will once again emerge with total control of the checks and the balances—this time, perhaps, for all Eternity.
Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of What Happened in Ohio?, just published by The New Press. Fitrakis is of counsel and Wasserman is a plaintiff in the King-Lincoln lawsuit that has preserved the Ohio 2004 ballots. Fitrakis is an independent candidate for Ohio governor, endorsed by the Green Party; Wasserman is author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030.
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