As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and journalist Greg Palast provide evidence that the voter suppression techniques employed during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections may have just been test runs for stealing the most critical election in generations.
ROLLING STONE: IT'S ALREADY STOLEN
An Investigation by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast released today
Don’t worry about Mickey Mouse or ACORN stealing the election. According to an investigative report out today in Rolling Stone magazine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, after a year-long investigation, reveal a systematic program of "GOP vote tampering" on a massive scale.
- Republican Secretaries of State of swing-state Colorado have quietly purged one in six names from their voter rolls.
Over several months, the GOP politicos in Colorado stonewalled every attempt by Rolling Stone to get an answer to the massive purge - ten times the average state's rate of removal.
- While Obama dreams of riding to the White House on a wave of new voters, more then 2.7 million have had their registrations REJECTED under new procedures signed into law by George Bush.
Kennedy, a voting rights lawyer, charges this is a resurgence of 'Jim Crow' tactics to wrongly block Black and Hispanic voters.
- A fired US prosecutor levels new charges - accusing leaders of his own party, Republicans, with criminal acts in an attempt to block legal voters as "fraudulent."
- Digging through government records, the Kennedy-Palast team discovered that, in 2004, a GOP scheme called "caging” ultimately took away the rights of 1.1 million voters. The Rolling Stone duo predict that, this November 4, it will be far worse.
- Since the last presidential race, "States used dubious 'list management' rules to scrub at least 10 million voters from their rolls."
Among those was Paul Maez of Las Vegas, New Mexico - a victim of an unreported but devastating purge of voters in that state that left as many as one in nine Democrats without a vote. For Maez, the state's purging his registration was particularly shocking - he's the county elections supervisor.
The Kennedy-Palast revelations go far beyond the sum of questionably purged voters recently reported by the New York Times.
"Republican operatives - the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics," report Kennedy and Palast, under the cover of fighting fraudulent voting, are "systematically disenfranchis[ing] Democrats."
The investigators level a deadly serious charge:
"If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat McCain at the polls - they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering."
Block the Vote by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. & Greg Palast in the current issue (#1064) of Rolling Stone. [Media enquiries - Dave Falkenstein, Sunshine Sachs & Assoc, via firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Note - Kennedy and Palast are releasing, simultaneously with the Rolling Stone investigative report what they call, the vote-theft 'antidote': a 24-page full-color comic book, Steal Back Your Vote, which can be downloaded or obtained in print from their non-partisan website, StealBackYourVote.org
Don't take anything for granted. Just registering to vote isn't enough.
You have to vote.
If you are planing on voting by absentee ballot and can afford the expense send in your ballot via registered mail.
If you didn't vote in the last election, make sure that your name hasn't been dropped from the polls.
If you are going to the polls make sure to take your photo ID and, if you have one, your voter registration card.
Make an Election Day plan for how you will handle long lines or voting machine problems.
How will you notify your employer if you have to wait for hours to vote.
If you have a camera phone or digital camera take it with you to the polls, if anything looks suspicious take a picture and/or call it in to your local election monitoring group. In Philadelphia, you can report election irregularities to the Committee of Seventy.
Some people are also making a visual record of their paper ballot or their selections on the electronic voting machine. Check out Video Your Vote.
Young people consider accompanying your older neighbors or family members to the polls. After all, you're probably the one with the iphone and/or camera.
Don't forget your local or statewide election races. In many ways, these candidates have more of an impact on your daily life.
No matter who your candidate of choice is, elections should be fair.