Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part II by Janet Maker

Jun 1, 2018 by

This is the tenth blog in our election integrity series. Last month’s blog about Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s role in rigging the 2004 election focused on the tactics used to prevent potential Democrats from registering and, of those already registered, getting as many as possible off the rolls by purging and caging. This month we will focus on techniques that were used to prevent successfully registered voters from casting a ballot or from having their ballot count. Next month’s blog will focus on post-election tactics: fraud and irregularities in the count and recount, and violations of federal law by destroying election records.  The person in charge of all these tactics in Oho was Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell

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Election Integrity: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio 2004 Election, Part I by Janet Maker

Apr 30, 2018 by

Just as Florida had decided the 2000 election, Ohio with its 20 electoral votes was the state that decided the election for George W. Bush in 2004.  John Kenneth “Ken” Blackwell was Secretary of State of Ohio from 1999 to 2007 and, just as Secretary of State Katherine Harris had also been a co-chair of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida, Blackwell was also co-chair of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.  As secretary of state, Blackwell had the power to interpret and implement state and federal election laws, setting standards for everything from registration to recounts. Every significant decision he made about the election benefited George W. Bush.

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Election Integrity: Katherine Harris and the Florida 2000 Election by Janet Maker

Mar 31, 2018 by

Katherine Harris, a right-wing Christian extremist and minor Republican officeholder with ethical challenges, had the power to change the course of history.  The interventions she made in stopping the Florida recount, in enabling the voter purge, and in extending the deadline for absentee ballots, enabled George W. Bush, loser of the popular vote, to become president.

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Election Integrity: Vendors of Voting Equipment by Janet Maker

Feb 28, 2018 by

After a series of business failures, mergers and acquisitions, there remain currently only three major players in the voting equipment industry. Dominion Voting Systems Corporation, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Hart InterCivic control about 92% of the market. ES&S is the largest, with 44%.  Dominion has 37%, and Hart InterCivic has 11%.  All three companies are privately held and do not disclose their financial information, and all three have known or suspected ties to the political and religious right wing.

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Election Integrity: Problems with Black Box Voting by Janet Maker

Jan 31, 2018 by

Protecting our elections is not very difficult. However, there are two reasons why the necessary protections have not been put in place. The first is that voting machines are owned by private companies and have proprietary software. Most will not allow access to the source code, so we have no way to verify that the machines are not rigged. The second problem is that for the most part, election administrators have failed to adopt the recommendations that would make elections safer. There have never been consistent, mandatory security standards governing the operation of computerized voting, so vendors have had a relatively free hand selling their flawed products.

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Election Integrity: Voter Suppression in Alabama’s 2017 Special Election, by Janet Maker

Dec 31, 2017 by

While the election does prove that it’s not impossible for Democrats to win, the playing field is not level. On a level playing field, both parties have an equal chance of obtaining a majority of the vote. On a playing field that’s rigged by voter suppression and black box voting machines, Democrats might require 10 or 15 percent more voters in order to win a simple majority.

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Election Integrity: Black Box Voting and the 2016 Presidential Election Recount by Janet Maker

Nov 30, 2017 by

This is the fourth article in our series examining election integrity.  The term black box voting was popularized by Bev Harris,...

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Election Integrity: Gerrymandering by Janet Maker

Oct 31, 2017 by

After the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton blamed her loss largely on Russian hacking, and Donald Trump blamed the fact that Hillary won the popular vote on millions of illegal ballots.  In my opinion, the chance that either of those claims is true ranges from zero to negligible.  But the election really was rigged, in ways that we are examining in this series of blogs.  This month’s blog focuses on the manipulation that occurred not during the presidential race, but before it — in the drawing of lines for hundreds of U.S. and state legislative seats. According to an Associated Press analysis, gerrymandering gave Republicans a huge advantage before a single vote was cast.

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Election Integrity: The Problems with the Two-Party System by Janet Maker

Sep 30, 2017 by

This is the second article in our series examining election integrity. A Gallup poll in August, 2017 showed that only 16% of...

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Election Integrity: The Electoral College by Janet Maker

Aug 31, 2017 by

I first became interested in election integrity after the 2000 presidential election.  Not only had the Supreme Court arbitrarily...

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The Importance of Critical Reading and Thinking by Janet Maker

Jul 31, 2017 by

Critical thinking and reading are not difficult to teach.  It would be easy to design a curriculum to teach those skills at every level from kindergarten through high school, not only in reading instruction, but also in social studies and science.  There is an obvious argument that critical thinking and reading are important skills for citizenship as well as for equipping students to lead productive lives.  Societies educate children for the type of citizens they want them to become.  Do we want to produce worker bees who will unquestioningly obey authority and do what they are told, or do we want to produce critical thinkers capable of taking part in democratic decision making?

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Neoliberals, Neoconservatives, and Neofascists by Janet Maker

May 31, 2017 by

Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the...

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Neoliberalism’s Newest Iteration: A Progressive Rip Off by Frank Fear

Apr 13, 2017 by

This guest blog offers an explanation as to why all the progressive organizations and politicians seem to slither to the right.

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U.S. Political Parties and the Deep State by Janet Maker

Jan 8, 2017 by

Understanding the Deep State can help us explain things like why we have rigged elections and endless wars.

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Why Are We Letting This Train Wreck Happen? by Janet Maker

Dec 10, 2016 by

Everybody also knows, or should know in view of the overwhelming evidence, that the 2016 election was crooked. We have known that U.S. elections were rigged since at least 2000—voter suppression, Republican-owned proprietary software that can’t be audited, and much more. All our elections should be audited. Yet the only person standing up to challenge this election is Jill Stein. Why isn’t everyone rushing to help her?

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How to Change the World in 3 Easy Steps by Nafeez Ahmed

Nov 7, 2016 by

I often get asked by people about what they can do to change things, to change the world, when each of us is just one person, in the...

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Shifting Focus to Bernie’s Legislative Agenda, by Stephen Fox

Jul 31, 2016 by

We are shifting the focus in our Facebook group, Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Win, to specifically helping Bernie achieve...

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What Should We Do Now? by Janet Maker

Jun 26, 2016 by

The Good News website and newsletter are intended not only to make us feel better, to help counteract the depressing barrage of...

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Hillary and the Lesser Evil by Janet Maker

May 19, 2016 by

Everyone seems to be discussing whether, if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, his supporters should vote for Hillary.  One thing to...

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Concepts of Morality by Janet Maker

May 19, 2016 by

When I post “good news” I am guided by my concept of what is right and what is wrong. I have conservative friends who can’t bear to...

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