Election 2008: Who Decides? The People or the
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
October 28, 2008
December 15, 2009. While this essay might seem to be flawed by an
inaccurate prediction, I feel that it nonetheless deserves inclusion among
these "editor's choices." I stand by virtually everything that I
wrote, and remain convinced that the issues that I discuss below, still
totally ignored by the corporate media, remain vitally important to the
future of American politics.
The essay, published a
week before the 2008 election, expressed a suspicion -- not a prediction --
that the election might be stolen again by the programmers that wrote the
secret ("proprietary") codes that were to count and compile the election
returns, as they had done since the notorious 2000 election. The
essence of my suspicion is found in this paragraph below:
If the election
returns next Tuesday are fair and accurate, it will be because those
anonymous programmers have chosen, for whatever reason, not to finagle
the election, and not because they face exposure and prosecution – not,
that is, because there is any compelling reason for them not to steal
programmers chose to "play fair," as Barack Obama did in fact win the
election, and the Democrats secured their control of the Congress. Why
wasn't the 2008 election stolen, like (I contend) the 2000 and 2004
elections? One can only speculate. Here are three non-exclusive
hunches: (1) as suggested below, the pre-election polls predicted an
Obama victory so substantial that an "upset" might have created sufficient
suspicion that the plot might, at last, be exposed. (2) The
"powers that be" behind election fraud shared the widespread establishment
misgivings about the incompetence of the McCain/Palin ticket. (3)
Those same powers knew what few Obama supporters suspected at the time, and
has been validated by subsequent events; namely that Obama, like Bill
Clinton before him, was a "safe" "new Democrat" whose proclaimed liberalism
could be effectively contained by the media and the Republican minority in
Be all that as it may, the
threat to our "democracy" posed by a corrupted election mechanism remains.
Or so I argue in this essay.
In another week, more than one-hundred million American
citizens will go to the polls to choose their next president.
Or so most of those citizens believe, along with all of the corporate
media and, of course, the candidates.
But might it be possible that the decision next Tuesday lies, not with
those 100-plus million voters, but instead with a few dozen programmers
who write the secret software for the voting machines that will record some 30 percent of the
votes, and also for the computers that compile (i.e., collect and report) 80 percent of the
“official” election returns?
The very idea is too horrible to contemplate, and so it is not
contemplated; not by the media, not by most of the public, and not by
the Democratic party.
A presidential selection by anonymous programmers is not contemplated,
much less discussed and publicized, in the face of compelling evidence
that the 2004 Presidential election, along with numerous congressional
elections during the past decade, were in fact
A stolen election? Impossible! Unthinkable! Yeah, sure! “The
Titanic is unsinkable.” “We have achieved peace in our time” (Neville
Chamberlain, Munich, 1938). “We will be greeted as liberators in Iraq.”
"There is no doubt Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and is
planning to use them against us" (Dick Cheney)
So let’s cut past the speculation and (alleged) “paranoid fantasies,”
and focus instead on four simple, undisputed facts:
1. Next Tuesday, 30% of the votes will be cast on paperless “direct
electronic recording” (DRE) voting machines, and 80% of those votes will
be compiled on computers.
2. These voting machines and compiling computers are manufactured, and
their software is written, by private corporations with close ties to
the Republican party.
3. These voting machines and compiling computers use “proprietary”
(i.e., secret) software.
4. Accordingly, there is no independent means of validating the accuracy
of the voting machines or the compiling computers.
Am I mistaken? I have, during the past eight years, read hundreds of
pages of reassurances that our elections are “fair and accurate.” In
those pages, I have found not one iota of evidence challenging any of
the above four assertions. I read of “paranoid fantasies,” “sore
losers,” “they wouldn’t dare” etc. aplenty, but never, no never!,
any denial of any of the above facts.
So, assuming the above, it comes to this: if the election returns next
Tuesday are fair and accurate, it will be because those anonymous
programmers have chosen, for whatever reason, not to finagle the
election, and not because they face exposure and prosecution – not, that is,
because there is any compelling reason for them not to steal the election.
In short, they might allow the American people to choose their next
president, not because they have to, but because they choose to.
And then again, they might not. And why should the anonymous programmers let “the people
speak”? After all, they did not do so in Georgia in 2002, or in Ohio in
2004, or in numerous other elections.
Accordingly, if ES&S, Sequoia, and Premier Election Systems (formerly
Diebold) so decide, these private corporations and those anonymous
writers of that secret source code, and not those 100 million voters,
will choose our next President.
These are the plain facts. Simple as that.
The obvious and familiar rebuttal begins with this question: “You say
these elections were stolen. Where is your proof?” Direct, “smoking-gun”
evidence of software codes deliberately designed to “flip” or delete
votes? There is none. Remember, that software is “proprietary” (i.e.,
secret). But this is the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking,
“where is the proof that the DRE voting totals are accurate?” Likewise,
there is none, and for the very same reason: the software that records,
compiles and reports the votes is secret.
However, the indirect evidence of computer generated fraud is
substantial: statistical evidence, empirical evidence, anecdotal
evidence, and sworn testimony by computing experts. (Because
written extensively about this evidence, and vast collections of
published articles proving election fraud can be readily accessed on the
here, I will spare the reader
yet another summation of this evidence. But see the end note below).
In any rational and fair election, the burden of proof should be borne
by those who count the votes and announce the outcome. And that proof
should consist in “hard copy” evidence of each and every vote, which is
to say, paper ballots. This is not the case in the United States of
America. Instead, in enough states to determine the outcome of the
presidential election, there is nothing more to validate the accuracy of
the totals than the word of the openly partisan manufacturers of the
machines and writers of the secret software.
“Trust us!” Period. The rest is silence.
No self-respecting democracy on the face of the earth should tolerate
such a travesty. So why is this tolerated in the U.S. of A? No answer to
that question is
forthcoming from the corporate media or the two major political parties.
The above account describes how the GOP might steal the election next
week, just as they did in numerous congressional elections in the past
decade, including the 2004 presidential election.
But will they do so? To answer that question, we must leave the hard and
provable facts behind, and engage in speculation. This next election is
the same as the previous, in that the means of stealing the election
remain intact. But the circumstances attending this election are
significantly different; perhaps sufficiently different that the public
and the Democrats might successfully break out of the electoral trap
that has successfully ensnared them in the recent past.
First of all, the corporate media, which shamelessly
ambushed Al Gore in 2000 (“inventing the internet”), and John Kerry
in 2004 (“Swift Boat Vets”), this time is giving the Democratic
candidates fairer treatment. Not “fair,” but “fairer,” as campaign
coverage is once again cluttered with trivia and, in the name of
“balance,” outright GOP lies are equated with Democratic errors and
Due to the fairer and more transparent media coverage,
the essential issues are being reported, along with the incoherence and
disorder of the McCain campaign and the appalling incompetence of his
Newspaper endorsements, which were roughly evenly divided
between Bush and Kerry in 2004,
are now three to one in favor of Obama.
Many prominent republicans are endorsing the Obama/Biden
team, while the GOP coalition of religious fundamentalists, economic
conservatives, neo-con imperialists, is fracturing. While Sarah Palin is
successfully solidifying the “family values” base, she is also alienating
the center-right independents and establishment “paleo-conservatives,”
without which a national election can not be won.
The collapse of the financial markets and the ensuing
economic chaos has taken place at the worst possible time for a GOP
Consequently, national polls report a substantial and steadily
increasing Democratic lead. In addition, the polls report that the Democratic
candidates handily won all the debates, and that the strength of support for the
Obama/Biden team is substantially stronger than that of the McCain and Palin. In
the media, there is an increasing sense that an Obama victory is all but
certain, absent an “October surprise” during the coming week.
All this poses a daunting problem for the programmers who write
the secret software that counts and compiles most of the votes that will be cast
next Tuesday: In the face of what would be a Democratic landslide in an honest
election, do they dare steal it one more time?
Just imagine that next Monday, the final polls show Obama/Biden with twelve to
fifteen point leads (i.e., beyond
Zone”) in the national polls, with double-digit leads in most of the
battleground states, and with a solid projection of 350 electoral votes.
Then, early Wednesday morning, the TV networks announce that McCain/Palin have
achieved a narrow victory, due to upset wins in states using DRE machines and
secret compilation software, and where, in addition, hundreds of
thousands of intended voters have been denied access to the
polls because of registration challenges by GOP attorneys and poll watchers.
Will the public stand for this? If not, what follows? Massive protest
demonstrations followed by suppression by the Army battalion recently assigned
to “domestic duty” (in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act)?
Sullen public acquiescence? If the latter, what remains of President
McCain’s capacity to govern? He will, after all, have to deal with a heavily
Democratic Congress. How well can he cope with the severe economic crises
Might we then at last see an end to the persistent refusal of the media and the
Democrats to acknowledge, investigate and deal with computer-generated election
fraud? Even if the Department of Justice remains in Republican hands, this need
not put a stop to criminal investigation, prosecution and conviction for stolen
elections. In the United States, national elections are administered at the
state level. Accordingly, any aggressive state Attorney General in any state can
launch a criminal investigation and carry it through all the way to the slamming
of the cell doors.
The anonymous programmers of the secret election codes are facing a dilemma: if
Obama wins, it is likely that the Department of Justice will, at long last,
investigate, indict and convict the culprits. But if the election is stolen
again, despite a formidable Obama lead in the polls and overwhelming public and
editorial support, the story of the “miracle” McCain victory will likely not be
believed. The Congress will investigate. The media, beginning with the
blogosphere and extending to the corporate media, will at long last take the
issue of election fraud seriously. Then the state Attorneys General will get to
We can only guess at what might be going on in the troubled minds of the
programmers. There appears to be some reluctance among the corporate big-wigs to
drop the management of the financial crisis in the hands of John McCain, a
self-confessed economic ignoramus, or Sarah Palin, who proves her incompetence
at every interview. Consequently, it is quite possible that the programmers have
been instructed to cool it this time and let the public have its way.
On the other hand,
stakes in this election are enormous. An Obama administration will, as
promised, raise the taxes of the mega-wealthy, and perhaps attempt to return to
the federal treasury some of the public funds looted by the oligarchs. Obama’s
Department of Justice might well prosecute some of the numerous crimes committed
during the Bush/Cheney administration. Anti-trust laws, now “on the books”
albeit ignored, may be reinstated, resulting in the break-up of
mega-corporations. Election reform, with the ending of voter purges, cagings,
stringent ID requirements, and, of course, unverifiable electronic voting
machines, will lock in Democratic majorities far into the future.
This late in the campaign season, the codes have been written and the voting
machines and compilers are in place. Whose decisions will they report: those of
the voters or those of the programmers? We will likely find out on November 5.
In the meantime, watch the polls. If they show a closing race, be suspicious.
Read the punditry with a critical mind. Perhaps the media might be softening us
up for a “miracle upset.”
In any case, this is no time for despair. Instead, this is a time for renewed
determination and effort to produce an overwhelming majority for Obama and the
Democrats. In addition to the simple act of voting, volunteers must show up at
polling places with video cameras, and voters who are denied access, or who find
that their touch-screen votes are “flipped,” should be interviewed. The Election
Defense Alliance will be
conducting exit polls. Contact them to see if they need volunteers.
In the election of 2008, a sizeable majority of American voters, including a
formidable number of opinion-makers, academics, scientists, diplomats, and even
Republicans, want to see the end of Bushism and Republican rule. They are
supporting in Barack Obama, a young, intelligent, learned and vigorous
God help us all if a small coterie of anonymous computer programmers once again
deny the American people their choice of a President.
We have a short week to do our utmost to see
to it that this doesn’t happen.
As Michael Collins convincingly demonstrates in his article,
“Election 2004: The Urban Legend,” the 2004 presidential election was stolen
in the big cities, where vote inflation is more easy to conceal. In the cities,
where Bush and Cheney did not campaign and where the GOP issues were alien to
the urban voters, the Bush/Cheney 2004 totals increased by 153% over those of
2000. Collins concludes: “This combination of events has never happened before
in American history. It is unprecedented… and unbelievable.”
In 2006, despite a groundswell of support for the Democrats the DRE wizards
connived to keep the Senate in GOP hands.
The raw exit polls at the time confirm this suspicion. The target
states were Montana, Missouri and Virginia. Instead, the voters overwhelmed the
“fixes,” and substantial Democratic wins, following “adjustments” by the secret
software, ended up as “squeakers.” While the Democrats gained thirty seats in
the House, DRE rigging may have cost them as many as twenty additional seats.
See also my
The Fix Is In -- Again!,
Why we must not "Get Over It,
Has the Case for Election Fraud been
Election Fraud: Where's the Outrage?
2006, Election Fraud is the Keystone Issue.
the Debunker, and
The Gulliberal Problem.
Copyright 2008 by Ernest Partridge
Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications
Conscience of a Progressive:
Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field
of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at
the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He
publishes the website, "The Online
Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website,
"The Crisis Papers".
His e-mail is: email@example.com .