Could Obama really be robbed of victory in this way?
[Keith Mothersson of the Campaign for Visible Ballots has been following the US election integrity movement since 2000. In this guest slot he gives his assessment of the current state of play.]
Psephologists sometimes look too closely at opinion polls, naively assuming a predictable feed through into election results. The election in the US is a genuine no-holds-barred struggle which could easily go all the way the Supreme Court and/or Congress and/or the streets.
In the Red corner McCain fronts powerful Neo-Con interests, who imposed Christian Dominionist attack-dog Palin as running mate precisely to gee up Christian Rightists who will be prepared to fiddle the election (to stop Satanic Democrat baby-killers) and redneck racists prepared to fight in the post-election period.
In the Blue corner Obama has been chosen, like Carter and Clinton, as the representative of Neo-Liberal interests, who prefer to pursue global supremacy using free trade and multilateral frameworks, e.g. NATO, WTO. Skull and Bonesman Kerry â€˜threwâ€™ Ohio within hours in 2004, despite an inexplicable mismatch between original exit polls and and final result of 11 percent (7 nationally)
By ignoring the dozens of tell-tale signs of fraud in 2000, and the historical experience of black and other communities most affected, Gore condemned himself to defeat.
Letâ€™s assume that Obama is way ahead in the polls and the Republicans really, really donâ€™t want to lose. How might they still pull it off?
First they need to win the â€˜Jim Crowâ€™ battle to suppress the vote of likely Democrat demographics. Robert Kennedy Jr and Greg Palast report in Rolling Stone that the Republicans have been mis-registering and purging voters at unprecedented rates, with the result that when John Brown goes to the polls in Ohio he may find that he canâ€™t vote because his driving licence says John D Brown (the â€˜exact matchâ€™ rule), because he has been forced to move house recently, or on a host of other pretexts.
He may also need courage to push past intimidating police sweeps and Republican â€˜cagersâ€™ challenging his ID, and patience to stand in long queues when the underprovided-in-poor areas machines â€˜break downâ€™. Early voting in the South is attempting to mitigate polling-day delays, but at the risk of â€˜racialisingâ€™ the image of Obamaâ€™s support-base in the eyes of the white national majority.
Second McCain will need to win the â€˜Boss Tweedâ€™ battle about counting the votes. Although the burgeoning election integrity movement has been recruiting many teams of citizen exit-pollers, the media will likely ignore them and the Republicans will be doing all they can to ensure that the â€˜officalâ€™ exit polls arenâ€™t leaked before the necessary â€˜adjustmentsâ€™.
Black Box Voting and allies are encouraging election-integrity moles and training citizen sleuths and videographers in further non-partisan efforts to cut down room for credible election fraud. But the Democrat leadership has been so backward (denial?, complicity?) that more votes than ever before will be registered on, counted using, or transmitted through tamper-friendly secret software controlled by Republican-allied companies and counted without possibility of public local public auditing and typically without any physical ballots to at least theoretically recount at polling stations â€˜randomly chosenâ€™.
Top computer-analyst Stephen Spoonamore has recently defected from the McCain camp to explain exactly how the electronic swindle is being planned.
Although Ohio election-integrity lawyers are now homing in on those he named, the same software that produced absurdly massive suprises for Hagel in Nebraska in 1996, Chambliss in 2002 in Georgia and contained the (underlying) Democrat avalanche in 2006, is already causing (ahem) â€˜glitchesâ€™ (vote flips) in West Virginia, and several other states. â€˜Ah, but Hagel and Chambliss won on late-swingsâ€™.
Asssuming the powers that be donâ€™t want an Obama landslide, they will have to engineer a sequence of events which can be spun into a sufficiently credible narrative to persuade people to overcome their gut instincts that far more people were voting Blue than Red. Beyond pre-poll promotion of McKinney and Nader to credibilise the flipping of Obama votes to them.
The Republicans have prepared the ground for protracted legal battles by countering â€˜election theftâ€™ charges with relentless propaganda against â€˜massive partisan improprietiesâ€™ supposedly accompanying the registration drive of ACORN. The fact that the â€˜voter fraudâ€™ meme has been demolished in the eyes of rational people, does not mean that it might not be good for legal filibustering and serve as a great battle-cry for Palinâ€™s mob against the â€˜sore losersâ€™ and â€˜terrorist/insurgentsâ€™ causing â€˜anarchy on our streetsâ€™.
Which failing thereâ€™s always the JFK solution (lone Pakistani gunman, anybody?) and Martial Law.
Itâ€™s a long way to the White House and those who canâ€™t read the extra-psephological runes could be in for nasty surprises.