Flashback to an earlier election scandal:
In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term. A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible. Ohio’s governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year.
I’m sure you’re not surprised. You’re probably aware of the myriad “dirty tricks” Republicans use to steal American elections. And you must have read about the Republican-controlled state legislatures’ new voter-suppression laws. But the Free Press article quoted above opened my eyes to an even more incredible flaw in America’s democratic process.
Written by by Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, the article was distributed by a service called Truthout.
It traces the corporate web that owns and operates electronic voting machines in Ohio and several other states. And the bottom line is that Mitt Romney, his family and his business associates own the company that owns the machines.
Here’s an excerpt:
Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.
In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall’s election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who “owns” the White House.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how critical Ohio is in this election.
This terrifying situation reminds me of Florida in 2000, when George W. Bush swindled Al Gore out of the presidency.
Do you trust Romney and his gang to play fair in tabulating the election results?
I don’t. He certainly hasn’t played fair in the campaign.
How can democracy survive in America when billionaires are allowed to dump unlimited amounts of cash into election campaigns, when the Supreme Court has become a political pawn, when the media are owned by the very corporations they’re supposed to be monitoring, and even the machines that count the votes are owned and controlled by one of the candidates running for president?