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7 Ways to Beat The Ballot Bandits -- Greg Palast

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, candidates, dishonesty, elections, Govtfearmongering, lies, media, politics, propaganda, republicans, VOTE )

- 2025 days ago -
For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don't know, do you? I can tell you that in the last election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 2:27 pm
Image of book jacket for Ballots and Bandits - Greg Palast


For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that in the last election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses. And when they don’t count, you don’t even know it. Worse: Tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them - in which case you’re out of luck. Most states won’t let you vote in-precinct once you’ve applied to vote absentee. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal.”

2. VOTE EARLY – Before the Ballot Bandits Wake Up

Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” (9.9 million of you) or you’re on some creep’s challenge list. By Election Day, if your name is gone or tagged, there’s little you can do but hold up the line.

3. Register and RE-Register, then REGISTER AGAIN

Think you’re registered to vote? Think again, Jack. With all this purge’n going on (13 million and counting), you could be x’d out and you don’t know it. So check online with your Secretary of State’s office or call your County Board of Elections. Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman and your mommy. Then contact the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote and commit to a couple of days of door-to-door registration, especially at social service agency offices. In Florida, that means you’ll get arrested. I’ll send a file in a cake.

4. Vote Unconditionally, NOT PROVISIONALLY

In 2012, they’ll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, a couple million to Hispanic voters alone. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that likely won’t get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication on the spot of your right to a real no-BS from poll judges. Or demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if that’s the problem. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of “suspect” voters. Be firm, but no biting.

5. OCCUPY Ohio, Invade Nevada

The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door - to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union (if you’re not in a union, why not?) or to the troublemakers listed in Action Groups at This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but I know of no other method more effective for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that would seize the White House.

6. DATE a Voter

Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson says, make a date to ‘Arrive with Five.’ And keep a copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits in your holster, our website on your iStuff (we’ll have help lines on our site), and a photo ID that matches your registration name and address. And Bobby, make sure your ID says, “Robert F. Kennedy JUNIOR” – or your vote is toast.

7. Make the Democracy Demand: NO VOTE LEFT BEHIND!

I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who’s wrongly declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: “Count the votes.” You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink.

Democracy requires vigilance The Day After. That’s when you check in at one more time.

By Greg Palast excerpt from the book "Ballots and Bandits"

JL A (281)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 2:32 pm
For the elderly and disabled, whose needs the mail-in vote was designed for along with military, getting a trusted friend or family member to hand deliver can be a good option, too.

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 3:55 pm
Actually, we have voted absentee for many years, and our voting history is posted online, so we know if our ballots were received. Of course, not who we voted for, but the fact that yes we did vote.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 4:01 pm

Keep in mind this is Greg Palast and most things he writes do have a tongue in cheek bit of sarcasm.

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 4:03 pm
One can never be too careful anymore!

Kit B (276)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 4:15 pm

I think that is only too true, and I will date the ballot, though I do not use the machine. Who knows what can happen?

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 5:19 pm
I was worried about this a few years back, so I asked my local Democrat Party office if my vote would definitely be counted, or if there was a chance of it being "lost." She seemed surprised at the question, and wasn't sure of the answer. I just wanted to know if my vote would be just as secure as if I went to the polls and voted in person. I know that the Diebold machines are still "ripe for the picking" in votes being changed after they're cast. It only takes something that costs less than $1 at Radio Shack for someone to change all the votes. This was clearly done in OH during the 2004 election. We need better oversight and significant changes made.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 5:25 pm
Noted. Thanks.

Jim P (3257)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 5:55 pm
I VOTE by going up and marking my ballot with a marker.
I have a number and can go to the Registrar of Voters to make sure my votes have been counted.

For those of you who vote with an absentee ballot, can you honestly say that your votes have been counted??

Ty, Kit.


Tamara Hayes (185)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 7:41 pm
Noted with serious intentions. Thanks Kit.

Craig Pittman (52)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 5:03 am
It is such a critical election it's worth making absolutely certain every vote is accurately counted.

Ben O (171)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 5:24 am
"It's not the number of votes that counts, it's who counts the votes"
(Josef Stalin)

Kit B (276)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 7:54 am

I think we actually do get more voters out to the polls by allowing them to vote early. For some it's matter of convenience, for others it's transportation. I do agree that we must have much better safety regulations, and observers at the polls and some very strict guidelines for counting the votes. This can not be left in the hands of one party or the other, our votes must be protected against election fraud.

Sheryl G (363)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 8:44 am
Thank you Jim for posting this link on my story so others may read. Kit does a good job bringing us lots of good information to sink our teeth into and think about.

Ben right on as usual.

John, in many communities the lines to go vote were down the street and around the corner. Many of the Elders are not able to stand for that long yet they wouldn't be in a hospital nor many of the disabled either. Many people must work a lot of hours that the polls are open so can only do so on their lunch or after work. If they approach a line that will take hours to get through they can't do it on their lunch, and how long after work should they stand in a line, 6 hours?

I mean some lines were endless, in the cold, in the rain, or here in Florida out in the hot sun. So if they want everyone to vote on one day, with the two exceptions you mention, then I suggest there are a LOT of places to caste your vote so that there isn't ridiculous wait times. Have a shorter seperate line for the disabled and Elders or pregnant women to go through, but until that is done, then we need to have absentee ballots. That I hope all can be verified as Carrie has mentioned.

David C (133)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 8:52 am
thanks, great post.....if we truly wish to remaind the democracy we claim to be then we must maximize the vote........and our government and all citizens should be working to do the same.....

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 2:00 pm
Well, those are nice suggestions. it's just too bad, the Right-wing owned voting machines, with their proprietary software, are already rigged.

Kit B (276)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 2:09 pm

We will many voting booths open and available, why, because this is considered RED country or republican turf, so sure, we have plenty of precincts, and booths. As for those votes being fully and fairly counted, I doubt any one here would ever bring that up for discussion.

In 2008, we had an incredible turn out for the democratic primary, in the many years I have worked to help out during elections, that primary was biggest, the largest turn out. This year was less, but then we just had Obama and many do think that it doesn't need their support till election day. Not true at all.

Anthony Hilbert (6)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 3:20 pm
It is truly amazing to foreigners that the nation that lectures the world about democracy conducts its own polls to a standard that would shame a banana republic. If you ever let in UN observers, most of your elections would be ruled unsafe on purely technical grounds, before they even looked at all the rigging and voter suppression.

Fred Krohn (34)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 3:23 pm
The Dummycrats have been registering dead people since before I could vote. They're the biggest ballot bandits in the business. All in all, I'd prefer to be rid of both major parties and put Independents, Libertarians, and/or Constitutionalists in power to replace them.

marie C (163)
Friday October 5, 2012, 12:22 pm
Noted thanks

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday October 5, 2012, 1:47 pm
So when are the early ballots tabulated...state by state? Are they counted first; or along with the rest on election night, or afterwards only if there is a close contest? We had to go to court here in my town, to ask for the records because of "irregularities." Even then, we were only given partial answers that were unsatisfactory. But, there are time constraints...and if there was fraud due to miscounting, officials can keep the matter in court until time has lapsed.
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