We heard Donald Trump pissing and moaning all fall about the election being rigged, and maybe it was, but not against him. It’s a classic case of projection — the psychological term wherein one accuses another of what the one is doing. Often it’s unconscious, but not this time. By bringing it up again and again, it put a certain narrative in the public consciousness. If he won, then we guess it wasn’t rigged after all. It was done in several ways, and I’ll lay out some facts and figures. You can make up your own mind.
Crucially, it was the first presidential election since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, the general sentiment being that well, we’re past racism now so we don’t need this anymore. Wrong! Most Republican-controlled states immediately began passing Voter ID laws specifically designed to affect demographics which traditionally vote Democrat; minorities, students, the elderly. One federal judge who struck down North Carolina’s version of the law said “African-Americans were targeted with almost surgical precision.” Many states then closed down several DMV centers in certain (mostly black) areas, further adding difficulty to the process of getting proper ID.
There are numerous schemes for removing “certain people” from the voting rolls. One is called voter caging. Mass mailings are sent to registered voters via non-forwardable mail, with a message to mail back to confirm address, and many people don’t return them. Whites are 21% more likely to return the card, and homeowners are 32% more likely than renters to return the card. They can then be scrubbed as inactive. In 2000 an even more reliable scheme emerged: the State of Texas (the Republican candidate Bush’s home state) sent a list of between 60,000 and 80,000 black men to Katherine Harris, Florida’s Secretary of State (where Jeb Bush, the candidate’s brother. was currently Governor). Any registered Florida voters who matched the first and last names (middle names were largely ignored) were removed from Florida’s voter lists, tens of thousands of them. Bush supposedly won Florida by 517 votes when the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the recount (the next year a New York Times sponsored recount showed Gore winning).
Last year Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach refined the system. It was named the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, had over 7 million names, and was distributed to a dozen Republican-controlled states. Ostensibly to catch people voting in two or more states, it lists names likely to be minorities. A last name like Washington has an 80% chance of being black, Gonzalez 84% chance of being Hispanic, Kim over 90% chance of being Asian. Middle names or initials, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers are often not included. So Jose Gabriel Hernandez of Palo Alto, CA and Jose Angel Hernandez of Coral Gables, FL are obviously not the same person, but they can both be disenfranchised for voting in two different states. Voter fraud is a federal crime with both fine and imprisonment, but where was news of arrests after these people were turned in? They weren’t turned in because that would have exposed the election fraud.
Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, told McClatchey News that groups monitoring the election documented “beyond doubt that voter suppression and a conscious effort to shave off 1-2% of the vote in key states, in all likelihood influenced the outcome of this election.” Of course an election has to be close enough to be stolen, and Hillary accomplished that by being the weakest in a long line of weak Democratic presidential candidates (Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis).
Millions of voters went to the polls on Nov. 8th not knowing they’d been caged or purged. When their names don’t appear on the list, they were told they could fill out a provisional ballot. These are placebo ballots, and are rarely if ever counted. Greg Palast (Billionaires and Ballot Bandits) is an investigative journalist who has been tracking various forms of election fraud for decades. In an article in Rolling Stone, He examined results in close states and compared them to Crosscheck purge lists for that state. In Michigan Trump won by only 13,107 votes, and the Crosscheck list for Michigan was 449,922. In Arizona he won by 85,257 and the purge list was 270,824 names. In North Carolina he won by 177,028 votes and the purge list was 589,393. We have no way of knowing how many voters were purged from these lists. Hell, we have no way to know if our own vote was counted at all, let alone counted accurately. I haven’t even gotten into the privately-owned electronic voting machines with proprietary software that can’t be inspected by federal election officials. They are easily hackable (go to www.blackboxvoting.org for demonstrations). Say you voted, got a receipt verifying that vote, and go home, and half an hour after the polls close a program kicks in and flips every 8th Democratic vote. We just don’t know. If you voted absentee, your ballots were tabulated by those same machines. But we just can’t know what, if anything, is going on. The important thing is we’re not supposed to know.
Gee, all the polls were way off, generally predicting Hillary by around 4%. The above explains the discrepancy pretty well, I’d say. But there is another method of determining the outcome of an election before all the votes are counted, and it’s used in every developed country — exit polls. They’re uncannily accurate, nearly always within a percentage point. In fact, in 2007 the U.S., as an international observer, refused to validate the Ukranian election because of wide discrepancy in results vs. exit polls. In the U.S. such differences began appearing in exit polls around 2000. Republicans were getting 4-5% more votes than the exit polls showed, and the term “red-shift” became something more than a term used by astronomers to describe the recession of galaxies. Florida exit polls showed Hillary winning by 4%, but the vote count had Trump winning by 1.3%. In Pennsylvania exit polls had Hillary by 4.4%, but Trump won by 1.1%. In Wisconsin it was Hillary by 3.9% but Trump won by .9%.
Then on Oct. 28, eleven days before the election, FBI Director James Comey announced they’d found more Hillary-connected emails. He broke long-standing protocols against a federal agency inserting itself into election politics that close to a presidential election. Next, we learned there were a large number of FBI agents hostile to her, one current agent describing it as “Trumpland.” Was it their leaks that prompted Comey’s announcement so it didn’t look as if the FBI was hiding something?
Then there are the Russians. We know they are the ones who hacked the DNC last summer, then WikiLeaks leaked the info that the DNC had been in the bag for Hillary from day one. Trump even invited them, on live TV, to hack Hillary’s emails! On Thurs, Nov. 10, NSA chief Admiral Mike Rogers was being interviewed on a cable news station. When asked about the WikiLeaks releases, he said that Russia “directly intervened in the U.S. election to obtain a desired effect. . . This was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect. This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected arbitrarily.” On the same day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov admitted they had been in contact with Trump’s people during the campaign. Where the hell were James Comey and the FBI then? IF an announcement were to made just before the election, this was it!
The media narrative showed the voter turnout at about 57%, not that far from 2008 or 2012. But for all we know, if all the votes had been counted it could have been 70%. With everything you’ve read, if you want to believe that a man (using the term loosely) with an unfavorable rating of 58.5% fairly won this election, then be my guest.
We have been the victims of a carefully planned and orchestrated Right-wing coup, and now the fascists are in power. History shows us that once in power, these people don’t give it back, at least not without a lot of bloodshed. Of course I would never advocate violence. But if the outcome of all this is the rise of a brutal police state, don’t say I didn’t warn you. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to take a few courses in Russian. It could give you an edge.