July 09, 2004

U.N. Gearing Up To Deploy U.S. Election Observers

Global Body To Ensure A Fair Vote, Kerry Victory

NEW YORK (Rhodes Media Services) -- Following a recent request by nine Congressional members asking the U.N. to deploy election observers for the upcoming 2004 Presidential election, the U.N. has sent a specialized group of election observers to oversee the event and ensure the American public gets it right this time.

Arriving at New York's LaGuardia airport today, the first batch of U.N. election observers, armed with the latest in top-of-the-line observing equipment and sporting extra-strong squinting muscles, looked poised and confident that they would succeed where the U.S. voters failed four years before.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who spearheaded the push for U.N. involvement, said she felt incredibly relieved that the U.S. election was being overseen by an unelected world body with a storied history of corruption and mishandling of world affairs.

"Four years ago this country experienced a fiasco of an election," said Johnson. "What better body to have observe this year's election than the U.N., which knows all about fiascos. They'll make sure Americans get it right this time. They'll make sure that Kerry wins. . . whoops, I mean, they'll make sure voting rights are secure."

Posted by Ryan at July 9, 2004 02:56 PM

So Ryan, could you explain to me again how you think the Florida vote wasn't tampered with? I know you told me about a year ago, but my opinion of you has gotten so much higher since then that I think I'm just blocking out the whole incident so I can continue to think well of you.

And, just to give you something to aim at here, I'm talking about:

1. Katherine Harris's possible conflict of interest as Bush's Florida campaign manager and Secretary of State for the State of Florida (the person in charge of scrubbing felons from the voter rolls).

2. Choicepoint/DBT's scrub list of more than 50,000 eligible Florida voters, most of whom were Democrats and more than half of whom were African Americans (who have a record of voting overwhelmingly Democratic in Florida).

3. Possible conflict of interest and malfeasance on the part of Choicepoint/DBT with regard to state contracts and fees for services provided to the state of Florida.

Particular emphasis on #2, if you please. And if you could do some research on this instead of just snapping off a "consider the source", that would be nice.

The systematic and illegal disenfranchisement of African American voters.

Posted by: Joshua at July 9, 2004 03:50 PM

Whoops. Had some kind of cut and paste echo there at the end. Don't mind that last line. It's covered in #2.

Posted by: Joshua at July 9, 2004 03:51 PM

Great. I'm on my way out the door, and I think "I'll just quick check my blog before going into the weekend." Great idea, Ryan.

Anyway, an in-depth and researched reply will have to wait until I get back from the Cities this weekend.

But. I notice you make no mention of all those oversees and military ballots that the Gore team worked to block, and the maddening cherry-picking of counties Gore tried to recount. There was some shifty shit going on on both sides, and this is coming from a guy who voted for Gore.

There's some interesting stuff here, although I think you have to consider the source, as they say, and I'm not sure what the Fraud Factor "source" here actually is: http://www.fraudfactor.com/fffl2kpreselection.html

Again, consider the source here: http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/election2k/pbc_tampering.htm

This from the Washington Post, although it's pretty old: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A99749-2001May30

No one has proven intent to disenfranchise any group of voters, but the snafus have fueled a widespread perception among blacks that an effort was made to dilute their voting power in an election

More recent:


Shit, and here I wasn't going to respond in such a lengthy fashion.

Posted by: Ryan at July 9, 2004 04:27 PM

Oh, and all of this doesn't change my opinion that the idea of bringing in U.N. election observers is about as un-Constitutional as you can get, and is horrifying coming from the mouth of a freakin' member of Congress. "Oh, why, yes U.N., we'd love to suspend our national sovereignty. Here are the keys. Clean up when you're done." It's enough to make me want to run for Congress.

Posted by: Ryan at July 9, 2004 04:32 PM

O.K. So now I know better and will read your posts more closely the first time through.

After skimming the headline and the first paragraph and getting up to check on dinner, I was halfway through mentally composing a 4 alarm rant.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at July 9, 2004 05:44 PM

Okay. I'll start with http://www.florida2000election.com/more/Myths.htm:

There's no evidence of systematic disenfranchisement of black voters.

On the contrary. There is an abundance of evidence of systematic disenfranchisement of black voters. None of it is conclusive beyond a reasonable doubt, or someone would be in jail over this. But this claim of "no evidence" is patently untrue. See below.

The myth of a nefarious plot to thwart black voters from casting ballots is wholly unsupported by the evidence. Inconvenience, bureaucratic errors, and inefficiencies were indeed pervasive. But these problems don't rise to the level of invidious discrimination…

A process of removing voters from the rolls that targets African Americans at a rate greater than their proportion of the general population is, by definition, discriminatory. Whether or not one chooses to regard such discrimination as invidious or not is, I suppose, a matter of personal taste.

The list was inaccurate; it included people who shouldn't have been on it. Thus, the myth holds that the purge list was somehow a tool to deny blacks the right to vote.

That's cute. Kind of like saying "Ted Bundy killed people; he kidnapped them, took them to remote locations, and hacked them to pieces. Thus, the myth holds that he was somehow a psychopathic murderer." This guy's funny. He's not actually lying. He's just flatly refusing to tell the truth.

But facts are stubborn things. Whites were actually twice as likely as blacks to be erroneously placed on the list.

Yeah yeah, facts are stubborn things. So's common sense. Dick-breath here says that whites were twice as likely as blacks to be erroneously placed on the list. So that means that, for example, for every 30 Blacks who were placed on that list, you've got 60 Whites placed on the list. Right?

That doesn't refute the claim of discrimination in any way. According to the U.S. census bureau, the population of Florida is 15% African American and 78% White. I believe the proportions are approximately equivalent within the electorate. That means there's 5 times as many White people as there are Black. Not twice as many. Five times as many. So Black people were being scrubbed off the voting rolls at a rate of about 2.5 times their occurrence within the population at large.

93% of African Americans in Florida voted for Gore.

Does that prove that there was intent to disenfranchise Florida's African American voters? No. It doesn't prove it. But a reasonable person can look at a state where the governor is George W. Bush's brother, and the secretary of state sets the parameters of a purge of voter rolls that targets African Americans, who voted 93% against Bush, at a rate of about 2.5 times their occurrence in the general population— a reasonable person can look at that and draw some reasonable conclusions about what happened.

Katherine Harris specifically requested the addition of parameters to the DBT purge list that expanded the list to target a disproportionate number of African Americans.

Now then, moving on to the Washington Post piece:

The impact of the botched felon purge fell disproportionately on black Floridians and, by extension, on the Democratic Party, which won the votes of 9 out of every 10 African American voters, according to exit polls.

No one has proven intent to disenfranchise any group of voters, but the snafus have fueled a widespread perception among blacks that an effort was made to dilute their voting power in an election that George W. Bush won by 537 votes -- a victory margin of 0.00009 of the 5.9 million votes counted.

Here again— this doesn't refute the point. What it says is that the point hasn't been proven. Which I'll grant. But, again, I think a reasonable person can draw a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence to hand.

Did George W. Bush win the popular vote? No. Did he win the electoral vote? Evidently not. Did Congress vote him into office? No, the Supreme Court ruled the Florida count final. Is that within the power of the Supreme Court? No.

I have to get out of the office for the weekend too. I'll hit this Fraud Factor thing later.

Posted by: Joshua at July 9, 2004 07:51 PM

And yes, I thought of the math error yesterday, about 20 minutes after I left work. The point still stands.

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