Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Jerry Brown, Bull Connor and Republican Governors - or how the Democratic elite suppresses democracy

Bernie Sanders campaign, relying on contributions of ordinary folks - a profound democratic "innovation" among corporate candidates - and coming "out of nowhere" with a decent and clearly stated program, has been a miracle of democracy.  Below Greg Palast spells out part of the rotten California swindle (goes along with New York, Arizona, Massachusetts and many others).  But Palast has a silly paragraph about Bernie (if we had as much to admire about the journalist, he would be in a different league.  Or two-bit cynicism is a part of journalism, except that it clips the journalist's imagination...Nonetheless, this is an instructive investigation of electoral fraud, presided over by the Democratic, not just the Republican apparatus...
It's not some grand conspiracy, but it's grand theft nonetheless. Sen. Bernie Sanders' voters will lose their ballots, their rights, by the tens of thousands.It's not some grand conspiracy, but it's grand theft nonetheless. Sen. Bernie Sanders' voters will lose their ballots, their rights, by the tens of thousands.The steal is baked into the way California handles No Party Preference - "NPP"ters - what we know as "independents."

There are a mind-blowing 4.2 million voters in California registered NPP – and they share a love for sunshine and Bernie Sanders. According to the reliable Golden State poll, among NPP voters, Sen. Sanders whoops Sec. Hillary Clinton by a stunning 40 percentage points.
On the other team, registered Democrats prefer Clinton by a YUGE 30 points. NPP's can vote in the Democratic primary, so, the California primary comes down to a fight between D's and NPP's.
And there's the rub. In some counties like Los Angeles, it's not easy for an NPP to claim their right vote in the Democratic primary – and in other counties, nearly impossible.
Example: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, if you don’t say the magic words, “I want a Democratic crossover ballot,” you are automatically given a ballot without the presidential race. And ready for this, if an NPP voter asks the poll worker, “How do I get to vote in the Democratic party primary, they are instructed to say that, “NPP voters can’t get Democratic ballots.” They are ordered not to breathe a word that the voter can get a “crossover” ballot that includes the presidential race.
I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49:
"A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask)."
They’re not kidding. Poll worker Jeff Lewis filed a description of the training in an official declaration to a federal court:
Someone raised their hand and asked a follow-up question: ‘So, what if someone gets a nonpartisan ballot, notices it doesn't have the presidential candidates on it, and asks you where they are?’ The answer poll workers are instructed to give: ‘Sorry, NPP ballots don't have presidential candidates on them.’ That's correct: even when people ask questions of that nature, obviously intending to vote with a party.
This affidavit, and several even more horrifying, come from Election Justice USA, a non-partisan watchdog, hoping to get injunctions to stop this nonsense. [Hear my talk with the group’s spokesman, Paul Thomas, on a special edition of the The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Elections Crime Bulletin, which I host with Dennis Bernstein on the Pacifica Radio Network.]
Let me throw in another complication. Nearly half of Californians vote by mail, ballots sent to your home automatically. Most NPP voters don’t realize that, to vote in the Democratic primary today, they must bring in their NPP ballot with the envelope, and say these magic words: “I want to surrender my ballot in return for a Democratic ‘crossover’ ballot.”
Got that memorized? Because if you don’t, if you say the wrong syllables, in some counties, you will be denied a Democratic presidential ballot.
Bruce C. Carter is losing his mind over this. I interviewed Carter who arrived in his Black Men for Bernie bus, decorated with a giant image of Bernie’s arrest while demonstrating for civil rights. Carter warns that, If an NPP voter doesn’t say they are “surrendering” their NPP ballot, the clerk can take it and count it, blank, instead of giving the voter a new one.
It gets far worse. There are simply not enough “crossover” ballots printed. If they run out of ballots, Carter his telling voters to demand a recorded vocal vote using the voice recorders set up for the disabled.
Unfortunately, the games hardly end there. Election Justice filed still more declarations with the courts of poll workers being told to give NPP voters “provisional” ballots even if they say the magic words, “I want a crossover Democratic ballot.” As I’ve previously reported, provisional ballots are “placebo” ballots that let you feel like you’ve voted, but you haven’t. Provisional ballots are generally discarded.
Minutes ago I got a note from NPP voter Olga Martinez in Contra Costa County where she was told she must take a “provisional” ballot. She heard our reports and demanded the Democratic ballot and got it. ML King told us, you don’t get your rights unless you demand them.
And this note just came in minutes ago from my KPFK co-host, Cary Harrison.
“I am in West Hollywood and was just denied voting twice! I’m NPP. I do not even appear on the voting rolls nor does my STREET on the voting rolls. Voting suppression is in full swing.”
Cary just called. He drove to a new precinct as directed: and was again denied a ballot.
And dig this: Some counties are demanding that some of the first-time voters show official voter ID—as if California is now New Alabama. New voters are, in the main, the young Sanders supporters who are now finding out what it’s like to be treated as if they’ve turned Black.
There is no evidence this ‘Grand Theft Voto’ is part of a massive scheme by Hillary supporters to swipe the election. The voting system is run mostly by the Democratic Party which is totally in Hillary’s pocket. So while the establishment party officials know of the absurd impediments to voting, they see no reason to solve these problems because it doesn’t harm “their” voters.
Most of this procedural nonsense, like the need to surrender an NPP ballot with an envelope and request a “crossover” ballot – well, frankly, Bernie’s campaign has known about that all year.
The Sanders campaign was spending time talking policy at giant rallies instead of educating their voters on how to vote. In the rat maze called the American voting system, the painfully amateur Sanders campaign never provided a vote-guiding map.
I don’t believe Clinton booster Governor Jerry Brown intended to play Bull Connor. Nevertheless, Brown and the Democratic establishment’s mad hunger to see their candidate wrap up the nomination, has led them to turn a blind eye to a catastrophe for our democracy.
And here is an LA Times account of what everyone, but mostly Sanders voters, faced in Los Angeles:

'It was just chaos': Broken machines, incomplete voter rolls leave some wondering whether their votes will count

California voters faced a tough time at
the polls Tuesday, with many voters saying
they have encountered broken machines,
 polling sites that opened late and
incomplete voter rolls, particularly
 in Los Angeles County.
The result? Instead of a quick in-and-out
vote, many California voters were
handed the dreaded pink provisional
ballot — which takes longer to fill out,
longer for election officials to verify and which
 tends to leave voters wondering
 whether their votes will be counted.
This year’s presidential primary race has
already been one of the most bitter
in recent memory. Before Tuesday’s vote,
Bernie Sanders supporters accused the
media of depressing Democratic turnout by
 calling the nomination for
Hillary Clinton before polls opened in California.
Those feelings haven’t gotten any less
raw Tuesday as hundreds of
Californians complained of voting
problems to the national nonpartisan
voter hotline run by the Lawyers’
Committee For Civil Rights Under Law.

What happened when my cousin @brandollars tried to vote: broken machine, 62 pages of voter roll missing 

It’s difficult to get a sense for how widespread the problems are or how they compare to recent elections. But experts said the culprit for Tuesday’s voting problems seems to be a confluence of factors — old voting machines, a competitive election that has drawn new voters, plus complex state voting laws that can be hard for poll volunteers and voters to follow.

“Presidential primary elections in
California are the hardest elections of all. …
This election reminds me of 2008 in
that regard,” said Kim Alexander,
president of the nonpartisan California
Voter Foundation. “Our voter
registration deadline is 15 days before
election day, and that gives all the
counties, and especially L.A. County,
very little time to get their polling
place rosters updated with all the voters.”
When Sanders supporter Brandon
Silverman, 29, showed up at his
polling station in Echo Park at
8:15 a.m., he said poll workers
 immediately handed him a
 provisional ballot, explaining that their
machine wasn’t working yet. The full
list of voters’ names for the
precincts also seemed to be missing.
Silverman, an assistant television editor,
quickly called a Sanders voter
hotline and L.A. County voting officials.
About 45 minutes later, the
problems seemed to be resolved
and he was able to cast a regular ballot,
he said. But the chaos shook his
confidence in the fairness of the
electoral process a little, especially after
hearing other precincts and
states struggle with voting problems this year.
“I tend to agree with most of the
Bernie supporters who are disappointed
 in the media’s handling of the
 superdelegate counts, but I tend to shy
away from the people saying it’s
‘stolen’ or ‘rigged,’” Silverman said. “I’d
like to not think the worst, but at a
certain point you think, is it a coincidence?” 
In Bell, Albert Grey showed up at his
polling site Tuesday morning to
 find that the vote-counting machine
seemed to be jammed, and there
didn’t seem to be a supervisor on site.
 So he left without voting.
“I still have my ballot, I’m going
to go back, see if the machine is
working, and if it is, I’m going to
vote,” Grey said.
On social media, many California
voters reported showing up to their
 polling sites only to find that their
names were not listed on the voting
rolls, leaving them to cast a provisional ballot. 
Sanders supporter Jonathan Daniel
Brown accused Democrats of
“purging votes” when he discovered he
was not on the voting rolls at
 his polling station despite being registered.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

   The Democrats are purging votes. Showed up to my usual spot & I'm not on roll! 
Brown, an actor, refused to take a
provisional ballot, and his complaints
drew the attention of Los Angeles
County Registrar-County Clerk Dean
Logan, who intervened. Eventually,
Brown said he was allowed to cast a
regular ballot — though not before Brown
 said a poll worker called the
 police on him.

View image on Twitter

It only took four hours and I had the cops called on me, but... 

Los Angeles County’s 4,700 polling
 locations have to handle rosters
 for 4.9-million voters. The process
can be complicated as many of the
voters on those rosters can register
or switch their party preferences
up to 15 days before the election.
In an interview with The Times,
Logan said there were some instances
where supplemental rosters of new
voters didn’t seem to make it to
the polls on time, and so voters have
gotten frustrated with having to
take provisional ballots.
“There’s no doubt there’s an emotional
element to this,” Logan
 said, alluding to the passions around
the presidential campaign. “It
is very unusual in California that we
have candidates for president
who are here the day before an election.”
Although some voters hesitate to take
provisional ballots because they aren’t 
counted immediately, about 85 to 90% of
provisional ballots are typically found to be
legitimate and are counted 
toward the final, official vote, Logan said.
“We look at every one of those ballots,” Logan
said. If a ballot is legitimate, he 
said, “Then that ballot does get counted.”

Writer Allison Bloom, 41, took her kids with her
when she went to vote at the Kahal Joseph C
ongregation synagogue in 
Westwood on Tuesday morning.
“I wanted to show them what voting means,” Bloom said.
But when she arrived, 
she said workers couldn’t boot up the vote-counting
machine. Bloom left behind 
her ballot, with a worker promising it would be counted.
Bloom said her kids asked, “Is this what it’s always like?”
“It was just chaos,” Bloom said. “It was kind of an
unfortunate first experience at the polls for them.”

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