ASSOCIATION OF STATE GREEN PARTIES
British media investigations confirm
the stolen US election in 2000.
Greens blame both Democrats and Republicans for rules designed to block voters, especially African Americans and the poor.
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
1. WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Reports from the British media have confirmed the extent of election engineering and voter disenfranchisement in Florida in 2000, resulting in the victory of George W. Bush in the presidential campaign.
Investigations by BBC's Newsnight and The Guardian (reported on Saturday, February 17) exposed how errors and manipulation by Database Technologies (DBT) eliminated thousands of voters from the Florida rolls, especially African Americans whose votes would have gone to Al Gore. The Guardian article is excerpted below.
The Green Party has insisted that errors and manipulation aren't the only assaults on voting rights, but that voting rules in some states -- regardless of miscounts, erroneous elimination of votes, and other failures and corruption of the system -- are designed to swing elections.
Greens continue to demand that states like Florida abolish disenfranchisement of convicted felons, especially those who have served their sentences. These policies exist for the very purpose of blocking the votes of African Americans, other people of color, immigrants, and the poor, all of whom are disproportionately incarcerated.
Democrats as well as Republicans are responsible for enacting and maintaining these rules. More people were imprisoned under Bill Clinton than under the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations combined. Al Gore was conspicuously silent about voter disenfranchisement in the wake of the Florida debacle.
Bipartisan support for the War on Drugs ensures that thousands of Americans get convicted every year on felony charges for minor, nonviolent offenses and lose their voting rights. De facto obstruction of voting rights has replaced the de jure obstruction prevalent in many states before the civil rights movement.
The Green Party, like other third parties, faced and fought engineered election policies throughout 2000, especially prohibitive ballot access laws designed to hinder third parties, and the barring of Green candidate Ralph Nader from the national debates, which are strictly controlled by a commission owned and run by the Democratic and Republican Parties.
Thousands of Greens helped organize and joined the Inauguration Day protests on January 21. A lawsuit undertaken by Mr. Nader against the Commission on Presidential Debates is now pending in a Boston court.
2. From The Guardian:
"Information supplied by... DatabaseTechnologies (DBT), led to tens of thousands of Floridians being removed from the electoral roll on the grounds that they had felonies on their records. However, a Guardian investigation in December confirmed by Newsnight found that the list was riddled with mistakes that led to thousands of voters - a disproportionate number of them black - being wrongly disenfranchised....
Moreover the Florida state government, where Mr Bush's brother Jeb is governor, did nothing to correct the errors, and may have encouraged them. Under DBT's contract, seen by Newsnight, the company was obliged to check its data by 'manual verification using telephone calls and statistical sampling'. DBT was paid $4.3m for its purge of the voters' roll, but company officials confirmed that they did not call voters they had included on their list to check if they had identified the right person.
James Lee, a vice-president of ChoicePoint, which bought DBT last May, said: 'Florida law prevents names from being removed from the voting roll unless the information is confirmed by local officials - not us.' But he told Newsnight that the Florida state government made it clear that it 'wanted there to be more names than were actually verified as being a convicted felon'.
Blacks make up about 15% of the overall Florida population, but half the state's prison population, so the errors tended to erase their names disproportionately from the electoral roll. State officials have denied it was their responsibility to check the felons list, arguing that it was the duty of the individual counties. A few counties found it was so full of mistakes that they dumped the list altogether. Some sent out warning letters to the people who had been stripped of their voting rights, putting the burden on them to appeal. But most simply accepted the flawed list, and removed thousands of names from the rolls.
The civil rights commission was due to question Choice Point executives yesterday about their role. One commissioner, Christopher Edley, said: 'There is a lot of public concern that the contractor who was selected to do this is a firm that seems to have ties to the Republican party'...DBT was hired, in part, to comb through computerised records around the country to identify former felons registered to vote in Florida. After wrongly identifying 8,000 Florida voters with Texas misdemeanor records as felons, it supplied a revised list of 57,770 'possible felons' to Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris.
The list was full of mistakes mainly because of the criteria DBT used. It compared its list of felons with the Florida voting rolls by looking for a rough match between the names and dates of birth. Thus, a Christine Smith could have been disqualified if there had been a Christopher Smith of the same age with a felony record somewhere in the US. DBT also used race as a matching criterion, skewing the impact of the errors even more against black voters, of whom nine in ten 10 voted for Mr. Gore"...
-- "Inquiry into new claims of poll
abuses in Florida" by Julian Borger in Washington and Gregory Palast,
in The Guardian, Saturday February 17, 2001