By Richard Gomez
You would think that something as basic as counting would be easy as 1, 2, 3… but not so when it comes to elections in the United States, especially one for the office of the President. Late in November when everyone seemed to be settled in for the holiday season and the Presidential Election was over, Green party candidate Dr. Jill Stein challenged a recount in three important swing states. A computer specialist suggested to the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that if she disputed the results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania where the vote counts took many strange turns she could flip the results in her favor and take the White House from Donald Trump. Hillary remained silent so Dr. Stein decided to challenge it and won.
She won by proving through a recount in two of these states that the 2016 Presidential Election was rigged in favor of President-elect Donald Trump. State officials used Jim Crow methods to block millions of votes by passing and using laws that disenfranchise voters, including one known as “caging” which uses a program called Interstate Crosscheck. This program claims to prevent double voting, but in fact just takes common last names generally associated with minorities and removes them from the voter rolls. Voting machines that are old and break down are also more common in low-income, non-white areas than in wealthier, whiter precincts. It was not only Republican officials involved since many Democratic Party lawmakers supported these new laws, too. Many thanks should go to independent reporter Greg Palast who reported this and is also responsible for a video which should have served a warning to the vote rigging, called, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.”
Dr. Stein received pressure for her recount efforts from the media, state officials, and her own political party that feared she was being manipulated by the Democrats and others. Both major party candidates had the lowest popularity ratings from voters than ever before as Trump so outwardly showed himself to be despicable, while Hillary, hiding under a media wave of good feelings was able to hide her agenda of more dangerous policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. It is feared that both parties and the media will continue to deny alternative parties their right to compete fairly for political power.
It reads like an old bedtime story except it doesn’t add up. In the end, it was the lawyers and judges that brought the end to the recounts despite the dangers of voter suppression and manipulation. If Trump had no fear of a recount then why fight to stop it? And Hillary, with all the financial and political support she could have called on, why did she shy away like Al Gore in the presidential election of 2000? As competitors, one would think that both Democrats and Republicans would like to show the other side’s criminal mindset to win. Or maybe both have agreed long ago to play this game on the American voters that benefit themselves instead. There are many winners in an election but the American voters obviously don’t count.
Richard Gomez is a council member of the Fresno County Green Party. Contact him at 559-408- 3320, richardgomez136@yahoo. com, firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Green Party Web site (http://FresnoGreens. localgreenparty.org).