Must-Watch Video for All Who Want Fair Elections

Why is Jill Stein leading the recount effort? Who cares? We had all better get on board, and be damn glad someone hopped on this issue in a timely manner.

An Amy Goodman interview with Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who has requested recounts in three states where Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton, is must-watch video for all who desire to preserve free and fair elections in the USA.

Jill SteinNot because Jill Stein is doing anything that should be regarded as particularly amazing, although it is being regarded as “radical” by some. And that is ridiculous.

Performing recounts should be common, and should be easily granted in the case of close votes, wherever and whenever they may occur. This should not be regarded as a desperate act, or a “partisan game,” or the last throes of a “sore loser,” nor should it be seen as a political gambit at all — recounts should be universal in appeal. It is a basic fundamental part of the process, or ought to be.

If it ceases to be, watch out. Fascism is not far behind.

Whatever you think of Stein, she is doing an incredibly important thing here: she is holding our voting systems accountable. We should ALL be doing that, ALL the time.

It should not take a mini-army of citizens, having to raise millions of dollars and to fight through legal labyrinths, to get a recount in a close election. In fact, it should be automatic.

As Jill Stein says, “There has been obstruction at every turn, including gamesmanship in the courts. Donald Trump, his PACs, the Republican Party have basically created a minefield everywhere that they can, at every possible turn, to create legal hurdles. The cost has been raised to an outrageous price. Wisconsin started at $1.1 million, raised the price to $3.5 million. The idea that … ordinary citizens, in order to have a vote we can be confident in, should have to go out and raise millions and millions of dollars in order to do that is absolutely outrageous.”

Stein talks about a lot of roadblocks being placed in her — OUR — way. (All Americans should be on the side of a recount in a close election, it is not a right/left issue.) She talks about districts where the courts are scheduling recount hearings late, with the delay certain to negate any impact on the election.

She reveals that in all of the places where hand counts are needed the most — in the black and brown, Democratic-leaning, voter areas — manual counting is being denied. They are accepting machine recounts in those areas. I find that quite ironic, being that the most likely place to find discrepancies is exactly there — in the comparison of machine counts vs hand counts of paper ballots.

Jill Stein again: “Now we go to the Supreme Court in the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a kangaroo court, including two judges who were actually on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees. And this really characterizes the whole process. It’s really been very much been an exercise in—you know, in political cronyism throughout. The attorney general, who is also a crony of Donald Trump’s, has also attempted to obstruct the recount.”

This is democracy? I remain convinced that if the people really knew what was going on here, they would not stand for it. But, unfortunately, we live in the age of “fake news*,” and one very sad effect of that is that nobody believes anything they hear. Especially if it challenges their allegiances — they figure it’s just another bunch of malarkey from the other side. But this shit is real, it’s happening in these critically-close-vote states, and, oh by the way, it’s happening all over, and we’d better deal with it.

We need, number one, a proper recount, NOW, in all close states. There is something very fishy going on here with our democracy.

We need, number two, to finally deal with this conveniently (for some) ramshackle voting system, and replace it with an easily verifiable, transparent voting process. That process must include paper ballots, so that there is physical proof of each vote. Relying on machines to record push-button votes and keep them stored digitally, with no receipt of any kind, is just begging for corruption.

And all of us need to put on as much pressure for a recount as possible, NOW.

Thank you for your service, Jill Stein.

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*(There are two kinds of “fake news” — the openly satirical kind, proffered by websites such as ours and by satirical TV shows and magazines, which does not attempt to fool anyone into believing false information — and the other, much more insidious, deliberately misleading kind, proffered by “alt-right” (read:racist) websites, rabid radio hosts and Fox “News.”)

James Israel
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