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January 31st, 2008
GUEST COLUMN: Americans must guard against fraudulent elections

By PETER STERN

Americans need only look to Haiti to be reminded of what power politics and voter fraud can do to a nation. Voter fraud is an issue that should not be taken lightly. Any incidence of fraudulent activity requires firm and swift justice—for any individual, up to and including the President of the United States.

Are they isolated incidents throughout the nation, or is voter fraud a way of life in American politics? Currently many Americans may feel that the complaints of voter fraud mostly are the products of “poor loser” democrats and liberals.

In year 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore all but directly accused George W. Bush of perpetrating voter fraud to win the election. What happened to those charges? Abruptly, Gore dropped his charges and slinked out of sight from the political arena — at least for a while. During the 2004 presidential elections, many states may have been directly or indirectly involved in various forms of voter fraud. Voter fraud is a real issue.

Currently many attorney generals of various states — e.g., Texas, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico—are uncovering more than casual and/or accidental occurrences of voter fraud and questionable voting machine integrity. This should be an eye-opener for American voters and a red flag for Congress regarding the integrity of our entire political system.

Immense power and greed breeds large-scale corruption, which unfortunately appears to be an intrinsic human weakness. In the case of a nation’s political agenda, it inevitably could cause the ruination of that country. During the past 200 years the small island nation of Haiti has remained the prime example of political chaos, economic turmoil and residential unrest. Last year it again was besieged by voter fraud in its national elections. According to an February 2007 editorial in the Washington Times:

“Yesterday, U.N. officials found hundreds of smashed ballot boxes and empty vote bags in a dumpster outside Port-au-Prince — all but confirming suspicions of fraud in the Feb. 7 presidential election. Rioters are in the streets.”

Haiti remains one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere and the primary cause may be traced to it’s historically cruel and corrupt politics. The “smashed ballot boxes and empty vote bags” found by UN officials in dumpsters underlines the evidence of fraud running rampant in a nation that is stuck in an ongoing political quagmire.

Every 20 years or so the US and other nations reluctantly determine to intervene in Haiti’s political mishaps, trying to sort out some semblance of decency and status-quo in an endlessly tyrannical and corroding political, social and economic system. The people of Haiti desperately are in need of real leadership. Generations of poverty and disruptive political influences have left Haiti a nation under perpetual siege. Haiti is the “poster nation” of corrupt political despotism for all other nations in the world to see and learn from.

Americans need only look to Haiti to be reminded of what power politics and voter fraud blatantly can do to a nation. Contrary to belief, voter fraud is not a new event here in America. History texts tell us that during the 1800’s even the great gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe, was involved in fraudulent voting. Apparently Poe needed money and was inclined to work for unscrupulous individuals who paid the writer and others to vote illegally. Lists were distributed of the names of dead persons who were still registered as voters. Individuals were paid for every vote placed in the name of a dead person. Voter fraud has had a long life in America’s history, though perhaps not highly publicized.

Americans need to learn from Haitian politics—quickly! Voter fraud is an issue that should not be taken lightly. Any incidence of fraudulent activity requires firm and swift justice—and that punishment must be for any individual, up to and including the President of the United States. To negate and/or divert attention from this issue, ensures that one day soon America may rival Haiti’s corrupt politics, social upheaval, and economic oppression.

PETER STERN, a Driftwood resident, blogs on national, state and local politics and government.

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5 thoughts on “GUEST COLUMN: Americans must guard against fraudulent elections

  1. America already rivals Haiti’s corruption in politics – albeit more sophisticated. Election fraud is not only something we should guard against, it is something that is happening now and needs to be addressed. It has happened in the primaries already and will continue to happen throughout this election cycle as long as voting machines are used.

    Read some of the articles on http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ to see cases. A return to paper ballots will not eliminate voter fraud, but will make it a darn sight easier to spot.

  2. This kind of “American First” thought process harkens back to McCarthy and those that used the mantle of the American flag to embrace racism. Sure there will be some irregularities just as a very small percentage of the clergy will abuse the trust of the flock, but we do not see over broad measures throw out the baby with the bath water. I have spoken to many elderly who no longer drive, do not have a pass port and let there ID lapse and guess what you have just disenfranchised grand ma and grand pa. The proposed laws allow for no quarter. There is simply no need for more draconian laws that serve no purpose other than to advance darker hidden agendas. Funny thing about both drugs and illegal immigration, if there were no demand it would not happen. So if this really is a problem why not deal with it intelligently via a guest worker program?

  3. David, I did NOT mention anything about the voter ID issue, which is a small part of the whole fraud issue.

    More important is the question of voting machine integrity.

    Voter fraud is NOT only relating to illegal immigrants. It is much more than that.

    And Eric, a paper ballot is NOT the solution. As I previously mentioned, voter fraud has been “an American tradition” for more than 1 century. Didn’t they use paper ballots during that time? Still had voter fraud.

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