In a historical breakthrough, the U.S. Department of Justice appointed U.S. attorneys to investigate “election fraud” in Ohio and the nation.
  In a surprise move a day prior to Election Day, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart designated three election officials to investigate voter suppression and “election fraud’ in Ohio.
  “It’s our duty to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation, or fraud in the election process,” U.S. Attorney Stewart said.
  Stewart’s press release specifically referenced “altering vote tallies” and “actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them…”
  “Both protecting the right to vote and combating election fraud are essential to maintaining the confidence of all Americans in our democratic system of government,” Stewart said. “We encourage anyone who has information suggesting voting discrimination or ballot fraud to contact the appropriate authorities.”

 The Ohio Greens may get knocked down – but they get up again! After being strategically eliminated from the ballot earlier this year, along with other minor political parties, the Ohio Green Party emerged as the only alternative to the two major parties this fall. Anita Rios and Bob Fitrakis earned ballot status for Governor and Lt. Governor with a primary write-in campaign. For the first time, at least for an Ohio Green Party candidate, Rios was invited to have a solo speaking gig at the Columbus Metropolitan Club and to participate in a debate with her opponents at the Cleveland Club (only Democrat Ed Fitzgerald opted to show up, of course).
  The Greens desperately needed 2 percent of the vote in their gubernatorial race to maintain official party status – and were polling 4 percent on the Sunday before Election Day, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
  Then the unprecedented happened. Rios and Fitrakis got 3.3 percent – nearly 100,000 votes statewide. In five Ohio counties, the Greens polled more than 4 percent of the total vote: Athens County with the highest - 6.52, Franklin County - 4.53, Cuyahoga County - 4.28, Portage County - 4.4 and Meigs County - 4.3.
  Rios’ vote total is not only the highest in Ohio for a progressive left-wing party in the post-war era. It also represents the highest total for any third political party on the Ohio ballot in terms of overall votes and percentage. Usually these types of numbers indicate the rise of mass discontent with the status quo.
  Other Green candidates in the state did well. Green congressional candidates earned over 2 percent, with Bob Hart (12th District) at 4.11 percent and Dennis Lambert (6th District) at 3.17 percent. Ohio House representative Elaine Mas (64th District) got an impressive 6.04 percent. Even Franklin County Domestic Court Judge candidate Eddie Pfau took in over 5 percent of the vote.
  Nationwide, 27 Green Party candidates won their elections. California led the way, with two mayoral and several City Council victories. Greens were also elected in Maine and Oregon. Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for New York governor made history with 175,000 votes (5 percent) establishing the Greens as a major party in that state. Overall, the Greens now have ballot status in 19 states.

Issue victories

GMOs: Overcoming opposition from the likes of Monsanto and Dow AgriSciences, Maui voters elected to ban Genetically-Modified Organism (GMO) farming. The initiative barely passed at 50-48 percent.

Fracking: Citizens voted overwhelmingly to ban fracking In Athens, Ohio. The ban already passed in Ohio cities Yellow Springs, Oberlin, Mansfield and Broadview Heights. Fracking bans also succeeded in the California counties of San Benito and Mendocino, and, surprisingly, Denton, Texas. Voters will have to try again in Kent, Gates Wills and Youngstown, Ohio, where the ban failed this time around.

Marijuana: Pot smokers in Oregon may relax (even more) now that the state has joined Colorado and Washington in legalizing recreational marijuana. Washington D.C. residents will be able to grow and possess marijuana. Also, Alaska legalized possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana. Decriminalization of marijuana efforts passed across the country, from New Mexico to Michigan to Massachusetts. See Mary Jane Borden’s article in this issue for an update on how legalization petitioning is going in Ohio.

Women: After all are sworn in, the United States will have 100 women in Congress for the first time in history. North Carolina’s Alma Adams became the 100th female member of Congress in a special election. Currently, there are 79 women in the U.S. House of Representatives and 20 in the U.S. Senate. Also of note, Mia Love became the first black Republican woman elected in Congress in Utah’s 4th district; Gina Raimondo will be the first female governor of Rhode Island; and Maura Healey was elected as the first openly gay state attorney general in Massaschusetts.

Soda tax: Berkeley, California became the first U.S. city to pass a soda tax – defeating the $1.7 million beverage industry opposition. Prices on soda with added sugar will increase by one cent per ounce.

Plastic bags: It didn’t happen on Election Day, but it’s worth noting that California passed a statewide ban on plastic bags in October. According to The Dispatch, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is also considering a ban or fee on plastic bags, since they aren’t biodegradable and Rumpke doesn’t recycle them. Stay tuned on future local developments.


  Ohio and the United States continue to allow massive voter repression and private partisan for-profit companies to secretly program its electronic voting software. As in the year 2000, this year’s Election Day was marred by the widespread disenfranchisement of black, Latino, poor, elderly and young voters.

Machine vote flipping

  Once again, the partisan for profit companies that secretly program voting software managed to produce vote-flipping in Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina. In Virginia, the flipping was reported going both ways from Dems to Republicans.

Computer voting problems

  Another documented problem centered around voting machine company Election Systems & Software (ES&S) Opti-scan machines in Stoughton, Wisconsin, counting only 16 of 5,350 ballots. In Ohio, 90,000 ballots remain uncounted from similar Opti-scan machines from the 2004 presidential election.

  Also in Toledo, Ohio, the entire Precincts 15C and 15F at Bowsher High School lost electricity on Election Day taking out the computer voting machines. The power went out about 3:15pm and election officials switched to paper ballots.  

Registration stripping

  Prior to the election, hundreds of thousands of voters were stripped of their right to vote. Greg Palast reported that millions of voters were at risk in 20 states due to a dubious “duplication” list called “Interstate Crosscheck.” This is simply a repeat of the notorious software Choicepoint used in Florida’s 2000 presidential election. Citizens are purged from the voting rolls because they have a same or similar name as a citizen in another state or the same date of birth, but not the year, making it appear they registered to vote in two states. In Ohio, the Secretary of State sent directives to all counties urging them to purge the voting names of any duplicates within 30 days.

Photo ID laws
  Texas’ infamous voter ID law leads the new racist Jim Crow practice of voter suppression. If you were a college student with a photo ID and your address at a public university in Texas, you would not be allowed to vote because it would not be recognized as a valid form of ID. However, if you had your gun permit, you were allowed to vote. College students tend to vote disproportionately Democrat and concealed carry advocating gun owners tend to vote Republican.
  Also the state of Alabama barred the use of public housing IDs issued by the government. In Ohio, Green Party Congressional candidate Bob Hart, a former Assistant Attorney General, was asked to produce a photo ID when he voted. Ohio does not require photo IDs. Numerous reports of this type of pollworker error were reported in the state.

Red shift
  As in past elections in this century, a discernable “red shift” on Election Day occurred. Republicans nearly universally tend to do better in the Election Day vote than predicted. This happened in almost all of the contested U.S. Senate elections where the candidates won by 4 percent more than predicted by polls and 3.4 percent in contested gubernatorial elections. In Ohio, for example, the usually accurate Columbus Dispatch poll results predicted that the five Republican statewide office candidates would get 4 percent less than their actual vote. Governor John Kasich got 3 percent more than expected, Secretary of State Jon Husted 4 percent more, and State Treasurer Josh Mandel got 7 percent more.

Custom software patches
  In Ohio, as reported by The Free Press, Secretary of State Jon Husted had custom software patches placed on 63 out of 88 central tabulators. The patches were supposed to provide precinct level vote totals from the major urban counties and key Republican strongholds as frequently as every 15 minutes, according to Husted, for the media to obtain immediate election results. The controversial voting machine company ES&S installed the patches. After the threat of a lawsuit by The Free Press and Ohio Green Party, Husted issued a new directive canceling the requirement for precinct level data to be released. But the patches with the ability to provide data only to Husted remained in place.

Electronic pollbooks
  ES&S in Ohio also developed highly vulnerable electronic pollbooks that could be easily accessed wirelessly. The pollbooks are maintained in most Ohio counties by a well-known right-wing Republican company, Triad. Triad was famous for its involvement with the discredited “butterfly ballot” in the Florida 2000 election.

Nationwide electronic computer vulnerabilities
  In a recent article, The Free Press documented that Scytl with its subsidiary SOE has the tools and means to steal elections. Scytl and SOE are involved with nearly every aspect of voting from counting and delivering overseas votes to developing and maintain electronic pollbooks in several states. The company has extensive ties to the intelligence community. See “Scytl has all the tools it needs for election fraud” at

  As President Jimmy Carter noted last year, the Unites States is no longer a “functioning democracy.”

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