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Husted’s voter suppression practices purged by the Court

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was foiled from his strategy of mass purging minority, young and mostly Democratic voters. A 2-1 ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals halted various Husted practices including the removal of any voter who hadn’t voted in six years in Ohio, even if they remained at the same address.

He also sent absentee ballots to voters, which were not allowed to be forwarded by the U.S. Postal Service. So, if these mailings were returned to the Secretary of State’s office, the voter could be purged. Husted had also recently sent out mailings to specific voters that, if they did not respond, they would be de-registered as a voter. The mailing notices failed to tell the registered voters that they would be purged for not responding.

Husted is also working with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach using the notorious Crosscheck list that identifies voters by first and last name only targeting Black, Latino, and Asian voters for purging if they have a similar name. The assumption is that one voter is trying to vote twice, but doesn’t account for a different middle name, different birthdate and people living in different states.

Everybody’s (finally) doing it: Admitting our vote can be hacked

Finally, the major for-profit media is approaching consensus that it’s easy to hack U.S. political elections. Even candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are raising unprecedented doubts – from very different directions – about the reliability of the upcoming vote count.

The corporate media and the Democrats are obsessed with the “Russians.” Donald Trump rants about a mythological army of voters voting multiple times. But the real threat to our election system comes from private for-profit corporations that register voters, control voter databases, then count and report the vote with secret proprietary software and zero transparency, accountability, or recourse.

Trump advisor Roger Stone wrote a column in The Hill with the headline: “Can the 2016 Elections Be Rigged? You Bet.” He also referred to the book Harvey Wasserman and I wrote recently, “The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft,” as “a must-read book on the strip and flip techniques used to rig these machines.”

Former national coordinator for counter-terrorism Richard Clarke, reporting for ABC News on August 19, 2016, analyzed the particular security problems related to battleground states like Ohio and Florida: “In 2000 and 2004, there were only a handful of battleground states that determined which presidential candidate had enough Electoral College votes to win. A slight alteration of the vote in some swing precincts in swing states might not raise suspicion. Smart malware can be programmed to switch only a small percentage of votes from what the voters intended. That may be all that is needed, and that malware can also be programmed to erase itself after it does its job, so there might be no trace it ever happened.” Clarke was on the White House National Security Council during both Bill Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s administrations.

Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, in his August 12, 2016 New York Times op-ed “The Election Won’t Be Rigged but It Could Be Hacked,” wrote: “The mere existence of this discussion is cause for alarm. The United States needs to return, as soon as possible, to a paper-based, auditable voting system in all jurisdictions that still use electronic-only, unverifiable voting machines.”

Columbus School levy – Braverman must go

The Columbus City Schools are asking for an 18 percent levy increase on this November’s ballot. The biggest problem with the Schools is that the man most responsible for the culture of corruption, Chief Counsel Larry Braverman, remains in charge of the school system’s legal work. Braverman provided the legal justification for the flourishing of the data-rigging scandal. Recall how students were given grades they didn’t deserve just to increase the Columbus school’s rating and subsequent money into the system.

Braverman has the Schools self-insuring and is more than willing to spend $600,000 fighting lawsuits against the school system he could settle for $15,000. Braverman prefers to hire silk-stocking law firms like Crabbe, Brown, James to fight legitimate claims by community members rather than being transparent and occasionally admitting to a mistake.

Until Braverman is removed, there is no reason to send the Columbus City Schools money on expensive corporate attorneys.

Citizens Grassroots Congress votes on top three community issues

The September Grassroots Congress met and in the finest tradition of grassroots democracy approved a 10 point agenda for Columbus and Central Ohio. The top three priorities were: Columbus City Council Reform, including expansion of seats and district representation; the city’s adoption of a Columbus Community Bill of Rights to protect our air, water and soil from polluters; and a city-wide increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The next Citizens Grassroots Congress will be Saturday, November 12, 9am-5pm, at the Northwood-High Building, 2231 N. High St.

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