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Our nation’s current problems started with a whiff of sulfur on Election Day 2000. Americans went to the polls in substantial numbers and voted, by a margin of over a half million votes, to put Al Gore in the White House. But our election machinery seriously misfired. Down in Florida, more than a hundred thousand voters who went to the polls to vote, very largely for Vice President Gore, had their votes cast aside—through a combination of chicanery, voter purging, intimidation, and other obnoxious tricks in a quantum just sufficient to put George W. Bush and Dick Cheney into the White House. In the wake of that election, the mainstream media ridiculed accusations of fraud associated with black-box voting as tin-hatted lunacy. In the years that followed, however, the “conspiracy theorists” were very substantially vindicated: the black-box voting process that had spread throughout the country was revealed to be a petri dish for vote fraud. In a series of demonstrations, academics at Princeton and other institutions showed that vote tampering and manipulation of the results using this technology was child’s play. Moreover, the experts are now largely in accord that in 2000, 2002, and 2004, manipulation of black-box voting systems almost certainly occurred, affecting a number of races. It was one of the most serious assaults on the integrity of the democratic process in our country’s history.
When you go to the polls tomorrow (if you have not already gone), keep your eyes about you and be on guard against fraud, intimidation and acts of voter suppression. More importantly, make your vote count. Insist on a proper ballot. Don’t take a provisional ballot unless you have no alternative. Here, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal is a good run-through of predictable voting-day problems. You have the right to vote. And if you encounter any irregularities or challenges, report your experience immediately to the voter protection hotline: 1-800-792-VOTE (8683).
Here, for general background, is a video entitled “Making It Count,” which discusses how you can anticipate and cope with vote-suppression tactics.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount the company paid each of its 140 top executives last year:
Between one fifth and one half of England’s leisure horses are obese.
Scientists in the Galápagos Islands credited an endangered giant tortoise named Diego with saving his species by fathering more than 800 offspring.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”