Precinct 333

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Voter Fraud = Political Insurgency

The dilapidated house at 1717 Ohio St. in East St. Louis symbolizes the insurgency that is oppressing this once-great city.

Nine people are registered to vote there, even though it has been vacant for years. Five of those people cast absentee ballots in the March 2004 primary, and one of them voted in person on Nov. 2. This no doubt is just one example of many.

Like the insurgents in Iraq, the political insurgents of East St. Louis don't want democratic elections. Instead of bombs, they use vote fraud to disrupt the process. But in both places, their power comes from fear, not strength.

Yeah, having worked elections in East St. Louis many years ago, I can attest to that. The political movers and shakers will do anything to keep their power – whether it meant vote fraud, running stalking horse candidates, or out-and-out intimidation of folks who challenge the status quo. It has taken years, but the authorities are finally going after the election fraud in that town. Maybe that means that some day there will be meaningful voting there.

The Belleville News Democrat offers some advice to church and community groups that are concerned about fair elections. I think it should be heeded by folks in every community where there are concerns about the integrity of the voting process.

The city's election commission either can't or won't stop the problems. So we encourage church and community groups to start policing the election process.
Pick a precinct and walk it to compare the registered voters with addresses, so places like 1717 Ohio St. are detected. Organize impartial election observers to watch at the polls during the next election. Report problems to the U.S. attorney's office, which is working to clean up the mess, and [the local media].


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