The US prides itself on a free and fair election system. It’s the main hallmark of democracy. But as RT’s Anastasia Churkina reports, stealing an election in America is easier than 1,2,3.
The U.S. – a beacon of democracy, and an example to be followed by the rest of the world. One big source of pride is its' fundamental concept of free and fair elections.
“American elections are a disgrace. It's like looking into a kitchen of a world-class restaurant and losing your appetite at what you see, because we have an election system, a voting system that is completely non-transparent,” said Mark Crispin Miller, Professor at NYU and author of “Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections.”
This is an opinion shared by many political experts and educators.
“If you were to hand your vote to a man in a magician's suit who then went behind a curtain and came out having first shredded the ballots, to tell you who won – would you trust that process?” said the co-founder and director of the Election Defense Alliance Jonathan, Simon.
The process largely to blame is the out-dated electronic voting system.
“In the states where all they have is electronic voting – it could be a real problem. If you don't have some kind of back up source to verify the vote count – it could be a problem,”said Jeanne Mirer of the National Lawyers Guild.
Brad Friedman is an independent award-winning blogger who has covered the U.S. election system for years. Speaking to RT, he said the problem is actually a pandemic, and change is long overdue.
“Every single state in the union uses electronic voting. A third of the voters this year will vote on 100 percent unverifiable touch screen voting systems. The rest of the country, by and large, will vote on paper ballots, but those paper ballots are also counted by electronic systems. Unless you can see inside a computer, there is no way to know if those computers have tallied those ballots correctly,” said Friedman.
Several experiments conducted on electronic voting machines have proven that simple key strokes and some knowledge of science and computers could flip results. Experts say the accuracy of the vote count – even with paper trail – is a myth.
“In 99 plus percent of the cases, those ballots never see the light of day – they are never examined, never recounted. Basically American elections at this point have virtually zero claim on public confidence and legitimacy,” said Jonathan Simon.
The rules and specifications of how elections are held vary locally, and state by state.
“Four-thousand different counties, each of them use a different system, a different type of voting system, each of them have different flaws, different vulnerabilities,” said Brad Friedman.
One particular company that makes electronic voting machines in the U.S. has earned a dubious reputation for unverifiable results, as records vanish into thin air.
“I go to an ATM, and there is a Diebold machine, I get a confirmation slip – and I go around the corner to vote – and there is no record,” said author, social critic and political activist Naomi Wolf.
Meantime, Diebold and other voter machine production companies are known to have strong partisan affiliations.
“They are not accountable to any voters. They are not just private, but private and extreme in their political sympathies. Democrats don't actually win that many elections. To be precise, democrats almost never win close elections. And the trick there, is to see to it, that a race looks or is close,” said Mark Crispin Miller.
Improving the election process in this digital age doesn’t appear to be on anyone’s agenda, including Barack Obama’s.
“Our President…who won't ever talk about election fraud and denies that it has ever happened, even when members of his own party have been the victims of it,” said Miller.
While the number of reported flaws grows with each passing election.
“Over the past decade, since 2000, when Congress was pretending to want to make things better, what has happened is things have gotten much, much worse,” said Brad Friedman.
It appears stealing an election in the U.S. may be a candidate’s certain way to secure a win.
In this digital age of smart phones, tablets and satellite navigation systems, American voters will head to the polls this November to cast their ballots using antiquated and unreliable voting machines, machines that will ultimately determine who will lead this nation in much need of its own repairs.