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CONTENTS NOVEMBER 3, 2000

Click. DISENFRANCHISED .... FOUR MILLION AND COUNTING.

Click. COUNTING THE VOTE AND THEN COUNTING AGAIN. There's nothing between the average American voter and a correct vote count but a secret computer program owned by a corporation that even public
officials can't examine


From Progressive Review / Undernews 11/02/00 Ronn at Futuresource

DISENFRANCHISED .... FOUR MILLION AND COUNTING

MARC MAUER, SENTENCING PROJECT: America has just replaced Russia as the
world leader in its rate of incarceration and incarcerates far more prisoners than any other nation -- nearly 2 million. In next week's election, 4 million Americans will be locked out of the voting booth as a result of laws that disenfranchise persons convicted of a felony. In swing states such as Florida, where more than 600,000 persons are disenfranchised, these laws could directly affect the state's electoral outcome. The racial disparities of the criminal justice system have led to 13 percent of African
-American males being excluded from the electoral process. Ironically, 50 years after the beginnings of the civil rights movement, an increasing number of African Americans are excluded from the political process each year. We no longer have laws that require literacy tests or poll taxes, but the racially disproportionate results today resemble those of a hundred years ago.

SENTENCING PROJECT http://www.sentencingproject.org

ROSE BRAZ, CRITICAL RESISTANCE: One out of every 35 African Americans is
behind bars. One in three African-American youth is under some kind of criminal supervision, whether that be jail, probation or parole. If you're disenfranchising people based on criminal convictions, it's going to disproportionately impact the power of people of color to vote in our society since the criminal justice system is racist. African Americans constitute 14 percent of drug users nationally, but represent 35 percent of
drug arrests, 55 percent of drug convictions and 75 percent of prison admissions.

CRITICAL RESISTANCE http://www.criticalresistance.org

JASON ZIEDENBERG, CENTER FOR JUVENILES & CRIMINAL JUSTICE The policies that have disenfranchised such a large segment of the African-American community have had their greatest impact in the state of Texas, which this August
surpassed California as having the largest prison population in the country (161,000). Under the watch of Gov. George W. Bush and former Democratic Gov. Ann Richards -- whom Bush once attacked for being 'soft on crime' -- the average annual growth of the Texas prison population during the 1990s was almost twice the average annual growth in the other states.... The incarceration rate for blacks in Texas is 63 percent higher than the national incarceration rate for blacks. Texas became number one in prisons
under George W. Bush's watch, and under the Clinton-Gore administration the
federal prison system doubled in size.

CENTER FOR JUVENILES & CRIMINAL JUSTICE http://www.cjcj.org
INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY http://www.accuracy.org


COUNTING THE VOTES & THEN PERHAPS COUNTING THEM AGAIN ...... "just checking" from the Progressive Review 11/02/00  Ronn at Futuresource
------------------------------------------------
COUNTING THE VOTES RIGHT

THERE IS NOTHING BETWEEN THE AVERAGE AMERICAN VOTER and a correct vote count but a secret computer program owned by a corporation that even public
officials can't examine. This gigantic flaw has attracted little attention
-- an exception being a notable article by Ronnie Dugger in the New Yorker
some years back -- but stealing an election today is as easy as it ever was
except that now, instead of being ward boss, you just have to have access to
the software code used to count the votes. Governments have little or no
idea as to whether these counts are rigged because the companies that
provide  the machines consider their codes proprietary information. And
under today's rules, corporate confidentiality is considered more important
that a secure election.

CNS: With more and more states encouraging voting by mail and loosening
restrictions on absentee voting, many observers are concerned about the
possibility of election fraud. A number of states have dropped restrictions
requiring a voter to swear that he or she will be out of town to cast an
absentee ballot, and Oregon has switched to a total vote by mail system. As
a result, election officials across the nation are predicting a record
number of absentee ballots will be cast this election. In Colorado, the
Secretary of State's office is predicting that 25 percent of the state's
three million registered voters will vote via absentee ballots. Hundreds of
thousands of voters are expected to mail in their ballots or vote in
government buildings in California. In Nevada, 97,000 people have voted
already in Clark County, one of the largest jurisdictions in the state -
around 22 percent of registered voters.
In Oregon, where nearly 70 percent of the populace voted to abolish polling
places in 1998, one in five voters have already turned in ballots. With huge
numbers of voters mailing in ballots or voting absentee, voter fraud becomes
a serious issue, one that could invalidate a state's returns in a close
election, says political scientist Bertil Hanson of Oklahoma University.
"Clearly, if this experiment in off-site and early voting shows a tendency
to produce voting fraud in a close election, the results in a number of
states could be put in doubt," said Hanson. "That's a constitutional crisis
unlike any other."

CAMPAIGNS http://campaigns.listbot.com

ASSOCIATED PRESS: The state's top election official urged news organizations
Wednesday to refrain from declaring a winner in the presidential race until
polls close in California, which he said could depress turnout. The news
organizations declined, saying they will declare a victor as soon as one
emerges.