Things are a little slow here at the blog, a lot of stuff percolating, but nothing ready to publish. I was stuck in traffic this morning, and thought I’d do a little thought experiment:
Imagine a city with a Town Hall that holds a meeting. Hundreds of people attend. Two scientists debate the nature of the moon, one claiming it is a balloon, the other a hologram. They each give reasoned and thoughtful presentations, and at the end the audience votes. Balloon edges out hologram, 51-49%.
As people leave the building they are asked to press their fingers on an indelible ink pad to prove that they attended and voted.
Later you are having a water cooler discussion when the subject comes up, and hearing the opinions voice your own, saying that the moon is a large satellite held in place by counterbalancing forces. You coworker asks to see your finger, and sees you did not vote. He asks you to leave the discussion and go back to work. You didn’t vote, he says, so your opinion does not matter.
This came to mind because of a tortuous comment from a tortuous person, all names and links excluded, as follows:
“You gave up when you burned your ballot, XXX. What you did, though, is help contribute to an all-Republican PSC, the commission that helps decide our energy future. You helped send a militaristic, fossil fuel loving, anti-choice incumbent back to Congress instead of a Native American woman … then there were the judicial races, legislative races, initiatives … “
That is insane. Not stupid. This is not a stupid man. His thinking is merely muddled, based on reliance on authority figures to do the right thing. He cannot imagine that our leaders are corrupt. He has no way of knowing that the people he voted for are honest, or that the offices they hold have real power. He has no way of knowing if his ballot is even counted. He is going through a ritual that makes him feel good, nothing more.
Just as the Town Hall meeting had no bearing on the nature of the moon, so too does voting have no bearing on public policy. Voting gives us the illusion that we have a republican form of government. It is a psyop.
Which reminds me, listening to an audio chat in that same traffic jam, the subject of vote counting came up, and the opinion was voiced that 50 states would not conspire to not count votes.
That is true, of course. They do not conspire. Votes are not counted by people. They are counted by machines. All of the people who work in the election system are good people doing their job. They make sure we register and vote only once. Our votes are then fed into a black box counting machine. We must trust, but cannot verify.
So votes go in in the front of the back box and tallies go out the back. They are fed upstream, finally ending up at the office of the Secretary of State. People in that office make sure that all of the certified machine-generated tallies are accurately summed up. They certify the vote. If there is a recount, they can only go through the ritual of re-adding the tally sheets. They do not go back and recount the ballots by hand. They do not verify the machine output as accurate. Worse yet, in most localities, voting machines are touch screen so that there is no paper record, so there is no accountability whatsoever.
The black boxes can issue a voter receipt showing how the vote was entered. Unless those receipts are later counted and compared to the machine tally, they are both symbolic and useless.
There is only one way to run a clean election – audited paper ballots. This is not done.
There has been a movement to eliminate black box voting going on since 2002. Officials of both parties know that they can be used to steal elections. Since both parties can benefit from this, they don’t care.
The next logical step: Since any election can be rigged in advance, it is not really necessary to count votes, right? They can just make stuff up and report it as real. And that is what was done on November 9. We have no way of knowing how many voted or who won (not that it mattered since the Trump/Clinton choice was high comedy).
It only takes a few insiders to run this scam on us – the companies that make the machines, and a public official in each state to grease the skids. The TV show called Election Night, America Votes is another matter, completely fake and quickly forgotten.
Elections have always been a crap shoot. Candidates have always lied, been backed by secret power, so that “choice” has been an illusion. The offices they run for have long been cannibalized, all power removed to other centers. But with the 2000 Bush/Gore psy-op and passage of HAVA, there is no longer any contest. The machines won.
Voting is pointless, and will remain so until we return to audited paper ballots.