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What the US Could Learn from Australia on Voting


#1

What the US Could Learn from Australia on Voting

Laura Adams

When I was 18 and living in Australia, I enrolled to vote in my very first election. It was easy. I received a letter from the electoral commission wishing me a happy 18th birthday and informing me that it was now time to join my fellow Australians in performing my democratic duty—to vote—and instructing me as to how I would enroll.


#2

Now for the rest of the story:

Obama is talking about FINES if you don't show up and vote for one of the terrible candidates that Wall Street pre-vetts on the USA fraud of a voting system on computer voting machines owned by the One Percent. This means JAIL if you can't pay the fines which will grow with time.

Australia is just another police state. Here in the Islands we are over-run with Australians trying to escape the force-control down under.

Side note: Diebold voting machines can't be audited by citizen groups because the CEO claims the code is proprietary. He stated in Texas in 2000 that he felt his mission was to elect GWB into the White House. The Presidential Vote in 2000 did not match any of the exit polls for the first time in history.

Can you say election fraud? Good, I knew you could. It's all been documented on the www.bradblog.com UPDATE: of hundreds of articles documenting election fraud on the Bradblog (which are buried in the archives), here is just one: http://bradblog.com/?p=10917#more-10917

Also there's this:

20 Amazing Facts About
Voting in the USA

by Angry Girl
Nightweed.com

  1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html


2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

  1. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

  1. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."


http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886

  1. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.


http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html

  1. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx
http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php

  1. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm
http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html

  1. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

  1. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html

  1. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm

  1. Diebold is based in Ohio.

http://www.diebold.com/aboutus/ataglance/default.htm

  1. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml

  1. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00191.htm
http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

  1. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

  1. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html

  1. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here: http://blackboxvoting.org/baxter/baxterVPR.mov.)

http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190

  1. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

  1. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html
http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html
http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=950
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm

  1. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/news/local/7628725.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10544-2004Oct29.html

  1. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.html
http://uscountvotes.org/

Boycotting this scam of a voting system is an American right. In the 1800's the same thing happened with the mechanical votamatic machines. Until the bribery via Wall Street Lobbyists is taken out of elections, it damages America to even show up at the polls and endorse this Charade.


#3

No, no, no. This entire issue is just another distraction. Voter turnout is not the problem. The problem is that two parties dominated by the same, extreme-capitalist special interests control our political system. That can be fixed only by major changes in the U.S. that empower more progressive groups, but that's not likely to occur unless there's a major disruptor such as a big war. However, if you consider how the major global powers are arranging their military toys, a "major disruption" might be on the way whether we like it or not.


#4

You're absolutely right. Why anyone would want to create another non-crime crime is beyond me. (Forcing people to vote makes a criminal of those who don't and mandates yet another bureaucracy to enforce it.)

What the author seems oblivious to is that Australia has the same fascist gov't that we do.


#5

Actually the possibility of universal voting would empower third party candidates. Many people who don't vote cite their reason as having no faith in either of the mainstream parties. If everyone had to show up at the polls, regardless of having to vote or not, most would vote for a third party candidate... if they exist on the ballot!
I seriously doubt that someone will go to jail for not showing up at the polling station as it would be next to impossible to enforce and few if any legislators would support that. Remember, the key to the elections of both parties is to only promote voting if it is directed at the two main parties. Mandatory voting would most certainly resurrect the disgruntled 40% and quite possibly throw a serious political monkey wrench into the current political system.
In Australia, mandatory voting did result in a minority Conservative government (the Left is split between many parties in Australia), but it is doubtful that they will get re-elected in the future. In the U.S. we have NO Left wing mainstream parties and mandatory voting may just change that.


#6

Now that Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) fullfilled the Democratic Party's and GOP's long standing dream of legally mandating that all Americans purchase product from private corporations, there is no limit to what other extortion schemes the corporations and the politicians they own will impose upon us.

Anybody who reads THE SELLING OF THE PRESIDENT (published during the 60s) wonders why so many Americans vote, not why so few do. I have voted in every election for the past half century and have never voted for a winning presidential candidate. Although I will never quit voting, I understand why so many Americans don't vote.


#7

While there are good logistical arguments made in this article, there are also some key elements omitted. These, were they to become fairer components of the calculus--would mean a GREAT deal in the way of allotting genuine election choices to a complete body politic:

  1. Overturn Citizens United or, the corporations' "right" to buy off U.S. elections
  2. Regulate the lobby system so that "lawmakers" are not beholden to their deep pocket campaign "sponsors"
  3. Demand that the public's airwaves, i.e. the major broadcast corporations donate 5% of air time TO all potential candidates so that the public learns of other that Team A or Team B and platforms (as well as implemented policies) that only benefit the 1%
  4. Reset the districts that Republicans already gerrymandered to gain dominance where their numbers otherwise would not have amounted to as much
  5. Get rid of potentially pre-programmed, proprietary-held touch-screen voting machines

THEN apply the measures raised by Ms. Adams


#8

We're on "the same page." I was thinking along similar lines. Thank you for adding so much supporting data.


#9

The statistics of Australian vs. Canadian electoral results shows little would change. (The nearest similar electoral/social/party scenarios) The big-money parties/candidates would still flood the media an marginalize/attack the alternative movements.

All that needs to happen is all POTENTIAL votes be given the same weight as votes cast. Any candidate that did not achieve 50%+1 of the qualified votes would not serve. The implicit "none of the above" vote would be carried and parties/candidates would have to repeat the process, putting up NEW candidates until one capable of carrying 50%+1 of the potential votes was found.

That way voters would know their vote counted... assuming the Diebold-style fraud can be made illegal on pain of treason charges against the CEO AND programmers.


#10

Odd that you would equate a "big war" with opening the way for more progressive groups to enter the election circus. If anything, a big war will serve as a greater pretext for enhanced martial law and/or further authoritarian controls over all of the mechanisms of life in addition to further eroding already threatened Civil (and other) Liberties.


#12

There hasn't been a meaningful change in federal government for decades. At best the federal political change is around 3%. The Soviet Union averaged 11%. Once the confetti settles the nation is left with the same policies and dead zone promises of change we've been getting all our lives.

Obama's new version of oppression, supported by the corporate supremes' big banana, assures that, like catholic "original sin" dogma, being born in America now comes with a mandate you buy insurance or else. The IRS, America's other police department, will see to it you can't live without the IRS as an economic partner.

Think: How much money do you get from the tens of millions of dollars that determine lawmakers? Face it, the money is going to buy elections in ways citizens will never understand. Without a verifiable system of elections your hope is as valuable as a christian prayer.


#13

Fines
Yes, the voting in Australia is compulsory. That means that you get fined if you dont turn up. Even prisoners vote. Yes if you want everyone to vote, then you have to use either a carrot or a stick. If you are going to be away or sick or other, that is taken into account and catered for. Most Australians dont find it to be a big deal.

It would make a difference
It will make a significant difference. Some things would improve. Also, political campaigns would be more inclusive of the lower class.

No, its not the game changer
We currently have a system where politicians please the big money in order to have a political life. To put it another way, it is a system where the politicians are OWNED by the money:-

  • The big money owns the media and therefore also owns the coverage that is the oxygen of politics.
  • Politicians absolutely must recieve money for their campaign, overwhelmingly from large corporate interests.
  • Privatised industries, e.g. water, power etc use a portion of their profit to influence politics. For example, money from the prison industries has led to the USA having the worlds highest incarceration rates. Money from oil and the military industrial complex has led to the USA, a nation with no enemies, spending as much as the rest of the world on so called "defense".

No, this improvement in voting is nowhere near as important as getting the money out of politics, e.g.:-
- Breaking up the media by allowing ownership of at most one media share per human being.
- Completely divorcing money from politics by electing representatives via a lottery.
- Also, see the list by S.R., above.


#14

My pleasure, SR,

I should denote that another CD poster first posted a link to the Nightweed.com page last year. But for the life of me I can't remember who. I've updated a better link to the Bradblog instead of just a link to the main page. http://bradblog.com/?p=10917#more-10917

Brad was a reporter for MSM who got the boot for covering just how corrupt our elections are.


#15

Thanks for explaining voting in Australia.

USAn should also note that there is no "voter registration" to be done every time you change your address in the civilized world outside the USA. When you move, you will either get a notice where to vote or you simply ask your neighbor where to vote.

And Australia has an instant runoff syatem with single-transferable vote syatem for the Senate. But like the SI units of measurement and abbreviating dates "DD/MM/YYYY" and getting rid of pennies and getting rid of paper one-dollar bills - such commonsense things are way too complicated for USAns.


#16

Great post TJ, but one clarification. I think you meant to say election fraud, not voter fraud.


#17

Thanks Chicken,

I'll fix it.


#19

And beside boycotting, what else are you proposing?


#22

Thank you. Fracking machines. Did she mention what the method of voting was? Maybe it's different in Australia, but here, it's by easily-hackable machines.


#24

well Thomas Jefferson I read your comment. and sorry you could not be further from the truth. first off let's give you a lesson in how compulsory voting came about in Australia. it. became a reality because many many years ago probably in the 1920's it was found that many farmers would not allow their workers to take time off to vote. So the Labour Party ( your Democratic Party) bought in legislation to make it compulsory now read this as this is what you are missing out on. they bought it compulsory to register. if you want to put Mr Magoo you can all is needed is you get your name crossed off now another thing you are probably not aware of is we can vote for up to 4 weeks at many many polling booths opened all over the place with opening hours which extend to way past working hours. and at any booth anywhere in Australia. also we have postal voting we make it so easy anyone can vote. now this fine which is I think around about $20 ( I could be wrong on that one) is hardly ever enforced. and lol certainly not jail. Also at the beginning you are actually required to enroll and to. be honest there are so.many who don't. so before you start spinning a load of shit get your facts right. now how do I know all this. well I am an Aussie loving my free country and all that goes with it. God bless Australia.