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There were some victories, yes. In Ohio, Mississippi, and Arizona, ballot initiatives and recalls were successful in slowing some of the more aggressive metastasizing of the extreme-right agenda; in these cases, union busting and the war against women’s right to choose.
However, many far-right incumbents stayed in office, a fact that got lost in the hoopla over the rare progressive victories.
The problem is that our computerized elections system is still fundamentally insecure — open to centralized manipulation and outside hacking. So, small “wins” like we saw last week are, sadly and ironically, a setback to the Election Integrity movement, because we now have to fight harder to call attention to the fact that our electoral system is still out of our control.
We know the machines that count our votes — including Optical Scanners and Touchscreens — are controlled by a small cartel of corporations that manufacturer them and program their software. Their owners, stockholders and key staff share, not only extensive criminal histories, but also alliances with the extreme right-wing.
So my feeling is that the people who control our votes essentially just “let” us win these progressive victories. Why they let us win is the question, and we can only speculate.
They may have had to let us win because it’s too difficult to rig the votes undetectably with strong turn-out and citizen awareness of the issues. Which means that voting still matters because it’s hard to manipulate results when the margins are wide. Therefore we can’t boycott elections — that’s not the answer. On the contrary, we need to show up in armies, in an electoral insurgency. We must also, simultaneously, organize in 2012 to ban the Trojan Horse computerized voting machines, but meanwhile we can make it damn difficult for them to get away with rigging the results.