The way our electoral process now stands, electronic voting machines guarantee a Republican victory in 2016.
No matter what she does, Hillary Clinton – or any other Democratic nominee – cannot be elected without a fundamental change in the basic mechanics of how our votes are cast and counted.
It is a profoundly disturbing reality that casts a long shadow over all that’s wrong with our electoral system, no matter who one favors for public office.
Just 15 years after the theft of the 2000 election, the Democrats have finally begun to talk about voter rights and various methods to guarantee public access to the polls.
But for a non-Republican to win the White House in 2016, one of two virtually impossible things must happen: The Democrat must win by absolutely indisputable margins far beyond simple majorities – 10 percent or more – in the key states whose electronic tallies will swing the Electoral College.
Or the nation must find and accept a way to guarantee a reliable vote count immune to electronic manipulation by those who control the voting apparatus in each state, meaning the governors and secretaries of state.
At this point, it’s hard to see either happening.
Today, there are 24 states where both the governor and secretary of state are Republicans. These include Florida and Ohio, where rigged vote counts put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and 2004. In both states, the presidential election was decided by governors and secretaries of state in control of the voting process and final vote count. In Florida in 2000, that was Bush’s brother Jeb; in Ohio in 2004, it was Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, co-chair of the Buckeye committee to re-elect Bush and Cheney.
In 2016, additional key swing states with both governors and secretaries of state from the GOP include Michigan, Iowa, Nevada and Arizona, among many others.
No significant reforms have been put in place to prevent the theft of another presidential election. Quite the opposite. Since the 2000 Bush-Gore fiasco and the Help America Vote Act that followed, electronic voting machines have spread throughout the country. Election results in a wide range of federal, state and local contests have been extremely suspect, and there’s no reason to believe 2016 will be any different – except to get worse.
Indeed, the Koch brothers and their fellow mega-billionaires have proudly announced their willingness to spend as much money as it takes to buy the White House. The Democrats do have corporate backers, but are not likely to win the 2016 money game, at least not to an extent that would allow them to crack the states where the GOP controls the voting machines.