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View Full Version : Interesting Election Angle



Mota Boy
10-30-2006, 10:24 PM
So, the US midterm elections are upon us (remember citizens: vote early, vote often!) yet again. This time, however, they're getting much more press coverage than usual, as it appears the Democrats have a substantial chance at retaking one, or possibly both, houses of Congress. Many angles of this story have played out concerning speculation as to what the Democrats would do upon regaining control. Another, quieter, seam of discussion among liberal groups remains whether or not this election will be "stolen", as previous elections supposedly have been - whether Diebold, a voting-machine company with strong ties to the Republican party - would/will alter voting results to favor the GOP. And now, an even more interesting thread is beginning to emerge: it would appear that the third largest voting-machine company in the US has connections to the Venezuelan government (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/29/washington/29ballot.html?bl=&ei=5087%0A&en=89dfa8591e6f1830&ex=1162357200&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1162270901-w8JHA1b7kj4KWPBQWrEfYg).

This company has done much to obfuscate its connection to Venezuela, making the relationship even more eyebrow-raising. To really rile up suspicions, the machines have found to be previously faulty. From the article "But after a municipal primary election in Chicago in March, Sequoia voting machines were blamed for a series of delays and irregularities. Smartmaticís new president, Jack A. Blaine, acknowledged in a public hearing that Smartmatic workers had been flown up from Venezuela to help with the vote. Some problems with the election were later blamed on a software component, which transmits the voting results to a central computer, that was developed in Venezuela."

Now, even more intriguing is the suggestion by a few that this is actually part of a plan orchestrated by Chavez to cause chaos in the US by intentionally manipulating the results (http://internationalpress.blogspot.com/2006/04/exclusive-david-and-goliath-how-chavez.html). It's really going to be interesting to see the results in a week or so.

sKratch
10-30-2006, 11:10 PM
College midterms are hard enough. I don't need an extra multiple choice test with names I've never seen before.
[/joke]

That actually sounds pretty interesting... I'll have to read the links and get back to you.

wheelchairman
10-31-2006, 09:13 AM
Sounds a little paranoid. I really don't think Chavez is interested in provoking an invasion of any sort. Or well, more attention on himself. His anti-American rhetoric is very much a part of his populist agenda, not foreign policy.

Mota Boy
10-31-2006, 12:45 PM
His foreign policy is establishing a South American bloc to counter US presence in the region, so it would sync up with that.

And as for Chavez "provoking an invasion", you're making a couple assumptions. One, that Chavez thinks he can get caught (this is, of course, assuming that he's actually a part of this), which is apparently going to be very difficult to prove, and another, that Chavez thinks that this will provoke an invasion. Simply fucking with our electoral process isn't enough for all-out war, especially with US troops already bogged down in Iraq with looming challenges in North Korea and Iran. At the very most, Chavez would face a few targeted strikes, maybe - and more likely just sanctions, with the bitter truth being that we need his oil more than he needs us buying it.

I'm not saying I actually believe it, I'm just saying that I think it remains at least plausible.

wheelchairman
10-31-2006, 01:31 PM
But Chavez is certainly aware of his situation. The last man like him in South America was overthrown by Pinochet (who did have American help, even though no soldiers were present.) He's no fool.

The Bolivaran revolution (chillin' with the other Latin American nations) doesn't really fit with committing electoral fraud in an American election. Or at least I don't see it. He is not a big friend of the US, and wants to create a south American counterweight, he does not want intervention. He had enough trouble in his last election to wish to avoid that.

What the company will decide, I have no idea. If they are nationalistic enough they might just want to fuck around. But I would bet they want to make money and more business.

Who knows though, I might have to eat my own words come the election. I should also get my ballot to the embassy as soon as possible.