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AMERICAN ELECTIONS – Democracy At Risk

by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

NOTE: I am republishing this post from prior to the 2014 Presidential election to serve as both a primer for those new to the topic of voting issues and a baseline from which to assess progress, or lack of it, in the coming 2016 Presidential election. It contains links to a few of my prior posts on the subject of American election issues. I hope that someday a critical mass of voters will rise up and demand comprehensive voter reform.


Brian T. Lynch, MSW



Data Driven Viewpoint: What’s on my summer reading list? The United States has 54 separate elections for President every four years.  There are 54 separate state and territory constitutions that each grant citizens very different sets of voting rights.  Voting administration is handled very differently from state to state, county to county, etc. There is more of a national consensus on how voting be conducted in America than there is consistency in how voting actually takes place.  Our collective inattention to this, the single most critical function in a democracy, has allowed powerful interests to take control of the voting processes, privatize vote collection and counting to unaccountable private companies and alter the rules to give the wealthy minority a larger voice in government.
Note: Below is a “blogliography” of posts on voting issues.  If you are on Twitter or Facebook or other social media, please consider what you can do to help get this information more widely circulated. Thank you.

Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk[Paperback]

John Fund (Author), Hans von Spakovsky (Author)
Book Description
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
The 2012 election will be one of the hardest-fought in U.S. history. It is also likely to be one of the closest, a fact that brings concerns about voter fraud and bureaucratic incompetence in the conduct of elections front and center. If we don’t take notice, we could see another debacle like the Bush-Gore Florida recount of 2000 in which courts and lawyers intervened in what should have involved only voters.

Who’s Counting? will focus attention on many problems of our election system, ranging from voter fraud to a slipshod system of vote counting that noted political scientist Walter Dean Burnham calls “the most careless of the developed world.” In an effort to clean up our election laws, reduce fraud and increase public confidence in the integrity of the voting system, many states ranging from Georgia to Wisconsin have passed laws requiring a photo ID be shown at the polls and curbing the rampant use of absentee ballots, a tool of choice by fraudsters. The response from Obama allies has been to belittle the need for such laws and attack them as akin to the second coming of a racist tide in American life. In the summer of 2011, both Bill Clinton and DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz preposterously claimed that such laws suppressed minority voters and represented a return to the era of Jim Crow.

Here are some recent links from this blog on voting issues:

BLOGLIOGROPHY ON VOTING ISSUES

The sorry state of voting rights in America, a 50 state comparison

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/03/sorry-states-of-voting-rights-in.html

How voter ID laws might block you from voting

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/07/seven-ways-voter-id-could-block-you.html

Republicans have a 5% election fraud handicap built into the voting system

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/08/republicans-have-5-election-fraud.html

Many state are unprepared for a fair and free election

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/07/many-states-unprepared-for-fair-and.html

Outsourcing or privatized voting process overseas

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/07/outsourcing-our-privatized-voting.html

Voting rights denied to a record number of “felons”

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/07/voting-rights-denied-for-record-numbers.html

Ireland Scraps Electronic Voting Machines for Good

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/06/ireland-scraps-electronic-voting.html

Secret flawed voting software discovered and exposed

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/06/ireland-scraps-electronic-voting.html

Does voter suppression have a new target in Florida (Latino’s)

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/05/does-voter-suppression-have-new-target.html

To know your Voting Rights you must know your state constitution

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/03/voting-know-your-rights-know-your-state.html

Can a convicted, or formerly convicted felon vote?  Lots of confusion

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/04/can-convicted-felon-vote-major.html

Colorado sues for voting privacy, but do we have that right

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/02/colorado-group-sues-for-vote-privacy.html

A private company has the first peek at election results

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/02/company-wprivate-access-to-vote-totals.html

Voter suppression in America to get a hearing at the United Nations

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/03/voter-suppression-in-america-to-get.html

Caucus voting flubs highlight election system flaws

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/02/caucus-voting-flubs-highlight-our.html

South Carolina out sources vote count to Spain

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/01/south-carolina-outsources-vote-count-to.html

A voters “Bill of Rights”

http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2011/10/voters-bill-of-rights.html

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The Piano Man – Hank Shapiro

Henry Shapiro (my father-in-law) began his musical career around 1935 or 1936. He learned his craft by taking lesson in New York City with the same piano teacher who taught George Gershwin. At age 16 he had his own 12 piece big band, the Henry Shapiro Band. He played in various venues in Morris County and Northern New Jersey, including various dance halls around Lake Hopatcong. He is a life long member of the Dover Musician’s Union. He moved to Florida in the 1970’s where he continued playing at private parties and restaurants in the Fort Meyers area.  His love of music and entertaining as kept him young. Now, at the age of 94, he is back in Morris County, NJ where it all began for him, playing gigs wherever he can. The You Tube video above was from a June 12, 2015 performance at an open state event sponsored by the Folk Project in Morristown, New Jersey ( http://folkproject.org/ ).

So click on the You Tube link and enjoy. Let me know what you think or contact me if you would like to get in touch with Henry.

Thank you.