Sunday, February 06, 2005

Who Says Corporations Can Count Votes?

I just read a great letter posted on Democratic Underground by Paul R. Lehto, an attorney in Washington state who suing Sequoia over the company's vote counting secretiveness.
"To imagine secret ballots is to imagine FREEDOM of the vote. To imagine secret COUNTING of the votes by a multinational whose parent company de La Rue was awarded a lucrative US contract to print Iraqi dinars, is to imagine actual or potential TYRANNY. To trust a political friend to count the vote in secrecy without verification is to be an actual or potential TYRANT, who claims to owe the people no duty. To imagine all of us adults together (WE THE PEOPLE), smart and dumb, old and young, of all races, creeds, orientations and beliefs all having the same vote as the President of the United States is to imagine an image of EQUALITY that many have paid a great price for. To imagine that vote not necessarily counting based on the whims of the secret counting corporation is to see the end of FREE elections. To see the end of free elections, especially during a "permanent war" on "terror", is to see the end of freedom itself.

Our greatest leaders have said there comes a time in each generation for the true meaning of freedom to be discovered and enhanced.

We can know that freedom not only by ejecting these secretive corporations from our vote counting, but also by rediscovering the radical equality inherent in our equal votes. Smart people don't get two votes, and "dumb" people who "don't follow instructions" in Palm Beach County don't get their votes taken away. Why? Because there is such a thing as WE THE PEOPLE. Endowed by their creator with certain INALIENABLE rights, meaning rights that we are born with that can not be taken away, and we were born with them BEFORE our government was ever formed.

All power ultimately comes from the consent of WE THE PEOPLE, but we forget that sometimes, getting down on our knees and begging the government for this and that. Sometimes that's necessary because the people have delegated certain powers, but on occasoin [sic] government asserts a power it was simply never granted by the people.

For example, when it comes to something as fundamental as democracy, the government lacks the power, through contract, to cede that power of vote counting in a democracy to a multinational corporation or to any individual to operate in secret, because vote counting is a public democratic right. It is a public right for which the government has literally never been given the power to give away. The government, plainly and simply, combined with all of the world's corporations, UTTERLY LACK THE POWER to privatize our votes. We ougt [sic] not legitimize that privatization in any way by assuming it has any validity, because it is void ab initio (from the beginning).

Most importantly, (to put it plainly but crudely) WE DON'T NEED TO PROVE SHIT, THE VOTING MACHINE COMPANIES MUST SIMPLY GET THE HELL OUT of our democracy. Period.

If they want to retain secrets or trade secrets, they are free to go back to the private sector, where they came from."
The letter goes

I think from now on, judgment of the nobility of the legal profession will rest with how it allows or combats fascism.



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