– Abbie Hoffman
Steal This Vote: Preface
I propose to you, dear reader, that there is a possibility that a major conspiracy is occurring as you read this, right here, in the United States of America, to stop supporters of Senator Bernard Sanders, Democratic Socialist from the State of Vermont, from electing him to the Presidency. Before we get to that, I better offer up a few disclaimers, if at very least for my own ethical code of transparency.
The missive you read is indeed written by a very robust and sincere supporter of Bernie Sanders for President. However, that is not the hat worn while filing this report. My motive is purely of patriotic concern. Still, I recognize that many will dismiss what I’m about to share with you simply as I’ve previously penned sturdy support for Senator Sanders. It doesn’t matter to me who the candidate effected by the stories to come is. It matters that this is happening in the United States of America.
You should also be aware that I, Michael Salamone, am ill-equipped to file this report. Though I was once employed as a political reporter, I was the sort who interviewed candidates and covered meetings. A majority of my time in the “news” world was spent as an editor, and I was a fairly lousy one at that. Writing weekly opinion pieces was the only part of the job I truly enjoyed. Well, there were often free drinks involved, but we can discuss that another day. This is who I am: a guy who likes free drinks and would rather be playing guitar than putting himself out there talking about a potential massive conspiracy against Democracy. Though I have collected paychecks as a journalist, I don’t think I’m the sort qualified for this variety of reporting.
At no point have I ever worked as or studied to be an investigative journalist. I studied political science and worked as a journalist when I wasn’t gigging as a musician. Because transparency is important to me, I also need to be upfront before we proceed. I have no idea how to prove the allegations I am about to present to you, dear reader. The voters I will tell you about can prove they were disenfranchised. We can prove that those disenfranchised by large all supported the same candidate. I can only theorize how it was done and by whom. Short of a Deep Throat-like source or confession, I just don’t have the capabilities nor resources to do much beyond asking the questions. For those reasons, this report is flawed and can be challenged easily. However, I ardently believe that no matter whom you support for President, we should all be asking the question: Are our elections secure, fair and transparent?
Steal This Vote: What We Know So Far
As reports came in from the debacle that was the Arizona state Democratic primary election, we learned that many life-long Democrats were documenting that their party enrollment had been changed without their consent, which then barred them from participating in the primary. While the corporate media focused merely on the lines to vote that Arizona voters endured, Facebook groups and Reddit threads started telling a different story. Many of the provisional ballot voters had paperwork verifying they were registered as Democrats, however the computers said they were not, and they were not allowed to vote. Their provisional ballots were not to be counted either, as the party registration didn’t match what the State had in their computers.
As horror story after horror story rolled in regarding voter disenfranchisement in Arizona, voters in other States began checking their registration and reporting similar problems. Voters in other closed primary States, like New York and Pennsylvania, started reporting online that they too had been long registered Democrats, but when they heard about Arizona and checked their own registration, learned they had been switched to Independent without their consent. Some reported that though they had the paperwork confirming their party enrollment, their State told them they weren’t registered to vote. With deadlines for registering in time to primary or changing party affiliation, these people have in effect lost their right to participate in the 2016 Democratic primary.
I personally had trouble wrapping my head around all of this. How is it that only Bernie Sanders supporters are reporting this trouble? How many people are affected? I asked people on social media to share their stories with me if they were. I was flooded with them. I have personally read the testimonies of hundreds of people affected. Frankly, too many to share.
They were all similar, from either long-time Democrats or people who had paperwork showing they had become Democrats. All of these people were supporters of Bernie Sanders. All of these people had their party affiliations changed without their consent.
I decided to do my own test group with New York voters as that’s my home state, and where I registered to vote in the primaries. Five out of 10 of the long-time Democrats who support Bernie Sanders asked to check their registrations had their party affiliation changed without their consent, and were facing the possibility of being disenfranchised out of voting in the 2016 Democratic primary. Albeit a small sample group, half had been victimized. When we called local elections offices to inquire, everyone was told the same thing: it was changed online and there was nothing they could do
In my opinion, if there are any superheroes in our modern society, they are the men and women behind masks known as Anonymous. Be it taking on issues like police corruption or hate groups like the KKK, I am always thankful and not at all fearful when I read about this collective’s work. I was most thankful when I read this past weekend that they were looking into Arizona’s purging of Bernie supporting Democrats from the electorate. Their report proved that the party registry was indeed extremely hackable as well as likely to have been hacked. Their report proved that a vast majority of those affected were easily identified as Bernie Sanders supporters.
Steal This Vote: What I Believe
Here is my highly subjective opinion: It’s a conspiracy. I’ve asked every information technology expert I’ve ever known how Sanders supporters could be targeted, and unfortunately, there are quite a few ways. Apparently it’s not very hard to data mine supporters of a particular candidate in any given region these days. It’s not hard to change someone’s party affiliation online without their consent. In most cases you just need the voter’s date of birth and County of residence, which can also be data mined easily. Anonymous proved it’s not even hard to just flat out hack the State databases and make changes. However, the easiest explanation of how someone could access large lists of Bernie supporters is if they had access to the NGP/VAN voting data, which was widely reported to have been breached in both October and December. The Democratic National Committee has been quiet on the issue ever since.
I believe it’s too widespread to be coincidence, though without a whistle-blower to negate such claims, I’m sure that will be the eventual first defense, that is, should the corporate media monopolies ever talk about how millions of Americans have been denied access to the Democratic primary system this year.
No matter how the data was collected, the only ones who benefit from disenfranchising Bernie Sanders voters are the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign and the Democratic Party themselves, run by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Clinton’s 2008 campaign co-chair. Debbie Wasserman Shultz has been at the center of allegations that she is rigging the primary contests since the beginning of the process. It should also be noted that the head of NGP/VAN who is in charge of the campaign data that was breached is a prominent Clinton supporter. At the very least, since the Clinton campaign is the only one who benefits from this wide-spread disenfranchisement of Sanders leaning Democrats, it is in my opinion that if not the Party or campaign themselves, a highly zealous and computer savvy supporter is behind this conspiracy. That is my opinion. Without a witness, confession or whistle-blower, I fear I can never prove my theory true.
While Republican exit polls have been spot on in 2016 primary contests, Democratic exit polls have been off on average about 20% from what the reported results have been. If interested parties were able to alter the electorate by 20%, this would explain the exit polls discrepancies, as well as swing the delegates awarded towards the candidate of choice. Without media attention, I fear we may never know how many Bernie Sanders supporters were suppressed of their right to vote in the Democratic primaries.
Steal This Vote: Other Forms of Disenfranchisement
There are plenty of facts that would support the lack of ethics needed to pursue the sort of nefarious conspiracy I’ve already outlined. We know for a fact that the Clinton campaign sent Washington state caucus-goers wrong information on when and were to caucus. We know that in Colorado, Bernie awarded delegates were replaced with Hillary supporting delegates by the State Democratic Party, who blamed it on paperwork error. I was sent multiple accounts from people who had been elected delegates at their caucus, but when they went to the Colorado State convention were told they were switched to alternates and replaced with Hillary delegates. We know that the Iowa Democratic Party stands by Hillary winning all of the coin-toss decisions, despite there being YouTube video of one that Bernie won. We know that neither the Clinton campaign nor the Democratic National Committee have disavowed any of those instances.
Is it unlikely that they would tactically use the data breech information to change the party registry of Bernie supporters in closed primary States to give Clinton the edge? -Not in my humble opinion. In fact, as people’s stories of disenfranchisement continue to come in, I believe it wholeheartedly. This is only happening to Sanders supporters, and it’s happening on a large scale.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen dirty tricks from the Clinton camp or the Democratic Party itself in nearly every State. It all started with the Iowa caucuses. Besides the coin flips reported above, 90 precincts worth of data was lost, and the Democratic Party “re-staged” results themselves to their liking. A Clinton precinct captain was caught on video deliberately fudging the numbers. In Massachusetts, impeached President Bill Clinton blocked access to the polls. Arizona may have just been the tip of the iceberg, and after seeing a picture of the widow of Bill Clinton’s former Lt. Governor, Helen Purcell from the 1990s and photos of the Arizona election commissioner Helen Purcell side-by-side, I would like to commission a DNA test to prove they’re the same person, since we can’t get the media to look into any of this.
Why isn’t the media looking into any of this? Why does a guy who would rather be playing guitar have to? How broken is our system?
Steal This Vote: What Can We do?
If you’ve fallen victim to this scam and your party affiliation was changed without your consent, I beg of you to report it everywhere. Document with any previous voter registration information showing you are a Democrat. Contact your local board of elections first, then your State’s and State Attorney General. Contact your local ACLU chapter and file a complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. I also suggest posting your experience on social media, both on your accounts and in groups like Record Instances of Voter Party Tampering on Facebook. The Sanders campaign is also collecting data. Stay vigilant! Don’t let anyone steal your right to vote.
Steal This Vote: Conclusion
In conclusion, you’ll have to draw your own conclusions. I’m just a guy. I’m no investigative journalist. I don’t have a research team. My lawyer won’t let me just come on out and make the accusations I want to. This missive is the best I can do. I will gladly, however, turn over all of the testimonials I’ve received to any credentialed journalist who may be able to make a dent in this story, because frankly, if they’re systematically taking away our right to vote in the primaries, we’re no better than a banana republic or any of the countries we invade and overthrow for rigging elections. I love my country. I want us to have fair and open elections. Even if you don’t agree with me on candidate choice, I hope you can agree that America should have fair and open elections. I hope that we can agree on at least that much.
We live in a world where Facebook bans people sharing the searchable Wikileaks of Hillary Clinton’s emails, where Twitter bans trending hashtags that question her policies, where the corporate media monopolies refuse to question anything, and those in her party who dare vote for her challenger are losing their right to vote. I dare say that doesn’t sound very Democratic to me, and the Democratic Party is silent and doing nothing.
I beg of you not to be so silent.