I find it interesting that our government and media are in a flap because of allegations of election tampering in Iran. Who are we to speak to any other country about election integrity?
In 2004, nine people went from Minnesota to Ohio, joining others all over the country because of allegations of election fraud there and elsewhere. I know because I was one of them.
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What we discovered was horrifying, almost beyond comprehension. Many of us, myself included came to the conclusion that the integrity of elections and democracy itself was in question and possibly lost forever.
What was even more horrifying was the deafening silence of many, once we returned from Ohio. No jostling of reporters or in depth interviews from elected officials for us. In fact virtually the only people who would even listen to us were groups like Minnesota Citizens For Election Integrity and Fair Vote Minnesota.
What makes this more chilling, if that were possible, is the fact that we have seen this kind of ramped up rhetoric before. With another “country with weapons of mass destruction.” or so we were told. I am speaking of course about Iraq.
Where we, as a nation, were lied into an illegal war and now occupation of that beleaguered nation.
Perhaps if Ohio had nuclear weapons or had some export that the owners of our country were interested in, then perhaps we would have received those interviews and press attention.
Of course the ultimate irony of this entire situation is that Minneapolis is going to have Instant Run Off Voting this year.
With the votes counted, not on machines but with paper and hand counting in some cases. This means that for some Minnesotans, we know now that our vote will indeed count.
Perhaps election integrity and democracy is not quite lost yet.
Michael Cavlan is a registered nurse who, along with eight other Minnesotans, went to Ohio in 2004 to take part in the historic recount there. Since then he has been a committed election integrity activist. He also ran for the US Senate in 2006.
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