Wednesday, April 28, 2004
:::: OK, India, You Are Not Welcome To Our Jobs, ::::
::: But You Can Have Those Dumb Voting Machines :::
New Voting Machine, the Same Old Fraud
MAUJEMPUR, India, April 26 - Standing under a blistering sun in this destitute farming village in northern India on Monday morning, about 100 sinewy men and 30 rail-thin women waited patiently for their chance to cast ballots on India's newest accomplishment: an electronic voting machine.
Indian officials trumpet the sleek and sophisticated device as the latest example of the new India, a nation of surging technology jobs, rising optimism and roaring economic growth. For the first time, electronic machines are being used across India in the staggered national elections that got under way this month. On Monday, the third stage of the voting was held here in the state of Bihar and in 10 others.
*** Unfortunately, India's voting machine problems are a bit more
*** serious than ours. They use bombs.
In what appeared to be a carefully planned series of events, two small bombs exploded near the polling place and party workers threatened the five policemen guarding the booth and then brazenly took control of it. As poll workers and policemen averted their eyes, young party workers pushed the button for their party on the electronic voting machine over and over again, casting vote after fraudulent vote.
The men had carried out a new version of a storied Indian electoral trick: "booth capturing," in which armed thugs hired by political parties seize control of a polling place and stuff ballot boxes. The events on Monday suggest that like the rest of India, the country's political operatives are becoming more businesslike and more technologically savvy.
*** After the police came and went, it was Indian business as usual.
Minutes after his [the police] departure, Mr.Yadav's workers gained control of the booth. One party worker slipped into the room where people were supposed to be voting alone. When voters entered, he told them to push the button for Mr. Yadav's party or placed their index fingers on the button for the party and pressed it down.
In a lull between voters, he pushed the button for Mr. Yadav's party over and over again himself. After 15 minutes, another party worker replaced him and did the same thing. The poll officers and the police, seemingly intimidated, did nothing to stop them. No representative from Mr. Vajpayee's party was present
*** Well, not much difference really. India has thugs stealing elections,
*** but we use the much more official Supreme Court.
Gran, who is happy to read many are now wise to those Diebold ripoff boxes.