How California is being stolen from Sanders right now

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Special bulletin from Greg Palast

Los Angeles – It’s not some grand conspiracy, but it’s grand theft nonetheless. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ voters will lose their ballots, their rights, by the tens of thousands.

The steal is baked into the way California handles No Party Preference – “NPP” voters – what we know as “independents.”

Election poll 'Voter not found'There are a mind-blowing 4.2 million voters in California registered NPP – and they share a love for sunshine and Bernie Sanders. According to the reliable Golden State poll, among NPP voters, Sen. Sanders whoops Sec. Hillary Clinton by a stunning 40 percentage points.

On the other team, registered Democrats prefer Clinton by a YUGE 30 points. NPPs can vote in the Democratic primary, so, the California primary comes down to a fight between Ds and NPPs.

And there’s the rub. In some counties, like Los Angeles, it’s not easy for an NPP to claim their right to vote in the Democratic primary – and in other counties, nearly impossible.

Example: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, if you don’t say the magic words, “I want a Democratic crossover ballot,” you are automatically given a ballot without the presidential race. And – ready for this? – if an NPP voter asks the poll worker, “How do I get to vote in the Democratic party primary,” they are instructed to say, “NPP voters can’t get Democratic ballots.” They are ordered not to breathe a word that the voter can get a “crossover” ballot that includes the presidential race.

I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49: “A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask.)”

They’re not kidding. Poll worker Jeff Lewis filed a description of the training in an official declaration to a federal court:

“Someone raised their hand and asked a follow-up question: ‘So, what if someone gets a nonpartisan ballot, notices it doesn’t have the presidential candidates on it, and asks you where they are?’ The answer poll workers are instructed to give: ‘Sorry, NPP ballots don’t have presidential candidates on them.’ That’s correct – even when people ask questions of that nature, obviously intending to vote with a party.”

I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49: “A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask.)”

This affidavit, and several even more horrifying, come from Election Justice USA, a non-partisan watchdog, hoping to get injunctions to stop this nonsense.

Hear my talk with the group’s spokesman, Paul Thomas, on a special edition of the The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Elections Crime Bulletin, which I host with Dennis Bernstein on the Pacifica Radio Network.

Let me throw in another complication. Nearly half of Californians vote by mail, ballots sent to your home automatically. Most NPP voters don’t realize that, to vote in the Democratic primary today, they must bring in their NPP ballot with the envelope to their polling place, and say these magic words: “I want to surrender my ballot in return for a Democratic ‘crossover’ ballot.”

Got that memorized? Because if you don’t, if you say the wrong syllables, in some counties, you will be denied a Democratic presidential ballot.

Bruce Carter and his Black Men for Bernie bus
Bruce Carter and his Black Men for Bernie bus

Bruce C. Carter is losing his mind over this. I interviewed Carter, who arrived in his Black Men for Bernie bus, decorated with a giant image of Bernie’s arrest while demonstrating for civil rights. Carter warns that if an NPP voter doesn’t say they are “surrendering” their NPP ballot, the clerk can take it and count it, blank, instead of giving the voter a new one.

It gets far worse. There are simply not enough “crossover” ballots printed. If they run out of ballots, Carter is telling voters to demand a recorded vocal vote using the voice recorders set up for the disabled.

Unfortunately, the games hardly end there. Election Justice filed still more declarations with the courts of poll workers being told to give NPP voters “provisional” ballots even if they say the magic words, “I want a crossover Democratic ballot.” As I’ve previously reported, provisional ballots are “placebo” ballots that let you feel like you’ve voted, but you haven’t. Provisional ballots are generally discarded.

Minutes ago I got a note from NPP voter Olga Martinez in Contra Costa County, where she was told she must take a “provisional” ballot. She heard our reports and demanded the Democratic ballot and got it. Martin Luther King told us, you don’t get your rights unless you demand them.

And this note just came in minutes ago from my KPFK co-host, Cary Harrison: “I am in West Hollywood and was just denied voting twice! I’m NPP. I do not even appear on the voting rolls nor does my STREET on the voting rolls. Voting suppression is in full swing.”

Cary just called. He drove to a new precinct as directed: and was again denied a ballot.

And dig this: Some counties are demanding that some of the first-time voters show official voter ID – as if California is now New Alabama. New voters are, in the main, the young Sanders supporters who are now finding out what it’s like to be treated as if they’ve turned Black.

There is no evidence this “Grand Theft Voto” is part of a massive scheme by Hillary supporters to swipe the election. The voting system is run mostly by the Democratic Party, which is totally in Hillary’s pocket. So while the establishment party officials know of the absurd impediments to voting, they see no reason to solve these problems because it doesn’t harm “their” voters.

There is no evidence this “Grand Theft Voto” is part of a massive scheme by Hillary supporters to swipe the election. The voting system is run mostly by the Democratic Party, which is totally in Hillary’s pocket.

Most of this procedural nonsense, like the need to surrender an NPP ballot with an envelope and request a “crossover” ballot – well, frankly, Bernie’s campaign has known about that all year.

The Sanders campaign was spending time talking policy at giant rallies instead of educating their voters on how to vote. In the rat maze called the American voting system, the painfully amateur Sanders campaign never provided a vote-guiding map.

I don’t believe Clinton booster Gov. Jerry Brown intended to play Bull Connor. Nevertheless, Brown and the Democratic establishment’s mad hunger to see their candidate wrap up the nomination has led them to turn a blind eye to a catastrophe for our democracy.

Greg Palast, an investigative reporter for Rolling Stone, the Guardian, BBC, Flashpoints and many other media, is the author of The New York Times bestseller, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” which will be released as a feature documentary movie this fall. Find out how to “Steal Back You Vote” – and make sure it counts – by downloading our FREE election protection comic. Subscribe to Palast’s mailing list and podcast to receive regular updates on this issue. This story first appeared on his website, GregPalast.com.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I have voted in person in San Francisco for 31 years.(in fact I have missed voting only once- a primary- since 1978.. Ya'll weren't even born then, I'll bet). I re-registered this summer after moving a few blocks away. When I showed up at the poll to vote for Mr Sanders, I was told I suddenly had become a permanent Vote by Mail voter and since I didn't have the VBM with me.. well, maybe I could vote provisionally? They seemed to have a very hard time putting that ballot together. Veeerry slooowly even as I told them I had to leave soon for an appointment. I really had to demand the provisional ballot multiple times and I have no faith that it ever did get counted- while Clinton already was proclaiming victory, my vote hadn't even been counted. *How very odd* the voter behind me in a line, a young man of color, also was told he too was a Vote by Mail, and he said he too never had asked for that. Added to this, the poll workers allowed an old white dude in the voting booth next to me to bellow about how he, a lifelong Democrat, didn't want either Sanders or Clinton, he wanted Trump. He went on at length, very loudly, in a small space. The poll workers made no attempt to tell him he could not 'campaign inside the polling place, he'd have to keep his opinions to himself while they showed him how to vote crossover. I always thought it was against the law to campaign inside the polling place, but they allowed it! I've lost all faith in the SF Department of Elections.

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  8. Black, poor, disabled, hapless voter, violently attacked and abused by racist gang of angry and hate-filled adult whites during Tuesday California primary at voting site, City of Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave, Albany, CA 94706. Then, later, site director, with malicious mockery, Mr. Sid Schoenfeld (tel: (510) 524-9122), and, Albany Police Department. (Phone: (510) 525-7300) ,Sgt Tom Dolter (badge #7) and Officer Justin Kurland (badge #21), continued the abuse of hungry poor elderly disabled Black voter, adding insult to injury. why, when Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Phone: (510) 763-0370) was told this, she refused to help? What is President Obama (tel: 202-456-1111) doing to help this abused and attacked Black voter? What has Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson (tel. (510) 272-6695) done to help attacked Black victim?.

  9. Black, poor, disabled, hapless voter, violently attacked and abused by racist gang of angry and hate-filled adult whites during Tuesday California primary at voting site, City of Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave, Albany, CA 94706. Then, later, site director, with malicious mockery, Mr. Sid Schoenfeld (tel: (510) 524-9122), and, Albany Police Department. (Phone: (510) 525-7300, criminally and falsely documented in Police Incident Report #1606090067), Sgt Tom Dolter (badge #7) and Officer Justin Kurland (badge #21), continued the abuse of hungry poor elderly disabled Black voter, adding insult to injury. Why, when Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Phone: (510) 763-0370) was told this, she refused to help? What is President Obama (tel: 202-456-1111) doing to help this abused and attacked Black voter? What has Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson (tel. (510) 272-6695) done to help attacked Black victim?.

  10. African American, poor, disabled, hapless voter, violently attacked and abused by racist gang of angry and hate-filled adult whites Poll Workers, who, by their violent viciousness, were trying to silence the poor disabled elderly Black voter from exposing their corruption of the voting process which they were doing during Tuesday, June 7, 2016 California primary at voting site, City of Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave, Albany, CA 94706. Then, later, site director, with malicious mockery, Mr. Sid Schoenfeld (tel: (510) 524-9122), and, Albany Police Department. (Phone: (510) 525-7300, criminally and falsely documented in Police Incident Report #1606090067), Sgt Tom Dolter (badge #7) and Officer Justin Kurland (badge #21), continued the abuse of hungry poor elderly disabled Black voter, adding insult to injury. Why, when Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Phone: (510) 763-0370) was told this, she refused to help? What is President Obama (tel: 202-456-1111) doing to help this voting site corruption abused and attacked Black voter? What has Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson (tel. (510) 272-6695) done to help attacked Black victim?

  11. African American, poor, disabled, defenseless voter, violently attacked and abused by racist gang of angry and hate-filled adult white Poll Workers, who, by their violent viciousness, were trying to silence the poor disabled elderly Black voter from exposing their corruption of the voting process which they were doing during Tuesday, June 7, 2016 California primary at voting site, City of Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave, Albany, CA 94706. Then, later, site director, with malicious mockery, Mr. Sid[ney] Schoenfeld (tel: (510) 524-9122), and, Albany Police Department. (Phone: (510) 525-7300, criminally and falsely documented in Police Incident Report #1606090067), Sgt Tom Dolter (badge #7) and Officer Justin Kurland (badge #21), continued the abuse of hungry poor elderly disabled Black voter, adding more injury and insult to injury. Why, when Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Phone: (510) 763-0370) was told this, she refused to help?
    What is President Obama (tel: 202-456-1111) doing to help this voting site corruption abused and attacked Black voter?
    What has Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson (tel. (510) 272-6695) done to investigate corruption and to help attacked disabled Black victim?

  12. Have not reported the 4 virtually identical posts above, each under a different name, but would hope that a Mod tending to the multiples which were reported will check these out, as separate reports will not show that 4 different identities were used for the same post, which sounds like a problem to me.

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