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Smokin' Mirrors: American Blackout

 article about American Blackout
2006-09-07 10:54:36


It is easy to lose hope in
the political system these days. Political leaders with enough impeachable
offences under their belt to have them locked away for life are instead
becoming entrenched in long-term positions. They are becoming untouchable.
Worse, not only are they not listening to the population, they are also
systematically whittling away the voting rights of thousands. But step off the
mainstream media highway, and begin strolling down the dirt tracks of
independent news, you can't help but stumble across one of the most
inspirational politicians of our time: Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia).









McKinney has
been outspoken in her opposition to the war in Iraq, the government's inadequate
response to Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 Commission, and excessive military
spending, among many other issues in her ten years on Capitol Hill. But her
most notable contribution has to be her tireless advocacy of voter's rights,
since the debacle of the election in Florida
in 2000 and the subsequent further demise of the voting system in the last six
years, notably in the Ohio
count in 2004. McKinney co-sponsored the H.J.Res.28 bill,
which "proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
affirming that the right to vote cannot and shall not be abridged."







"We
have a major problem facing our elections process," states McKinney on her official website. "As witnessed
in recent years in multiple elections and in various states, all electronic
voting vendors have failed to implement error free and trustworthy elections.
Since the 2002 implementation of electronic voting in Georgia,
machine failures and error-ridden counts have been documented, but left
uncorrected. Electronic poll-books (statewide voter registration databases)
have a high potential to disfranchise voters of specific classes and/or races."








In 2002, McKinney experienced,
first hand, the power of the Republican voting juggernaught, when she lost what
most people assumed to be a secure seat. McKinney
claimed that judge Denise Majette, who won the election with 58% of the votes
to McKinney's 42%, did so because of Georgia's rules
for an open primary. Protesting the result in court, McKinney said that thousands of Republicans,
who knew they had no chance of winning the election, participated in the
Democratic Primary to vote against her.






McKinney's electoral battle has
become the centre of new film, American Blackout, directed by GNN's Ian
Inaba. Say the film makers: "American
Blackout
chronicles the recurring patterns of voter
disenfranchisement from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 while following the story of
Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Mckinney
not only took an active role investigating these election debacles, but has
found herself in the middle of her own after publicly questioning the Bush
Administration about the 9/11 terrorist attacks."



American Blackout: timely reminder of your

voting rights









The film was
released at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it won a special jury
award, to rave reviews. Said one viewer ("Sadonovan-1" on the IMBd movie
website): "Going into this, I knew about the Florida
voter fraud in the 2000 election, I had a slight understanding of who Cynthia
McKinney was, and I knew less about the Ohio
voter fraud in the 2004 election. Wow, I was really missing out on some serious
issues that were taking place in this country -- issues that get to the
absolute root of who and what we are as a quote-unquote democratic country. Our
elections are being rigged as badly as any un-democratic country out there."








In August, McKinney lost the Democratic Primary to Hank
Johnson, who won 59 percent of the votes. Many suspect that her outspoken
tactics (her campaign slogan was "backbone in politics") have led to this
recent defeat, as the Democrats look towards November. I suspect that, similar
to her 2002-2004 hiatus from Congress, McKinney
will continue to speak out for those who are swiftly being pushed to the
sidelines in the US
today. One thing is for certain. She will be back.
















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