Tag Archives: anti-nuke referendum

The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, about 35 miles from Cleveland. Photo: Dustin Franz for The Wall Street Journal

Faking the Voter Strategies

New Orleans      Democracy is under assault everywhere it seems, and, no, I’m not just taking about the White House.

Russia is busy interfering with elections in, are you ready for this, Madagascar.  How did this out of the way island become a focus of geopolitics?

India, the self-styled, “world’s largest democracy,” is using Israeli surveillance techniques, which the company had sworn it would stop doing, to spy on its own citizens.

Trolls from the right and the white were stirring up stuff in Kentucky alleging voter fraud and ballot box thefts even before the election ended with the incumbent Republican on the losing side by 5000 votes, and they were doing it solely to create division.

Ok, maybe this does sound like the go to White House repertoire, but that’s not my point.  My point is that all of what we once called “dirty tricks” are now simply standard operating procedure for election conduct.

In Columbus, Ohio, I heard excruciating details of the mischief that met the anti-nuke teams who were trying to put a referendum on the ballot to decrease nuclear energy in that state and force alternatives.  A lot of what they talked about was intimidation of their petitioners by so-called “blockers” who would try to stand in their way and confuse potential signers  Actually, that’s pretty standard in a lot of well-financed campaigns.  Certainly on ACORN initiative campaigns we saw it frequently.  On the other hand, my ears perked up when I heard them talking about the opposition having created a fake petition in order to get people to sign, thinking they were signing the real deal.  Their petition was printed horizontally, rather than vertically, which was about the only “tell.”  The utility funded opposition paid $8 per signature on the fake petition and claimed 800,000 in the press in favor of nukes.  Crazy stuff!  It reminds me of course of the Entergy play in New Orleans where they paid actors to sit in the city council hearings, wave signs, and testify in support of a plant they wanted to build.

Talking to a progressive organizer in Columbus whose candidates were frozen out of the sample Democratic Party ballot, I heard about how they were forced to make their sample ballot look almost identical to the Democratic one in order to get people to take a look on election day.  What choice did they have?

The harvest of all of this fakery is that voters, wherever they may be, between social media, trolls, whack websites, and just plain tricks no longer can sift out the facts or the truth, so they dig into the positions they held against the assault of any differing information.  Ok, I guess we are talking about Trump tactics again.

But, you get the point.  This is democracy under fire!

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