Updated: Kennedy: 2004 Election was rigged

In a shocker of an article, sent in by filmmaker Matt Kohn, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes, in Rolling Stone:

what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election.
On Exit Polls:
On the evening of the vote, reporters at each of the major networks were briefed by pollsters at 7:54 p.m. Kerry, they were informed, had an insurmountable lead and would win by a rout: at least 309 electoral votes to Bush’s 174, with fifty-five too close to call. In London, Prime Minister Tony Blair went to bed contemplating his relationship with President-elect Kerry.
As the last polling stations closed on the West Coast, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in ten of eleven battleground states – including commanding leads in Ohio and Florida – and winning by a million and a half votes nationally. The exit polls even showed Kerry breathing down Bush’s neck in supposed GOP strongholds Virginia and North Carolina. Against these numbers, the statistical likelihood of Bush winning was less than one in 450,000.
On Ohio:
[Ohio Sec of State Kenneth Blackwell] has openly denounced Kerry as ''an unapologetic liberal Democrat,''(50) and during the 2004 election he used his official powers to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens in Democratic strongholds. In a ruling issued two weeks before the election, a federal judge rebuked Blackwell for seeking to ''accomplish the same result in Ohio in 2004 that occurred in Florida in 2000.''
There's more. Much more.

The question remains: what to do with the information? Bush is the president till '08 and that isn't likely to change, but will the Democrats win back one or both Houses and will the political will be present even then to secure the election process?

What kind of Democracy is left if we don't?

A great deal of discussion is in the works over what a smart and productive progressive response to this and other allegations of widespread, coordinated voter fraud should be. Some of the issues at stake include voter paralysis (if it is true, why vote? vs. a specific and politically advantageous issue around which activists, writers and pols can rally) and fighting the right wing frame that "Democrats just can't get over it."

The response can be rolled into one: Make "every vote counted" a part of the Democratic platform. For the future. Forget about what happened in the past in terms of the election being "stolen." There are allegations on both sides regarding voter suppression. Use the fact that the allegations against Democrats are BS and say: well, if we agree that there were shenanigans on both sides, let's handle this together by making elections transparent, trackable, and uniform. Let's take partisanship out of election oversight (currently, the partisan sec. of state controls the state's voting issues) and ensure that every American's vote is counted.

Force Republicans to come up with a way to say "no, we don't want that." What can you lose by forcing Republicans to publicly oppose transparent and fair elections?

(Hat tip to Bradblog)

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