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Mexico: Why Mexico's electoral system is stronger than ours

I'm not fully caffeinated yet, so I'll content myself with some commentary. (The energetic Charles at Mercury Rising has the latest news. Calderon's flip-flopping on recounts again.)

In every way, the Mexican electoral system has proven itself more robust than our own:

1. The guy with the most votes wins. Imagine that!

2. The system is designed to deter, detect, and reverse fraud. Imagine that!

3. The citizens act to preserve the system's strength.

They took videos at the polling places. They trapped operatives who were opening ballot boxes inside a building, held them, and took the story national.

4. Obrador's Party (the PRD) is stronger than the Dems.

Suppose, just suppose, that an American citizen had shot a video of what went on inside the sealed Warren County operation in Ohio 2004, and brought that to the Democratic Party.

What are the odds that the Dems would have published it? I'd say very low. But the PRD stood up. Obrador didn't collect money from his own activists for court filings and then sit on it.

What are the odds the press would have published it? I'd say zero. Remeber how the Times didn't run the story on the Miami bourgeois riots until after Bush v Gore? Even though they had the video beforehand, and any Washington reporter would have recognized all the staffers and operatives doing the rioting by sight?

Finally, and above all:

5. THE MEXICAN ELECTORAL SYSTEM LEAVES A PAPER TRAIL.

And it's the logistics of hijacking an election with physical ballots, physical ballot boxes in an electronic age that's keeping the system strong.

You can video a man stuffing a physical ballot box. And that's a story everyone can understand. And it makes the national news.

You can trap guys in a building when they're trying to steal physical ballots. That's a story too. And it makes the national news.

In America, with our hackable, very expensive, and Republican owned and operated e-voting systems, we have none of that protection.

All it takes to steal a close election--and Rove always operates at the margin, remember--is a few bits and bytes shifted in a quiet cubicle somewhere.

And that may be the most insidious aspect of the electronic voting technology the Republicans are forcing on us. Without the physical act of counting the physical votes, there's no narrative.

[Rather, there's only the lazy narrative the stenographers already know.]

And without physical ballot stuffing, or physical ballot theft, there's no story.

No story at all. No bad guys caught in the act.

Just a little data shifted in a quiet cube.

Yes indeed, Mexico 2006 = Ohio 2004 = Flodida 2000. Mexico's fight for justice is America's fight for justice.

But thanks to the strengths of their electoral system, justice has a better chance in Mexico than in America.

Sad. But hopeful, because we can learn from them.

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