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Bust Open the Rigged Primary System at the Democratic Convention

Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He has been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.

Bernie Sanders California rally

Bernie Sanders California rally

There can be a silver lining in anything, and the attempted rigged selection of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president is no exception. The sight of the gloating, warmongering man in a pantsuit celebrating her grip over the corrupt election machinery of the Democratic party was enough to make many people feel physically ill on Wednesday morning, ill enough to galvanize a movement toward truly open and fair elections.

The final verdict awaits in Philadelphia, and is far from assured. Clinton could be indicted at any moment. And the Democratic Convention will provide Sanders supporters and all lovers of democracy the chance to put forth to the world a coordinated message goes to the heart of our corrupt system: the primary process, the incubator for everything that comes after in any election, is rigged, and present law allows it and enables it.

Never before has the ugly process of stealing primaries in the age of Diebold been on such full and open display in America. We now have a clear target to aim at, so that nothing like this political creature can ever happen again. Who lied into the faces of grieving family members after Benghazi, lied about being under sniper fire in Bosnia, and these are just the little things. Hillary's destruction of a 12-year-old rape victim as a public defender in Arkansas, in order to get a client she knew to be guilty off the hook, indicates something truly missing in this candidate's moral compass.

Jeffrey Sachs, the Harvard economist, now a special adviser to the UN, wrote of Clinton's claim that she had helped "negotiate" a Syrian ceasefire:

"This is the kind of compulsive misrepresentation that makes Clinton unfit to be President. Clinton’s role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian bloodbath, not to bring it to a close."

The collective wisdom of Americans in choosing their leaders and their future has been unjustly slandered. It's not that we don't choose the right leaders. It's that we don't get the leaders we really choose. In 2012, a less blatant hijack of the election system was perpetrated against Ron Paul, who, by all indications, including the Sanders-like crowds he drew from left to right, young and old, was robbed of the nomination.

What most people don't know about our primary process is that it is nearly impossible for most average citizens, or their citizen representatives, to ever view or count a single ballot to verify that what our election officials are telling us is true. These are the same officials who suppressed the vote in Arizona, New York, and California, openly committed election fraud in Illinois, and more covertly in many other states.

How blatant is it? In Chicago, a citizens' election watchdog told a hearing of the Chicago Board of Elections that they witnessed the vote totals of hand-counted ballots at an audit being altered to benefit Hillary Clinton. What happened after this explosive testimony? Did it trigger a full audit? Did Obama's Justice Department jump in? No. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.

In Chicago, however, citizens were at least allowed to be present at the mandatory audit, which has sounded the alarm that what everyone suspects is probably true. The numbers of the enormous crowds which Bernie Sanders drew at his rallies compared to Clinton's did not lie, and it isn't true that "large crowds don't equal votes," as shills for the establishment candidate are fond of saying to explain the discrepancies between visible support and polled results.

It defies common sense that the candidate who draws 40,000 people to a stadium or Manhattan park can lose to the candidate who does not even fill a high school auditorium. Now we have a good explanation for that. The numbers are rigged from the start.

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The good news is, in the past decade, most states have moved to paper ballots or verifiable paper trail voting. The bad news is, with few exceptions, no one except election officials are empowered to examine and recount those paper ballots.

This is where the change must take place. Open, accessible primary audits which can be witnessed by citizens, campaigns, or their representatives, written into law in every state. Down to the level of discerning candidate choice markings on the ballots. In an age when video surveillance has for the most part become an intrusion on privacy and civil liberties, this is one area where video surveillance could become an important part of the solution.

Ballots can be immediately scanned and digitized on CDs for public inspection. Let's turn the cameras and technology back on those who have solidly earned our distrust.

Citizen watchdogs testify to witnessing fraud for Clinton at Chicago vote audit

The fact is, since we are relying on the same officials who dropped hundreds of thousands of likely Sanders voters from the rolls, or changed their registrations, in Arizona and New York, two critical states, to tell us who won, we really don't know what the true count is in those ballot boxes. We are relying on the same people who altered vote totals in Chicago, who allowed unregistered caucus voters to crash the Nevada caucuses in support of Clinton, and who shut down a state convention after ramming Hillary through. The Democratic primary apparatus is rotten to the core.

Mathematician and election expert Richard Charnin has done state-by-state analysis estimating by how much Sanders would likely have won by, had the primaries been honest, given the entire range of voter suppression tactics and other forms of election fraud employed by Clinton-dominated election machineries.

It is not true that brave Americans fought and died for our right to vote. They fought and died for our right to vote, and to have it fairly and meaningfully counted.

As obnoxious as Trump is, he has the charm, unlike Hillary, of blurting out an occasional truth. Trump said that the Democratic primary was "100 percent" rigged for Clinton. For his part, Trump had figured out how to win votes by margins which could not be overcome by Republican establishment cheating, a sad commentary on the dark underside of the American character which embraces xenophobic nationalism and religious bigotry.

Josef Stalin famously said: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." A full and transparent primary process should be one of the key demands of all Democrats going into the convention. Why would anyone oppose this?

Let's see the ballots in every state where there was a whiff of wrongdoing, and that is many, in open, random audits verifiable by citizens or their representatives. If Hillary wants to enter the convention as the legitimate nominee, then this is what must happen. If not, what are the Clinton establishment forces afraid of?

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