The Electoral Process Integrity in the US is the Worst in Developed Nations

Above and beyond the distraction of the clown car show of this year’s primaries and endless meaningless debates that tackle none of the major issues facing the American public, there is a more serious issue. Mainly the issue of the integrity of the election process in the first place. While there always has been “tricks to politics”, the last several decades have shown there is more than just “tricks”. In fact, there is developing evidence of criminal fraud, ballot tampering, “programmed vote changing”, and a myriad of other criminal activities.

The world is currently transfixed by the spectacle of American elections. From New York, London, and Paris to Beijing, Moscow, and Sydney there is endless heated debate in the news media and across dinner tables about the factors fueling the remarkable success of Donald Trump, speculation about a brokered convention shattering the old GOP, and the most likely outcome of a polarizing Trump-Clinton battle in the fall.

This contest matters. It is the election for the most powerful leader in the Western world, and some—like the Economist Intelligence Unit—regard Donald Trump as a major risk to global prosperity and stability. Also, as citizens of one of the world’s oldest democracies, Americans like to think that the United States provides an influential role model for how elections should run in other countries. We often cite voting irregularities as a reason to withhold aid and even apply sanctions against other nations.

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), founded in 2012, provides an independent evaluation of the quality of elections worldwide. The EIP’s results have been published in several books, including Why Electoral Integrity Matters and Why Elections Failbooks that focus on comparing the quality of elections, understanding why problems arise, and diagnosing what can be done about these flaws. We can use the data collected by the EIP to ask: Is the US the electoral role model it imagines itself to be?

A democratic role model?

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In practice, recent years have seen a long series of vulnerabilities in the conduct of American elections, as documented by the 2014 report of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Indeed, these issues have been under close scrutiny ever since the notoriously flawed ballot design in Florida in 2000.

Since then, the Commission has reported wait times in excess of six hours to cast a ballot in Ohio, inaccurate state and local voter registers, insufficiently trained local poll workers, and the breakdown of voting machines in New York. Further there has been actual testimony before the Ohio Senate from a programmer from Diebold who admitted to writing programs that “allocated votes” from the actual candidate voted for to the “other candidate”.

Standards remain uneven across the country. The Pew Center’s 2012 Election Performance Index, for instance, suggests that states such as North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin performed relatively well against a range of quality indicators combining voting convenience and electoral integrity. Other states, including California, Oklahoma, and Mississippi demonstrated noticeable shortfalls.

Problems reported by the media

It was no different during the 2014 midterm elections. The news media reported a range of problems on polling day—some trivial, others more serious. It is unclear whether these arose from accidental administrative mistakes or intentional dirty tricks. At least 18 state election websites were reported to have experienced disruptions on election day, preventing voters from using the sites to locate polling places and ballot information.

In Virginia, a State Department of Elections spokesman said that 32 electronic voting machines at 25 polling places experienced problems. In both Virginia and North Carolina, the Washington Post reported cases of electronic polling machines which recorded a vote for the Democratic candidate when the screen was touched to cast a vote for the Republican. And in Texas the statewide voter registration system crashed, forcing many to complete provisional ballots when poll workers were unable to confirm voter eligibility. Meanwhile, new state laws requiring electors to present photo identification caused confusion in several states, including Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina.

These problems are not fading away. During the 2016 primary in North Carolina, there was confusion about new photo ID requirements and long lines. Court decisions over voter identification laws currently remain pending in Texas and Virginia.

Problems of money in politics

As well as repeated procedural flaws, there has been speculation that public disgust with the role of money in politics, and the role of major donors in buying access to Congress, is one of the major factors driving the primary campaigns.

Much of Trump’s visibility comes from exploiting his advantage in attracting free social media and spending less on TV airwaves than any other major candidate. He commonly claims that his organization is more self-funded than most presidential campaigns, without support by a super-PAC. This may appeal to voters who are suspicious of the role of money in American elections and of the honesty of politicians who are seen to be in the pockets of rich donors and corporate interests.

Similarly, Bernie Sanders has campaigned on his ability to raise funds from multiple small donors. He claims Hillary Clinton has been more beholden to establishment donors and fat fees from corporate speaking engagements. Suspicion of the role of money in politics seems to be widespread. In the 2012 National Election Survey, for example, when the public was asked whether ‘Rich people buy elections,’ two-thirds of Americans agreed with this statement.

Comparing the US to other democracies

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Some may be tempted to think headlines are exaggerating the true extent of any problems in America by highlighting negative cases which are actually fairly isolated. Is there actually more systematic evidence suggesting that American elections are flawed? And how does the U.S. compare with other long-standing democracies worldwide? New evidence that gives insights into this issue has been gathered by the Electoral Integrity Project. This independent research project is funded by the Australian Research Council’s Laureate award with a team of researchers based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University.

The 2015 annual Year in Election report compares the risks of flawed and failed elections, and looks at how well countries around the world meet international standards. The report gathers assessments from over 2,000 experts to evaluate the perceived integrity of all 180 national parliamentary and presidential contests held between July 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2015 in 139 countries worldwide. These include 54 national elections held last year.

Forty experts were asked to assess each election by answering 49 questions. The overall 100-point Perceptions of Electoral Integrity (PEI) index is constructed by summing up the responses. This chart compares and contrasts the overall 100-point PEI index for all elections held since 2012 in the Western democracies covered in the survey. In the US, this covers both the 2012 presidential elections and the 2014 Congressional contests.

Americans often express pride in their democracy, yet the results indicate that domestic and international experts rate the US elections as the worst among all Western democracies. Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden are at the top of the ranking, all scoring over 80 on the 100 point PEI Index. Several democracies from diverse regions and cultures—for example, Israel and Canada—are ranked in the middle of the pack.

But the US scores 62, a full 24 points lower than Denmark and Finland. The UK also performs fairly poorly, along with Greece and Australia. One reason for this is that proportional electoral systems—which translate votes into seats on a proportional basis—usually tend to score higher as they provide more inclusive opportunities for smaller parties. All of the Nordic countries, for example, use a proportional system.

Comparisons can also be drawn with all 180 parliamentary and presidential elections included in the latest report, covering 139 countries worldwide. The 2012 US presidential election ranks 60th out of 180 elections worldwide, close to Bulgaria, Mexico, and Argentina. This is no one-time shortcoming. The 2014 US Congressional elections rank even worse, 65th out of 180 worldwide.

By contrast, elections in many newer democracies are seen by experts to perform far better in the global comparison, such as in Lithuania (ranked 4th), Costa Rica (6th), and Slovenia (8th). To explore this issue, EIP also conducted a second survey with almost 200 experts to compare the performance of the 2014 congressional elections across 21 US states.

The results show that the worst problem across most states involved gerrymandering of district boundaries to favor incumbents. The mean score for American states was just 42 on a 100-point scale.

Other weaknesses concerned whether electoral laws were unfair to smaller parties like the Green Party, favored the governing party, or restricted voters’ rights. Campaign finance—for example, whether parties and candidates had equitable access to public subsidies and political donations—was also seen by experts as a problem. Finally voter registration was also viewed critically. Issues here included whether the register itself was accurate with, in some cases, citizens not listed and, in others, ineligible electors registered.

By contrast, voting processes were rated more favorably. Factors here included whether any fraudulent votes were cast, whether the voting process was easy, whether voters were offered a genuine choice at the ballot box, along with the vote count and post-election results. These last two measures each received a high score of 85. Much debate in the US focuses upon potential risks of fraud or voter suppression at the ballot box, but in fact experts rate earlier stages of American elections more critically.

Why are American elections so bad?

Why are American elections particularly vulnerable to these sorts of problems? It is a complex story.

A large part of the blame can be laid at the door of the degree of decentralization and partisanship in American electoral administration. Key decisions about the rules of the game are left to local and state officials with a major stake in the outcome. For example, gerrymandering arises from leaving the processes of redistricting in the hands of state politicians, rather than more impartial judicial bodies.

Moreover, the role of money in American campaigns has become progressively deregulated in recent decades, thanks in part to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, while election costs have spiraled. Add to that the fuel of an inflammatory campaign by Donald Trump, and the prospects for agreement about the outcome of the election become more remote.

While it is important to vote, it is far more important to cast an informed vote and also participate in making sure at the local level (precinct) that voting is done with integrity. Not only is it your right to vote, it is your responsibility. If you think you are powerless in the process, you are mistaken. It takes all of us being actively involved and informed. You are far more in control than you have been led to believe. Show up, ask questions and see for yourself what happens next.

Part of this post originally appeared at The Conversation. Follow @ConversationUS on Twitter.

 

Awakening and Blindness-Understanding the Veils

Many people are experiencing an awakening, but what is that exactly. What it is not is some mystical process brought on by spirits or ETs. Awakening is a process by which we begin to see true reality. Not an easy task, given the efforts in the media, the political arena, and the entertainment industries to insure we remain comatose, predictable, and unaware.

Awakening is breaking through all of the distractions to come to an understanding of how and why the world is the way it is. How is it we tolerate our economic enslavement, put up with corrupt governments, and willingly pay in money and blood for endless wars? How is it that we tolerate the suffering and deaths of innocents caught up in the game of power and money? What is this complacency we all experience?

The fact is we are powerful beings with sovereign universal rights. The fact is no one has any power over us without our consent. So why is our consent given almost unconsciously by us. This is the beginning point to begin to question the status quo. A. True Ott, PhD gives us clear understanding the veils that separate us from our true freedom and divine destinies.

UNDERSTANDING THE NINE VEILS

WHY NINE VEILS INSTEAD OF EIGHT

Any dedicated seeker of truth eventually stumbles upon the incredible symmetry and structure of mathematics, which is especially true in fractal geometry involving the integers 1-9.  For a most basic example, just take a look at these nine equations:

(1 x 8) + 1= 9

(12 x 8) + 2 = 98

(123 x 8) + 3 = 987

(1234 x 8) + 4 = 9876

(12345 x 8) + 5 = 98765

(123456 x 8) + 6 = 987654

(1234567 x 8) + 7 = 9876543

(12345678 x 8) + 8 = 98765432

(123456789 x 8) + 9 = 987654321

Amazing, isn’t it?  We find it very interesting, furthermore, that all of the great philosophers in history such as Archimedes, Copernicus, Socrates and Da Vinci all were mathematicians first and foremost.   I submit that everything from biblical prophecy to DNA strands are built and based on quite simple mathematical formulas and patterns – but I am getting ahead of the story, for understanding the role of mathematics is in itself one of the nine hidden veils.

Consider also the so-called “mystery schools” of antiquity.  In shadowy temples in Sumer and Babylon – the Kabala showed the way to the ultimate “Holy of Holies” – the re-veil-a-tions (revelation, i.e. the parting of the veils) of life, the creation, of God and when embraced in honor and truth, the very Origins of Man.  This involved systematically piercing and embracing 9 levels of understanding or “Truth Plateaus” before finally entering “Nirvana” (or the ultimate unity with God) as depicted in modern “tracing boards”.

Like a giant Sudoku Puzzle board, the human experience we call life truly revolves around the numbers 1 – 9 in so many remarkable ways.  Everything has a place in the system, and everything fits neatly and precisely in the eternal grid of time and space.  This then, is but one definition of Truth – hidden, arcane knowledge that fits completely in the mathematical grid called logic.  Yeshua (aka Jesus of Nazareth) declared this to His disciples: “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.

WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE THE TRUTH?

This question is best answered by Don Harkins’ wise words written in 2001:

“Over the last several years I have evolved and discarded several theories in an attempt to explain why it is that most people cannot see truth — even when it smacks them in the face. Those of us who can see “the conspiracy” have participated in countless conversations amongst ourselves that address the frustration of most peoples´ inability to comprehend the extremely well-documented arguments which we use to describe the process of our collective enslavement and exploitation. The most common explanation to be arrived at is that most people just “don´t want to see” what is really going on.

Extremely evil men and women who make up the world´s power-elite have cleverly cultivated a virtual pasture so grass green that few people seldom, if ever, bother to look up from where they are grazing long enough to notice the brightly colored tags stapled to their ears.

The same people who cannot see their enslavement for the pasture grass have a tendency to view as insane “conspiracy theorists” those of us who can see the past the farm and into the parlor of his feudal lordship´s castle. Finally, I understand why.

It´s not that those who don´t see that their freedom is vanishing under the leadership of the power-elite “don´t want to see it” — they simply can´t see what is happening to them because of the unpierced veils that block their view.

All human endeavors are a filtration process. Sports are one of the best examples. We play specific sports until we get kicked off the playground. The pro athletes we pay big bucks to watch just never got kicked off the playground. Where millions of kids play little league each spring, they are filtered out until there are about 50 guys who go to the World Series in October.

Behind the first veil: There are over six billion people on the planet. Most of them live and die without having seriously contemplated anything other than what it takes to keep their lives together. Ninety percent of all humanity will live and die without having pierced the first veil.”

Indeed it can be said that less than 1% of the world’s 6 billion humans ever pierce all nine veils, and it would appear that even this small minority is ever-shrinking.  In order to keep the “virtual pasture” green, the global elite also successfully bribe many who have pierced multiple veils, in order to misdirect others who may be approaching truth in many areas.  I call this simply intellectual prostitution – selling the birthright of Universal Truth for a worthless mess of pottage.  The gilded glitz of wealth, fame and social elevation have seduced many a gifted intellectual.

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With full credit given to Don Harkins, here now are the newly updated “Nine Veils”.

The first veil: Ten percent of us will pierce the first veil and find the world of politics. We will vote, become active and develop an opinion. Our opinions will be shaped by the physical world around us; we will have been “conditioned” from our days in public education to accept that government officials, network media personalities and other “experts” are the primary voices of authority. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the second veil.

The second veil: Ten percent of us will also pierce the second veil to explore the world of history, the relationship between man and government and the meaning of self-government through constitutional and common law. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the third veil.

The third veil: Ten percent of those who pierce the second veil, will eventually pierce the third veil to conclusively find that the resources of the world, including people (try to obtain a copy of your ORIGINAL birth certificate), are controlled by extremely wealthy and powerful families whose incorporated old world assets have, with modern extortion strategies, become the foundation upon which the entire world´s economy is currently indebted. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the fourth veil.

The fourth veil: Ten percent will then pierce the fourth veil to discover the Illuminati, Freemasonry, and the other secret societies. These societies use symbols and perform ceremonies that perpetuate the generational transfers of arcane knowledge that is used to keep the ordinary people in political, economic and spiritual bondage to the oldest bloodlines on earth. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the fifth veil.

The fifth veil: Ten percent will progress to pierce the fifth veil to learn that the secret societies are so far advanced technologically that time travel and interstellar communications have no boundaries and controlling the very thoughts and even the very actions of people is what their members do as offhandedly as we tell our children when they must go to bed.  As in the days of Noah, this technology is even creating synthetic life forms, as man seeks to displace God.  Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without having pierced the sixth veil.

The sixth veil: Ten percent will progress to pierce the sixth veil where we learn the dragons and lizards and aliens we thought were the fictional monsters of childhood literature are real indeed and are in reality the actual controlling forces behind the secret societies uncovered in the fourth veil. Ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without piercing the seventh veil.

The seventh veil: Ten Percent will progress to pierce the 7th veil where the incredible world of fractal geometry and the universal law of numbers will be fully understood and embraced.  The creative force of the entire universe will be shown to be linked to numerical code formulas and sequences, and all “mysteries” including the very fabric of time, space, parallel universes, and access therein is unlocked.  Those whose intellects allow them to pierce the seventh veil often succumb to the lure and promise of massive wealth offered by the ruling elite, and thus over ninety percent of the people in this group will live and die without piercing the eighth veil.

The eighth veil: Piercing the eighth veil reveals God and the pure energy known as LOVE that is the pure life force in all living things – which are one and the same.  Deep-seated Humility is needed in order to ever pierce this veil.

The ninth veil: Piercing the ninth veil means perfecting the pure energy known as love and thereby becoming truly one with God and His formulations.  By perfecting this pure energy, one then fully embraces charity and therein gains full understanding of the universal plan of sacrifice, death, and redemption; life itself then becomes complete and one truly comes full circle and looks at the world through the eyes of an innocent child, yet with the deepest wisdom born of pure LOVE from the eighth veil.

Consider this: If this theory is correct, there are only about 60,000 people on the planet who have successfully pierced the sixth veil. The irony here is too incredible: Those who are stuck behind veils one through five have little choice but to view the people who have pierced the veils beyond them as dangerously insane. With each veil pierced, exponentially shrinking numbers of increasingly enlightened people are deemed insane by exponentially increasing masses of decreasingly enlightened people.

Adding to the irony, the harder a “sixth or better veiler” tries to explain what he is able to see to those who can´t, the more insane he appears to them.  This truth is self-evident.  Moreover, institutions such as the venerable “Southern Poverty Law Center” are formed and financed by the ruling elite to effectively label many such awakened individuals “hate-mongers” and “terrorists”.

OUR ENEMY, THE STATE

Behind the first two veils we find the great majority of people on the planet. They are tools of the state: Second veilers are the gullible voters whose ignorance justify the actions of politicians who send untold millions of first veilers off to die in foreign lands as cannon fodder — their combined stations in life are simply to believe that the self-serving machinations of the power-elite are matters of national security and are worth dying for.

Third, fourth, fifth and sixth veilers are of increasing liability to the state because of their decreasing ability to be used as tools to consolidate power and wealth of the many into the hands of the power-elite few. It is common also, for these people to sacrifice more of their relationships with friends and family, their professional careers and personal freedom with each veil they pierce.

Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945), author of “Our Enemy, the State” (1935), explained what happens to those who find and embrace the final two veils: “What was the best that the state could find to do with an actual Socrates and an actual Jesus when it had them? Merely to poison one and crucify the other, for no reason but that they were too intolerably embarrassing to be allowed to live any longer.”

The good news is that the process of awakening IS currently being facilitated and IS accelerating within the masses. To those who are piercing the first four veils, remember love is the power to facilitate others to awaken. To those who just coming to an understanding that “something” is happening and you want to be a part of it, educate yourself, research, and most importantly use your own discernment as to what is the truth.

Soon we will reach a tipping point. When we arrive, then certain events will occur that will make the truth and the deception of the past self-evident. Until that moment never stop questioning everything and try as much as possible to love everyone as much as possible, as this is the best antidote against fear (false evidence against reality). Happy Hunting!

First Message Before Disclosure

As those who are aware know, things are beginning to happen in very significant ways. However, along with this increased pace of events comes much disinformation and misdirection. Therefore you must rely on your own discernment. The following video should be viewed with that same discernment. However, this is a very important message to help focus your energies, open your imagination, and hopefully help bring joy and gratitude into your being. Enjoy!