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Election Theft 101
Nov. 10, 2000

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Election thievery is easy. Anyone can become an expert, so why not aim high? Go after the top office in the land. All you have to do is follow a few, simple, time-tested rules. Soon you,ll find yourself able to compete with the best of the looters.

Step 1: Demand a recount.
This can be accomplished with little effort, particularly when an election is close. In fact, a recount is automatic under some state laws. Make sure, though, that you get your people to manufacture votes during the recount.

Just in case you are unable to produce enough new votes, be ready with an alternate plan. One shrewd option might be to demand a hand recount, even before the results of the first recount are completed.

Step 2: Send out your assistants to dig up as much dirt as possible.
When you,re first starting out, it,s best if you have some people with prior experience in the art of election plundering. When you can,t get the most highly sought after individuals in the field like, for instance, the former mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley, you might consider hiring one of his relatives.

In the event a recount doesn,t quite go your way, there is nothing like a good fishing expedition to provide choice material with which to question the results. It,s highly advisable to solicit victims, maybe some senior citizens who have had difficulty with the arduous task of punching the correct holes in a paper ballot. But a word of caution. It,s important to appear to have your emissaries initiate any action.

Step 3: Create as many questions, controversies and doubts as possible, while you yourself remain above the fray.
The effective election swindler will deal in quantity rather than quality. The worth of the claim is far less important than its propaganda value. The goal is to instill a sufficient degree of uncertainty so the assertion can be made that the election was unfair.

It also helps to frequently remind yourself of this adage: "If I throw enough dung at the wall, some of it will stick. Some useful accusations that can be hurled include the following: that the form of the ballot was misleading; that voters were confused during the process; that some ballots are missing entirely; or that voting machines were faulty. Try to generate outcry for that all important second or third recount.

Step 4: Direct your surrogates to assemble, finance and prepare an army of lawyers in order to move the election into the courts.
Use of the courts to delay or actually change the result of an election is one of the finest backup plans. It will work especially well if you can enlist the help of a partisan federal circuit judge. If a biased federal judge is not available, go to state court. Whatever you do, do not let yourself be distracted by talk of a constitutional crisis.

Step 5: Play good cop, bad cop.
Be sure to make speeches that are filled with noble platitudes. At the same time, continue plotting your ballot larceny behind the scenes. Send out substitutes to all of the media outlets so you can begin the process of conditioning the public. (See Step 8 entitled "Spin and propagandize.)

Step 6: Play the race card.
Identify some minority victims. Then ask a celebrity minority leader, say someone like Jesse Jackson, to organize a number of demonstrations. If you want a real edge, elicit the help of minority members of Congress to stir up the community and make the general populace feel uncomfortable.

Step 7: Bring in the Feds.
With a little luck, you,ll have an Attorney General who can step in and provide some additional weight. The presence of this figure should strike fear in the hearts of young and old alike. In addition, the entrance of a law enforcement official may even provide cover when critics emerge.

Step 8: Spin and propagandize to sway public opinion.
Finally, you need to undermine the legitimacy of the outcome. For example, in the case where an electoral vote decides the presidency without an accompanying popular vote, question the relevance of antiquated procedures for current times. Completely ignore any talk of the rule of law or reference to respect for the Constitution. If anyone attempts to bring up the truth thing, act indignant. Change the subject. Never forget that the goal is to win at whatever cost necessary.

Beware of those who hold up the example of Richard Nixon,s timely concession in 1960 or those who express concern over the uncertainty of the financial markets, the image of the U.S. on the world stage or the time it normally takes for a smooth transition of power. After all, this is war.

And here,s the cardinal rule of election theft: Never ever listen to those who try to tell you that it,s in the best interest of the country to concede in a gracious manner. No, the only way to steal an election in style is to keep your focus on you. Now go out and seize those votes!

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2000
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
All Rights Reserved