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Clinton Harms Faith in Democracy, Half of Americans Now Think Primaries are "Rigged" No Faith in Process

Updated on May 1, 2016
Mass demonstration and arrests of members of Democracy Spring on April 11, 2016, calling for reform of US election processes.
Mass demonstration and arrests of members of Democracy Spring on April 11, 2016, calling for reform of US election processes.

In a party primary nominating season marked by extraordinary bitterness from supporters of Democratic contender Bernie Sanders over state-after-state shenanigans by elections officials, a Reuters poll has found that now half of all Americans consider both parties' nominating processes to be "rigged."

The findings suggest a lower level of participation in electoral politics in the future as citizens feel helpless to work for change through the ballot box.

Reuters reports:

"More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is "rigged" and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed...The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties – a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair."

The poll harkens back to the massive demonstrations during the inauguration of George W. Bush as president in 2000, after the US Supreme Court stepped in to stop the vote counting in a critical state, Florida, and handed the state's electoral votes to Bush. The US Congress accepted the decision and swore in Bush. The Bush years were marked by a level of division within the country not seen since the Vietnam War.

The poll's findings come as a citizens' election watchdog group in Chicago says it witnessed open vote manipulation in favor of Clinton during a mandatory random audit of the state's optical scan voting machines. Dr. Laura Chamberlain of Who's Counting testified at a Chicago Board of Elections hearing that she personally saw a state auditor intentionally remove 21 votes from Bernie Sanders and add 49 votes to Hillary Clinton.

Because such audits are random, it is not known what further audits might reveal.

The group's name is a play on a quote attributed to Josef Stalin, who allegedly once said: "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

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