Thursday, June 16, 2011

Testimony before Ohio Senate Government and Oversight Committee on Election Reform

Here's testimony presented today on HB 194 concerning election reform. A separate bill on voter ID, HB 159, is also under consideration by the General Assembly. Both would increase barriers to voting. Both are billed as adding "integrity" and "continuity" and reducing voter "fraud" to elections in Ohio.

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TESTIMONY BEFORE OHIO SENATE GOVERNMENT
AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ON ELECTION REFORM
June 16, 2011

My name is Greg Coleridge. I’m the Director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee.

I applaud the Ohio General Assembly for taking an interest in election fraud. This is an incredibly important and urgent issue requiring urgent and sweeping action.

Election fraud is rampant in Ohio. The integrity of our election system and, in fact, republican democracy, is in jeopardy if nothing is done.

Your focus, however, is misdirected. It’s not senior citizens, students, poor people or people of color who are engaged in election deceit. Instead, it’s business corporations.

The widespread, demonstrated, repeated and blatant fraud in our elections and entire political system is born from the absurd legal decision that corporations are persons possessing First Amendment Free Speech rights to lobby and engage in electioneering.

Business corporations have perverted our US and Ohio constitutions, claiming never-intended Bill of Rights protections. They perverted the 14th amendment, intended solely to free slaves, by charging in 1886 that the due process and equal protection clauses applied to artificial legal creations of the state.

The fraud that is corporate personhood has resulted in corporate lobbyists gaining access to public officials and aides that most citizens can never hope to equal.

The fraud that is corporate personhood has resulted in millions of dollars being diverted from corporate treasuries to political advertising – so-called “free speech” that drowns out the voices of real human persons with real needs.

The fraud that is corporate personhood has resulted in corporate employees writing laws under consideration by elected officials – including to corporatize schools by White Hat Management corporate employees and corporatizing the state lottery system by GTECH corporation employees.

The energy and spirit currently contained in HB 194 to document that senior citizens, students, low income persons or person of color are actually citizens and voters should be shifted. Let business corporations document they are real persons, real humans, and real beings with hearts and consciences before We the People permit these piles of legal documents to be involved in the body politic and in our elections.

This is where the real fraud in elections and politics in Ohio lies. This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but a democracy issue. I hope and trust your primary energies in this arena will be directed to end corporate personhood and corporate rule.

Thank you.

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