Story Notes For Scandal’s Producer Shonda Rhimes
Dear Ms. Rhimes:
You are one of the bravest, most extraordinary women on TV and you are going to help save us from election fraud.
Thank you for creating the ABC television series Scandal and in particular for taking on the bedrock of democracy, voting rights. All of our other rights rest upon voting rights.
I also applaud your diverse cast, which includes many women in leading roles.
Over the last ten years, I, like many others, have written to numerous media and entertainment outlets to implore them to help us get rid of all electronic voting machines and bring democracy to our voting system and our country. To no avail, alas.
And then I saw a recent episode of Scandal, entitled “Defiance,” which did just this, in part, by addressing charges of election fraud in Defiance, Ohio in a fictional format.
I love the scenes where James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky) talks with computer scientists about their dissertation. This helps him to read memory cards and understand the rigging of the election on the touchscreen electronic voting machines in Defiance. Here is a link to the whole episode “Defiance.”
For those who have not seen the series, James is a journalist covering the White House. He is also the husband of Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry), the president’s chief of staff. The President, Fitzgerald [Fitz] Grant (Tony Goldwyn), is a Republican who trashes pollsters and is in office via this rigged election. We don’t know yet whether he is in on it.
Television can be powerful. People often relate to the stories they see illuminated in dramatic series, even when they are skeptical about what they hear from activists who are not in the mainstream. In other words, if someone as influential and accomplished as Shonda Rhimes believes there is enough here for a television show, there must be some truth to it.
Exposing this reality on mainstream TV may just get through to the many people who do not know this kind of rigging exists and to others who know but dismiss and/or trivialize it. It may get through to those who say audits can save us from rigging. It might even get through to some who, with their silence, are complicit.
I love the connection between “Doyle Energy,” the fictional oil company owned by character Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) and “Cytron,” a fictional Internet security company that also secretly develops software unofficially used for electronic voting machines. To get a pipeline through the country, Hollis rigs the election and also causes the explosion at Cytron that kills seven people.
I love the “secret circle” that includes Beltway “fixer” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), lefty Supreme Court Justice Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney), Cyrus, Hollis and the president’s wife Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young). They are all entangled in this rigging.
Fighting for justice and honesty is good guy David Rosen (Joshua Malina), the assistant U.S. attorney, who gives information to James that leads to the proverbial smoking gun.
There is so much more. A suicide and suspicious deaths involving characters who have information about election fraud. Since these stories are not told in a linear fashion they are hard to follow but well worth the effort to learn more about this crucial issue — election fraud that, in effect, robs us all of our rights.
Ms. Rhimes, on one of your twitter feeds I read that, when you and other writers wanted to ensure you were telling the truth about something specific in your earlier show Private Practice, you called in a group of real surgeons and asked them what they would have done.
This made me wonder if you have spoken to anyone about rigged elections. Perhaps you need another person with experience and knowledge on the subject of systemic election fraud and especially its solution?
If so, I volunteer to be an election fraud surgeon. I have been working against and writing about our rigged elections since the crimes of the 2000 Florida Presidential election.
Here are some suggestions:
Please don’t let the rigged elections via touchscreens be fixed by optical scan electronic voting machines just because these machines use paper ballots. The optical scan voting machines can also be hacked. Paper ballots are a half measure.
The only solution is for paper ballots to be counted by hand.
Recounts are irrelevant because they are rarely done, can be very expensive and there are very few who have the standing or will to call for them. Our ballots must be counted correctly the first time, on election night.
Could you put something like this into your series?
Publicly observed, secure hand-counted paper ballots elections are the democracy solution, the We the People solution. A solution that has the added perk that rather than giving millions to the privatized electronic voting machine industry, keeps the money in the community and pays registered voters who live there to hand-count the votes. It can be done and it is being done.
Are you intending to take on Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and the red shift in the 2010 election with those ten hard-right governors “elected”?
Hopefully, you will continue pounding away at exposing the rigging, the corruption of the riggers, and the core of lies and deceit of those closest to the President.
How about Cy saying to Liv:
James is sniffing around Defiance. So let’s get behind banning touchscreens, since so many people have bought the bill of goods that op scans are safe.
I want to meet with you. Have tea. Listen and talk about rigged elections and democracy.
Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is the author of a new book, published September 6, 2012: WHILE WE STILL HAVE TIME: The Perils of Electronic Voting Machines and Democracy’s Solution: Publicly Observed, Secure Hand-Counted Paper Ballots (HCPB) Elections and the Founder of the Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots. She is a researcher and writer who lives in Watertown, MA and is an ardent feminist, internationalist and peace & justice activist/organizer on many issues.