Maybe we should be taking notes from Venezuela

Jonathan Simon, Election Defense Alliance, joins Thom Hartmann. Following his victory on Sunday night - Chavez addresses his supporters from the Presidential palace where he said: "This has been the perfect battle, a democratic battle...Venezuela will continue along the path of democratic and Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century. The key word there is democratic. Leading up the the election - many in the United States specualted that Chavez was headed for defeat - or that he would rig the election to ensure his victory. But in reality - Venezuela has one of the better democracies in the world - if not the best. Jimmy Carter applauded Venezuela's elections - saying, "of the 92 election that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." Unlike the United States - Venezuela boasts voter turnout in the 80% range. Venezuela doesn't trust corporate voting machines to determine the winner of their elections - so they have paper trails that are cross-referenced with the machine's results. And unlike in the United States - where Republicans are trying to keep people from voting - polling states were kept open late to accommodate massive turnout. So on a day like today - when we hear from our news media that they'll no longer conduct exit polling in 19 states - and when right-wing organizations are suing states to have voters kicked off the rolls - can we really be making judgments on Venezuelan democracy? Maybe we should be ...

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