My Vote Don't Matter Anymore (Victoria Parks)

My Vote Don't Matter Anymore

Written and performed by Victoria Parks

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We stood in lines outside three hours, maybe four
A rainy November second, Two-Thousand-Four
All across our nation, too many to ignore
We turned out in numbers they'd never seen before

I should know dear,
I've been voting here
since the second world war
My name is Amos Connelly
Now they're telling me
My vote don't matter anymore

They took my name
They purged it from the roll
What they gained
Cannot compare with what they stole

This is my democracy
Don't you go telling me
My vote don't matter anymore,
and is not worth fighting for

The fix was in
That's all she wrote
They did not win
Our hearts, our minds, our vote

With what is known
The evidence is clear
I'm not alone
There are thousands of us here

This is my democracy
Don't you go telling me
My vote don't matter anymore
and is not worth fighting for

This is our democracy
We'll fight to keep it free
You won't go tell-ing me
Our vote don't matter anymore
Our vote is well worth fighting for
Our vote is well worth fighting for

©2004 Victoria Parks
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The True Story Behind the Song

Victoria Parks writes:

An elderly African American gentleman, probably octagenarian, carried himself with great dignity to the microphone during public testimony before the Franklin County Board of Elections in January of '05 following the (S)election of 2004 and the bogus Ohio Recount. His demeanor was so sincere and he was in obvious emotional pain. It had taken a great deal of energy
and courage for him to come testify. He stated he had never missed voting in an election since the time he was first able to vote. He said he had always voted at the same precinct. Poll workers knew him by name.

But, in November of 2004, he came to sign his name in the book as he always had and was told his name had been purged from the rolls. Why? He was forced to vote provisionally and he did not know if his vote was counted.

I was infuriated and deeply moved by his story. I changed his name in my song. I called him "Amos," after my school bus driver from childhood. Amos could have been any African American. He worked hard and never missed a day of work. He paid his taxes and he voted. He did everything you are supposed to do. He was a solid citizen whose vote didn't matter anymore.

I gave him the last name of Connelly after C. Ellen Connelly, an underfunded African American judge from Cleveland running for Ohio Supreme Court Justice in '04. In some Black precincts in Cleveland, Connelly received more votes than John Kerry—a highly dubious circumstance. We suspect this was the result of "Catapillar Crawl," a term coined by Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips to describe a pattern found on punchcard ballots. The order of candidate names on the ballot is varied from one precinct to the next in a process called ballot rotation. If ballots cast in the correct precinct are counted in another precinct with a different ballot rotation, vote marks will register as votes for different candidates than the voters intended. The evidence says this is one way Kerry votes were shifted to Bush, and how Connelly votes were shifted to Thomas Moyer, the Ohio Supreme Court justice re-elected with very odd numbers. Moyer then ruled against our brave election protection attorneys, claiming that The People v Ohio n Florida (brought on behalf of disenfranchised Ohio voters) was "without merit," a frivolous lawsuit. For this our election protection attorneys were rudely sanctioned by Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro. The sanctions were later lifted following an amicus brief filed by Congressman Conyers.

After the stolen Ohio election of '04, I swore I would dedicate myself to this cause. As an artist I knew I should "be the media" because I would have no better way to speak truth to power. Amos Connelly embodies all the hopes and dreams of a free people who possess the inalienable right to defend their democracy by preserving their right to have their votes counted and their voices heard. Amos Connelly will not go quietly. God bless Amos Connelly! To give voice to him was the least I could do.

Other songs by Victoria Parks

Victoria (Victrola) Parks sang "W begins with DUH" and "What our Children Is Learning" at the "Save Progressive Radio Benefit" held at Victorians Midnight Cafe in Columbus, Ohio, USA in the early spring of 07.

W begins with DUH

What our Children Is Learning