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Myths Debunked:
George W. Bush Won the 2004 Election

 


 

Articles begin November 1, 2004.

Republicans can’t win straight up on the issues, because their policies are inimical to the best interests of 99% of Americans.  To win, they have to cheat.
PR Newswire

RNC in Blatant Violation of Court Consent Decree, Says Advancement Project

10/27/2004 8:41:00 PM

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today, Advancement Project submitted a motion to intervene, reopen, and enforce the Consent Decrees reached in the case of DNC v. RNC.

For more than twenty years, the Republican National Committee has repeatedly operated so-called "ballot security programs" that have sought to suppress and intimidate African-Americans and other minorities from exercising their constitutional right to vote. These illegal schemes have been previously enjoined by the Federal Court in the case of DNC v. RNC. The Decree in that case prohibits the RNC from implementing any "ballot security program" without prior court approval. That lawsuit, brought in 1981, resulted in a nationwide injunction against the RNC that is still in effect today.

"The RNC has consistently sought to cloak its discriminatory efforts to suppress the minority vote in a law enforcement guise," said Judith Browne, acting co-director, Advancement Project. "Such "racial profiling" of the electorate is itself illegal. The Consent Decree in RNC v. DNC permanently enjoins the RNC from implementing any "ballot security program" without prior court approval."

The Republican Party and Republican candidates have already designated an unprecedented number of poll watchers for the November election. Moreover, Republicans have detailed these poll watchers disproportionately to predominantly African American counties…

Republicans can’t win straight up on the issues, so they try to intimidate people into not voting.
Associated Press

Judge Rules Polling Place Challengers Unconstitutional

Mon, Nov 01, 2004

A federal court judge rules that partisan challengers at polling locations is unconstitional [sic], NewsChannel5 reported.

The judge was asked to stop more than 3,000 Republicans who are planning to monitor polling places and challenge voters.

Two civil rights activists asked U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott to issue an emergency restraining order barring partisan challengers from polling stations in all 88 Ohio counties.

The attorneys said the Republican challengers intend to intimidate newly registered black voters…

Republicans can’t win straight up on the issues, so they deface the signs of the opposition and promote lies about their opponent.  Stolen honor, indeed!
Tamara K

Associated Press, posted at Law.com

Justice Thomas Says He'd Prefer Not to Decide Another Election Lawsuit

John Hanna, The Associated Press
11-01-2004

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Thursday he would prefer not to face another election-related lawsuit, but defended the high court's decision to get involved in the contentious dispute over the 2000 presidential vote in Florida.

"What are you supposed to do when somebody brings a lawsuit?" Thomas asked University of Kansas law students. "You hear people say the Supreme Court jumped into the last election. I find it very ironic that the very people saying judges are interfering are bringing lawsuits."

"What do you think? Donald Duck is going to decide it?"

When asked about the prospect of more litigation over the 2004 vote, Thomas said, "I would prefer not to have to decide it, but that joins a long list of things," adding: "It's my job."…

[Thomas displays the exact problem with Republican judicial appointments.  What he was supposed to have done in 2000 was exactly what the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals did.  They properly refused to review Bush v. Gore.  It was a state issue, not a federal issue, and Thomas and Scalia, Bush’s named models for any appointments he might make to the Supreme Court, went against every principle they had every expressed by taking the case.  Vincent Bugliosi called them criminals.  Alan Dershowitz said they broke their judicial oath by making a decision for a particular person, instead of for a principle of law.—Caro]

Salon.com

"Nobody should have to go through so much to vote"
A poll watcher reports from the grueling, sunbaked front lines of a poor Dade County voting station.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Gail Williams

Nov. 1, 2004  |  I'm deeply inspired by the African-American voters here in Florida. And angry at how hard it is to vote, due to horrific waiting times.

It's Monday morning. I'm very tired already, and due back volunteering soon. My group of four friends down here to monitor the voting process is in danger of burnout before Election Day, and we intend to pace ourselves today. I'm going to just blurt out some stream of consciousness notes before we go.

Saturday we were at North Dade Regional Library. Voters here are overwhelmingly African-American. Hot sunny day, with a line out onto the sidewalk. Standing in the hot sun, surrounded by a cacophony of bullhorns. We wore NAACP-Election Protection shirts and handed out voter bill of rights sheets with instructions about need for identification, right to vote if you are in line when the polls close, and more. Voters are leaving the building satisfied that everything was smooth. Only one man complains to us about the small number of machines, and fills out one of our forms.

We're concerned about the lack of water, and especially about the heat for curbside handicapped voters waiting to vote. We hear a few expressions of lack of trust about the machines. Two people told me that if this is stolen there will be revolution -- "a worldwide riot will break out."

A man sings "We Shall Overcome" through a bullhorn. When voters came out they said it went fine, and thanked us for being there, shining a light on the process. References to the civil rights movement are the theme of the day…

The New York Times

Faith in America

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: November 2, 2004

Florida's early polling was designed to make voting easier, but enormous voter turnout swamped the limited number of early polling sites. Over the weekend, people in some polling places had to stand in line for four, five, even six hours, often in the hot sun. Some of them - African-Americans in particular - surely suspected that those lines were so long because officials wanted to make it hard for them to vote. Yet they refused to be discouraged or intimidated.

Here's what a correspondent from Florida wrote to Joshua Marshall, of talkingpointsmemo.com: "To see people coming out - elderly, disabled, blind, poor; people who have to hitch rides, take buses, etc. - and then staying in line for hours and hours and hours ... Well, it's humbling. And it's awesome. And it's kind of beautiful."

Yes, it is. I always get a little choked up when I go to the local school to cast my vote. The humbleness of the surroundings only emphasizes the majesty of the process: this is democracy, America's great gift to the world, in action.

But over the last few days I've been seeing pictures from Florida that are even more majestic. They show long lines of voters, snaking through buildings and on down the sidewalk: citizens patiently waiting to do their civic duty. Those people still believe in American democracy; and because they do, so do I…

[I]t's already clear that the people of Florida - and, I believe, America as a whole - have refused to give in to cynicism and spin…

Talking Points Memo

November 01, 2004 -- 12:20 PM EDT

The final Fox News poll -- with calls on Saturday and Sunday only -- has Kerry over Bush 48% to 46% among likely voters. Among registered voters it's Kerry 47%, Bush 45%. Among those who've already voted, it's Kerry 48%, Bush 43%.

Fox has been releasing not a tracking poll, but a new poll every day for the last four days: Friday, Bush +5; Saturday Bush +2; Sunday, tied; Monday, Kerry +2.

-- Josh Marshall

St. Petersburg Times, FL

Political thuggery in vogue

By HOWELL RAINES
Published October 31, 2004

If George Bush wins the presidential election, Americans can mark it down as a triumph of thug politics. If John Kerry wins, as I believe he will, that conversely will not mean that thug politics will be finished as the dominant style of modern American presidential campaigns…

By thug politics, I mean the tireless repetition of misleading "facts" designed to depict an opponent as personally despicable and, in regard to governance, dangerous to the physical and spiritual life of the nation.

Certainly, campaigning of this rough sort has a root system that reaches back to earlier outbreaks of ignorance, nativism and intolerance in American politics. But starting with the Reagan campaign of 1980, thug politics has developed in such a way as to deserve classification as the distinctive style of an era..

[T]he "anything-to-win" mentality, while always a feature of hard-fought democratic elections, has been perfected by the Bush family into a monumentally amoral strategic doctrine…

[E]ven if the Bush family dynasty gets chopped off at this last, best chance, the underlying dynamics that created this historical moment - religion run amok, informational decay in the mass media and in the appetites of its audience, a campaign environment of insulting irrationality - will still be in place…

Howell Raines is the former executive editor of the New York Times and former political editor of the St. Petersburg Times.

My letter to the editor regarding the column above

I’m amazed that Howell Raines isn’t begging for forgiveness from the American people for the part The New York Times played in putting the Bush thug in office in 2000.

Raines was editorial page editor during the campaign and the election’s aftermath, but you’d think he’d have had some influence on the editors in charge of the reporters who ran rampant to turn Al Gore into a devilish liar and to make a saint of George Bush.

Kit Seelye, not content with printing over and over again the many lies made up by the Bush oppo research team about Al Gore being a liar, made up some of her own.  And so did Rick Berke.  Meanwhile, Frank Bruni drank the Kool-Aid provided by the Bush campaign, causing him to tell Americans that Bush was some kind of amiable bumbler.

On my website, The New York Times is known as the Liar of Record.
http://makethemaccountable.com/podvin/media/031208_TheLiarOfRecord.htm

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Republicans can’t win straight up on the issues, so they intimidate people trying to vote.
Reuters

Court OKs Voter Challengers at Ohio Polls

Tue, Nov 02, 2004

BY LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI - A federal appeals court has cleared the way for challengers to be present at polling places throughout Ohio, ruling early Tuesday that their presence on Election Day was allowed under state law…

Ted Rall

The Supreme Court helps the Republicans intimidate voters.
Associated Press, posted at the Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Nov. 02, 2004

Justice declines to block election challengers in Ohio

WASHINGTON - Partial text of order by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens refusing to block election challengers in Ohio.

"While I have the power to grant the relief requested, I decline to do so for prudential reasons. "…

But I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.
AlterNet.org

Supreme Disenfranchisement

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet. Posted November 2, 2004.

Tuesday's vote should be the highest turnout in decades. But Americans are now realizing that Florida in 2000 was no fluke, but a broader reflection of voting in America. Indeed, the U.S. has a deeply decentralized, fragmented and compromised system of voting – where Republicans can challenge new voters in key states because basic voting rights are not enshrined.

But there is an even bigger obstacle – and this is critical in the rush to Election Day – and that is realizing the current Supreme Court does not believe in voting rights in the way most Americans assume.

As voting rights scholar and activist attorney Jamin Raskin points out in his recent book, "Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court vs. the American People," the current court does not believe in the principle of "one person, one vote." Instead it has a decade-long record, in case after case – culminating in their 2000 decision to stop the Florida recount and make George W. Bush president – of disenfranchising voters, limiting the right to vote and making political representation harder for minorities. As Raskin writes, "Behind Bush v. Gore lies a thick and unprincipled jurisprudence, hostile to popular democracy and protective of race privilege and corporate power."

Raskin persuasively argues that this Supreme Court has subverted the very democratic principles that millions of new voters believe await them: the right to vote, participate, have access to the ballot, and faith their vote will count. Indeed, in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court wrote, "the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote" in presidential elections (Bush, 531 U.S. at 104) Moreover, in Bush v. Gore, the court was emphatic that state legislatures have the power to bypass the popular vote and select presidential electors. "The State legislature's power to select the manner of appointing electors is plenary; it may, if it so chooses, select the electors itself." (Bush, 531 U.S. at 104)…

Sometimes the Republicans go way overboard in their hatred of democracy.
Palm Beach Post

Deputy tackles, arrests journalist for photographing voters

By Jane Daugherty
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, November 01, 2004

A widely published investigative journalist was tackled, punched and arrested Sunday afternoon by a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy who tried to confiscate his camera outside the elections supervisor's headquarters.

About 600 people were standing in line waiting to vote early when James S. Henry was charged with disorderly conduct for taking photos of waiting voters about 3:30 p.m. outside the main elections office on Military Trail near West Palm Beach.

A sheriff's spokesman and a county attorney later said the deputy was enforcing a newly enacted rule from Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore prohibiting reporters from interviewing or photographing voters lined up outside the polls.

But the arrest drew expressions of outrage from a leading Florida civil liberties expert — and even from one of LePore's fellow county election supervisors…

WAY overboard.
Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD

Judge orders GOP to halt poll tactics

Mike Madden, Argus Leader Washington Bureau

published: 11/2/2004

Daschle sues to stop 'intimidation' of Indians

Republican poll workers in Lake Andes were intimidating Native American voters on Monday, a federal judge ruled early today.

Republicans may not write down license plate numbers or follow Native Americans from polling places during today's election, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol ruled in a temporary restraining order.

The ruling comes after Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle sued his opponent, John Thune, and the GOP in federal court in Sioux Falls on Monday, asking Piersol to stop what Democrats say was intimidation of voters.

"This ruling will hopefully ensure that every legitimate voter can vote free of intimidation on Election Day," said Daschle spokesman Dan Pfeiffer…

Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Nov. 01, 2004

Republicans lose 11th-hour suit challenging Broward voter rolls

By ERIKA BOLSTAD AND SARA OLKON

With less than 12 hours before the polls open, Republicans laid the groundwork for a possible legal challenge to the presidential election with an eleventh-hour lawsuit questioning the accuracy of the voting rolls in Broward County, the most heavily Democratic county in Florida.

In an emergency court hearing that ended at 8:30 tonight, Broward County Circuit Judge David Krathen ruled that the suit was groundless and he didn't want to ``micromanage the election.''

The suit, filed late Monday, argued that inaccuracies in the county's voting rolls will raise the possibility of fraud and double voting.

The party also challenged Broward County's procedures for poll watchers, saying that they keep Republicans from adequately monitoring the polls for people who are registered more than once, or who are ineligible to vote because they are felons.

''We haven't really seen the level of disparity in application of the law, or failure to follow it as we have in Broward County,'' said Hayden Dempsey, a former top aide to Gov. Jeb Bush who is now heading up the Bush-Cheney campaign team of lawyers in Florida. ``In our experience over the last two weeks it appears election laws and procedures have not been implemented on an even basis.''

Republican Party of Florida officials denied that their lawsuit was designed to interrupt voting in heavily Democratic Broward County…

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Election Day has its (dirty) tricks, too

By Richard Byrne Reilly
Thursday, October 28, 2004

Somebody is campaigning hard to confuse Allegheny County voters ahead of Election Day.

At the Ross Park Mall, for example, people are distributing leaflets printed on bogus, but official-looking, county stationery telling Republicans to vote Tuesday, Nov. 2, and Democrats to wait a day.

The election will be over on Nov. 3.

The fliers have succeeded in spreading confusion, and county officials spent parts of Wednesday fielding phone calls from residents…

Daily Kos

Which is more credible: exit polls or Diebold?

by Alexander
Wed Nov 3rd, 2004 at 04:47:41 GMT

What is puzzling everyone at the moment is the discrepancy between the exit polls and the votes that are being reported. The way the pundits are framing this issue is: what went wrong with the exit polls?

But what reasons do we actually have for thinking the exit polls were wrong? Previously, exit polls have reflected fairly closely the finally recorded vote. (On MSNBC, I heard Matthews suggesting that Republicans not liking to talk to pollsters explained the discrepancy: that's a new one to me.)

The technology of exit polling has not changed. There has been a change in voting technology, however -- namely, electronic voting machines. Neither electronic voting machines nor exit polls leave a paper trail. (Actually, exit polls do leave a paper trail, but it has no legal import.) So why should we believe electronic voting machines more than exit polls?

Associated Press

Ohio May See Court Battle Over Election

Wed, Nov 03, 2004

By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Ohio emerged as the likely setting for another overtime presidential court fight, with the focus this time on tens of thousands of uncounted ballots cast by people who would otherwise have been turned away from the polls.

Lawyers for President Bush boarded a plane in Washington before dawn, bound for Ohio. They will join hundreds of Republicans lawyers already there.

Democrats have thousands of lawyers in Ohio already, and held off sending any of their trained "SWAT teams" of election lawyers, a precaution this year because of the close presidential race and the bitter memory of the 36-day recount battle in Florida in 2000.

Trailing in the Electoral College count, the Kerry campaign did not concede the election. "Tonight, we are keeping our word, and we will fight for every vote," vice presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards said.

Election law specialists said either side could file lawsuits Wednesday to try to get the best footing for evaluating and counting provisional ballots…

International Herald Tribune

Not a simple election, global vote monitors say

Earlier title:  Global monitors find faults

By Thomas Crampton International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, November 3, 2004

MIAMI The global implications of the U.S. election are undeniable, but international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices.

The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system.

"To be honest, monitoring elections in Serbia a few months ago was much simpler," said Konrad Olszewski, an election observer stationed in Miami by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"They have one national election law and use the paper ballots I really prefer over any other system," Olszewski said…

Wired

Watchdogs Spot E-Vote Glitches

By Kim Zetter

06:21 PM Nov. 02, 2004 PT

The jury is still out on e-voting machines used in the election but reports collected by late Tuesday evening by election watchdogs seem to contradict assurances by voting company representatives that the election should "put to rest the unreasonable suspicion" about e-voting machines.

The National Protection Coalition, composed of several nonpartisan groups that include the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Verified Voting, reported Tuesday afternoon it had received more than 600 calls from voters complaining about problems with e-voting machines around the country.

A separate group, Common Cause, reported receiving 50,000 calls, though not all of them were related to voting technology. Both groups had established toll-free phone lines for voters to report problems…

David Dill, a founder of Verified Voting and Stanford computer scientist, said although the reports might not appear to be statistically significant -- given that more than 100,000 touch-screen machines are being used in 29 states this year -- they raise questions about the number of problems that are not being caught or reported.

"We're only receiving a small percentage of (reports) on the problems that are actually out there," Dill said. "Most voters wouldn't be motivated to call in and complain and may not know about the number for calling."

Cohn said most voters, if they report problems at all, tend to report them to election officials. She said election officials have been "stingy" in the past about sharing that information with lawyers and watchdog groups…

Moderate Independent

A FIXED ELECTION, A FAILED PARTY, AND A FIRED UP MODERATE INDEPENDENT

by Thomas J. Bico

From the Republican Party Website, posted the day before the election…

“Before the day is out, Democrat lawyers will begin to argue that all provisional ballots should be counted… If they are successful in keeping the polls open in Democrat precincts and eliminating traditional safeguards… Democrat lawyers will effectively… give John Kerry the advantage.”

When the UN monitors international elections, the way they determine if the election process is credible or fraudulent is to take exit polls and compare the actual results to those of the exit poll.

Exit polls in America have always been accurate, confirming that our elections are fair and honest – except in the last two elections in which President Bush was involved.

The non-M/I media, of course, will not raise the obvious question as to what is wrong with this picture.  All last night, this question was not raised once, while the question of should we actually count all votes was pushed again and again.

Now, take all of the above to heart, and then look at the memo posted on the RNC’s website the day before the election.  It is what is called a pre-emptive strike, such as when Arnold ran for Governor and launched his campaign on the Tonight Show by saying, “They are going to call me a womanizer.”  He knew he was a womanizer, so he was attacking those who would point this out first, trying to turn the tables on them, making it as if they are doing something wrong.  It is a desperate, amoral ploy that those who wish to get away with something heinous use.

Enter the RNC memo.  It is the pre-emptive defense of a party that knew they were up to something that might be challenged. (see: Statement From RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke On Anticipated Kerry-Edwards and Democrat Election Day Litigation Strategy) …

Let’s see, now.  The exit polls were “wrong” in 2000.  The exit polls were “wrong” in 2002.  The exit polls were “wrong” in 2004.  Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Agence France Presse

'Blogs' embarrassed by misleading poll data in US vote

Thu Nov 4, 1:44 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Internet "blogs" ended up with egg on their faces this week after releasing early exit-poll data from Tuesday's vote suggesting John Kerry was on his way to a victory against George W. Bush.

Blogs, short for web logs, are online diaries, became a major phenomenon in the 2004 campaign. But the mistakes, while not of the magnitude of the 2000 election fiasco, opened a debate over the credibility of the sites and of the exit polls being used.

Although the preliminary exit poll data were not widely used by television networks and other mainstream media, the misleading news spread like wildfire and even prompted a selloff late in the day Tuesday on Wall Street when it appeared Bush was in trouble…

Greg Palast

Kerry Won.
Here are the Facts.
excerpted from TomPaine.com

Thursday, November 4, 2004

by Greg Palast

Bush won Ohio by 136,483 votes. Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of votes cast are voided—known as “spoilage” in election jargon—because the ballots cast are inconclusive. Drawing on what happened in Florida and studies of elections past, Palast argues that if Ohio’s discarded ballots were counted, Kerry would have won the state. Today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports there are a total of 247,672 votes not counted in Ohio, if you add the 92,672 discarded votes plus the 155,000 provisional ballots. So far there's no indication that Palast's hypothesis will be tested because only the provisional ballots are being counted.

Kerry won. Here's the facts.

I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad.  But I don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called American democracy, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.

Most voters in Ohio thought they were voting for Kerry. CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent.  Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state.

So what's going on here? Answer: the exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?" The voters don't know.

Here's why. Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. This was predictable and it was predicted. [See TomPaine.com, "An Election Spoiled Rotten," November 1.]

Once again, at the heart of the Ohio uncounted vote game are, I'm sorry to report, hanging chads and pregnant chads, plus some other ballot tricks old and new.

The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called "spoilage." Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded. When the bobble-head boobs on the tube tell you Ohio or any state was won by 51 percent to 49 percent, don't you believe it ... it has never happened in the United States, because the total never reaches a neat 100 percent. The television totals simply subtract out the spoiled vote.

Whose Votes Are Discarded?

And not all votes spoil equally. Most of those votes, say every official report, come from African-American and minority precincts. (To learn more, click here.)

We saw this in Florida in 2000. Exit polls showed Gore with a plurality of at least 50,000, but it didn't match the official count. That's because the official, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, excluded 179,855 spoiled votes.  In Florida, as in Ohio, most of these votes lost were cast on punch cards where the hole wasn't punched through completely—leaving a 'hanging chad,'—or was punched extra times.  Whose cards were discarded? Expert statisticians investigating spoilage for the government calculated that 54 percent of the ballots thrown in the dumpster were cast by black folks. (To read the report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, click here.)

And here's the key: Florida is terribly typical. The majority of ballots thrown out (there will be nearly 2 million tossed out from Tuesday's election) will have been cast by African American and other minority citizens.

So here we go again. Or, here we don't go again. Because unlike last time, Democrats aren't even asking Ohio to count these cards with the not-quite-punched holes (called "undervotes" in the voting biz). Nor are they demanding we look at the "overvotes" where voter intent may be discerned…

I used to write a column for the Guardian papers in London. Several friends have asked me if I will again leave the country. In light of the failure—a second time—to count all the votes, that won't be necessary. My country has left me.

Buck Fush

Common Dreams News Center

Published on Saturday, November 6, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked

by Thom Hartmann

When I spoke with Jeff Fisher this morning (Saturday, November 06, 2004), the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 16th District said he was waiting for the FBI to show up. Fisher has evidence, he says, not only that the Florida election was hacked, but of who hacked it and how. And not just this year, he said, but that these same people had previously hacked the Democratic primary race in 2002 so that Jeb Bush would not have to run against Janet Reno, who presented a real threat to Jeb, but instead against Bill McBride, who Jeb beat.

"It was practice for a national effort," Fisher told me.

And some believe evidence is accumulating that the national effort happened on November 2, 2004.

The State of Florida, for example, publishes a county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered to vote by party affiliation. Net denizen Kathy Dopp compiled the official state information into a table, available at http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm, and noticed something startling…

While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking – the results seem to contain substantial anomalies…

Dick Morris, the infamous political consultant to the first Clinton campaign who became a Republican consultant and Fox News regular, wrote an article for The Hill, the publication read by every political junkie in Washington, DC, in which he made a couple of brilliant points.

"Exit Polls are almost never wrong," Morris wrote. "They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by substituting actual observation for guesswork in judging the relative turnout of different parts of the state."

He added: "So, according to ABC-TVs exit polls, for example, Kerry was slated to carry Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, all of which Bush carried. The only swing state the network had going to Bush was West Virginia, which the president won by 10 points."

Yet a few hours after the exit polls were showing a clear Kerry sweep, as the computerized vote numbers began to come in from the various states the election was called for Bush…

I agree with Fox's Dick Morris on this one, at least in large part. Wrapping up his story for The Hill, Morris wrote in his final paragraph, "This was no mere mistake. Exit polls cannot be as wrong across the board as they were on election night. I suspect foul play."

You betcha!
Wired News

House Dems Seek Election Inquiry 

By Kim Zetter

04:38 PM Nov. 05, 2004 PT

Three congressmen sent a letter to the General Accounting Office on Friday requesting an investigation into irregularities with voting machines used in Tuesday's elections.

The congressmen, Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Florida, New York and Michigan, cited a number of incidents that came to light in the days after the election. One was a glitch in Ohio that caused a memory card reader made by Danaher Controls to give George W. Bush 3,893 more votes than he should have received. Another was a problem with memory cards in North Carolina that caused machines made by UniLect to lose 4,500 votes cast on e-voting machines. The votes were lost when the number of votes cast on the machines exceeded the capacity of the memory cards.

There were also problems with machines that counted absentee ballots in Florida. Software made by Election Systems & Software began subtracting votes when totals surpassed 32,000. Officials said the problem affected only certain countywide races on one of the last pages of the ballot. Elections officials knew about the problem two years ago, but the company failed to fix the software before the election this year.

Reports from voters in Florida and Ohio also indicated that some of them had problems voting for the candidate of their choice. When they tried to vote for John Kerry, they said, the machine either wouldn't register the vote at all or would indicate on the review page that the vote was cast for Bush instead.

In their letter, representatives John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Robert Wexler of Florida asked the GAO to "immediately undertake an investigation of the efficacy of voting machines and new technologies used in the 2004 election, how election officials responded to difficulties they encountered and what we can do in the future to improve our election systems and administration."…

I kept wondering why Bush and Cheney never broke a sweat, no matter how bad things got before the election.  They knew something we didn’t know—that machines were rigged to ensure their win.
consortiumnews.com

Bush's 'Incredible' Vote Tallies

By Sam Parry
November 9, 2004

George W. Bush’s vote tallies, especially in the key state of Florida, are so statistically stunning that they border on the unbelievable.

While it’s extraordinary for a candidate to get a vote total that exceeds his party’s registration in any voting jurisdiction – because of non-voters – Bush racked up more votes than registered Republicans in 47 out of 67 counties in Florida. In 15 of those counties, his vote total more than doubled the number of registered Republicans and in four counties, Bush more than tripled the number.

Statewide, Bush earned about 20,000 more votes than registered Republicans.

By comparison, in 2000, Bush’s Florida total represented about 85 percent of the total number of registered Republicans, about 2.9 million votes compared with 3.4 million registered Republicans…

Similar surprising jumps in Bush’s vote tallies across the country – especially when matched against national exits polls showing Kerry winning by 51 percent to 48 percent – have fed suspicion among rank-and-file Democrats that the Bush campaign rigged the vote, possibly through systematic computer hacking.

Republican pollster Dick Morris said the Election Night pattern of mistaken exit polls favoring Kerry in six battleground states – Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa – was virtually inconceivable.

“Exit polls are almost never wrong,” Morris wrote. “So reliable are the surveys that actually tap voters as they leave the polling places that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries. … To screw up one exit poll is unheard of. To miss six of them is incredible. It boggles the imagination how pollsters could be that incompetent and invites speculation that more than honest error was at play here.”…

If Bush’s totals weren’t artificially enhanced, they would represent one of the most remarkable electoral achievements in U.S. history.

In the two presidential elections since Sen. Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton in 1996, Bush would have increased Republican voter turnout nationwide by a whopping 52 percent from just under 40 million votes for Dole to just under 60 million votes for the GOP ticket in 2004…

[W]here did these new voters come from, and how did Bush manage to accelerate his turnout gains at a time when the Democratic ticket was also substantially increasing its turnout?...

From the start of the 2004 campaign, political strategist Karl Rove and the Bush team made its goals clear – maximize Bush’s support among social and economic conservatives – including Evangelicals and Club for Growth/anti-government conservatives – and turn them out by driving up Kerry’s negatives with harsh attacks questioning Kerry’s leadership credentials.

This strategy emerged from Rove’s estimate after the 2000 election that 4 million Evangelical voters stayed home that year. The Bush/Rove strategy in 2004 rested primarily on turning out that base of support.

But, even if one were to estimate that 100 percent of these Evangelical voters turned out for Bush in 2004 and that 100 percent of Bush’s 2000 supporters turned out again for him, this still leaves about 5 million new Bush voters unaccounted for.

Altogether, Bush’s new 9 million votes came mainly from the largest states in the country. But nowhere was Bush’s performance more incredible than in Florida, where Bush found roughly 1 million new voters, about 11 percent all new Bush voters nationwide and more than twice the number of new voters than in any other state other than Texas…

Bush took turnout throughout the state to a new level, testing the bounds of statistical probability by winning votes seemingly from every corner of the state, from the panhandle to the Gulf Coast, from the I-4 corridor to the Atlantic Coast from Jacksonville to Miami…

While it's conceivable Bush might have achieved these and other gains through his hardball campaign strategies and strong get-out-the-vote effort, many Americans, looking at these and other statistically incredible Bush vote counts, are likely to continue to suspect that the Republicans put a thumb on the electoral scales, somehow exaggerating Bush's tallies through manipulation of computer tabulations.

Only an open-minded investigation with public scrutiny would have much hope of quelling these rising suspicions.

Steve Bradenton

Suspicion abounds.

Suspicious results in Florida counties

Suspicious results at the state level

Berkeley Daily Planet

Another Stolen Election: By JAMES K. SAYRE

COMMENTARY (11-09-04)

The exit polls that showed a sweeping victory for Sen. Kerry on Nov. 2 were right. Unfortunately, the 2004 presidential election was cleanly stolen by Bush & Co. How, you say? With the help of Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and SAIC, four interlocked secretive right-wing electronic voting machine manufacturers. We have entrusted the most important election task, that of actually counting and tabulating the vote totals to extremist organizations with secret proprietary vote-counting computer software with no auditable paper trail for hand recounts. How very convenient, how very clean, how very slick and with all the evidence of election rigging is buried deep on their computer hard drives.

Sen. Kerry won a landslide victory by between two million and five million votes. The pre-election public opinion polls pointed to a large and growing Kerry election day majority and the election day exit polls also indicated a Kerry victory. Unfortunately, theocratic extremely right-wing computer election machine manufacturing corporations were in charge of “counting” the votes of millions and millions of Americans. Some how, a few million Kerry votes didn’t get counted and a few million bogus Bush votes showed up in the final election tallies and voila, a Bush “victory.”

Democracy in 21st century America has been kidnapped and destroyed by extreme right-wing control of the new secret computerized electronic vote counting systems. Verifiable hand-counted paper ballots are the only way to restore legitimate elections in America…

The 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were both stolen by Bush & Co. The 2008 and 2012 presidential elections will suffer the same fate unless we institute a complete and total return to traditional, verifiable hand-counted paper election ballots.

The Republican Party will never lose another presidential election as long as we allow their corporate buddies to “count” our votes in secret.

Diebold Variations

DemocraticUnderground.com

TruthIsAll

To believe that Bush won the election, you must also believe...

1- That the exit polls were WRONG...

2- That Zogby's 5pm election day calls for Kerry winning OH, FL were WRONG. He was exactly RIGHT in his 2000 final poll.

3- That Harris last minute polling for Kerry was WRONG. He was exactly RIGHT in his 2000 final poll.

4- The Incumbent Rule I (that undecideds break for the challenger)was WRONG.

5- The 50% Rule was WRONG (that an incumbent doesn't do better than his final polling)

6- The Approval Rating Rule was WRONG (that an incumbent with less than 50% approval will most likely lose the election)

7- That Greg Palast was WRONG when he said that even before the election, 1 million votes were stolen from Kerry. He was the ONLY reporter to break the fact that 90,000 Florida blacks were disnfranchised in 2000.

8- That it was just a COINCIDENCE that the exit polls were CORRECT where there WAS a PAPER TRAIL and INCORRECT (+5% for Bush) where there was NO PAPER TRAIL.

9- That the surge in new young voters had NO positive effect for Kerry.

10- That Bush BEAT 99-1 mathematical odds in winning the election.

11- That Kerry did WORSE than Gore agains an opponent who LOST the support of SCORES of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000.

12- That Bush did better than an 18 national poll average which showed him tied with Kerry at 47. In other words, Bush got 80% of the undecided vote to end up with a 51-48 majority - when ALL professional pollsters agree that the undecided vote ALWAYS goes to the challenger.

13- That Voting machines made by Republicans with no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven by thousands of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways, were NOT tampered with in this election.

HelpAmericaRecount.org

Help America Recount!

If the Politicians and the Parties Won't Do It, America's Citizens Will!

WEDNESDAY NOV 10, Washington D.C. -- Consumer groups rallying citizens for recounts in Ohio, Florida; voters can fund audits of Ohio and court challenges in Florida by donating to HelpAmericaRecount.org, a 527 tax exempt organization set up exclusively for recount funding.

Getting out the vote is good, but getting a 123 percent turnout is too good to be true. This happened in Fairview Park, Ohio. In Broward County, Florida, voting machines can do the moon walk: They count back-wards, but only on certain ballot measures…

As hundreds of anomalies pop up, citizens are thinking:

Who really won? Don’t know. Gotta audit!

Black Box Voting, a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer protection group for elections, has been investigating election irregularities for two years. The group has honed in on voting machines, citing problems with internal audit logs, tamperability, improper testing and certification, and bogus results. The National Ballot Integrity Project is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that has approached voting machines from another angle. The organization lobbies for transparency and public accountability in election systems. Both groups are now calling for citizen-initiated recounts. To fund these recounts, BlackBoxVoting.org and the National Ballot Integrity Project have formed a separate, 527 organization, the Help America Recount Fund.

Ralph Nader, who earned notoriety for decades as a consumer protection advocate, just wants to know the truth. How accurate are the Diebold voting machines in New Hampshire?...

OF COURSE they want to end exit polls.  That’s the only check we have on the reasonableness of the “official” vote count.
BuzzFlash.com

November 10, 2004

GOP Wants to End Exit Polls

As a BuzzFlash Reader said: "Gee, let's make it REALLY easy to cheat..."

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie wants to eliminate exit polls because he says they're not accurate, implying that the final vote was unquestionably correct.

GOP Wants News Organizations to Abandon Exit Polls (subscription req'd)
By Doug Halonen, TVWeek.com

After early exit polls in Tuesday's election inaccurately suggested that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry would trounce President Bush, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is recommending that major news organizations pull the plug on the prognostications.

In remarks Thursday at the National Press Club, Mr. Gillespie said he is among those who were stunned by exit poll reports, which leaked widely on the Internet. "I would encourage the media to abandon exit surveys on Election Day and do what we do in the political profession -- look at the precincts and the turnout, see who's turning out to vote," Mr. Gillespie said. "Don't build a model that you try to, you know, build your own thoughts into of what you expect it to be."

Mr. Gillespie conceded that the exit polls weren't reported directly by major news organizations themselves. "But with the Internet today, we're kidding ourselves, aren't we, to think that everybody in America doesn't know what the exit data is showing?" he said…

[Kidding ourselves?  Yes, we certainly  are.—Caro]

The Black Commentator

Massive irregularities in the November 2 presidential vote count “will probably lead to congressional hearings in the Committee on the Judiciary,” predicts Rep. John Conyers, the committee’s ranking Democrat and longest sitting member of the Congressional Black Caucus. If tampering is found, said the Detroit lawmaker, “there will be prosecutions” under federal law…

But first, Rep. Conyers and five congressional colleagues have to make sure the evidence doesn’t disappear quicker than John Kerry’s projected lead in the exit polls…

The corporate media, who disavowed their own exit polls when the numbers came out “wrong” (Kerry leading) on Election Day, are institutionally invested in the legitimacy of George Bush’s presidency. “I was tipped off by a person very high up in TV that the news has been locked down tight, and there will be no TV coverage of the real problems with voting on Nov. 2,” wrote Bev Harris, head of Black Box Voting and veteran mover-and-shaker on the dangers of electronic ballots…

If Conyers can expand and maintain his congressional Coalition of the Unwilling through to the hearings that he is entitled by rank to conduct, even the craven corporate media will find it difficult to dismiss the “conspiracy theorists.” Literally hundreds of reporters are aware in detail of the real conspiracy – the late night decision to validate the craziest election numbers in modern times – and some of them have a conscience…

[T]he true engines of resistance to Bush’s crime accompli are the grassroots investigators, technicians and numbers crunchers busily in search of patterns of anomalies in the corrupted election returns – numbers that should not be there – and answers to how the tallies might have been engineered. These are the people who will craft the technical indictment against the Bush men. Bev Harris is at the center of the rebellion. On Monday she renewed her call for “lawyers, computer people, statisticians” and “funds to pay for copies of the evidence.”…

David Swanson, former spokesman for the Dennis Kucinich presidential campaign and now media coordinator for the AFL-CIO associated International Labor Communications Association (ILCA), notes that

“the exit polls were accurate within their margin of error in many states but were surprisingly far off in a number of swing states, and always off in the same direction, showing more support for Kerry than was found in the official counts. Warren Mitofsky, co-director of the National Election Pool, told the News Hour with Jim Lehrer that ‘Kerry was ahead in a number of states by margins that looked unreasonable to us.’ Mitofsky speculated that perhaps more Kerry voters were willing to participate in the exit poll, but did not suggest any reason for that speculation other than the difference between the exit polls and the final counts.”

As Swanson says, it’s all “circular reasoning” – an attempt to avoid the obvious, and all the more maddeningly ironic since, by [Republican strategist] Dick Morris’s reasoning, Mitofsky is the guy best-placed to “rig” the exit polls in Kerry’s favor. Instead, he ordered them shut down, for presidential choice purposes. Swanson’s article cites University of Pennsylvania Professor Steven F. Freeman, whose November 9 study of the exit poll and official tallies in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania finds the figures totally incompatible. “The likelihood of any two of these statistical anomalies occurring together is in the order of one-in-a-million. The odds of all three occurring together are 250 million to one,” the MIT Ph.D calculated…

The digital vote tricksters are the same people who created a day-long Hell for voters in the mostly Black Broward County, Florida precinct where Marsha Johnson, an African American attorney from New York City, was assigned as a voter protection volunteer:

”I saw an incompetent poll clerk telling approximately 1 in every 5 registered voters (who voted at the very same polling place last year and who's voter registration cards indicated that they were at the correct polling site) that they had mysteriously been ‘reassigned’ to other sites but failing to tell them where to go, or worse, giving them incorrect information.”

And so on, at thousands of locations, thefts of awesome dimensions and howling arrogance – the humiliation of African Americans in order to secure George Bush another chance to destroy the planet…

Richard Nixon didn’t personally plan the Watergate break-in – his subordinates did. However, two years of lying about the crime so thoroughly discredited Tricky Dick that he found it necessary to resign. We at bc doubt that George Bush knew the details of his henchmen’s high- and low-tech election crime wave – why would anybody tell that fool anything? – and we would be surprised if the evidence pattern reveals enough purloined votes to reverse the results of November 2. But fixing elections is a crime, and covering up a crime is a bigger felony, as Nixon’s crew discovered. If Conyers and Bev Harris and squadrons of citizens run their show right, we may at least look forward to four years of a once-again “illegitimate” Bush presidency. With luck, we might even send Karl Rove to prison…

Click here for the full article.

consortiumnews.com

Washington Post's Sloppy Analysis

By Sam Parry
November 12, 2004

The Washington Post and the big media have spoken: Questions about Nov. 2 voting irregularities and George W. Bush’s unusual vote tallies are just the ravings of Internet conspiracy theorists.

In a Nov. 11 story on A2, the Post gave the back of its hand to our story about Bush’s statistically improbable vote totals in Florida and elsewhere. While agreeing with our analysis that Bush pulled off the difficult task of winning more votes in Florida than the number of registered Republicans, the Post accuses us of overlooking the obvious explanation that many independents, “Dixiecrats” and other Democrats voted for Bush.

Mocking us as “spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists,” Post reporters Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating signaled their determination to put questions about Bush’s victory outside the bounds of responsible debate. Yet, if they hadn’t been so set in this agenda, they might have avoided sloppy mistakes and untrue assertions.

In an example of their slipshod reporting, Roig-Franzia and Keating state that we focused our data analysis on rural counties in Florida. They suggest that Bush’s gains in these rural counties might be explained by the greater appeal of son-of-the-South Al Gore in 2000 than Bostonian John Kerry in 2004.

But we didn’t focus on rural counties in Florida. Rather we looked at the vote tallies statewide and zeroed in on Bush’s performance in the larger, more metropolitan counties of southern and central Florida, where Bush got the vast majority of his new votes over his state totals in 2000.

It was in these large counties where Bush’s new totals compared most surprisingly with new voter registration because Democrats did a much better job in many of these counties of registering new voters…

Historically, increases like those Bush registered throughout Florida and across much of the country occur when there are huge swings in voting patterns caused by national landslides [which 2004 was not]…

While Bush’s totals are not statistically impossible, they do raise eyebrows. Our question was: where did these gains come from? We are not claiming that the surprising numbers are evidence of fraud, but we do believe the tallies deserve an honest and independent review.

It also should be the job of journalists to probe questions as significant as the integrity of the U.S. voting system, not to simply belittle those who raise legitimate questions. The fact that Internet journals and blogs are doing more to examine these concerns than wealthy news organizations like the Washington Post is another indictment of the nation’s mainstream press…

Where in the hell are the Democrats?
Hardball, MSNBC

November 11, 2004| 6:15 p.m. ET

Ohio— The recount of 2004 (David Shuster)

This afternoon, I spoke with Blair Bobier, the attorney/spokesman for David Cobb, the Green Party's 2004 candidate for President.  Bobier confirms that the press release floating on the net is legitimate. The Green Party is combining forces with the Libertarian Party to seek a statewide election recount in Ohio. 

Unlike Florida in 2000, Ohio's recount rules are straightforward and specific. Once the Ohio vote is certified, which I'm told could happen as early as next week, the Green/Libertarian group will have five days to file a formal application for statewide recount. In addition, the group must then deposit $10 for every precinct to be recounted. 

Based on the number of precincts in Ohio, a statewide recount will cost the Green/Libertarian group about $110,000. However, the group expects to raise that money "rather easily" within the next few days. 

Once the recount application has been filed, the recount itself must begin within 10 days. So, expect to see the formal recount kick-off in early December…

Washington Post

Worst Voter Error Is Apathy Toward Irregularities

By Donna Britt
Friday, November 12, 2004; Page B01

Is anyone surprised that accusations of voter disenfranchisement and irregularities abound after the most passionately contested presidential campaign in memory? Is anybody stunned that the mainstream media appear largely unconcerned?

To many people's thinking, too few citizens were discouraged from voting to matter. Those people would suggest that not nearly enough votes for John Kerry were missed or siphoned away to overturn President Bush's win. To which I'd respond:

Excuse me -- I thought this was America.

Informed that I was writing about voter disenfranchisement, a Democratic friend admitted, "I'm trying not to care about that." I understand. Less than two weeks after a bruising election in a nation in which it's unfashionable to overtly care about anything, it's annoying of me even to notice.

But citizens who insist, election after election, that each vote is sacred and then shrug at hundreds of credible reports that honest-to-God votes were suppressed and discouraged aren't just being hypocritical…

Greg Palast

KERRY WON OHIO
JUST COUNT THE BALLOTS AT THE BACK OF THE BUS
In These Times

Friday, November 12, 2004

Most voters in Ohio chose Kerry. Here's how the votes vanished.

By Greg Palast

This February, Ken Blackwell, Ohio's Secretary of State, told his State Senate President, "The possibility of a close election with punch cards as the state’s primary voting device invites a Florida-like calamity." Blackwell, co-chair of Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, wasn't warning his fellow Republican of disaster, but boasting of an opportunity to bring in Ohio for Team Bush no matter what the voters wanted. And most voters in Ohio wanted JFK, not GWB. But their choice won't count because their votes won't be counted.

The ballots that add up to a majority for John Kerry in Ohio -- and in New Mexico -- are locked up in two Republican hidey-holes: "spoiled" ballots and "provisional" ballots…

American democracy has a dark little secret. In a typical presidential election, two million ballots are simply chucked in the garbage, marked "spoiled" and not counted…

Ohio Republicans, simultaneously in charge of both the Bush-Cheney get-out-the-vote drive and the state's vote-counting rules, doggedly and systematically insured the spoilage pile would be as high as the White House…

Add to the spoiled ballots a second group of uncounted votes, the 'provisional' ballots, and -- voila! -- the White House would have turned Democrat blue.

But that won't happen because of the peculiar way provisional ballots are counted or, more often, not counted…

Why single out Ohio? So it also went in New Mexico where ballots of Hispanic voters (two-to-one Kerry supporters) spoil at a rate five times that of white voters. Add in the astounding 13,000 provisional ballots in the Enchanted State -- handed out "like candy" to Hispanic, not white, voters according to a director of the Catholic Church's get-out-the-vote drive -- and Kerry wins New Mexico. Just count up the votes … but that won't happen.

Sutton Impact

 

Associated Press, posted at USA Today

Posted 11/12/2004 12:15 PM

Kerry campaign lawyers checking Ohio vote

Lawyers with John Kerry's presidential campaign are in Ohio on what they describe as a "fact-finding mission" following the Democrat's election loss to President Bush last week.

Dan Hoffheimer, the statewide counsel for the Kerry campaign, said they are not trying to challenge the election but are only carrying out Kerry's promise to make sure that all the votes in Ohio are counted.

"We're not expecting to change the outcome of the election," Hoffheimer said.

In unofficial returns, Bush outpolled Kerry by 136,000 votes in Ohio.

Hoffheimer said the goal is to identify any voting problems and quell doubts about the legitimacy of the Ohio election being raised on the Internet.

He said the Kerry campaign has compiled a list of more than 30 questions for local election officials. They are asking about the number of absentee and provisional ballots, any reports of equipment malfunctions on election night and any ballots that still listed third-party challenger Ralph Nader as a candidate…

From the Moonie-owned, Bush-loving UPI, posted at the Moonie-owned, Bush-loving
Washington Times

Major bugs found in Diebold vote systems

Washington, DC, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The voting machine controversy likely will linger after a look at the systems source code software from Ohio-based Diebold yielded reports of numerous bugs.

Diebold was one of three companies -- including Election Systems & Software and Sequoia -- that provided updated technology for the 2004 election.

Computer Science Professor Avi Rubin of John Hopkins University analyzed Diebold's 47,609 lines of code and found it uses an encryption key that was hacked in 1997 and no longer is used in secure programs.

Rubin said Diebold has said it repaired the security flaws in subsequent programs, but that the company has not produced the code for analysis.

Diebold did return a call for comment…

OpEdNews

Good News From Bev Harris

This is amazing and very hopeful! Bev Harris http://www.blackboxvoting.org and Ralph Nader had a press conference in DC today. They have teamed up with http://www.ballotintegrity.org/ and have set up a 527 special fund http://helpamericarecount.org/ to buy recounts. They worked with Bev Harris's lawyer who is an election specialist attorney. They have found a little used law that allows a recount if it's requested by five citizens who voted in that state and did not vote for the candidate who won. The state wants a down payment of ten dollars a precinct, so they need money fast!

Send to the fund http://helpamericarecount.org/ All the funds are for recounts and will be prioritized by the most suspicious counties first. It will be about $200,000 to recount Ohio, which is the first target because it has very provable anomolies that show massive fraud- Bev says, "Very strange and impossible math"; then Florida.

If you go to http://helpamericarecount.org/ or www.blackboxvoting.org and can't get there, it's because their website keeps getting shut down and they keep having to put it back up. They are going to have to switch to a specialist host; a company who specializes in protecting websites that are under attack constantly. So if you can't get there, keep trying.

Also, there is a woman who has, on her own, filed for a recount in Nevada, using the same law.

And, Ralph Nader is going to pay for a recount in New Hampshire to audit the Diebold machines there.

ReDefeat Bush

Answers to Boston Globe's Dismissal of Voter Fraud Story
Posted on Thursday, November 11 @ 07:56:59 EST by DavidAdmin

The Boston Globe and the Washington Post have run stories dismissing the questions about the legitimacy of the 2004 presidential election as just another Internet hoax. Here, thanks to Washington attorney Cynthia Butler, are six reasons why they are wrong, foremost among them that the journalists are covering this as a rumor rather than analyzing the validity of the central allegation.

Journalislt Ron Klein in his front page Boston Globe article in wishfully dismissing the Internet stories of fraud, suppression and chicanery in the foul play of the Election of 2004 totally and completely misses the point and investigates the rumor, not the central allegation. Zogby had it right; Ron Klein did not.

Some of his error is found within his own story. First, if Cameron Kerry's law firm email server almost crashed for all the people who for at least two straight days deluged it beyond capacity, of first hand reports of voter fraud and intimidation (because that is what the email called for; if they had facts) that there might be something serious going on worth investigating?

Second, the issue with long lines isn't just convenience- it is a suppression issue when people are told (wrongly) that because of heavy turn-out they can come back tomorrow, and a fraud issue when they know that the turn out will be out the door, around the block and down the highway and only put two or three voting booths in minority locations- that is also potentially a Voting Rights Act of 1965 issue.

Third, when the computers malfunction to such a statistical percentage that in 12 Counties in Florida and all of Cleveland more voted came in for both Presidential Candidates tallied on election night than showed up at the polls, we know someone is playing fast and loose with basic arithmatic.

Fourth, when the statistically improbably if not impossible event occurs where after the numbers started coming in that jumped in five concurrent states at the same time for Bush, we know it is time to call the computer geeks at Stanford, MIT and Microsoft to investigate.

Fifth, we know that purging of the rolls was done aggressively, and in many cases improperly (one woman I obtained an Affidavit from in Texas declared under oath that she was told she was purged because she did not show up for jury duty for example.)

Sixth, we know that people were often not told of the HAVA law right to obtain a provisional ballot, were actively discouraged from casting them because of statements such as "they are too much paperwork to bother" and "they probably won't count" which when coupled with long lines, people simply left and did not vote while they wanted to. In many places the Republican precinct 'Election Judges" who are neither attorneys nor judges simply advised voters that they ran out of forms -- as early as 11:00 am…

Tip of the iceberg?
Indianapolis Star

Glitch causes Franklin Co. recount

November 11, 2004

BROOKVILLE, Ind. - Election equipment counted straight-party votes for Democratic candidates as Libertarian votes, an error that could affect election outcomes in as many as nine counties, the Richmond Palladium-Item reported today.

Democrats discovered the error in Franklin County, where ballots will be counted again tonight.

The county's election equipment vendor, Fidlar, notified officials Wednesday of the error…

Zogby International

I Smell a Rat

I smell a rat. It has that distinctive and all-too-familiar odor of the species Republicanus floridius…

Either the raw data from two critical battleground states is completely erroneous, or something has gone horribly awry in our electoral system--again. Like many Americans, I was dissatisfied with and suspicious of the way the Florida recount was resolved in 2000. But at the same time, I was convinced of one thing: we must let the system work, and accept its result, no matter how unjust it might appear.

With this acceptance, we placed our implicit faith in the Bush Administration that it would not abuse its position: that it would recognize its fragile mandate for what it was, respect the will of the majority of people who voted against them, and move to build consensus wherever possible and effect change cautiously when needed. Above all, we believed that both Democrats and Republicans would recognize the over-riding importance of revitalizing the integrity of the electoral system and healing the bruised faith of both constituencies.

This faith has been shattered. Bush has not led the nation to unity, but ruled through fear and division. Dishonesty and deceit in areas critical to the public interest have been the hallmark of his Administration. I state this not to throw gratuitous insults, but to place the Florida and Ohio electoral results in their proper context. For the GOP to claim now that we must take anything on faith, let alone astonishingly suspicious results in a hard-fought and extraordinarily bitter election, is pure fantasy. It does not even merit discussion.

The facts as I see them now defy all logical explanations save one--massive and systematic vote fraud. We cannot accept the result of the 2004 presidential election as legitimate until these discrepancies are rigorously and completely explained. From the Valerie Plame case to the horrors of Abu Ghraib, George Bush has been reluctant to seek answers and assign accountability when it does not suit his purposes. But this is one time when no American should accept not getting a straight answer. Until then, George Bush is still, and will remain, the ‘Accidental President' of 2000. One of his many enduring and shameful legacies will be that of seizing power through two illegitimate elections conducted on his brother's watch, and engineering a fundamental corruption at the very heart of the greatest democracy the world has known. We must not permit this to happen again.

(11/12/2004)
     - By Colin Shea, The Freezer Box

“Moral values”?  Maybe not.
MSNBC

Bloggerman, by Keith Olbermann

November 14, 2004 | 3:05 p.m. ET

I swear: I'm on vacation (Keith Olbermann)

[T]he most remarkable read of the day is probably the item buried on page A5 of The Washington Post. There, Charles Babington and Brian Faler take the wind out of the primary post-election grist for the yak-fests of radio and television: the overwhelming relevance of “Moral Values” to 2004’s presidential voters.

You will recall that the Exit Polling on November 2nd ranked the most important issues as follows:

       1. Moral Values, 22%

       2. Economy and Jobs, 20%

       3. Terrorism, 19%

       4. Iraq, 15%

The authors point out that those results came when pollsters offered voters a list of which issues factored most into their decision to vote. They note that last week, Pew Research went back and surveyed voters again, and took their temperatures in two ways - with a list (as was offered on election day), and without one (in other words, voters had to remember their issues; it ceased to be multiple choice). Those working off the checklist responded similarly to the election day exit pollees:

       1. Moral Values, 27%

       2. Iraq, 22%

       3. Economy and Jobs, 21%

       4. Terrorism, 14%

But the free-form Pew survey produced entirely different data. Given nothing to work with, simply asked to name the deciding factor in their vote, “moral values” shrunk back to human size:

       1. Other, 31%

       2. Iraq, 25%

       3. Moral Values, 14%

       4. Economy and Jobs, 12%

       5. Terrorism, 9%

Babington and Faler point out that “other” included such gems as not liking Bush, not liking Kerry, honesty, and presumably “I was following instructions from Jon Stewart.”

Oh and by the way: how come the “Kerry’s winning” part of the election night exit polling is presumed to have been wrong, or tampered with, but the “Moral Values” part of the same polling is graded flawless, and marks the dawn of a new American century? [Emphasis added.]

Institute for Public Accuracy

November 15, 2004

Ohio: Official Recount Now Expected

DAVID COBB

Cobb was the 2004 presidential candidate for the Green Party. He said today: "We announced our intention to seek a recount of the vote in Ohio. Since the required fee for a statewide recount is $113,600, the only question was whether that money could be raised in time to meet the filing deadline. That question has been answered. Thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in Ohio." The Green Party is working with the Libertarian Party in securing a recount. The presidential candidates for the two parties have demanded that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who co-chaired this year's Bush campaign in Ohio, recuse himself from the recount process.

The media director for the Cobb-LaMarche campaign, Blair Bobier, said today: "The Ohio presidential election was marred by numerous press and independent reports of mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and the targeted disenfranchisement of African-American voters…

[Do not count on any good results here.  A Katherine Harris act-alike is in charge of the electoral process in Ohio, and he will do everything he can to block a recount.  If he fails in that regard, he will fight every single change in the vote count away from Bush and toward Kerry.  Even if he has to be entirely inconsistent in his words and actions from county to county or even precinct to precinct.  Republicans do not believe in democracy, my friends, they are afraid of it.  And where in the hell are the Democrats?—Caro]

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Media ignoring election fraud

Letter to the Editor
Posted November 15 2004

I would like to thank the authors of two Nov. 9 letters, regarding the real results of the Nov. 2 election. These letters are the only mention I have seen in the media about the fraudulent election we just had.

Obviously, the mainstream media has been unable to print the truth about this election. For those of us who thought we voted for the candidates of our choice, our votes very well may not have been counted that way. For instance, in Baker County, where 69.3 percent of 12,887 registered voters are Democrats and 24.3 percent are Republicans, the supposed Democratic vote count was 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush. Does anyone believe that is correct?...

Nevertheless,
Associated Press

Florida Panel Approves Election Results

Sun Nov 14, 7:08 PM ET

By BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - It was a wish come true Sunday for Florida's elections officials: no cameras, few questions and a clear decision.

Unlike four years ago, when scores of television satellite trucks and hundreds of reporters camped outside the Capitol, the state canvassing board quietly certified the results of the Nov. 2 general election, in which President Bush captured the state's 27 electoral votes by a comfortable margin…

[Yes, THIS time they made sure that the margin would be “comfortable.”—Caro]

Diebold Variations

And it’s not just the election for president that’s rigged.
The Wall Street Journal

Gerry-Rigged

By JOHN STEELE GORDON
November 11, 2004; Page A16

The Democrats got their clock cleaned last week, and if they don't fancy an extended period in the political wilderness, they need some new ideas and they need them now. Since at the moment they don't seem to have any, let me make a suggestion in all sincerity: a crusade to end gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is a pervasive and peculiarly American perversion of democracy where legislative district lines are drawn to ensure the victory of one party's candidate. With the advent of computers it has become possible to draw these lines with exquisite precision, excluding and including voters on a house-by-house basis.

Gerrymandering is altogether evil. It effectively disenfranchises millions of voters by dumping them in districts where the results are foregone conclusions. It makes incumbents arrogant and unresponsive because they do not need to fear the voters. And it polarizes American politics because the important elections tend to be primaries, where the party bases rule rather than the less politically motivated middle…

Mr. Gordon is the author of "Empire of Wealth," just out from HarperCollins.

Scoop, New Zealand

Wednesday, 17 November 2004, 10:45 pm

Complete US Exit Poll Data Confirms Net Suspicions
Full 51 State Early Exit Poll Data Released For The First Time

By Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson

Scoop.co.nz is delighted to be able today to publish a full set of 4pm exit poll data for the first time on the Internet since the US election. The data emerged this evening NZT in a post on the Democratic Underground website under the forum name TruthIsAll.

The new data confirms what was already widely known about the swing in favour of George Bush, but amplifies the extent of that swing.

In the data … we can see that 42 of the 51 states in the union swung towards George Bush while only nine swung towards Kerry.

There has to date been no official explanation for the discrepancy.

Ordinarily in the absence of an obvious mistabulation error, roughly the same number of states should have swung towards each candidate.

Moreover many of the states that swung against Democratic Party hopeful John Kerry swung to an extent that is well beyond the margin of error in exit polls. Exit polls by their nature - they ask voters how they actually voted rather than about their intentions - are typically considered highly accurate.

Last week in an analysis of a similar, but incomplete set of data, Dr Stephen F. Freeman from the University of Pennsylvania calculated that the odds of just three of the major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania all swinging as far as they did against their respective exit polls were 250 milllion to 1…

[Click through to see the new data,--Caro]

Online Journal

Something is rotten in Denmark: Exit poll data in former Soviet Republic of Georgia vs. USA

By Sara S. DeHart, Ph.D.

November 17, 2004—Dr. Stephen Freeman is a University of Pennsylvania professor whose expertise includes research methodology. In a recent paper titled The Unexplained Exit Poll Data he reports that the International Foundations sponsored an exit poll in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia during their November 2003 parliamentary election and projected a victory for the main opposition party. Exit poll data is considered so robust that when the sitting government counted the votes and announced that its own slate of candidates had won, supporters of the opposition stormed the Parliament, and the president, Eduard A. Shevardnadze, resigned his office under pressure from the United States and Russia.

Contrast that event with what happened in the United States in the recent national election when in three battle ground states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, with data based on exit polls predicted an outcome in variance with the tallied vote outcomes. Major news organizations, including CNN changed their exit poll data to conform with the tallied outcomes, most of which came from paperless, electronic voting equipment. In each case the tallied outcomes favored the incumbent, George W. Bush. The odds for such an occurrence is one in 250 million for this to have occurred by chance.

Does the phrase, “Something is rotten in Denmark” have any meaning for the media?...

The integrity of the system is being questioned by citizens across the nation and internationally. The response of mainline media is a harsh attack on citizens and writers who dare raise questions about the data…

The media are complicit in the theft of ANOTHER election.
Media Matters for America

Conservatives rail against MSNBC's Olbermann for reporting election irregularities

Media conservatives have labeled MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann a "voice of paranoia" and accused him of perpetuating "idiotic conspiracy theories" for his sustained spotlight on the numerous local news reports of voting irregularities during the November 2 presidential election. Olbermann's emphasis during Countdown with Keith Olbermann on voting irregularities has been part of a critique of what he has called the "Rube Goldberg voting process of ours" -- as well as a criticism of the major media outlets' failure to report on the irregularities.

In her November 11 nationally syndicated column, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter falsely asserted that Olbermann has been "peddling the theory that Bush stole the election" and referred to "Olbermann's idiotic conspiracy theory."…

But Olbermann has not suggested that the election was stolen…

Olbermann's commitment to addressing voting irregularities has been coupled with commentary on the lack of media coverage they have received, which Media Matters for America has also noted. "Even assuming there's nothing nefarious about the national election," Olbermann asked Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter, "why has the cascade of irregularities around this country occurred virtually in a news blackout?"…

Posted to the web on Tuesday November 16, 2004 at 4:57 PM EST

Columbus Free Press, OH

Harvey Wasserman

Ohio hearings show massive GOP vote manipulation, but where the hell are the Democrats & John Kerry?
November 17, 2004

Columbus, Ohio---Hour after hour the testimonies are the same: angry Ohioans telling of vicious Republican manipulation and de facto intimidation that disenfranchised tens of thousands and probably cost the Democrats the election.

At an African-American church on Saturday and then at the Franklin County Courthouse Monday night, more than 700 people came to testify and witness to tales of the atrocity that was the November 2 election.

Organized by local ad hoc groups, the hearings had a court reporter and a team of lawyers along with other appointed witnesses. At freepress.org we will be making the testimonies available as they're transcribed and organized, and we will present a fuller accounting of the hearings, along with a book that includes the transcripts.

But one thing was instantly and abundantly clear: the Republican Party turned Ohio 2004 into an updated version of the Jim Crow South.

The principle overt method of vote suppression was to short-change inner city precincts of sufficient voting machines to allow a timely balloting. In precinct after precinct, virtually all of them predominantly black, poor, young and Democratic, the lines stretched for two, five, eight, even eleven hours. The elderly and infirm were forced to stand in the rain while city officials threatened to tow their cars. No chairs or shelter were provided. Crucial signage was mysteriously missing. Thousands came to vote, saw the long lines and left.

How many thousands? Enough to turn the election? Almost definitely.

None of this was accidental. This was a well-planned GOP attack on the right to vote, and on Democratic candidacies…

It’s about effing time.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Democrats take up fight over ballots

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Bill Sloat

Cincinnati - Seeming to brush aside John Kerry's concession speech, the Ohio Democratic Party has launched a federal court fight over nearly 155,000 provisional ballots by contending a proper accounting of those votes might decide who really won.

In Ohio, Bush now holds a lead of about 136,000 votes over Kerry.

County officials across the state began tabulating provisional ballots Friday.

"Given the closeness of the presidential and other elections," Ohio's provisional ballots "may prove determinative of the outcome," Democrats argue in a legal filing made public Wednesday by the U.S. District Court.

The lawsuit asked U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson to order Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to impose uniform standards for counting provisional votes on all 88 counties. Democrats want the judge to take action quickly - before the results of the election are certified.

Watson, who was appointed by Bush, has not set a hearing.

Don McTigue, a Columbus lawyer who filed the lawsuit for the Ohio Democratic Party, said the Democrats have concerns that different standards are being applied from county to county…

[OF COURSE they’ll use different standards.  And this time they’ll argue AGAINST the use of uniform standards, unlike Florida in 2000.  These people have no morals and no scruples.—Caro]

Bob Harris

Math, not conspiracy theory

Friday, 12 November 2004

I hope you'll download and read a paper called The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy, released on Thursday by Prof. Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania.  It's worth seeing in its entirety.  A lot of other folks have been posting about it.  Rightly so.

What jumped out at a lot of people on the night of the election was how the "errors" in the exit polls consistently occured in the same direction…

They favored Bush.  Over and over and over.  That's the coin flipping.  And flipping.  And still coming up heads.  Heads in Florida.  Heads in Ohio.  Heads in a bunch of other swing states (even while the exit polls remained relatively accurate elsewhere).  Almost everywhere the election was close, the coin just kept coming up heads.

How bad was it?

According to Dr. Freeman's analysis... 1 in 250,000,000.

One in a quarter of a billion.

In simpler terms, that 50-50 coin flip just came up "heads" almost thirty times in a row

Now, a lot of folks are understandably unwilling to come right out and say the word "fraud."  I get that.  I respect everybody here.  And I won't guess other people's feelings on it, but for me, merely acknowledging the possibility that our elections were hijacked this broadly makes me feel all sorts of unpleasant emotions.

It's frankly a terrifying prospect, because if true, we have one hell of a goddam fight in front of us, against a group of powerful people who clearly will stop at nothing whatsoever to continue centralizing their power…

No one should need reminding that Karl Rove has always broken any rule necessary to win at all costs, and that there have been no costs for cheating since this administration took office.  Someone near the top of this administration has already committed treason by leaking Valerie Plame's name to the press, and received nothing but protection ever since.

And let's not forget that this very same band of merry men conspired for over a year to lie their way into an illegal war and generate rationalizations for torture, indefinite detention, and even disappearances -- a series of high crimes against the constitution, existing law, and humanity which makes electoral tinkering seem tame by comparison.

I mean, what sort of behavior is necessary to start suspecting the beneficiaries of the obvious rigging in their favor?  Does Karl Rove have to come to the house personally and start humping the furniture?

(He will, you know.  You probably want to dig out that old can of Scotchgard.)

Until Karl finally shows up... just do the math.

Computerworld

University researchers challenge Bush win in Florida
'Something went awry with electronic voting in Florida,' says the lead researcher

News Story by Dan Verton

NOVEMBER 18, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) - Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, said today that they have uncovered statistical irregularities associated with electronic voting machines in three Florida counties that may have given President George W. Bush 130,000 or more excess votes. The researchers are now calling on state and federal authorities to look into the problems.

The study, "The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Florida Elections," was conducted by doctoral students and faculty from the university's sociology department and led by sociology professor Michael Hout…

According to the study, counties with electronic voting machines were significantly more likely to show increases in support for Bush between 2000 and 2004 compared to counties with paper ballots or optical scan equipment. This change cannot be explained by differences between counties in income, number of voters, change in voter turnout, or size of the Hispanic/Latino population, said Hout…

Associated Press

News Groups Will Delay Future Exit Polls

Thu Nov 18,11:53 PM ET

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - The consortium of news organizations that runs the election exit polls has voted to delay distribution of data for several hours on future election days.

Exit poll data won't be distributed until after 4 p.m. EST to the organizations that have paid for it: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and The Associated Press, NBC's elections director Sheldon Gawiser said Thursday.

On Nov. 2, the companies conducting the polls, Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, distributed the first wave of exit poll data at 1 p.m. — and the numbers were immediately leaked on the Internet and to the campaigns.

Those initial numbers suggested that Sen. John Kerry had slight leads in Florida and Ohio — both battleground states that were won by President Bush when the votes were actually counted.

"There were an awful lot of people on the Internet talking about things they don't understand,'" said Gawiser, head of the news organizations' steering committee. "First wave exit poll data is not terribly accurate."…

[Trouble is, exit polls have been incredibly accurate in the past, Sheldon.  I know you think we’re stupid, but we’re not.  We know this is another way the Republicans are strengthening their ability to steal elections.—Caro]

The New York Times

No More Sham Elections

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Published: November 20, 2004

… The U.S. electoral system looks increasingly dysfunctional, and those of us who used to mock the old Soviet or Iraqi "elections" for lacking competition ought to be blushing.

In Arkansas, 75 percent of state legislative races this year were uncontested by either the Republicans or by the Democrats. The same was true of 73 percent of the seats in Florida, 70 percent in South Carolina, 62 percent in New Mexico.

And Congressional races were an embarrassment. Only seven incumbents in the House of Representatives lost their seats this month. Four of those were in Texas, where the Republican Legislature gerrymandered Democrats out of their seats…

So what's the cure for our electoral diseases? Here are three ideas:

Have nonpartisan experts draw up boundaries for Congressional districts after each census…

Eliminate the Electoral College, so that the president is chosen by popular vote…

Funnel campaign donations through a blind trust. The funkiest idea in politics is to make donations anonymous even to the recipient. Citizens would make contributions through a blind trust, so that candidates wouldn't know to whom they were beholden.

If officials don't know who their major contributors are, they can't invite them to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom or write tax loopholes. A donor might boast about having made a contribution, but special interests will realize they can save money by telling politicians that they have donated when they haven't, and then politicians will doubt these boasts…

Tri-Valley Herald, CA

Article Last Updated: Friday, November 19, 2004 - 6:47:44 AM PST

Berkeley: President comes up short

Graduate students put statistics to the test and find 'ghost' votes for Bush

By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

In the nation's first academic study of the Florida 2004 vote, University of California, Berkeley, graduate students and a professor have found intriguing evidence that electronic-voting counties could have mistakenly awarded up to 260,000 votes to President George Bush.

The discrepancy, reported Thursday, is insufficient by itself to sway the outcome of the presidential race in Florida, but the UC Berkeley team called on Florida elections officials for an investigation…

Broadly speaking, the UC Berkeley team found that President Bush received tens of thousands more votes in electronic-voting Democratic counties than past voting patterns would have suggested. No such pattern turned up in counties using optical scanning machines.

The UC Berkeley report has not been peer-reviewed, but a reputable MIT political scientist succeeded in replicating the analysis Thursday at the request of the Herald and The Associated Press. He said an investigation is warranted…

Stewart isn't convinced the problem is electronic voting. It could be absentee voting or some quirk of election administration. But whatever the problem, it didn't show up in counties using optical scanning machines. Rather than offer evidence of fraud or voting problems, the UC Berkeley study infers they exist mathematically…

There is a full-scale assault on democracy going on here, friends.  How’s this for an activist judge?
DriveDemocracy.org

11/17/2004

Tin Hats or Golden Crowns

— Glenn @ 11:59 am

Amid the controversies about election fraud, hacked voting machines, bizarre vote-counting procedures, and statistically impossible results in some jurisdictions, an ugly fact is often forgotten: Americans do not have an absolute right to vote. None of us.

In case after case, the courts hold that the state interest in regulating voting procedures outweighs citizens’ rights to cast ballots. The precedent is the precise opposite of conservatives’ worshipful stance toward the free market, in which the unfettered right to buy and sell outweighs regulatory interference.

The question is, why do we assume beneficial rationality in the economic sphere when we hold it to be absent in the political sphere? In other words, why is it held that we should be left to our own devices with our dollars, but bend to the authority of the state with our votes?...

In America, we have decided that the loss of the right to vote is to be treated with shrugging acceptance when measured against the states’ authority to set limits and procedures for voting, even if those procedures themselves are the very cause of the chaos they are intended to guard against (butterfly ballots, hanging chads, hackable machines, partisan election officers)…

In his book, Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy, [Judge Richard] Posner reveals the goals and values that underlie judgments that political regulation trumps voting rights. Posner writes, “Few citizens have the formidable intellectual and moral capacities (let alone the time) required for the role that [participatory, deliberative democracy] assigns to the citizenry, although defenders of the concept believe that participation in democratic political activity strengthens these capacities, enabling a virtuous cycle.”

Posner said that what he calls “elite” democracy leaves citizens the time to do what they do best: shop…

Posner really believes that the “reallocation of time from private and commercial activities to the political realm could reduce social welfare.” So we must be protected from the harm we might do ourselves by voting.

Interestingly, another term Posner uses for elite democracy is “competitive” democracy. In this way, he attempts to capture the logic of free market economics as the rationalization for anti-populist politics. Voters should be viewed as consumers choosing from among potential representatives the way they choose a product or service in the free market. His analogy is revealing, but in a way he perhaps did not intend. For the goal of the player in a competitive economy is always to transcend the market’s competitive nature and, for instance, gain dominant market share, so dominant that the rules of competition no longer apply.

And so it is with the political elite. In their ideal world, their own rule so dominates the political marketplace that competition no longer exists. In such a political culture, the voter becomes not the deliberative, rational consumer or producer of policies and representatives, but an unpredictable enemy. Therefore, guaranteeing the right to vote runs contrary to the interests of those in power…

The motivation of the elite, then, is to reduce political consumption, for it is far easier to reach a dominant market share among a few predictable voters than it is among many unpredictable ones. This is the opposite of their motivation on the economic side. And that is why state regulation is lionized in the political sphere and demonized in the economic sphere…

Does it ever occur to us to ask why the elite believe a vote cast by an unqualified voter is so much more dangerous to democracy than the loss of a vote by a qualified voter? Posner is concerned to stop only the former. “Voting fraud is a serious problem in U.S. elections generally and one with a particularly game history in Illinois…, and it is facilitated by absentee voting,” he wrote in his opinion denying absentee ballots to working mothers.

The answer is that efforts to block fraudulently cast ballots disguise the real objective: reducing voter participation…

[The truth is that people make good decisions when given the information they need and not bombarded by propaganda.  I wrote a commentary on it in August of 2001.—Caro]

You may not remember that Judge Posner wrote a book about the Bush v. Gore decision.  The quote below is from a Newsweek article reviewing his book, among others.

In a recent book, U.S. court of appeals Judge Richard Posner, a highly respected Reagan appointee with liberal views on some issues, was kinder to the justices. He argued that the decision was poorly reasoned and badly written—but in the end fundamentally right, a “kind of rough justice” that was necessary to avert a political crisis threatened by the Florida court, which had “butchered” Florida’s election laws and behaved like a “banana republic” in rigging an unreliable process for the recount.

— How History Will View the Court, By Stuart Taylor Jr., September 17, 2001 issue

Below is the message I sent to Newsweek at the time, and I sent a similar message to Judge Posner after looking up his email address at the University of Chicago Law School website:

Just think about what Judge Richard Posner is telling us when he says the Supreme Court was right to put its clown shoes into the Bush v. Gore ring.

He says they did the right thing because they believed the Florida Supreme Court had made an illegal decision.  I don't believe that the Florida Supreme Court's decision was illegal, but even if it were, what Judge Posner is telling us is that two wrongs make a right.  He is saying that if you believe your opponent has acted in an unlawful manner, then you are justified in acting unlawfully.

Isn't that the essence of lawlessness?  I never thought I'd see the day that a judge and law professor would ADVOCATE lawlessness.

If almost 50% of the American people still hold the Supreme Court in high esteem, then it is the fault of you and the other members of the mainstream media.  Until now, you have pretended that the election wasn't stolen.  And even now, you are the only media outlet questioning the legitimacy of the Bush v. Gore decision.

Greg Palast

REPUBLICAN CHALLENGES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BASED ON EXIT POLLS

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

from the New York Times

An international election observer mission - from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe - released a preliminary report on Monday declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.

The observers' findings were seconded by Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Citing the disturbing fact that official results diverged sharply from a range of surveys of voters at polling places, Lugar said, "A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."

Other prominent Western observers were unsparing in their criticism of the state's conduct of the election.

"Fundamental flaws in Ukraine's presidential election process subverted its legitimacy," the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, sponsored by the Democratic Party in the United States, declared in its preliminary report. The institute, cited "systematic intimidation, overt manipulation and blatant fraud" that were "designed to achieve a specific outcome irrespective of the will of the people."

-- New York Times

This reporter was unable to reach Senator Lugar regarding the inconsistency of official election results and exit polls in the USA; the intimidation of minority voters in Florida and Ohio; nor the failure to count two million ballots cast, half by African-American voters, in America's first post-democratic election held earlier this month.

Eastern bloc observers noted that balloting in Ohio, New Mexico and Florida did not meet Ukrainian standards, but applauded America's attempt to restore democratic institutions after the overthrow of elected government in 2000.

This is a very long excerpt, but I think you’ll find it most interesting, especially if you’re not able to read the entire report.
University of Pennsylvania
Center for Organizational Dynamics

The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy: Part I (pdf)

Steven F. Freeman, PhD

Most Americans who had listened to radio or surfed the Internet on Election Day this year, sat down to watch election night coverage expecting that John Kerry had been elected President. Exit polls showed him ahead in nearly every battleground state, in many cases by sizable margins.  Although pre-election day polls indicated the race dead even or Bush slightly ahead, two factors seemed to explain Kerry’s edge: turnout was extraordinary high, which is generally good for Democrats, and as in every US Presidential election with an incumbent over the past quarter-century, undecided voters broke heavily toward the challenger.

But then, in key state after key state, counts showed very different numbers than the polls predicted; and the differentials were all in the same direction…  [I]n every one, the shift favors Bush…

Part of the reason the issue went away for the media – and has become fodder for conspiracy theorists on the web – is secrecy and confusion about the data and what exactly is being characterized as the exit poll. If you go to the CNN website or any other website on which 2004 exit poll data is available, you’ll see numbers very different from those that were released on Election Day. That’s because the survey results originally collected and presented to subscribers were subsequently “corrected” to conform to official tallies.

The pollsters explain this as a natural process: the “uncalibrated” data were preliminary; once the counts come in, they recalibrate their original data on the assumptions that the count is correct, and that any discrepancies must have been due to imbalanced representation in their samples or some other polling error. The pollsters have taken great pains to argue that their polls were not designed to verify election results, but rather to provide election coverage support to subscribers: as one piece of data (among many) that networks could use to “call” states and to explain voting patterns, i.e., who voted for whom, and why people voted as they did.

Whatever the merits of calibrating exit poll data, it confuses the issue of why the (uncalibrated) polls were so far off and why in the same direction. Although this calibration process may seem perfectly natural to NEP, it confuses nearly everyone else, even sophisticated analysts intimately involved in voting issues. The MIT-Caltech Voting Project, for example, issued a report concluding that exit poll data were consistent with state tallies and that there were no discrepancies based on voting method, including electronic voting systems. But they used this adjusted data to exonerate the process! In other words, they used data in which the count is assumed correct to prove that the count is correct. And, sadly, this report is being used to dismiss allegations that anything might be awry.

It’s an awful mistake, but it is understandable how they could make it. Few of us realized that this data is corrected. Neither the CNN website, nor any other site of which I’m aware, gives any indication that the data were anything other than what nearly all of us imagine exit poll data to be – data based (solely) on subjects surveyed leaving the polling place…

For this report, I use data that apparently are based solely on subjects surveyed leaving the polling place. These data were reportedly not meant to be released directly to the public,10 and were reportedly available to late evening Election Night viewers only because a computer glitch prevented NEP from making updates sometime around 8:30 p.m. that night.11 They were collected by Jonathon Simon, a former political survey research analyst, and are corroborated by saved screen shots [of the CNN website]… I happened to have ten exit poll internet pages stored in my computer memory, and in each case, his figures are identical to mine. The numbers are also roughly consistent with those released elsewhere…

Ruy Teixeira and others have rejected these data as unweighted, meaning that they have not been adjusted to appropriately weight demographic groups pollsters knowingly under- or oversampled, but that would seem very unlikely. NEP’s predecessor, Voter News Service, warns in bold letters in its 2000 Methodology statement never to use unweighted data… It makes no sense ever to distribute unweighted data to anyone. Pollsters want to get it right. Their customers are depending on it…

I’d rather have NEP data, but no one is going to see those until well into 2005 (if then). That said, I believe this CNN data are good, and can be used to generate some highly suggestive findings…

In general, we have reason to believe that exit polls, by which I mean uncorrected exit polls, are reasonably accurate survey instruments. Exit polls are surveys taken of representative respondents from the overall voting population. Both the logic behind them and experience suggest that these surveys should be able to predict overall results within statistical limits. It's relatively easy to get a representative sample, and there is no problem with figuring out who is actually going to vote or how they will vote…

[P]redictions in this year’s contests were quite accurate. In the Utah presidential vote, for example, they predicted Bush 70.8%, Kerry 26.5%. The actual was Bush 71.1%, Kerry 26.4%. Consistently accurate exit poll predictions from student volunteers, including in this presidential election, suggest we should expect accuracy, within statistical limits, from the world’s most professional exit polling enterprise.

Exit polls have been widely used to verify elections. When Mexico sought legitimacy as a modernizing democracy in 1994, Carlos Salinas instituted reforms designed to ensure fair elections, and central among these were exit polls. Exit pollsters were hired again for the next Presidential election in 2000, and, not coincidentally, it was the first loss for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in its 72 year history.

In Russia, and throughout the former Soviet block, exit polls have been used to verify elections. Last fall, international foundations sponsored an exit poll in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia during a parliamentary election. On Election Day, the pollsters projected a victory for the main opposition party. When the sitting government announced that its own slate of candidates had won, supporters of the opposition stormed the Parliament, and the president, Eduard A. Shevardnadze, resigned under pressure from the United States and Russia…

The conventional wisdom going into the election was that three critical states would likely determine who would win the Presidential election -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida…

The conventional wisdom proved correct. Bush won two of the three and ascended to electoral victory by virtue of that. In each of these states, however, exit polls differed considerably from recorded tallies…

Assuming independent state polls with no systematic bias, the odds against any two of these statistical anomalies occurring together is between 5,000:1 and 10,000:1. (20-40 times more improbable than ten straight heads from a fair coin) The odds against all three occurring together are 662,000-to-one. As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts in the three critical battleground states of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error.

Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Nov. 23, 2004

Felons list audit faults state

A new state audit criticized how Florida put together a central voter database and a felons list that was sent to election supervisors this year.

TALLAHASSEE - A new audit shows that Florida's attempt to rid the voting rolls of felons this past election season was marred by lax oversight by the Department of State, which failed to follow legal settlements and relied on seriously flawed data when it put together the controversial felons list.

The audit, conducted by Kirby Mole, the inspector general who reports directly to Secretary of State Glenda Hood, says no evidence exists to suggest that state officials deliberately intended to purge black voters more aggressively than Hispanic voters.

In July, Hood killed the felons list -- intended to be used by elections officials to purge voters -- after news reports pointed out problems with the list, among them that it contained too few Hispanics.

Hood did not dispute the audit results Monday. Instead, she put the blame on an overburdened department and said she is taking steps to make sure that this year's problems with the list will not be repeated when Florida unveils a new central voter registration system in 2006.

''There was nothing intentional,'' Hood said…

[Not intentional.  Sure, Glenda.  ONLY IT’S THE SECOND TIME YOUR STATE HAS DONE THE EXACT SAME THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We’d be stupid to believe you—or Republicans.—Caro]

Ukranians won’t stand for a stolen election.
BBC News

Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 01:49 GMT

Kiev crowds circle president's HQ

Thousands of opposition supporters have been demonstrating outside Ukrainian government offices in a second night of protests over presidential elections.

Tens of thousands more rallied nearby in Kiev's Independence Square to protest against the official victory for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych…

The opposition says it has recorded thousands of voting irregularities, including very high turnouts in government strongholds. International observers have described the poll as seriously flawed…

A White House spokeswoman earlier called for Ukrainian authorities not to certify the election until the fraud allegations are investigated…

Reuters

U.S. Threatens Punitive Steps Over Ukraine Election

Mon Nov 22, 3:20 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday threatened to review its relationship with Ukraine and to take punitive steps if the Ukrainian government fails to investigate allegations of fraud and abuse in its presidential election…

Why isn’t the White House just as anxious to investigate the fraud allegations here in the United States before George Bush is certified?  Here, they use every tactic at their disposal to make sure the votes of “certain” Americans don’t count.
Associated Press

Judge Denies Demand for Ohio Recount

Wed, Nov 24, 2004

TOLEDO, Ohio - A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a recount of Ohio ballots even before the official count was finished.

Judge James G. Carr in Toledo ruled that the candidates have a right under Ohio law to a recount, but said it can wait. The judge wrote that he saw no reason to interfere with the final stages of Ohio's electoral process. Officials have said the results will be certified by Dec. 6…

Moritz College of Law

Ohio does not have a specific requirement of speed for recounts or election contests, possibly causing an Ohio recount to run past the federal constitution’s “safe harbor” provision.

Federal law provides that when a state has a method in place for resolving a conflict about the selection of the state’s presidential electors, that method shall be conclusive in determining that state’s electors. However, federal law goes on to state that the determination must come within thirty-five days of the date of the presidential election. If the state fails to resolve any controversy within the thirty-five day “safe harbor” time period, then in counting the electoral votes, Congress is not bound to recognize the state’s designated electors.

Ohio law does not specifically address the issue of presidential election controversies. Ohio law does provide a process for determining the outcome of election controversies generally; however, Ohio’s time frames for filing petitions and setting hearings makes it unlikely that a contest could be resolved within the thirty-five days mandated by the federal law.

[So here’s the Catch-22.  Thirty-five days after the election is December 7, if I’m not mistaken.  The Republicans are going to claim that they’re so sorry but they can’t recount because it will put Ohio’s Electoral College votes in danger of not being counted.  JUST like Florida in 2000.—Caro]

Welcome back to earth, Democrats.  You’ve been greatly missed.
Washington Post

Ohio Democrats Offer Support for Recount Effort

By Brian Faler
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, November 24, 2004; Page A08

The Ohio Democratic Party announced this week that it is supporting a third-party-led effort to force the battleground state to recount its presidential vote.

The organization, whose decision is expected to give more legitimacy to the recount push, complained that Ohio voters faced long lines at the polls Nov. 2, that some voting machines malfunctioned and that some absentee ballots were never delivered.

"As Senator Kerry stated in his concession speech in Boston, we do not necessarily expect the results of the election to change; however, we believe it necessary to make sure everyone's vote is counted fairly and accurately," said the party chairman, Dennis L. White. The Democrats are not helping to pay for the recount but will keep close tabs on legal decisions that affect it and place observers in each of the state's 88 counties to monitor the tabulation.

The impending recount was initially spurred by a pair of third-party presidential candidates who said they were concerned that rumors of voter fraud in Ohio were not being addressed…

We should have had this investigation after the 2000 election, then we might have avoided the problems in 2002 and 2004.  But no.  No one would listen to us activists.  As always, situations have to get really, really bad before people sit up and start paying attention.
Agence France Presse

US Congress to investigate irregularities in November 2 vote

Tue Nov 23, 4:45 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Government Accountability Office, the investigating arm of the US Congress, will probe allegations of irregularities in the November 2 US presidential vote, lawmakers said.

"We are pleased that the GAO has reviewed the concerns expressed in our letters and has found them of sufficient merit to warrant further investigation. On its own authority, the GAO will examine the security and accuracy of voting technologies, distribution and allocation of voting machines, and counting of provisional ballots," five Democratic lawmakers, who requested the inquiry, said in a statement.

"We are hopeful that GAO's non-partisan and expert analysis will get to the bottom of the flaws uncovered in the 2004 election," added representatives John Conyers Jr., Jerrold Nadler, Robert Wexler, Robert Scott, and Rush Holt.

The lawmakers said the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has received some 57,000 complaints of voting irregularities…

Scripps Howard News Service

Election commission: Voting problems widespread

By THOMAS HARGROVE
23-NOV-04

WASHINGTON -- Mountainous stacks of unopened absentee ballots cluttered South Florida election centers. Sixty-year-old voting machines jammed, forcing New Yorkers to stand in lines three blocks long. Punch-card machines went unused in Ohio because poll workers didn't know how to plug them in.

The four members of the new U.S. Election Assistance Commission met Tuesday to compare horror stories while acting as federal observers in the Nov. 2 election. America is lucky that President Bush was re-elected by a 3 million-vote margin, they said, or the nation would again be wracked by election uncertainty.

"The margin was enough that the glitches were not important," concluded commission Chairman DeForest Soaries. "The bad news is, we still don't live up to the expectations that democracy demands."…

The commissioners agreed to hold a series of three public hearings next year to establish testing standards for voting machines, to consider statewide voter-registration standards and to review the often-inconsistent use of new provisional balloting for voters who say they are eligible but don't appear on local registration lists.

consortiumnews.com

Big Media's Democracy Double Standards

By Robert Parry
November 23, 2004

The Washington Post and other leading American newspapers are up in arms about the legitimacy of a presidential election where exit polls showed the challenger winning but where the incumbent party came out on top, amid complaints about heavy-handed election-day tactics and possibly rigged vote tallies.

In a lead editorial, the Post cited the divergent exit polls, along with voter claims about ballot irregularities, as prime reasons for overturning the official results. For its part, the New York Times cited reports of “suspiciously, even fantastically, high turnouts in regions that supported” the government candidate. The U.S. news media is making clear that the truth about these electoral anomalies must be told.

Of course, the election in question occurred in the Ukraine.

In the United States – where exit polls showed John Kerry winning on Nov. 2, where Republican tactics discouraged African-American voting in Democratic precincts, and where George W. Bush’s vote totals in many counties were eyebrow-raising – the Post, the Times and other top news outlets mocked anyone who questioned the results…

“Unvarnished truth” was far less important to the Post, the Times and other U.S. news organizations when they were reporting on the results of Election 2000.

Then, the cherished value was “unity,” as Americans were urged to ignore the fact that Al Gore got more votes and instead rally behind George W. Bush, even though he had dispatched thugs to Florida to disrupt recounts and then enlisted his political allies on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

In the months that followed Election 2000, the U.S. news media even put the cause of Bush’s legitimacy ahead of its duty to accurately inform the public. In November 2001, after conducting an unofficial recount of Florida’s ballots, the news outlets discovered that if all legally cast votes had been counted – regardless of the standard used for evaluating chads – Gore won.

That finding meant that Gore was the rightful occupant of the White House and that Bush was a fraudulent president. But in those days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the news organizations again opted for “unity” over “unvarnished truth,” fudging their own results and burying the lead of Gore’s electoral victory…

[A]s the Ukrainian people take to the streets to defend the principles of democracy, including the concept that a just government derives from the consent of the governed, the United States – once democracy’s beacon to the world – presents its commitment to those ideals more through hypocrisy abroad than action at home. 

Why aren’t WE getting a new election?
Associated Press

Ukraine Parliament Calls Election Invalid

Sat, Nov 27, 2004

By YURAS KARMANAU, Associated Press Writer

KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine's parliament on Saturday declared invalid the disputed presidential election that triggered a week of growing street protests and legal maneuvers, raising the possibility that a new vote could be held in this former Soviet republic.

Parliament's vote came amid a flurry of domestic and international support for the possibility of a revote. A European Union envoy — Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot — said new elections were the "ideal outcome" for the standoff between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko. Asked if new elections were the only solution, Ben Bot answered: "Yes."…

You go, Rev!
Ohio News Network

Jackson plans rally with ministers to call for election investigation

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson said he plans a Sunday rally in Columbus with ministers from around Ohio to call for an investigation of election irregularities in the state.

Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition civil rights group want to call attention to the fact that votes in Ohio are still undergoing the official count, he said Thursday. Jackson also is questioning whether enough voting machines were provided in inner-city precincts and whether fraud could have occurred in counties that use electronic machines without paper records of ballots.

President Bush beat Democrat John Kerry in Ohio by about 136,000 votes, according to the unofficial tally. Kerry conceded there were not enough outstanding votes to sway the election his way. Counties have until Dec. 1 to complete their official counts, including verification of 155,337 provisional ballots cast in the state.

Lawyers who have been documenting election problems in Ohio said last week they would challenge the results of the presidential election as soon as the vote is official…

Baltimore Sun

Validate the vote

By Ian H. Solomon
Originally published November 26, 2004

MOST MAINSTREAM newspapers have already dismissed stories of voting fraud and voting rights violations in the November election as baseless or irrelevant. Sen. John Kerry's concession is supposed to demonstrate that there is no story here. Give up, go home, it's all over.

But it's not over.

The legitimacy of our democratic process is an issue more important than Mr. Kerry's future or the results of 2004. That legitimacy has been called into question repeatedly over the past few weeks, and doubts will linger as long as credible indications of error, negligence, disenfranchisement and fraud are not addressed.

We would like to believe that voting irregularities were identified and corrected, that participants fulfilled their duties appropriately, that the machines performed reliably and that the total discrepancy between voter intention and recorded results was less than the margin of victory in relevant contests.

But that conclusion must be reached on the basis of evidence, not blind faith. My own observations as a volunteer poll watcher in Florida do not give perfect confidence.

As many experts had warned, the electronic voting machines used across the country were vulnerable to glitches and possible tampering, including the over-recording of votes and the "disappearance" of valid votes…

How can we expect voters - especially young, disadvantaged or newly registered voters - to have faith in our voting system? How can we expect our allies to take seriously U.S. efforts to hold elections in Iraq and elsewhere? How can we be confident that the most fundamental principles of American democracy - one person, one vote; rule by the people; transparency in government - are not in jeopardy?

American legitimacy demands that the news media, the parties and all political leaders take seriously the challenges presented by the 2004 election: We need an audit of the election process, validation of the election results and corrective measures to ensure the legitimacy of future elections.

To begin with, that means supporting the audit efforts already under way…

Ian H. Solomon is associate dean of Yale Law School.

The Guardian

US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev

Ian Traynor
Friday November 26, 2004

With their websites and stickers, their pranks and slogans aimed at banishing widespread fear of a corrupt regime, the democracy guerrillas of the Ukrainian Pora youth movement have already notched up a famous victory - whatever the outcome of the dangerous stand-off in Kiev.

Ukraine, traditionally passive in its politics, has been mobilised by the young democracy activists and will never be the same again.

But while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box…

The Democratic party's National Democratic Institute, the Republican party's International Republican Institute, the US state department and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros's open society institute…

Freedom House and the Democratic party's NDI helped fund and organise the "largest civil regional election monitoring effort" in Ukraine, involving more than 1,000 trained observers. They also organised exit polls. On Sunday night those polls gave Mr Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed.

The exit polls are seen as critical because they seize the initiative in the propaganda battle with the regime, invariably appearing first, receiving wide media coverage and putting the onus on the authorities to respond…

If the events in Kiev vindicate the US in its strategies for helping other people win elections and take power from anti-democratic regimes, it is certain to try to repeat the exercise elsewhere in the post-Soviet world.

The places to watch are Moldova and the authoritarian countries of central Asia.

[If the Democratic Party can fund democracy in other nations, why can’t it fund democracy right here at home?—Caro]

Jeff Danziger, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

The New York Times

Electronic Voting 1.0, and No Time to Upgrade

By JAMES FALLOWS

Published: November 28, 2004

… [W]hen I went to my polling place in Washington on Election Day, I waited an extra half-hour in line to cast a paper ballot, instead of using the computerized touch-screen voting machine. Am I irrational? Perhaps, but this would not be the evidence.

A columnist in The Washington Post recently suggested that nostalgia for paper ballots, in today's reliably computerized world, must reflect a Luddite disdain for technology in general or an Oliver Stone-style paranoia about the schemings of the political world.

Not at all. It can also arise from a clear understanding of how computers work - and don't. The more you know about the operations of today's widely trusted commercial computer networks, the more concerned you become about most electronic-voting systems.

The phenomenal reliability of the systems we trust for banking, communication, and everything else rests on two bedrock principles. One is the universal understanding in the technology world that nothing works right the first time, and maybe not the first 50 times…

Today's mature systems work as well as they do only because they are exposed to nonstop, high-stakes torture testing…

The second crucial element in making reliable systems is accountability. Users can trust today's systems precisely because they don't have to take them on trust. Some important computer systems run on open-source software, like Linux, in which the code itself can be examined by outsiders.

Virtually all systems provide some sort of confirmation of transactions. You have the slip from the A.T.M., the receipt for your credit card charge, the printout of your e-ticket reservation... The first concept, robust testing, protects against unintended flaws. The second, accountability, guards against purposeful distortions.

Which brings us back to electronic voting. On the available evidence, I don't believe that voting-machine irregularities, or other problems on Election Day, determined who would be the next president. The apparent margins for President Bush were too large, in Ohio and nationwide. But if the race had been any closer, we could not have said for sure that the machines hadn't made the difference. That is because many electronic systems violate the two basic rules of trustworthy computing…

[Well, James, we have yet to see about Ohio, now haven’t we?—Caro]

Toronto Globe and Mail, Canada

No one cheated [sic] (but they could have)
The U.S. is rife with rumours that George Bush stole the election. There is no hard proof, reports ALAN FREEMAN, but electronic voting is like 'Russian roulette'

By ALAN FREEMAN

WASHINGTON — Almost three weeks after his apparent resounding victory, the blogosphere is awash in claims that President George W. Bush stole the election…

At first glance, the allegations are preposterous. While Al Gore actually won the popular vote in 2000, this time around Mr. Bush attracted 3.3 million more votes than Senator Kerry, which would mean stuffing a forest full of paper into American ballot boxes.

But in a country where 30 per cent of the votes were cast using touch-screen electronic voting machines that leave no verifiable paper trail, there are bound to be suspicions.

"Were playing Russian roulette with electronic voting machines and the gun is still loaded," says David Dill, a professor of computer science at Stanford University and founder of VerifiedVoting.org, an organization dedicated to reforming the electronic voting system.

"Electronic voting is a technology that has no safety net," Mr. Dill says. "There's no independent way to check the machines. There's no way to recover [results] if votes are lost. We're basically assuming that these electronic voting machines are flawless. We have to admit that we don't know what's going on inside them."

Verified Voting and a group of other interest groups that were part of the Election Verification Project say there is no evidence that the election was stolen, but that doesn't stop them from being concerned about how it was conducted.

"The absence of a meltdown must not be a measure of success," says Kim Alexander of the California Voter Federation. "The machinery of the world's foremost democracy must meet the same standards of transparency, auditability and public verifiability to which emerging democracies are held."…

Columbus Free Press, OH

Jesse Jackson demands Ohio presidential recount, blasts GOP election officials, and says Kerry supports the process
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
November 29, 2004

COLUMBUS--Preaching to a packed, wildly cheering central Ohio citizen congregation, Rev. Jesse Jackson blasted the presidential election back into the national headlines Sunday. Jackson said new findings cast serious doubt on the idea that George W. Bush beat John Kerry in Ohio November 2. A GOP "pattern of intentionality" was behind a suspect outcome, he said. At stake is "the integrity of the vote" for which "too many have died." "We can live with losing an election," he said. "We cannot live with fraud and stealing."

Jackson is the first major national figure to come here challenging the idea that Ohio has given George W. Bush a second term in the White House. Jackson emphasized that the vote "has not yet been certified" and demanded the removal of Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell from supervising the recount, which Jackson termed a case of "the fox guarding the chicken house." Blackwell co-chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio and has been widely criticized for a series of partisan decisions that have thus far indicated Bush carried the state. Exit polls by Zogby and CNN showed Ohio going for Kerry with 53% and 51% respectively, which would win him presidency in the Electoral College.

Blackwell says a complex series of rules allows him to limit a recount to just a few days. He says he may certify the Ohio vote between December 3d and 6th, with any recount due to be completed December 13, when Ohio's electors are scheduled to meet.

Jackson has demanded Blackwell recuse himself, saying "the owner of the team can't also be the referee." A broad-based legal team--now including Jackson's PUSH/Rainbow Coalition as Plaintiff--is preparing to file an election challenge asking the election results be overturned. Jackson says computer forensic experts must be given full access to electronic voting machines that have provided no paper trail, but which could be electronically analyzed from within. Jackson said he has spoken with Democratic candidate John Kerry, who indicated his support for the recount process…

Salon.com

Democracy inaction
If  U.S. officials who are complaining about election fraud in Ukraine applied the same standards in Ohio, then our own presidential election certainly was stolen.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By James K. Galbraith

Nov. 30, 2004  |  The election was stolen. That's not in doubt. Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted it. The National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute both admitted it. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana -- a Republican -- was emphatic; there had been "a concerted and forceful program of Election Day fraud and abuse"; he "had heard" of employers telling their workers how to vote; yet he had also seen the fire of the resisting young, "not prepared to be intimidated."

In Washington, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski demanded that the results be set aside and a new vote taken, under the eye -- no less -- of the United Nations. In the New York Times, Steven Lee Myers decried "the use of government resources on behalf of loyal candidates and the state's control over the media" -- practices, he said, that were akin to those in "Putin's Russia."

Personally, I don't know whether the Ukrainian election was really stolen. I don't trust Lugar, Powell or the National Democratic Institute. It's obvious that U.S. foreign policy interests, rather than love of democracy for its own sake, are behind this outcry. Russia backed the other candidate in Ukraine. For Brzezinski, doing damage to Russia is a hobby.

But if the Ukraine standard were applied in Ohio -- as it should be -- then the late lamented U.S. election certainly was stolen…

Is it at all possible that the two stories below are related?
Yahoo! News

Nearly a Month Later, Ohio Fight Goes On

AP via Yahoo! News - Nov 29 3:18 PM

Nearly a month after John Kerry conceded Ohio to President Bush, complaints and challenges about the balloting are mounting as activists including the Rev. Jesse Jackson demand closer scrutiny to ensure the votes are being counted on the up-and-up.

NLPC Files Shareholder Proposal To End PepsiCo's Support of Jesse Jackson

[Press Release] U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News - Nov 29 7:08 AM

Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today announced that NLPC has submitted a shareholder resolution to PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) for consideration at its 2005 annual meeting. The proposal and supporting statement read

Democratic Underground

ONE OUT OF 4.5 BILLION!

Edited on Fri Nov-26-04 01:23 AM by TruthIsAll

Those are the odds that Kerry's EXIT poll percentage would EXCEED his ACTUAL reported vote percentage by MORE THAN THE MARGIN OF ERROR in 16 out of 51 States by chance alone. That is exactly what occurred on Nov. 2.

I know that is hard to fathom. But here is the data. And here is the calculation, based on the number of individuals polled in each state and the corresponding Margin of Error (MOE).

The chances of a given state falling outside the MOE = 1/20 = .05. The calculation for the probability that 16 out of 51 states would fall outside the MOE is a simple one which uses the BINOMIAL DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION:

The Probability (P) that at least 16 out of 51 states would deviate beyond the exit poll MOE is:

P = 1-BINOMDIST(16,51,0.05,TRUE)

This returns P= 0.0000000218559% or 1 out of 4,575,415,347!...

Detroit Free Press

EYE ON POLITICS: Die was cast back in Iowa for Kerry defeat

November 29, 2004

BY CHRIS CHRISTOFF

With all the finger-pointing and recrimination among Democrats over losing the presidential race and the dissection of John Kerry's candidacy, it may seem petty and spiteful to blame Iowa.

But what the heck, why not?

Iowa's Democratic caucus launched Kerry's Vietnam-laden campaign. It's where the soaring Howard Dean self-destructed and where party pedigree Dick Gephardt fell behind like a man overboard.

Then, it's where voters decided they'd really had enough of Democrats and went for George W. Bush.

In other words, it's where the die was cast for another heartbreaking loss for Democrats.

Is it any wonder that Iowa is once again in the crosshairs of people like Debbie Dingell, Democratic National Committeewoman, and U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, who want the Hawkeye State seated far away from the head table in the 2008 Democratic primaries?...

The Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling was hatched at the Democratic convention in July, under pressure from Dingell and Levin. Party chairman Terry McAuliffe is to appoint the 25 to 40 members by early December.

It's become an old argument, but Levin and Dingell have even more ammunition than they had this summer: Kerry's devastating November defeat, which has Democrats despairing over how to reverse their minor party status…

Columbus Free Press, OH

In Ohio 2004, it's the People versus the Party of Hate & Terror and the Party of Duck and Run...but will the Democrats now stand and fight?
by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis
December 1, 2004

As the Reverend Jesse Jackson rocked a cheering crowd here in Columbus Sunday, a national movement was born. Shouts of "you got that right!" rang through the hall as Jackson preached that what Karl Rove and George Bush and Kenneth Blackwell are doing to the 2004 vote in Ohio would not fly in Iraq or Ukraine or Afghanistan.

Jackson plans to return to Columbus on Thursday as his organization Rainbow/PUSH files a legal challenge to overturn Ohio's election results. On Saturday, December 4, Jackson will join voter rights advocates for a symposium at Columbus' Africentric School on the near east side. Earlier in the day, demonstrators will gather at the Ohio Statehouse to protest voter suppression and irregularities that occurred on November 2.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has finally joined a legal challenge to the 2004 Ohio vote.

Central Ohio, America's leading test market, the quintessential home of college football and Wendy's hamburgers, has become Ground Zero in the struggle of the century over a vote count that has not yet been certified. More and more commentators are drawing parallels between Ohio and Ukraine where "losing" candidates received 53% and 54% respectively, in exit polls.

Word has spread that the election of 2004 is being stolen, starting here. Withholding of ballots and voting machines, rigging of electronic equipment, harassment, intimidation, official misinformation and a recount stonewall are just some of the GOP dirty tricks and corruption that define the 2004 Ohio vote. When Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell runs an election while co-chairing the Ohio Bush campaign, it's not hard to guess how a vote count will go -- except that it's not yet over…

Boston Globe

Voting errors tallied nationwide

By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff   December 1, 2004

More than 4,000 votes vanished without a trace into a computer's overloaded memory in one North Carolina county, and about a hundred paper ballots were thrown out by mistake in another. In Texas, a county needed help from a laboratory in Canada to unlock the memory of a touch-screen machine and unearth five dozen votes.

In other places, machine undercounting or overcounting of votes was a problem. Several thousand votes were mistakenly double-counted in North Carolina, Ohio, Nebraska, and Washington state. Some votes in other areas were at first credited to the wrong candidates, with one Indiana county, by some quirk, misallocating several hundred votes for Democrats to Libertarians. In Florida, some machines temporarily indicated votes intended for challenger John F. Kerry were for President Bush, and vice versa.

In the month since the election, serious instances of voting machine problems or human errors in ballot counts have been documented in at least a dozen states, each involving from scores of ballots to as many as 12,000 votes, as in a North Carolina county. On Election Day, or in later reconciling tallies of ballots and voters, local officials discovered problems and corrected final counts. In some cases, the changes altered the outcomes of local races…

[The article goes on to list many of the problems reported.—Caro]

New York Daily News

Juan Gonzalez

Ohio tally fit for Ukraine

Voter fraud in the Ukraine? Give me a break.

It has been a month now and we still don't have a clear count of the votes for our own presidential race from the state of Ohio…

Daily News reporter Larry Cohler-Esses and I have uncovered some more unusual vote totals, this time in black neighborhoods of Cleveland. Those results are from the precinct-by-precinct tallies released by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, where Cleveland is located.

In the 4th Ward on Cleveland's East Side, for example, two fringe presidential candidates did surprisingly well…

"That's terrible, I can't believe it," said City Councilman Kenneth Johnson, who has represented the 4th Ward since 1980. "It's obviously a malfunction with the machines."…

The same pattern showed up in 10 Cleveland precincts in which Badnarik and Peroutka received nearly 700 votes between them.

In virtually all those precincts, Kerry's vote was lower than Al Gore's in 2000, even though there was a record turnout in the black community this time, and even though blacks voted overwhelmingly for Kerry…

Originally published on November 30, 2004

Distressed American

I LOVE Bev Harris!
BlackBoxVoting.org

Black Box Voting files Public Records lawsuit against Palm Beach County

NOV 30 2004: Today's lawsuit was filed naming Theresa LePore as defendant, citing her for failure to comply with the Black Box Voting public records request of Nov. 2, 2004.

Black Box Voting filed the lawsuit this morning in Palm Beach County, served it per Florida law on LePore's attorney. Black Box Voting then made a surprise visit to the podium at the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections meeting held today in Orlando, where LePore was scheduled to make a speech on records retention.

We went in through the kitchen, using a reconassaince map provided by a colleague, led by Kathleen Wynne dressed as hired help. Black Box Voting investigator Kathleen Wynne, in black jeans and a white polo shirt had earlier traveled through the route to the back entrance to the supervisor's meeting, nodding to the waiters.

"Very nice, very nice," Wynne said authoritatively.

Wynne led Bev Harris and Andy Stephenson through the back way without raising so much as an eyebrow, since she looked like hotel staff.

Harris went onto the podium and introduced herself to the crowd. "I know I'm interrupting. This will only take a minute." She turned to LePore, "Since we can't get your attention any other way, I'm serving you with a courtesy copy of the lawsuit we served on your office this morning."

LePore glared, turned her back on Harris, and refused to take the lawsuit, so Harris set it on the table in front of LePore.

Stephenson stood up in front of the crowd of perhaps 200 Florida elections officials.

"This was a courtesy call on Ms. LePore for failing to produce public records," he said. "For any of you who have not complied, we have more of these coming."

Black Box Voting has identified 13 Florida counties who have earned litigation due to failure to comply with public records requests.

The elections officials erupted into deafening shouts, boos, gavel-pounding, and then Wynne stepped up smack dab in front of the crowd, took a sturdy stance and panned the crowd with her video camera.

"This is what democracy looks like," she said, as the officials scowled and shouted for the sergeant at arms…

consortiumnews.com

Slow-Rolling Democracy in Ohio

By Robert Parry
December 4, 2004

George W. Bush’s political allies appear to be slow-rolling a requested recount in Ohio, leaving so little time that even if widespread voting fraud is discovered, the finding will come too late to derail Bush’s second term.

Though balloting occurred on Nov. 2, more than a month ago, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell still hasn’t certified an official vote, a move now expected on Monday, Dec. 6. Since Blackwell also has battled requests from third-party candidates for an expedited recount, a review of Ohio’s vote now won’t begin until Dec. 13, at the earliest, according to Blackwell’s office. [See Boston Globe, Dec. 1, 2004]

But the Dec. 13 date is the same day the electors of the Electoral College meet to formally select the President of the United States. So even if the recount uncovers enough fraud to reveal John Kerry as the rightful winner in Ohio, it would be too late to change that outcome.

Meanwhile, as Ohio’s official foot-dragging has gone on, Bush’s election-night lead has continued to shrink with the counting of overseas and provisional ballots. The Associated Press reported on Dec. 3 that its vote tally of Ohio’s 88 counties showed Kerry narrowing Bush’s lead to 119,000 votes from about 136,000 votes, leaving Bush with a 2 percent lead.

But Kerry also might stand to gain a substantial number of votes from a recount that would examine ballots thrown out by antiquated punch-card voting machines. They are  used mostly in poor areas, especially African-American neighborhoods that are Democratic strongholds. Other voters, believing that Ohio’s electronic systems were susceptible to vote rigging, have sought audits to check for tampering.

Instead of embracing these examinations to resolve voter doubts, however, Secretary of State Blackwell and other Bush allies in Ohio have resisted the demands. Now, the clock is running out for any meaningful review…

Message from Tom M

Actually, it will never be too late to change the outcome of the election, even if it is found after the coronation. We always need to remember that it is "We the People" who are supposed to be calling the shots. All we need do is look at the Ukraine elections for one example.

If we refuse to allow Mr Bush to take office if election fraud is uncovered, and Mr Kerry is found to have been the winner, we will be taking a big step towards the democracy we profess to be.

It is, ultimately, up to us, the people, to decide what form of government we want. But it will require courage, and sacrifice to make it happen. And most of all, it will take us all to loudly, and boldly, demand democracy.

Associated Press

Sat Dec 4, 4:31 PM ET

People attend a rally supporting a recount of Ohio's votes in the presidential election at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio Saturday, Dec. 4, 2004. (AP Photo/Will Shilling)

Associated Press, posted at the Akron Beacon Journal, OH

Posted on Sat, Dec. 04, 2004

Election critics protest at Statehouse

John McCarthy

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Melissa Hedden, a key John Kerry supporter in her community, has been busy with charitable work since the election. So she decided to find out Saturday why so many people are questioning Kerry's loss in the Ohio presidential election.

Hedden, 48, of suburban Upper Arlington, was among the 400 people who gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse to demand an immediate recount of the results or at least look into Election Day irregularities around the state.

Hedden said she was one of the founders of the "UA for Kerry" movement in her predominantly Republican suburb. She's convinced the 2 percentage-point victory President Bush will officially receive on Monday is inaccurate.

"There was no doubt in my mind that Kerry had enough votes. My fear was the votes would not be counted and that's been borne out," Hedden said.

The crowd braved winds over 15 mph and temperatures in the mid-40s to listen to speakers who claimed Ohio voters were the victims of a fraud that took votes from Kerry and gave them to Bush. Some compared it with the current election troubles in Eastern Europe.

"I would like to welcome you to the Ukraine," said Susan Truitt of the Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, speaking in the shadow of a statue of Ohio Republican William McKinley, the 25th U.S. president.

Cliff Arnebeck, a lawyer representing some of the election critics, said the fraud details would come out in an Ohio Supreme Court filing contesting the election, likely on Monday…

Bloomberg.com

Ann Woolner is a columnist for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.

Election 2004 Is History. Questions Keep Coming

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Maybe you thought the U.S. presidential election was over a month ago. In a sense, it wasn't.

Yes, the winner was picked. Still, even as President George W. Bush is assembling his second-term cabinet, an ad hoc array of statisticians, candidates, public interest groups and just plain folks are challenging vote totals from Florida to Washington state.

They have been poring over statistical anomalies and voter complaints and worrying about uncounted provisional ballots. They have been filing lawsuits and seeking recounts and pushing election officials for data. They are amassing material and discussing strategies by e-mail and on conference calls.

What they have been turning up should alarm even those who are neither conspiracy theorists nor sore losers…

Daily Kos

Lawyer in OH Recount Suit: We Have Evidence of Fraud

by LawStudent
Thu Dec 2nd, 2004 at
19:08:01 PST

This is my first diary, so forgive me if I'm doing this incorrectly.  Actually, I can't believe this hasn't been posted already (and if it has, my apologies...I'll delete this diary).

Anyway, there was a pretty lengthy interview on C-Span today with Cliff Arnebeck, an attorney for Alliance for Democracy, who is going to file a suit tomorrow in Ohio challenging the election result.  This is different from demanding a recount.  This organization is actually saying it believes--BASED ON EVIDENCE--that the election result is INCORRECT.  

Mr. Arnebeck said they have evidence that shows the election result was actually the opposite of what's been reported.  He says that Kerry won 51% of the vote in OH, and he seems to claim he can prove it.  

I have no idea about the validity of this claim, but I can say this is the first time I've heard a lawyer involved in this fracas saying they have evidence of fraud.

Listen to it yourself and tell me what you think.  Go to www.cspan.org under "Recent Programs" and click on "Washington Journal Entire Program (12/02/04)"

WBAI Pacifica, New York, NY

FBI Refuses Complaint Alleging Ohio Voter Fraud

(by Don DeBar, Dec 3, 2004) The White Plains office of the FBI today refused to accept a complaint detailing allegations of compound felonies of voter fraud, conspiracy and other offenses in connection with the Ohio conduct of last month's presidential election.

A group of election activists called Transparent Democracy - including civil rights attorney Michael Sussman, Greenburgh town supervisor Paul Feiner, and four others - attempted to present the complaint at noon today while dozens of protestors carried signs outside supporting the call for an investigation.

The smaller group was denied access to the FBI's Westchester offices at 222 Bloomingdale Road in White Plains. Organizer Nicholas Mottern had previously arranged with the office to present the complaint. However, when they arrived in the building's lobby, he and the others were informed by building security that the FBI had instructed management not to allow them access to the Bureau's offices, and that the FBI would not send a representative down to the desk to accept the complaint…

Sutton Impact

The New York Times

As Questions Keep Coming, Ohio Certifies Its Vote Count

By JAMES DAO and ALBERT SALVATO

Published: December 7, 2004

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 - The Ohio secretary of state officially certified on Monday that President Bush won that swing state by roughly 119,000 votes, but an array of Democrats, third-party candidates and independent groups continued to question the results, issuing new demands for a statewide recount and a formal investigation of the vote…

Democratic officials, walking a fine line between their angry liberal base and centrist voters who consider the election over, said they were not contesting the results. But they said they planned to use the results of their investigation, which is to be completed by the summer, to demand changes to the electoral systems in Ohio and other states.

"Like Florida in 2000, which gave us a lot of information and evidence that we used later on to improve our election system, Ohio will play that role for us this year," said Donna Brazile, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute…

[Well, Donna, just like 2000, you Democrats haven’t learned a damned thing.  The Republicans keep stealing elections, and you keep trying to be nice instead of fighting like hell.—Caro]

The Raw Story

Programmers weigh in on vote-rigging idea, some details confirmed

By John Byrne

As the dust settles after the first day of a bold claim by Florida programmer Clinton Curtis of alleged vote-rigging software, skeptics and believers alike have flooded Internet sites in earnest analyzing the claims.

In short, technical analysts – though not all in agreement – have found the concept of a rigging program plausible. Most note that without the original source code, such a program would be undetectable.

“From a technical standpoint, it is perfectly plausible,” said a middleware programmer for IBM in North Carolina, Kim Winz. “Whether or not this turns out to be true, it’s a very good reason why we need the source code available for all of these voting machines.”

Some point to the fact that Diebold already employs hidden buttons in their software as an example of how such a program could work.

On other fronts, Curtis’ claims check out. Raymond Camillo Lemme, who was an inspector for the Florida Department of Transportation looking into another of Curtis’ claims was found dead in a Valdosta, Georgia Knights Inn of apparent suicide on July 1, 2003, according to Valdosta police.

Hai Lin Nee, a Chinese national, was arrested for passing sensitive information on U.S. weapons to China. Curtis claims that Nee worked as a Quality Control Inspector for his former employer, Yang Enterprises; RAW STORY has to date only been able to confirm that Nee had worked for a research institute designing software, according to the Georgia Office of Homeland Security. Yang Enterprises is a Florida state contractor which does, among other things, software research for NASA…

The Blue Lemur

12/8/2004

Addressing questions, programmer says vote-rigging prototype could be used for optical scan machines

By John Byrne

The Florida programmer who alleged that a legislator commissioned him to write a vote-rigging prototype said Tuesday that his software could easily be used to change the totals of votes from optical scan readers as well.

Optical scan readers, which electronically scan paper ballots to expedite determining results, are subject to the same vulnerability of any system that uses proprietary and uninspected code for tabulating results.

Programmer Clinton Curtis also addressed questions on the technical aspects of his program which programmers have posed to RAW STORY over the past several days.

Curtis says the prototype he developed took just ten minutes to write, with a detailed explanation on detecting such a program several hours. It’s a very simple program, he says.

“A three year old programmer could write that code,” he says.

The program was not written for any specific touchscreen hardware, but instead designed to work with a Windows database, he states. It could be implemented at a precinct, county or state level.

“You could do it server side,” he remarks. “Then you can flip entire areas by connecting to one machine. If you have one server running the entire state, you can flip the entire state. All you’re doing is accessing the code that no one can see.”…

CrooksAndLiars.com

John Conyers forum on C-SPAN:

from Nerofiddled

I just saw the three-hour Conyers forum on C-SPAN. It was a riveting, important event, and also a gratifying one: This morning, a committee in Washington said things which until now have only been said by bloggers and activists. I hope the mainstream media reports on it. Given the increased attention in the last week, from major newspapers if not TV networks, I think there's a good chance.

Highlights

MSNBC Countdown

December 8, 2004 | 11:05 p.m. ET

Town halls in Washington and Kuwait (Keith Olbermann)

NEW YORK - For all the testimony, for all the verification provided that the names on the internet(s) belong to real people with real hairstyles, the key moment in Wednesday’s voting irregularities forum on Capitol Hill probably came during a colloquy between two of the Congressmen.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., of Illinois, turned to the chair of the ad hoc committee, John Conyers, of Michigan, and said “if the votes are not tallied in the state of Ohio by the appropriate time, is there any thought being given that the committee might consider an objection to the proceeding of the Ohio Electors until such time (as they are tallied)?”

Conyers replied, extending each word to about eleven syllables: “We are now.”

These were deep waters, and in an interview with Countdown’s Monica Novotny right after the forum closed, Conyers backed quite a bit away from the river’s edge. He said “We will wait for someone else,” in preference to drawing congress into a legal battle…

[D]espite Conyers’ back-pedaling in the subsequent interview, Congressman Jackson’s question raises an essential point. If the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who convened the forum seriously believe something went astray in Ohio - even something entirely attributable to static cling in the computers - they should put some of their political capital where their mouths are.

These minority members, who now say they are headed to Ohio to conduct field hearings to listen directly to the grievances of voters there, have provided an invaluable service in forcing at least part of the mainstream to provide a platform for the 20% or more of the citizenry who suspect error or subterfuge.

But to stop there is to subject themselves to accusations of political cowardice and grandstanding. If, in Ohio, or in the calculations of the academics, or in subsequent developments, they conclude there is reasonable evidence that the vote there was rotten - merely accidentally so - one of them in the House and one of them in the Senate should stand up and produce that written challenge to the Ohio electors’ credibility…

Daily Kos

The view from the end of the witness table at the Conyers hearing

by DC Pol Sci
Wed Dec 8th, 2004 at 13:40:28 PST

I know there's already a 200-plus comment thread on the hearing that I just got back from reporting the proceedings of, but since I was there, and since I've taken an active part in these discussions (often as a skeptic) since 2 November, I had to write.

First, a little history on me:  I've taken transcripts all over Washington for the last 12 years in my job with a private contractor, many of whose contracts are on the Hill.  I know the House Judiciary Committee well, both its wingnuts like John Hostettler and its saints like John Conyers and Barney Frank.  I have most of a Ph.D. in political science and am currently in law school…

I've been a skeptic of the "Kerry really won the election" argument since back on 2 November.  As someone with both social scientific and legal training, I know that there are too many factors that papers like Steve Freeman's and Michael Hout's from Berkeley don't take into consideration for them to stand up in a court.

But what I heard today was irrefutable evidence of massive voter suppression on a scale that I never even knew was possible:  elderly people collapsing because they wouldn't let them vote; people standing out in the rain for four hours; students in a hot gymnasium; someone who lost her job because she had to stand in line for so long to vote.  Now, even if all of these stories are true, I'm not sure that they'd create enough votes to swing the election to Kerry.

But that's not the point.  That's not where the story is.  The story is the suppresison of voters, all in one direction:  US.  Traditionally Democratic groups of voters.  As someone pointed out, there hasn't been a single, solitary report of any Republican voter who wasn't allowed to cast her ballot.  It's all coming from the inner cities, from the college campuses, from places that would have voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry…

Brad Blog

Some Good Questions Answered About the Curtis/Feeney Case!

Crooks and Liars

Crooks and Liars Audio Exclusive: Clinton Curtis Interviewed on Air America!

In a "world broadcast media first," Clinton Curtis was interviewed on Unfiltered with Rachel Maddow and Liz Winstead.

If you don't know the story, Clinton Curtis a former computer programmer in Florida, has alleged that Tom Feeney, now a republican Florida Congressman asked Curtis to develop software to steal elections.

Click here to go to the page that has the audio.

consortiumnews.com

Election 2004's Myths & Mysteries

By Sam Parry
December 10, 2004

George W. Bush’s record-smashing vote totals in Election 2004 have two possible explanations that the mainstream press has kept off the table: the first is that somehow the vote tallies were manipulated; the second is that negative campaigning is far more effective than almost anyone wants to admit…

Besides the mysteries of Bush’s vote totals, there were Democratic myths that exploded on Nov. 2.

The Democrats’ axiom that high turnout virtually guarantees a Democratic win proved false – assuming, of course, that Bush’s votes were real. Based on the official results, it would seem that expensive voter registration drives by Democrats and liberal groups may have upped the Democratic turnout, but also served as a rallying point to get millions of new Republican voters to the polls…

Another bracing lesson for Democrats is that Bush amassed his vote total after waging an overwhelmingly negative campaign built more around tearing down John Kerry than touting Bush’s own achievements. Bush’s extraordinary numbers flew in the face of the old political adage that negative campaigns only succeed by depressing the overall vote, not by inspiring more voters to go to the polls…

Bush’s success also debunked the campaign advice from many Democratic consultants who insisted that – based on their focus groups – voters wanted a positive campaign, not negative attacks. “Don’t be too shrill,” the consultants said. “Don’t attack the person, attack the policy.”…

In bending over backward to avoid a Bush “hate-fest,” the Democrats ended up with the first “bounce-less” convention in modern political history. They also left themselves wide open to a fierce conservative counterattack against Kerry as weak, lacking principles, saying whatever his advisers tell him the voters want to hear, ready to “flip-flop” when faced with tough choices…

In dramatic contrast to the milquetoast Democratic convention, the GOP convention was all red meat. Rather than celebrating Bush’s record, the Republicans ripped into Kerry’s…

While lacking Bush’s overt Christian “signaling,” the Kerry-Edwards “values” also were rooted in Christian teachings: care for the sick, be good stewards of God’s creation, provide for the least among us, seek peaceful solutions whenever possible. But the Democrats’ “value” talk apparently did them little good…

[C]onservative leaders appear to have made substantial progress in casting fundamentalist Christians as the victims of an intolerant secular elite led by liberal Democrats. Some Christian Right leaders even depict the founding American principle of separation of church and state as an assault on the rightful recognition of the United States as a “Christian nation.”

This victimization theme is an important piece in understanding the anger that drives today’s U.S. conservatives. Even when sporting Purple Heart band-aids to ridicule Kerry’s war wounds or seeking a constitutional amendment to ban gays from marrying, conservative Christians see themselves as the victims, not the bullies…

So what do the Democrats have to do to compete for power? The same consultants are back giving advice about adding more “values” talk to their speeches, registering more voters, and positioning the party more to the right.

But that advice may miss the real lessons of Election 2004, which might suggest a more aggressive Democratic response:

--First, ascertain whether there was any rigging of the vote, either through systematic suppression of balloting in Democratic precincts or through Republican computer manipulation. Washington insiders might laugh at these possibilities, but millions of Americans believe that George W. Bush, again, cheated his way to victory. If those doubts aren’t addressed, many Americans won’t go to the polls in 2006 and 2008, thinking that the fix is in and why bother.

--Second, begin a genuine conversation with the American people; don’t just memorize more Bible passages. While the Republicans may be manipulative in their politics, they have used the pervasive conservative media – especially talk radio – to engage the public in a give-and-take on political issues. The feedback has proved invaluable when calibrating political themes.

--Third, address the conservative caricature of liberalism head-on. Again, the Republicans have a huge advantage with the conservative media reaching virtually every corner of America and especially dominant in Middle America where outlets of information are more limited than in the urban centers of the coasts. Liberals also can’t count on the mainstream press to give them a fair shake. If they ever hope to win, liberals have no choice but to build a media infrastructure of their own. [Emphasis added.]

--Fourth, tell it like it is to the American people, not only about Bush and his administration, but level about what the liberal vision is for the United States. If the country’s political system is to be revitalized, liberals must counter-attack in what the conservatives call the “war of ideas.”

Relying on stealth politics to sneak back to power just won’t work. It will only look phony and defensive, opening Democrats to a new – and not entirely false – round of accusations that they don’t know what the stand for and just say what they think people want to hear in a craven bid to get elected.

The clearest lesson of Election 2004 may be that there are no shortcuts for the Democrats to reestablish themselves as America’s governing party.

BuzzFlash.com

December 11, 2004

A Special BuzzFlash New Analysis
From Author and Professor Mark Crispin Miller

Dear BuzzFlash Readers and Americans Concerned About the Preservation of Democracy:

As you know (and way too many others don't), Rep. John Conyers recently held open hearings in the US Congress, on the all-important subject of the voting in Ohio on November 2nd. There was a lot of harrowing testimony on the tricks and tactics used there by Bush/Cheney to suppress as many Democratic votes as possible, and to exaggerate Ohio's electoral support for the regime.

It was a public inquiry of towering importance, and not only because it was (allegedly) Ohio that gave Bush just enough electoral votes to win. Ohio matters more than anyone can say, because what went down there went down not only in Ohio. There is in fact abundant evidence--strong evidence--suggesting that Team Bush pursued that crooked twofold strategy throughout the nation. In other words, they used a broad variety of means to trash the Kerry vote and to exaggerate the Bush vote, and did so everywhere they could.

Now, this being a democratic republic (or so we've all been taught), you'd think that that the Conyers' charges -- and the hearing -- would get a lot of coverage in the press.

And yet the New York Times, our nation's "newspaper of record," did not even mention it, much less cover it. The hearings were on Wednesday. There was no word of it in Thursday's paper, nor any word, belatedly, in Friday's. (Thursday's Times did run a couple of long stories on the electoral situation in Ukraine, but none on the quite similar, and -- to Americans -- vastly more important story here at home.)

Such silence is bizarre. It's deeply wrong. In fact, it's un-American. For what public issue could there be that matters quite as much as the integrity of our elections?...

Let's not let them get away with it. We should do all we can to get the Times's attention, so that it will cover this enormous story thoroughly, upfront and every day. Let them hear from you, right now…

Sincerely,
Mark Crispin Miller

Mark Crispin Miller is author of many books, including "The Bush Dyslexicon" and "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order." He is the writer and star of "A Patriot Act"

Columbus Free Press, OH

Startling new revelations highlight rare Congressional hearings on Ohio vote
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
December 13, 2004

Startling new revelations about Ohio's presidential vote have been uncovered as Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee join Rev. Jesse Jackson in Columbus, the state capital, on Monday, Dec. 13, to hold a rare field hearing into election malfeasance and manipulation in the 2004 vote.  The Congressional delegation will include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, and others.

Taken together, the revelations show Republicans – in state and county government, and in the Ohio Republican Party – were determined to undermine and suppress Democratic turnout by a wide variety of methods.

The revelations were included in affidavits gathered for an election challenge lawsuit filed Monday at the Ohio Supreme Court. Ohio's Republican Electoral College representatives are also to meet at noon, Monday, at the State House, even though the presidential recount, requested by the Green and Libertarian Parties, is only beginning the same day.

On Sunday, John Kerry spoke with Rev. Jesse Jackson and urged him to take an more active role in investigating the irregularities and ensuring a fair and impartial recount. Kerry said there were three areas of inquiry that should be addressed: 92,000 ballots that recorded no vote for president; qualifying and counting provisional ballots; and supported an independent analysis of the software and set-up of the optical scan voting machines.

What follows are excerpts from some of the affidavits for the election challenge…

Click here for more.

Daily Kos

Cliff Arnebeck: Ohio lawsuit to be filed Monday a.m.

by Febble
Sun Dec 12th, 2004 at 04:27:58 PST

Randi Rhodes'  interview with Cliff Arnebeck can be heard here

It seems still to be the latest source of information so far on what is happening re the lawsuit, as far as I can find anyway.

Here is a precis of what Arnebeck says in the interview:

He says a lawsuit will be filed 9.00 Monday.  He does not want to give too much away because the other side will be listening.  Conyers is convening a hearing at City Hall Chambers in Columbus, Broad Street, joined by fellow members of his committe and progressive legislative leaders in the state of Ohio…

Cites exit poll evidence that Kerry won Ohio, and says that exit poll data is more likely to be accurate given the vulnerability of the voting system to manipulation and partisan influence, and the statistical anomalies observed.  Cites the fact that it was exit polls that revealed fraud in Ukraine. Claims "dramatic anomalies" "that make no sense".  

Refutes the idea that it is time to "move on" saying "if they get away with the fraud this time, it will only increase".  He talks about how evidence now shows Gore won Florida on any reasonable scenario, and, in answer to Randi's contention that it's all going to happen again, says that it won't happen again this time because the "grassroots are rising up".  He semi-excuses the major media for ignoring the story up till now, as, because Kerry conceded, it seemed as though investigations wouldn't affect the result…

Los Angeles Times

December 12, 2004

For Some, the Race Remains Far From Over
Most have moved on since Nov. 2. But thousands continue to contest the presidential election results, with efforts focused on Ohio

By Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Clifford Arnebeck won't let it go. He can't let it go. Not, he says, while America refuses to recognize that John F. Kerry was elected president Nov. 2.

Arnebeck, a Democratic lawyer here and co-chairman of a self-styled national populist alliance, is petitioning the state's highest court to throw out official results that favor President Bush and instead hand Ohio's 20 electoral votes — and thus the White House — to Kerry. Or, at least, order a revote…

[Protesters] point to what they say are several suspicious occurrences that demand further investigation…

Associated Press

Ohio Electors Vote Despite Challenge

Mon Dec 13,10:36 PM ET

By CARRIE SPENCER, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast its votes for President Bush on Monday, hours after dissident groups asked the state Supreme Court to review the outcome of the state's presidential race.

As members of the Electoral College met across the nation to affirm the results of last month's election, the 20 GOP electors in Ohio voted unanimously for Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

"The vast majority of people understand this election is over," said Gov. Bob Taft, who was at the electors' voting session in the state Senate chamber.

The challengers who went to the Supreme Court question whether Bush won the key swing state by 119,000 votes, guaranteeing his victory over Democrat John Kerry.

The court did not act on their request before the electors cast their ballots.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and attorney Cliff Arnebeck of the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy accused President Bush's campaign of "high-tech vote stealing."…

The Free Press

Startling new revelations highlight rare Congressional hearings on Ohio vote
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
December 13, 2004

Startling new revelations about Ohio's presidential vote have been uncovered as Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee join Rev. Jesse Jackson in Columbus, the state capital, on Monday, Dec. 13, to hold a rare field hearing into election malfeasance and manipulation in the 2004 vote.  The Congressional delegation will include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, and others.

Taken together, the revelations show Republicans – in state and county government, and in the Ohio Republican Party – were determined to undermine and suppress Democratic turnout by a wide variety of methods…

Click here to read excerpts of the affidavits presented to the committee.

Wired Magazine

More Questions for Florida 

By Kim Zetter

02:00 AM Dec. 13, 2004 PT

A government watchdog group is investigating allegations made by a Florida programmer that are whipping up a frenzy among bloggers and people who believe Republicans stole the recent election.

Programmer Clint Curtis claims that four years ago Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Florida) asked his then-employer to write software to alter votes on electronic voting machines in Florida.

He said his employer told him the code would be used "to control the vote" in West Palm Beach, Florida. But a fellow employee disputed the programmer's claims and said the meetings he described never took place.

Many questions have been raised about Curtis, the 46-year-old programmer, who said he doesn't know if anyone ever placed the prototype code on voting machines…

The Raw Story

12/13/2004

Witness alleges voting firm came into Columbus and tampered with equipment, then encouraged employees to plant false information

By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

David Cobb, the unsuccessful Green Party presidential candidate, aired startling allegations at the Democratic House Judiciary Committee’s Columbus hearings Monday, alleging that a voting company representative tampered with voting equipment in Columbus last Friday and attempted to plant false information into the Ohio recount.

Cobb says that a witness who had requested anonymity watched a representative of Triad Systems enter the Columbus Board of Elections unannounced and tamper with a vote tabulator which then lost all data.

The representative then, Cobb said, tried to convince employees to post false information so that it would appear as if the data was valid and had never been lost…

[Click through for the transcript of Cobb’s testimony and a link to the audio.—Caro]

TomPaine.com

The Election Ran Smoothly, Didn't It?

Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.

December 13, 2004

It was a heated campaign and George W. Bush handily defeated John Kerry.  America demonstrated that its democracy is still the best in the world.  And it was a relief 2004 wasn't a repeat of 2000.  The 2004 election ran smoothly—didn't it?

Well not quite…

Shattering the Myth: An Initial Snapshot of Voter Disenfranchisement in the 2004 Elections argues that "In addition to the long lines and unreasonable waiting times that kept many people—disproportionately urban minority votersvfrom being able to vote, the top five problems overall were registration processing, absentee ballots, machine errors, voter intimidation and suppression and problems with the use and counting of the new provisional ballots mandated under new federal law."…

Just below the dysfunctional U.S. election system there's a very basic democratic question being discussed or fiercely debated among academics, civil rights leaders and politicians from both political parties. The question?  Is the individual right to vote even guaranteed in our Constitution?

Bush v. Gore (2000) said, "the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States." Thus, the simple answer appears to be "no."

Others, Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe among them, argue that the "equal protection" and "non-discrimination in voting" clauses of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments respectively and Supreme Court precedents since Brown (1954) can be construed to grant the individual citizen the fundamental right to vote in the Constitution.

The current Constitution allows state legislatures—not individual voters—to select electors to elect the President through the Electoral College.  This is what Florida's legislature threatened to do in 2000 if Gore had won the most popular votes.  It would be especially wise for Democrats but, indeed, anyone who believes in democracy, to see the value of adding an individual voting rights amendment to the Constitution and no longer allow "states' rights" almost absolute control over our election process…

Click here to watch some of Clint Curtis’ testimony to the Conyers committee meeting in Ohio yesterday.

The Washington Post deigns to mention vote fraud in Ohio.

Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio

By Michael Powell and Peter Slevin
Wednesday, December 15, 2004; Page A01

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Tanya Thivener's is a tale of two voting precincts in Franklin County. In her city neighborhood, which is vastly Democratic and majority black, the 38-year-old mortgage broker found a line snaking out of the precinct door.

She stood in line for four hours…

"It was . . . poor planning," Thivener said. "County officials knew they had this huge increase in registrations, and yet there weren't enough machines in the city. You really hope this wasn't intentional."

Electoral problems prevented many thousands of Ohioans from voting on Nov. 2. In Columbus, bipartisan estimates say that 5,000 to 15,000 frustrated voters turned away without casting ballots. It is unlikely that such "lost" voters would have changed the election result -- Ohio tipped to President Bush by a 118,000-vote margin and cemented his electoral college majority.

But similar problems occurred across the state and fueled protest marches and demands for a recount. The foul-ups appeared particularly acute in Democratic-leaning districts, according to interviews with voters, poll workers, election observers and election board and party officials, as well as an examination of precinct voting patterns in several cities…

[Hey, don’t let anyone tell you that the Berkeley study has been debunked.  See below.—Caro]

In Florida, ground zero for 2000's election meltdown, professors and graduate students from the University of California at Berkeley studied this year's voting results, contrasting counties that had electronic voting machines with those that used traditional voting methods. They concluded, based on voting and population trends and other indicators, that irregularities associated with machines in three traditionally Democratic counties in southern Florida may have delivered at least 130,000 excess votes for Bush in a state the president won by about 381,000 votes. The study prompted heated critiques from some polling experts.

Stewart of MIT was skeptical, too. But he ran the numbers and came up with the same result. "You can't break it; I've tried," Stewart said. "There's something funky in the results from the electronic-machine Democratic counties."…

The New York Times deigns to mention Conyers’ investigations.

Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry Into Ohio Vote

By TOM ZELLER Jr.

Published: December 15, 2004

The ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, plans to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a county prosecutor in Ohio today to explore "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in at least one and perhaps several Ohio counties.

The request for an investigation, made in a letter that was also provided to The New York Times, includes accounts from at least two county employees, but is based largely on a sworn affidavit provided by the Hocking County deputy director of elections, Sherole Eaton.

Among other things, Ms. Eaton says in her affidavit that a representative of Triad Governmental Systems, the Ohio firm that created and maintains the vote-counting software in dozens of Ohio counties, made several adjustments to the Hocking County tabulator last Friday, in advance of the state's recount, which is taking place this week.

Ohio recount rules require that only 3 percent of a county's votes be tallied by hand, and typically one or more whole precincts are selected and combined to get the 3 percent sample. After the hand count, the sample is fed into the tabulator. If there is no discrepancy, the remaining ballots can be counted by the machine. Otherwise, a hand recount must be done for the whole county.

Ms. Eaton contends that the Triad employee asked which precinct Hocking County planned to count as its representative 3 percent, and, upon being told, made further adjustments to the machine.

County officials decided to use a different precinct when the recount was done yesterday. No discrepancies were found…

Associated Press

Ohio Recount: Ballot After Ballot Examined in Hushed Room as Campaigns Watch

By John Nolan Associated Press Writer
Published: Dec 15, 2004

CINCINNATI (AP) - In a scene reminiscent of Florida circa 2000, two teams of Republican and Democratic election workers held punch-card ballots up to the light Wednesday and whispered back and forth as they tried to divine the voters' intent from a few hanging chads.

Observers for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, President Bush and Green Party candidate David Cobb kept watch from chairs a few feet away…

Under Ohio law, workers must hand-count 3 percent of ballots. If the results match the certified results exactly, all other ballots can be recounted by machine. If the totals are off, all ballots must be counted by hand, adding days or weeks to the process.

Also Wednesday, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., a senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urged the FBI to investigate possible election tampering in Hocking County involving an employee of TRIAD Governmental Systems Inc., the company that wrote the voting software used in 41 of Ohio's 88 counties.

According to a sworn statement from Sherole Eaton, the county's deputy director of elections, a TRIAD representative told her on Friday he wanted to inspect the county's tabulating machine. She said the employee then told her that "the battery in the computer was dead and that the stored information was gone."

"He proceeded to take the computer apart and call his office to get information to input into our computer," Eaton said.

Conyers said similar TRIAD visits have been reported in other Ohio counties…

Brad Blog

Yang (YEI) Responds in 'Full' to Clint Curtis Charges!
...And The BRAD BLOG Responds In-Kind!
But With Hard Evidence Contradicting YEI's Claims!

It has been well over a week since The BRAD BLOG first released our original exclusive article on the "WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT" of Clint Curtis…

[L]let's take a look at the unsigned and unattributed statement released by YEI yesterday on their website, and at some of the documentary hard evidence which would seem to dispute or disprove at least a portion of their official statement.

Conspiciously absent from the official YEI statement, by the way, are the charges of "disgruntled employee" that YEI "outside general counsel" and Feeney's old law partner/contributor Michael A. O'Quinn, Esquire
floated without evidence over the weekend.

The YEI website "full statement" was text only and did not include any additional evidence beyond the complete text that we will post -- and answer to point-by-point -- below.

The statement, is being posted here in full, interrupted after each point with a BRAD BLOG response explaining what we know about each of the YEI claims and presenting any evidence we are aware of that may either contradict or support them.

More…

The Black Commentator

GOP Vote Adjustment Unit

Clean elections?  We don’t need no stinking clean elections.
Associated Press

Ohio Justice Throws Out Election Challenge

Thu Dec 16, 6:49 PM ET

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice on Thursday threw out a challenge to the state's presidential election results.

A lawyer for the voters bringing the case said he would refile the challenge as early as Friday.

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer ruled that the request improperly challenged two separate election results. Ohio law only allows one race to be challenged in a single complaint, he said.

The challenge was backed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney for the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy, who accused Bush's campaign of "high-tech vote stealing."

Claiming fraud, the voters cited reports of voting-machine errors, double-counting of ballots and a shortage of voting machines in predominantly minority precincts as reasons to throw out the results…

USCountsVotes.org

NEW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PROJECT TO MEASURE VOTING ACCURACY
December 17, 2004

In recent years the integrity and accuracy of the voting process in America have been a continuing source of controversy.  Numerous accusations and counter-accusations of voting irregularities have been made.  Accusations inevitably spread - and persist - in the absence of a rigorous scientific method for detecting where vote counting errors may have occurred.  The integrity of the election process is the cornerstone of democracy; and as we have seen most recently in Ukraine, open investigation of alleged vote counting irregularities is a matter of vital civic importance.

In order to objectively investigate the accuracy of elections in America and provide statistically-valid methods that could help detect probable vote-counting errors worth investigating, a group of independent mathematicians, statisticians and computer professionals has formed a new, volunteer scientific research project:  US Count Votes.

We propose to create and analyze - for the first time - a single database containing precinct-level election results for the entire United States.  This rich mine of data will be analyzed by our project's affiliated mathematicians, computer programmers, pollsters and statisticians, as well as by an independent peer-review board.

Our goal is to use this data to develop and test mathematical techniques to reliably detect precinct-level vote counting errors worthy of investigation…

If our country were free, the people running elections wouldn’t be committing crimes to keep Bush in power.
The Free Press

Ohio vote count battles escalate amidst new evidence of potential criminal activity
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
December 18, 2004

The epic legal battle over Ohio's presidential vote count is back in the state Supreme Court, with an election challenge claiming George W. Bush was wrongly declared the winner on Nov. 2 and seeking a court-ordered reversal of that victory.

Meanwhile, efforts to recount Ohio's vote may have been fatally tainted by the Republican Party, raising questions of what the GOP has to hide, and prompting demands for criminal prosecution.

New affidavits point to possible criminal activity by top Ohio election officials, raising yet more questions about the 2004 vote. Rhonda J. Frazier, a former employee of the Ohio Secretary of State's office, has confirmed in an affidavit taken by Cynthia Butler, working with freepress.org, that the Office had secret slush funds. Frazier says it also failed to comply with the requirements of "The Voting Reform Grant" that required all the voting machines in Ohio to be inventoried and tagged for security reasons.

"I was routinely told to violate the bidded contracts to order supplies from other companies for all 17 Secretary of State offices throughout the State which were cheaper vendors, leaving a cash surplus differential in the budget," Frazier states, "After complaining about the office's repeated practices of violating grants and contracts I was fired."…

If our country were free, people who conspire to steal our votes would be in jail, instead of in Congress.
Seminole

Feeney implicated in vote fraud
Congressman sought to alter totals, testimony in Ohio case says

By Alex Babcock | December 16, 2004

Republican Congressman Tom Feeney of Oviedo asked a computer programmer in September 2000, prior to that year's contested presidential vote in Florida, to write software that could alter vote totals on touch-screen voting machines, the programmer said.

Former computer programmer Clint Curtis made the claim Monday in sworn testimony to Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee investigating allegations of voter fraud in the 2004 presidential election involving touch-screen voting in Ohio.

In his testimony, Curtis said that Feeney, then a member of the Florida House of Representative, met with Curtis and other employees of Yang Enterprises, an Oviedo software company, and asked if the company could create a program that would allow a user to alter the vote totals while using the touch-screen machine. The program had to be written so that even the human-readable computer code would not show its illicit capabilities, Curtis recalled…

"I immediately assumed that he was trying to keep you guys from cheating," Curtis told Democrats at the hearing Monday. Curtis further said that Li Woan Yang, a co-owner of the company, told him that, "We need to hide the fraud in the source code, not reveal the fraud, because it's needed to control the vote in South Florida."

Curtis, who formerly lived in Oviedo, quit the software company in December 2000, after the November 2000 election that preceded Feeney rise to become speaker of the Florida House.

"I left because all of the meetings with Feeney let me know I wasn't in a situation I wanted to be in," he said in an interview with the Chronicle. "He's in there selling contracts, telling us how to bid them, special little formulas being employed, how you get right point structure. They were going to limit how many vendors could apply to government contracts so only connected vendors could get on the approved list."…

Yang Enterprises, in a statement released to the public, said Curtis' allegations are "categorically untrue."…

Wired

Ohio Recount Stirs Trouble

By Kim Zetter

02:00 AM Dec. 20, 2004 PT

As a statewide election recount got underway in Ohio last week, a Democratic congressman called on the FBI to impound vote-tabulating computers in at least one county and investigate suspicions of election tampering in the state.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee, sought the investigation after an Ohio election official disclosed in an affidavit (.pdf) that an employee of Triad Governmental Systems, the company that wrote voting software used with punch-card machines in 41 of Ohio's 88 counties, dismantled Hocking County's tabulation computer days before the recount and "put a patch on it."…

Conyers called the action "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering." A spokesman for the Green Party, one of the parties requesting the recount, called it "compelling evidence" of deliberate tampering. A public hearing in Ohio on Monday will determine if there is cause for an investigation.

But Sherole Eaton, a Democrat and the deputy director of elections for Hocking County who wrote the affidavit, said her words have been blown out of proportion. She doesn't think Triad tampered with the votes and is a little angry that the Green Party and others have spun her words to imply that they did…

Doug Jones, Iowa's chief examiner of voting equipment and a computer scientist at the University of Iowa who has been a leading critic of electronic voting machines, said the matter was less likely a case of election tampering than poor election procedures and oversight. But he added that even if no one tampered with votes, the fact that someone had unsupervised access to tabulating equipment before the recount was a breach of security procedures and might even violate Ohio election law.

"The tabulating room should be viewed as a secure computer systems site where nobody goes in there unsupervised, but the affidavit suggests there was no supervision in the tabulating room," Jones said. He said that suspicions of tampering are just as destructive to the integrity of an election as actual tampering and laws prohibiting unsupervised access to voting equipment should be enforced…

Too Stupid To Be President


Click here to see the animation.

The New York Times

Count Every Vote

Published: December 20, 2004

Every vote is supposed to count in America, but candidates too often maneuver to disqualify votes that they think might go to the other side. A month and a half after Election Day, battles are still raging in Washington State and in San Diego over whether to count all of the votes that were cast. The answer to that question must be yes.

In Washington's gubernatorial election, Dino Rossi, a Republican, and Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, finished in a virtual dead heat. With nearly 2.9 million votes cast, Mr. Rossi initially led by 261 votes. A machine recount took his lead down to 42. Ms. Gregoire requested a hand recount. During it, King County, a heavily Democratic area that includes Seattle, found 723 absentee ballots that had not been counted because election workers made errors like failing to verify the voters' signatures.

Republicans, fearing that those ballots would throw the election to Ms. Gregoire, have gotten a lower court judge to prevent them from being counted, at least temporarily. But there is no reason these ballots and other valid ballots that have turned up during the recount should not be counted. The right to vote cannot be taken away because an election official did not do his or her job correctly.

In San Diego, the No. 2 choice of the voters for the mayor's job may be headed to City Hall. Donna Frye, a write-in candidate, came within 2,108 votes of defeating Mayor Dick Murphy. But Ms. Frye's vote total does not include more than 5,500 ballots on which voters wrote her name, but failed to darken a bubble next to it. There can be no doubt that those voters, who would easily give Ms. Frye a majority, tried to vote for her, but were tripped up by poor ballot design. The voters' intent should be recognized.

In Ohio, where a recount of the presidential election is under way, it is becoming clear that as important as recounts are, they are not enough to ensure the integrity of our elections. Representative John Conyers Jr., a Democrat from Michigan, has charged that an employee of a company that makes vote-counting software used across the state may have tampered with one county's vote tabulator after the election to make the recount come out right. If people other than election officials have free access to the tabulation software, it can make a recount an empty gesture.

Clearly the American election system needs significant improvement, starting with voter-verified paper trails for every vote cast electronically. In the current flawed system, the best chance we have of producing accurate results is to be on guard for manipulation of electronic voting machines and tabulation software, and to conduct conscientious recounts when the outcome is at all in doubt.

The Blue Lemur

12/20/2004

Employer of programmer who alleged vote-rigging prototype caught in apparent lie

NASA contractor Yang caught in apparent lie over illegal alien; Questions raised about Chinese spying

By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

In an effort to refute charges made by a former employee that the company aided in the development of a vote-rigging prototype, a NASA contractor has ensnared itself in an apparent lie.

The company, Yang Enterprises, asserts that a Chinese national who pled guilty to sending sensitive U.S. missile detection technology to China had never been an employee of the firm.

The records, however, show otherwise.

A copy of timecards provided to RAW STORY by Brad Blog acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request show that the employee, Henry Nee, was indeed employed as a Yang consultant.

Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, the D.C. watchdog which is investigating the charges, confirmed that she had seen the timecards but could not independently verify their authenticity.

Yang, when told of the timecards, denied that Nee was ever employed there.

“He was never an employee,” Yang Vice President Lowell Weaver said by telephone Monday. “Henry Nee was not a consultant either.”…

The Free Press

Ohio vote count battles escalate amidst new evidence of potential criminal activity
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
December 18, 2004

The epic legal battle over Ohio's presidential vote count is back in the state Supreme Court, with an election challenge claiming George W. Bush was wrongly declared the winner on Nov. 2 and seeking a court-ordered reversal of that victory.

Meanwhile, efforts to recount Ohio's vote may have been fatally tainted by the Republican Party, raising questions of what the GOP has to hide, and prompting demands for criminal prosecution.

New affidavits point to possible criminal activity by top Ohio election officials…

With court battles escalating, attempts to conduct a meaningful recount have proceeded. Democratic, Green and Libertarian party officials have helped in training volunteers to examine voter records and what to look for as the Ohio vote tally continues. Hundreds of volunteers are observing at election boards around the state trying to get a grasp on what actually happened November 2. Amy Kaplan, head of the Green Party's Franklin County recount, reported to the Free Press that two of the electronic voting machines in Franklin County had faulty cartridges that generated error messages despite being in use on Election Day.

The observers' work has been frustrated and the recount tainted by destroyed records, compromised evidence, and by private vendors who have "re-programmed" machines in both Lucas and Hocking Counties.

Village Voice

In the whodunit over who won it, the true villain is slipping away
The Case of the Ohio Recount
by Rick Perlstein
December 21st, 2004 12:00 PM

… Cliff Arnebeck is an Ohio-based lawyer convinced that it was John Kerry who won 51 percent there—only to be robbed…  His evidence relies on comparing the number of votes Kerry received in four conservative counties in southwest Ohio to the total won by an African American Supreme Court candidate, C. Ellen Connally. "It's a fix," says Arnebeck—after all, he reasons, who could have intended a vote for both George Bush and a liberal black woman?

You wonder if Arnebeck did his due diligence before making the claim. "Connally and I have talked about it. It's such a stretch," says Dan Trevas, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party. He reeled off three reasons southwestern Ohio turned against Connally's opponent, Thomas J. Moyer—most prominently the way the area had been ravaged by one of Moyer's most prominent decisions, on school-funding formulas…

What's wrong with this picture? These people should be working together, not fighting each other. None seems to know what a coordinated, disciplined, long-term progressive strategy on election infrastructure would look like; certainly, no one seems to be working toward one.

Which is exactly what Karl Rove would be doing, if he were a progressive.

If the Ohio situation shows anything, it is how lazy, harried, dilettantish, variable, confusing, and sometimes even arbitrary election administration can be in the United States of America… The confusion advantages the more ruthless party, the Republicans: They are willing, as in Florida in 2000, to proclaim victory before all the votes have been counted—taking advantage of the American need for the election to be done with on election night—and to make those who protest sound like whiners, wreckers, or extremists…

If everyone in the country voted under the same rules of residency and eligibility, their votes counted the same way, using the same equipment, it would be a lot harder to hide needles in haystacks. Getting rid of the current flawed system, ultimately, has to be the long-term strategy—but it is hard to get good answers from recounters, lawsuit-filers, and hearing-holders about how that long-term strategy could come together.

There is a way, though it will take some heavy lifting—a lot of heavy lifting. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. has pointed out that Congress doesn't even have the power to establish a nationally uniform system of voting—everything in the Constitution concerning presidential elections is mediated through the states, which is why every state (and within every state, every county) runs elections its own way. He's proposed a constitutional amendment to right the wrong. Passing it is a daunting prospect, no doubt. But as strategy, it also has the makings of brilliance. Let the Republicans try to fight it. Put them on record as against the right to vote. Let them defend the process as it exists—where a figure like Blackwell can simultaneously be the captain of one of the teams and the game's chief referee.

Then Americans will know where the Republicans stand.

Standing behind Jackson's constitutional amendment would be a better application of progressive energies than the frenzied attempt every fourth December to chase down the horses after the barn door is closed. We should be working on political campaigns also—working on winning the next time around by wide enough margins to put the need for any kind of recount out of play. The Republicans lost a presidential election in 1992, remember. They didn't waste their time trying to take it back. They took back Congress, instead. We've got 22 more months to try to do that ourselves. It's December of 2004. Do you know who your congressional candidate for '06 is?

Associated Press

Michigan Congressman Seeks Exit Poll Data

Wed Dec 22, 7:26 AM ET

By SETH SUTEL, AP Business [!!!] Writer

NEW YORK - The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has asked The Associated Press and five broadcast networks to turn over raw exit poll data collected on Election Day so that any discrepancies between the data and the certified election results can be investigated.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan said in a letter released Tuesday in Washington that the polling firms that conducted the polls on behalf of the news organizations, Mitofsky International and Edison Media Research, had declined to share the information with the committee.

"Without the raw data, the committee will be severely handicapped in its efforts to show the need for serious election reform in the United States," Conyers said in the letter.

The AP and the five television outlets — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox — formed a consortium called the National Election Pool to conduct exit polls for this year's election after disbanding a previous exit poll group called the Voter News Service, which had problems in both the 2000 and 2002 elections…

[AP business writer?  BUSINESS writer???!!!  Where the hell is the POLITICAL writer on this?  And, of course, we know what’s wrong with the 2000 and 2002 exit polls is that they were correct.  They showed Democrats winning, which was entirely unacceptable to the corporate elites who rule us.—Caro]

Vermont Guardian

Electors call for national voting reforms

by Greg Guma | Vermont Guardian

Breaking with tradition, electors in at least five states have called for a congressional investigation of voting violations during the Nov. 2 election for president. Electors in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, California, and North Carolina registered their concerns as they cast their votes last week.

The following day, the Berkeley City Council adopted a resolution “supporting the request that the Government Accountability Office immediately undertake an investigation of voting irregularities in the 2004 elections.” Drafted by Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission, the resolution also lists 17 measures to improve elections.

After hearing citizens speak, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said, “Nothing is more fundamental than a free, fair election. When you start tinkering with that, it throws the whole system into disarray. I am pleased that we are taking this stand.”

In Massachusetts, elector Cathleen Ashton of Wayland demanded that “every vote be counted and every vote count,” while Maine’s electors called for national voting reforms…

My Stolen Nation

Raw Story

The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued a followup letter to the president of Triad Election Systems Thursday, noting that he had confirmed that Triad Election Systems had remote access to voting machines controlled by local Board of Elections, RAW STORY has learned…

Click here for the full story.

What’s he hiding?
Associated Press

Ohio Official Refuses Interview Over Vote

Mon Dec 27, 9:38 PM ET

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP Statehouse Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The secretary of state, who declared President Bush the official winner in Ohio, is seeking a court order to keep himself from being interviewed as part of a court challenge of the Nov. 2 vote.

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell claims his deposition is not required, and accused 37 voters challenging the election of "frivolous conduct."…

The Free Press, Columbus, OH

Ohio GOP election officials ducking subpoenas as Kerry enters stolen vote fray
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
December 28, 2004

COLUMBUS -- Ohio Republican election officials thumbed their noses at a subpoena Monday, December 27, as Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell refused to appear at a deposition in an election challenge lawsuit filed at the Ohio Supreme Court. Meanwhile John Kerry is reported to have filed a federal legal action aimed at preserving crucial recount evidence, which has been under GOP assault throughout the state.

Richard Congianese, Ohio Assistant Attorney General, is seeking a court order to protect Blackwell from testifying under oath about how the election was run. Blackwell, who administered Ohio's November 2 balloting, served as co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign.

James R. Dicks, Miami County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, also filed a motion to block subpoenas in ten key Ohio counties. Other local election officials slated to be deposed, such as in Claremont County, have also refused to answer attorney questions.

President George Bush, Vice-President Richard Cheney and White House Political Advisor Karl Rove received notice that they will be deposed Tuesday and Wednesday, December 28 and 29. The trio’s Ohio attorney, Kurt Tunnell, so far claims his clients have not been properly served. Under Ohio law, the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court is responsible for serving the three with subpoenas.

Meanwhile, the Election Protection legal team has collected new statements under oath describing more voting and vote-counting problems on November 2.

Voters in Trumbull County have testified that on Election Day they received punch-card ballots where holes were already punched for Bush. Meanwhile, a notarized affidavit signed by Angela Greene, who voted at Whitehall Yearling High School in central Ohio's Franklin County, stated that one of the malfunctioning electronic voting machines at her polling place was delivered without a cartridge – meaning votes cast might have gone uncounted.

In Miami County, Blackwell certified a 98.5% turnout in the Concord Southwest precinct, comprised of 520 votes for Bush and 157 for Kerry. This statistically improbable turnout has all but 10 of the 689 registered voters casting their ballots on Election Day. A preliminary canvas by The Free Press of less than half the precinct found 25 registered voters admitting they had not voted, meaning the official tally was almost certainly fraudulent…

Grand Lake Theater, Oakland, CA

Associated Press

Candidates Want Second Ohio Recount

Fri Dec 31,12:07 AM ET

By JAY COHEN, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Two third-party presidential candidates asked a federal court Thursday to force a second recount of the Ohio vote, alleging county election boards altered votes and didn't follow proper procedures in the recount that ended this week.

Lawyers for Green Party candidate David Cobb and the Libertarian Party's Michael Badnarik made their request in federal court in Columbus…

"We've documented in this filing how this recount was not conducted in accordance with uniform standards throughout Ohio" as required by the U.S. Constitution, said John Bonifaz, a lawyer from the National Voting Right Institute representing the candidates.

Ohio law requires an elections board to manually recount a randomly selected 3 percent of ballots. If the totals match certified results for those precincts, all the county's votes are then machine-counted. If the hand count is off, a county must manually recount all its ballots…

Newsweek

‘We Will Not Faint’
Jesse Jackson on why he thinks John Kerry really won the election

By Susannah Meadows

Dec. 30 - Ohio officials concluded their recount of the presidential vote last Tuesday—reaffirming President George W. Bush’s victory. But the state’s election woes aren’t over yet. As bloggers continue to spin conspiracy theories about a victory stolen from Democratic candidate John Kerry, the Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to lead a Monday rally in Columbus to protest alleged voting irregularities. He warmed up with NEWSWEEK’s Susannah Meadows.

NEWSWEEK:What’s the matter with Ohio?
Rev. Jesse Jackson: In Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Youngstown, Cleveland, where I was, you had blacks standing in line for six hours in the rain. That’s a form of voter suppression.

Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell says that machines were allotted based on turnout in past years, and that he didn’t realize they’d need more machines until it was too late.
He had to know it because registration was up. Blackwell may have had to deliver for Bush and [Vice President Dick] Cheney and he got a lighter rap than [former Florida Secretary of State Katherine] Harris got. But Ohio may have been more stacked than Florida was.

So you think Blackwell stole the election for Bush?
It was under his domain to have enough machines; the machine calibration, tabulation issue. You could rig the machines. We have reason to believe it was rigged.

What is your evidence?
Based on distrusting the system, lack of paper trails, the anomaly of the exit polls. In Ukraine, there’s an exit poll gap, they say, “Let’s have another election.”…

Republicans can’t win unless they subvert democracy.
Toledo Blade, OH

Article published Saturday, January 1, 2005

Vote challengers accuse Blackwell of trying to let 'clock run out'

By JAMES DREW

COLUMBUS - Partisan activists contesting the presidential election results in Ohio said the state's highest court appears willing to "allow the clock to run out" so that the Electoral College results become official on Jan. 6.

Cliff Arnebeck, an attorney who filed the election contest on behalf of a coalition of activists led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has chosen to not appear at a deposition to answer questions under oath about the Nov. 2 election.

"If George Bush indeed won this election, there would be no one with a greater interest in proving that to be the case," Mr. Arnebeck said at a news conference yesterday. "They want the clock to run out. They want to win by default."

The lawsuit alleges that votes were taken away from Democrat John Kerry's column and added to Mr. Bush's.

It refers to a "pattern of vote fraud and discrimination," and problems with voting machines around the state.

Mr. Blackwell, a Republican who was associate chairman of Mr. Bush's campaign in Ohio, has said there were "some glitches in the election, but none of these glitches were of a conspiratorial nature and none of them would have overturned or changed the election results."…

Columbus Free Press, OH

Ten preliminary reasons why the Bush vote does not compute, and why Congress must investigate rather than certify the Electoral College (Part One of Two)
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
January 3, 2005

The presidential vote for George W. Bush does not compute.

By examining a very wide range of sworn testimonies from voters, polling officials and others close to the administration of the Nov. 2 election; by statistical analysis of the certified vote by mathematicians, election experts and independent research teams who have conducted detailed studies of the results in Ohio, New Mexico, Florida and elsewhere; from experts who studied the voting machines, tabulators and other electronic equipment on which a fair vote count has depended; and from a team of attorneys and others who have challenged the Ohio results; the freepress.org investigative team has compiled a portrait of an election whose true outcome must be investigated further by the Congress, the media and all Americans -- because it was almost certainly not an honest victory for George W. Bush…

In today's article, we list the top ten glaring flaws in the Ohio vote that have allowed Bush to gather the votes to ‘win’ the presidency in Ohio with an apparent margin of 118,775 votes - the result from an official recount that manually examined only 3 percent of ballots cast.

This list involves very large totals of uncounted, tainted or fraudulent votes. Taken together, they exceed Bush's margin of victory in Ohio.

These expert analyses are based on state and local Board of Election statistics, U.S. Census reports, and other public documents. They were not conducted with any assistance from John F. Kerry’s campaign…

The Bush-Cheney ‘do-everything’ strategy in Ohio covered a very wide range of tactics, from disenfranchisement of minority voters to discarding of ballots to tampered tabulators and much more.

Taken as a whole, this compendium of error, fraud, cover-up and contempt indicates that this was not a legitimate election, and is not worthy of being certified by the Congress of the United States:

1. More than 106,000 Ohio ballots remain uncounted…

2. Most uncounted ballots come from regions and precincts where Kerry was strongest…

3. … As in New Mexico, where George W. Bush carried every precinct whose votes were counted with electronic optical scanning machines, John Kerry's vote count was significantly lower among ballots counted on Election Day [in Ohio] using electronic tabulators.

4. Turnout inconsistencies reveal tens of thousands of Kerry votes were not simply recorded…

5. Many certified turnout results in key regions throughout the state are simply not plausible, and all work to the advantage of Bush…

6. Due to computer flaws and vote shifting, there were numerous reports across Ohio of extremely troublesome electronic errors during the voting process and in the counting…

7. In Miami County, two sets of results were submitted to state officials. The second, which padded Bush's margin, reported that 18,615 additional votes were counted, increasing Bush’s total by exactly 16,000 votes…

8. Democratic voters were apparently targeted with provisional ballots. These ballots require voters to fill out extensive forms at the poll. Under extraordinary rules established by Blackwell these ballots were set to be discarded if even minor errors were committed…

9. Ohio's Election Day exit poll was more credible than the certified result, according to intense statistical analysis. In-depth studies by Prof. Ron Baiman of the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that Ohio's exit polls in Ohio and elsewhere were virtually certain to be more accurate than the final vote count as certified by Blackwell…

10. The Ohio recount wasn’t random or comprehensive and may have involved serious illegalities…

These ten points are among the most serious clouding the electoral outcome in Ohio, but are only part of a larger pattern. Their correlation with similar evidence in New Mexico, Florida and elsewhere gives them added gravitas…

truthout.org

Preserving Democracy:   What Went Wrong in Ohio
Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff

Wednesday 05 January 2005

Executive Summary

Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the Democratic staff to conduct an investigation into irregularities reported in the Ohio presidential election and to prepare a Status Report concerning the same prior to the Joint Meeting of Congress scheduled for January 6, 2005, to receive and consider the votes of the electoral college for president. The following Report includes a brief chronology of the events; summarizes the relevant background law; provides detailed findings (including factual findings and legal analysis); and describes various recommendations for acting on this Report going forward.

We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.

This report, therefore, makes three recommendations: (1) consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the State of Ohio; (2) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (3) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people's trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws.

With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio…

The Blue Lemur

Ohio Republican Secretary of State brags about delivering Ohio for Bush in gubernatorial fundraising letter

By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

FOR ACTUAL LETTER, CLICK HERE.

Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell boasted of helping “deliver” Ohio for President Bush and said he was “truly pleased” to announce Bush had won Ohio even before all of the state’s votes had been counted in his own fundraising letter, RAW STORY has discovered.

The letter, which was received by a Butler County resident Dec. 31, is a plea to support Blackwell’s campaign for governor. The resident has asked to remain anonymous.

In apparent disregard for his nonpartisan role as Ohio’s chief election official, the Republican Secretary and chairman of Bush’s Ohio reelection campaign slammed Senator Kerry as a “disaster” who would have reaped “terrible” and “horrible” results on both Ohio and the United States.

Further, Blackwell’s use of the word “deliver” finds striking resonance with another controversial fundraising letter sent by the CEO of voting machine manufacturer Diebold Walden O’Dell in the summer of 2003 when he said he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”…

“In the late hours of Election Night I was truly pleased to announce President Bush had won a critical and clinching victory here in Ohio, on the belief that it was statistically improbable for Senator Kerry to recover,” the Secretary penned…

“I have never shied away from giving the liberals fits,” he remarked in the letter…

Rep. John Conyers’ (D-Mich) report on voting irregularities will blast Blackwell for his transparent partisanship Wednesday…

“Such a blatant statement acknowledging the commingling of his official duty to ensure a fair election with his partisan duty to re-elect President Bush, made in a political fund-raising appeal, evidences Secretary Blackwell’s poor judgment at best, and the manipulation of election administration for partisan purposes, at worst,” the report asserts…

consortiumnews.com

John Kerry's refusal to join members of the Congressional Black Caucus in contesting voting fraud in Ohio may mark the sad end to what once was a courageous political career. By opposing a floor debate on electoral abuses while calling on his supporters to ask Republican leaders to have hearings on electoral reform, he also looks like George W. Bush's caricature of Kerry as a politician who won't take a stand.

For the full story of how Kerry's waffling decision is widening the rift between the Democratic base and Democratic leaders in Washington, go to Consortiumnews.com.

But I guess we should thank Barbara Boxer, anyway.
Message from Mark H

This morning, our very own CA Senator Boxer had the courage to stand up as the ONLY Senator to sign the letter from 24 House Democrats challenging the certification of the electors, thereby forcing at least a two hour debate in each House, separately, about the issue.

This is the first time in history that such a thing was done, one that was needed in 2000 but didn't happen.  It probably won't make a stitch of difference since the Republicans control both Houses of Congress, but it SHOULD make a statement and public disclosure that things are not right in the nation.  Of course, the media will have to COVER it, so after you call Senator Boxer to thank her, call your local news media (and the nationals) and demand that they actually cover it.

Reuters

Congress Certifies Bush's Win After Protest

Thu Jan 6, 2005 06:01 PM ET

By Joanne Kenen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday formally certified President Bush as the victor of the November elections after two Democrats symbolically stalled the event in protest at alleged voting irregularities in Ohio.

California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, formally lodged objections because of Ohio, although they said they recognized Bush had won and were not trying to overturn the results.

They said their goal was to force lawmakers to heed problems that had been particularly evident in Democratic-leaning minority and urban neighborhoods and to consider the need for more voting reforms including standard election rules in all states.

"This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the president," Tubbs Jones said. Boxer called it a matter of "electoral justice."

The rare objection to vote certification, the first filed in decades, forced the House and Senate to halt their joint session, usually a routine and ceremonial affair. Each chamber then debated the objection, and rejected it, the Senate by a 74-1 vote, the House 267-31. The state-by-state certification was completed a few hours later…

Republican kicker, Democrat holder:
Abnormal Toons

The Nashua Advocate

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Arc of History Bends Toward Justice: A Triumph of Grassroots Activism Against Dire and Unspeakable Odds -- The Boxer Rebellion, January 6th, 2005

By ADVOCATE STAFF

A warm breeze filtered through the hallowed halls of Congress, and gathered itself into a heady rush of hot air in the well of the U.S. House of Representatives, as Republicans from all corners of the country rose in support of several vital constitutional principles, among them the following:

that poor folks in the cities of the nation should wait fifteen to twenty times longer to vote than well-to-do folks in the suburbs;

that the nation's electoral mechanism should be governed by antiquated technicalities involving the weight of a piece of paper and which street a voter happens to live on;

that voting machines and other electronic voting equipment in America should be programmed with privately-held proprietary codes and not publicly-disseminated and easily-analyzed software;

that such machines should record votes in an untraceable fashion, without even so much paper trail as an automatic-teller machine;

that poor folks should make do with outdated, malfunction-prone voting equipment when their communities find they can't afford the top-of-the-line, nearly foolproof equipment purchased by well-to-do communities;

that critical election decisions such as the placement of voting machines should be executed by high-ranking officials in the respective major parties' campaigns;

and, above all, that the power to elect a President is not a vested right in America, but a privilege which can be lightly and easily lost through mistake, error, bias, prejudice, ignorance, or even willful deceit.

It was a great day to be an American.

It was an even greater day to be a Republican.

Unfortunately, mainstream media coverage of national Republicans' earnest pleas for unstandardized, unaccountable, untraceable voting systems was slight at best…

The Advocate notes that it is people like you -- the readers of this and similar on-line articles -- who made the above news story possible. You did it without substantial media coverage of any kind, at any juncture. You did it without having substantial numbers, substantial institutional inertia, or even substantial support from anyone with a megaphone large enough to stand up and be heard above the national din. Nevertheless, when the challenge came, your efforts saw their fruition heralded across a broad spectrum of worldwide and national media…

Moreover:

Your efforts led to a recount and a contest of election in Ohio.

Your efforts have led to an ongoing investigation into the November election by the non-partisan Congressional General Accountability Office.

Your efforts led to an ongoing investigation by the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute.

Your efforts led to an ongoing investigation (with a one hundred-page report) by Members of the House Judiciary Committee -- and will lead to future bi-partisan hearings before that same Committee…

This may be my last mention ever of John Kerry.
consortiumnews.com

Kerry's Last Flip-Flop

By Sam Parry
January 6, 2005

John Kerry may have written his own political obituary with a pathetic letter to his supporters saying that he won’t back a protest by African-American House members against voting fraud in Ohio. Instead, he urges his supporters to call Republican leaders and demand that they reform the electoral system…

“I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors,” Kerry wrote in an e-mail to 3 million supporters on Jan. 5. “Despite widespread reports of irregularities, questionable practices by some election officials and instances of lawful voters being denied the right to vote, our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.”

While rejecting the efforts of Rep. John Conyers and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to demand a floor debate on the Ohio abuses at a joint congressional session on Jan. 6, Kerry then calls on his supporters to renew the fight for fair elections in the future…

Based on e-mails that we’ve gotten from scores of rank-and-file Democrats, they are sick of national Democratic leaders who act as if the country is operating under business-as-usual political rules. The rank-and-file sees a national crisis that requires both strong leadership and creative strategies. Mostly, they want to dig in and fight, not ask GOP leaders for anything, let alone their agreement to hold hearings on election reform…

I applaud the effort, Rep. Conyers, but I have no hope you’ll get any kind of investigation.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats

The Honorable [sic] John D. Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

Over the last several months, we have conducted an extensive investigation concerning irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, including holding forums in Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio. The results of this investigation are summarized in the attached Status Report. In the course of that investigation, we have come across a number of instances of misconduct which we would ask that you to investigate for possible federal legal violations.

In brief, we learned of numerous instances of voter intimidation and misinformation, improper purging, caging of minority voters, misuse of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds, voting machine tampering, perjury, and most recently, potential misuse of the federal seal in a campaign solicitation by Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell. Since this and other apparent violations by the Secretary of State presents such an obvious conflict for your office, we would ask that you appoint a special counsel to investigate this matter…

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member
Jerrold Nadler
Robert C. Scott
Sheila Jackson Lee

The New York Times

MAKING VOTES COUNT

One Last Election Lesson

Published: January 18, 2005

The November election may feel like ancient history, but it is still going on in North Carolina. The state has been unable to swear in an agriculture commissioner because a single malfunctioning electronic voting machine lost more ballots than the number of votes that separate the two candidates. The State Board of Elections, the candidates and the public are sharply divided on how to proceed. The mess North Carolina finds itself in is a cautionary tale about the perils of relying on electronic voting that does not produce a paper record…

The one positive thing to come out of the agriculture commissioner race fiasco is that it has prompted North Carolina to reconsider its use of paperless electronic voting. As the state ponders the issue, it should look to Ohio. Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio secretary of state who did so many things wrong as elections supervisor last year, recently did one very important thing right. He directed all of the state's counties to adopt paper-based optical-scan voting systems. If Carteret County had voted on machines that produced a paper record, North Carolina would not have the constitutional crisis it has now - it would have an agriculture commissioner.

consortiumnews.com

Bush's Unaccountability Moment

By Nat Parry
January 20, 2005

George W. Bush has declared his election victory the “accountability moment,” which both cleanses him of blame for the war in Iraq and may clear the way for new wars in the future, a kind of absolution and blessing combined…

With Kerry bowing out on Nov. 3, much of the anger that rank-and-file Democrats had focused on Nader in 2000 was transferred to the Massachusetts senator, who was seen as reneging on his promise to ensure that every vote was counted. Many in the Democratic base saw Kerry’s hasty concession as proof that the Republicans weren’t entirely wrong in mocking him as a flip-flopper…

[T]here were remarkable Bush vote tallies, which were not convincingly explained by the conventional wisdom that legions of new voters were outraged by “moral issues” such as gay marriage. In Florida, Bush netted more votes than registered Republicans in 47 out of 67 counties. In 15 of those counties, his vote total more than doubled the number of registered Republicans and in four counties, Bush more than tripled the number. [See Consortiumnews.com's  “Bush’s ‘Incredible’ Vote Tallies.”]

When the unbelievable vote tallies and the discrepancies between the exit polls and the official results were considered, along with electronic voting machine glitches, it looked increasingly possible that fraud was responsible for Bush’s victory and that it was a mistake for Kerry to concede. It seemed far too early to determine the real winner, and premature to have conceded when there were so many irregularities to be investigated…

It wasn’t until two days before Bush’s Jan. 20 inauguration that Kerry made a strong statement decrying voter disenfranchisement in which “thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote.”…

Many Democrats undoubtedly viewed Kerry's statement as a classic case of "too little, too late." When the issue of disenfranchisement could have been drawn in a dramatic way with the election still in the balance, Kerry had listened to his cautious political advisers who urged him to be a gracious loser and protect his "political viability."

But the angry Democratic base saw the election as a matter of life or death, not politics as usual. They feared that Bush would cite his victory as a mandate for his preemptive wars and his legal justification for torture. They worried – correctly as it turned out – that Bush would see himself after the election as beyond accountability.

Yee hah for Bev!
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Vote machine maker settles over her whistle-blower suit

By MICHELLE NICOLOSI
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

Renton elections activist Bev Harris has been called a fruitcake and a muckraker. Her book and Web site about the hidden evils of modern election equipment have drawn the ire of a number of officials around the country, who say there is nothing to Harris' claims that elections systems are profoundly vulnerable to hackers and other tampering.

"Dean Logan is not fond of me," Harris says of King County's director of elections.

But not everyone thinks all of Harris' claims are "a bunch of poppycock," as she puts it: The attorney general of California recently took up a whistle-blower claim filed by Harris against Diebold Election Systems and settled with the company for $2.6 million in December.

Diebold provides the systems used to tally votes and register voters in King County and in many other counties around the country.

The whistle-blower lawsuit, filed by Harris in November 2003 and taken up by the California attorney general in September, said Diebold engaged in unfair business practices and made false claims about its product.

It alleged that Diebold used uncertified software in elections in California. The settlement requires the company to pay millions back to a number of counties and replace some equipment, among other things.

Harris said the settlement "is a good sign. It certainly vindicated that our criticisms had validity."…

But as you know, machines aren’t the only problem.
GregPalast.com

JIM CROW RETURNS TO THE VOTING BOOTH
DOES AMERICA HAVE APARTHEID VOTE-COUNTING SYSTEM?
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Greg Palast

The inaugural confetti has been swept away and with it, the last quarrel over who really won the presidential election.

But there is still unfinished business that can't be swept away. After taking his oath, the president called for a "concerted effort to promote democracy." The president should begin with the United States.

More than 133,000 votes remain uncounted in Ohio, more than George W. Bush's supposed margin of victory. In New Mexico, the uncounted vote totals at least three times the president's plurality -- and so on in other states.

The challenge to the vote count is over, but the matter of how the United States counts votes, or fails to count them, remains.

The ballots left uncounted, and that will never be counted, are so-called spoiled or rejected ballots -- votes cast by citizens, but never tallied. This is the dark little secret of U.S. democracy: Nationwide, in our presidential elections, about 2 million votes are cast and never counted, most spoiled because they cannot be read by the tallying machines.

Not everyone's vote spoils equally. Cleveland State University Professor Mark Salling analyzed ballots thrown into Ohio's electoral garbage can. Salling found that, "overwhelmingly," the voided votes come from African American precincts.

This racial bend in vote spoilage is not unique to Ohio. A U.S. Civil Rights Commission investigation concluded that, of nearly 180,000 votes discarded in Florida in the 2000 election as unreadable, a shocking 54 percent were cast by black voters, though they make up only a tenth of the electorate. In Florida, an African American is 900 percent more likely to have his or her vote invalidated than a white voter. In New Mexico, a Hispanic voter is 500 percent more likely than a white voter to have her or his ballot lost to spoilage.

Unfortunately, Florida and New Mexico are typical. Nationwide data gathered by Harvard Law School Civil Rights Project indicate that, of the 2 million ballots spoiled in a typical presidential election, about half are cast by minority voters.

The problem is that some officials are quite happy with the outcome of elections in which minority votes just don't count. They count on the "no-count."…

We no longer live in a democracy, friends.
eMediaWire

January 31, 2005

Prominent Statisticians Refute 'Explanation' of 2004 U.S. Exit Poll Discrepancies in New Edison/Mitofsky Report and Urge Investigation of U.S. Presidential Election Results

President Bush won November's election by 2.5% yet exit polls showed Kerry leading by 3%. Which was correct?

(PRWEB) January 31, 2005 -- "There are statistical indications that a systematic, nationwide shift of 5.5% of the vote may have occurred, and that we'll never get to the bottom of this, unless we gather the data we need for mathematical analysis and open, robust scientific debate.", says Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes' Vice President.

The study, “Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report”, was co-authored by a diverse group of academicians specializing in statistics and mathematics affiliated with University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of Utah, Cornell University, University of Wisconsin, Southern Methodist University, Case Western Reserve University and Temple University. Their study does not support claims made by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International that exit poll errors were to blame for the unprecedented 5.5% discrepancy between exit polls and official 2004 election results.

According to analysis by the group of senior statisticians, the new data just released by the exit-pollsters shows that the possibility that the overall vote count was substantially corrupted must be taken seriously. “Now we have statistical evidence that these reports were the tip of a national iceberg. The hypothesis that the discrepancy between the exit polls and election results is due to errors in the official election tally is a coherent theory that must be explored,” said statistician Josh Mitteldorf.

Their paper titled "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report" notes that the Edison/Mitofsky report offers no evidence to support their conclusion that Kerry voters “participated in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters”. In fact, the data provided in the Edison/Mitofsky report suggests that the opposite may have been true: Bush strongholds had slightly higher response rates than Kerry strongholds.

The statisticians' study is available online at: http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

The statisticians go on to note that precincts with hand-counted paper ballots showed no statistical discrepancy between the exit polls and the official results, but for other voting technologies, the overall discrepancy was far larger than the polls’ margin of error. The pollsters at Edison/Mitofsky agreed that their 2004 exit polls, for whatever reason, had the poorest accuracy in at least twenty years.

USCountVotes, a nonprofit, non-partisan Utah corporation was founded in December 2004. Its mission is to create and analyze a database containing precinct-level election results for the entire United States; to do a thorough mathematical analysis of the 2004 election results; and to fully investigate the 2004 Presidential election results. USCountVotes actively seeks volunteers and accepts donations to help make this unprecedented civic project a reality – visit www.uscountvotes.org for further information.

But at least there’s this:
Cincinnati Inquirer

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Democrats will investigate Ohio vote
National party to spend up to $500K

By Carl Weiser
Enquirer Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - The national Democratic Party will spend up to $500,000 to investigate voting problems that critics say might have occurred last year in the battleground state of Ohio, the party's leader said Tuesday.

"I want them to open up the machines," outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe told Gannett News Service and USA Today reporters. "If there's nothing wrong with the machines, we ought to be able to go in and take a look at them."

Since November's presidential election, a small but vocal chorus of liberal activists has complained that the vote in Ohio was miscounted - either through conspiracy or errors - and the wrong man elected president. Had Ohio's 20 electoral votes gone to Sen. John Kerry, he would be president today.

McAuliffe and other Democrats have acknowledged that Bush won the election. "The election wasn't stolen," McAuliffe declared…

[Sure, Terry.  Wasn’t stolen.  Right.—Caro]

In These Times

February 15, 2005

A Corrupted Election
Despite what you may have heard, the exit polls were right

By Steve Freeman and Josh Mitteldorf

Recall the Election Day exit polls that suggested John Kerry had won a convincing victory? The media readily dismissed those polls and little has been heard about them since.

Many Americans, however, were suspicious. Although President Bush prevailed by 3 million votes in the official, tallied vote count, exit polls had projected a margin of victory of 5 million votes for Kerry. This unexplained 8 million vote discrepancy between the election night exit polls and the official count should raise a Chinese May Day of red flags.

The U.S. voting system is more vulnerable to manipulation than most Americans realize…

Last November in the United States, as in Ukraine, the discrepancy between the presidential exit polls and the tallied count was far beyond the margin for error. At the time, Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, the two companies hired to do the polling for the National Election Pool (a consortium of the nation's five major broadcasters and the Associated Press), didn't provide an explanation for how this happened. They promised, however, that a full explanation would be forthcoming.

On Jan. 19, on the eve of the inauguration, Edison and Mitofsky released their report, "Evaluation of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004," which generated headlines such as MSNBC's "Exit Polls Prove That Bush Won." But, the report does nothing of the sort. It restates a thesis that the pollsters previously intimated—that the discrepancy was "most likely due to Kerry voters participating in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters." But the body of the report offers no data to substantiate this position. In fact, data presented in the report serve to rebut the thesis, and bolster suspicions that the official vote count was way, way off…

Vanity Fair

March 2005

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

OHIO’S ODD NUMBERS

No conspiracy theorist, and no fan of John Kerry’s, the author nevertheless found the Ohio polling results impossible to swallow: Given what happened in that key state on Election Day 2004, both democracy and common sense cry out for a court-ordered inspection of its new voting machines

If it were not for Kenyon College, I might have missed, or skipped, the whole controversy… Here’s what happened in Gambier, Ohio, on decision day 2004.

The polls opened at 6:30 AM. There were only two voting machines (push-button direct-recording electronic systems) for the entire town of 2,200 (with students). The mayor, Kirk Emmert, had called the Board of Elections 10 days earlier, saying that the number of registered voters would require more than that. (He knew, as did many others, that hundreds of students had asked to register in Ohio because it was a critical “swing” state.) The mayor’s request was denied. Indeed, instead of there being extra capacity on Election Day, one of the only two machines chose to break down before lunchtime.

By the time the polls officially closed, at 7:30 that evening, the line of those waiting to vote was still way outside the Community Center and well into the parking lot. A federal judge thereupon ordered Knox County, in which Gambier is located, to comply with Ohio law, which grants the right to vote to those who have shown up in time. “Authority to Vote” cards were kindly distributed to those on line (voting is a right, not a privilege), but those on line needed more than that. By the time the 1,175 voters in the precinct had all cast their ballots, it was almost four in the morning, and many had had to wait for up to 11 hours. In the spirit of democratic carnival, pizzas and canned drinks and guitarists were on hand to improve the shining moment. TV crews showed up, and the young Americans all acted as if they had been cast by Frank Capra: cheerful and good-humored, letting older voters get to the front, catching up on laptop essays, many voting for the first time and all convinced that a long and cold wait was a small price to pay. Typical was Pippa White, who said that “even after eight hours and 15 minutes I still had energy. It lets you know how worth it this is.” Heartwarming, until you think about it…

Across the rest of Ohio, the Capra theme was not so noticeable. Reporters and eyewitnesses told of voters who had given up after humiliating or frustrating waits, and who often cited the unwillingness of their employers to accept voting as an excuse for lateness or absence. In some way or another, these bottlenecks had a tendency to occur in working-class and, shall we just say, nonwhite precincts. So did many disputes about “provisional” ballots, the sort that are handed out when a voter can prove his or her identity but not his or her registration at that polling place. These glitches might all be attributable to inefficiency or incompetence (though Gambier had higher turnouts and much shorter lines in 1992 and 1996). Inefficiency and incompetence could also explain the other oddities of the Ohio process—from machines that redirected votes from one column to the other to machines that recorded amazing tallies for unknown fringe candidates, to machines that apparently showed that voters who waited for a long time still somehow failed to register a vote at the top of the ticket for any candidate for the presidency of these United States.

However, for any of that last category of anomaly to be explained, one would need either a voter-verified paper trail of ballots that could be tested against the performance of the machines or a court order that would allow inspection of the machines themselves. The first of these does not exist, and the second has not yet been granted…

[W]hat strikes my eye is this: in practically every case where lines were too long or machines too few the foul-up was in a Democratic county or precinct, and in practically every case where machines produced impossible or improbable outcomes it was the challenger who suffered and the actual or potential Democratic voters who were shortchanged, discouraged, or held up to ridicule as chronic undervoters or as sudden converts to fringe-party losers…

Columbus Free Press, OH

The Mighty Texas Strike Force
by Nick Mottern - Documentary News Service
February 28, 2005

On the night of November 1, 2004, Jim Branscome said, he overheard a man, a guest in the Holiday Inn where Mr. Branscome worked in Columbus, Ohio, tell someone over the pay phone in the hotel lobby:

"'Look, I know you got out of prison about'...X amount of months ago...I can't remember how many months he gave, but it was earlier this year, the year 2004, and he said, 'It's illegal for you to vote in this state, and if you show up tomorrow at the polls, we're going to have the FBI there waiting for you, and we're going to haul your ass right back into the slammer' he told him or into the 'can' or something like that."
-- From a videotaped interview with Robert Fitrakis and Linda Byrket.

Mr. Branscome said that the man appeared to be making calls from a list of names and phone numbers. Outraged at what he had heard, Mr. Branscome said, he approached the man, but the man got on the elevator and fled to the sixth floor where he had a room. Mr. Branscome followed him to the sixth floor, but the man returned to the lobby immediately, with Mr. Branscome following him down and out of the hotel. Mr. Branscome saw the man turn the corner next to Ohio Republican Party headquarters, in the same block as the hotel, and he said he is sure the man went into the state GOP's building.

The hotel desk clerk called the Columbus police about the incident. The 911 report shows the police responded, but no action was taken, and there was no record of a report having been written, a clerk in the records section said.

If Mr. Branscome's report is accurate, the caller violated the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Voting Rights Act of 1968. If convicted, the caller could be sentenced to one year in jail.

Mr. Branscome has said he believes the caller was a member of a group staying at the hotel to work on the election calling itself the Mighty Texas Strike Force (MTSF). The organization has connections reaching into the White House…

The Capital Times, Madison, WI

Voting glitches haunt statistician

By Rob Zaleski
March 4, 2005

Brian Joiner wishes he could "just get over it."…

Well, sorry guys, but he can't.

There were, Joiner says, too many things that occurred on Nov. 2 that "still don't smell right." He can't just pretend everything is rosy, he says, when he reads that Steven Freeman, a respected University of Pennsylvania professor, says the odds of the exit polls in the critical states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania all being so far off were about 662,000 to 1…

Joiner knows full well some people will roll their eyes while reading this and dismiss him as yet another shoot-from-the-hip conspiracy nut.

Not quite.

In fact, he's among a group of prominent statisticians and academicians who contributed to a recent study that refutes a report by exit pollsters Edison and Mitofsky that exit poll errors on Nov. 2 were responsible for the unprecedented 5.5 percent discrepancy between the exit polls and the official results…

He notes that when reports of widespread voting problems occurred in Ukraine last year, both local and international observers quickly concluded the election had been stolen.

"But when precisely the same scenario occurred here, not only were mainstream journalists not alarmed, they quickly labeled those who questioned the results as conspiracy theorists."…

Kjell Doksum, another UW-Madison statistician, says that if US Count Votes accomplishes just one thing, it's that there's a "paper trail" for every vote cast in 2008.

"This is easy to achieve," he suggested in an e-mail.

"Start a rumor that the Democrats have the world's best hackers and are going to fix the machines the next time."

TrueVote MD.org

March 8, 2005

Emerging Scandal on MD Voting Machine Performance
All MD Diebold Machines on Lockdown
Under Investigation for Widespread Statewide Election Day 2004 Failures
MD Election Group Calls for Independent Investigation and De-Certification of Machines

Montgomery County, Maryland. According to county election officials and other sources, all Maryland voting machines have been on "lockdown" since November 2, 2004 due to statewide machine failures including 12% of machines in Montgomery County, some of which appear to have lost votes in significant numbers. The State Board of Elections convinced the media that Election Day went smoothly, when in fact there were serious statewide, systemic problems with the Diebold electronic voting machines -- so serious that the SBE and Diebold still have not figured out how to prevent the loss of votes in the future.

"Election Day was anything but smooth. Votes were lost, computer cards storing votes were unreadable, thousands of error messages were reported, machines froze in mid-voting and machines refused to boot up. The problems with the machines were so widespread and serious that efforts to hide the problems have failed," said Linda Schade, director of TrueVoteMD.org. "It is not sufficient for Diebold and the SBE to investigate themselves. They have misled the public about this problem and an independent investigation is needed. Further, these problems indicate that the Diebold machines should be decertified as required by Maryland law and as provided for in the Diebold contract. This is an opportunity to correct the mistaken purchase of paperless electronic voting machines. Diebold should refund Maryland tax dollars and we should start anew with a system that voters trust because it can be independently audited and recounts can be meaningful."…

According to the IT Report to the Montgomery County Election Board, dated December 13, 2004 there were two broad levels of problems. Seven percent of units (189) failed. This included failure to boot up, screen freezes and a variety of other problems. Screen freezes, which occurred on 106 voting units were "the most serious of errors" because many "froze when the voter pressed the Cast Ballot button." As a result "election judges are unable to provide substantial confirmation that the vote was in fact counted." In addition there were "122 suspect units (5%) were identified because the unit had few votes captured compared to other voting units in the polling place. A unit was considered suspect if it had 25-50 votes captured when all other units in the polling place had over 150 votes," the report stated. The IT report includes other details of Diebold machine failures including smart card and encoder problems as well as thousands of yet unexplained error messages, now called 'ballot exception errors."…

This is good news!
Reuters

Jimmy Carter to Chair Election Reform Commission

Thu Mar 24, 8:29 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former President Jimmy Carter will lead a bipartisan commission to examine problems with the U.S. election system, American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management said on Thursday.

Carter, a Democrat whose Carter Center has monitored more than 50 elections around the world, will co-chair the private commission with Republican James Baker, who served as Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush.

Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat who lost his seat in the 2004 election, will also participate.

"I am concerned about the state of our electoral system and believe we need to improve it," Carter said in a statement. He said the group will assess "issues of inclusion" in federal voting and propose recommendations to improve the process.

"We will try to define an electoral system for the 21st century that will make Americans proud again," he said…

USCountVotes.org

Scientific Analysis Suggests Presidential Vote Counts May Have Been Altered

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

Officially, President Bush won November's election by 2.5%, yet exit polls showed Kerry winning by 3%.  According to a report to be released today by a group of university statisticians, the odds of a discrepancy this large between the national exit poll and election results happening by accident are close to 1 in a million.

In other words, by random chance alone, it could not have happened.  But it did.

Two alternatives remain.  Either something was wrong with the exit polling, or something was wrong with the vote count.

Exit polls have been used to verify the integrity of elections in the Ukraine, in Latin America, in Germany, and elsewhere.  Yet in November 2004, the U.S. exit poll discrepancy was much more than normal exit poll error (and similar to that of the invalid Ukraine election.)

In a recent survey of US members of the world's oldest and largest computer society, The Association for Computing Machinery, 95% opposed software driven un-auditable voting machines, of the type that now count at least 30% of U.S. votes.  Today's electronic vote-counting machines are not required to include basic safeguards that would prevent and detect machine or human caused errors, be they innocent or deliberate…

Brad Blog

Blogged by Brad on 4/2/2005 @ 2:53pm PT

SCIENTIFIC REPORT: Evidence Strongly Suggests 2004 Presidential Election Results -- Not the Exit Polls! -- Were Biased and/or Flawed!

Study of Exit Poll/Final Result disparity based on Exit Pollsters Own Data, Explanations, Allow One-in-959,000 Chance of Being Correct!

OH Secretary of State, Bush-Cheney Co-Chair Blackwell's Office Still Obnoxious, Unpatriotic.

On Thursday, USCountVotes.org, a Utah non-profit organization of statisticians and researchers, released a new scientific statistical analysis of the "2004 Presidential Exit Poll Discrepancies" [PDF]. Here is the executive summary of the report [PDF].

This study is a real one. A scientific one. Produced by a real group of non-partisan investigators, statisticians, university professors and mathmeticians -- unlike at least one phony GOP disinformation front group comprised of paid Bush/Cheney/RNC staff that we know of…

Here is just one graph from the report, of particular note to BRAD BLOG readers Velvet Revolution supporters and true advocates of Election Reform and Voting Rights (unlike other phony advocates of voting rights that we know of.)

Stephen Dyer of the Akron Beacon Journal has done a fine job of summing up some of the report's key points. As we've been too busy to do a thorough job of it ourselves (and likely will continue to be for the next several days at least), we associate ourselves with Dyer's summary.

Where is the outrage?
The Moscow Times

Friday, April 8, 2005. Issue 3142. Page 112.

Global Eye

By Chris Floyd

Let's face the facts. The game is over and we -- the "reality-based community," the believers in genuine democracy and law, the heirs of Jefferson and Madison, Emerson and Thoreau, the toilers and dreamers, all those who seek to rise above the beast within and shape the brutal chaos of existence into something higher, richer and imbued with meaning -- have lost. The better world we thought had been won out of the blood and horror of history -- a realm of enlightenment that often found its best embodiment in the ideals and aspirations of the American Republic -- is gone. It's been swallowed by darkness, by ravening greed, by bestial spirits and by willful primitives who now possess overwhelming instruments of power and dominion.

A gang of such spirits seized control of the U.S. government by illicit means in 2000 and maintained that control through rampant electoral corruption in 2004. The re-election of President George W. Bush last November was a deliberately shambolic process that saw massive lockouts of opposition voters; unverifiable returns compiled by easily hackable machines operated by avowed corporate partisans of the ruling party; and vast discrepancies between exit polls and final results – gaps much larger than those that led elections in Ukraine and Georgia to be condemned as manipulated frauds. Indeed, a panel of statisticians said last week that the odds of such a discrepancy occurring naturally were 959,000 to 1, the Akron Beacon-Journal reported.

The copious documentation of the Bush fraud keeps growing. Last month, experts using actual machines and returns from the 2004 election showed Congress how a lone hacker could skew a precinct's results by 100,000 votes without leaving a trace. More than 40 million votes in 30 states were cast on such computer systems, BlackBoxVoting noted.

Late last year, Congress heard sworn testimony from Florida programmer Clint Curtis, who created vote-rigging software in 2000 at the request of Tom Feeny, a Bush Family factotum. Feeny wanted Curtis (a fellow Republican) and his employer, Yang Enterprises, to produce untraceable programs that could "control the vote" as needed, investigator Brad Friedman reported. Feeny also told Curtis of Bush plans to "suppress the black vote" with "exclusion lists." This is exactly what happened. BBC investigator Greg Palast has shown that tens of thousands of legitimate African-American voters were deliberately "purged" from the rolls by a private Republican-controlled corporation hired by Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Afterwards, Feeny -- who had been Jeb's running mate in his first gubernatorial campaign -- was rewarded for his dutiful service with a plum congressional seat…

So let's have no illusions about where we are. Gangsters are in charge, and nothing and no one will be allowed to challenge their dominion. They are waging aggressive war to cement their position and that of their allies: the energy barons, the arms merchants, the construction and services cartels, the investment bankers. These power blocs now command monstrous resources and unfathomable profits; they can buy out, buy off or bury any force that opposes them. Meanwhile, they use the loot of the stolen Republic -- its blood and treasure -- as fuel for their ever-expanding war machine: Bush now has a "secret watch-list" of 25 more countries ripe for military intervention, the Financial Times reported…

Law is "a strategy of the weak," says the Bush Doctrine, in a chilling echo of Hitlerian machtpolitik: Might makes right. The judicial process must not be allowed to "constrain or shape" American behavior in any way, the gangsters declared.

Think of it: Law is now the enemy. Democracy, as we've seen above, is the enemy. This, the demented code of criminals and tyrants, has become the ruling doctrine of the United States -- replacing the Constitution, replacing the noble struggle for liberty and enlightenment with the howl of the beast, with a freak show of avarice and death.

Brad Blog

Blogged by Brad on 4/7/2005

'The Moscow Times' Covers the Clint Curtis Story!

One week after the November 2004 election, we blogged an item we called "Why It Matters: The World is Watching". The piece covered the way in which Russia's Pravda wondered aloud, "Did Bush fix the election"?

Just over two weeks later, Ukraine's own fixed election, and the Bush administration's infuriatingly hypocritical outrage brought more condemnation from Pravda, this time as they chastised the American administration for having the gall to question anyone else's election after our own -- which was even more askew than Ukraine's. Our item headlined "Home to Roost - or, Democracies That Live in Glass Houses" covered the continuing degradation in esteem from our once-promising Russian ally.

And today, it's The Moscow Times who joins the World's America Hating Party in a damning article suggesting the game is over and the forces of Democracy in the previously-Free World have lost…

[A] major American Newspaper may … be jumping into the Clint Curtis fray. We'll do our best to keep you abreast of those developements even as we're otherwise occupado down here in Nashville... Stay Tuned...

Akron Beacon Journal

Posted on Sat, Apr. 09, 2005

Prosecutor to probe Cuyahoga County recount

2 written complaints allege problems in '04 presidential election

By Stephen Dyer

CLEVELAND - Erie County Prosecutor Kevin J. Baxter is investigating whether the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections broke the law in its recount of ballots from the November presidential election.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason appointed Baxter as a special prosecutor in the case because the board of elections is Mason's client, which could pose a conflict of interest, said Mason spokeswoman Jamie Dalton.

Baxter said he didn't know yet whether the allegations have any validity. He said his investigators will begin interviewing people in the next several weeks.

``If it goes nowhere, it goes nowhere,'' Baxter said. ``We'll just start from the beginning... This is rather preliminary.''

The probe stems from two requests written to Mason: one from minor-party presidential candidates David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, and another from entrepreneurial consultant Edward Michael Caner.

Dalton said Mason turned over the papers March 2.

The complaints allege that the board violated state law because the precincts it recounted were neither randomly selected nor was the opening of ballots properly witnessed.

In addition, Cobb and Badnarik allege that there were problems with the board's ballot-transfer cases, which can reveal whether the precinct used the ballots assigned to it or whether ballots from other precincts were used…

Tony Blair and George Bush are peas in a pod.
World Socialist Web Site

Britain: opposition to Iraq war led to Labour vote-rigging in 2004 elections

By Robert Stevens
11 April 2005

On April 4, Richard Mawrey QC, acting as an election commissioner, issued a judgement in a civil hearing quashing the result of two local authority elections in Birmingham held June 10 last year.

Mawrey’s 192-page judgement stated that the polls in the Aston and Bordesley Green electoral wards were corrupted by “massive, systematic and organised” vote-rigging by Labour members, with the aim of offsetting a collapse in the party’s vote due to the Iraq war.

The case was the first of its kind to be held in Britain for more than a century. It arose after Election Petitions were brought under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and 2000, challenging the result of two elections in the June 2004 poll.

Mawrey’s decision was announced just one day before Prime Minister Tony Blair called a general election for May 5. On February 22, the QC had accused Labour of attempting to delay the vote-rigging hearings until after the general election by withdrawing their legal support from the accused party candidates…

Brad Blog

Blogged by Brad on 4/13/2005 @ 12:12pm PT...

Miami Herald Discusses Clint Curtis, Calls for a Return to Paper Ballots!
Condemns E-Voting, Outlines a Litany of What Went Wrong in 2004 Election Fiasco!

The drumbeat of the pro-democracy movement in America (who could have ever imagined there'd be a need for one in this country?!) seems to be growing louder as more and more Mainstream Media folks get into the game!

Following on the heels of yesterday's Miami Herald piece about Miami-Dade's possible return to paper ballots, Herald columnist, Robert Steinback jumps in with a damning condemnation of Electronic Voting today pointing out that, "Nothing is more important, for the world's pre-eminent democracy, than assuring the sanctity of each vote."

Steinbeck goes on to say:…

Worst of all, computer voting machines deny critics, reporters, attorneys general and historians the chance to recheck results -- which undermines the confidence any citizen can have in what are billed as free and fair elections.

Indeed. Clearly there are still a few in the MSM who get it. It may just take them a while to figure it out.

Moreover, Steinbeck -- for the first time that we know of -- mentions the Clint Curtis / Tom Feeney vote-rigging scandal in the pages of The Herald, along with a litany of reasons for returning to paper ballots [emphasis added]:…

We may never learn the truth behind the affidavit of computer programmer Clinton Curtis alleging then-Florida Rep. Tom Feeney -- now a U.S. congressman -- asked the software company for which he worked in 2000 to design an undetectable computer program for flipping touch-screen machine votes.

We may never know for sure if Nov. 2 exit polls that projected John Kerry winning several states he ultimately lost were themselves biased -- or whether they were accurate, exposing tampered election results. The victors, after all, never question the score -- or the scoring…

Brad Blog

Blogged by Brad on 4/13/2005 @ 4:42pm PT...

Clint Curtis Makes Wisconsin's Capital Times!
And More Questions are Raised about Whether Your Vote is Being Counted!

Must be something afoot...Now it's Madison, Wisconsin's The Capital Times jumping into the Clint Curtis fray as a part of their online Daily Briefing item headlined "Is Your Vote Being...

In Florida, a computer programmer named Clint Curtis has made the allegation he was directed to add code to a vote counting program to cause votes to switch from one candidate to another. Here's a link to the story. I'm not making any statement here as to whether his allegations are true or false because the investigation is ongoing. The question is whether this could be true, or if we have controls in place to prevent this. I don't see anything that would prevent this from happening, particularly since voting companies refuse to provide their source code under the guise of "trade secrets".

The article also hits much of what BRAD BLOG readers have known about for months concerning the evils of the likes of Diebold and ES&S, etc. And granted, they may not be the Miami Herald (who also discussed Clint Curtis earlier today), but hey, the word is getting out! And better late than never! Democracy may be saved after all!

Common Wonders

The silent scream of numbers
The 2004 election was stolen — will someone please tell the media?

By ROBERT C. KOEHLER
Tribune Media Services

… Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don’t want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener’s eyeballs roll. So let’s not ask that question.

Let’s simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.

This, mind you, is just for starters. We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don’t make sense (see, for instance, www.northnet.org/minstrel, the Web site of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, lead statistician in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results). Indeed, the movement to investigate the 2004 election is led by such people, because the numbers are screaming at them that something is wrong.

And we might, no, we must, ask — with more seriousness than the media have asked — about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a “shy Republican” factor as the explanation; and the media have bought this evidence-free absurdity because it spares them the need to think about the F-word: fraud.

And the numbers are still haywire…

[If you care about your vote and you live in the Chicago area, plan to attend the Your Ballot - Your Future panel discussion on April 30 in Oak Park.  Click here for more information.—Caro]

John Bolton was part of the anti-democracy Florida 2000 campaign to shove George Bush into the White House.
Miami Herald, archived at Google

Posted on Sun, Jul. 14, 2002

Bush recount troops land plum D.C. jobs

Many of president's appointees fought Gore's bid to take Florida, White House

BY CAROL ROSENBERG

John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, caused a stir in May by accusing the Cuban government of transferring bioweapons technology to rogue nations. Nineteen months ago, he caused a different stir -- bursting into a Tallahassee library on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign to stop a recount of Miami-Dade County ballots…

WORKING 'BY INSTINCT'

Diplomat says he received no assurance of a reward

Bolton, the U.S. diplomat now responsible for arms control issues, said no payoff was promised for his decision to join the post-election fray. He had worked for the first Bush administration and, finding himself in South Korea on election night, contacted former Secretary of State James Baker in Texas to see how he might lend a hand. The reply: Go to Florida.

''I think, frankly, most of the people who did it just went down there by instinct,'' Bolton said. He said he received no legal fees, although the campaign paid his hotel bills and other expenses.

Bolton was part of the legal team and a ballot observer in Palm Beach County. Then he rushed to Tallahassee as the recount battle reached higher courts.

It was his role, on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2000, to burst into a library where workers were recounting Miami-Dade ballots and relay news of the U.S. Supreme Court's stay in the on-again, off-again presidential recount.

''I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count,'' he was quoted as saying in news reports at the time.

The Florida fraternity included major figures in the Bush administration, notably Theodore Olson, the current solicitor general, who worked on the case in both Tallahassee and Miami, then argued candidate Bush's case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Robert Zoellick, now the U.S. trade representative, who served as a virtual chief of staff to Baker, Bush's main Florida strategist…

Here’s a picture.
The Oakland Press

Close election could be scary

Web-posted Oct 16, 2004

Judge Charles Burton, chairman of the Palm Beach County canvassing board, holds up the last ballot the board was able to consider in the manual recount of ballots as Democratic lawyer Mark White, left, and Republican lawyer John Bolton watch at the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center Sunday, Nov. 26, 2000, in West Palm Beach, Fla. On Election Day 2004 partisan lawyers are planning to be at polling places they consider important or prone to trouble as the best remembered controversies in the 2000 Florida election grew from technical voting problems, many of which still exist; an estimated 32 million voters in 19 states will use punch cards. -AP File Photo

Don’t forget that James Baker led the whole Florida operation.
John Conyers

April 11, 2005

President Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center

Dear Mr. President:

I write not only to congratulate you on your appointment as Chairman of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, but also to request the ability to testify at your hearings, and to draw several important matters to your attention.

First, I would like to bring to your attention an important new report that was released on March 3,2005 by US Count Votes, a group comprised of a collection of university professors, statisticians, mathematicians, and pollsters from all over the country, that raises very serious concerns about discrepancies in between the exit poll and final election results in the recent presidential election.’

The elections of 2000 and 2004 demonstrated just how critical an updating of the American election system is. American democracy runs on faith in that system, and after experiencing two consecutive elections where issues were raised concerning irregularities and improprieties in the election process, too many voters have lost their faith. In this area, I wanted to express my strong opposition to the appointment of people who have expressed partisan or conflicting interests in the past to your esteemed Commission. Specifically, I am concerned about the inclusion of Mr. James Baker, III as a Commission Member. For many of us, Mr. Baker will be forever remembered for his ultimately successful efforts to shut down the counting of votes in the 2000 Florida election and I am concerned that his involvement in that election may present a conflict with the goals and initiatives of your Commission…

They STILL can’t count votes in Miami-Dade
Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Apr. 12, 2005

Dade studies switch to paper ballots

Miami-Dade County officials are studying whether to replace an expensive, controversial touch-screen voting system after a series of mishaps.

BY NOAKI SCHWARTZ

Three years after spending $24.5 million to install a controversial touch-screen voting system, Miami-Dade County elections officials have been asked to study scrapping the system in favor of paper-based balloting.

The request from County Manager George Burgess follows the recent resignation of Elections Supervisor Constance Kaplan and the revelation that hundreds of votes in recent elections hadn't been counted.

In a memo, Burgess asked new elections chief Lester Sola to assess whether optical scanners, which count votes marked on ''bubble sheets,'' would deliver more accurate results. Burgess also wants information on how much a switch would cost -- and how much it might save in the long run.

County officials say the machines have more than tripled Election Day costs.

''It's a confluence of bad facts,'' said Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, head of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition and a longtime critic of the elections department. ``You have lousy technology that doesn't inspire voter confidence combined with outrageous costs for that lousy technology.''

Burgess' April 4 directive came just days after Kaplan resigned amid revelations that a coding glitch in the county's iVotronic touch-screen machines tossed out hundreds of votes in six recent elections.

''What I've noticed about this system from the very beginning is that there are so many things that can happen and, therefore, maybe it's not the system we should've gotten years ago,'' said Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who met with Burgess and elections officials Monday to discuss the issue…

Brad Blog

Blogged by Brad on 4/13/2005 @ 12:12pm PT...

Miami Herald Discusses Clint Curtis, Calls for a Return to Paper Ballots!
Condemns E-Voting, Outlines a Litany of What Went Wrong in 2004 Election Fiasco!

The drumbeat of the pro-democracy movement in America (who could have ever imagined there'd be a need for one in this country?!) seems to be growing louder as more and more Mainstream Media folks get into the game!

Following on the heels of yesterday's Miami Herald piece about Miami-Dade's possible return to paper ballots, Herald columnist, Robert Steinback jumps in with a damning condemnation of Electronic Voting today pointing out that, "Nothing is more important, for the world's pre-eminent democracy, than assuring the sanctity of each vote."

Steinbeck goes on to say:…

Worst of all, computer voting machines deny critics, reporters, attorneys general and historians the chance to recheck results -- which undermines the confidence any citizen can have in what are billed as free and fair elections.

Indeed. Clearly there are still a few in the MSM who get it. It may just take them a while to figure it out.

Moreover, Steinbeck -- for the first time that we know of -- mentions the Clint Curtis / Tom Feeney vote-rigging scandal in the pages of The Herald, along with a litany of reasons for returning to paper ballots [emphasis added]:…

We may never learn the truth behind the affidavit of computer programmer Clinton Curtis alleging then-Florida Rep. Tom Feeney -- now a U.S. congressman -- asked the software company for which he worked in 2000 to design an undetectable computer program for flipping touch-screen machine votes.

We may never know for sure if Nov. 2 exit polls that projected John Kerry winning several states he ultimately lost were themselves biased -- or whether they were accurate, exposing tampered election results. The victors, after all, never question the score -- or the scoring…

Brad Blog

Blogged by Brad on 4/13/2005 @ 4:42pm PT...

Clint Curtis Makes Wisconsin's Capital Times!
And More Questions are Raised about Whether Your Vote is Being Counted!

Must be something afoot...Now it's Madison, Wisconsin's The Capital Times jumping into the Clint Curtis fray as a part of their online Daily Briefing item headlined "Is Your Vote Being...

In Florida, a computer programmer named Clint Curtis has made the allegation he was directed to add code to a vote counting program to cause votes to switch from one candidate to another. Here's a link to the story. I'm not making any statement here as to whether his allegations are true or false because the investigation is ongoing. The question is whether this could be true, or if we have controls in place to prevent this. I don't see anything that would prevent this from happening, particularly since voting companies refuse to provide their source code under the guise of "trade secrets".

The article also hits much of what BRAD BLOG readers have known about for months concerning the evils of the likes of Diebold and ES&S, etc. And granted, they may not be the Miami Herald (who also discussed Clint Curtis earlier today), but hey, the word is getting out! And better late than never! Democracy may be saved after all!

Common Wonders

The silent scream of numbers
The 2004 election was stolen — will someone please tell the media?

By ROBERT C. KOEHLER
Tribune Media Services

… Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don’t want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener’s eyeballs roll. So let’s not ask that question.

Let’s simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.

This, mind you, is just for starters. We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don’t make sense (see, for instance, www.northnet.org/minstrel, the Web site of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, lead statistician in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results). Indeed, the movement to investigate the 2004 election is led by such people, because the numbers are screaming at them that something is wrong.

And we might, no, we must, ask — with more seriousness than the media have asked — about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a “shy Republican” factor as the explanation; and the media have bought this evidence-free absurdity because it spares them the need to think about the F-word: fraud.

And the numbers are still haywire…

Newtopia Magazine

The Silence of the Scams: Psychological Resistance to Facing Election Fraud
Monday, April 11, 2005 - 03:18 PM

BY DIANE PERLMAN

Few Americans know about the historic event that happened on January 6, 2005, the official date for counting electoral votes. For the first time since 1877, congressmembers challenged the electoral count. Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio, accompanied by the lone senator, Barbara Boxer of California, led the challenge of the Ohio vote count. Although massive fraud was reported around the country, only Ohio was officially cited…

[R]ather than demanding a thorough investigation, the American people seem eager to forget the incidents and put the election behind them, thus implicitly supporting such corruption…

We must wonder what is going on in the collective psyche that allows the systematic and progressive usurpation of power…

The psychology of electoral domination has two parts—what is being done to people and how they allow it.

Psychological techniques, used deliberately, allow many tricks to go unnoticed and unchallenged. For example, “mystification” is a plausible misrepresentation of reality in which forms of exploitation are presented as forms of benevolence. Like magic and the use of distraction, the issue of voting reform was manipulated and misrepresented, so people felt calmed by the illusion that the problems are being corrected. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Elements of the Help America Vote Act, HAVA (a name as Orwellian as the Clear Skies Initiative, more accurately should be called "Hide America’s Voting Anomalies"), includes intrusive identity checks, the introduction of the “provisional ballot” most of which were not counted, and the use of electronic voting machines. Each of these was brilliantly misused for the opposite intention—to corrupt and deny votes to Kerry in ways people wouldn’t notice.

The subterfuge was successfully accomplished with use of censorship, illusion, distortion, brainwashing, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, mystification, intimidation, shaming, and domination. As Bush might say, it was a “catastrophic success.”

These techniques combine to form something like a collective hypnotic induction, which creates an illusion of a consensus that cannot be challenged. Few have the insight, training or tools to see through the manipulation. Even fewer have the courage to take on the challenge. For many, responses to domination may include learned helplessness, psychic numbing, fear, cowardice, conformity, denial, cognitive laziness, disbelief, avoidance, and submission to authority…

The people I have witnessed working intensely to investigate and challenge voter fraud, have a particular psychological profile. They are courageous and willing to face pain and fear. They call up their strength to challenge authority, as our lives, our freedom and democracy depend on it. They are unable to deny what is going on or remain silent. They are the heroes, in our mythical, archetypal Hero’s journey, willing to face the dragons who are guarding our “National Treasure.”…

John Conyers’ Blog

Blogged by JC on 04.18.05 @ 05:18 PM ET

First Baker-Carter Hearing
Right-wing pundit John Fund offers racially-charged testimony

The first meeting of the Baker-Carter election commission was disappointing and, at times, outrageous and tainted with racially-charged innuendo. Let me make absolutely clear that I greatly admire former President Jimmy Carter and believe he was insightful and on-target throughout the hearing. However, given the incredible lack of balance and profound lack of good faith demonstrated by some of Carter’s fellow commissioners and many of the witnesses at this hearing, at times he seemed to be a very lonely voice of sanity.

The remarks of Mr. James Baker, III, which were echoed by a number of right wing political operatives called as witnesses, seemed to have a singular purpose of spreading hoaxes and conspiracy theories about ineligible Democratic voters being allowed to cast votes. The remedy was cleverly repeated like a broken record, “photo ID, photo ID, photo ID.” Right wing pundit John Fund was called as an “expert” witness by the hearing and offered racially charged proposals with racially charged rhetoric.

The substance of the testimony alleging “voter fraud” was a fraud itself. One panel on “access and integrity” inexplicably included two partisan Republican political operatives, Colleen McAndrews (most recently a leader in the successful campaign to recall former California Governor Gray Davis and described as a “behind the scenes force in Republican politics for years”) and John Fund (of the notoriously far-right Wall Street Journal editorial page)…

The pattern of the hearing was clear: Republican political operatives, with little or no track record of involvement in voting rights issues, facing non-partisan advocates for civil rights. Predictably, this hardly was a fair fight. The deck was stacked from the beginning.

What can be said of a commission that holds such a hearing? What hope is there for the recommendations of such a Commission? I am scheduled to meet with Commission officials this week and I am trying very hard to have an open mind. But, frankly, at this point – seeing this first hearing – I think we should all be very wary of this Commission’s objectives.

Associated Press

Chairman of Voting Reform Panel Resigns

Fri Apr 22, 9:16 PM ET

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The first chairman of a federal voting agency created after the 2000 election dispute is resigning, saying the government has not shown enough commitment to reform.

DeForest Soaries said in an interview Friday that his resignation would take effect next week…

"All four of us had to work without staff, without offices, without resources. I don't think our sense of personal obligation has been matched by a corresponding sense of commitment to real reform from the federal government," he said.

Soaries, a Republican former New Jersey secretary of state, was the White House's pick to join the Election Assistance Commission, created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to help states enact voting reforms…

Series Page

 


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