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Ten Good Reasons to Believe that the 2004 Presidential Election Was Stolen [View All]

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-01-05 05:44 PM
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Ten Good Reasons to Believe that the 2004 Presidential Election Was Stolen
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Edited on Thu Sep-01-05 06:11 PM by Time for change
The question of what role election fraud played in determining the results of the 2004 Presidential election can be validly approached by consideration of either the total U.S. popular vote or the election results in Ohio. Ohio, because the addition of that state alone to John Kerrys column would have given him an electoral victory. And the popular vote, because it is inconceivable that there was enough election fraud to switch the popular vote from Kerry to Bush without switching Ohio as well given the relatively close race in Ohio and the fact that the evidence for fraud in Ohio over-shadows that in any other state. This thread summarizes 5 reasons in each category that I believe strongly suggest that John Kerry would be President today if we had had an honest election.



The Popular Vote


1. Secret vote counting

What do you think would be the reaction of most U.S. citizens if they were told that a law had just been passed which gave the Party in power the right to count the votes and determine the winner for all elections in private without any oversight? Outrage, I would hope. And yet, today we find ourselves in a situation where votes are counted by computer software that is written in secret and made inaccessible to the public, with the rationale that the machines and software that count our votes are proprietary. Is that situation different than giving one Party a box of paper ballots and allowing them to count them and determine the winner in private? And yet, where is the outrage?

The corporations that make the computers and software that count our votes donate large amounts of money to the Republican Party. The CEO of one of those companies, Wally ODell of Diebold, said prior to the 2004 election that he would deliver the votes for Bush in Ohio. Some of these men are convicted felons. And nobody questions the fact that it is possible to secretly program their computers to rig an election. The crucial question is, Is that what actually happened in the 2004 Presidential election? A paranoid conspiracy theorist would answer yes to that question. But then, we should ask ourselves, What sort of person would answer no?


2. Evidence of vote switching machines

Clint Curtis, a computer programmer working in Florida prior to the 2004 election, in testimony before Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee, said that he was requested in 2000 by Tom Feeney, then Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, to develop a prototype of a voting program that could alter the vote tabulation in an election and be undetectable. He did develop the program, after telling Feeney, however, that he could not make the program so that it would be undetectable if the source program were to be inspected.

Was that or a similar program used in the 2004 election? A study of reports from the national Election Incidence Reporting System (EIRS) suggest that indeed it was. This study defined an electronic vote switching incident as one where a voter tried to vote for one candidate but the machine registered the vote for the other candidate, sometimes even after repeated attempts. The study came up with two major findings: First, of the 94 vote switching reports, the ratio of incidents that favored Bush outnumbered those that favored Kerry by a ratio of 12 to 1. And secondly, the incidents that favored Bush were 9 times as common in the heavily contested swing states than in non-swing states.

An investigation by the Washington Post into reports of this nature in Mahoning County, Ohio demonstrated that the number of incidents reported to EIRS was only the tip of the iceberg. There were only 8 individual incidents in Mahoning County that were reported to EIRS. Yet, the Post investigation identified 25 electronic voting machines in Youngstown, Mahoning County, EACH of which transferred an unknown number of votes from Kerry to Bush on Election Day.

If the tendency of these voting machines to favor Bush was not accidental, that means that someone programmed them to act this way. Depending on the magnitude of this phenomenon, that could have compromised the integrity of the election. This is especially true given the high proportion of vote switches from Kerry to Bush in Florida and Ohio, two states that were absolutely critical to Bushs chances of winning the election.

And what became of the investigation into Clint Curtis allegations? Raymond Lemme, the investigator from the Florida Inspector Generals Office who was assigned to the case, was found dead in a hotel room in the midst of his investigation. His death was ruled a suicide. But an investigation into this case described on the Brad Blog strongly suggested that the finding of suicide was in error. What would be the motive for killing Lemme? In his 2004 affidavit, Curtis describes a 2003 meeting with Lemme in which Lemme told him he "had tracked the corruption all the way to the top.


3. The Edison-Mitofsky (E-M) exit polls

The 2004 E-M national exits polls predicted very different results than the official Presidential election results. Whereas Bush won the official national results by 2.5%, the exit polls predicted a Kerry victory nationally by 3% -- a 5.5% difference. In addition, state exit polls predicted a Kerry victory in four states that Bush won Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Nevada and a virtually even race in Florida, which Kerry lost officially by 5%. Of these states, the difference between the exit polls and the official results were statistically significant only in Ohio and Florida. In Ohio, Kerry lost officially by 2.2%, while winning the exit poll by 4.2% -- a difference of 6.4%. Winning either Ohio or Florida would have meant an electoral victory for Kerry. On the other hand, none of the states that Kerry carried in 2004 were predicted in the exit polls for Bush. None of this is controversial or denied by Mitofsky.

Furthermore, there were 17 states whose shift to Bush in the official results deviated from the exit poll results by more than the margin of statistical error, and there were no states that deviated in the opposite direction by that much. The likelihood of the discrepancy between the national exit polls and the official national results occurring by chance has been estimated by Jonathan Simon and Ron Baiman as being close to one in a million. The original response to the E-M report by US Count Votes (USCV) estimated that the likelihood of the discrepancy between the combined state exit polls and the official state results occurring by chance was about one in ten million. Thus, the possibility that these discrepancies occurred by chance can be effectively ruled out. So that leaves two possibilities: Exit poll bias or election fraud.

Exit poll bias cannot be completely ruled out. However, the following can be said against the likelihood that exit poll bias accounts for the discrepancies between the official election results and the exit polls:

a) The E-M report on the exit poll discrepancies, although claiming that the discrepancies are due to exit poll bias, presents little or no evidence to substantiate that claim;

b) The exit poll discrepancies in 2004 were greater than in any other year since E-M began conducting Presidential exit polls in 1988;

c) The exit poll discrepancy was outside of the margin of error in 5 of the 11 crucial swing states (OH, FL, PA, NH, MN) and only 12 of the other 39 states (not to mention the fact that the discrepancy was very close to being outside of the margin of error in three other swing states CO, NM, and NV).

d) The only type of bias that was capable of being measured (between precinct error) was found to be in Bushs favor, not Kerrys


4. Pre-election trends

In May of 2004, John Zogby, perhaps the words most accurate pollster, did something almost unheard of for a professional pollster. He predicted the results of a Presidential election several months prior to the election: John Kerry will win the election. He gave numerous reasons for this prediction, including bad current numbers for an incumbent President for so early in the election season, the high priorities for voters of the economy and the war in Iraq, with both of those issues unlikely to improve for the President, and Kerrys history of winning elections by being a very strong closer.

Just prior to the 2004 election Zogby repeated his prediction, as things had only gotten worse for Bush. Kerry had handily bested Bush in all three Presidential debates, he enjoyed a major advantage in new voter registration in the most important swing states, and the economy and the war in Iraq were an albatross around Bushs neck. Though the race was neck and neck on the eve of the election, the momentum was in Kerrys favor, Bushs job approval rating was hovering around 50%, and Kerry had going for him the fact that undecided voters almost always break heavily towards the challenger in the last few days of a Presidential race all very bad signs for Bush. Even Tucker Carlson, CNNs extreme right wing talking head, predicted a Kerry victory.


5. Election day turnout

With the polls so close, it seemed that the ground game, i.e. the get out the vote effort by the respective parties, would determine the winner. A high overall turnout is almost always a very good sign for the Democratic candidate in such a close race.

The number of voters in the 2004 election rose to 121 million, from 101 million in 2000, a 20% increase. Voter turnout rose from about 49% to about 60%, the highest turnout for a national election in the United States in 44 years. This should have been a sure sign of a Democratic victory.

So, could have this great increase in voter turnout represented mostly an increase in Republican turnout? There doesnt seem to be any evidence for that at all. The Democrats were extremely well organized in all the important swing states. I went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for the day to help get out the vote there. I got stuck waiting around in a restaurant with about 40 other Democratic volunteers, doing nothing because there were simply too many volunteers for what needed to be done. We waited around for a few hours, and finally our leader had to tell us that he was sorry, but there wasnt any more work because every voter on our list had already voted. It was the same way all over the state. And thousands of other Democratic volunteers who worked in swing states on Election Day 2004 have similar stories to tell.



The Ohio Election

The election in Ohio was tainted from the very start, prior to, during, and following Election Day, by the simple fact that the man officially in charge of the Ohio election, Kenneth Blackwell, served concurrently as the Chair of the Bush re-election campaign in Ohio. The openly partisan manner which characterized his every action in this election was an insult to every American who cares about democracy in his/her country.


6. Fraudulent Ohio recount

Because of the numerous suspicions surrounding the election in Ohio, an assurance to the citizens of this country that fraud played no major role in the outcome of this election should have been based on a full investigation. A fair, lawful and transparent recount of the votes, as mandated by Ohio law would be the first step in this process, and money was soon raised for such a recount. The law required that 3% of randomly selected precincts from each county be selected for an initial recount, and then if the recounted vote totals from those randomly selected precincts did not match the initial count of the respective precincts, the whole county would be recounted by hand.

Yet from start to finish, every effort was made to prevent full county recounts, as described in this review by Georgia10 starting on page 36, so that when it all ended, only one county in the whole state had been recounted. In order to accomplish this, numerous violations of Ohio law were perpetrated, including: At least 17 counties where the recount was chosen by Ohio election officials rather than randomly; at least 6 counties of confirmed tampering with the tabulating machines by voting machine company technicians, including a case in Hocking County where the technician actually gave the election officials a cheat sheet with instructions on how to make the counts match (The whistle blower of this felony, Sherole Eaton, was subsequently fired from her job); and, at least 6 counties for which, even when it turned out that the vote totals didnt match, election officials still refused to do the required recount.

And to top it all off, when workers were attempting to examine records during the recount in order to identify discrepancies, Blackwell issued a surprise order stating that the public voting records were now private rather than public, and disallowing access to them contrary to Ohio law. Then, when Congressman John Conyers U.S. House Judiciary Democratic Staff attempted to question Blackwell about this and numerous other violations of Ohio law, Blackwell repeatedly refused to answer any questions of the Committee, as repeatedly described in the Committees landmark report, Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.


7. Voter suppression

Voter suppression targeted at Democratic precincts and minority voters was rampant during the 2004 election in Ohio. A public hearing at the New Faith Baptist Church in Columbus Ohio is just one source that provides numerous examples of this.

One of the most persistent and egregious offenses was the systematic denial or delay of absentee ballots to qualified voters, followed by failure to even give the voters provisional ballots when they showed up at the polls. There were numerous reports of voter intimidation, election officials telling voters to go to the wrong polling place, telling voters that Democrats werent supposed to vote until Wednesday, November 3rd, and telling eligible voters that they were ineligible to vote and then failing to give them provisional ballots in accordance with federal law. There was even an organized effort to call Democratic voters to tell them that they would go to jail if they showed up at the polls to vote.

But probably the most effective tactic was the withholding of sufficient voting machines from Democratic precincts, thus resulting in the formations of lines with waits as long as eight hours, and the consequent loss of hundreds of thousands of voters whose commitments to job or family did not allow them to vote.

A study that looked at voting machine allocation per voter by precinct partisanship showed that machine allocation was far less adequate in precincts that voted for Kerry. In fact, it appears from looking at the scatterplot that there were about 30 Kerry precincts where there was less than one machine per 440 registered voters, while there were no Bush precincts in this category. This same study showed that voter turnout decreased substantially in Franklin County as machine allocation decreased. And an extensive analysis by Elizabeth Liddle came to a similar conclusion. Furthermore, as Bob Fitrakis reveals, all this happened while 68 voting machines were available in Franklin County but held back.

Richard Hayes Phillips calculates that this low voter turnout induced in Franklin County through the misallocation of voting machines resulted in approximately 17,000 lost votes for Kerry in Columbus alone. This is easy to understand, given the relationship between inadequate numbers of voting machines and low voter turnout, and the fact that this problem occurred very disproportionately in minority and Democratic precincts.


8. Electronic deletion of votes from Democratic precincts Cuyahoga County, Ohio

There are numerous strange findings surrounding Cuyahoga County in the 2004 election.

First, the relationship between voter turnout and election results is quite odd: Section IV, page 3, of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) report on the Ohio election contains a discussion about how, in general, voter turnout is strongly related to the ratio of machines per voter. This is an important point and it makes sense because, as pointed out later in the DNC report, insufficient numbers of machines per voter can result in reduced voter turnout because of voters leaving the voting lines when they are unable to wait several hours to vote. However, in Cuyahoga County the normal relationship is inexplicably reversed, so that voting machines per voter are negatively associated with voter turnout.

Secondly, Richard Hayes Phillips, a statistical expert in identifying statistical anomalies, whose findings have been widely publicized, has stated that there are at least 30 precincts in Cleveland with inexplicably low voter turnout, ranging as low as 7.1%. He then goes on to show that these findings translate into a very low voter turnout in Cleveland (less than 50%) compared to other areas of the county. Consequently, as he shows, a 60% turnout in heavily Democratic Cleveland would have resulted in 22,000 additional votes for Kerry.

Thirdly, Dr. Phillips also noted at least 16 precincts where votes intended to be cast for Kerry were apparently shifted to other candidates, likely a result of a phenomenon known as ballot order rotation. This is where the candidates are listed in different orders on the ballot in different precincts, so that if a voter votes in the wrong precinct (with a different ballot order) the machine will record the vote for a candidate who was unintended by the voter. Given the large number of voters who voted in the wrong precinct and the fact that this phenomenon occurred largely in highly Democratic precincts, Kerry would lose a lot of net votes because of this.

And fourthly, it has been shown in a report in the New York Times by Kate Zernike that Cuyahoga County registered at least 110,000 more voters in 2004 than are currently indicated in Kenneth Blackwells voter registration website. The addition of these extra voters to election turnout calculations would indicate an even lower absurdly lower voter turnout for Cuyahoga County than was calculated.

All of the above indicate anomalous and unexplained (except for ballot order rotation) low voter turnout in Cuyahoga County, especially Cleveland. Cuyahoga County is the most important Democratic stronghold in Ohio, where a reasonable turnout is essential for a reasonable likelihood of a Democratic victory. These findings provide very strong grounds for suspicion of electronic deletion of votes in highly Democratic precincts of Cuyahoga County. If this was done by a central tabulator, while maintaining a constant percentage of the vote share for each candidate, this manipulation would have avoided detection by statistical analyses that were performed on the Ohio election data by various research groups.


9. Electronic addition of votes in Republican precincts

The electronic addition of votes in Republican precincts would have had the same net effect as the deletion of votes in Democratic precincts. And if these votes were added in proportion to the votes already recorded in those precincts, this maneuver would also have escaped detection by standard statistical analyses.

Such a scenario is likely what occurred In Miami County, where after 100% of precincts had reported, an additional 19,000 ballots were reported, giving Bush an additional vote margin of about 6,000, while changing the total Bush and Kerry percentages by no more than three hundredths of a percent. What makes this additionally suspicious is that Miami County reported a 20.9% increase in turnout for 2004, compared to 2000, despite a gain in population of only 1.4%, AND Miami County reported the second largest vote gain for Bush of Ohios 88 counties (2nd to Butler County), compared to his performance in 2000.

Something similar may have happened in Warren County, another Bush stronghold where Bush picked up thousands of additional votes compared with his performance in the 2000 election against Al Gore, and where the number of voters increased by 30% compared with 2000. Warren County was also the site of the infamous lockdown, which allowed Republican officials to tally the Warren County vote in private, rationalized by the bogus excuse of a national security emergency. Warren County Republican election officials used this excuse to tally the Warren County votes in private. They claimed that they learned of this national security emergency from the FBI a claim that was soon denied by the FBI. Yet the Warren County results continue to stand.

And, in predominantly Republican Gahanna, Ohio, one precinct recorded 4,258 votes for Bush, though only 638 voters cast votes there.


10. Apparently fraudulent voter registration figures
Reports of massive new voter registration in Democratic counties in Ohio (not to mention other swing states) were an important reason why many believed that Kerry would win Ohio and the general election in 2004 -- and why many still do believe that. Especially striking were reports in the New York Times by Ford Fessenden in September 2004 and Kate Zernike in October 2004 that indicated that new voter registration in Democratic areas of Ohio vastly exceeded new voter registration in Republican areas of Ohio. It appears that information that those reporters (and possibly others as well) used to produce their reports, if available, could now be used to show that Kerry won Ohio. The reason for this is explained in this article, but here is a brief summary explanation:

The DNC report on the 2004 Ohio election showed that new voter registration was associated with increased voter turnout by precinct. Therefore, if the reports of massive increases in voter registration in Democratic areas (compared to Republican areas) of Ohio were anywhere near accurate, that would have led to proportionately more votes in Democratic counties (compared to Republican counties), as well as higher Kerry percentages in those counties, compared to 2000. Yet, in spite of the above noted reports, official figures show that the number of registered voters in Democratic Ohio counties in 2004 exceeded those numbers for 2000 by less than the increases in voter registration from 2000 to 2004 in Republican Ohio counties.
Thus, the picture painted by the above articles is so at odds with Blackwell's official figures that it appears that either the articles or Blackwell's official numbers must be fraudulent. Blackwells official numbers may be fraudulent either because massive increases in voter registration in Democratic counties were followed by massive, illegal purges of voter registration in those counties OR because Blackwells office manipulated the voter registration numbers in order to hide the fact that Bushs victory in Ohio depended largely upon massive electronic deletion of votes in Democratic counties.
Either of these explanations for the discrepancy between the Blackwell numbers and the stories written by Zernike and Fessenden would indicate massive fraud committed to help Bush win the Ohio election.

As an example, according to the report by Zernike there were 230,000 new registrations in Cuyahoga County in 2004. Yet, according to official Ohio SOS figures, there were only 119,273 new registrations in Cuyahoga County between March and November of 2004. If we assume the Zernike article to be accurate, there would have been 110,727 additional registered voters in Cuyahoga County, and if they would have voted in the same proportion as indicated by the official figures, Kerry would have received a NET of 37,492 extra votes in Cuyahoga County alone. But this almost certainly would represent a substantial underestimate, mainly because if the Zernike report is accurate, the targeting of Cuyahoga County would have almost certainly been aimed at the most heavily Democratic precincts thus producing a far greater margin.
If fraud was committed by either of the two scenarios described above, it could have been done without changing the percentage of Kerry or Bush votes in any individual precincts, thus escaping detection by standard statistical techniques. If so, that would explain why the Zernike and Fessenden reports are so inconsistent with Blackwells official voter registration data. Relative massive increases in new voter registration in Democratic areas indicated by those reports would be inconsistent with the official election results, which show that there was a greater increase in total votes in Republican than in Democratic counties. Manipulation of either actual voter registration (through massive purging) or the official voter registration figures would be the only plausible explanation for this.



Current related polls on DU

If you are interested, see the threads listed below to take a poll related to the above discussion:


This thread asks your opinion of the role of fraud in the 2004 election:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


And this one asks what arguments you found most convincing for believing that election fraud determined the results of the 2004 election:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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