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Time for change

(13,714 posts)
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 05:04 PM Jul 2012

Stealing Elections through Manipulation of County Central Tabulators

I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am posting large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback.

This post deals with manipulation of the vote count by county central tabulators. Nobody knows how frequently central tabulator mediated election fraud is used to steal elections in our country. The concept is very simple. Monitoring it and therefore preventing it should theoretically be very simple. Yet in the 2004 Presidential election it proved impossible to adequately investigate it. Why is it that we are unable to verify whether a county’s sum total of votes from its individual precincts equals the county’s total votes?

Introduction to central tabulator mediated fraud

Every Election Day, after precincts tabulate their vote count, they send the results to a central location in the county, where the votes for the whole county are tabulated. The central locations generally receive the counts electronically by modem, and they receive a whole bunch of physical evidence (tapes from individual voting machines, memory cards, provisional ballots, etc.) as well. The machine that tabulates the county-wide vote is often referred to as the county’s central tabulator. The central tabulator reports out the county-wide vote count, along with the vote count from each of the county’s precincts. These vote counts are referred to as “post-tabulator” vote counts, which constitute the official vote count for the county, using processes that vary from state to state. These processes can be quite complicated, as indicated by an article from Verified Voting, which explains how people can monitor the tabulation process.

The vote count that each precinct sends in to the central tabulator is referred to as the “pre-tabulator” vote count. These vote counts should be posted at each precinct after the vote is tabulated. Obviously, the pre-tabulator vote count and the post-tabulator vote count for every precinct should be the same. If not, then something is wrong, since there is no legitimate reason why a vote count should change after a precinct sends its supposedly final count to the central tabulator.

Central tabulator mediated fraud may involve vote-switching, but it may not involve vote-switching. For example, if a central tabulator simply adds votes in the same proportion as the real votes to a heavily Republican voting precinct, that will help the Republican candidate even though his percentage of votes in that precinct will not change. Or, the same effect will occur if votes are subtracted from a Democratic voting precinct.

Reasons why central tabulator mediated election fraud may be more practical than vote switching on individual electronic machines

Though millions of people believe that the 2004 presidential election was stolen, I doubt that anyone but the perpetrators know precisely how it was done; nor does anyone know precisely why exit polls in 2006 predicted a much larger Democratic Congressional victory than the official election results indicated. More important, nobody knows what mechanisms of election fraud will be perpetrated in future elections.

But there are reasons, I believe, to think that central tabulator mediated fraud is a more practical way to influence a national election than is programming vote switching for individual voting machines. Few voting machines register much more than 100 votes per machine. So consider how many individual voting machines would have to be rigged to change the results of a presidential election.

County central tabulators, on the other hand, tabulate the results for a whole county, which in large counties may account for a million or more votes. So you’d have to rig the results of ten thousand individual voting machines to achieve the impact of rigging the results of a single large county central tabulator.

Another advantage of using central tabulators over individual machines to electronically rig the vote is that it is easier to cover up the statistical manipulations. When individual machines are relied upon to rig the vote, statistical anomalies are generally produced, showing up as big spikes for the favored candidate in selected precincts (unless voting machine rigging is evenly distributed over the whole county). Using central tabulators, a computer program can be written to make the theft evenly distributed over the whole county, thereby hiding the statistical manipulation in the event that statistical analyses are performed to search for evidence of election fraud.

Evidence of central tabulator mediated election fraud in recent elections

2004 Ohio Presidential election – Cleveland
As Election Day 2004 approached it became clear that Ohio was the most important key to victory for either presidential candidate. Hopes were running high in the Kerry camp because of reports of massive increases in voter registration in Cleveland, the most Democratic area of the state. These hopes were further encouraged by reports of very high voter turnout all over the state, especially in highly Democratic areas such as Cleveland, as well as the Ohio exit poll, which was trending heavily for Kerry. I later spoke with one of Kerry’s Ohio campaign workers, who told me that at the time the polls closed in Ohio, he and his fellow campaign workers were certain that Kerry had won. Exhausted from their days of continuous work, many went to bed that night thinking it was all over.

Very long voting lines in Cleveland
To verify the anecdotal reports of very high voter turnout in Cleveland on Election Day, I looked at data from the national Electronic Incident Reporting System (EIRS), which received tens of thousands of Election Day reports of voting complaints. This database contained 1,509 complaint reports involving long voting lines. Of these, more than a third, 548, came from Ohio. Of those, more than a quarter – 150 cases – came from Cuyahoga County, and of those Cuyahoga County reports which mention the name of the city, 46 of 75 reports were from Cleveland. Therefore, Cleveland accounted for about 6% of complaint reports of long voting lines in the whole United States, compared to only a little more than a tenth of a percent of votes in the 2004 election.

Very low official voter turnout in Cleveland
Yet despite the very long voting lines reported all over Cleveland, official voter turnout was not recorded as high. In fact, it was quite low compared to elsewhere in Ohio. According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website, the voter turnout percent in Cleveland was in the low 50s, compared to about 70% in the rest of Ohio. This finding had been earlier reported by Richard Hayes Phillips, a statistical expert in identifying statistical anomalies, whose findings have been widely publicized. Phillips had stated that there were at least 30 precincts in Cleveland with inexplicably low voter turnout, ranging as low as 7.1%. These findings translated into a voter turnout in Cleveland of 51%.

Why the very long voting lines in the presence of very low official voter turnout?
One theoretical reason why a city can have a very “low voter turnout” despite long voting lines is that insufficient voting machine allocation causes large numbers of voters to leave the voting lines because they couldn’t afford to wait for hours to vote. This is in fact what happened in Franklin County in 2004, which was allocated insufficient numbers of electronic voting machines (See Chapter 6). But Cuyahoga County used punch card voting in 2004, not electronic voting. According to data used to produce the Democratic National Committee report (Section IV, page 3) on the 2004 Ohio Presidential election, only counties that used electronic voting were characterized by long lines caused by too few voting machines. Counties that used either optical scan voting or punch card voting did not experience that problem. In Ohio as a whole, voter turnout was strongly related to the ratio of machines per voter – because of the problem posed by too few voting machines. However, this was not the case in Cuyahoga County, which did not use electronic voting machines.

To obtain some better insight into this perplexing issue I looked at the other Ohio counties that reported lots of complaints of long lines and that used punch cards for voting. Other than Cuyahoga, there were only two such counties that were characterized by 10 or more reports. Not including the 150 reports from Cuyahoga County, of the Ohio complaint reports that involved long voting lines, 61 came from those two counties – Summit (49 reports) and Hamilton (12 reports). So, what kind of turnout was reported in these other punch card counties that were characterized by complaints of long voting lines? Summit had 76.4% turnout, and Hamilton had 75.5% turnout. Furthermore, of the other 8 Ohio counties that reported any long voting lines to the EIRS database, all 8 had over 70% turnout.

To summarize the quandary: Without the explanation of too few voting machines as a plausible explanation for the long voting lines in Cleveland, the most plausible remaining explanation is an exceptionally high turnout. This explanation is consistent with the massive efforts that went into obtaining a high voter turnout in Cleveland, as well as wide-spread observations of long voting lines on Election Day. And yet, official voter turnout in Cleveland on Election Day was exceptionally low, rather than exceptionally high.

What would explain a very high real turnout of voters in Cleveland, in the presence of a very low official turnout? That finding alone suggests foul play, since long voting lines should be associated with high voter turnout, not low voter turnout. And since Cleveland is a very heavily democratic city with over three hundred thousand registered voters, the potential for massive fraud is obvious. More specifically, votes from Cleveland precincts could have been deleted by the Cuyahoga County central tabulator after being reported there. This would have caused the apparent voter turnout from these counties to be low, in spite of the widespread reporting of long voting lines in Cleveland.

Incomplete attempt to verify the vote count in Cleveland
Some people would say to me, in response to my voicing of my suspicions of central tabulator fraud in Ohio, that that kind of fraud was unlikely because it could be so easily proven by simply comparing the pre-tabulator to the post-tabulator vote count, to see if they matched.

Because I was very suspicious of this, I tried to ascertain whether or not the pre-tabulator and post-tabulator vote counts for Cuyahoga County matched. The post-tabulator vote counts were published on the Cuyahoga county web-site, so that part was easy. I then requested the pre-tabulator vote counts from the Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Michael Vu. Though Vu repeatedly promised to obtain those for me, he never followed through.

Consequently, I collaborated on this issue with a computer science professional, Ron (last name withheld), who worked for Ray Beckerman’s Ohio Project. Ron’s initial audit of 15 precincts (out of 1458 in Cuyahoga County) showed the post-tabulator (official) vote count to be less than the pre-tabulator count, as indicated in the poll book summaries. The audit identified an apparent vote undercount of 163 votes that resulted in a net loss to the Kerry/Edwards ticket of 140 votes (almost all of that attributed to four precincts). Ron tried to proceed with a more thorough audit of the Cuyahoga County vote, but he ran into numerous technical problems, and he was never able to complete it.

2004 Presidential Election – Elsewhere in Ohio
Another county that likely involved central tabulator fraud was Warren County. That was the site of the infamous lockdown, which allowed Republican officials to tally the Warren County vote in private. Their initial excuse for disallowing any observers to watch the vote count was that they didn’t want interference with the counting process. Later, they changed that excuse to say that the FBI warned them of a terrorism alert of grade 10 on a 1 to 10 scale. That claim was later denied by the FBI, and county officials refused to name the FBI agent whom they claimed gave them the warning. Several months later I called Erica Solvig, the reporter who broke the story, in an attempt to find out more about what happened. She told me that she wasn’t at liberty to discuss it.

Yet the Warren County results continued to stand, and without any serious investigation. It also may be significant that this event occurred when it still looked very much as if Kerry would win Ohio. Bush picked up thousands of additional votes in Warren County, compared with his performance in the 2000 election against Al Gore, and the number of voters officially increased by 30% compared to the 2000 election. By the time the Warren County votes had been “counted”, victory had all but slipped away from the Kerry/Edwards ticket.

In Miami County, after 100% of precincts had reported, an additional 19,000 ballots were reported, giving Bush an additional vote margin of about 6,000 (in exactly the same percentage of the previous votes). 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%. Miami County reported the second largest vote gain for Bush of Ohio’s 88 counties (2nd to Butler County), compared to his performance in 2000. Furthermore, the final official voter turnout figure for Miami County, after the additional 19,000 ballots were added, was a highly suspect 98.55%.

2002 Alabama Governor’s race

Election night, November 5, 2002, Bay Minette, Alabama
Republican controlled Bay Minette is the county seat for Baldwin County, Alabama. In 2002, Baldwin County used optical scan machines to tabulate vote counts from paper ballots filled out by voters and fed into the machines. The paper ballots themselves were saved, which means that they were available for recounting in case of close or contested elections.

The machine tabulated results from each precinct in the country were recorded on individual “data packs”, which were picked up by sheriff deputies after the polls closed, and delivered to the Bay Minette Board of Elections, which then used a central tabulator to tabulate the county-wide vote count.

The initial vote count for Governor for Baldwin County, reported from the Bay Minette tabulator at 10:45 p.m., was quite surprising to say the least. It reported: Riley (R) 30,142, Siegelman (D) 11,820, and the Libertarian candidate, John Sophocleus, 13,190. Although it was expected that Siegelman would lose Baldwin County, the margin of the loss was not believable, as he had lost Baldwin County in the Governor’s race in 1998 by only a little over four thousand votes. Furthermore, the idea of his losing to the Libertarian candidate was not plausible.

So, “someone” from the sheriff’s office went into the tabulation room to look into the matter and returned a few minutes later, announcing that the problem had been fixed. The new totals, which were reported at 11:04 p.m. and picked up and distributed by the AP, were: Riley 31,052, Siegelman 19,070, and Sophocleus a much more reasonable 937. The pickup of 7,250 votes by Siegelman was enough to give him a slim state-wide victory.

But two minutes later, at 11:06 p.m., the results were changed again, reducing Siegelman’s total back down to 12,736, a decrease of 6,334 votes, which gave the election back to Riley. William Pfeifer, the Baldwin County Chairman of the Democratic Party, was just outside the tabulating room at 11:04 when the second report, giving Siegelman the victory, was announced. But he didn’t find out about the reversal until he returned home and turned on the news.

Next morning, November 6, 2002, Bay Minette
The next morning, Pfeifer arrived at the probate court building in an attempt to speak with probate officials to find out what had happened. Pfeifer related his experience:

No one could get back there to talk to the members of the panel for most of that time, and we didn't get to actually speak to them until just a few minutes before they went out and did the certification. [When I finally got to speak with them, just before the certification] I tried to persuade them to wait until Friday at noon (for the final certification). They were very insistent that the results were correct and that they were going to certify them that morning.

The board certified the election results a little after 10:30 a.m., and Riley gave his victory speech around 11:00 a.m.

Failed request for recount
Two days later, Pfeifer petitioned for a hand recount of the Baldwin County ballots. But Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor ruled later that day that the seals on the boxes containing the ballots could not be broken without a court order to do so. He claimed that his ruling was based on the Alabama Constitution. Don Siegelman contested the ruling and continued to seek a recount, which may have been the reason that he was framed for bribery and sent to prison, as testified to by Dana Jill Simpson:

The Simpson affidavit says the conference call focused on how the Riley campaign could get Siegelman to withdraw his challenge. According to Simpson's statement, William Canary, a senior G.O.P. political operative and Riley adviser who was on the conference call, said "not to worry about Don Siegelman" because 'his girls' would take care of’ the governor.” Canary then made clear that "his girls" was a reference to his wife, Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Canary reassured others on the conference call that he had the help of a powerful pal in Washington. Canary said "not to worry that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice was already pursuing Don Siegelman…”

In an apparently unrelated incident, Bill Pryor was appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by George W. Bush during a Congressional recess in 2004.

Statistical anomalies
It is worth noting that when the original computer error was identified, which resulted in adjusting Siegelman’s vote upwards from 11,820 to 19,070 and reducing the Libertarian candidate’s vote downward from an implausible 13,190 to 937, there were also five other races that had to be re-adjusted at the same time. But when the third and final report was issued, the totals in those five other races remained at what they had been adjusted to, while Siegelman’s vote total was the only one that was re-adjusted (downwards).

I’ve already noted that Siegelman’s vote total in 2002 in Baldwin County was totally out of line with what would be expected from his performance in 1998.

James H. Gundlach, a professor of sociology at Auburn University, performed an analysis of the data and concluded that someone with a wireless connection must have changed the tallies. He presented his analysis at the 2003 annual meeting of the Alabama Political Science Association in a paper titled "A Statistical Analysis of Possible Electronic Ballot Box Stuffing". In that paper Gundlach emphasized the reduction in Siegelman’s vote count from 19,070 to 12,736, saying that such a dramatic decrease is:

commonly found in data that is intentionally changed but rarely the result of random errors… The circumstances surrounding it are really hard to believe… The notion that the software is designed to count votes {but that it} comes up with different results means somebody is messing with the software…. Computers do not accidentally produce different totals… Someone is controlling the computer to produce the different results.

Columbia national election 1998
An intriguing example of how an apparent case central tabulator mediated election fraud was thwarted in mid-stream comes from Ingrid Betancourt’s “Until Death Do Us Part – My struggle to Reclaim Columbia”. Betancourt was running for Senator as a third party candidate, for the Oxygen Party, which she had just recently founded, in the Columbia national elections of 1998. A victory for her or her party in that election posed a great threat to the status quo powers of the country.

After viewing the initial returns, which appeared to show a clear and very surprising victory for her, and experiencing momentary elation, she goes on:

Something tells me that these men who’ve tried to assassinate me won’t let me win so easily…. A terrible fear eclipses my first moments of happiness. They control everything, they control most of the people who are counting the votes, and they’re going to steal this victory from us, I’m sure of it….

My intention is to follow the returns city by city…. We sit down in front of a terminal. It’s six in the evening, and almost half an hour goes by without a single problem. Then, the returns from Cali suddenly stop coming in. While everywhere else the figures keep rising, the ones from Cali don’t budge….

I say, "let’s go up to see the Registiador"....

Betancourt: What’s happening? Cali is no longer transmitting results.…. I want to know why….

Registrar: They’ve had a power outage, no reason for concern….

I call our people on the scene. They’ve closed the Registraduria, and they’re not letting anyone in…. There’s no outage, the lights are working perfectly….

This time I explode: “Listen here, there’s neither wind nor a power outage in Cali. It’s obviously a ploy to conceal fraud. I’m warning you, I was leading in that region before the interruption, and if my votes decline after the returns start coming in again, I’m going to inform the reporters.”….

When the results start coming in again twenty minutes later, the trend has completely reversed. I had about fifteen thousand votes in the Cali area when the reporting was interrupted, but for the rest of the night, I don’t get a single additional vote. Of course the votes for the other candidates continually increase.

Betancourt went on to win a resounding victory and become a first term Senator. A month later she was told by employees who worked in the Registrar’s office that about 42 thousand votes were stolen from her on Election Day. She notes that if she had not gone up to the Registrar’s office that day she might have lost the election.

Solutions: Identifying central tabulator-mediated fraud early

In theory, monitoring for central tabulator-mediated fraud should be very simple. A county’s central tabulator totals up the votes for every precinct in the county. A precinct’s total vote counts for each race are typically posted at the precinct for a designated period of time after the polls close. If one has access to the pre-tabulator vote counts at each precinct (the counts posted by each precinct after poll closing), all one has to do is add up all the pre-tabulator precinct counts or simply compare the pre-tabulator precinct counts with the post-tabulator precinct counts to see if they match. If they do not match, and especially if the central tabulator count favors one candidate more than the sum of all the pre-tabulator precinct counts, that means that there is something very wrong with the way that the central tabulator counted up its totals. The concept can be visualized as follows:

Precinct 1 count + precinct 2 count + ….. + precinct N count = central tabulator count (also known as “post-tabulator count” or the official vote count).

The post-tabulator counts are easy to identify, since they are the official counts and are posted on the county Board of Elections web site as soon as the results become official. The pre-tabulator counts are more difficult to obtain. Because of the difficulties I had obtaining those counts following the 2004 Presidential election (in my attempt to verify the accuracy of the vote count in Cuyahoga County) I spoke with Ellen Theisen of Voters Unite! about her experiences with this issue. She told me that persons interested in investigating the 2004 election were having a hell of a time trying to get pre-tabulator vote counts from anywhere in the country.

Thus, it appears that within weeks or days following the 2004 Presidential election, many of the pre-tabulator vote counts either disappeared, or else county Boards of elections simply refused to make them available to enquiring citizens – as my experience with Michael Vu demonstrated. Apparently there was no systematic nation-wide effort in 2004 (or any other year) by election protection organizations to obtain pre-tabulator vote counts for President throughout the country.

This raises several questions: How difficult would it be for election integrity organizations to obtain those counts throughout the nation on Election Day or later? In how many precincts throughout the country are the pre-tabulator counts not posted – either because the law doesn’t require it, or because election officials choose to ignore the law? If election integrity organizations could show a discrepancy between the pre-tabulator counts and the central tabulator (post-tabulator) counts, what legal bearing would that information have on the election results if fraud was suspected? Can election officials be required to provide pre-tabulator counts days, weeks, or months following an election, if requested by concerned citizens? If so, how could it be determined whether that information was accurate?

In the absence of answers to all these questions, I can only suggest the following: Election integrity organizations should be able to obtain accurate pre-tabulator vote counts in all precincts, and should actually do so, as a check against central tabulator-medicated election fraud. Where state or local law doesn’t allow for this, federal law should require it.

If we could do that, it would then be possible to spot central tabulator fraud almost immediately after a county announces its official results. In a close election, the election may not have even been called by then. Indentifying situations where a county’s official vote count fails to reflect the sum total from its individual precincts (i.e. where there are substantial mismatches between pre-tabulator and post-tabulator vote counts) should signal a high likelihood of election fraud. In any county where that occurs in a close race, automatic hand recounts should be required. With that kind of evidence in hand, it could immediately be made available to the candidate, who would then be a fool to concede the election if the mismatch between pre-tabulator and official (post-tabulator) vote counts seemed great enough to alter the results of the election. Such a scenario very likely could have prevented John Kerry from conceding in 2004, and very well could have altered the results of that election.
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Stealing Elections through Manipulation of County Central Tabulators (Original Post) Time for change Jul 2012 OP
I look forward to reading your book! emsimon33 Jul 2012 #1
k&r rhett o rick Jul 2012 #2
. GarroHorus Jul 2012 #3
You say the same thing about every one of my posts Time for change Jul 2012 #4
Post removed Post removed Jul 2012 #5
Who the fuck are you? rfranklin Jul 2012 #6
Troll paste Rex Jul 2012 #37
k and r (and holy crap) nashville_brook Jul 2012 #7
I don't fully understand what was going on Time for change Jul 2012 #15
k & r AzDar Jul 2012 #8
some links and video for your research. Ellipsis Jul 2012 #9
Thanks. Yeah, Triad had a plan to obstruct the recount, and they Time for change Jul 2012 #17
From Daily Kos Dec. 15th 2004 Ellipsis Jul 2012 #10
Sherole Eaton's testimony shed a lot of light on what went on in Ohio in 2004 Time for change Jul 2012 #11
And that is the beauty of electronic voting zeemike Jul 2012 #12
I don't believe that about Kerry Time for change Jul 2012 #18
Well you might be right....but I am a cynical bastard. zeemike Jul 2012 #19
Edwards and Clark were my first choices Time for change Jul 2012 #20
It all boils down to controlling that narrative. zeemike Jul 2012 #21
I surely agree with what you say about psychopaths Time for change Jul 2012 #22
Well intellectually you are right...Ike was a pretty good president actually. zeemike Jul 2012 #23
What you're saying is that the corporate media will go after the liberal candidate with everying Time for change Jul 2012 #25
Well again my cynicism kicks in zeemike Jul 2012 #27
This message was self-deleted by its author politicasista Jul 2012 #31
Post script to the above. zeemike Jul 2012 #34
Sometimes you just get this uneasy feeling, the last interview Kerry gave on election day... slipslidingaway Jul 2012 #29
If you find it post a link. zeemike Jul 2012 #30
Tried looking again but not coming up with the video ... slipslidingaway Jul 2012 #32
I tend to trust my feelings on things like that. zeemike Jul 2012 #33
Me too and ... slipslidingaway Jul 2012 #36
post hand counted ballots totals at each precinct, get independent list of them and voila msongs Jul 2012 #13
It doesn't seem to me that it should be so difficult Time for change Jul 2012 #14
Kentucky is a GREAT example of this bob4460 Jul 2012 #16
This message was self-deleted by its author politicasista Jul 2012 #24
Rove mentioning the 2004 election in the WH Holiday video ... slipslidingaway Jul 2012 #26
Punch card vote switching evidenced in Cuyahoga County Coyotl Jul 2012 #28
I cringe when I see your posts on this subject. hay rick Jul 2012 #35

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
4. You say the same thing about every one of my posts
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 06:48 PM
Jul 2012

But you never offer a word of explanation, except to say that my posts are "woo woo conspiracy theories".

What do you have against the investigation of election fraud? Do you believe that anyone who disagrees with what we're fed by our "mainstream" news media is a "woo woo conspiracy theorist"?

This is a discussion board. If all you have to offer is name calling and ridicule, you should keep it to yourself.

Response to Time for change (Reply #4)


(20,958 posts)
7. k and r (and holy crap)
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 07:32 PM
Jul 2012

outrageous that these pre-tab vote counts are being hidden. the people holding these counts hostage should be treated with the highest contempt, removed from their positions and transparent/non-proprietary systems put in place. this isn't Somalia for crying out loud.

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
15. I don't fully understand what was going on
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 10:12 PM
Jul 2012

In the case of Michael Vu in Cuyahoga County, I'm pretty sure that he was being purposely obstructionist.

In most if not the great majority of counties, the pre-tabulator results are supposed to be posted at the precinct immediately after the ballots are counted. But I'm pretty sure that there is significant variation from one jurisdiction to another how long they need to be posted, and what is done with the results after the posting period expires. It seems to me that there needs to be a more systematic effort nation-wide to obtain those counts routinely.

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
17. Thanks. Yeah, Triad had a plan to obstruct the recount, and they
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 08:30 AM
Jul 2012

carried it out very well.

They should have been prosectuted for that, but Ohio was under Republican control.

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
11. Sherole Eaton's testimony shed a lot of light on what went on in Ohio in 2004
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 08:22 PM
Jul 2012

The landmark report by Congressman John Conyers’ House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic staff, “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio”, described some of the sabotage as follows (41):

The cheat sheets informed election officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count.” If the initial recount, which was only of 3 percent of the county, provided results close enough to the machine count, then a full countywide hand recount, as mandated by Ohio law, could be avoided.

Sherole Eaton is a brave woman. She lost her job (which she badly needed) over her efforts to expose the corruption in the Ohio recount.


(18,998 posts)
12. And that is the beauty of electronic voting
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 08:24 PM
Jul 2012

And the "help America vote act"....there are many ways to steal the vote...and most are undetectable...not like the good old days with paper ballots that were hand counted.

But honestly I think Kerry was meant to concede...and this is a real conspiracy theory I know...but Bush was a fellow Bonesman and he was just shilling for him...and I felt that way from the start...when he won the Iowa caucus.
But who am I to say?

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
18. I don't believe that about Kerry
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:16 AM
Jul 2012

I don't think that Bush being a fellow Bonesman carried much weight at all, especially compared to Kerry's desire to be President. Kerry has a long history as a liberal as a Senator from MA, and even before that.

Granted, he didn't run the best campaign in the world, but he ran a good enough campaign to beat Bush in a fair election. The stealing of Ohio was not his fault. I agree that he conceded too early, but it would have been unusual I think for a presidential candidate to contest an election in a state where he officially lost the election by 118 thousand votes. Kerry did not know at the time the extent of the cheating that had occurred -- the good majority of that came out later. I think he was worried that had he not conceded at that point, he would have been lambasted by the corporate media as a sore loser (and he most certainly would have been), and that to postpone conceding would have significantly damaged his political career. So while I disagree with his decision to concede, I understand it, and I don't blame him much.


(18,998 posts)
19. Well you might be right....but I am a cynical bastard.
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 01:20 PM
Jul 2012

But my cynicism is informed by life experiences...and I have known some seedy people in my life and I know how easy it is to run a game on people...especially those that trust.
And you might think that the good cop is your friend but he works for the same boss as the bad cop and together they can manipulate the hell out of you...especially if you trust.
A shill is there to make you think the game is legit and that you have a chance to win...when the outcome is fore ordained and well planed.

When I first thought the game was being rigged is when Clark entered the race...he was the red hearing to raise the meme that we needed a candidate with military experience to face Bush, and many hear on DU said exactly that...our choice then would have to be Kerry not Dean or or the unknown Clark or the others...
We think that Kerry is one of us because of his record of acting like a liberal...but any good shill in a gambling game acts like you want him to be...he is winning the game and so you can too....but in the end your money is gone.

Like I said...I am a cynical bastard and I hope and would like to believe that you are right and I am wrong because trusting people are good people and I love the good in mankind.

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
20. Edwards and Clark were my first choices
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 03:24 PM
Jul 2012

I think it's true that Clark's high level military experience would have been a big plus -- that seems to count for a lot in this country. Also, I admired Clark because he was an outcast among the top military brass because he was independent minded and outspoken about things he really believed in. Kerry too had a history of being outspoken and independent minded, as when he protested the Vietnam war upon his return from military service.

Dean was probably my 3rd choice at the time, but he was a very strong 3rd choice, and in retrospect maybe he should have been my first choice. But our corporate media was very much against him (which is all the more reason to be for him), and they did a real hatchet job on him, knocking him out of the race.

I think there are few people in DU (or anywhere) who are more cynical than I am about the leadership of our country or our Party. But I do think we had some very good choices to choose from in the 2004 Democratic primaries -- including Kerry.


(18,998 posts)
21. It all boils down to controlling that narrative.
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 04:02 PM
Jul 2012

And in my opinion Clark was a way of introducing that narrative that we needed a military man to stand up to the military Bush...which was a phony one anyway....and we fell for it.
Clark had no chance in hell of winning...even if he had won the nomination they would have went after him for lack of political experience...and that would have worked too.
And instead we picked who they wanted...Kerry...who obliged them by saying thing like I was for it before I was against it and posing on a wind surf boat for the cameras...and finally tripping over himself to concede the election.

Remember when you had a meeting with the congress critters staff to talk about torture?....and they told you that you should use the argument that torture did not work instead of the morality of it?...well that is what I am talking about...controlling that narrative....and did it work to attack it by saying it did not work?....nope they were ready for that and shut it down...where as the morality question was undefendable for them.
this is how manipulation is done in the sophisticated world of politics....and us liberals seem for fall for it every time...and so more than not we lose.

Good people are trusting and caring...and that to the sociopath is a weakness that they can and will exploit...because good people do not scheme and plot and think it is morally wrong to do so...and they are right...but the right wingers are not bound by such constraints and they do scheme and plot...and exploit every weakness they see in us.
I wish it were not so...but those are the facts the way I see them.

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
22. I surely agree with what you say about psychopaths
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 05:03 PM
Jul 2012

In politics they do have the advantage of having no conscience or empathy.

But that can be balanced by their biggest disadvantage. And that is, that having little or no human qualities, it is very difficult for them to develop trusting alliances. Their alliances tend to fall apart as soon as it looks like they might be on the losing side.

But I disagree with your analysis of the 2004 election. Almost all candidates make mistakes/slip-ups. Maybe Kerry made more than most, but he wasn't that bad IMO. He demolished Bush in the debates. When a liberal makes mistakes it gets blown out of all proportion by our corporate media. As for Clark's lack of political experience, our history is full of electing presidents with notable military service and no political experience whatsoever (Washington, Zachary Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower come to mind, but I'm pretty sure there were more -- and Lincoln had only two years in the U.S. House as his political experience).


(18,998 posts)
23. Well intellectually you are right...Ike was a pretty good president actually.
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 05:40 PM
Jul 2012

But facts have nothing to do with it..it is the narrative that counts...and they can and do control it....they would do just what they do now...repeat over and over that he lacks experience...that the MSM would then take that ball and run with it until all the doubts were disseminated to the public.
Just like it did not matter that he demolished Bush in the debate...it only mattered how it was framed and talked about.

Just look at how many slip ups Bush made...but they framed it as if it was no big deal because that was just the way he was.
But they pounce on the least little thing Obama says...and keep pounding away at it.
The democrats don't do that because it is unfair clearly...but the right has no such qualms about doing it...and so they win the war of words by embracing the concept of the end justifying the means...and should we dare do the same to them turning it right back on us and accusing us of being unfair and deceptive.

Just as they use the CT charge if you ever question their cheating...it disables our offensive while they are on the offensive all the time and can steal elections right and left and no one will dare say anything for fear of the ridicule that they will get from both sides...and we fall for it.
The answer I am afraid is aggression...we need leaders that will go after things and not be intimidated by their shit...and not fooled by their misdirection and manipulation....and more importantly not be afraid of speaking the truth openly and often.

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
25. What you're saying is that the corporate media will go after the liberal candidate with everying
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 10:43 PM
Jul 2012

they have, lie, blow things out of proportion, etc. I absolutely agree with that. They'll do that against any candidate who threatens the status quo. They did it with Kerry, and they would have done it with Clark, Edwards or Dean. But doesn't that counteract your argument that Kerry lost because he wanted to lose? He had some very powerful forces against him.

Actually, I think that they do it a lot less with Obama than they did with Gore, Kerry, Dean, or Edwards, because they know that Obama is not as dangerous to them as the others.


(18,998 posts)
27. Well again my cynicism kicks in
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:21 PM
Jul 2012

And it tells me that when you are in a rigged game you can't assume the other participants are your friends...because most complex rigged games have shills who are their to lead you to the table to make the bet and set you up to take your money.

I remember an old movie called Brotherhood of The Bell....staring Glen Ford as a man that went to an exclusive school and was jumped in to a secret society called by that name...and the years went buy and he prospered in business and politics then he had a visit from the Brotherhood that wanted him to do something bad...and he refused because basically he was a good man...then they laid it on the line for him...told him that they made him what he was....even picked out a rich wife for him and that he would do it or lose it all and made it clear to him that they had that power...
And that is how the game is played...you are sure of reward is you play the game right and lose big time if you don't.
I think Kerry had only one thing to do for them...and that was concede when he lost...and they made sure he lost.

And we are just viewers of this little drama we see...and they create the images we see.

And my cynical mind says that Obama knows who is in charge...and they probably told him plainly how it would be...and he had the wisdom to understand it....thus he put the people they wanted in key positions of power...
And besides the first black president also helped them create more drama for us all and keeps us wary of the right wingers as racist and many of them are...and keeps them angry at us for saying so.
the presidency is far less powerful than we thing....And Jimmy Carter said that.

Response to Time for change (Reply #25)


(18,998 posts)
34. Post script to the above.
Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:37 PM
Jul 2012

Amazingly I found the full movie Brotherhood of the Bell on YouTube...here is the link in case you would like to see it.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="

" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


(21,210 posts)
29. Sometimes you just get this uneasy feeling, the last interview Kerry gave on election day...
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:33 PM
Jul 2012

with Teresa, the two of them standing on a sidewalk after having lunch, I felt as if he knew he would not win ... and that was alright. Told my husband that it felt like Kerry knew something and had "just conceded" and then he did not come out that night, instead Edwards was the first to appear. Never felt that way from the start, but that afternoon it was pretty clear to me who the victor would be.

Quickly searched for a video, I'm sure it is there somewhere in one of the news archives, but it sure did make an impression on me at the time.


(18,998 posts)
30. If you find it post a link.
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:41 PM
Jul 2012

Would love to see it...I don't remember it because I had given up on it already by then.


(21,210 posts)
32. Tried looking again but not coming up with the video ...
Tue Jul 10, 2012, 12:20 AM
Jul 2012

strange as I can visualize the somber scene on the sidewalk with the two of them and a taller building to the left, he said that was the last interview before the results. Not many times you feel that nagging sensation enough to relay your feelings to someone else.

Then again thought it strange that Edwards dropped out of the race a week after Kucinich (many people said Edwards was more electable and backed him and his wavering ideas instead) that McCain chose the controversial Palin and I know people who did not vote the party line because of that choice and that the corporate media gave Obama air time. Even though in the beginning it was not positive news, at least he was not ignored as they do with others. Interesting, and disturbing, to watch the election game.


(18,998 posts)
33. I tend to trust my feelings on things like that.
Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:00 AM
Jul 2012

But it can never prove anything to anyone else but you.


(67,347 posts)
13. post hand counted ballots totals at each precinct, get independent list of them and voila
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 08:31 PM
Jul 2012

add em up without a machine. not so difficult is it?

Time for change

(13,714 posts)
14. It doesn't seem to me that it should be so difficult
Sun Jul 8, 2012, 08:51 PM
Jul 2012

The problem is that our laws are not stringent enough to prevent fraud. We allow private companies to use their "proprietary" (i.e. secret) machines to count our votes and produce results that are unverifiable. How stupid is that?


(235 posts)
16. Kentucky is a GREAT example of this
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 05:42 AM
Jul 2012

Kentucky Historically elects Democrats since 1984 we have been Republican for FEDERAL offices,Since 1931, only three of the nineteen elected governors have been from the Republican party.

Response to Time for change (Original post)


(21,210 posts)
26. Rove mentioning the 2004 election in the WH Holiday video ...
Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:13 PM
Jul 2012

"Where in the White House is Miss Beazley? (2004)"


A few minutes into the video Rove says "...Why don't you go check Ohio, we went there a lot of times..."

Always struck me as strange, thanks for your posts.

hay rick

(7,584 posts)
35. I cringe when I see your posts on this subject.
Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:43 PM
Jul 2012

But once you turn over the rock, I can't help but look under it.

Good job. Proofreading: it's Colombia, not Columbia.

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