Were Bush's 2000 Vote Tallies Used to Fake 2004 Tallies?

First of all, I am not a statistician. I am a programmer. I've worked on projects for major corporations where I had to reverse-engineer calculations.

For the past month I've been analyzing presidential election results from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. I started by comparing precinct results from 2000 to 2004. Some where added and some were removed, so I narrowed my focus on precincts common to both years.

I also compared the results from 11/8/2004 with the results from 11/30/2004.

The first thing I noticed was that there were 46 precincts that recorded the same number of votes for George Bush in 2004 as in 2000, either in the preliminary or final results.

This compared with only 12 precincts that recorded the same number of votes for John Kerry in 2004 as for Al Gore in 2000.

I wondered if George Bush’s 2000 numbers for each precinct were somehow used as a benchmark for altering the results of 2004. The mission from the hacker’s perspective would be to ensure that Bush would maintain roughly the same level of support in 2004 as he had in 2000. Some randomness would have to be built in. Or perhaps some precincts with week results in 2000 would be given a little boost. Basically, the hacker would use a list of precincts and build a script that would apply a specific hack to each precinct.

I was able to come up with the following formula for 11/30/2004 results:

See the precinct pairs tab

http://home.att.net/~sunburst59/cuyahoga_precinct_pairs.xls1) Determine Bush 2000 votes. Column I.

2) Determine 2004 Total Counted Votes. Column H.

3) Determine 2004 Total Independent Votes. Column U.

4) Determine the randomizing factor to be applied. Column V.

5) Determine Kerry vote. Column R:

=ROUNDDOWN((1-ROUNDDOWN(I/H,2)-V)*H,0)

6) Determine Bush vote. Column M:

=H2-(R2+U2)

(A similar formula is used to calculate the 11/8/2004 results.)

The above formula allowed me to calculate Kerry’s and Bush’s 2004 totals for over 400 precincts using Bush’s 2000 numbers and a randomizing factor. Keep in mind, I’m not talking just about the preliminary results, or the final results. This calculation applied to both results.

I was able to build some sequential number generator to determine if the formula applied to a particular precinct. If a match was found, the highest and lowest factors were saved. At first I thought they might have some correlation to the number of independent votes or the number of undervotes, but I couldn’t find a pattern. Indeed, the factors seemed to be pretty random, as they should be.

Example:

1513 CLEVELAND 1M

In 2000, George Bush received 2 votes.

11/8/2004 Results: |Bush: 23 | Kerry: 434 | Independent: 6 | Total: 463

11/30/2004 Results: |Bush: 23 | Kerry: 438 | Independent: 6 | Total: 467

That’s quite an increase in votes for Bush. Over 10 times as many in 2004 as in 2000. Let’s see how it was done.

November 8 Results:

1) Determine Bush 2000 votes. 2

2) Determine 2004 Total Counted Votes. 463

3) Determine 2004 Total Independent Votes. 6

4) Determine the randomizing factor to be applied. .0618

5) Determine Kerry vote.

=ROUNDDOWN((1-ROUNDDOWN(2/463,2)- .0618)*463,0) Or 434

6) Determine Bush vote.

=463-(434+6) Or 23

November 30 Results:

1) Determine Bush 2000 votes. 2

2) Determine 2004 Total Counted Votes. 467

3) Determine 2004 Total Independent Votes. 6

4) Determine the randomizing factor to be applied. .0618

5) Determine Kerry vote.

=ROUNDDOWN((1-ROUNDDOWN(2/467,2)- .0618)*467,0) Or 438

6) Determine Bush vote.

=467-(438+6) Or 23

Interesting how even though 4 more votes were added to the tally, the calculation still came out exactly and applied the additional votes to Kerry.

Now perhaps at this point, you’re thinking this is some sort of parlor game and that if you throw in a factor you can make anything come out the way you want it to.

But let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the programmer who was writing the script to hack the vote. What is the next precinct on the list?

1514 CLEVELAND 1N

In 2000, George Bush only received 2 votes in this precinct as well.

11/8/2004 Results: |Bush: 32 | Kerry: 470 | Independent: 0 | Total: 502

11/30/2004 Results: |Bush: 32 | Kerry: 477 | Independent: 0 | Total: 509

Gee, what if the programmer used the same randomizing factor for two precincts in a row? Would anybody notice?

November 8 Results:

1) Determine Bush 2000 votes. 2

2) Determine 2004 Total Counted Votes. 502

3) Determine 2004 Total Independent Votes. 0

4) Determine the randomizing factor to be applied. .0618

5) Determine Kerry vote.

=ROUNDDOWN((1-ROUNDDOWN(2/502,2)- .0618)*502,0) Or 470

6) Determine Bush vote.

=502-(470+0) Or 32

November 30 Results:

1) Determine Bush 2000 votes. 2

2) Determine 2004 Total Counted Votes. 509

3) Determine 2004 Total Independent Votes. 0

4) Determine the randomizing factor to be applied. .0618

5) Determine Kerry vote.

=ROUNDDOWN((1-ROUNDDOWN(2/509,2)- .0618)*509,0) Or 477

6) Determine Bush vote.

=509-(477+0) Or 32

So he did repeat the randomizing factor.

And he did for these sets of precincts:

2007 CLEVELAND 6G Factor: 0.005

2008 CLEVELAND 6H

2404 CLEVELAND 10D Factor: 0.024

2405 CLEVELAND 10E

3643 CLEVELAND HTS 3-C Factor: 0.0267

3644 CLEVELAND HTS 3-D

3825 EAST CLEVELAND 2-E Factor: 0.0263

3826 EAST CLEVELAND 2-F

3828 EAST CLEVELAND 2-H Factor: 0.0241

3831 EAST CLEVELAND 3-A

3832 EAST CLEVELAND 3-B Factor: 0.0158

3833 EAST CLEVELAND 3-C

3834 EAST CLEVELAND 3-D (3 in a row)

4432 HIGHLAND HTS 3-B Factor: 0.068

4441 HIGHLAND HTS 4-A

5121 MAPLE HTS 2-A Factor: 0.046

5122 MAPLE HTS 2-B

5164 MAPLE HTS 6-D Factor: 0.026

5171 MAPLE HTS 7-A

5801 NORTH RANDALL A Factor: 0.0363

5802 NORTH RANDALL B

Not only is there a correlation between Bush's 2000 and 2004 totals, there is a correlation between adjacently listed precincts. Some of the sets share the same physical location. Some do not.

The calculations for all these sets of precincts are included in the spreadsheet.

This may not be a smoking gun, but I believe these are the fingerprints of the hacking of the vote in Cuyahoga County.