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What Happened in Cleveland? A Plausible Scenario for a Stolen Election

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 02:58 PM
Original message
Edited on Sun Oct-30-05 03:24 PM by Time for change
In a recent thread I postulated and put forth evidence that John Kerry may have been cheated out of nearly 100,000 votes in the 2004 election in Cleveland alone. The main two mechanisms postulated for this fraud were illegal purging of registered voters and electronic deletion of Cleveland votes from the central tabulator in Cuyahoga County. The evidence for the voter registration fraud was a disparity of over 110,000 registered voters between newly registered voters reported by the New York Times, compared with Kenneth Blackwells official voter registration data. The evidence for the electronic deletion of votes was based on a woefully poor turnout in Cleveland, compared to a much higher expected turnout, which in turn was based on the massive voter registration drive in Cleveland, some analyses from the report of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on the 2004 Ohio election which showed some odd correlations in Cleveland, the identification of several Cleveland precincts with implausibly low turnout, and a good deal of anecdotal evidence suggesting very high turnout in Cleveland.

I started the thread by noting:
It was well known in the days prior to the 2004 Presidential election that a Bush victory was highly unlikely without Bush carrying both Ohio and Florida. As Election Day unfolded, spirits in the Kerry camp were running high, as it became evident that Ohios 20 electoral votes would determine the victor, and Kerry had a comfortable lead in the Ohio exit poll. Even CNNs right wing hack, Robert Novak, acknowledged that it would be an uphill climb for Bush.

But as the results came in from Ohio, optimism in the Kerry camp began to fade, and by late evening their remaining hope was narrowed down to strongly Democratic Cuyahoga County, and especially Cleveland, where reports of large pre-election increases in new voter registration and exceptionally high voter turnout had circulated. But this remaining hope soon faded, as it became clear that the voter turnout from Cleveland was in fact miserably low, and by noon the next day John Kerry conceded the election.

Therefore, perhaps the most important question to answer in order to decide whether or not Kerry won the Ohio election involves voter turnout in Cleveland. Was turnout really a woefully poor 53 %? Or, was it much higher than that, comparable to the Ohio state-wide turnout of about 70 %? If the answer to the latter question is yes, that means that tens of thousands of votes were probably electronically deleted from Clevelands vote total, 83% of which were Kerry votes. Here is what I found:

Analysis of data used in the DNC report

OTOH obtained for me a slightly altered version of the data file that was used for the DNC analysis. That data file showed a voter turnout of 53.4 % in Cleveland, compared to 70.8 % in the remainder of the state.

In order to assess this, I first looked at comparative turnout in 2002, and found that Cleveland turnout in that year was considerably lower than it was in the remainder of the state, in about the same proportion as the official 2004 turnout data. So this comparison was of no help.

Then I looked at the correlation between turnout and the availability of voting machines per population, to see whether insufficient voting allocation in Cleveland might have been responsible for long lines and consequent loss of voters, as was the case in Franklin County. I looked only at counties that used punch card voting (which was the good majority of the state), since that is what was used in Cleveland. What I found was that there was absolutely no correlation between voting machines per population versus turnout, neither in the punch card counties as a whole, nor in Cleveland specifically. What this suggests is that counties that used punch card machines did not have a problem with long voting line waits due to insufficient allocation of voting machines at least not in this election in Ohio.

Further investigation into the low Cleveland turnout

But if voter turnout was so low in Cleveland, and if insufficient allocation of voting machines couldnt explain that low turnout, then what about all the reasons for believing that voter turnout was much higher in Cleveland? Were all the anecdotal reports of exceptionally high turnout and huge voting lines in Cleveland based on fantasy? In order to investigate this 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 contains 1,509 complaint reports involving long voting lines. Of these, more than a third, 548, come from Ohio. Of those, more than a quarter (150) come from Cuyahoga County, and of those Cuyahoga County reports which mention the name of the city, 46 of 75 reports are from Cleveland. Therefore, Cleveland accounts for about 6% of complaint reports of long longs in the U.S., compared to only a little more than a tenth of a percent of votes in the 2004 election.

Why so many long voting lines but such a low turnout in Cleveland?

One theoretical reason why a city can have a very low voter turnout despite long voting lines is that insufficient voting machine allocation caused thousands of voters to leave the voting lines because they couldnt afford to wait for hours to vote. This is in fact what happened in Franklin County (same election), which used electronic voting, where a study by Elizabeth Liddle found that Kerry probably lost a net of about 17,000 votes due to this problem. But Cleveland used punch card voting, and weve already seen that the punch card counties didnt have this problem to a significant degree.

To obtain some better insight into this perplexing issue I looked at the other Ohio counties that reported lots 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 lines to the EIRS database, all 8 had over 70% turnout.

What if turnout in Cleveland was similar to the other punch card counties that reported lots of long lines?

What reason do we have to suppose that voter turnout was woefully lower in Cleveland, or lower at all for that matter, than turnout in the other punch card counties characterized by numerous complaints of long voter lines? None that I can think of, unless you want to base it on historical patterns in Cleveland. But thats in the past, and in this election Cleveland was targeted by the Kerry campaign. So lets suppose that voter turnout in Cleveland was as high as the lowest other punch card county characterized by numerous reports of long voting lines. That would be Hamilton County, at 75.5%, and it would amount to an excess of 22.2% turnout in Cleveland. Since Cleveland had 319,219 registered voters, that would mean 70,866 additional registered voters who voted. Since Kerry won 83.3% of the Cleveland vote, compared to Bushs 15.9%, the net gain for Kerry would be 67.4% of the vote, and 67.4% of 70,866 comes to 47,764 additional net votes for Kerry if we assume a reasonable voter turnout in Cleveland.

But then, what about the additional 110,727 registered voters, as described by the NY Times? In my thread from early October I calculated that this would give Kerry an additional 54,628 net votes, assuming that all additional voters came from Cleveland. But if instead, we make the more conservative consumption that the percent of additional registered voters from Cleveland was just three quarters of the way between the maximum of 54,628 and the minimum (which would assume no greater percentage of new voters from Cleveland than from the rest of the county), we get 46,711 additional net votes for Kerry.

Adding the two numbers together gives a total of 94,475 additional net votes for Kerry in Cleveland alone if we make the above two assumptions about voter turnout and voter registration in Cleveland.

Then lets finish counting other known sources of lost votes in Ohio

The above estimation of over 94,000 lost net votes for the Kerry/Edwards ticket in Cleveland leaves them about 24,000 votes short of victory if those votes were restored. The recent GAO report gives official government sanction to what weve known for a long time that there were numerous sources of likely fraud in Ohio which cost Kerry many thousands of additional votes. So lets finish counting the votes that should rightfully have gone to Kerry:

1) Richard Hayes Phillips has shown that there were at least 16 precincts in Ohio where, due to miscoding of the punch card ballots, votes intended for Kerry instead went to Bush or to third party candidates, costing Kerry an additional 902 votes. In addition, there is some evidence that this same problem might have accounted for several thousand more lost votes in Cuyahoga County when individual voters accidentally went to the wrong precincts or were directed there. Several DUers have worked on this issue, including Bill Bored, rosebud57, kiwi_expat, and Iceberg. As Bill Bored has said on numerous occasions, this issue deserves more investigation.

2) My above discussion of Kerry votes lost due to probable voter registration fraud in Cuyahoga County addresses Cleveland only. It did not account for additional shortage of 18,896 lost voters from the remainder of Cuyahoga County, which probably accounted for an additional 770 lost net Kerry votes.

3) There remain more than 106,000 uncounted ballots in Ohio, including 92,672 ballots for which the punch card machines did not record a vote for President (The remainder are uncounted provisional ballots). Lets just consider the 92,672 uncounted ballots and make the conservative assumption that Kerry won those by just a 55%-45% margin. That would result in another 9,267 votes for Kerry.

4) Let's add in the above noted and well documented 17,000 lost net Kerry votes from Franklin County, resulting from purposeful misallocation of voting machines for Democratic precincts in that county.

Adding these lost votes to the 94,475 lost votes from Cleveland noted above, we get 122,419 votes that the Kerry/Edwards ticket was likely cheated out of more than enough to make up for the total Bush margin of victory. But that doesnt even count some additional well documented likely sources of fraud, including:

1) Additional voter registration fraud in counties other than Cuyahoga.

2) Electronic voting machines in Mahoning County which repeatedly recorded Bush votes when voters attempted to vote for Kerry, and which involved at least 20-30 machines, as indicated in an investigation by the Washington Post, resulting a loss of an unknown number of votes from the Kerry/Edwards ticket.

3) The late addition of 19,000 votes to Miami Countys total, giving Bush an additional net margin of 6,000 votes.

4) Obviously we cant count how many votes were lost when election officials in Warren County used the lame excuse of an FBI issued national security alert (flatly denied by the FBI) to lock reporters out of their office while they counted the votes for that county. And in addition, there is a belief that these election officials may have had access to electronic tabulators with a reach far beyond Warren County. Remember, this incident occurred after all counties in the state had reported their results except for Warren and Cuyahoga. Congressman John Conyers has specifically asked if Warren County officials had electronic access to other computers in Ohio used for vote tabulations, and to my knowledge he has never received a satisfactory answer.

Putting in perspective the scenario for a stolen Ohio election

The above scenario shows how (and provides evidence for) more than enough votes could have been stolen from the Kerry/Edwards ticket to overturn the results of the Ohio election. It proposes that the bulk of votes were stolen by depressing turnout in Cleveland, the last and best hope for a Kerry victory in Ohio. And it is important to note that this scenario is in every way consistent with the latest analyses released by Warren Mitofsky and the Election Science Institute (ESI), which rule out certain types and magnitudes of election fraud.

The scenario mainly involves two similar mechanisms in Cleveland Electronic deletion of the vote count and illegal purging of voters. It is important to weight the evidence for and against these two crucial events:

I originally got the idea of an artificially depressed turnout in Cleveland because of the great disparity between the woefully low reported turnout in Cleveland, compared to the great effort put into getting out the vote there and the many anecdotal reports that turnout was exceptionally high in Cleveland. Why did so many believe that turnout was exceptionally high in Cleveland? Because their eyes told them that lots of people were voting there (i.e., long voting lines). To confirm this impression I found that official complaint reports from voters about long lines were heavily concentrated in Cleveland, compared to other areas of the state, and that wherever else long lines were reported, voter turnout was quite high. Against the belief of high turnout in Cleveland is the fact that turnout in Cleveland is historically low. So, we need to consider which is more important evidence: Historically low turnout in Cleveland, or the evidence for high turnout in this particular election.

The evidence for registration fraud is simply the great disparity between reports by the New York Times of huge increases in voter registration in Cuyahoga County and other Democratic precincts throughout Ohio, versus the official figures released from Secretary Blackwells office. I for one have little difficulty in deciding which one is the more trustworthy source, given the numerous documented efforts by Kenneth Blackwell to suppress the Democratic vote in Ohio, as Documented by Congressman John Conyers report. Against this evidence is the fact that my estimation of voter registration in Cleveland exceeds the voting age population of Cleveland, using 2003 U.S. Census estimates and voting age percentages from 2000. This suggests that it is possible that much of the voter purging from Cuyahoga County was legal and involved non-residents. However, alternatively it could be that city boundaries used for the census report were different than those used to determine voting eligibility. And even if some of the missing registered voters that I attributed to Cleveland came from other parts of Cuyahoga County, it is likely that those voters came from parts of Cuyahoga County that were heavily Democratic in which case the final results that I calculated would have been similar. It is also of note that my conversation with a member of America Coming Together (ACT), who was heavily involved in registering voters in Cleveland, finds it very difficult to believe that so many of them could have been legally found not to qualify as eligible voters.

Two of the last important events to occur on November 2, 2004, in Ohio were the announcement of results from Cuyahoga County and the infamous lockdown in Warren County, excused by a non-existent national security alert, where election workers locked reporters out and proceeded with the vote count. Why did those election workers issue a false national security alert (Is that a felony?), and what did they do that evening? And why did election officials in Cuyahoga County undertake to obstruct the recount in that county, for which they were subsequently indicted? None of these questions have been satisfactorily answered to my knowledge.

Thank you to OTOH and Bill Bored for providing me with valuable consultation in putting this thread together, and thank you to EOTE for exporting the data into a form in which I could use it.
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for this post. Recommended. nm
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. And then there was this:
Edited on Sun Oct-30-05 03:39 PM by Bill Bored
< >
A polling place that served two adjoining precincts counted hundreds of votes for fringe presidential candidates Nov. 2, apparently because poll workers didn't instruct voters to use only the machines for their precinct, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's review of voting patterns in Cuyahoga County showed that many of the approximately 1,000 voters in the two precincts cast ballots just steps away at machines meant for the other precinct.

"There was no distinction between precincts," said Katie Daley, an observer for the Democratic Party who spent Election Day at the voting place, Benedictine High School. "Voters were being told to go to any machine that was open."

The newspaper reported the problems arose because candidate names were in different positions on the ballot in different precincts. A person's punch-card ballot would be misread if he voted in the wrong precinct and the card was then read on his or her home precinct's machine.

Which led to this analisys:
and other work, which said in a nutshell:

1. The 44 best Kerry counties have a higher undervote rate than the 44 worst Kerry counties.
2. Undervote rate is highest on punch cards.
3. Bush beat Kerry on punch cards (and also op scan).
4. Bush04-Bush2K correlates with use of punch cards.
5. Cuyahoga undervotes in 2-ballot order/2-precinct locations are correlated with KerryVote%.
6. Nearly all precincts with >3.6% undervotes were >75% Kerry.
7. KerryVote% is highest in precincts with 1 ballot order: 73.4%, 177 precincts.
8. And this is true for ANY single ballot order (71.3-77.1%)
Any time there is >1 ballot order at the same polling place, Kerry's percentage is lower:
2 orders: 69.3.1% 502 precincts
3 orders: 67.6 % 465 precincts
4 orders: 56.0% 234 precincts
5 orders: 53.2% 49 precincts
9. Also, in the 1-ballot-order locations, the percentage of third party votes and undervotes is lowest.

So there was probably vote switching in Cuyahoga (and/or other punch card counties) too! And if this happened in 2000, you wouldn't see it the other correlations.

So, it's not even necessary to think that the whole fraud was based on suppression of turnout. There could have been vote switching too, and in fact, from the above AP story at the top of this post, we know there was.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Very important points Bill
As you point out, this could be the source of thousands of additional votes for Kerry in Cuyahoga County.

I only briefly mentioned this issue in my OP for a number of reasons. As you know, I couldn't figure out how many votes this problem accounted for. It is a very complex issue, and my OP was already so long that the length alone would prevent a number of people from reading it IMO.

Using the data you provided here I originally calculated that this problem could have cost Kerry nearly 30,000 votes. But that didn't make sense to me in some ways because, while one would assume that most of these lost votes would have gone to one of the independent candidates, the total vote for independent candidates in Cuyahoga County was less than 4,000. So that meant that the good majority of these votes would have gone to Bush.

But how could that have happened? If they were distributed to Bush in a large block by changing the code for a precinct, they would have been easily identifiable -- and in fact Richard Hayes Phillips identified three precincts where this apparently did occur, costing Kerry a net of about 200 votes. But how do we get anything approaching 30,000?

One might assume that many voters went to the wrong precinct accidentally, and therefore the machine counted their vote for a candidate other than the one intended by the voter. But if this happened on a random basis, the lost votes would have been equally distributed to the various candidates -- and as we know, the independent candidates received relatively few votes in all of Cuyahoga County, and only 1,395 in Cleveland.

So what was the manner in which votes intended for Kerry would have gone instead to Bush in large numbers? The scenario you depict above in the gray box would have led to twice as many votes to the independent candidates as to Bush. Yet Jacobs' analysis suggests that the frequency of this type of event was much greater than that.

So at this point I just don't know how to explain it. As you and others have said, the whole idea of having precincts in the same polling places with different codes for reading the voter's intention is sloppy at best and extremely suspicious at worst -- especially when there are no names on the ballot itself.

Of course, there could have been some plan to ensure that many of these votes went to Bush. But I just don't know how that plan would have worked. It does indeed sound very suspicious. And as I said in my OP, I think that this needs a lot of additional investigation.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Richard Hayes Phillips wasn't the only one who worked on this.
Edited on Sun Oct-30-05 07:57 PM by Bill Bored
Jacobs and others have showed that the ballot order distribution was non-random. In other words, there were more precincts where Kerry-Bush switches were possible than switches to third parties. And all they had to do to pull this off, was NOT train the poll workers. Just tell the voters to use ANY machine and it's done. This, among other things, is exactly why the League of Women Voters is suing in OH, and they say it goes back 30 years.

To make the whole thing even more undetectable, the ballots could have been pre-shuffled before they were punched i.e., the precinct codes were never all correct to begin with. Then they were shuffled yet again by the voters using the wrong machines.

Let's say during a recount, someone notices the first shuffle (i.e., that not all ballots in the deck had the same precinct code) and straightens them out. The votes would STILL be mixed up because the ballots were never un-shuffled to begin with and the very act of un-shuffling them will actually switch votes yet again. There would be no way to ever know which precinct each ballot really belonged to.

It's a fool proof scam, the perfect crime, and this may be why Kerry conceded so soon.

The only question is: Why aren't the citizens of Ohio doing something about it?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. But this is what I don't understand
You're talking about things like shuffling and not training poll workers to tell voters where to go. Why would that result in Kerry losing more votes to Bush than to the third party candidates? The scenarios that you're espousing sound pretty random to me.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. I don't follow "the ballot order distribution was non-random".
When you look closely at the relationship between ballot-order and precinct ID number in Cuyahoga, you see EXACTLY what crude randomization process was used--see .

Were the ID numbers of precincts in Cuyahoga changed for the 2004 election, or were they the same as they were in 2000 and prior years? If the ranks of numeric precinct IDs remained what they had been in prior years, it's hard to see how the ballot order distribution among precincts could have been manipulated.

On the other hand, it COULD be possible polling places were deliberately targeted for intentional chaos on election day. Through intentional shortages of voting machines, intentional mis-stamping of ballots with precinct numbers, or other means, carefully-chosen polling places could be plunged into chaos. By creating chaos at multiprecinct locations where high proportions of voters wanted to punch "Kerry", votes could be intentionally misdirected to Bush. Badnarik, Peroutka, or Disqualifed (Nader). But even where votes intended for Kerry would wind up in Bush's total, proportional numbers of other miscast Kerry votes would wind up in extra tallies for Badnarik, Peroutka, or Disqualified. See . As TFC points out in message #5, low vote totals for Peroutka and Badnarik in Cuyahoga leave very little room for disproportionate minor-candidate results. I counted 11 polling places where outsize Peroutka and/or Badnarik totals indicate Kerry lost about 1,000 votes to Bush.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Now, if you understood post #19, here's where you might find an order
of magnitude more than 1,000 Kerry votes lost to ballot order manipulation, if you think someone could have pulled off a complex and diabolical plot to steal Kerry votes in Cuyahoga:

See the last four lines in the post at , that is, cases 25, 26, 27, and 28.

In these four cases, comprising 133 of 584 physical Cuyahoga polling places, no miscast Kerry votes could have wound up in tallies for Badnarik or Peroutka. Only Bush and Disqualified (Nader) could have benefited from miscast Kerry votes. For each two net votes lost to Kerry, on average one Kerry vote would have gone to Disqualified. But, curiously, votes for Disqualified were not tallied by precinct in Cuyahoga in 2004. It took special programming to PREVENT counts for Disqualified from being tallied, and it was extremely odd that the ballot line for Nader was not pulled entirely.

Among the 133 such polling places, if those in overwhelmingly pro-Kerry areas had been targeted deliberately for overcrowding and chaos, the very curious lack of tallies for Disqualified would prevent accurate estimation of proportional miscast Kerry votes that wound up being counted for Bush.

These 133 polling places are those with patterns of precinct ballot orders BP, BW, DP, KD, WK, BBP, BPP, BWW, DDP, DPP, KDD, WKK, WWK, BBPP, WWKK, and DPPP as listed in thread (see especially post #12).
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Yes. I think I understand.
Edited on Mon Oct-31-05 03:40 AM by Bill Bored
So why do you keep saying it was only 1000?

We know there were examples of poll workers telling voters to use any machine, directing Democrats and Republicans to different machines, and so on.

Also, since there are no machine-readable precinct codes except for the header cards, the card readers wouldn't detect a problem.

The one thing left is to make sure a hand count wouldn't detect a problem either, or that correcting the problem, if detected, would make it worse! The way to do that is to mix up some ballots BEFORE they are even cast, by putting some with the wrong precinct codes into the deck. Then hand them out to the voters that way, and THEN tell them to use any machine.

That way, if some "goody two shoes" decides to straighten out all the decks and make all the codes in each deck the same, you will still have ballots read on the wrong machines because when the ballots were handed out to the voters, the codes were NOT all the same in the first place! So fixing the problem during a hand count makes it worse or just as bad.

I don't know why some of us here think this is was so hard to pull off. I sometimes think we just aren't evil enough to consider some of this.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. I started out thinking that many thousands of votes intended for Kerry
may have found their way into tallies for the other four Presidential ballot lines in Cuyahoga (Badnarik, Bush, Disqualified(Nader), and Peroutka). But then I developed, tested, and estimated a plausible, simple theory that showed otherwise.

In developing the theory, I assumed that, at polling places where multiple precincts voted together, manipulators would have had very limited control over the voting. IMO it would have veen very difficult for manipulators to ensure that specific voters registered in precincts where Kerry was in position X (of the 5 ballot positions) would vote on machines where position X would be tallied for Bush. The last half of your post seems to agree with this "Occam's Razor" assumption. To get many thousands of Kerry votes misdirected to Bush, it seems to me somehow piles of thousands of punchcards would have had to have been mis-stamped in specific ways at dozens of separate, carefully chosen, registration tables.

Absent that level of conspiracy, overcrowding or deliberate manipulation of the process could only ensure that WRONG as well as RIGHT machines would be used when the process envisioned by the Cuyahoga Board of Elections broke down at a polling place. Depending on how many precincts were clustered there, and which of the 5 ballot orders each precinct had been assigned, patterns of right and wrong machine usage would develop at each abnormal polling place.

The table at shows that at the 584 polling places in Cuyahoga, a total of 96 different patterns of misdirection were possible. But many of these patterns were equivalent in the proportions of wrong votes that would go to each candidate, so there really are only 28 fundamental patterns.

Three of them (cases 4, 8, and 18) show no benefit for 'W' (Bush) but rather benefits for one or both of the minor candidates Badnarik ('B') and Peroutka ('P'). In these cases, it is easy to see to whom Kerry may have lost votes. All you need to do is estimate the number of "excess" votes for the minor candidates, and then apply the proper multiple.

It is harder to see where Kerry votes would have gone when Bush ('W') is one of the candidates benefiting from stray votes meant for Kerry, because who's to say when Bush's vote at a location is excessive?

But it's not impossible! Notice that through case 24 in the table, every time there is a number other than zero in the 'W' (Bush) column, there also is a number other than zero in either the 'B" (Badnarik) or 'P' column (Peroutka) or both. The number of net votes Kerry lost to Bush is proportional to the number of excess votes for Badnarik and/or Peroutka. So, as TFC pointed out in post #5, the low overall Cuyahoga vote for Badnarik and Peroutka puts a "lid" on the net loss for Kerry in cases 1 through 24. Even though the net loss for Kerry sometimes is at least twice the excess vote for minor candidates, how many votes for Badnarik or Peroutka can anyone possibly say were excess?
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #24
45. Well...
"The last half of your post seems to agree with this "Occam's Razor" assumption. To get many thousands of Kerry votes misdirected to Bush, it seems to me somehow piles of thousands of punch cards would have had to have been mis-stamped in specific ways at dozens of separate, carefully chosen, registration tables."

No, actually I was just using this as a way to prevent the eventual correction of the problem in the event of a fair recount (which never took place anyway). If the precinct codes were mixed up to begin with, no one could ever get them "right" in a recount, because if they WERE "right", votes would still be switched. So this was a way to cover the tracks, to misdirect, etc. even if it were discovered. The idea is for the voters' intent to be lost permanently -- recount or no recount.

But to switch votes did not require this "enhancement." It only required the voters to go to the wrong machines and use the wrong templates that showed them how to punch their ballots, or to put them in the wrong ballot boxes or whatever containers were used.

We can debate the extent of the switching, but I think you'll agree that in Kerry strongholds, Bush would always benefit, even if the switching were completely random.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #45
50. I agree--Bush always benefited whereever most people wanted to
vote for Kerry and some used wrong punchcard machines.

But there always would have been collateral resultant detectable increases in minor candidate votes wherever this happened, in all but one case: case #25 in my January 11th table. How many "extra" votes for Badnarik and/or Peroutka could there have been in Cleveland, when their citywide total was only a couple of thousand? This low vote for minor candidates puts a "lid" on Kerry's vote loss of about a thousand or so, in all but one set of ballot-order configurations.

For the remaining case, comprising 114 of 584 polling locations in Cuyahoga, the "lid" is much less restrictive, but data on telltale signs of vote miscounting have been censored. For each two net votes lost by Kerry and gained by Bush, one vote would have been tallied for "Disqualified (Nader)". But because no precinct tallies of "Disqualified" were released, these votes are mixed in with 13,478 Presidential undervotes countywide.

In the 114 locations with ballot-order configurations BP, BW, DP, KD, or WK, Bush would have gained a vote intended for Kerry, Kerry would have lost one of his votes, and no other observable change in the vote would have occurred when a vote intended for Kerry went astray. Thus Kerry would have lost a net of two votes, and Bush would have gained a net of two votes, with no telltale sign of miscounting, had pro-Kerry voting locations with pattern #25 been targeted for overcrowding and chaos.

But such a complex and diabolical conspiracy to shave Kerry's vote seems unlikely to me. If I had the tallies of "Disqualified" by precinct, I would run the numbers. But I'd be quite surprised to find evidence that Kerry lost thousands of votes to such an unlikely conspiracy, even though it's theoretically possible.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. Chart from Jan 5 looks like it contains much very useful information
And I understand the general principal of caterpillar crawl and what you are saying, but I'm not grasping some of the important details. Could you clarify the following so that I could understand this better?

1. On the left hand side you have written numerous combinations of letters signifying the various candidates. Sometimes the letters are together, and sometimes they are separated by commas. Could you explain what that signifies. For example, what does K,W mean and what does KB mean?

2. What is the difference between "# polling places ballot configuration" and "# polling places"?

3. I don't understand all the numbers in between either, but maybe I'll be able to figure that out if I understand the answers to the above questions.

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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. (1) See the legend at the bottom of the chart. Also, notice that
Edited on Mon Oct-31-05 08:44 AM by AirAmFan
the chart was wider than the DU software would take, so each line "wrapped" into two.

When I group the characters B (Badnarik), W (Bush), K (Kerry), D (Disqualified/Nader), and P (Peroutka) together, I'm showing who was at the top of each of the ballots at a polling place. For example, KB would mean that one of two precincts voting together at a polling place had Kerry at the top of the ballot, and the other had Badnarik at the top of the ballot.

Once you know who was at the top of the ballot, you know who was in each of the other four positions, because there were only five ballot orders:

1. (Badnarik, Bush, Kerry, Disqualified, Peroutka).
2. (Bush, Kerry, Disqualified, Peroutka, Badnarik).
3. (Kerry, Disqualified, Peroutka, Badnarik, Bush).
4. (Disqualified, Peroutka, Badnarik, Bush, Kerry).
5. (Peroutka, Badnarik, Bush, Kerry, Disqualified).

(2) and (3):

From :

Once you know the configuration of ballot orders for all the precincts at a location, it is straightforward (though tedious) to enumerate all the ways a voter could go wrong. Let's assume that all the ways a Kerry voter could go wrong are equally likely, and all the ways a Bush voter could go wrong also are equally likely. Then it is worthwhile to enumerate all the possibilities for wrong voting, and to tally the number of votes out of each c*(c-1) intended for a major candidate that would wind up benefiting each other candidate. I wrote a computer program to do this for all the ballot configurations that occurred in Cuyahoga in November 2004. The results are in the attached "Wrong-machine beneficiaries" table. Note "B" stands for Badnarik, "W" for Bush, "K" for Kerry, "D" for Disqualified, and "P" for Peroutka. Note also that, both in the columns that tally wrong Kerry vote beneficiaries and in the columns that tally wrong Bush-vote beneficiaries, the number of votes always sums to c*(c-1).

The table has a case number in column 1, the cluster size ("c") in column 2, and then the 10 parameters in columns 3 through 12. Column 13 gives the number of different ballot-order configurations corresponding to the case, column 14 the total number of polling places having the indicated theoretical pattern, and the final column lists all the configurations explicitly.

For instance, the Benedictine High location has c=2 with Badnarik at the top of one ballot order and Kerry at the top of the other. This is configuaration "BK" of case 4 in the table, one of 65 locations with a pattern where Badnarik and Peroutka benefit from miscounted votes at Kerry's expense.

The "Wrong machine beneficiaries" table is a tremendous reduction of a complex problem (involving 437 multiple-precinct locations with 96 ballot order configurations) down to 27 basic cases (note 7a and 7b have the same ratios of all the parameter to each other).
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Wow!
:wow: This is very impressive.

I have the general idea of what you're saying now, though I haven't worked through the examples.

But I did think of a way that we can test your hypothesis regarding the last four cases. I have data for all the Cuyahoga County precincts, including Kerry and Bush vote share in 04, Fingerhut 04, and Hagan 02. In general, the Kerry vote is highly correlated with the Fingerhut vote and the Hagan vote (R squared = 0.86 and 0.83, respectively). If your diabolical hypothesis is valid, then we should see in those precincts represented by the last four cases a substantial weakening of the correlation between the Kerry vote and the Fingerhut and Hagan vote.

If you can tell me what those precincts are I will test that hypothesis.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. I posted the data you requested to a new thread in the Ohio forum, at URL
Edited on Mon Oct-31-05 11:36 AM by AirAmFan .

There are ten posts, 9 with 150 precincts apiece and one with 86 precincts. The OP for this thread explains what each of the 5 data columns represents. Sort by the last column and use the January 11th table to check that the numbers in each of the 29 case groups are correct.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Great - thank you. So let me just make sure I have this straight
What I need to do is go through your lists and pick out all precincts with any of the configurations listed for your last 4 cases:


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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Yes. Or you could read in the last column into variable CONFIG, and
then use this code snippet:

/* No Kerry votes to minor candidates  */
/* 2. Observe minor-candidates credited with votes meant for
Bush */

/* CASE  3   (114 POLLING PLACE) */

/* CASE  6   ( 15 POLLING PLACE) */

/* CASE 11   (  3 POLLING PLACE) */

/* CASE 10 ( 1 POLLING PLACE) */

Note also that I gave you an early file with two minor
glitches: CONFIG is blank for precincts 2818 and 2819.  For
both precincts, CONFIG should be BP.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
53. One more question -- hopefully not a difficult one
The data file I have identifies precincts by name, not by number. Also includes precinct code (3 letters) Congressional and Senate District, City number, House District.

You may have supplied this information somewhere, but I can't find it -- do you know how I would use the precinct name to match it with the numbers on you list?
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. The online Cuyahoga BOE "Canvass Report" or its PDF of voting locations,
are the definitive source of data for that relationship. Links to those documents (still online) are at .

Or you could work with links to the actual PDFs of each precinct's ballot images at . For each of 1436 physical precincts, eight-letter precinct name abbrebiations are listed with corresponding precinct numbers and cluster numbers. When the eight-letter name is ambiguous, you could pull up the actual ballot image, which has the full precinct name on it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. Ok, I think I got it
But since this is going to be a lot of tedious work, I just wanted to make sure that I got this straight: Is this the document that matches the precinct numbers that you supplied me with the applicable precincts names?
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. Yes! I see they've archived it to a new URL, but that's the file I used
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. I didn't find any evidence of substantial vote switching due to ballot
order rotation problems

I divided the precincts into those that you identified as being vulnerable to Kerry to Bush switches but not switches to independent candidates vs. all others. I'll refer to those as "vulnerable" (V) precincts and all others as "non-vulnerable" (N). The Kerry vote share was actually higher in the V precincts:

V -- 70.6%
N -- 65.5%

But that was because those were the more Democratic precincts. In particular, a lot more of the V precincts were from Cleveland than the N precincts. This was also manifested by a higher percent for Fingerhut in the V precincts:

V -- 47.4%
N -- 43.8%

And, the same thing with Hagan in 02:

V -- 64.6%
N -- 61.5%

So, as far as I can tell, this provides no evidence of substantial vote switching due to ballot order rotation problems -- unless I'm missing something.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. I'd put more stock in correlations with past data than with other '04 data
Ballot lines for the Senate race were rotated too!

Sort the 1436 physical precinct IDs into numeric order. Those with an odd rank had Voinovich on the top Senate line, while those with even ranks had Fingerhut on the top line. This means that sometimes when a voter's Kerry punch was read as a vote for another candidate or Disqualified, her Fingerhut punch also was switched to Voinovich!

The 1436 actual ballot images for 11/04 still are online. For example, the three precincts voting together at Cory United Methodist Church (polling place 171), where I calculated Kerry lost 226 net votes, have these ranks, precinct ID #s, precinct name abbreviations, and candidates on the top Senate line:

  • 322 171 2207 CLEVE08G Fingerhut on top line

  • 323 171 2208 CLEVE08H Voinovich

  • 324 171 2209 CLEVE08I Fingerhut

  • Click on the links and see for yourself.

    THIS is how complex and unpredictable Ohio election law has made things!
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 07:38 PM
    Response to Reply #58
    59. But I did look at the Hagan vote, and that was from 2002
    And that showed the same thing as the Kerry and the Fingerhut vote. I don't have the Gore 2000 information in my database, or I would have looked at that too. So unless they did the same thing in the same precincts in the 2002 Governor's race, there doesn't appear to be evidence for massive vote switching here.
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 08:00 PM
    Response to Reply #59
    60. I agree. One last thing I might try is getting an upper limit for net vote loss
    to Kerry if all undervotes in the "vulnerable" polling places were really Kerry votes that had been misdirected to the black hole of "Disqualified". That will take some time, though.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 09:10 PM
    Response to Reply #60
    63. I don't understand what that would show
    I thought that you said that the "disqualified" votes weren't tabulated as such?

    Anyhow, what I calculated was:

    1.70% undervotes in the non-vulnerable precincts
    2.10% undervotes in the vulnerable precincts

    I don't know what to make of that. Are those undervotes simply ballots without a marking on them, or were some of them in the nader position?

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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-05 01:08 AM
    Response to Reply #63
    65. Presidential undervotes would be a superset of 'Candidate Disqualified"
    as long as people whose Presidential votes were read as 'Disqualified' cast a tallied vote in at least one other race. Thus the number of Presidential undervotes is an upper limit on the number of "black hole" votes for President.

    What is the absolute number of undervotes you found in the "vulnerable" polling places? In vulnerable polling places where the majority of counted votes were for Kerry?
    In vulnerable polling places where the majority of counted votes were for Bush?
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-05 08:07 AM
    Response to Reply #65
    66. I need a clarification on this
    When I separated the polling places into "vulnerable" vs. "non-vulnerable", that was based on the last four "cases" that you presented in post # 27. My understanding was that those were cases where Kerry votes were likely to be switched to Bush and/or "disqualified", but not to Badnarek or Peroutka, correct?

    In order to get a more refined idea on the question that you're asking now, wouldn't it be best to differentiate the polling places in another way? In other words, for the purposes of your latest question, wouldn't it be best to separate it into polling places that were likely have Kerry votes switched to "disqualified"? That would mean that I would need to SUBTRACT from my current "vulnerable" category those precincts in which votes were likely to be switched from Kerry to Bush, but NOT to "disqualified", correct?

    And if I'm right about that, maybe the best thing to do would be for me to re-enter all the data according to the precise polling place ballot configurations (right now I just have "V" vs. "N"), which would put me in a position to do any kind of analysis that we could then think of relevant to this issue. Would you agree?
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-05 02:58 PM
    Response to Reply #66
    67. Sounds reasonable, but be careful how you interpret the results
    Edited on Wed Nov-02-05 03:09 PM by AirAmFan
    The major insight on which my analysis is based (which you acknowledged in post #5) is that misdirected Kerry votes due to ballot rotation all have to wind up somewhere else. The presence of minor-candidate and Disqualified lines on the Presidential ballot allow many of those misdirected votes to be pinpointed fairly directly. In cases 4-24, I could use "extra" votes for Badnarik and Peroutka to estimate each polling place's number of misdirected Kerry and Bush votes and just where they would have been tallied.

    The insight I neglected to explore a year ago is that BOE-censored votes for "Candidate Disqualified" would show up as "extra" Presidential undervotes.

    In cases 25 through 28, the ONLY places misdirected Kerry votes can go are to Bush or to Disqualified. But in cases 4-24, misdirected Kerry votes have considerably more freedom. Disqualified is only one of 5 places they can go in "non-vulnerable" polling places, so there is reason for extra caution in attributing the undervote to misdirected Kerry votes there.


    This is part of what the January 11th table says about "vulnerable" polling places:

    No Kerry votes to minor candidates

    Case 25: 114 precincts with configurations BP,BW,DP,KD, or WK
    26: 15 precincts with BBP,BPP,BWW,DDP,DPP,KDD,WKK,or WWK
    27: 3 precincts with BBPP or WWKK
    28: 1 precinct with DPPP

    Now consider who would gain a vote meant for Kerry if a wrong machine were used in each case: First look at configuration BP.

    In the precinct with Badnarik at the top the ballot, Kerry is on line 3. But in the precinct with Peroutka at the top of the ballot, line 3 is tallied for Bush. In the precinct with Peroutka at the top the ballot, Kerry is on line 4. But in the precinct with Badnarik at the top of the ballot, line 4 is tallied for Disqualified.

    It turns out that similar analyses of BW, DP, KD, and WK give the same pair of potential winners from wrong Kerry votes: one for Bush and one for Disqualified. The January 11th table tallies the cluster size (2 for all the configurations of case 25) and the number of possible wrong-machine gains for Badnarik, Bush, Kerry, Disqualified, and Peroutka.

    In cases 25 through 28, the number of possible wrong machine vote gains for Badnarik always is zero, as is the number of possible wrong machine vote gains for Peroutka. Cases 26 through 28 have the added complication that some wrong machines have Kerry in the same position as the right machine, but the table takes that into account:

    25: c=2 0 1 0 1 0
    26: c=3 0 2 2 2 0
    27: c=4 0 4 4 4 0
    28: c=4 0 3 6 3 0

    Note that the sum of the gainers is 2 when c=2, 6 when c=3, and 12 when c=4. In each case, the sum of the gainers is c*(c-1), the number of ways c different kinds of voters could choose wrong machines.

    Now some of cases 4 through 24 have Disqualified as a gainer in addition to Peroutka and/or Badnarik.

    In those cases, I used the minor-candidate vote to estimate the Disqualified vote as well as votes intended for Kerry, Bush, Badnarik and Peroutka.

    So, if I were looking at "extra" Presidential undervotes in the "vulnerable" polling places (cases 25 through 28) as a measure of Disqualified, I'd have to take those estimated Disqualifieds in "non-vulnerable" polling places into account.

    One thing I might do is subtract estimated Disqualified votes from the Presidential undervotes.

    Without doing that yet, I still find slightly higher proportions of Presidential undervotes in "vulnerable" than in non-vulnerable polling places. (Of course I weighted by total votes cast in each polling place.)

    Another wrinkle is that punch-card undervote percentages are known to vary inversely with precinct socionomic status. From Michael Vu via DUer jmknapp, I have the longitude and latitude of the centroid of each precinct, so neighborhood data could be use to adjust undervote percentages for demographic differences.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-05 05:48 PM
    Response to Reply #67
    68. Some preliminary calculations
    Edited on Wed Nov-02-05 05:59 PM by Time for change
    There were 2382 (8.82 per precinct) undervotes in the V precincts, compared to 8316 (7.14 per precinct) in the N precincts. If we assume that the difference was due to Kerry losses to "disqualified" in the V precincts, and if we assume that 7.14 votes per precinct is "expected", we get the loss of 454 Kerry votes

    Peroutka votes
    Note: My dataset doesn't distinguish Peroutka from Badnarek, but I think I know which is which.

    Assuming I'm correct, there were 1.23 votes for Peroutka per precinct in the V precincts, 0.61 votes per precinct in the N precincts (As you know, Kerry would likely lose votes to Peroutka in the N precincts, not the V precincts). Using the same calculations as above, we estimate that Kerry probably lost 722 votes to Peroutka.

    Badnarek votes
    Badnarek is more difficult to calculate because Bush may have lost votes to him in the V precincts. But I think that it's safe to estimate, for now, that overall, Kerry probably lost as many votes to Badnarek as he did to Peroutka.

    Bush votes lost from Kerry's column
    This of course would be much more difficult to estimate, but perhaps it's reasonable to assume that as many votes were lost from Kerry to Bush as Kerry to the other candidates. The effect would be doubled of course, so perhaps we come up with 1444 votes lost in this manner.

    complicating factors
    There are two main complicating factors, each working in the opposite direction: One is that Bush would have lost some votes also, but of course nowhere near as many as Kerry. And the other issue is that Kerry would also have lost votes to "disqualified" in the N precincts. Perhaps these two factors are a wash.

    preliminary estimate
    So the preliminary estimate of lost net Kerry votes in Cuyahoga County due to ballot order rotation problems is about 3500. I'll need to refine that, of course, by entering the more specific data and re-calculating.

    Question about Richard Hayes Phillips' analysis
    As I'm sure you are aware, Richard Hayes Phillips noted lost Kerry votes due to ballot order rotation problems. But these were of a very different nature. They were concentrated heavily in about 16 precincts, rather than distributed throughout in the manner that I've calculated above. How did that happen? Once I understand that, maybe I'll have to subtract those precincts and repeat my analyses.

    unusual distribution of ballot orders
    I also need to note that the V precincts were heavily concentrated in Cleveland, where Kerry won by a 83% to 16% margin, compared to the rest of Cuyahoga County, where his advantage was only about 6%. How did that happen? -- I thought the ballot orders were supposed to be random? In Cleveland, 27.3% of precincts were V, compared to only 15.3% in the rest of the county. The chances against that happening by chance exceed a million to one. So, how did that happen?

    I'll enter the more specific data and get back with you in the next couple of days. In the meantime, any observations on your part would be appreciated.

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    Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-05 02:21 PM
    Response to Reply #67
    71. History of Ohio Ballot Order Rotation Law
    Edited on Thu Nov-03-05 02:25 PM by Bill Bored
    Here's where the ballot rotation came from:

    OH Constitution 1976:

    5.02a Names of candidates on ballot

    The names of all candidates for an office at any election shall be
    arranged in a group under the title of that office. The general assembly
    shall provide by law the means by which ballots shall give each
    candidate's name reasonably equal position by rotation or other
    comparable methods to the extent practical and appropriate to the voting
    procedure used....

    (Amended, effective June 8, 1976; SJR No.4.)

    Well what do you know? That's almost 30 years ago -- the same timeframe cited
    by the LWV in their lawsuit for lack of poll worker training.

    Now here's the law that the Assembly came up with:

    3505.03. Office type ballot....

    The names of all candidates for an office shall be arranged in a group
    under the title of that office, and, except for absentee ballots or when
    the number of candidates for a particular office is the same as the
    number of candidates to be elected for that office, shall be rotated
    from one precinct to another. On absentee ballots, the names of all
    candidates for an office shall be arranged in a group under the title of
    that office and shall be so alternated that each name shall appear,
    insofar as may be reasonably possible, substantially an equal number of
    times at the beginning, at the end, and in each intermediate place, if
    any, of the group in which such name belongs, unless the number of
    candidates for a particular office is the same as the number of
    candidates to be elected for that office.

    Now get this:

    The method of printing the ballots to meet the rotation requirement of
    this section shall be as follows: the least common multiple of the
    number of names in each of the several groups of candidates shall be
    used, and the number of changes made in the printer's forms in printing
    the ballots shall correspond with that multiple. The board of elections
    shall number all precincts in regular serial sequence. In the first
    precinct, the names of the candidates in each group shall be listed in
    alphabetical order. In each succeeding precinct, the name in each group
    that is listed first in the preceding precinct shall be listed last, and
    the name of each candidate shall be moved up one place. In each precinct
    using paper ballots, the printed ballots shall then be assembled in

    I don't have time to scrutinize this now, but is there anything that indicates that in 2004 either:

    a) the LAW wasn't followed, or

    b) that following it would have predisposed the election to fraud through vote switching that would favor one candidate over another?
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 11:56 AM
    Response to Reply #67
    74. It appears from further analysis that Kerry could've lost 10 K votes to *
    That would be a net of 20 K.

    But in order for that theory to be plausible, the misdirection of voters to turn in their ballots at precincts where this could have occurred would have had to have been selective. I say this because the same ballots that would have resulted in Kerry to Bush switches also would have resulted in Bush to Badnarik switches -- and we know that that didn't happen to any significant extent, except in 5 precincts where the switches to Badnarik obviously came from ballots intended for Kerry.

    Therefore, in order to be plausible, the misdirecting of voters to precincts where Kerry to Bush switches could have occurred would have had have been done selectively -- on Democratic voters only. Do you think that's a plausible hypothesis?
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 09:05 AM
    Response to Reply #25
    28. Before wading through post #27, work through the simplest and
    most egregious example of "caterpillar crawl"--the Benedictine High polling location that Cleveland newespapers reported on at the time. has an analysis and links to all the Cuyahoga BOE documents used in all my work on this, including links to images of the actual ballots used at Benedictine. I just tested tese links this morning--they still work!

    Once you've worked through this simple example, case 4 in the table should be easier to understand, and then more complicated cases should become clearer.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 10:42 AM
    Response to Reply #28
    30. This is becoming clearer and clearer
    I think we can figure this out now -- please see my post # 29.
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    Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 03:17 AM
    Response to Reply #19
    22. I am referring to L. Coyote's statement that
    of the 2\2 polling places, the subset where major candidate votes can be switched is two-thirds larger than the precincts in which third party votes can be switched (220 vs. 130 precincts).

    If the ballot order distribution were random, wouldn't a Kerry switch to Bush be no more likely than a Kerry switch to a third party candidate or to Disqualified?

    I know you've done a lot more work on this than I have but so have L. Coyote and Iceburg, for example, and they seemed to favor a much higher number of vote switches than just 1000.

    I agree that you can plunge some polling places into chaos, but why not just deliberately fail to train the poll workers to tell the voters to use the right machines?
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 08:11 AM
    Response to Reply #22
    26. There seems to be a false dichotomy in the L.Coyote statistic you cited.
    Patterns of possible vote misdirection at the 584 Cuyahoga polling places are of three types:

    (1) No votes meant for Kerry could wind up in Bush's tally;

    (2) No votes meant for Kerry could wind up in minor candidates' tallies;

    (3) Votes meant for Kerry could wind up in tallies for Bush and for minor candidates;

    (4) Votes meant for Kerry could wind up in tallies for Bush and for Disqualified(Nader).

    Look at the table at

    Of the 425 polling places with more than one ballot order,

    (1) 93 (cases 4, 8, and 18) have no misdirected Kerry votes possibly going to Bush;

    (2) 133 (cases 25, 26, 27, and 28) have no misdirected Kerry votes possibly going to Badnarik or Peroutka.

    (3) 199 (all other cases) have misdirected Kerry votes possibly going to both Bush and to at least one minor candidate.

    (4) 133 (cases 25, 26, 27, and 28) have misdirected Kerry votes going to both Bush and Disqualified.
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    Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-05 02:13 PM
    Response to Reply #26
    70. I think you and L.Coyote are talking apples and oranges.
    Edited on Thu Nov-03-05 02:24 PM by Bill Bored
    He was referring only to the subset of polling places with 2 precincts and 2 ballot orders. You are covering the entire county. Is there really an inconsistency between the two breakdowns?

    Meanwhile, I see that you and TFC are doing a heck of a job!

    I will post the relevant laws of Ohio that explain how these ballot orders are supposed to be set up. I know you've already pointed out that the state Constitution was amended in 1976, which is what started all this nonsense in the first place. And it's worth noting that the League of Women Voters' lawsuit alleges lack of poll worker training, among other things, going back 30 YEARS! 2004 - 1976 = 28 years. Close enough.

    If poll workers were not aware of the rotations and how to instruct the voters, vote switching over an extended period of time was inevitable.

    Also, if you guys can show that the actual ballots orders used in 2004 VIOLATED Ohio law, someone might have a case!

    See Post #71.
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    roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 03:53 PM
    Response to Original message
    3. OH resident playing devils advocate...
    I was on the street registering voters and constantly ran across people affiliated with ACORN, ACT, VIP, MoveOn, VoteMob, Young Voter Alliance etc., doing the same thing. Since these progressive groups were trying to register likely democratic voters, African Americans, were targeted. Unfortunately then, as now we did not know if these potential voters would actually go to the polls on election day. VoteMob tried to deal with this issue by asking potential voters to sign a pledge and this contact info was used for followup. In addition, if the newly registered voters did go to vote on Nov. 2, would they be more likely than regular voters to not vote if faced with long lines.

    We were registering anyone we encountered in public places who was not already registered. Many said they had not received anything from the BoE and indicated they had registered multiple times with different individuals.

    I do think Ohio was stolen but don't think we'll be able to prove anything without a whisteblower. That being said anything that undermines the current administration in the minds of the electorate is good IMHO.

    All the more reason to push the snarkily entertaining:
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 04:12 PM
    Response to Reply #3
    4. I think I can partially answer your question
    I've heard similar objections made on other occasions, with regard to the quesetion of whether newly registered voters were as likely to vote as other voters.

    I didn't make this point in the OP, but according to the DNC report, there was a positive correlation by precinct between new voter registration and voter turnout in Ohio. In other words precincts with large numbers of new voters were characterized not only by a similar rate of voting among the new voters, but a larger rate (assuming of course that the previously registered voters in those precincts voted at about the same rate as the state average).

    I don't know why that is, and it seems counter-intuitive to some, but perhaps it was because of the extra-ordinary degree of work and enthusiasm put into this election.
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    bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 05:28 PM
    Response to Reply #4
    7. just a personal observation, so many of my barely middle class coworkers
    registered for the first time last year, and they did because they were angry.
    i was shocked at how many people who had never voted before. not a single one of them was going for bush. all the young kids, who were always apolitical prior to this knew bush was a dangerous idiot and they were motivated, they showed up and voted.
    and this was without me needing to say a word.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 07:31 PM
    Response to Reply #7
    10. Yes, I've heard similar stories from a number of people
    We heard those stories before the election and after the election. That's just one of several reasons why so many people are so skeptical about the results.
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    Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 05:23 PM
    Response to Original message
    6. EXTREMELY important post. Neither the DNC nor Kerry's people bothered
    to attempt this analysis, and we must ask ourselves WHY. Time For Change is very bright, motivated and knowledgeable, but he's one person. Why couldn't the DNC manage a truthful analysis of the results instead of the blatant whitewash job that is their official report on the Ohio Election - a report which actually concludes - on no good evidence - that there was NOT significant electronic fraud? I strongly suspect corruption.

    Thank you for your tireless work on this, Time For Change. You've accomplished something major here.

    Any luck getting more info from those NYT reporters who cited the high number of newly registered Ohio voters? I know you've been trying.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 06:23 PM
    Response to Reply #6
    8. Thank you for your confidence in me Hope
    I think that the main problem with the DNC report was that, though it did have good parts to it, it failed to consider certain kinds of fraud.

    I don't think that that is necessarily a sign of corruption, or even dishonesty, but rather basic human nature. I'm sure that there are millions of well meaning Americans who simply don't want to consider the possibility that our democracy is in such bad shape that an election could be stolen. If you're in denial, or if you don't seriously believe that you're going to find something, you just don't think about all the possibilities, even if you're the one analyzing the data IMO. In other words, the more you believe that something is there, the greater likelihood that you will find it.

    I was not able to contact the reporters from the NY Times. I understand (I can't remember from where, maybe I dreamed it) that they are under strict orders not to give out information on this.

    However, I did get hold of a member of ACT, as I briefly alluded to in my OP. His name is Julian Rogers, and I had a very long and interesting conversation with him. He had worked non-stop for over 24 hours I believe, by the time the polls closed in Ohio. The atmosphere was one of jubilation and celebration, having spent most of the day guarding the long lines in Cleveland, trying to convince voters not the leave the lines, feeding them, etc. They just knew that it had been a very successful day, were convinced that turnout was extra-ordinarily high in Cleveland, and that Kerry had won the election. But since he was so tired, he decided to sleep for a while before celebrating. He just couldn't believe what had happened when he woke up a couple hours later.

    And yet, even he hadn't seriously thought about a stolen election until I spoke with him on the telephone about what I was doing and trying to find out. And BTW he's running for state Rep. in 06. And he did refer me to what he considered to be a very good source, to whom I've written about a week ago, but haven't heard back from yet.

    I had a very similar experience in Pennsylvania that day. The ground game there was so good that they couldn't even find work for most of us volunteers. I waited around in a restaurant for a couple of hours with a couple of dozen other volunteers, and our leader came in at about three o'clock and told us that he was sorry he didn't have work for us, because they had gotten all the voters on the list within a very large radius to the polls already. People there were quite confident. I couldn't believe that Kerry carried Pennsylvania by only 2%.
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    BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 08:18 PM
    Response to Reply #8
    13. Fine piece of work TFC
    Good to see it on GD. The percentage of votes you get this tally from is about 15% of the total Ohio vote? Is that about right? If so, could we expect that many of the rest of Ohio's votes were likewise played with?

    No wonder exit-polls showed Kerry with a 3% margin of victory in Ohio but yet he supposedly lost: there quite possibly could have been as many as a million votes altered in Ohio.

    Spread across the US, with the knowledge that Ohio was a key state, and knowing there are statistics which bear out the fact that as many as 10 million votes across the US were also altered, it does seem as if the election in 2004 was stolen.

    It is hard for some to grasp that such a thing could occur - a stolen election. But given the liars lies that floated the invasion of Iraq, it makes it evermore believable that the same people who lied us into Iraq would do such a dastardly deed to our vote.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 09:25 PM
    Response to Reply #13
    16. Thank you BeFree -- I think that a million votes in Ohio is stretching it
    Of course, I didn't pick Cleveland at random to look at. I've read a great deal about the election, including Fritakis' book, most of Steve Freeman's articles, and a lot more -- and I've been studying it for some time. And the sum total of what I know about it points to Cleveland as the most likely source IMO.

    And that makes sense, right? There's no place in Ohio that is so rich in Democratic votes. If you're going to steal votes, why not go where they're the most dense. It seems that there was a lot of that going on in Florida as well. The good majority of electronic "vote switching" incidents in Florida were reported from the 3 biggest Democratic stronghold counties: Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade.

    I don't know precisely how many votes were stolen, and probably nobody does. But I think the bottom line is that there's nowhere near enough transparency in our elections, and our government is doing little to remedy matters.

    I think your last paragraph is right on target. Any government that would lie to their people to get them into a war would certainly be likely to steal an election if the need arose. And I think that Bush's approval ratings at the time of the election, his miserable debate performances, and the exposure of many of his lies meant that stealing the 2004 election was probably going to be needed.
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    JudyM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 11:27 AM
    Response to Reply #6
    32. Right - this has been driving me insane - silence by the MSM and DNC.
    Those who don't learn from past mistakes are destined to repeat them. Why won't the pugs just keep up the dirty tricks and keep a tight grasp on all the political power in the country until the world is destroyed by big oil and other selfish commercial interests?

    I at times regret my $ support for the Kerry campaign because of the all-too-quick concession. Who is watching out for the voice of the people?!
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    Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 02:55 PM
    Response to Reply #32
    39. I agree with everything you say here.
    Whatever their reason is for pointedly ignorning electronic election fraud - actually MORE than ignoring it, claiming conclusively it didn't happen - it is a disaster.

    That too-quick concession, less than a day after stating that every vote would be counted, has never been explained. I don't know why he did it, but it cut the legs out from examination of the election.

    And now, with the DNC still talking ONLY about those long lines for voting machines, there is no urgency being projected for addressing electronic election fraud at all. And as you say, no action means that it will just be repeated until "the world is destroyed by big oil and other selfish commercial interests."

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    JudyM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 06:04 PM
    Response to Reply #39
    46. carter and dole are working on it and some states are also, but
    from what i've read very little will change in time for the next election.
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    Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 08:49 PM
    Response to Reply #46
    62. I think you mean Carter and Baker--James Baker, that is, who fixed the
    election for Bush in Florida in '00. None of us could understand what Carter is doing on that phony "commission," stacked with electronic voting interests, and pushing rightwing agenda items like "Voter ID." (Carter sometimes puts himself in dicey situations to do good, but no good has some of it yet.)

    There are two venues for election reform: the state/local venue, where control over election systems still resides, and where ordinary people still have some influence, and Congress. Of these two, Congress is currently hopeless, and a great danger to true election reform; they are the ones who provided the $4 billion boondoggle to the states to convert to unreliable, insecure, hackable electronic systems, with far rightwing Bushite corporations (mostly Diebold and ES&S) gaining control of the vote tabulation with "TRADE SECRET," PROPRIETARY programming code.

    There is corruption at all levels--lavish lobbying, "revolving door" employment, and election officials enticed by the power of being the only ones--the "professionals"--who understand how our votes are being counted (--although they don't really understand it--not even our sec's of state are permitted to review the secret source code).

    I think our best hope is state/local reform movements. (--or, if Diebold and ES&S install a War Democrat in '08, for their own strategic purposes--for instance, to start placing the blame for Bush's disasters on the Democrats--a new Congressional effort, based on progressive values/good government, this time to insure the transparency of our elections, not to blind us further.)

    See, for an easy to read pamphlet on the perils of electronic voting, designed for election officials ("Myth Breakers"):

    See, for a project for statistical monitoring and challenges of elections: .

    See, lavish lobbying as recently as this August, at the Beverly Hilton, sponsored by Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia:


    We need...

    1. Paper ballots hand-counted at the precinct level (--Canada does it in one day, although speed should not even be a consideration, just accuracy and verifiability)

    or, at the least...

    2. Paper ballot (not "paper trail") backup of all electronic voting, a 10% automatic recount, very strict security, and NO SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code! (...jeez!).

    We also need...

    1. Parallel elections.
    2. Independent exit polling. (The war profiteering corporate news monopolies DOCTORED their exit polls, late on election day, to FIT the results of Diebold's and ES&S's secret formulae; the real exit polls said Kerry won.).
    3. Education, education, education.

    We should tell voters the truth about the election system--they have a right to know, and we can't get election reform without general knowledge--but we should advise them that the fraud CAN be overcome by overwhelming votes (because of the need to preprogram the fraud), and that is what we must do: Fight, fight, fight for our right to vote! Never give it up! Never!


    Throw Diebold and ES&S election theft machines into 'Boston Harbor'!
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    JudyM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-05 12:55 AM
    Response to Reply #62
    64. Thanks for great post - very informative.
    I know we're trying to do this in Virginia. I will pass on your links to my friend who is working on this! It'd be great to get everyone working on this locally together to build strength together. Do you have additional contacts?
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    marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 06:46 PM
    Response to Original message
    9. interesting analysis
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    bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 08:32 PM
    Response to Original message
    14. kick
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    farmbo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 08:49 PM
    Response to Original message
    15.  A Pulitzer awaits the reporter who unravels the Warren Co.Lockdown
    This admittedly bogus cover story is so riddled with holes that, were it a Hollywood screenplay, it would be laughed off for being far too contrived. But believe it, it happened. ...

    LEBANON - Warren County officials, facing scrutiny of their decision to lock down the administration building on election night, say they were responding to a terrorist threat that ranked a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10.<snip>

    County officials initially said they feared that having reporters and photographers present could interfere with the ballot counting. They subsequently cited homeland security concerns.<snip>

    Young said he recommended the security precautions after getting information from an FBI agent during a conversation about general Election Day threats. Young refused to identify the agent Tuesday.
    Officials at the FBI, which oversees anti-terrorism activities in southern Ohio, said they received no information about a terror threat in Warren County."The FBI did not notify anyone in Warren County of any specific terrorist threat to Warren County before Election Day," FBI spokesman Michael Brooks said.

    Yet, inexplicably, it has never been seriously investigated by any independent news organizations (The Cincinnati Enquirer--staunchly pro-Bush- actually had their reporter kicked out, but declined to seriously pursue the story). For obvious reasons, Ken Blackwell has seen to it that there has never been an Ohio investigation. And although a federal felony has clearly been committed-- Impersonating a Federal Officer, a violation of 18 USC Section 912-- no Federal investigation appears to have been initiated.

    One fact that removes this event from the realm of a local Keystone Kops routine and defines it as a conspiracy, is the irrepressible fact that, while the "terror alert" was an excuse trotted out on election day, the lockdown itself had been planned in advance: ...

    E-mails released Monday show lockdown pre-planned

    By Erica Solvig
    Enquirer staff writer

    The final tally showed that President Bush carried the Republican-dominated county with 72.1 percent of the vote.

    Warren County has drawn national attention for its election night problems, from three-hour-plus lines at the polls to locking down the administration building during the vote count because of terrorism concerns.

    County Commissioner Pat South has said the decision to lock the doors election night was made during an Oct. 28 closed-door meeting (the Thursday before Election Day). But in e-mailed memos dated Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 - released Monday after an Enquirer public records request - other county officials were already detailing the security measures, down to the wording of signs that would be posted on the locked doors

    These GOP officials were DETERMINED to count the votes in private. The "terror alert"-- bald faced lie that it was-- was simply the most convenient cover story for justifying that end.

    Thus far, everyone seems content to give these staunchly Republican public officials the benefit of the doubt,or, sadly, to write off their machinations as not having been sufficient to sway the election. Indeed (we are told) Bush WON THE STATE BY 116,000 votes! This strained justification for the felonious conduct assumes that only Warren county's 93,000 ballots were in play.

    Not so fast. Other than deranged psychopathy, there would be no reason to exclude disinterested persons from the vote count in Warren County IF ONE WAS ONLY COUNTING THE WARREN COUNTY BALLOTS. Warren County is arguably the strongest Republican county in Ohio, and the county went comfortably for Bush.

    But what if they used the lockdown to access the state central tabulator?

    Tucked inside of the bowels of the Warren County Administration building, away from the prying eyes of reporters and observers, one person with even mediocre computer skills could have accessed the incoming Ohio results ...and brought an end to our democracy
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 10:22 PM
    Response to Reply #15
    18. It would certainly be well deserved
    Thank you for this information. As a matter of fact, it was my previous conversations with you about this matter that gave me the idea of mentioning it in the OP to this thread.

    I think you should consider posting this information, or something like it, as a separate thread. I believe it could generate a lot of useful discussion on this critical but neglected issue.
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    Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 02:10 AM
    Response to Reply #15
    21. Interesting and important. It would take a very brave reporter to dare
    small planes or deserted roads while investigating this.
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    ROH Donating Member (521 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-05 09:51 PM
    Response to Original message
    17. Recommended (n/t)
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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 12:27 PM
    Response to Original message
    34. First of all, several of those precincts with low turnouts
    have senior high rise centers where the people vote via absentee... They would not show up on the voter day totals as voting in that precinct because they voted absentee....

    Second, the voter file in Cuyahoga County had not been purged for about four or five years... There were about 815,000 people registered before the purge with about 1.2 million people in the census.... I personally had gone through some of my clients (Candidates for office) listings in order to purge the voters who were duplicates...

    Third, all the precincts in Cuyahoga County were changed and consolidated over the course of four years... Starting in 1999 and ending in 2003, the total number of precincts in Cuyahoga County dropped from about 2150 to about 1750... This makes comparison of precincts to precincts over this time period suspect at best...

    How do I know this....

    I was one of the elected Democratic Party Board members in the mid 90's and know how this worked and what was going on with the voting lists... I also served as the party treasurer from 1994 - 2002... I was deeply involved with the voting process in Cuyahoga County...

    There were and are always problems on election day.. It is hard to find qualified people who wish to work 16 hours for less than 100... The Board relies on senior citizens, for the most part... Not making excuses, just giving you an non nefarious explaination...

    To think that 100,000 votes went for Bush instead of Kerry in Cuyahoga County is ludicrous and wishful thinking....

    But then again, I know you will probably discount this post because, of course, you know all about Cuyahoga County sitting there in Maryland and of course, I know nothing at all about the political process here in my hometown...

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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 01:13 PM
    Response to Reply #34
    36. No, most of us WON'T "discount" your opinion. We're glad somebody with
    inside knowledge of Cuyahoga elections has seen this thread, and we have a few questions only you could perhaps answer.

    My biggest questions have to do with the Nader line vote and were posed in the post at and the two posts following it.

    Why would Cuyahoga have kept Nader's line on the ballot as "Disqualified" rather than just removing it? Would keeping the line on the ballot have been a state (Blackwell) or a local decision? And why would Michael Vu at the Cuyahoga BOE tell us that the "Disqualified" line was not even talled by precinct, when special programming apparently was necessary for that line NOT to be tallied? Have "Disqualified" lines appeared on Cuyahoga Presidential ballots in the past? If so, were they tallied and reported by precinct?

    Since there were more than 13,400 Presidential undervotes in Cuyahoga, up to 13,400 Presidential votes could have disappeared into a "black hole" instead of being tallied and used to analyze possible irregularities in the vote by precinct. Wouldn't your comfort level with the accuracy of the 2004 vote have been raised by reporting of the vote for "Disqualified" rather than its odd disappearance?
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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 04:25 PM
    Response to Reply #36
    43. I don't know for sure but I believe the ballots
    for Cuyahoga had alreay been printed... This is a fairly regular occurance in Cuyahoga County, when a canbdidate is ruled off the ballot after say October 1st, it is hard to do anything but go through the whole pile of ballots and hand write or stamp disqualified...

    The ballots have to be in so that absentee ballots can be sent out on time...

    I wasn't on the board so I can not tell you why this happened in 2004.. All I can say is that during my time as a member of the board, we had to manually fix ballots after the deadline and in some cases, where impropriety was discovered late, we had no choice but to let the ballots out as they were printed....

    There is no excuse for that particular voting location mentioned in the original post... The person who was in charge of oversight for that location should have been repremanded or fired....
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 06:14 PM
    Response to Reply #43
    47. Another ballot question--about "double-wide" Presidential ballot lines
    Your partial answer to my previous questions makes sense if absentee ballots already had been printed in Cuyahoga when courts or the State ruled on Nader's eligibility for the ballot. For obvious reasons, PDF images of absentee ballots are not online, though images of ballots at 1436 physical precincts were and still are online. There could have been some frantic last-minute editing of the 1436 ballot images to leave the Nader line but re-label it "Disqualified Candidate". Take a look at the actual ballot image for Cleveland 4N (Precinct ID #1814, one of the two infamous precincts clustered at Benedectine High), at .

    My next puzzler has to do with the width of the ballot lines for President compared with the width of the ballot lines for Senator. The ballot lines for Badnarik, Bush, Kerry, et. al. seem to be DOUBLE THE HEIGHT of the ballot lines for Voinovich and Fingerhut.

    What would have happened if a voter had not pushed the punchcard "all the way down" into the slot in the voting machine before punching? Let's say the punchcard was misaligned by exactly the witdth of one Senatorial ballot-line of blank space (or accumulated chads) at the bottom of the voting-machine slot. It looks as though in this precinct a punch intended for Fingerhut would have wound up being counted as a vote for Voinovich, because in this precinct Voinovich's name is one single-wide line below Fingerhut's name.

    But what about a vote intended for Kerry? Are the voting machines programmed to accept only punches on one of the two lines in each double-wide slot? In that case, the voter would see a hole punched in the Presidential area at the top of the punchcard, but the counting machine would register no Presidential vote. Or are counting machines programmed to accept punches on either line? Then the punch intended for Kerry still would be counted for Kerry.

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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 07:00 PM
    Response to Reply #47
    49. There are two nipples sticking out of the apparatus
    that you vote on that have to be aligned in order to vote... The two holes are at the top of the punch card and fit onto the nipples when they are slipped into the voting apparatus....
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 07:25 PM
    Response to Reply #49
    51. I know. But let's say your machine was misaligned or choked
    with chads, there was a long line of people out the door and around the block waiting behind you, and the red pins just refused to go through the holes at the top of your ballot. What would some people do, especially if they had not voted before? Some of them would have gone ahead and punched a hole anyway, and not complained to an election staffer even if they could have gotten one's attention. Some wouldn't have wanted to look "stupid".

    Things don't ALWAYS happen exactly as bureaucrats plan them to happen--that's all I'm saying. And the thousands of Presidential undervotes in Cuyahoga indicate that SOMETHING unplanned happened, thousands of times.

    You seem to be quite unwilling to "suspend disbelief" and investigate what COULD have happened in some cases.
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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 08:08 PM
    Response to Reply #51
    52. No I am not... If the card isn't aligned, the card pops out...
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    AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 08:25 PM
    Response to Reply #52
    61. So you're saying that any Presidential undervote in '04 had to be
    an intentional or unintentional vote for "Candidate Disqualified (Nader)"?
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 01:27 PM
    Response to Reply #34
    37. First of all, there's no need to be so snarky and confrontational
    Edited on Mon Oct-31-05 01:30 PM by Time for change
    I've never even communicated with you before, and you're making sarcastic comments to me.

    Secondly, you are misquoting me. I did not say that 100,000 votes went for Bush instead of Kerry in Cuyahoga County. I'm suggesting that it appears that close to 100,000 are unaccounted for and may have been deleted electronically, not that they went to Bush.

    With regard to the changing of precinct boundaries, I don't see what that has to do with any of my analyses. I am using data that was used to put together the DNC report, and at one point in this thread I made a comparison between the Hagan 02 vote and the Kerry 04 vote. In that comparison I used only precincts that, according to the file, had constant boundaries between 2002 and 2004, which includes the good majority of Cuyahoga precincts.

    With regard to the absentee voters, I don't believe that that would affect the low turnout that I calculated for Cleveland, which is consistant with all other reports I have heard on that subject, but I will have to check that out.

    With regard to your statement about the voter files in Cuyahoga County not being purged in 5 years, I take it that your implication is that the huge discrepancy between the NY Times report and figures released by Blackwell's office was due to legal purging of unqualified voters. That may be, and I said in my OP that that is a possibility. but I don't see what light your statement sheds on that. The discrepancies between Blackwell's figures and those reported by the NY Times apply not just to Cuyahoga County, but statewide. If you have specific information that indicates that the apparent massive purging of Cuyahoga County voters (as indicated by the discrepancy between the NY Times report and official figures) was legally and ethically justified, I'd appreciate your sharing it with us.
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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 04:17 PM
    Response to Reply #37
    41. First of all, I can tell you why they hadn't been purged for
    a long period of time and that had to do with the change over in computer systems... From my understanding, the data was preserved from as far back as 1996 and people who had not voted in elections between 1996 and 2002, were purged, by law, from the voter rolls...

    During this time period, the BOE was scanning signatures so that they could be stored and used for comparision at the poll booth...

    there were thousands of deceased people still being carried on the rolls and had not been purged until 2002...

    I purchased a disc from the BOE in early 2004 that had the 815k people on it.... I know this was wrong... I have no idea why... The NYT may have gotten this data...

    Second, I am sorry for being snarky but I went through a lot of this in december and I was called every name in the book, so I came to this with a chip on my shoulder...

    Third, you have to remember that the BOE in any county in Ohio is the last bastion of partisan nepotism available... For every democrat hired there is a republican hired as well... The people who work there are not what you would call the creme of the crop... The pay is lousy, the lowest, as far as I know, in the county governmental structure... Just as a point of reference...

    Fourth, the absentee situation. The absentees are tallied separate from the precincts... They are reported at the end of the computer run for each political subdivision... They are not, in the record books, recorded in the individual precinct totals... Although, in the voting records of individuals, they are recorded... This means the voting total for precincts will be lower where there is a high population of senior citizens who are encouraged to vote by both parties... The democratic party always ran a program aimed at seniors to vote absentee... For instance, I am now running an absentee program for a candidate running in one of the suburbs here in Cuyahoga County.. We have already sent out, based on the information provided by the BOE, over 600 pieces of campaign literature... That represents about 10% of the total vote in that race...

    All I can say is that the tally's I looked at on Election night for Cuyahoga County seemed correct... I also compared them to what was reported on the SOS web site... they were the same... But I took into consideration the double counting of absentees that happened in some cities, most notably Fairview Park, and subtracted those out to some up with what the actual vote was...

    All I am trying to say is that the people at the BOE couldn't explain the discrepancies cause they aren't trained too.. Michael V. should have known the operation but he was relatively new and I can not explain why he didn't know what was happening in his own building....

    Was there a problem in certain precincts, you bet... I remember we had problems during the two election I over saw with locations not being open on time, people getting lost, people not trained and a few where there weren't enough votes... In the elections I was involved with, we were able to rectify all problems before 12:00 noon... Things do tend to happen...

    But from my experience, the level of incompetency and the fact that people are double checked, one dem for every rep, far exceeds the ability to pull of widespread voter fraud....
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 05:08 PM
    Response to Reply #41
    44. Could you please clarify
    You're talking about deceased people on the voter rolls who were not purged until 2002. Does that mean that the voter rolls were reasonably accurate after 2002? I ask because the purge that I talk about in my OP happened between March and November of 2004.
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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 06:58 PM
    Response to Reply #44
    48. I was talking about after the 2002 election....
    Now I know this since we had an intra-party election to fill a vacancy.. Precinct Committee people were the voters... In 1998, the whole county elected PCP, 2150 precincts... The new precincts came on line one city at a time starting in 1999... there was mass confusion and it was during this time, I was going through the BOE books to see who was in what precincts, that I noticed all the people who were listed but had not voted....

    The purge took place after that intra party election which took place in January of 2002... All that I know is that the purge had to take place before the next presidential election.....
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 01:54 PM
    Response to Reply #34
    38. And with regard to the discrepancy between Blackwell's official
    voter registration data and what was reported by the NY Times: Although the Times reported that new voter registration was much greater in Democratic than Republican precincts throughout the state (by a factor of about 10 times), according to Blackwell's official data, Republican precincts actually did better with new voter registration on average than Democratic precincts:

    If you could explain that, it would be very helpful.
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    Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 03:07 PM
    Response to Reply #38
    40. Yes, that is an unexplained mystery. Makes no sense at all.
    Edited on Mon Oct-31-05 03:08 PM by Nothing Without Hope
    You'd think the DNC would be more concerned about this, but I haven't seen any signs of it.

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    WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 04:17 PM
    Response to Reply #38
    42. I don't know about the rest of the state.....
    All I can talk about is Cuyahoga....
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-05 11:53 AM
    Response to Original message
    69. POTENTIAL EXPLANATION for discrepancy in voter registration figures
    According to extensive research by Vicki Lovegren, posted on Ohio Vigilance - Analyses - Cuhahoga County, here:

    there were 165,224 voters purged from the Cuyahoga County voter roles at an unknown date, but apprently some time after the 2002 election and possibly in 2004, for no other reason than that they were "inactive" -- meaning that they hadn't voted recently. Furthermore, this purging seems to have been done on a selective basis, though the means of selecting which voters to purge is not specified at the website (I assume because she was not able to identify the means of selection). This reason for purging voters appears to be ILLEGAL.

    Also, there are numerous other problems noted in Dr. Lovegren's reports, including failure to notify voters that their voter registration eligibility was purged, but I won't go into them all here.

    If her report is accurate, it could largely explain the discrepancy between the NY Times reports of new voter registration versus the official figures released by Blackwell's office, and substantially supports my speculation in my OP regarding the illegal purging of Ohio voters as a major reason for Bush's Ohio "victory".
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    Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-05 08:24 PM
    Response to Reply #69
    72. So who's suing or prosecuting those responsible for these illegalities?
    Edited on Thu Nov-03-05 08:32 PM by Bill Bored
    And were any of them mentioned in the DNC's report, or Conyers'?
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-05 09:23 PM
    Response to Reply #72
    73. I don't know anything about that yet
    I've written to Vickie to get clarification.
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    Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-05 08:44 AM
    Response to Original message
    75. Here is more explanation for the voter registration discrepancies
    This is another report from Vicki Lovegren, detailing numerous problems with Diebold's DIMS software programs, which were used for voter registration in Cuyahoga County -- which came on line shortly before the 2004 election:
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