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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 05:20 PM
Original message
Response from researchers who contributed to the DNC OH Election Report
Edited on Wed Jul-06-05 05:51 PM by Time for change
I recently received a response from Professor Walter Mebane to my questions about his groups portions of the DNC 2004 Ohio Election Report. Professor Mebanes group is responsible for Sections VI and VII of the DNC report. I consider Section VI to be the most critical section of the report, because that is the section that concludes that the analysis strongly suggests that there was no widespread fraud in the Ohio 2004 Presidential election.

Here is the Executive summary, where that conclusion is stated on page 11: http://a9.g.akamai.net/7/9/8082/v001/www.democrats.org/... . And here is Section VI of the report, where the relevant discussion can be found on pages 14 through 16: http://a9.g.akamai.net/7/9/8082/v001/www.democrats.org/...

I believe that some of the points that Professor Mebane makes in his response may be useful to those of you who are writing letters to the DNC about this report. Before listing those points I just want to say a general word about Professor Mebanes response. He responded to my e-mail to him within four hours, and the response is extremely detailed and thorough though quite difficult to read for non-statisticians. In that regard, and because some of his points may be useful to to us, I think that many of you would feel some gratitude towards him for his prompt and thorough response. On the other hand, he still sticks by his conclusion that The precinct data
provide strong evidence against the claim that there was widespread misallocation of votes from Kerry to Bush. In that respect Im sure that many of you would be profoundly disappointed in him, to say the least.

I am still unable to understand the rationale for coming to that conclusion. Anyhow, here are the points that you might find useful:


1. Relationship of Issue 1 (ban on gay marriage) to turnout

One very perplexing (to me) part of his report was that there was a positive correlation between turnout and voting yes on Issue 1, which is responsible for an increase in turnout of one half percent to 2%. That was perplexing to me because we have always been told that a large turnout favors Democrats, but if voting yes on Issue 1 led to increased turnout, then that would appear to mean that increased turnout favored Bush.

So I asked if the reason for the apparent correlation between turnout and voting yes on Issue1 could be due to voter suppression or electronic manipulation to reduce the vote in Democratic precincts, since this would make it appear as if there was low turnout in Democratic precincts.

The response I received to this question was basically that it was impossible to tell because there was no data available on party affiliation, and with regard to the possibility that electronic fraud played a role in this, there was no evidence found for this but the kind of data we have are not really suitable to digging into that. A forensic examination of administrative records would be needed to make the case for or against.


2. Voter suppression due to insufficient voting machine allocation in Franklin County

Item # 3 in my thread where I post my letter to Howard Dean discusses in depth the problem of voter suppression due to insufficient voting machine allocation in Franklin County: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I asked Professor Mebane about that, and whether that could be part of the reason for the apparent low voter turnout in Democratic precincts. He did confirm the problem in Franklin County by saying that: "There were also proportionally fewer voting machines in Franklin County's minority neighborhoods than in predominantly white neighborhoods." I dont believe he specifically addressed the issue of whether that could have contributed to the apparent low voter turnout in Democratic precincts. But I dont see any way that it could NOT have contributed to that. I mean, it seems to me that thats just common sense.


3. Strange findings in Cuyahoga County

I asked about some of the strange findings in Cuyahoga County, which I describe in detail in item # 2 of my letter to Howard Dean (see link above). Briefly, this includes implausibly low voter turnout in numerous precincts, coupled with the strange finding noted in the DNC report that in Cuyahoga County the normal expected positive correlation between voter turnout and machines per voter was ABSENT.

Heres what Professor Mebane had to say about that: I don't know what went on in Cuyahoga County. As I wrote in several places in the DNC report, there were many anomalies in the data from Cuyahoga County that warrant further investigation.


4. Late vote surge in Miami County

I also detailed in my Dean letter thread, item # 5, the late vote surge of 19,000 votes in Miami County, after 100 % of precincts had reported, giving Bush an additional cushion of about 6,000 votes.

In response to my pointing that out, Professor Mebane noted that there were four precincts in Ohio that were outliers with respect to turnout, as predicted by support for Issue 1. Three of those precincts were in Miami County, two high outliers and one low outlier.


5. Other anomalies

I also pointed out other anomalies and suspicious findings, including electronic vote switching from Kerry to Bush in Mahoning County, and several anomalies in southwestern Ohio, including a swing of 37,000 votes to Bush (compared to his 2000 vote) from the three large counties in southwestern Ohio (Warren, Butler, and Clermont), unexpectedly poor performance of Kerry compared to the relatively unknown liberal Democratic candidate for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, the infamous lockdown in Warren County to prevent anyone other than Republicans from observing the vote count, and the tremendously high increase in voter registration in these counties, despite the fact that the DNC report finds that this was supposed to be associated with Democratic gains. These are all detailed in item #s 4 and 6 of my Dean letter thread.

Professor Mebanes response to all this was: The problems you review for Mahoning and the other counties you mentioned seem to me to call for investigation, regardless of what is in the precinct data we analyzed.


6. Possible problems with central tabulators

I asked Professor Mebane if it is possible or likely that if one or more of these episodes (i.e., the several findings that I describe above) do in fact represent fraud, that the fraud was perpetrated through manipulation of central tabulators, and therefore was not necessarily manifested by wide variance in precinct data?

His answer to that was: The mysteries of central tabulation are important to understand and eliminate. Section VII and especially Section VIII of the DNC report address this. The DNC team did not have access either to the tabulation hardware or software or to the original ballots (where paper ballots were used).


Lastly, a few words about why I disagree with Professor Mebane's conclusion of "strong evidence against the claim that there was widespread misallocation of votes from Kerry to Bush.
It is not explained why a strong correlation between Kerry's vote and Fingerhut's vote is strong evidence against fraud. It would take a shift of only a little over 1 % of the vote from Kerry to Bush to change the outcome of the election, and Mebane does not explain why that couldn't be consistent with his findings.

The correlation between Kerry's vote and Ellen Connally's vote is considerably weaker than the Kerry-Fingerhut correlation, and there are some suspicious corrolaries surrounding that finding, yet none of this is mentioned in the report.

Furthermore, I can visualize a number of scenarios involving widespread electronic fraud, where the Kerry-Fingerhut correlation would remain intact, including: 1) disappearing large numbers of votes in Democratic precincts (such as may have happened in Cuyahoga County); 2) adding large numbers of Bush votes in Republican or Democratic precincts (such as apparently happenned in Miami County); 3) switching votes from Fingerhut to Voinovich at the same rate that votes are switched from Kerry to Bush, perhaps at the central tabulator level.

In summary, Professor Mebane has said a lot of things which indicate his feeling of the need for continuing investigation of this serious problem. These opinions of his have received little or no emphasis in public discussion of the DNC report.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for the detailed summary
Yeah, they stole OH.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. LOL!**
:)
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. Very important! Recommended
Everyone interested in the DNC Ohio Election report should see this.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Low voter turn out, my remote. They stole it..
:kick:
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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. thanks for sticking with this. I'm glad that he responded so quickly
Edited on Wed Jul-06-05 08:48 PM by KaliTracy
but some of the answers he gave (that more investigation is warranted in some of the anomalous areas) make me wonder just what it takes for someone to say that the election in Ohio wasn't Fair, Equitable, or Just. That the election in Ohio, in fact, was tainted, and therefore, either extreme investigation of the matter should take place, and a definition of what makes a "valid" election should be dispersed so that this doesn't happen next time.

I know, I know. I'm not holding my breath. But if they don't care about the problems How in the Hell can we fix them???

edit:spelling
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. "if they don't care about the problems How in the Hell can we fix them?"
EXACTLY!!!!

As long as they can get away with saying that there was no significant fraud in Ohio and total silence on electronic election fraud,

There will be NO change and all future elections will ALSO be fraudulent.

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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. it's what I say to every "important" person I write to -- maybe I should
make me a bumper sticker...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. I wonder too
I just don't understand it. But here are some possible ideas as to why the Democratic leadership has been so unaggressive about this:

1. They simply feel that it would be political suicide to make too much of a fuss about "fraudulent elections". They don't want to be seen as "sore losers"

2. They're in denial. They just don't want to believe how bad it really is.

3. They're working on a solution, but want to keep it under the radar screen, for reasons similar to # 1, above.

4. They're complicit and corrupt.

I'm hoping that it's a combination of 1 and 3, but especially 3. Though I'm afraid that it's more likely to be 1.
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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. I'd settle for 3... that if they said anything while it's under the radar
it would be wide open before they are ready -- however, if people/legislators are condoning the DNC report publicly, maybe this has to be a total grassroots endeavor.

Blackwell caught with his hands in the Noe cookie jar in the name of Bush's campaign would be a good find, though.
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for looking into this TFC. n/t
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. I voted in SW OH & I am ashamed to admit, when I got to the end of the...
ballot I could not remember the name of the dem judge even though I had heard it once in a speech given by a Democratic party speaker at a Kerry party. And I am sure I read it in the newspaper endorsements that of course endorsed the republican incumbent.

That is how obscure C. Ellen Connaly's name was. And I am a dem living in a very democratic precinct. I skipped the judge race because my mind drew a complete blank.

Now how do Bush voters somehow accidentally vote for Connaly over the incumbent Moyer in many counties? The SC race was a downticket race. Voting rates drop down ticket.
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farmbo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. Lemme see...they didn't investigate the tabulators or the vote flipping
Edited on Wed Jul-06-05 10:10 PM by farmbo
...But they're standing by their conclusion that there was no evidence of widespread fraud.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

What did they spend our $500,000 on? Qualudes?

Honestly...how can he utter this statement with a straight face:

"The mysteries of central tabulation are important to understand and eliminate. Section VII and especially Section VIII of the DNC report address this. The DNC team did not have access either to the tabulation hardware or software or to the original ballots (where paper ballots were used)"

In other words...we needed to investigate the tabulators but that might have required us to actually get on a plane and go to Ohio and talk to people, and that would have meant missing a Skins game, so Donna said it was out of the question.

:grr:
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. Note also that most precinct voting data were obtained from BLACKWELL!!!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: "DNC Ohio Election Report data were obtained from BLACKWELL!!! Hmmm..."

Some excerpts that should curl your hair if you care about either the objective merit of this report OR about the future of election reform in this country:

From the introductory comments to Chapter VI of the DNC Ohio election report (page 1 of the Chapter VI pdf file - http://a9.g.akamai.net/7/9/8082/v001/www.democrats.org/... ):

During the first five months of 2005, the DNC Ohio 2004 Investigative Project collected
extensive data from precincts throughout Ohio. ... The effort produced a combination of electronic spreadsheet files and many PDF files containing images from faxes of scanned documents. The most important spreadsheet was a file produced by the Ohio Secretary of State office that reported registered voter counts, counts of votes cast and voting returns for precincts from all Ohio counties....


From the Appendix to Chapter VI of the DNC report (page 96 of the Chapter VI pdf file)

....For the most part we take as given the accuracy of data supplied to us by the Ohio Secretary of State and by various county BoEs. In some cases we have verified data with multiple sources, and where discrepancies were found we have resolved them to the extent that we have been able. .... We appreciate and have benefited greatly from the efforts that the Ohio Secretary of State makes in assembling precinct-level election returns for the entire state. The availability of these returns has obviated the need for us to collect and process a large number of different precinct canvasses....


Now starting from this (to put it mildly) QUESTIONABLE source, put through some (to put it mildly) extremely odd statistical arguments to come to THIS far-reaching conclusion (among others):

(From page 11 of the Chapter II pdf file - http://a9.g.akamai.net/7/9/8082/v001/www.democrats.org/... )

The statistical study of precinct-level data does not suggest the occurrence of widespread fraud that systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.

  • The tendency to vote for Kerry in 2004 was the same as the tendency to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor in 2002 (Hagan). That the pattern of voting for Kerry is so similar to the pattern of voting for the Democratic candidate for governor in 2002 is, in the opinion of the teams political science experts, strong evidence against the claim that widespread fraud systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.

  • Kerrys support across precincts also increased with the support for Eric Fingerhut, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, and decreased with the support for Issue 1 (ballot initiative opposing same-sex marriage) and increased with the proportion of African American votes. Again this is the pattern that would be expected and is not consistent with claims of widespread fraud that misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.



Why is the DNC so eager to "prove" that there was no widespread fraud in 2004, no sign of significant electronic fraud that this report is put forward as "evidence"? Not only are the statistical arguments not compelling, as pointed out by Time for Change, the starting data came from BLACKWELL, who would be at the center of any fraud that existed.


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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. well, he's the Secretary of State, and supposed to "investigate fraud" so
but according to him everything went "smoothly" -- so there was "no fraud" and of course, they would use his numbers, and his own personal spread sheets.

Ironically -- I have some numbers from uncertified and certified and Amended results of the Presidential races....

I have all the district numbers from after the election -- taken maybe 4 or 5 days after from the Ohio SOS site, when I started a spreadsheet for some comparisons.

I also have numbers (but not whole spreadsheets) of certified numbers of just a few categories (used it when I was first looking at precinct data) taken after website was updated with the Official certification numbers. A while back I noticed that some of these numbers have changed from the certification, including # of registered voters. (I posted the following information on the night I found them) My question then, and now, is Is that typical? Is it just that they invalidated people who were "registered" and that's why these numbers changed?

I guess since the number of registered voters went down, but the number of votes cast went up (by a hair) it just didn't make sense to me. It's not a big deal - but if there is an explanation would love to hear it.... (The number changes here are little -- but they are still curious)



November Election Week Numbers (not certified)
# of precincts.................. 11,360
# of registered voters.......7,979,639
Total votes cast.............5,574,476
percent of votes cast........69.86%
provisional ballots ...........155,428


Numbers taken after December Certification
# of precincts..................11,366
# of registered voters.......7,974,670
Total Votes Cast.............5,722,211
Percent of Votes Cast..........71.75%


Numbers taken today (said they were adjusted in January)
# of precincts.................11,366
# of registered voters......7,972,826
Total votes Cast............5,722,443
Percent of Votes Cast.........71.77%

also has a provisional ballots page
number of provisional ballots....158,642 (changed from election week)
number certified.................123,548
Percent of recorded ballots........77.9%

I assume the BOEs certify their numbers and then turn them into SOS for "official" certification. As for the law surrounding this, I don't know -- it does say on the one page that they are "amended" so maybe that covers them. One of the others could better answer that.

Why the Registered Voters Numbers changed so much from November to January is strange to me, but it might just be a procedural thing (getting rid of invalid registrations.

It Does say when you log into the SOS site under 2204 Elections and choose President:

U.S. President / Vice President: November 2, 2004
Amended Official Results as of January 4, 2005

(http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/results/index.html )


December 6th Press Release Numbers

Michael Badnarick...................14,695
George W. Bush...................2,858,727
David Keith Cobb (write in)............186
Richard A. Duncan (write in)............16
James Harris (write-in).................22
John F. Kerry....................2,739,952
John T. Parker (write-in)................2
Michael Anthony Peroutka............11,907
Joe Schriner (write-in)................114
Thomas F. Zych (write-in)...............10




Amended" January 4th Numbers
Michael Badnarick....................14,676
George W. Bush....................2,859,768
David Keith Cobb (write in).............192
Richard A. Duncan (write in).............17
James Harris (write-in)..................22
John F. Kerry.....................2,741,167
John T. Parker (write-in).................2
Michael Anthony Peroutka.............11,939
Joe Schriner (write-in).................114
Thomas F. Zych (write-in)................10



I find it humorous that in the "certification press release" (Released December 6th) the following statement is said under the numbers:

County boards of elections completed their official canvasses this year sooner than in previous years. In 2000, Secretary Blackwell certified statewide results on December 11 at 5 p.m; in 2002, statewide results were certified on December 20 at 11 a.m.

A by county breakdown of official results is available on line at www.sos.state.oh.us .

For more information, contact Carlo LoParo at (614) 752-8110.

*********
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. This is just an educated guess
I would assume that much of the increase in votes cast was the result of provisional ballots that were verified. But that probably doesn't account for all of it, because I don't think that quite that many provisional ballots were counted.

Perhaps the decrease in voter registration was also a result of the provisional ballot process. As they went through the provisional ballots, they might have decided that some voters were not legally registered after all, so they cancelled their registration and made it retroactive.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:52 AM
Original message
Very nice summary of warning flags, Hope
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 09:53 AM by Time for change
I agree -- it's very difficult to understand the DNC's role in this.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. Very nice summary of warning flags, Hope
I agree -- it's very difficult to understand the DNC's role in this.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
13. We should also remember that the DOJ also released THEIR "report"
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 12:56 AM by Nothing Without Hope
concluding - surprise! - no fraud problem in Ohio. (They are now busy doing a massive purge of Ohio voters, over 100,000 in one county alone! I hope to hell that this shocking development is being probed aggressively by Dems.)
http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001512.htm
(Also this DU thread - http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... )

The GOP can - and no doubt will - say that the DNC report confirms the DOJ report as absolute proof that there was no fraud problem in the 2004 Ohio election. As for electronic fraud - just TRY to find a member of the Dem leadership who will talk about it seriously as something that absolutely requres urgent action. They'll talk about those long lines, but NOT about electronic fraud.

I expect the GOPs and Dems to stage camera-worthy events when they ceremoniously present extra voting machines to the Ohio precincts that had so few of them, loudly claiming that they are helping all those poor African-Americans cast their votes. In fact, if the central electronic fraud machinery is not even exposed, let alone dismantled, democracy is not only gone, it's gone for the foreseeable future. More voting machines? Won't matter if those cast votes on the extra machines can be manipulated.

We MUST rebut the DNC and DOJ "evidence" for a non-fraudulent 2004 election in Ohio. (Reports based on solid data are desperately needed for other states with unverifiable election results as well, of course.) As long as the Dem leadership can claim that there was no significant fraud even in Ohio, THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE.








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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
14. Good work....now we have to keep on it....n/t
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freedomfries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
15. KICK
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
19. Kick for an important thread. Here's the page with the full DNC Oho
election report available in pdf downloads:
http://www.democrats.org/vri/ohioreport/index.html
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
20. Here are some background threads on the DNC Ohio Election Report:
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 01:29 PM by Nothing Without Hope
Initial release of the DNC Ohio election report:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: DNC RELEASES STUDY OF 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN OHIO

-------------------------------------------

Articles by Fitrakis about the DNC Ohio election report:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thead title: The DNC 2004 Election Report: An indictment of incompetence - Bob Fitrakis?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: "Limp election theft report, Dems prove why they're unworthy" Fitrakis

--------------------------------------------

Time For Change's letter to Howard Dean:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: What the DNC Ohio Election Report failed to address: My letter to H. Dean?

--------------------------------------------

Other threads:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: DNC Ohio Election Report data were obtained from BLACKWELL!!! Hmmm...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Thread title: The DNC Report - where we go from here.

I invite you to add additional relevant threads and other links if they are not mentioned in this list.
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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I sent this to Ed Gordon of News and Notes the day before the DNC report
came out -- his show that day caused me to think all day long about the direction it took. I fear, from what I've heard thus far about the report, that no one will look at the problems of the 2004 elections....

This is the link to the page with the program.
You can hear it hear if you wish.

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId...

Mr. Gordon:

I listen to your show during my lunch break almost every day of the week. Today I was running errands, so I heard parts of the Downing Street Minutes discussion with the congressman Charlie Rangel, and then the commentary about the Downing Street Minutes in which the commentator said at the end, to paraphrase, no matter what your political affiliation, the contents and the supporting evidence around this issue should concern us all. Then you mentioned you would have an alternative view tomorrow, which is fine.

But when you opened your roundtable with words like Democrats holding mock hearings in the Basement of Capital Hill calling for impeachment, your tone and attitude and, dare I say your words, conveyed that you thought that they had gone off the Deep End. I have two points to make about the roundtable, so I will stay on this topic first.

Representative John Conyers was deeply disturbed when the Downing Street Minutes came to light. Representative Conyers first released a letter to President Bush, which at first 88 congress people also signed (this then went to 93). In it he asked a few simple questions, which were simply ignored by the White House and its staff. So, Representative Conyers then put the letter on his website*, and gathered over 500,000 signatures from the American People, along with 13 additional members of congress, and delivered them to an aid between the gates of the White House (as no one else would receive them). They wouldnt even give him the courtesy of opening the gate.

Allow me to repeat myself: over half a million people signed this letter.** He had scheduled a hearing about the Minutes (in which Republicans were invited, just as they were invited to the hearings about the voting irregularities in Ohio, and which, both times, they refused to participate), however, Republicans denied his request for each room he asked for. He was then going to hold this Judicial Committee hearing at the DNC, but at the last minute was able to use the small room in the basement, with the DNC as an overflow place. Ironically, an unprecedented 11 floor votes came at the same time as the hearing, which made it difficult for members to participate for the first hour and a half.

How do I know all of this? Because Representative Conyers had to write a lengthy rebuttal to one reporters article about this day. He happened to then CC it to RawStory, which published it in its entirety.*** I strongly urge you to read this letter.

My second point concerns what happened and was discussed after this introduction. Somehow the topic became about how the Democrats have lost their way. The discussion then turned on how the Democratic Party has forgot about African Americans. I agree, Kerry and his team could have probably done more to embrace the African American Voters however, Get Out The Vote was in lots of areas, most urban and rural.

But it wasnt that voters chose not to vote this time. How many chose to vote but couldnt because of the obstructions put into their way? What about the Secretary of State of Ohio, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who happens to be African American, and who said things had gone smoothly in Ohio, immediately after the election, and continued to stay on this talking point when they obviously did NOT. What about the people in urban areas (many of them African American), who waited for hours to vote (over 2hrs in many places), yet, when they got to the poll book table, they were told they were in the wrong place, and had to go yet in another line, which they did -- if they had the time.**** View this video. Show each member of your panel this video. Each time I see this movie I cry. What happened that day, even if was in one place (it wasnt) was WRONG. What about the 63 machines in Franklin County that were in a warehouse even when polling places called for more machines? What about the 18 questions that Representative John Conyers asked Secretary State of Ohio, Mr. Blackwell, which never were answered? What about the 109 page report that Conyers put together (which again, includes these questions), which methodically points out the voter suppression and other irregularities in Ohio?***** It has just been published, though anyone can access it for free on line, and has been able to since its release in January. Have you read it? Has your panel? Why not review the video and the report together for one show.

What about Barbara Boxer and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones who stood up to say on record that the voting suppression and disenfranchisement in Ohio were wrong? What about the other members of the House (over 25) who did the same? What about the thousands of American Citizens, who called, faxed, emailed, and otherwise notified Senators and House Members that something was wrong with the election, and that the electoral votes shouldnt be certified?.

What about the recount in Ohio which was effectively obstructed by the Secretary of State, as well as numerous Board of Elections, so as not to be a true recount? ****** What happened in Ohio unfortunately wasnt isolated, other states had similar difficulties, but it was important both for the illegal ways that people were told not to vote (via fliers with false information as well as phone calls, among other tactics), as well as for the fact that Ohio determined the outcome of the election. With 88 districts and 11,366 precincts, the results could have changed with only 11 votes per precinct. Oh, but in my upper/middle class/mostly Caucasian/mostly Republican/excellent schools 3 years in a row District, (West Chester, Ohio) there was at least 23 machines in just a one and mile strip. So, we didnt have long lines, or people bothering us at the polls. And, because the majority of people in this neighborhood have more flexible jobs, even if we happened to have to wait, we werent threatened with being fired if we didnt show up for our shift on time. We just flex-timed it and worked later that night. This is democracy?

When I heard the day after the election about the long lines all over Ohio, I was ANGRY. It doesnt matter the color of your skin to see that people of all races were disenfranchised in Ohio, and not just in a little way. I was literally sick. I wrote all kinds letters to NPR shows, to the ACLU, to large papers, to call out that something was wrong. And unless we do something to FIX IT, it will stay wrong. This doesnt mean just trying to get more people to vote they DID try to vote. This means educating communities about the right to vote, about acknowledging that they are mad or disillusioned and might have given up for next time. This doesnt mean just blindly accepting a bill called election reform without understanding it, and its about making sure that there is a provision for verified paper ballots, even if it is an electronic voting machine. This means holding the people Accountable that created this mess in Ohio (and elsewhere), but this cannot be done if we (and the media) just let them off of the radar.

SoI understand that it might be easier to blame the Democrats for not being there for the African American community prior to the election. I understand that the Rally in Ohio on January 3rd sponsored by the Rainbow Push Coalition wasnt widely known, even though there was over 500 people present (and at least 7 news cameras). I understand that unless there is a smoking gun nothing will be done about voting irregularities. But I do not for the life of me understand how voter suppression and disenfranchisement, which is visible, which is horrible, which is a large part of the problem (not just in Ohio, but elsewhere) was completely and utterly ignored today, and instead, the issue becomes that the Democrats arent doing enough.

Yes, this Caucasian female has a lot to say about this, because, frankly, if we dont talk about it, it WILL happen again. I dont want that, not in my America. If we are going to go to other countries to help them become democratic in their government, we very well better start looking at home, first, and we better start all working towards free and fair elections.

Kind Regards.
Tracy XXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX



References

* http://www.house.gov/conyers /

** Letter to President Bush, with the additional signatures (including Senators) here http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/letters/bushse...

*** http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Congressman_Conyers_hamme...

**** Go here, to choose the video type of your choice, http://www.VelvetRevolution.us#020505

***** http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/ohiostatusrept...

****** http://www.votecobb.org /
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Terrific letter
Thank you for sharing this.

And yes, I believe that you are right to fear that the DNC report is a big step in the wrong direction. Thank you for taking action to something about it.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
23. Kick for an important thread. Andy is gone now, so we have to fight
that much harder.

:kick:
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
25. kick!
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