By: Camille T. Taiara
3. Another year of distorted election coverage
Last year Project Censored foretold the potential for electoral wrongdoing in the 2004 presidential campaign: The "sale of electoral politics" made No. 6 in the list of 2003-04's most underreported stories. The mainstream media had largely ignored the evidence that electronic voting machines were susceptible to tampering, as well as political alliances between the machines' manufacturers and the Republican Party.
Then came Nov. 2, 2004. Bush prevailed by 3 million votes - despite exit polls that clearly projected Kerry winning by a margin of 5 million.
"Exit polls are highly accurate," Steve Freeman, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Organizational Dynamics, and Temple University statistician Josh Mitteldorf wrote in In These Times. "They remove most of the sources of potential polling error by identifying actual voters and asking them immediately afterward who they had voted for."
The eight-million-vote discrepancy was well beyond the poll's recognized, less-than-1-percent margin of error. And when Freeman and Mitteldorf analyzed the data collected by the two companies that conducted the polls, they found concrete evidence of potential fraud in the official count.
"Only in precincts that used old-fashioned, hand-counted paper ballots did the official count and the exit polls fall within the normal sampling margin of error," they wrote.
Inconsistencies were so much more marked in African American communities as to renew calls for racial equity in our voting system http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15663528&BRD=1395&PAG=461&dept_id=216620&rfi=6