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Did 308,000 cancelled Ohio voter registrations put Bush back in the White

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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 02:49 AM
Original message
Did 308,000 cancelled Ohio voter registrations put Bush back in the White
House?

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_549.sht...

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
Online Journal Guest Writers


Mar 1, 2006, 00:35

While life goes on during the Bush2 nightmare, so does the research on what really happened here in 2004 to give George W. Bush a second term.

Pundits throughout the state and nation -- many of them alleged Democrats -- continue to tell those of us who question Bush's second coming that we should "get over it," that the election is old news.

But things get curiouser and curiouser.

In our 2005 compendium HOW THE GOP STOLE OHIO'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, we list more than a hundred different ways the Republican Party denied the democratic process in the Buckeye State. For a book of documents to be published September 11 by the New Press, entitled WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO?, we are continuing to dig...


Posted by Algorem "election news"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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lakeguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 03:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. i think the rethuglicans have this election stealing thing down...
even if they get caught, everyone thinks it's too late to do anything about it anyway.
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 03:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm convinced.
The "republican revolution" referred to a crime wave that was about to hit.

K&R
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Trevelyan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 04:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. Need to keep this in the forefront of everyone's thoughs if we are to get
rid of the DINOs or force them to vote more like Dems and to get rid of the truly thuggish Repugs like Shays and Feeney, Delay, Frist, Santorum, mean Jean Schmidt, etc., etc.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. work to be done: find the voters
Edited on Wed Mar-01-06 08:59 AM by OnTheOtherHand
If over 175,000 regular voters were stricken from the registration rolls in Cuyahoga alone, it would be helpful find at least several thousand of them, preferably folks who tried to vote and were told they couldn't.

(EDIT to add: if that sounds impossibly huge -- which wasn't my intention -- a starting place would be to canvass one or two precincts where many people were purged.)

Purges, in themselves, are not unusual -- knowing the number of voters purged does not tell us very much. The number of votes counted in Cuyahoga increased from about 575,000 in 2000 to about 674,000 in 2004; were another 100,000+ turned away? If so, practically every polling place volunteer in Cleveland should have stories about 15-20% of voters being turned away -- and/or there should be more info about provisional ballots destroyed (not just rejected).

I'm not placing any bets on how many regular voters were stricken from the rolls, just pointing to missing links. (The exit poll factoid doesn't help, because there is no reason to assume that people who didn't get to vote nonetheless participated in the exit poll.)
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. More purge info from Franklin + Lucas
IMPORTANT: The Effects of PURGES in Franklin Co., Ohio:


On March 21, 2005 the House Administration Committee held a hearing entitled 2004-Election and the Implementation of HAVA at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, OH. Giving testimony that day was William Anthony, who served in the dual role of Chairman of the Franklin County BOE and Chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party. Mr Anthony gave the following testimony:


Finally on Voter Registration Mr. Chairman, as the Committee is well aware, there were innumerable political parties and 537s spending tens of millions of dollars on voter registration drives. In Franklin County alone, we processed more than a quarter of a million voter registration forms between January 1, 2004 and the close of registration in early October. This was twice the registration activity as compared to the same period in 2000.

Bill Anthony testimony on March 21 2005
http://cha.house.gov/hearings/Testimony.aspx?TID=477

Mr Anthonys testimony stated that in Franklin County alone, more than a quarter million voter registrations forms were processed between Jan. 1 2004 and the close of registration in early October. Yet when the registered voter numbers are compared from 2003 to 2004, we see a change of 120,869.

google: Ohio voter registration historical data
http://elections.ssrc.org/data/voterreg /

Ohio Election Data - Registered Voters before Certification
The Feminist Majority Foundation
Detailed chart of annual changes in Ohio voter registration numbers from 2000 to 2004. The data demonstrates a large voter roll purging in 2002 and relatively high numbers of new registrants from 2002-2004.
voters in 2004 = 845,720
voters in 2003 = 724,851
# Changed
from 03-04 = 120,869

http://www.feminist.org/pdfs/OH_election_precert.pdf

WHY WAS THERE ONLY AN INCREASE OF 120, 869 IN THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS? The answer is PURGES.
These purges at the hands of SOS Kenneth Blackwell targeted high democratic counties. Look at the effects at this site:

http://www.feminist.org/pdfs/OH_election_precert.pdf

THIS WAS A SUCCESSFUL TOOL FOR THE GOP TO SUPPRESS DEM VOTES. THE GOOD NEWS IS WE CAN FIGHT BACK!
WE NEED TO ORGANIZE REGISTRATION CHECKS, ESPECIALLY IN LOW INCOME HIGH DEM AREAS(who have less access to computers to check on registration status) JUST PRIOR REGISTRATION CUT-OFFS. THIS WILL SERVE TWO PURPOSES:

1. It will show these voters, who have been disenfranchised in the past that we are taking proactive measures to make sure their votes will count in the future, thus making it more likely they will get out to vote. and

2. We can make sure voters are aware of changes in precinct locations. They will be informed of exactly where to vote.

I believe copies of their status should be made so that if purges do occur, the documentation can be used in court to prove the suppression technique.

I have been pushing this idea to the Ohio Dems, warning of the effects of purging, but my warnings have fallen on deaf ears. I don't get it, one would think they would want protect their base. If the Dems won't do this, I hope that election reform groups will attempt to look into creating a program in areas near them.

Some data from Lucas Co.Ohio:



Edited on Mon Feb-13-06 10:12 AM by mod mom
-October 4, 2004 was filing deadline for new voter registrations. At that point there were approximately 20,000 unprocessed voter registration applications with less than a month before the election. One mail tray containing 4,500-7,000 (estimates vary) unprocessed Project Voter registrations were discovered on or about October 18,2004.
SOURCE: SOS Investigation pg 10
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/lucas.htm


***Of interest here is information obtained from the SOS website entitled ElectionsVoter/results 2003 and 2004 which show the # of registered voters number change from 03-04 was 11,947 in Lucas County: reg voters 2003 in Lucas=288,190 ; registered voter in 2004=300,137.

AGAIN, ONE CAN SEE THE EFFECTS OF THE PURGES.

Published on Sunday, January 9, 2005 by The Toledo Blade (Ohio)
Purging of Rolls, Confusion Anger Voters
41% of Nov. 2 provisional ballots axed in Lucas County
by Fritz Wenzel

Ralph and Barbara George are lifelong Democrats who first registered to vote for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and have lived in the same East Toledo house for 44 years.

They called the Lucas County Board of Elections early last year to make sure they still were registered to vote.

Informed that they were, they went on with life, including helping their son, just home from military service, to purchase a new home. Then, last fall, they applied for absentee ballots.

It was then that they were surprised to discover - too late to do anything about it - that they were somehow no longer registered and wouldn't be allowed to vote in the general election.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0109-08.htm
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. again, more work to do
Knowing how many registration forms Franklin County processed does not tell you how many people should be registered afterwards.

The purge of the Georges may actually have been legal, depending on whether they received notice. Regardless, the statistic offered in the story is that in Lucas County 405 people's provisional ballots were rejected because they had been purged in August. That is 0.2% of the presidential votes counted in Lucas County. Overall, about 2000 PBs were rejected as not registered, about 1% of the presidential votes counted. The overall impact of purges might be larger than that. It could be smaller -- there is no reason to assume that all these folks had registered in the first place (or that their registrations were properly processed -- if they weren't, that is a distinct problem).

The feminist.org pdf documents that overall, the change in Bush-county registrations from 2000 to 2004 was about the same as the change in Kerry-county registrations. I don't see how it documents discriminatory purges -- although I think discriminatory purges are perfectly plausible.

If we want to know how many people wanted to vote, should have been able to vote, and couldn't (and why not), we have to do work that hasn't been done yet.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. I live in Ohio Franklin County
When will the story get out?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. I think you're right about the need for more work on this, but I'm not
sure what that work should consist of.

Apparently, the BOE has admitted that this purging has been done. It seems to be that it was illegal, based on two counts: That it seems to have been based in many cases on nothing more than the fact that a voter hadn't voted recently, and it seems that Dems were targeted for the purging. Furthermore, it seems that we already have quite a bit of anecdotal evidence at least that regular voters were purged for no fair reason.

Anyhow, my point is that maybe it would be more useful (and easier) to ascertain the legality of this rather than to obtain a precise count of how many voters were affected on the ground. It seems to me, in other words, that if anything is going to trigger remedial action it would be the documentation that this was illegal. Anyhow, 175,000 is an awful lot of voters for one city.

What do you think?
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. there is more than one possible track
I'm not sure which BOE you are talking about. Lucas acknowledges that they did purges in August 2004, but says (if I read the story right) that they sent notices first; that would make it perfectly legal in principle (depending on other specifics). I don't think I've seen evidence that Dems were targeted. I am not in a position to judge whether the number of regular voters affected was trivial or substantial.

In Cuya, we have a purge list (not all in the city), we can't tell (can we?) when people were purged, again I've seen no evidence that Dems were targeted -- it is a big swirl of questions. If we can pin down the BOE on having purged people without providing advance notice under the NVRA, then indeed that should be a big legal problem regardless of the numbers.

Cuyahoga apparently had 1,005,807 registered voters (that is Leip's figure, I haven't checked it). The Census gives its 2004 population as 1,351,009, and says that 25.0% of the population is under 18. That makes an adult population of 1,013,000 or so. So I am fairly certain that quite a few people were registered who shouldn't have been -- which of course doesn't give me any handle on how many people may've been purged who should have been registered.

I certainly don't advocate trying to get a "precise count" of how many voters were affected on the ground. But if we aren't getting adequate info from the BOE(s), spot-checking the lists may shed some light at least on the magnitude of the problem. It is sort of hard to "ascertain the legality of this" if we don't know specifically what "this" is.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Here are the two parts that seemed most significant to me
"Robert J. Bennett, the Republican chair of the Cuyahoga Board of Elections, and the chair of the Ohio Republican Party, has confirmed that prior to the 2004 election, his BOE eliminated -- with no public notice -- a staggering 175,414 voters from the Cleveland-area registration rolls. He has not explained why the revelation of this massive registration purge has been kept secret for so long"

AND

"The eliminations have been given credence by repeated sworn testimony and affidavits from long-time Cleveland voters that they came to their usual polling stations only to be told that they were not registered. When they could get them, many were forced to cast provisional ballots which were highly likely to be pitched in the trash, or which remain uncounted."

The first part indicates purging without notice, and the second part confirms that many of these were active voters.

Also, I've read a number of times that the only basis for many of the purges was that they hadn't voted in a while. My understanding is that that is illegal.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. potentially, yes
To be blunt, Fitrakis and Wasserman have more than once torqued or botched facts that I can check, so I will not accept their vague characterization of Bennett's statement as evidence in itself. If Bennett has actually admitted to violating the NVRA, then that certainly will facilitate legal action, but I am not going to infer that from ambiguous wording about "public notice" and "kept secret."

F&W could just as well mean that the board did the purge without issuing a press release. I mean, in February 2005 Vicki Lovegren was writing about the copy of a 165,000-name purge list that the BoE had given her; what exactly is the revelation? It's not a rhetorical question -- I just can't tell.

The second part is way too anecdotal. "Long-time" voters are not always active voters, and there is no way to tell whether the "many" involved number in the hundreds or the hundreds of thousands. The evidence might hold up legally even if it doesn't impress quantitative analysts, but frankly I doubt that it will if there is no way to demonstrate intent.

This isn't on you, because you are nowhere near Cleveland. But it seems to me that if folks want to know what happened to the people on the purge list, a useful approach would be to try to find some of them and ask.

Lovegren shows that the database lists the purge reason as "Z - FAILURE TO VOTE." That is disturbing. As I understand the NVRA, it is fine to take failure to vote into account, but you need to warn voters that they has been placed on inactive status before you purge them. A database notation doesn't really tell us what the process was. Again, if the BoE has conceded that they purged people without attempting to contact them, then that is a flat-out violation of the NVRA as far as I can see.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Where is this Bennet quote documented?
Just following your pertinent subthread. I suppose I could write to the authors too

Robert J. Bennett, the Republican chair of the Cuyahoga Board of Elections, and the chair of the Ohio Republican Party, has confirmed that prior to the 2004 election, his BOE eliminated -- with no public notice -- a staggering 175,414 voters from the Cleveland-area registration rolls. He has not explained why the revelation of this massive registration purge has been kept secret for so long. Virtually no Ohio or national media have bothered to report on this story.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. It's in the first link provided in the OP
7th paragraph from the bottom.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. thanks, but where did Fitrakis &Wasserman get it?
Gotta go. Bus is here.
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Chi Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Self Delete
Edited on Thu Mar-02-06 03:03 PM by Chi

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Since they're quoting Bennet, I assume they got it from him
:shrug:
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Chi Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-03-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. I sent an email to The Free Press requesting the source.
If they respond, I'll post it here.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. A lot of those purges may have come from people
who had moved and failed to register until they were solicited by a person signing people up to vote....

When the new cards are turned in, they discover the old location is still active and purge that voter while registering him/her at the correct address...

That could very well explain a lot....

And that could be why the individual BOE's in Ohio, who actually control their voting files, aren't up in arms about this...

And remember, that there is an equal balance between dem's and rep's on each and every BOE... ANd for every dem who works in the building, there is a rep....
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eomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Some of the "Democrats" on the Ohio BOEs are really Republicans. (eom)
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. 5th
Saw the original post in Auto's 2/28 election reform thread. Thanks for breaking out.
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. We must have honest elections - nothing else matters
If the vote of the people can't be tallied honestly and accurately.

Pressure must be put on our leaders to deal with this issue, or we will continue to be manipulated by the evil Republicans.
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'll admit I've lost objectivity. I honestly don't see how...
anyone can read anything about the 2004 election and not come away with the conviction the GOP played dirty.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. Fitrakis is speaking tonite in Cincinnati at a DFA meeting:
Bob Fitrakis will speak in southern Ohio at a Democracy for Cincinnati (DFC) meeting on Wednesday, March 1st. DFC will present a Candidate Forum at this March 1 meeting featuring progressive candidates running in state-wide Ohio races. The meeting starts at 7 pm and will be held at the Maisons Lafayette Clubhouse at 879 Rue de la Paix, just off of Ludlow in Clifton.

Other speakers include: Bryan Flannery for Governor, Subodh Chandra for Ohio Attorney General, Marc Dann for Ohio Attorney General and Hugh Quill for State Treasurer.

You are invited to join other progressives for a stimulating discussion of critical national, state and local issues. Meet and speak with candidates committed to strong leadership and a stronger and safer America.

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-02-06 04:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. .
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