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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:30 AM
Original message
Orange County discrepancy--8,400 VOTES!
Edited on Thu Nov-11-04 11:51 AM by liburl
Thanks to new DUer spoogly for catching this one! She's got something here!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
spoogly:
"I am a newby. But I have been watching a lot of the action going on here and I haven't seen this one posted here. Maybe it is nothing but it looks strange to me. If it is a red herring, I am sorry for taking up your time. But could someone take a look at it and do a main post if you think there is something here:

The Florida Division of Elections official tally has John Kerry winning in Orange County Florida by a vote of 193,217 for Kerry 192,390 for Bush. This gives Kerry a very tight 827 vote margin in that county. These figures are also found on the CNN voting results web site. (Links below)

These results are inconsistent with the Orange County elections web site. That site contains a precinct by precinct breakdown of the vote in Orange County. The totals are not included on that page, but it is very easy to import the figures into an Excel spreadsheet. When this is done, the totals for Orange County add up to 183,990 for Bush and 193,217 for Kerry. This gives Kerry a 9,227 vote margin of victory in Orange County.

There is certainly an inconsistency in these results which needs some explanation. Somehow, between the County and the State Elections Division, the numbers changed drastically in Bushs' favor by exactly 8,400 votes. (It seems a little bit odd that the number is exactly 8,400)

To summarize the results:

County Web Site: 193,217 for Kerry 183,990 for Bush (9,227 vote margin)
State Election Total: 193,217 for Kerry 192,390 for Bush (827 vote margin)

Links:

Orange County Unofficial Results:
http://www.ocfelections.com/Public%20Records/2004_Media...
http://www.ocfelections.com /

State of Florida Results:

(State Site)
http://enight.dos.state.fl.us /

edit to (hopefully) fix links
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rjbny62 Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. simple explanation
they probably added in absentee, provisional and other types of ballots, which are never actually counted, but which are assumed would go to *
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NJ_Lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. They assume?

that most of those votes would go to Chimpy? They ASSUME?

Welcome to the new Amerikkka folks...
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Hahahahaa good one
:)

Show your support for the president, wear a FUCK BUSH button!

http://brainbuttons.com/home.asp?stashid=13
(We usually ship same or next business day by first class mail)



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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. 8000 votes here, 120,000 votes there, pretty soon you're talking about
wiping out a 4% alleged win. But, we in America are not allowed to talk about that on the PUBLIC airways.

Please pay attention to when your local TV stations are up for license renewal and make formal complaints that they have NOT served the community.
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Not Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. I can't get to the link you posted at orange county elections
but if that's the case, I am willing to go to the BofE and ask Bill Cowles personally what the explanation is.
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spoogly Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. The link in the original post now goes to
the PDF file of the county results. I took the information from the spreadsheet which is at a different link:

http://www.ocfelections.com/Public%20Records/2004_Media...

Did anyone else find it?

There is also a difference between the Orange County "pdf" total and the number that is published on the state elections page. If you compare the spreadsheet total to the number published on the state page, there is an 8400 vote difference, all going to Bush. The total for Kerry is the same on the spreadsheet as published on the state election site.

STATE SITE SAYS
192,390/193,217 (827 Difference)
SPREADSHEET SAYS
183,990/193,217 (9227 Difference)
PDF LINK TOTAL SAYS
191389/192030 (641 Difference)

Difference from Spreadsheet to State Site Results is exactly 8400 votes.

Note that the state site results and the spreadsheet results have the same number of votes for Kerry (193,217). the additional votes found on the state site (8400) are an add-on only to the Bush total.

The PDF results are different for both.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. spoogly, because it's a spreadsheet
I couldn't pull it up either (didn't realize it was a spreadsheet that would hang up my 'puter). That's why I changed the link to the pdf. Since I can't view the spreadsheet, I'm unable to determine whether they are the same.
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floridadem30 Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
46. here's a link to the dept of states voter fraud in Orange Cnty
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #46
55. Hi floridadem30!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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ramblin_dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. I don't see those numbers
The Orange County numbers are here:

http://www.ocfelections.com/Public%20Records/2004_Media...

They show Bush at 191389 and Kerry at 192030 (Kerry higher by 641)
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spoogly Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I see that. Maybe they just didn't update the spreadsheet,
The spreadsheet data is at the following link. It takes forever to load, but I just did it again and got the same result. It is still a little strange that there is a difference of exactly 8400 between the two.

http://www.ocfelections.com/Public%20Records/2004_Media...
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ramblin_dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. I can confirm the spreadsheet totals
that you posted. Namely 183990 for Bush and 193217 for Kerry

link
http://www.ocfelections.com/Public%20Records/2004_Media...

I see now that totals on the state rollup of "1st SET OF UNOFFICIAL RETURNS" are 192390 for Bush and 193217 for Kerry

link
http://enight.dos.state.fl.us/DetailRpt.Asp?ELECTIONDAT...

The Bush total in the state rollup doesn't match as you stated. The state total is 8400 higher than the county number and the higher state number is included in the statewide totals.

Another oddity:
The state rollup also shows a turnout of 388095 for Orange County. But if you add all the votes for president in the county spreadsheet, including undervotes and overvotes, you get 382014. That's 6081 more turnout that the sum of presidential votes. What category would there be besides a vote, an undervote or an overvote?

If you add up the Senate race numbers you get a total of 384297 for all votes plus overvotes and undervotes. That's still less than turnout but more than the presidential number.

The provisional ballot page shows 1803 provisionals for Orange County. I don't know if these are included in turnout or have been counted yet. Whatever the case, there's not enough to explain the turnout vs actuals I see.


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spoogly Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Thanks for confirming that. I don't know
what it all means. But it seems odd. I have to leave in a few minutes and won't be back on the computer until tomorrow morning. If you could keep an eye on this, I would appreciate it.
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spoogly Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. And the total on the state election page
has the following numbers for Orange County

Orange 100.0% 192,390 193,217

Like I said, there is probably some reasonable explanation...
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. WHY DOES EVERY F*CKING "DISCREPANCY" FAVOR BUSH???
This is really pissing me off.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Luck?
It's simply amazing isn't it! :mad:
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Bingo.
It's statistically impossible. And in a court of law, I think it would be called...evidence.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Unfortunately, in a court of law,
it would be called circumstantial evidence, and inadmissible. :mad:
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Circumstantial evidence is admissible
Circumstantial evidence is admissible. Please don't post things that you don't know anything about. It wastes everyone's time and energy.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Hey, so sorry.
Thanks for at least being so kind about it. </sarcasm>
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. So sorry
Sorry but these days my username fits my attitude toward life. I can't believe that the little fucker gets away with this shit.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Welcome to DU oneangrychick!!
Most of us here have that same "attitude" right now. :hi:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
31. Brownsville TX
The straight dem ticket giving 2 votes to the President favored Kerry there. Not ALL the problems favor Bush. It's just nobody is focusing on those problems. And regardless of Kerry being favored in some precincts in TX, we should still check out those voting machines to see where else they were used. And whether they were programmed the same way. A methodical approach focusing on voter confidence would be much more useful.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #31
48. I had not heard of that.
Do you have a link?
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #31
50. That didn't favor Kerry at all.
Edited on Fri Nov-12-04 09:45 AM by trotsky
Just found some info on it. Apparently machines registered 2 votes for the presidential candidate, whichever was selected.

Brownsville is in Cameron County, which * won by almost 1000 votes. Please tell me how this favors Kerry.

On edit: here's the Cameron data:
http://enr.sos.state.tx.us/enr1county30.htm
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pantouflard Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
7. Way to go, Spoogly! And welcome.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
10. URGENT!! that somebody -- or a lot of somebodies -- make
copies of these things to your hard disk. THese figures have a way of "changing" once they understand that people are looking at and talking about them.

Please -- several DUers do this!! (and report back here so we know where we can get it if we need it).
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senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. Welcome Spoogly
Kick for this important info! :kick:
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greenmutha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
19. Kick! n/t
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
22. Let's calm down and focus on the democratic process rather than outcome
The differences in votes are almost certainly from absentee and provisional ballots. You guys need to realize something about how the vote counting process works in Florida. The first set of results posted was from the machines only. Absentee and provisional ballots were counted after election night. Every single absentee and provisional ballot has to be checked: they check the signatures on absentee ballots and make sure the person didn't vote by machine; the provisional ballots need to be checked to see if the person is registered, if they submitted the ballot in the right precinct, etc... A three person canvassing board carries out this count--only three people who have to check every single ballot. It takes time. In Palm Beach County, where I live, somewhere around 119,000 absentee ballots were cast, including my own. The canvassing board checks each ballot individually, and they are observed by Democratic and Republic watchers. Dem. State Representative Susan Bucher told me that she and been up all night watching the process. It's also broadcast on local public access television, for those who have the patience to watch. It all takes time. Last Thursday the supervisors of election submitted the first set of unofficial results. They submit another set on Friday. Differences in voting numbers on the state division of elections web page and the county web pages have to do with whether or not absentee and provisional ballots are included.

I agree that this election was fraught with problems, but not everything is a Republican conspiracy. Theresa LaPore, the outgoing Palm Beach County supervisor of elections, is horrendous. She refused to grant provisional ballots to voters at the polls, and I suspect this was probably done in other counties throughout the state as well. The fact we don't have a paper trail for these voting machines is a serious problem that must be corrected. We need to make sure these things are checked and that voting machines are held up to very close scrutiny. These problems must be closely investigated.

I think we need to make our charges more carefully and focus on the question of process rather than outcome. It is highly unlikely that investigations will change the outcome of the Presidential election. If Kerry thought that was possible, he would be taking the whole thing more seriously. Yet more is at stake that the presidential election or the Democratic party. It is our voting process in general--the extent to which it is accurate, whether everyone is allowed to vote, and whether voters have confidence in the system. Clearly that is not the case now. by charging that the Republicans stole the election, we undermine our credibility and prompt the media to refer to us as "conspiracy theorists." Rather than charging that Republicans stole the election, I suggest we instead demand that these problems be investigated, we ensure paper backups for electronic machines in future elections, and insist elections officials--like in that one county in Ohio--not be allowed to lock down their facilities and hide the vote count from public view. In my letters to reporters, I point out that this issue must be investigated because our democratic process is at stake; we as citizens have the right to expect a fair and accurate electoral system, even if Democratic party don't think it is in their interest to demand recounts. If the investigation should prove that Kerry actually won, all the better, but insisting in advance that the election was stolen weakens our credibility.

As for the odd looking numbers in the northern Florida counties. There registered Democrats vote Republican, and they have for a very long time. If you look at the 2000 election results, registered Dems in those counties voted for Bush then as well. I checked with a friend of mine who is a professional historian of Florida and a Kerry supporter, and she confirmed that those are the voting patterns from the north of the state. They are the remnants of the one party South--when the Democrats were the only viable party in Southern states. They were far more conservative than any Northern Republican. Some folks still register Democrat, even vote for conservative Democrats in local elections, but vote Republican for presidential elections.

There were many problems with this election, but I think people need to calm down and think a bit before alleging that all the vote totals are fraudulent.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Is there an antidote for that kool-aid?
The time for being, patient, reasonable, accommodating with MURDEROUS THIEVES ist schon lange her VORBEI.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Then just skip elections
And head straight for the WH and haul the bastards out of there. That's pretty much what you're saying. They're murderous bastards and need to be brought down at any cost. Go to it.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. You just "skipped" your THIRD ELECTION!
Get snarky all you want. Cost? $1.30 to buy ONE EURO.

See cover Nov. 4:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/frontpages/
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Get your guns
Listen, you can either be methodical and check facts FIRST, or you can forget about having elections ever again. Or you can get your guns and haul them out of the White House. If people hadn't gone off on rants about the Florida counties, for instance, the media would have to take the other problems more seriously. Some people are their own worst enemy.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Your post makes NO SENSE.
Edited on Thu Nov-11-04 07:56 PM by Karenina
If the tallies of those corrupt machines are certified, your LYING *misadministration and their *corp press accomplices got PLATES FULL OF MORE SHIT you can eat. Guten Appetit!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. PROOF
What the hell is it about PROOF that the far left never understands. Investigations are being done. It would be nice if we lay off the fraud and conspiracy theory tangents until there is PROOF. Because if your goal isn't an honest election, then you may as well take your rant and rage and head on to Washington and just haul them out by gun point.

What are you going to do if FL, OH, & NH are all recounted and Bush still wins?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Your ABSURD ASSUMPTION
Is that the "election" was pristine. That NO ONE had the means, motive or method to cheat. They would NEVER do such a thing!! Never mind they've tested it all in Iraq, Haiti and Venezuela, been BUSTED over and over.... I guess your post represents one of the 50-odd million who could be...
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Who said that?
I didn't say that. Frankly, DU is often as nutty as the freepers. It's the left wing way or the highway. I guess there's only 2 choices, you either have to believe it was all fraud or you're a freeper. It's assinine. What the hell is it about investigating BEFORE you scream fraud that is confusing to you?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Well first off, I read Wally O' Dell's e-mail...
Edited on Thu Nov-11-04 08:38 PM by Karenina
Also, gibt's nicht so viel Zeit die Dummkopfen zu berzeugen...

Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Report

Monday 08 November 2004

Everyone remembers Florida's 2000 election debacle, and all of the new terms it introduced to our political lexicon: Hanging chads, dimpled chads, pregnant chads, overvotes, undervotes, Sore Losermans, Jews for Buchanan and so forth. It took several weeks, battalions of lawyers and a questionable decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to show the nation and the world how messy democracy can be. By any standard, what happened in Florida during the 2000 Presidential election was a disaster.

What happened during the Presidential election of 2004, in Florida, in Ohio, and in a number of other states as well, was worse.

Some of the problems with this past Tuesday's election will sound all too familiar. Despite having four years to look into and deal with the problems that cropped up in Florida in 2000, the 'spoiled vote' chad issue reared its ugly head again. Investigative journalist Greg Palast, the man almost singularly responsible for exposing the more egregious examples of illegitimate deletions of voters from the rolls, described the continued problems in an article published just before the election, and again in an article published just after the election.

Four years later, and none of the Florida problems were fixed. In fact, by all appearances, they spread from Florida to Ohio, New Mexico, Michigan and elsewhere. Worse, these problems only scratch the surface of what appears to have happened in Tuesday's election. The fix that was put in place to solve these problems - the Help America Vote Act passed in 2002 after the Florida debacle - appears to have gone a long way towards making things worse by orders of magnitude, for it was the Help America Vote Act which introduced paperless electronic touch-screen voting machines to millions of voters across the country.

At first blush, it seems like a good idea. Forget the chads, the punch cards, the archaic booths like pianos standing on end with the handles and the curtains. This is the 21st century, so let's do it with computers. A simple screen presents straightforward choices, and you touch the spot on the screen to vote for your candidate. Your vote is recorded by the machine, and then sent via modem to a central computer which tallies the votes. Simple, right?

Not quite.


A Diebold voting machine.
Is there any evidence that these machines went haywire on Tuesday? Nationally, there were more than 1,100 reports of electronic voting machine malfunctions. A few examples:

* In Broward County, Florida, election workers were shocked to discover that their shiny new machines were counting backwards. "Tallies should go up as more votes are counted," according to this report. "That's simple math. But in some races, the numbers had gone down. Officials found the software used in Broward can handle only 32,000 votes per precinct. After that, the system starts counting backward."

* In Franklin County, Ohio, electronic voting machines gave Bush 3,893 extra votes in one precinct alone. "Franklin County's unofficial results gave Bush 4,258 votes to Democratic challenger John Kerry's 260 votes in Precinct 1B," according to this report. "Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, said Bush received 365 votes there. The other 13 voters who cast ballots either voted for other candidates or did not vote for president."

* In Craven County, North Carolina, a software error on the electronic voting machines awarded Bush 11,283 extra votes. "The Elections Systems and Software equipment," according to this report, "had downloaded voting information from nine of the county's 26 precincts and as the absentee ballots were added, the precinct totals were added a second time. An override, like those occurring when one attempts to save a computer file that already exists, is supposed to prevent double counting, but did not function correctly."

* In Carteret County, North Carolina, "More than 4,500 votes may be lost in one North Carolina county because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did. Local officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the county's electronic voting system, told them that each storage unit could handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes. Officials said 3,005 early votes were stored, but 4,530 were lost."

* In LaPorte County, Indiana, a Democratic stronghold, the electronic voting machines decided that each precinct only had 300 voters. "At about 7 p.m. Tuesday," according to this report, "it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters. That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters."

* In Sarpy County, Nebraska, the electronic touch screen machines got generous. "As many as 10,000 extra votes," according to this report, "have been tallied and candidates are still waiting for corrected totals. Johnny Boykin lost his bid to be on the Papillion City Council. The difference between victory and defeat in the race was 127 votes. Boykin says, 'When I went in to work the next day and saw that 3,342 people had shown up to vote in our ward, I thought something's not right.' He's right. There are not even 3,000 people registered to vote in his ward. For some reason, some votes were counted twice."

Stories like this have been popping up in many of the states that put these touch-screen voting machines to use. Beyond these reports are the folks who attempted to vote for one candidate and saw the machine give their vote to the other candidate. Sometimes, the flawed machines were taken off-line, and sometimes they were not. As for the reports above, the mistakes described were caught and corrected. How many mistakes made by these machines were not caught, were not corrected, and have now become part of the record?

The flaws within these machines are well documented. Professors and researchers from Johns Hopkins performed a detailed analysis of these electronic voting machines in May of 2004. In their results, the Johns Hopkins researchers stated, "This voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts. We identify several problems including unauthorized privilege escalation, incorrect use of cryptography, vulnerabilities to network threats, and poor software development processes. We show that voters, without any insider privileges, can cast unlimited votes without being detected by any mechanisms within the voting terminal software."

"Furthermore," they continued, "we show that even the most serious of our outsider attacks could have been discovered and executed without access to the source code. In the face of such attacks, the usual worries about insider threats are not the only concerns; outsiders can do the damage. That said, we demonstrate that the insider threat is also quite considerable, showing that not only can an insider, such as a poll worker, modify the votes, but that insiders can also violate voter privacy and match votes with the voters who cast them. We conclude that this voting system is unsuitable for use in a general election."

Many of these machines do not provide the voter with a paper ballot that verifies their vote. So if an error - or purposefully inserted malicious code - in the untested machine causes their vote to go for the other guy, they have no way to verify that it happened. The lack of a paper ballot also means the end of recounts as we have known them; now, on these new machines, a recount amounts to pushing a button on the machine and getting a number in return, but without those paper ballots to do a comparison, there is no way to verify the validity of that count.

Worst of all is the fact that all the votes collected by these machines are sent via modem to a central tabulating computer which counts the votes on Windows software. This means, essentially, that any gomer with access to the central tabulation machine who knows how to work an Excel spreadsheet can go into this central computer and make wholesale changes to election totals without anyone being the wiser.

Bev Harris, who has been working tirelessly since the passage of the Help America Vote Act to inform people of the dangers present in this new process, got a chance to demonstrate how easy it is to steal an election on that central tabulation computer while a guest on the CNBC program 'Topic A With Tina Brown.' Ms. Brown was off that night, and the guest host was none other than Governor Howard Dean. Thanks to Governor Dean and Ms. Harris, anyone watching CNBC that night got to see just how easy it is to steal an election because of these new machines and the flawed processes they use.

"In a voting system," Harris said on the show, "you have all the different voting machines at all the different polling places, sometimes, as in a county like mine, there's a thousand polling places in a single county. All those machines feed into the one machine so it can add up all the votes. So, of course, if you were going to do something you shouldn't to a voting machine, would it be more convenient to do it to each of the 4000 machines, or just come in here and deal with all of them at once? What surprises people is that the central tabulator is just a PC, like what you and I use. It's just a regular computer."

Harris then proceeded to open a laptop computer that had on it the software used to tabulate the votes by one of the aforementioned central processors. Journalist Thom Hartman describes what happened next: "So Harris had Dean close the Diebold GEMS tabulation software, go back to the normal Windows PC desktop, click on the 'My Computer' icon, choose 'Local Disk C:,' open the folder titled GEMS, and open the sub-folder 'LocalDB' which, Harris noted, 'stands for local database, that's where they keep the votes.' Harris then had Dean double-click on a file in that folder titled Central Tabulator Votes,' which caused the PC to open the vote count in a database program like Excel. 'Let's just flip those,' Harris said, as Dean cut and pasted the numbers from one cell into the other. Harris sat up a bit straighter, smiled, and said, 'We just edited an election, and it took us 90 seconds.'"

Any system that makes it this easy to steal or corrupt an election has no business being anywhere near the voters on election day.

The counter-argument to this states that people with nefarious intent, people with a partisan stake in the outcome of an election, would have to have access to the central tabulation computers in order to do harm to the process. Keep the partisans away from the process, and everything will work out fine. Surely no partisan political types were near these machines on Tuesday night when the votes were counted, right?

One of the main manufacturers of these electronic touch-screen voting machines is Diebold, Inc. More than 35 counties in Ohio alone used the Diebold machines on Tuesday, and millions of voters across the country did the same. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Diebold gave $100,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2000, along with additional contributions between 2001 and 2002 which totaled $95,000. Of the four companies competing for the contracts to manufacture these voting machines, only Diebold contributed large sums to any political party. The CEO of Diebold is a man named Walden O'Dell. O'Dell was very much on board with the Bush campaign, having said publicly in 2003 that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

So much for keeping the partisans at arm's length.

Is there any evidence that vote totals were deliberately tampered with by people who had a stake in the outcome? Nothing specific has been documented to date. Jeff Fisher, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 16th District, claims to have evidence that the Florida election was hacked, and says further that he knows who hacked it and how it was done. Such evidence is not yet forthcoming.

There are, however, some disturbing and compelling trends that indicate things are not as they should be. This chart displays a breakdown of counties in Florida. It lists the voters in each county by party affiliation, and compares expected vote totals to the reported results. It also separates the results into two sections, one for 'touch-screen' counties and the other for optical scan counties.

Over and over in these counties, the results, based upon party registration, did not come close to matching expectations. It can be argued, and has been argued, that such results indicate nothing more or less than a President getting cross-over voters, as well as late-breaking undecided voters, to come over to his side. These are Southern Democrats, and the numbers from previous elections show that many have often voted Republican. Yet the news wires have been inundated for well over a year with stories about how stridently united Democratic voters were behind the idea of removing Bush from office. It is worth wondering why that unity did not permeate these Democratic voting districts. If that unity was there, it is worth asking why the election results in these counties do not reflect this.

Most disturbing of all is the reality that these questionable Diebold voting machines are not isolated to Florida. This list documents, as of March 2003, all of the counties in all of the 37 states where Diebold machines were used to count votes. The document is 28 pages long. That is a lot of counties, and a lot of votes, left in the hands of machines that have a questionable track record, that send their vote totals to central computers which make it far too easy to change election results, that were manufactured by a company with a personal, financial, and publicly stated stake in George W. Bush holding on to the White House.


This map indicates where different voting devices were used nationally. The areas where electronic voting machines were used is marked in blue.
A poster named 'TruthIsAll' on the DemocraticUnderground.com forums laid out the questionable results of Tuesday's election in succinct fashion: "To believe that Bush won the election, you must also believe: That the exit polls were wrong; that Zogby's 5pm election day calls for Kerry winning Ohio and Florida were wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll); that Harris' last-minute polling for Kerry was wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll); that incumbent rule #1 - undecideds break for the challenger - was wrong; That the 50% rule - an incumbent doesn't do better than his final polling - was wrong; That the approval rating rule - an incumbent with less than 50% approval will most likely lose the election - was wrong; that it was just a coincidence that the exit polls were correct where there was a paper trail and incorrect (+5% for Bush) where there was no paper trail; that the surge in new young voters had no positive effect for Kerry; that Kerry did worse than Gore against an opponent who lost the support of scores of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000; that voting machines made by Republicans with no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven by thousands of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways, were not tampered with in this election."

In short, we have old-style vote spoilage in minority communities. We have electronic voting machines losing votes and adding votes all across the country. We have electronic voting machines whose efficiency and safety have not been tested. We have electronic voting machines that offer no paper trail to ensure a fair outcome. We have central tabulators for these machines running on Windows software, compiling results that can be demonstrably tampered with. We have the makers of these machines publicly professing their preference for George W. Bush. We have voter trends that stray from the expected results. We have these machines counting millions of votes all across the country.

Perhaps this can all be dismissed. Perhaps rants like the one posted by 'TruthIsAll' are nothing more than sour grapes from the side that lost. Perhaps all of the glitches, wrecked votes, unprecedented voting trends and partisan voting-machine connections can be explained away. If so, this reporter would very much like to see those explanations. At a bare minimum, the fact that these questions exist at all represents a grievous undermining of the basic confidence in the process required to make this democracy work. Democracy should not ever require leaps of faith, and we have put the fate of our nation into the hands of machines that require such a leap. It is unacceptable across the board, and calls into serious question not only the election we just had, but any future election involving these machines.

Representatives John Conyers, Jerrold Nadler and Robert Wexler, all members of the House Judiciary Committee, posted a letter on November 5th to David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States. In the letter, they asked for an investigation into the efficacy of these electronic voting machines. The letter reads as follows:
November 5, 2004

The Honorable David M. Walker
Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. General Accountability Office
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Mr. Walker:

We write with an urgent request that the Government Accountability Office immediately undertake an investigation of the efficacy of voting machines and new technologies used in the 2004 election, how election officials responded to difficulties they encountered and what we can do in the future to improve our election systems and administration.

In particular, we are extremely troubled by the following reports, which we would also request that you review and evaluate for us:

In Columbus, Ohio, an electronic voting system gave President Bush nearly 4,000 extra votes. ("Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes," Associated Press, November 5)

An electronic tally of a South Florida gambling ballot initiative failed to record thousands of votes. "South Florida OKs Slot Machines Proposal," (Id.)

In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials mistakenly believed a computer that stored ballots could hold more data that it did. "Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes," (Id.)

In San Francisco, a glitch occurred with voting machines software that resulted in some votes being left uncounted. (Id.)

In Florida, there was a substantial drop off in Democratic votes in proportion to voter registration in counties utilizing optical scan machines that was apparently not present in counties using other mechanisms.

The House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff has received numerous reports from Youngstown, Ohio that voters who attempted to cast a vote for John Kerry on electronic voting machines saw that their votes were instead recorded as votes for George W. Bush. In South Florida, Congressman Wexler's staff received numerous reports from voters in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties that they attempted to select John Kerry but George Bush appeared on the screen. CNN has reported that a dozen voters in six states, particularly Democrats in Florida, reported similar problems. This was among over one thousand such problems reported. ("Touchscreen Voting Problems Reported," Associated Press, November 5)

Excessively long lines were a frequent problem throughout the nation in Democratic precincts, particularly in Florida and Ohio. In one Ohio voting precinct serving students from Kenyon College, some voters were required to wait more than eight hours to vote. ("All Eyes on Ohio," Dan Lothian, CNN, November 3)

We are literally receiving additional reports every minute and will transmit additional information as it comes available. The essence of democracy is the confidence of the electorate in the accuracy of voting methods and the fairness of voting procedures. In 2000, that confidence suffered terribly, and we fear that such a blow to our democracy may have occurred in 2004.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this inquiry.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr., Jerrold Nadler, Robert Wexler

Ranking Member, Ranking Member, Member of Congress
House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution

cc: Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Chairman

"The essence of democracy," wrote the Congressmen, "is the confidence of the electorate in the accuracy of voting methods and the fairness of voting procedures. In 2000, that confidence suffered terribly, and we fear that such a blow to our democracy may have occurred in 2004." Those fears appear to be valid.

John Kerry and John Edwards promised on Tuesday night that every vote would count, and that every vote would be counted. By Wednesday morning, Kerry had conceded the race to Bush, eliciting outraged howls from activists who were watching the reports of voting irregularities come piling in. Kerry had said that 10,000 lawyers were ready to fight any wrongdoing in this election. One hopes that he still has those lawyers on retainer.

According to black-letter election law, Bush does not officially get a second term until the electors from the Electoral College go to Washington D.C on December 12th. Perhaps Kerry's 10,000 lawyers, along with a real investigation per the request of Conyers, Nadler and Wexler, could give those electors something to think about in the interim.

In the meantime, soon-to-be-unemployed DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe sent out an email on Saturday night titled 'Help determine the Democratic Party's next steps.' In the email, McAuliffe states, "If you were involved in these grassroots activities, we want to hear from you about your experience. What did you do? Did you feel the action you took was effective? Was it a good experience for you? How would you make it better? Tell us your thoughts." He provided a feedback form where such thoughts can be sent.

Use the form. Give Terry your thoughts on the matter. Ask him if those 10,000 lawyers are still available. It seems the validity of Tuesday's election remains a wide-open question.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and international bestseller of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

-------


: t r u t h o u t 2004
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Electoral Disaster
Does not equal fraud.

"Is there any evidence that vote totals were deliberately tampered with by people who had a stake in the outcome? Nothing specific has been documented to date."

Apparently Will agrees with me.

There was an electoral disaster and we have to investigate. Hell I sent the Sarpy County story to Andy a few days ago, maybe he had already found it, I don't know. It would be much better to call for an investigation of all these errors then to scream fraud. People will be more receptive to listening, all the people, which is what we need.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Why are you so circumspect
about calling the *predators a FRAUD??? They been cheating and lying their ENTIRE LIVES. Done got REAL RICH doing it too! ;-)

Silverado was FRAUD.
"Election 2000" was FRAUD.
The Iraq invasion was FRAUD.

Maybe it's that damned arsenic your *dauphin told the corporations they could release into the water... :shrug:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. CREDIBILITY
Why don't people believe the Iraq invasion was FRAUD, because too many people refuse to differentiate between what was known and said in Oct 2002 to what was said in March 2003. THAT's why. EVIDENCE. Kept in proper perspective and time frames.

We've already had a few of these "fraud" claims knocked right out of the water. Credibility is cut in half because of it. By the time we're done, if we do come up with fraud, nobody will believe it. We blow it by running off on tangents BEFORE we have proof of anything. It pisses me off, that's why we can't catch these bastards.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #45
49. Errrraaaa....
I think I get you now. The Iraq invasion isn't a horrific fraud because Americans refuse to "believe" it. You do realize that the U.S. has NO CREDIBILITY, don't you? :shrug:
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RevCheesehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. The use of the term "you guys" is perjorative...
...and casts doubt on your sincerity.

But, other than that, Welcome to DU! :hi:
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. You guys?
The use of "you guys" means I am originally from the Midwest. If I had been born in the South, I would have used "y'all." English has no second person plural.

I volunteered 25-30 hours a week for the Kerry campaign in the weeks preceding the election. On election day I worked from 6 am to 8 pm coordinating get out the vote efforts in four precincts. Since the summer of 2003, I did voter registration and attended organizational meetings for Kerry and before that Howard Dean. I did everything I could to work toward a Democratic victory. I believe I have earned a right to an opinion; whether or not you agree with it, it is sincere. I made a suggestion that I think will give greater credibility to our demands. Inflamed language makes it far too easy for the media to dismiss us.

I was devastated that we lost the election. I believe strongly that we need to strengthen the electoral process so that is accurate and transparent, and all citizens can have confidence that the outcome will be legitimate. I also believe in rational, informed though. The Republicans won, in part, because far two many Americans refused to use reason and examine evidence (on, for example, the war)
and instead chose to believe Bush because they wanted what he said to be true.
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ramblin_dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. If the counts are not yet complete that doesn't explain
why the state totals for Bush are higher than his county totals, especially when the Kerry totals are the same in both places.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. Process should be the focus
People do need to calm down and rule out logical explanations before shouting "fraud". I agree.

The media is only reporting the instances that have been explained and downplaying the ones that haven't. They still haven't reported on Brownsville TX, where a vote for a straight party ticket gives 2 votes to the Presidential candidate. What kind of machines are those and has it been caught in every county that uses those machines?

There's also a county in Nebraska with unexplained votes, totally unexplained. How come we don't hear about that?

We have to be systematic in this and I think way too many people are screaming fraud, and it hurts us when we're proven wrong. Especially if we ever get to something that is right, we'll have blown our credibility.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Errraaaa...
We're NOT wrong.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/110804A.shtml

A poster named 'TruthIsAll' on the DemocraticUnderground.com forums laid out the questionable results of Tuesday's election in succinct fashion: "To believe that Bush won the election, you must also believe: That the exit polls were wrong; that Zogby's 5pm election day calls for Kerry winning Ohio and Florida were wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll); that Harris' last-minute polling for Kerry was wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll); that incumbent rule #1 - undecideds break for the challenger - was wrong; That the 50% rule - an incumbent doesn't do better than his final polling - was wrong; That the approval rating rule - an incumbent with less than 50% approval will most likely lose the election - was wrong; that it was just a coincidence that the exit polls were correct where there was a paper trail and incorrect (+5% for Bush) where there was no paper trail; that the surge in new young voters had no positive effect for Kerry; that Kerry did worse than Gore against an opponent who lost the support of scores of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000; that voting machines made by Republicans with no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven by thousands of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways, were not tampered with in this election."

In short, we have old-style vote spoilage in minority communities. We have electronic voting machines losing votes and adding votes all across the country. We have electronic voting machines whose efficiency and safety have not been tested. We have electronic voting machines that offer no paper trail to ensure a fair outcome. We have central tabulators for these machines running on Windows software, compiling results that can be demonstrably tampered with. We have the makers of these machines publicly professing their preference for George W. Bush. We have voter trends that stray from the expected results. We have these machines counting millions of votes all across the country.

Perhaps this can all be dismissed. Perhaps rants like the one posted by 'TruthIsAll' are nothing more than sour grapes from the side that lost. Perhaps all of the glitches, wrecked votes, unprecedented voting trends and partisan voting-machine connections can be explained away. If so, this reporter would very much like to see those explanations. At a bare minimum, the fact that these questions exist at all represents a grievous undermining of the basic confidence in the process required to make this democracy work. Democracy should not ever require leaps of faith, and we have put the fate of our nation into the hands of machines that require such a leap. It is unacceptable across the board, and calls into serious question not only the election we just had, but any future election involving these machines.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. FRAUD
That is something very specific. Name names. If you've got proof of fraud, name names. That's what it takes to prove fraud. We have a totally fucked up election system, I've never said otherwise. That is not PROOF of fraud.
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floridadem30 Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. Well the Fl Dept of State has states there has been since Oct 04
Their web page states their is fraud in florida and possibly ohio and colorado
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #22
51. imenja, 2 points
1. According to your explaination the county totals do not include absentees or provisionals. Since the Kerry vote is the same in the county totals and the State totals, yet Bush shows a gain of 8400 votes in ONLY the State totals, there is cause to wonder what is going on.

2. No one has charged fraud, only that there seems to be a discrepancy between the state and county Bush totals but not between the State and County Kerry totals.

3. If the discrepancies always favor one candidate over the other, is that just a "problem with the election" or is it indicative of fraud?
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Florida numbers
Hey, I'm not about to defend the Florida Secretary of State or Supervisors of Elections. They have done all kinds of things to undermine Democratic turnout--using the felons list again, despite the fact it was discredited in 2000, putting fewer polling places in African-American areas, and denying provisional ballots to voters (I myself logged a complaint about that last matter). I think it's great that people are scrutinizing their numbers. They certainly have posted them in an odd fashion, but I can't say how they were posted in previous years. A new set should be posted today.
I simply pointed out some factors to consider and suggested a tactic that I believe would be more credible-- investigate and analyze without immediately accusing officials of maleficence. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. I agree with you about jumping to conclusions and from what I see
the vast majority of posters do too.

I see this as simular to the OJ Simpson case in that we want to be careful about framing a guilty party.

My gut and the evidence we have so far tells me something is rotten in the States of Ohio and Floria as well as some other places too.

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futurecitizen Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #22
54. Calming down, etc.
I'm not sure that calming down is really necessary here. At this point the outrage in the blogosphere has served only to help our case by keeping the story in the media. With media attention comes a more general awareness, and may swell the ranks of people interested in proving the fraud. The 'debunking' of various theories consists solely of responding with a plausible theory -- that does not make the theory true (or false, for that matter).

We haven't lost our credibility - we didn't start with any. And if people see a republican conspiracy in anything, well then maybe they'll go investigate it and find out that nothing comes to anything. There is something to be said for stoking the flames higher, *as long as* people realize that in the final analysis somebody has to go do something and find out what really happened. What that means is that we need the recounts, period. What that means is that we need to get behind Badnarik, and Nader, and blackboxvoting, etc.

Everything else is just rhetoric and biased analysis, but don't say the noise is pointless - we're keeping each other going after one of the most disheartening events of our lives, and some of us are quietly watching what data is real and what is not, putting together a picture of where to look to find fraud if it exists. It's my personal opinion that we need a recount of Florida and Ohio, and that these two things become much more likely if Nader's recount of New Hampshire occurs and substantiates a problem. The biggest danger I see to the speculations here, and the pehaps too-aggressive conspiracy-theorizing is that when something is finally debunked with fact those who were hanging their hopes on that particular theory will lose heart and stop investigating.

Okay, let me step back here - I agree, lets concentrate on the process now that we have an idea of the scope of things, but the initial outrage and subsequent theories had their place. People need to resolve to be in this for the long haul, even if it doesn't turn out the way that we all hope it will. Make your interest in our democracy a real one, and not subject to the inevitable emotion that will attend every new discovery, positive or negative.
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Middle Finger Bush Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-04 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
42. Orange County results now show Kerry is the winner
someone messed up on the "adjustment"

who knows what the real numbers were.

how does this affect the Florida Totals?
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