Archive for June, 2005

The DNC 2004 Election Report: An indictment of incompetence

Posted in General on June 30th, 2005
The DNC 2004 Election Report: An indictment of incompetence
by Steven Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis
June 25, 2005

The Democratic National Committee's investigation into Ohio's 2004 presidential election irregularities is the perfect postscript to the party's 'election protection' efforts last fall: it is a shocking indictment of a party caught completely off-guard in its most heated presidential campaign in years, and a party that still doesn't fully understand what happened and how to avoid a repeat in the future.

The report primarily documents the fact that Jim Crow voter suppression tactics targeting Democratic African-American voters were rampant in Ohio’s cities during the 2004 presidential election. It cites and spends most of its time analyzing the most visible problems: from shortages of voting machines in minority precincts, to unreasonable obstacles to voter registration, to disproportionate use of provisional ballots on Election Day among new voters and Democratic constituencies, to inadequate poll worker training and election administration, to poor post-Election Day record keeping.

But the DNC reports says those factors do not mean John Kerry won the election, nor does it mean that the new electronic voting machines are unreliable – even though some of the precincts with the highest percentages of reported problems were outfitted with the new electronic voting machines, known as DREs. The DNC asked for access to the new electronic voting machines and their software, but was denied by local election officials and the private manufacturers. The report leaves the matter there.

It is statements like this one, on page 189, and a failure to follow-through that make the report more than a disappointment to election protection workers, voter rights advocates and those grassroots activists who worked for John Kerry’s campaign. Speaking of the new electronic voting machines, the DNC report states, that “many of the county boards (of elections) do not actually control the electronic records created during the tallying process.” When the Fairfield County Board of Elections was asked for election results, they merely forwarded data from a private vendor.

Since county vote totals are tabulated on computers and sent directly to the Secretary of State’s office – who has real-time access to those figures – you might expect the report to address the question of whether the 2004 vote count was susceptible to fraud. It doesn’t.

The DNC says it sought access to the computers used to record and tabulate Ohio votes, but those same county boards of election that didn’t control the data - and the voting machine manufacturers who did – declined, citing “security concerns” (p.187) and “vendors pointed out their extreme discomfort with providing this sort of access to a partisan organization.”

That might sound reasonable, if you don’t recall – and the report does not recall - that the chief executive of the nation’s largest electronic voting machine manufacturer, Diebold’s Walden O’Dell, was not only a top-tier fundraiser for George W. Bush, but also promised in an infamous August 14, 2003 fundraising letter to Republicans that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Also, both ES&S and Triad corporations, the latter which tabulated ballots in 41 of Ohio’s 88 counties, have well-established Republican ties.

The DNC report is filled with omissions of that magnitude and dismissals of the work of citizen-activists who – with no help from the DNC, or Kerry campaign – fought for a fair accounting of the 2004 vote after Election Day.

Consider these paragraphs from an introductory letter to the report from Donna Brazile, the chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.

    “Although voters across America voiced concerns which questioned the fairness and the accuracy of the 2004 general election, President George W. Bush’s narrow victory in Ohio (a pivotal state) provided sufficient electoral votes to ensure his re-election. There was a myriad of litigation surrounding the general election in Ohio that targeted controversial conduct on the part of the Office of the Secretary of State.

    “Following the election recount, the House Judiciary Democratic Staff published an exhaustive report, “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio” that is replete with anecdotal evidence of numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters.”


People who put their lives on hold and went to Ohio to work for John Kerry will shake their heads. Brazile cites “a myriad of litigation” that her party and candidate fought, did not fund and sought to undermine. Moreover, the reference to the House Judiciary Committee’s Democrat Staff inquiry as “anecdotal” is an insult to voting rights activists and volunteer lawyers who conducted public hearings – at their own expense, not the DNC’s - and took sworn testimony from more than 1,000 voters who cared enough and volunteered to testify under oath and file affidavits. The hearings were anything but anecdotal; they were perhaps the largest group of people to testify under oath about elections in the history of the state. The first two hearings in Columbus occurred within two weeks of Election Day. Four other hearings in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Warren occurred more than a month before the DNC could conduct its phone survey from the east coast.

It’s worth remembering the timing and origin of this report. The Democratic Party and its allied supporters, such as Americans Coming Together, spent millions of dollars on their election protection efforts. The same Ohio Democratic Party that told John Kerry not to challenge the result and to concede to Bush, also was completely caught off-guard with Republican’s resurrection of Jim Crow voter suppression tactics, according to its own report. What kind of a party stations hundreds of lawyers at polls in anticipation of poll challenges that don’t happen, but isn’t aware that voting machines will not be evenly distributed among white and black neighborhoods? Or isn’t aware of the fact that newly registered voters aren’t receiving proper precinct information, or are being targeted with new provisional ballots that are likely to be disqualified on frivolous technicalities?

There’s more history to the DNC report. The DNC announced it would investigate election irregularities on December 6th, two days before Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, and Democrats on the House Judiciary opened their first of several hearings into the 2004 Ohio presidential vote. In effect, the DNC knew Conyers’ inquiry would be explosive and sought to pre-empt his investigation by announcing its inquiry first.

The Ohio Democratic Party wanted nothing to do with examining the evidence of voting fraud – what Brazille derides as "anecdotal" – and did not participate in the election recount. The Kerry-Edwards campaign joined the recount effort late, only after it was embarrassed by the Libertarian and Green Parties. The Kerry campaign gave several hundred thousand dollars to the gubernatorial recount in Washington, but didn’t advance a dime to the Ohio election challenge lawsuit.

What the DNC did was announce – two days before Conyers’ first hearing – that its review would not contest the election results, but would “fulfill the Democratic Party’s commitment to ensuring that every eligible voter can vote and every vote cast is counted.” Rather than achieve that lofty goal, the party conceded for a second time – Kerry’s concession being first – by confirming Bush’s victory before a recount was completed and similarly by avoiding participation in a voter challenge suit.

The report contains other outrages. It states African-American voters waited an average of 52 minutes in line, compared to white voters waiting an average of 18 minutes. That calculation defies the experience of thousands of voters who waited four, five or six hours. That figure is the kind of statistical averaging is akin to having a tornado touch down in Columbus and having the National Weather Service say its been a breezy day across the state.

In the primarily African American 55th ward in Columbus, on the ground election protection volunteers clocked an average wait of 3 hours and 15 minutes. In the adjacent inner city 5th ward, the wait was 3 hours and 5 minutes. The Franklin County Board of Elections, under the control of former Franklin County Republican Party Chair Matt Damschroder failed to put out 76 voting machines by his own admittance. All 76 from the Democratic-rich city of Columbus and 42 of them from the African American wards on the city’s near east side. Apparently, a few blacks in Bucyrus didn’t wait long and needed to be averaged into the DNC’s report totals.

But the biggest disappointment of the DNC report is that it gives no indication that the old-school Jim Crow abuses will be addressed and rectified, and that the newer school electronic voting machine abuses will be similarly addressed. The report portrays a statewide landscape of separate and unequal rules in election jurisdictions across the state. It says local and statewide election officials – and the private companies they hire – aren’t interested in cooperating to make the system more transparent and equitable. And the party hierarchy that commissioned this report dismisses the work of its activists and loyal volunteers who worked before and after the 2004 race for electoral justice.

Is that any way to prepare for 2006 or 2008? Read the report at www.democrats.org and decide for yourself if the DNC learned the real lessons of 2004 in Ohio.

--
Steve Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis are co-editors, with Harvey Wasserman, of DID GEORGE W. BUSH STEAL THE 2004 ELECTION: ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS, published by www.freepress.org. Revised June 26, 2005

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What the DNC Ohio Election Report failed to address: My letter to H. Dean

Posted in General on June 29th, 2005

Dear Governor Dean:

I have much admiration for you and high hopes for your success as DNC Chairman. And I think that you would have made a fine, if not a great President. However, I have to tell you I believe that you are making a big mistake by embracing the recent DNC report on the 2004 Ohio election, which significantly under-plays the extent to which that election represents a threat to our democracy.

In particular, the repeated assurances of the lack of evidence for election determining fraud is misleading, gives a false sense of security to U.S. citizens, and in my opinion fails to encourage the kind of political climate that is needed in this country to facilitate meaningful election reform – given the fact that our country’s government and news media is heavily dominated by the Republican Party. I would think, as a minimum, before making such assurances in this high profile report, that care should have been taken to adequately address the prevalent arguments that fraud did indeed play a major role in determining the outcome of the Presidential election in Ohio, and therefore the United States.

But this report did no such thing, as I intend to make clear in detail below. I believe that the following issues are relevant to my point:


1. Failed, unlawful recount, and lack of cooperation from the Secretary of State
First and foremost, an assurance to the citizens of this country that fraud played no major role in the outcome of this election should be based on a full investigation. A fair, lawful and transparent recount of the votes, as mandated by Ohio law would be the first step in this process. Yet, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell did everything in his power to prevent such a recount.

Samples for the recount were chosen in a non-random manner, contrary to state law, and every effort appears to have been made to ensure that results of the 3% sample recount would match election day results, so as to prevent the occurrence of county-wide hand recounts. Perhaps the most flagrant example of this was Sherole Eaton’s testimony that a Triad technician in Hocking County modified a vote tabulator prior to the recount and advised election officials on how to manipulate voting machinery to ensure that a hand recount would match the machine recount: http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/121604Z.shtml Ms. Eaton was fired from her job as a result of this transgression. How many others witnessed similar events but did not possess enough courage to risk their livelihood in order to make their observations public, as Ms. Eaton did?

Furthermore, Mr. Blackwell has steadfastly refused to testify under oath with regard to the numerous “irregularities” associated with the Ohio election, and has made every effort to bar the public from access to essential documents that might shed some light on what happened on election day. Under these circumstances, statements to the effect that evidence of massive election fraud sufficient to swing the election “have not been found” are misleading and inappropriate, especially when given extra credibility by virtue of the fact that these statements are made by the opposition party. On the contrary, the burden of proof should be put on Blackwell to show that fraud was not involved.


2. Implausibly low voter turnout in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County
On page 3 of Section IV of the DNC report, there is a discussion about how, in general, voter turnout is strongly related to the ratio of machines per voter. This is an important point and it makes sense because, as pointed out later in the DNC report, insufficient numbers of machines per voter can result in reduced voter turnout because of voters leaving the voting lines when they are unable to wait several hours to vote. However, in Cuyahoga County the normal relationship is inexplicably reversed, so that voting machines per voter is negatively associated with voter turnout. Other than to note this as a fact, the DNC report does not comment further on this very strange finding.

Richard Hayes Phillips, a statistical expert in identifying statistical anomalies whose findings have been widely publicized, has stated that there are at least 30 precincts in Cleveland with inexplicably low voter turnout, ranging as low as 7.1%. In addition, he noted at least 16 precincts where votes intended to be cast for Kerry were apparently shifted to other candidates: http://blog.democrats.com/node/812 , likely a result of non-aligned ballots, similar to the infamous Palm Beach County “butterfly ballot” of 2000. He then goes on to calculate that a 60% turnout in heavily Democratic Cleveland would have resulted in 22,000 additional votes for Kerry.

I have not thoroughly evaluated these claims of Phillips, but certainly voting machine tampering could explain the otherwise unexplained dual findings of low voter turnout in Cleveland and the negative relationship between voting machine allocation and voter turnout in Cuyahoga County. I believe that this anomaly deserves serious investigation.


3. Voter suppression through insufficient machine allocation – Franklin County
So-called “low voter turnout”, in addition to being due to actual low voter turnout, could also be due to fraudulent discarding of ballots (as suggested in point # 2, above), or it could be due to insufficient machine allocation, resulting in voting line waits of several hours, and the consequent need for many voters to leave before voting. There were numerous reports of this problem in Ohio on election day, most prominently documented in John Conyers’ U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff Report http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/010605Y.shtml . These reports came from predominantly minority and Democratic precincts, especially from Franklin County, where lines of between two and seven hours long were reported.

A study that looked at voting machine allocation per voter by precinct partisanship http://copperas.com/machinery / showed that machine allocation was far less adequate in precincts that voted for Kerry. In fact, it appears from looking at the scatterplot that there were about 30 Kerry precincts where there was less than one machine per 440 registered voters, while there were no Bush precincts in this category. This same study showed that “voter turnout” decreased substantially in Franklin County as machine allocation decreased. And an extensive analysis by Elizabeth Liddle came to a similar conclusion http://uscountvotes.org/index.php?option=com_content&ta... . This is consistent with the DNC report analysis for all of Ohio, as noted above. Furthermore, as Bob Fitrakis reveals, all this happened while 68 voting machines were available in Franklin County but held back http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/111704Fitrakis/111... .

Richard Hayes Phillips calculates that this low voter turnout induced in Franklin County through the misallocation of voting machines resulted in approximately 17,000 lost votes for Kerry in Columbus alone. This is easy to understand, given the relationship between inadequate numbers of voting machines and “low voter turnout”, and the fact that this problem occurred very disproportionately in minority and Democratic precincts.

So, what does the DNC report have to say about this? It says that those who decided to leave the polls early because of long lines were split evenly between Bush and Kerry voters. This is simply unbelievable, given the highly disproportionate allocation of voting machines to Republican precincts. I think that statement is disturbing.


4. Anomalies in southwestern Ohio
Three large, heavily Republican counties in southwestern Ohio (Clermont, Butler, and Warren) provided Bush with a margin of 132,685 votes. These counties provided Bush with a margin of only 95,575 votes in 2000 – a difference of more than 37,000 votes compared to 2004, a year in which Kerry did considerably better than Gore in 2000. Each of these counties were among the top ten of Ohio’s 88 counties with regard to Bush vote margin compared to Bush’s vote margin in 2000.

Could this mean that these counties were trending even more Republican in 2004 than in 2000? Perhaps. But consider that the Democratic candidate for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Ellen Connally, a liberal African-American from Cleveland, and little known in southern Ohio, achieved 43.3% of the vote in these three counties in 2004, compared to only 31.0% for Kerry http://web.northnet.org/minstrel/connally.htm and actually polled more than 13,000 more votes than Kerry, though state-wide she ran considerably below Kerry.

Also consider the fact that part of the reason for Bush’s excess vote margin in the three counties was an extra-ordinarily large increase in voter registration from 2000, including a 30% increase in Warren County. Yet, according to the DNC report, an increase in voter registration was supposed to favor Kerry in 2004. Furthermore, Warren County was the site of the infamous lockdown, rationalized by the bogus excuse of national security, which allowed Republican officials to tally the Warren County vote in private http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/11/10/loc_warrenv... .

What does the DNC report have to say about this? First, the report goes to great lengths to show that Kerry’s vote percentage state-wide was highly correlated with the percent of African-Americans, the percent vote for the Democratic Senatorial candidate, Eric Fingerhut, and the percent not voting “yes” on Issue 1 (the ban on gay marriage). It then goes on to suggest that because these trends fit the expected pattern, the evidence is strongly suggestive that widespread fraud did not occur.
The correlation of Kerry’s vote percent with that of the Democratic Senate candidate, the percent of African-Americans in a precinct, and not voting yes on issue 1 should not be a surprise. But Kerry only lost Ohio by 2.1%. Therefore, it is entirely plausible that there could be slight anomalies from the expected pattern that could account for much if not all of Bush’s 2004 vote margin, and yet would do little to diminish the overall pattern. The DNC report does not specifically mention the comparison of Fingerhut’s performance in Clermont, Butler, and Warren Counties, versus Kerry’s performance. Fingerhut polled 36.1% of the vote statewide, compared to 24.5% of the vote in Clermont, Butler, and Warren Counties http://election.sos.state.oh.us/results/SingleRaceSumma... . Again, much less of a span than the differential for Kerry, who polled 49% statewide, versus 31.0 percent in Clermont, Butler, and Warren counties.


5. Late vote surge in Miami County
In Miami County on election night, after 100% of precincts had reported, an additional 19,000 ballots were reported, giving Bush an additional vote margin of about 6,000, while changing the total Bush and Kerry percentages by no more than three hundredths of a percent http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/983 . What makes this additionally suspicious is that Miami County reported a 20.9% increase in turnout for 2004, compared to 2000, despite a gain in population of only 1.4%, AND Miami County reported the second largest vote gain for Bush of Ohio’s 88 counties (2nd to Butler County), compared to his performance in 2000. The DNC report has nothing to say about this.


6. Vote switching in Mahoning County
According to the Washington Post, an investigation identified 25 electronic voting machines in Youngstown, Mahoning County, which transferred an unknown number of votes from Kerry to Bush http://www.ballotintegrity.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.... . This was part of a larger national pattern, for which a review of the national Electronic Incidence Reporting System (EIRS) determined that 87 out of 94 reports of electronic vote switching to EIRS favored Bush http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... . The post report goes on to state “Due to lack of cooperation from Secretary of State Blackwell, we have not been able to ascertain the number of votes that were impacted or whether the machines malfunctioned due to intentional manipulation or error.”

What does the DNC report have to say about this? In Section VII, on electronic voting, it notes that it is not possible to determine the baseline accuracy of DRE machines. Then, in Section IX, “Experience on the Ground in Ohio”, the vote switching in Mahoning County is covered in exactly ten words. Also, one sentence is allocated to this issue in Section X of the report.


7. As yet uncounted ballots
There remain 106,000 ballots uncounted, including over 92,000 for which machine tallies have not indicated a choice for President, and about 14,000 uncounted provisional ballots http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2005/10... . Most of these come from areas where Kerry voters predominated. The DNC report does not specifically say how many uncounted ballots remain, though it does note that counting them all could not possibly overturn the election. That is true, when considered as an isolated issue. However, when combined with all the other issues that the DNC did or did not address in its report, these ballots could make the difference.


In conclusion, the DNC report barely touched on many widely publicized issues (only a portion of which I have covered in this letter) that suggest that fraud could have or was likely to have made the difference in the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio. Addressing other issues, while failing to address these issues does not provide assurance that fraud was not pervasive in the 2004 election, though the DNC report suggests exactly that. The facts that Kerry won the Ohio exit poll by a statistically significant 4.2% and that no cooperation in investigating the possibility of fraud is forthcoming from the Secretary of State’s Office, add much additional weight to this problem. In my opinion, this is the most important issue facing us at this time, because until this issue is addressed we are unlikely to ever have a Democratic Congress, President, or Judiciary. Therefore, I beg you to distance yourself from this report and adopt a more assertive stance towards one of the most serious crises that this country has ever had.

Posted by Time for change on Democratic Underground

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With a limp election theft report, Dems prove why they’re unworthy

Posted in General on June 29th, 2005
With a limp election theft report, Dems prove why they're unworthy
by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis
June 28, 2005

In an astonishingly limp report on the stolen 2004 election, the Democratic Party has once again proven why it is unworthy to lead this country and incapable of mounting significant resistance to the far-right GOP juggernaut.

The Democrats much-vaunted "investigation" entitled “Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio” could well have been conducted by a high school class in elementary polling. It consists almost entirely of post-election phone interviews. It says nothing about the devastating discrepancies between exit polls and the highly improbable and virtually impossible vote total that gave George W. Bush a second term. It makes no case about precinct-by-precinct illegalities including unguarded ballots, election machine tampering, an unexplained bogus Homeland Security alert, the firing of whistle-blowing election board officials, and much more.

In point of fact, as we have outlined in Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election? Essential Documents (CICJ Books), any third world election that was as rife with fraud and theft as was Ohio's this past November would have been summarily thrown out by the United Nations or any other body of international observers.

But as has been so typical of the Democrats' performance on so many issues, the party's report appears to have been drafted on the top floor of a high-rise office building staffed with a phone bank. There is no connection at all to the actual Election Day realities on the ground in Ohio, and the researchers appeared unwilling to read the local newspapers and internet reports about what happened in the election they allegedly studied.

In the interviews conducted, the Democratic National Committee Report “Democracy at Risk” still manages to confirm some crucial assertions made by http://freepress.org pre- and post-election. For example, the study finds that the average wait to vote for a black voter in Ohio was nearly an hour, while the average wait for a white voter was less than 15 minutes. Of course, this was widely covered, even by mainstream news media at the time.

Still, the report downplays the wait of African-Americans in Franklin County where the average wait in the inner city wards on the near east side was over 3 hours, and where some waited 7-8 hours. The statisticians accomplished this by using a statewide survey of all African-Americans instead of focusing on the obvious Republican voter suppression tactics in the three major cities of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

The report documents that in the Columbus area “74 percent of voters waited more than 20 minutes to vote” and “There were also proportionally fewer voting machines in Franklin County’s minority neighborhoods than it its predominantly white neighborhoods.” The report fails to note that the Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, Matt Damschroder, the former Chair of the Franklin County Republican Party held back 76 machines, all the in Democratic city of Columbus and 42 from the primarily African-American wards of the city.

Let’s see. If a white suburbanite in Upper Arlington votes in 21 minutes and an African-American in ward 55 waits, on average, 3 hours and 15 minutes, is the best measurement “more than 20 minutes?”

The obvious corollary is then confirmed: as many as “three percent” of Ohio's would-be voters LEFT THE POLLING PLACES WITHOUT VOTING because of those long lines. As the report points out, that alone involves enough raw votes to have swung the state for John Kerry. But then, astonishingly, the Democrats assert that those who walked away without voting were equally divided between supporters of Kerry and Bush.

This is statistically highly improbable and is absurd on its face. If black voters went overwhelmingly for Kerry (83%) and whites for Bush, and the wait for black voters was so much longer than for whites, who went home? And who is harmed? Is there a mystery here?

The Free Press canvassed one inner city mostly African-American precinct and found 20% of the voters never voted after standing in line at least one time.

There is much, much more, as would befit the Rove/GOP strategy of "doing everything," i.e., employing a wide range of tactics to steal as many votes as possible through as many different means as they could get away with.

A long, convoluted discussion of electronic voting machines does endorse the need for all of them to produce an auditable paper trail. But the Democrats never follow up on the fact that approximately 15% of the 5,625,631 votes certified as official in this state were cast on electronic voting machines that were manufactured, programmed and operated by companies whose officers and directors are overwhelmingly sympathetic to Bush and the Republicans. That means more than 800,000 votes were counted without any meaningful monitoring in an election that was officially recorded as being won by George W. Bush by about 118,000.

Does it matter to the Democrats, for example, that the Triad Corporation, whose representatives mysteriously jiggered the central tabulating machine in Hocking County before a recount could be conducted, is a corporate partner with the same company that produced the infamous butterfly ballots that helped give Bush Florida in 2000?

There is far too much more to document here short of writing another book, which we are doing, and which we hope to have in print by October.

Suffice it to say: to read this report as Ohioans is to enter a dream state in which the "opposition party" seems content to let elections float by with a wave and a nod. To say the least, this does not bode well for 2008, or for the future of American democracy.

--
Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis are co-editors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of DID GEORGE W. BUSH STEAL THE 2004 ELECTION: ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS, published by CICJ Books and available from http://freepress.org.

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Introduction: Did George W. Bush steal America’s 2004 election?

Posted in General on June 23rd, 2005
Introduction: Did George W. Bush steal America's 2004 election?
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
June 16, 2005

The following text is the Introduction to the 767 page: Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election? Essential Documents. You can buy the book here.

This volume of documents is meant to provide you, the reader, with evidence necessary to make up your own mind.

Few debates have aroused more polarized ire. But too often the argument has proceeded without documentation. This volume of crucial source materials, from Ohio and elsewhere, is meant to correct that problem.

Amidst a bitterly contested vote count that resulted in unprecedented action by the Congress of the United States, here are some news accounts that followed this election, which was among the most bitterly contested in all US history:

• Despite repeated pre-election calls from officials across the nation and the world, Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, who also served as Ohio's co-chair for the Bush-Cheney campaign, refused to allow non-partisan international and United Nations observers the access they requested to monitor the Ohio vote. While such access is routinely demanded by the U.S. government in third world nations, it was banned in the American heartland.

• A post-election headline from the Akron Beacon Journal cites a critical report by twelve prominent social scientists and statisticians, reporting: "Analysis Points to Election ‘Corruption': Group Says Chance of Exit Polls Being So Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000."

• Citing "Ohio's Odd Numbers," investigative reporter Christopher Hitchens, a Bush supporter, says in Vanity Fair: "Given what happened in that key state on Election Day 2004, both democracy and common sense cry out for a court-ordered inspection of its new voting machines."

• Paul Krugman of the New York Times writes: "It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.

When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.

This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, California..."

• Hundreds of Ohio African-American voters give sworn testimony that they were harassed, intimidated, deprived of voting machines, given faulty ballots, confronted with malfunctioning machines and hit with a staggering range of other problems that deprived them of votes that were destined for John Kerry, votes that might have tipped the Ohio outcome.

• A team of high-powered researchers discover results in three southern Ohio counties where an obscure African-American candidate for the state Supreme Court somehow outpolls John Kerry, a virtually impossible outcome indicating massive vote fraud costing Kerry thousands of votes.

• Up until 11pm Eastern time on election night, exit polls show John Kerry comfortably leading George Bush in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, giving him a clear victory in the Electoral College, and a projected national margin of some 1.5 million votes. These same exit polls had just served as the basis for overturning an election in Ukraine, and are viewed worldwide as a bedrock of reliability. But after midnight the vote count mysteriously turns, and by morning George W. Bush is declared the victor.

There is far far more…enough, indeed, to result in massive court filings, unprecedented Congressional action and a library full of documents leading to bitter controversy over the 2004 election, especially in Ohio.

In this volume, we have attempted to present many of the most crucial of those documents.

Do they prove that George W. Bush stole the U.S. presidential election of 2004?

Should John Kerry rather than Bush have been certified by the Electoral College on January 6, 2005?

Historians will be debating that for centuries. What follows are some of the core documents they will use in that debate:

The most hotly contested evidence comes most importantly from Ohio, whose 20 electoral votes decided the election. But it also comes from other key swing states—-especially Florida and New Mexico—-where exit polls and other evidence raise questions about the officially certified vote tallies in favor of Bush.

As mentioned, this book presents the most crucial documents indicating how this bitterly contested election was actually decided.

But it is also this book's purpose to memorialize the successful grassroots campaign by voting rights advocates that forced an historic Congressional challenge on the floors of the U.S. Senate and House. Acting on an 1887 law that grew out of the stolen election of 1876, a concerned constituency called into question before Congress the electoral votes of an entire state for the first time in U.S. history.

Brought forth by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and by Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), the Ohio electoral delegation challenge was the product of a unique grassroots campaign whose work is also documented here. As the New York Times described it, "In many ways, the debate came about because of the relentless efforts of a small group of third-party activists, liberal lawyers, Internet muckrakers and civil rights groups, who have been arguing since Election Day that the Ohio vote was rigged for Mr. Bush."

The research and writing in this book has focussed on Ohio, where we have been collectively reporting on electoral politics for more than three decades.

While the alleged irregularities, frauds and illegalities that transpired here in 2004 have probably generated the most thorough documention of any state, important parallel assertions have arisen in other states around the country, most importantly Florida and New Mexico.

As journalists and researchers with deep roots in Columbus, the state capitol, we warned of serious problems developing in how Ohio's 2004 balloting was being administered even before the actual votes were cast.

Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell who oversaw the Ohio election, is an outspoken, extremely controversial partisan who also served as co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, a conflict of interest that aroused much anger.

In his dual role, Blackwell seemed to replay the part of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. In 2000 Harris also served as co-chair of the state's Bush-Cheney campaign while administering the election that first gave them the White House. In both cases, Harris and Blackwell termed the elections "highly successful."

But were these "successes" defined in terms of their public servant roles as Secretaries of State? Or were they defined in terms of their partisan roles as campaign co-chairs for George W. Bush?

In this volume's first three documents, we reproduce articles published before November 2, 2004. Widely distributed throughout the Internet weeks before the election, they warned that a wide range of abuses stemming from Secretary Blackwell's office and other sources had already tainted the outcome of the upcoming Ohio vote.

On Election Day, these warnings seemed tragically prophetic. The balloting throughout Ohio was riddled with a staggering array of irregularities, apparent fraud and clear illegalities. Many of the questions focused on electronic voting machines whose lack of official accountability and a reliable paper trail had been in the news since the bitterly contested election of 2000, four years earlier. (Similar questions also arose in Georgia in 2002, where Democratic candidates for Governor and US Senate had substantial leads in the major polls right up to election day, only to lose by substantial margins).

The most widely publicized Ohio problems came as predominantly African-American precincts turned up suspiciously short of voting machines. Inner-city voters waited three hours on average and up to seven hours, according to election officials and to sworn testimony of local residents. Many voters stood in the cold rain to cast their ballots while nearby white Republican suburbs suffered virtually no delays. The wait at liberal Kenyon College, located in Knox County, Ohio, was eleven hours, while voters at a nearby conservative Bible school could vote in five minutes.

To this day no one can definitively tell how many citizens, seeing the long lines, went home or to work or to take care of their children, thus losing their right to vote.

But long waits were hardly the only problems predominantly Democratic voters encountered on Election Day. Selective harassment by partisan poll "inspectors," provisional ballot manipulations, missing registration records, denial of absentee ballots, absentee ballots pre-punched for Bush, faulty computer screens reflecting votes for Bush that were meant for Kerry, apparently deliberate misinformation regarding polling locations, inadequate poll worker training in predominantly Democratic precincts, and much much more threw scores of polling places into serious disarray.

In two heated public post-election hearings, attended by a thousand central Ohioans, several hundred angry voters testified – under oath – on the details of the irregularities that quickly led to the widespread belief that the election had been stolen. Their testimony got virtually no mainstream media coverage. But the verbatim essence of their sworn affidavits appears in this book.

Like the elections of 2000 and 2002, much of the doubt about the election of 2004 continues to center on the counting of votes, especially on electronic voting machines.

About 15% of Ohio's ballots were cast on computerized devices that left no paper trail. With more than 5.7 million votes cast in a state yielding an official margin for Bush of less than 117,000 votes, a skewed vote count on those machines alone could have made the difference for George W. Bush.

Sworn testimony recorded in public hearings in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Warren cast serious doubt on how those voting machines performed. In Warren, voters pressing Kerry's name on electronic screens repeatedly saw Bush's name light up. In predominantly Democratic Lucas County, Diebold Opti-scan machines broke down early in the day and were never fixed, denying thousands – mostly Democrats – their right to vote.

Reports surfacing in other precincts verified that technicians dismantled key electronic machines before a recount could be certified. Election officials in Franklin County (where Columbus is located) reported that 77 of their machines malfunctioned on Election Day, virtually all of them in heavily Democratic precincts. Inner city precincts in Cincinnati and Cleveland had all-too-familiar Florida-style problems with their punch card machines.

To date, there has been no credible, independent audit of these machines, not in Ohio or in any other state. In Ohio, Secretary of State Blackwell issued an order in the weeks following the election that all 2004 election records, paper and electronic, were to be sealed from public access and inspection. As of this book's publication date, those records remain unobtainable.

The controversy surrounding the voting machines remains extremely fierce in part because major manufacturers such as Diebold, ES&S, Triad, and others are controlled by partisan Republican companies with secret proprietary software. This unfortunate lack of transparency calls all U.S. elections into question.

In a highly publicized controversy, Diebold principle Walden O'Dell, a resident of central Ohio, pledged in a 2003 GOP fundraising letter to deliver Ohio's electoral votes to George W. Bush, leaving the indelible suspicion that he might do it fraudulently. U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is a principle in another major voting machine company, ES&S, on which many millions of votes were cast in 2004. Hagel was elected and re-elected in balloting that relied on ES&S machines. Such apparent conflicts of interest have left the poisonous impression that America's right to cast a ballot in secret has been transcended by a private partisan company's right to count votes in secret.

In fact, the question of electronic voting machines remains the single largest "black hole" in the entire electoral process. Nationwide at least 30% of the votes in 2004 were cast on such "black box" machines, more than enough to have tipped the balance in the popular vote from John Kerry to George W. Bush.

Despite the intense battle over this election and the scrutiny it has received worldwide, it is virtually certain there will never be a clear answer as to how many votes cast on those machines really went to which candidate. The 3.5 million-vote margin claimed by George W. Bush in the 2004 election remains unverifiable and, at best, forever suspect.

In reaction, GOP operatives have put forth three major arguments to defend a Bush victory.

First, they argue that in Ohio and elsewhere, county election boards are bi-partisan, meaning Democrats would have had to accede to any theft of an election. This book provides a verbatim interview from William Anthony, Democratic election board member in Ohio's Franklin County. Among other things, Anthony confirms that Blackwell had the power to remove any election board member, including Democrats, whose actions displeased him. Anthony and other Ohio election board members confirm that Blackwell in fact made at least one such threat in the lead-up to the 2004 election. And that Blackwell specifically denied central Ohioans access to paper ballots, a decision that might well have affected the overall outcome.

Republicans also argue that exit polls were wrong because Republicans failed to respond to them throughout the country on election day. They also say a late surge of evangelical voters in Florida and elsewhere overwhelmed the polling data, and that social issues prompted tens of thousands of core Democrats to drop their long-standing party loyalties and to vote for George W. Bush where in 2000 they had voted by wide margins for Al Gore.

These assertions remain unsupported by hard data. A number of documents in this book indicate they could not be true. And in large part as a result of these refutations, the movement demanding further scrutiny of the national vote continued to gain momentum in the weeks and months after the election.

Amidst the bitter controversy that was voiced in Ohio's post-election public hearings, unprecedented national attention began to focus on what may or may not have happened here. In late November, the Reverend Jesse Jackson let it be known he had serious questions about the conduct of the Ohio balloting.

In a series of visits Jackson rallied an African-American community that felt it had been deprived of its vote. A former cohort of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jackson compared the grassroots campaign for voter justice in Ohio to the civil rights marches of the 1950s and 1960s. Terming the campaign here "a bigger deal than Selma," Jackson likened what happened in Ohio 2004 to the deprivation of black voting rights throughout the Jim Crow South dating to the 1890s.

As a grassroots movement grew within the state – and across the nation – to demand a recount, Jackson enlisted the support of Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Tubbs Jones. While a citizens movement demanded to know what Ohio had to hide, Secretary of State Blackwell dragged his feet on the recount. He used a wide range of legal and bureaucratic maneuvers that deprived the public of meaningful scrutiny prior to the convening of the Electoral College, which Blackwell had long since proclaimed would go for Bush.

The grassroots efforts coalesced into two legal actions. On the morning of December 13, at the federal courthouse in Columbus, suits were filed on behalf of candidates from the Green and Libertarian Parties, demanding that the Ohio Electors not be seated until a full investigation of both the balloting and the recount could be conducted. Meanwhile, the convenors of the citizens' post-election hearings assembled a legal team to file two election challenge lawsuits, Moss v. Bush, and Moss v. Moyer, at Ohio's Supreme Court.

Rev. Bill Moss, a former member of the Columbus School Board, was the lead plaintiff in the suits, filed against George W. Bush and Thomas Moyer, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Small donor contributions from across the country financed both actions.

Later that morning, Rep. Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, convened a public forum on voting irregularities in Ohio that was covered by C-SPAN. Conyers had already taken testimony at a hearing in Washington. Now he was joined by Rep. Jones and Congressman Ted Strickland (D-OH), Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Congressman Jerome Nadler (D-NY) and others at the Columbus City Council Chambers. The hearing had originally been called for the Statehouse, but Republicans there denied the Congressional delegation a room.

Taking additional testimony from Ohioans who were denied their right to vote, Conyers' City Hall hearing also heard from national election experts. While they testified, Republican Electors cast their ballots around the corner at the statehouse, votes that would, as Blackwell predicted, give the election to George W. Bush.

In the wake of these new hearings, and with growing momentum built by Jackson, Jones, Conyers and others, a truly national movement arose to demand a new look at what had happened on November 2. With an almost total blackout on all coverage from the mainstream media, the vast bulk of the information was spread through www.FreePress.org. The Free Press articles were in turn picked up by www.CommonDreams.org, www.Truthout.org and other democracy-minded internet outlets. Co-authors Fitrakis, Wasserman and Rosenfeld appeared on Air America Radio Shows hosted by Laura Flanders, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, and Marty Kaplan, as well as Pacifica Radio, NPR, independent radio stations and with Amy Goodman on the Democracy Now TV network.

But by and large, the fact that the story spread at all was a tribute to the ability of the Internet to operate independently from the major media, whose scant coverage of what happened in Ohio was almost uniformly hostile to the idea that anything could have gone seriously wrong.

On January 3, 2005, Rev. Jackson hosted a rally in downtown Columbus at which Rep. Jones officially announced that she would formally question the seating of the Ohio Electoral delegation on January 6. The challenge would come through a law passed by Congress in 1887 in response to the Republican theft of the 1876 election.

That year the New York Democratic Samuel Tilden outpolled the Ohio Republican Rutherford B. Hayes by about 250,000 votes. But the Republican Party manipulated the electoral votes in Florida and other states.

After a tense five-month stand-off, a deal was cut and Hayes became president. In exchange, the GOP ended Reconstruction by pulling the last federal troops out of the defeated south, leaving millions of freed slaves to the mercies of Jim Crow segregation and a system designed to deprive them of their right to vote, a Constitutional violation not seriously challenged until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The 1887 law provided that at the formal request of a Senator and a Representative, the two houses of Congress would debate separately for two hours the legitimacy of seating a specified state's delegation to the Electoral College.

In 2000, members of the Congressional Black Caucus rose to challenge the Florida delegation. But Vice President Al Gore, who was presiding over the Senate at the time, recognized no senator willing to join them.

As of January 3, 2005, no U.S. senator had stepped forward to join Rep. Jones. The next day a busload of activists left from Columbus for an overnight "freedom ride" to Washington. As they arrived the morning of January 5, the burgeoning "Election Protection" coalition staged a media briefing at the National Press Club, finally generating major global media coverage, including ABC's Nightline. Throughout that day, and the next, Rev. Jackson, with Fitrakis and others in tow, lobbied the Congress, providing in-depth briefings for key Democratic senators, including the newly installed Democratic leadership and former first lady Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

On January 6, at a morning rally across from the White House, Rev. Jackson announced that Senator Boxer would join Rep. Tubbs Jones in questioning the seating of the Republican delegation from Ohio to the Electoral College.

Boxer's historic decision was greeted with loud cheers from the Election Protection coalition. In her California re-election campaign, Boxer had been America's third-leading vote-getter, behind Kerry and Bush. But extremely harsh personal attacks spewed from Rep. Tom DeLay (D-TX) and the Republican leadership in the Congress and in Ohio. Much of the Ohio media, which had ignored the story since election day, jumped in with personal attacks on Rep. Tubbs Jones and the voting rights activists.

As the day progressed, public rallies accompanied the Congressional debate, much of which we have reproduced here. Then the two chambers re-convened, certified the Ohio delegation—and George W. Bush was given a disputed second term.

But the historic controversy over the 2004 election has not ended.

At its core remain unanswered questions surrounding the actions of Secretary of State Blackwell, the fine print of election procedure and vote counting, as well as the still unresolved exit poll controversy and the nature of electronic voting.

Up until 11pm Eastern Standard Time, the major election-day exit polls showed John Kerry winning the national election. But in nine of eleven swing states, including Florida and Ohio, massive, unexplained shifts gave Bush the election.

Nationwide what appeared to be a victory for Kerry by about 1.5 million votes suddenly became a 3.5 million margin for Bush.

As shown in the documents here, the hard realities of such a shift remain unexplained.

In the months after the election, dozens of polling experts and statisticians have scrutinized every corner of the public exit polling data as it stacks up against the official vote counts. The major pollsters and their national media clients still refuse to release the raw data. The consensus, as shown here, is that the reversal of Kerry's fortunes late on election night was in essence a statistical impossibility, with the odds at roughly 1 in 950,000. According to these experts, John Kerry should have been inaugurated in January, 2005.

These exit poll analyses have been generally ignored but not disputed by the mainstream press. In early 2005, two major pollsters issued statements saying that their initial work was in error, and that they had somehow "under-interviewed" Republican voters, thereby skewing their findings toward the Democrats.

But such denials are simply not credible in the eyes of a broad spectrum of independent experts. As shown in the documents here, nearly all the "errors" in the polling were somehow in Bush's favor. The odds against the reversals that were shown in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania alone are in the hundreds-of-thousands to one; according to experts such as the University of Illinois's Ron Baiman, nationwide the odds approach 150 million to one.

Ironically, just prior to the 2004 US election, similar exit polls led to the reversal of a presidential election in Ukraine, where mass demonstrations forced a re-vote. The challenger's "defeat" in the first voting ran so clearly counter to the exit polls that a second vote was forced, which he won.

The Bush administration supported the revote in the Ukraine. But there was no parallel reversal here.

The drama in Ohio continues. In early 2005, Secretary of State Blackwell issued a fundraising letter congratulating himself for delivering Ohio to George W. Bush. The letter contained an illegal solicitation of corporate money, and was withdrawn as a "mistake."

Blackwell was not indicted. But the letter enhanced the widespread suspicion that Blackwell abused his position as Secretary of State to wrongfully deliver Ohio, and the White House, to George W. Bush.

In January 2005, Blackwell initiated an attempt by Ohio Attorney General James Petro to sanction four attorneys who sued to get to the bottom of what had happened on Election Day, 2004. Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck, Susan Truitt and Peter Peckarsky were named as attorneys to be sanctioned at the pleasure of the Ohio Supreme Court, which is dominated by Republicans. Petro's brief essentially argues that there were no irregularities in the 2004 Ohio election and the Moss v. Bush and Moss v. Moyer filings were "meritless" and "frivolous." Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, who is cited in the second filing, refused to recuse himself, and appointed himself to rule on the Moss v. Bush case against the very lawyers who filed against him in Moss v. Moyer.

Meanwhile, Blackwell escalated his own campaign for Governor of Ohio, to be decided in primary and general elections he would administer as Secretary of State. As the prime candidate of the fundamentalist far-right, Blackwell planned to follow in the footsteps of Florida's Katherine Harris, who was rewarded with a safe Congressional seat after delivering her state – and the presidency – to Bush in 2000.

As the documents in the final chapter and appendix to this book show, the bitter controversy over the vote count in Ohio has been mirrored in other key states around the US.

The outcome in Florida 2004 remains in many ways as severely challenged as in 2000. Serious questions have erupted in New Mexico, where every precinct that used electronic scanning devices went for Bush, no matter what its demographic make-up or party proclivities. As Kerry noted in a conference call involving Jackson, Fitrakis and Arneback, it was not the Democrat or Republican, Hispanic or Anglo, rich or poor make-up of a precinct that decided the outcome in New Mexico, it was the presence of opti-scan vote counters.

Similar new concerns have since surfaced in Maryland and elsewhere.

Like the production of this book, the "Election Protection" campaign that grew from the Ohio grassroots has been unaided by either the Ohio Democratic Party, the Kerry campaign or any other candidate, or the major media. But it has coalesced into a nationwide movement for meaningful reform. Based in grassroots organizing and independent internet outlets like www.FreePress.org, they may be our only lifeline to any hope for the future of democracy.

The Democratic representatives who stood up on January 6 are pursuing election reform at the federal level. It remains to be seen how that plays out.

But the bitter controversy over Ohio 2004, like that over Florida 2000 and Georgia 2002, rings like a firebell for the future of democracy.

Four decades after the 1965 signing of the National Voting Rights Act, and nearly fourteen decades after 1869 passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing freed slaves the right to vote, millions of Americans and citizens worldwide believe that our electoral process is still vulnerable to manipulation, fraud and theft.

We believe the documents in this book form the most complete record so far of what really happened in Ohio and elsewhere immediately before, during and after the election of 2004. Some have been edited to avoid excessive repetition. All are accompanied by citations meant to guide you to original documents in their entirety, as well as to other sources providing a variety of perspectives.

Many who are discontent with how this election was conducted now argue for federal standards to apply to all future elections. There are a wide range of additional reforms being proposed on all sides of the political spectrum.

But few would disagree with the proposition put forth by Thomas Jefferson that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. And that free elections demand aggressive, informed, relentless protection.

We hope this volume will facilitate informed decisions about how that can be done in the future.

Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
Columbus, Ohio
May 2005
Buy the book today!

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Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio

Posted in General on June 22nd, 2005
Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio

Click here to read DNC Chairman Gov. Howard Dean's remarks introducing the report.

After the 2004 election, there were widespread reports of serious voting problems in Ohio. The Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute made a commitment to investigate these reports and ascertain exactly what happened on November 2 in Ohio.

An exhaustive five-month investigation by the VRI's research and investigative team identified grave problems in the administration of Ohio's voting system. More than 1 in 4 voters in Ohio faced problems at the polls, including illegal requests for identification, long lines, poorly trained election officials, and more. There were also dramatic disparities in voting conditions among different races; African Americans waited nearly three times as long on average as whites to vote.

Most important, the VRI's comprehensive investigation resulted in concrete recommendations that will help protect every American's right to vote and to have that vote counted. These recommendations cover voting equipment, training for poll workers, uniform standards, and much more.

Get the facts about exactly what happened in Ohio in 2004, and learn how Democrats are fighting to protect our rights.

Download the Report

The full report (12MB download)

Section by section:

This report includes in my opinion a very flimsy dismissal of fraud in Ohio.  Don't know why they chose to include it, if not to discourage further investigation.  I recommend the book "Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election" by Bob Fitrakis for the bigger picture, as well as the USCountVotes.org exit poll discrepancy report.

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Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election?

Posted in General on June 17th, 2005

 

Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election? Ohio's Essential Documents" by Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman and Steve Rosenfeld (767 pages) - Special pre-order price: $25
This collection of news analysis, legal documents and sworn statements from suppressed and disenfranchised voters may very well tilt the balance in revealing the election fraud in Ohio during the 2004 election. Foreward by Rev. Jesse Jackson.

For more information about Dr. Fitrakis, view his bio in the Columns section of this website.

For more information about Mr. Wasserman, view his bio in the Columns section of this website.

Special pre-order price: $25
ORDER YOURS TODAY!

 

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Toledo Blade 6/12: Dems to meet Dean to discuss Ohio fraud

Posted in General on June 12th, 2005

Coin scandal concerns resonate to D.C.

By STEVE EDER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
June 12, 2005

*snip*

That's why some Democratic members of Congress are planning to meet with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean next week to talk about what happened in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election.

Ohio held the keys to the White House last year, deciding the presidential race by a margin of fewer than 120,000 votes.

"I think there should be an investigation of Ohio," said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), who last week put a statement on the congressional record about Ohio's investment scandal. She said she is hopeful a meeting with Mr. Dean will put Democrats in position to undertake a review of what occurred in her home state.

*snip*

Cliff Arnebeck, an attorney and co-chairman of the Alliance for Democracy, said the news of Mr. Noe's coin deal has provided some optimism for people who believe the election was swayed by wrongdoing.

"There's an excitement that we are getting to the bottom of this," said Mr. Arnebeck, who filed lawsuits on behalf of voters after last year's election.

"It is happening at a fairly rapid time frame. It's phenomenal in terms of what has been uncovered. It dramatizes what I think is fair to describe as a culture of corruption," he said.

*snip*

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050...

Posted by AtLiberty on Democratic Undergound

 

 

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Action: Californians say NO to Vote Pirates–Showdown with ES&S, Diebold

Posted in TAKE ACTION! on June 3rd, 2005
June 16th Show-Down with ES&S and Diebold

The following are two PDFs and one Word doc that we need to get on every website, newsletter and all media outlets.

1) Press release regarding the California Election Protection Network to Oppose Diebold and ES&S at a June 16th Sacramento Hearing. Everyone is invited for the fun: http://www.dfa-marin.org/June16HearingPressRelease.pdf

2) Here is a short blurb on the 6/16 event in a Word doc format: http://www.dfa-marin.org/DriveDiebold.doc

3) Here is the California Election Protection Network’s position statement submitted to the Election Assistance Commission in response to their request for input (before May 25, 2005) on how to implement the Jan. 1 2006 Centralized Voter Registration as mandated by HAVA: http://www.dfa-marin.org/CEPN_sm.pdf

Californians Say "NO" to Vote Pirates
The California Election Protection Network (“CEPN”), over 25 citizen groups across California working together to achieve their mutual election integrity goals, invites you to join them at the Voting Systems & Procedures Panel (“VSPP”), Thursday, June 16th, 9 AM, in front of the Secretary of State's office, 1500-11th Street, Sacramento, 95814. Testify in favor of open and clean elections at the 10:00 am VSPP hearing. The VSPP approves voting systems for California.

Rock the boat.
Protect our vote!

For more info & to read CEPN's full press release,
contact Sherry Healy: Sherry@CalifElectProtect.net

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CNN changed their Exit poll numbers

Posted in Exit Polls on June 3rd, 2005
Of all the evidence I have seen that the Republican-owned vote counting machines were rigged, this is some of the strongest.

At 12:21AM, after the polls had closed, the CNN exit polls were showing Kerry winning the popular vote with a 2.5% margin.

At 1:41AM, CNN Drastically changed the Exit poll numbers on their screen (to reflect the numbers coming out of the vote counting machines).

Anyone with a rudimentary knowlege of math can prove the "Updated" CNN exit poll numbers were faked.

Both CNN screens showed that of those polled, 53% were Women, 47% Men.

The 12:21AM screen shows 51% of men voted for Kerry and 53% of women voted for Kerry, and a total of 1,963 were polled.

The 1:41AM screen shows 47% of men voted for Kerry and 50% of women voted for Kerry, and a total polled of 2,020. (57 more people were polled)

12:21AM Calculations:
Of 1,963 polled, 47%(% Men) x 51% (% Men who voted for Kerry) + 53%(% Women) x 53%(% Women who voted for Kerry = 52.1% of 1,963, or 1,022 voted for Kerry.

1:41AM Calculations:
Applying the same calculations to the 2,020 number displayed at 1:41AM, you find only 991 voted for Kerry!?

How can the number of people who said they voted for Kerry DECREASE after 57 people were added to the total?

Time Bush Kerry Total
12:21AM 941 1022 1963
1:41AM 1029 991 2020
Change: +88 -31 +57

After 57 more people were polled, Bush's total was increased by 88 and Kerry's total was decreased by 31.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

=============
Has anyone seen an explanation? What is CNN's explanation? How do the Republicans explain this?

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PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO CONYERS!

Posted in TAKE ACTION! on June 2nd, 2005
Signed Copies of Conyers Report
What Went Wrong in Ohio?
If ever there was a knight in shining armour, it was Rep John Conyers! While many of our democratic leaders have acted cautiously regarding election fraud and the Downing Street Memo, not our hero, John Conyers. Now it's our time to show him how much he means to us! Please dig into your pockets and contribute generously.

JOHN CONYERS: 2005 MAN OF THE YEAR!

FROM HIS BLOG...

As regular readers of this blog know, I have never asked for a contribution on it. Today, I am compelled to break that pristine record. Raising money is an unfortunate reality of politics and, when you do not side with corporations and other special interests on legislation, you turn to ordinary Americans for help.
Today, I ask for your help in raising money for my re-election campaign and to help elect other Democrats so that we can end Republican rule of the House of Representatives, one party rule in Washington, and finally hold this Administration accountable.
For every $50 contribution, I will send you a copy of What Went Wrong in Ohio?(shown above), signed by me, and recently published by the Academy Chicago Publishers. I do not make a penny off the sales of this book and this publication house published the book more as a public service than a money making venture. They did a great job. The book has an amazing forward by Gore Vidal and the text of my Ohio report.
If you can, please contribute today.

http://www.conyersblog.us/default.htm

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