Archive for the 'Bob Fitrakis' Category

Why Hillary Wins the Big States

Posted in '08 Election, '08 Primaries, Bob Fitrakis on May 3rd, 2008

by Bob Fitrakis

Many people have asked me my thoughts about the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Here’s my brief analysis of why Hillary appears to be “winning” many large states.

Obama actually won in Texas, he barely lost the primary but won the caucus later that night and got more delegates than Hillary.

As for Ohio and Pennsylvania — and the other “must-win” state, New Hampshire — these are more problematic. For example, Obama was predicted to win in the tracking polls in New Hampshire. and the exit polls showed him winning. Bizarre election irregularities involving touchscreen machines seem to have played a role in Hillary’s statistically improbable win.

Both the exit polls in Ohio, which were barely within the margin of error (see the Free Press article Did Republicans give Hillary her victory in Ohio? by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2008/3041) and Pennsylvania, where it looks like Obama should have lost by less than 4 points but Hillary won by 10 points — suggest problems with the electronic voting. The key factor in Ohio and Pennsylvania are the Republican crossover votes. Hillary is winning not because she’s winning Democratic primary voters, but because Republicans are deliberately crossing over to vote for her in order to prolong the Democratic primary process. As long as Obama and Hillary continue to fight each other, then McCain gets a free pass and the Republicans will urge the defeated candidate supporters to crossover to the Republican side in November.

The Republicans want to run against Hillary. Their playbook is ready. I suspect there have been some electronic irregularities in her favor in NH and PA by Republican vendors of voting machines. But mainly, it’s the Republican crossover vote.

As long as our election system remains nontransparent and in the hands of private for-profit voting machine companies, we’ll never know the real vote count in these states.

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UNCOUNTED – The New Math of American Elections

Posted in '00 Election, '04 Election, '08 Election, Bob Fitrakis, Brad Blog, Disenfranchisement, Exit Polls, Video on November 7th, 2007

For more information or to order a DVD please visit UNCOUNTED – The New Math of American Elections. 



UNCOUNTED is an explosive new documentary that shows how the election fraud that changed the outcome of the 2004 election led to even greater fraud in 2006 – and now looms as an unbridled threat to the outcome of the 2008 election. This controversial feature length film by Emmy award-winning director David Earnhardt examines in factual, logical, and yet startling terms how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine election integrity across the U.S. Noted computer programmers, statisticians, journalists, and experienced election officials provide the irrefutable proof.

UNCOUNTED shares well documented stories about the spine-chilling disregard for the right to vote in America. In Florida, computer programmer Clint Curtis is directed by his boss to create software that will “flip” votes from one candidate to another. In Utah, County Clerk Bruce Funk is locked out of his office for raising questions about security ebudy flaws in electronic voting machines. Californian Steve Heller gets convicted of a felony after he leaks secret documents detailing illegal activities committed by a major voting machine company. And Tennessee entrepreneur, Athan Gibbs, finds verifiable voting a hard sell in America and dies before his dream of honest elections can be realized. 

UNCOUNTED is a wakeup call to all Americans. Beyond increasing the public’s awareness, the film inspires greater citizen involvement in fixing a broken electoral system. As we approach the decisive election of 2008, UNCOUNTED will change how you feel about the way votes are counted in America.

 

For more information or to order a DVD please visit UNCOUNTED – The New Math of American Elections. 

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Ohio’s 2006 Vote Count Now Includes A Higher Percentage Of Uncounted ballots than in 2004, And A Statistically Impossible Swing To The Republicans

Posted in '06 Election, Absentee Ballots, Bob Fitrakis, Exit Polls, General, Harvey Wasserman, Provisional Ballots, Ron Baiman on November 16th, 2006

by Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman and Ron Baiman

November 14, 2006

Original Article @ http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2006/2250

The percentage of uncounted votes in the allegedly “fraud free” 2006 Ohio election is actually higher than the fraud-ridden 2004 election, when the presidency was stolen here. A flawed voting process that allowed voters to be illegally turned away throughout the morning on Election Day may have cost the Dems at least two Congressional seats and a state auditor’s seat.

The evidence comes directly from the official website of GOP Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell Blackwell website. But researchers wishing to verify the number of uncounted ballots from that web site should do so immediately, as Blackwell is known for quickly deleting embarrassing evidence. In 2004, Blackwell deleted the evidence of excessive uncounted votes after the final results were tallied.

Despite Democratic victories in five of six statewide partisan offices, an analysis by the Free Press shows a statistically implausible shift of votes away from the Democratic Party statewide candidates on Election Day, contrasted with the results of the Columbus Dispatch’s final poll. The Dispatch poll predicted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland winning with 67% of the vote. His actual percentage was 60%. The odds of this occurring are one in 604 million. 

(Freepress has numbers matrix/chart in this area)

The final Columbus Dispatch poll wrapped up on Friday before the Tuesday election. This poll was based on 1541 registered Ohio voters, with a margin of error at plus/minus 2.2 percentage points and a 95% confidence interval. The Dispatch noted “The survey’s 7-point variance from Democrat Ted Strickland’s actual percentage total broke a string of five straight gubernatorial elections in which the poll exactly matched the victor’s share of the vote.”

The hotly disputed central Ohio Congressional race between incumbent Deborah Pryce, a close friend of George W. Bush, and challenger Mary Jo Kilroy, a Democratic Franklin County Commissioner has not been officially resolved as of today, November 14. The Franklin County Board of Elections has postponed the official recount of this race until after the November 18 Ohio State-Michigan football game. Another bitterly disputed Congressional race, on the outskirts of Cincinnati, also awaits a recount.

The major news leaking from the Blackwell web site is the stunning percentage of uncounted votes still outstanding throughout the state. When John Kerry conceded the day after the 2004 election, there were some 248,000 Ohio votes still uncounted, out of 5,722,443 officially cast. This was an astonishing 4.3% of the votes.

George W. Bush’s alleged margin of victory at the time was about 136,000 votes, which dropped to about 118,000 after a fraudulent recount. More than two years later, more than 100,000 votes from Ohio’s 2004 election remain uncounted including 93,000 machine rejected ballots.

Today, in 2006, the percentage of the official total vote that remains uncounted is actually higher than in 2004. According to Blackwell’s web site, there are 211,656 absentee and provisional ballots still uncounted in 2006, out of 4,177,498 votes officially cast. This is 5.1% of the total official vote.

The high percentage of provisional ballots is due mainly to new strategies used by Blackwell and the GOP legislature to eliminate votes in targeted areas. In Franklin County (Columbus), which is now heavily Democratic, there were 14,462 provisional ballots—2.7% of total votes—cast in 2004. In 2006 the number soared to 20,679, a substantial jump constituting more than 6% of all voters, in an election in which fewer total votes were cast.

Provisional ballots are issued when poll workers challenge citizens’ rights to a regular ballot. The provisional ballot will allegedly be counted later if proof of registration and proper residency are established. But to this day, some 16,000 such provisional ballots from 2004 have never been tallied.

According to Blackwell’s site, in 2006, there are 46,458 uncounted ballots in Franklin County alone. According to Matt Damschroder, Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, some 19,524 are in Franklin County, where Kilroy is a Commissioner. Another 900 or so Kilroy-Pryce votes remain uncounted in the Madison and Union Counties.

The preliminary vote count finished election night gave Pryce a margin of some 3,536 votes. But Kilroy has refused to concede.

In 2004, Blackwell listed 788 precincts in Franklin Country, with 845,720 registered voters and some 533,575 votes cast, a 63.09% official turnout.

After the 2004 vote, the GOP-controlled board of elections purged some 170,000 Franklin County citizens from the registration rolls. The GOP claimed the right to eliminate those who had not voted in the previous two presidential election cycles. This is allowed by federal law not mandated. The impact has carried over to 2006.

For 2006, Blackwell has listed 834 precincts with 766,490 registered voters and 342,958 votes cast, an official 44.74% turnout. He lists 46,458 absentee and provisional votes cast in Franklin County. But much of the lower turnout and high provisional vote count may have to do with partisan restrictions imposed by Blackwell and the GOP, aimed at stealing elections precisely like the one between Pryce and Kilroy.

New voting requirements imposed by Ohio’s HB 3, passed by the GOP legislature just after the 2004 election, led to the “flagging” of hundreds of thousands of voters in Ohio. Free Press reporters have observed a “Stop Sign” icon next to the name of between 20-40% of the voters in inner city and campus precincts in Columbus.

The stop sign is outlined on page 50 of the Franklin County Board of Elections “Precinct Elections Training Manual.” It is tied to a “60-day election notice” sent to voters, but being returned as “undeliverable.” Ballots cast by voters with stop signs next to their names have been electronically recorded as provisional, according to the Training Manual, and many are likely to go uncounted because the voters were in the wrong precinct.

Traditionally, Ohioans have been able to cast a provisional ballot in any precinct in their home county. But Blackwell issued a directive in the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election ordering that citizens voting in the wrong precinct would not have their votes counted at all.

Free Press observers, and statements called into the Free Press, indicate that poll workers imposed large numbers of provisional ballots on voters in Kilroy’s strongholds at the Ohio State University campus and elsewhere in Columbus. A single election observer with the Five Candidates Election Observer Project 2006 reported that 1000 complaints an hour were coming into the Franklin County Board of Elections. So many were logged early in the day that the phone lines set up for the precinct workers failed. The phones for the public had to be diverted to answer the deluge of questions from pollworkers.

The Kilroy race thus may hinge on how many provisional ballots were trashed at the polling stations or will be discarded during the recount. Because the vast bulk of the uncounted ballots are in Kilroy’s strongholds, the she would normally be expected to pick up enough votes to eradicate Pryce’s current margin. On election night, Fox News initially announced that Kilroy would win.

But Franklin County’s Republican BOE Director Matt Damschroder has postponed the recount until after Saturday’s home game between number one-ranked Ohio State and number two-ranked Michigan. Rioting has traditionally broken out after this game, but the ballots are being stored at the BOE downtown, far from Buckeye Stadium.

The stunning number of uncounted, absentee and provisional ballots listed by Blackwell indicates that there may have been deeper problems with the 2006 Ohio election than widely believed.

Another Congressional race is being bitterly contested in three counties outside Cincinnati that of themselves gave George W. Bush his official margin of victory in 2004. In one of them, Warren County, an unexplained Homeland Security alert was declared just as the polls closed, with independent observers then banned from the vote count. This alert has yet to be explained by the HSA or FBI. In a special 2005 election this district, dubious computer glitches and scantron ballot problems resulted in a late night surge that gave a narrow and much-doubted margin to the Republican, Jean Schmidt, whose re-election by another narrow margin is now being angrily questioned. How many other tight races in Ohio may have been swung by dubious manipulations remains to be seen.

Though it’s just a week since the votes were cast here, reports of parallel irregularities pouring in from around the country indicate that the Rove/Blackwell election theft machine was in high gear on November 7. Thousands of grass-roots volunteers who monitored procedures around the US clearly made a difference.

But the full story of what really happened in Ohio 2006 and elsewhere almost certainly won’t be known until well after this year’s college football season.

–

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO?, just published by the New Press. They are of counsel and plaintiff in the King Lincoln lawsuit which helped unearth many of the irregularities in the 2004 and 2005 election. Fitrakis was an independent candidate for governor in Ohio 2006, endorsed by the Green Party. Wasserman’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is available at www.solartopia.org. Ron Baiman is a statistician and researcher at Loyola University. Read more of their work at http://freepress.org.

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Talking Points Memo On Elections (for Progressive media)

Posted in '06 Election, Bob Fitrakis, General, RFK Jr., TAKE ACTION! on August 12th, 2006

http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/06/talking-points-memo-on-elections-for.html

Since the start of this month there has been more high profile, corporate media coverage of our “election” charades than perhaps any other period during the Bush regime. Could this be a sign we are approaching a bona fide tipping point, after which things will be totally different? Well, I want to believe it, but I think we first need the progressive media to get on the same page about some talking points.

1. Secret vote counting guarantees inconclusive outcomes. Whether it is paperless DREs or optical scanners with interpreted or proprietary code, votes are being “counted” in secret, without even a chance for voters, elections officials or the media to examine the process or verify the results.

2. Unverified voting means there is NO BASIS for confidence in the results reported. Blind trust is required to accept current election results.

3. The media should not report what it cannot prove or independently verify. We now have faith-based reporting about faith-based elections.

4. The Consent of the Governed is being assumed, not sought, under current election conditions. According to the Declaration of Independence, the “just Power” of government derives from the Consent of the Governed.

5. Here is a partial list (in no particular order) of additional items to which we must say: We Do Not Consent.

a) The lost presumption of innocence;

b) Spying on Americans and an overall loss of privacy;

c) Government lawlessness;

d) Destruction of our environment;

e) The promise of endless war;

f) Free speech zones;

g) Depleted Uranium (Mr. Bush’s slow-motion holocaust);

h) Government run media;

i) Secret prisons, torture and war crimes;

j) and We Do Not Consent to secret vote counting machines.

The larger question that should emerge from these talking points is: Has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET? Presented this way the question takes a tone of inevitability – not if, but when! This is how we pave a path to a tipping point.

This set of points varies in at least one very dramatic way from the high profile corporate coverage recently given to election integrity. For examples, start with Rolling Stone publishing Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s hefty recitation of the of the travesty of the 2004 “election” in Ohio, plus the ensuing TV appearances (CNN, Fox, MSNBC – all .wmv videos), and the online rebuttals and rejoinders (Farhad Manjoo at Salon.com, Paul Lehto, Bob Fitrakis, and even Bobby Kennedy himself). In all cases, progressive people are arguing over past events that can’t be changed with people who are not even open to having their minds changed.

What would be better is educating progressive media about these powerful forward-looking arguments. Icons such as Thom Hartmann, Peter B. Collins (.mp3 of my interview last week), and Randi Rhodes can help us teach the public at large in a way that enables understanding of our current condition while fostering an appropriately strong and unified response. The talking points above allow us to discuss that which can be agreed upon, namely, what are the conditions for the elections we’re about to have. The lesson, however, is that such conditions ensure inconclusive outcomes which should never be expected to produce unanimous acceptance. By narrowly defining a common view of the problem we become poised to take united action.

The Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR) is a document reflecting all the talking points above. The City Council of Arcata, CA was the first to adopt the VCR, and Palo Alto, CA will soon be considering its own version. Each community is encouraged to use Arcata’s language as a template, keeping the main talking points and customizing other areas, including an election reform platform. This inspires local debate about sensible standards that should aim at delivering conclusive election outcomes and creating a basis for confidence in the results reported.

In Hartmann’s recent AlterNet article about the RFK piece, he very bluntly says: “George W. Bush is not the legitimate president of the United States.” But Hartmann doesn’t go much beyond encouraging us to “speak out” in response. There is no doubt that Hartmann personally knows many people who have already been among the most outspoken. Our efforts have not been in vain, but they could be more successful with a common message and call to action. And it was with this in mind that I saw the need for this talking points memo. It is worth noting that when I recently discussed these same ideas with Brother Thom on his radio show, this is what he said:

“Its a great start getting out there and saying, ‘Nope, sorry, we’re not going to play this game.’ I think we need to do more of that.

* * *
Additional recent major media election integrity coverage has included Jack Cafferty and Lou Dobbs (.wmv) on CNN. Big thanks to VoteTrustUSA and BradBlog for instigating and covering the coverage. Also see Why Old Election Numbers No Longer Matter, originally published 8/17/05 in the GuvWurld Blog, also appearing on page 9 of my new book We Do Not Consent (free .pdf download). Finally, Mark E. Smith offers a perspective worth considering in Global Warming vs. Election Integrity.




WE DO NOT CONSENT – The new blog and online book (free download)

Also see The GuvWurld Bloghttp://guvwurld.blogspot.com AND The Voter Confidence Resolutionhttp://tinyurl.com/amryg

Posted on Democratic Underground by GuvWorld 

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