Finally, An Elected President

Posted in '08 Election, Black Box (Electronic) Voting, Brad Blog, Mike Connell, Velvet Revolution on November 6th, 2008

Barack Obama was overwhelmingly elected by citizens in all
regions of the country.  Unlike the past two elections where the results
were contested in two states run by partisans who rigged the results, this election was won hands down by the person who ran the best campaign.  This is not to say that there were not  massive problems with voting systems in many states.  But this election did not come down to one state or county controlled by corrupt officials.

Four years ago, VR was formed out of the chaos of the 2004 election. Since then, we and all  of you have fought a long battle to ensure that our elections are fair, honest and transparent.  We demanded accurate voting machines and paper ballots.  In this election, both Florida and Ohio, now with paper ballots, went Blue and there is no one questioning that result.

Over the past several months, we have raised the specter of a Man in the Middle computer attack on the vote tabulators controlled by partisan evangelicals.  We identified Michael Connell as the key GOP IT expert who created these nefarious networks.  We took legal action against Connell in the form of a federal deposition.  Karl Rove responded by threatening Connell to either take the fall or keep his mouth shut. Connell’s Bush/Cheney attorneys did everything possible to keep Connell from testifying.

Two  weeks ago, Rove was confidently saying that John McCain could win ten battleground states to become President.  McCain was confidently telling everyone that he would win with a surge in the wee hours of election night.

Well, last Friday, something important happened:  Michael Connell was forced to appear before Solomon Oliver,  a Clinton appointed Afro-American federal Judge in Cleveland. After Attorney Cliff Arnebeck accused Connell in open court of rigging elections for Karl Rove, the judge ordered Connell to submit to a sworn deposition 18 hours before the polls were to open.  On Monday at noon, Connell was placed under oath and  grilled about election fraud, Man in the Middle attacks,  Trojan horse manipulations and threats
from Rove.

And guess what happened?  Connell suddenly changed his tune. Connell said that to his knowledge there would be no tabulation manipulations of Tuesday’s election.  And something else, Karl Rove wrote on his blog late Monday that Obama would win by a landslide even in those states he had previously predicted McCain would win.

In short, at VR, with all the help from you, our affiliates, our supporters and others, we played a role in helping to make this presidential election more fair than the past two.  Our education campaign, our paper ballot campaign, our whistleblower campaign and our legal strategies worked.  That’s what democracy is all about.

Thank all of you for your confidence in our work, your dedication and your kind and generous support.  We hope to continue to do our small part to make our government more accountable to everyone.

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Posted in '08 Election, Mark Crispin Miller on September 29th, 2008

Here, in this shattering new interview, Stephen Spoonamore goes into harrowing detail about the Bush regime’s election fraud, past, present and–if we don’t spread the word right now–to come. Since he’s the only whistle-blower out there who knows the perps themselves, and how they operate, we have to send this new piece far and wide.

Here Spoon tells us that McBush’s team–i.e., Karl Rove and his henchpersons– have their plan in place to steal this next election: by 51.2% of the popular vote, and three electoral votes.

He also talks about the major role played by the Christianist far right in the electronic rigging of the vote.

And he defines our electronic voting system as a major threat to US national security, calling for it to be junked ASAP, in favor of hand-counted paper ballots.

Since Spoon is a Republican and erstwhile McCain supporter, as well as a noted specialist in nosing out computer fraud, his testimony is essential–not only for its expertise, but, no less, for the impact that his views will surely have on those Republicans who have been loath to see what Bush & Co. has done to our election system.

That whole story’s just about to break. In fact, tomorrow there will be a number of articles appearing, on a recent breakthrough in the lawsuit that Spoon’s testimony has enabled, and on other aspects of that all-important case.


9/26/08: New Spoonamore Interview – E-voting Machines are a National Security Threat

Last week, VR interviewed GOP Cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore about the upcoming election and his testimony in the new Ohio litigation to take depositions of Karl Rove and others.

The video is posted in full below with ten short clips for You Tube viewing. This interview is so important and explosive that we urge everyone to watch it.

Spoonamore says that the GOP wanted e-voting to steal elections but now foreign governments will be hacking and the winner will be determined by the best hackers. He says that if the GOP wins the hacking competition, McCain will win 51.2 percent with three electoral votes over Obama, and it will be a stolen election.

Spoon also makes a crucial point about the people who have been implicated in much of the election theft: “They are religious extremists.” He names those who know about stolen elections, and he insists that the only way to protect this election is with paper ballots, hand-counted.

Check out this extraordinary interview here. It’s a network, people. Electronic voting machines are a national security threat. The genie is out of the bottleŠ. Fifty ways to steal an election.–KHOo8tkM Mike Connell: Bush IT Guru The Rapp Family: Ohio election cover-up. Evangelicals and voting machines. Paper ballots please. McCain/Palin will win by theft. People should doubt the vote, it’s being stolen.

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Mark Crispin Miller: Why They Chose Sarah Palin …And What to do About it…

Posted in '04 Election, '08 Election, Mark Crispin Miller on September 17th, 2008

A Guest Editorial by author and NYU media professor, Mark Crispin Miller

“Strategists say that Mr. McCain can now count on a more motivated social conservative base to help him in areas like southern Ohio, where the 2004 race was settled.”

The New York Times, Sept. 7, 2008, A1

“In investigating the 2004 election in Ohio–examining pollbooks, talking to pollworkers and election officials, as well as reading local newspaper accounts –we could find no data of a late surge to the polls by born-again Christians. What we did find is certified voting totals in areas favoring Bush that didn’t match the number of voters who officially signed-in on the poll sign-in sheets.”

–Email from Bob Fitrakis of The Columbus Free Press, Sept. 7, 2008

To understand how Team McCain intends to get away with stealing this election, we must recall how Team Bush got away with it four years ago. (Those aren’t two different teams.)

The plan for stealing this contest has everything to do with the ostensibly surprising choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP.

Here’s why…

1. Election Day, 2004: The Myth of Bush’s Christian “Surge”

First, let’s recall that, after the 2004 election, everybody said that Bush had won because the true believers of the Christian right had come out–or, rather, poured forth–in unprecedented numbers, often at the last minute, to support him. Of course, by “everybody,” I’m referring to the entire commentariate, both mainstream and left/liberal. On TV and in print, in news analyses and op-ed articles, they all said that Bush/Cheney had been re-elected by America’s “values voters.”

And they said it with a certain awe–as well they should, since Bush’s victory was a sort of miracle. He had disapproval ratings in the upper 40’s: higher than LBJ’s in 1968, higher than Jimmy Carter’s in 1980. Nor was he very popular in his own party, as many top Republicans came out against him–including moderates like John Eisenhower, rightists like Bob Barr, and many others such as William Crowe (chair of the Joint Chiefs under Ronald Reagan), General Tony McPeak (former Air Force chief of staff and erstwhile Veteran for Bush), libertarian Doug Bandow, neocon Francis Fukuyama, Lee Iacocca and Jack Matlock, Jr. (Reagan’s ambassador to the USSR); and many other, lesser figures in his party also publicly rejected him.

And so did sixty (60) newspapers–all in “red” states–that had endorsed Bush four years earlier: two thirds of them now going for Kerry, the others none of the above. American Conservative, Pat Buchanan’s own magazine, ran endorsements of five different candidates, only one of them for Bush. And 169 tenured and emeritus professors from the world’s top business schools all signed a full-page ad decrying his economic policies, adducing them as reasons not to vote for him. (The ad was written by top faculty at his own alma mater, Harvard Business School.) The ad ran in the Financial Times, which, like The Economist, endorsed John Kerry.

And still Bush won, despite such big defections, thanks to that enormous turnout by the Christian right, as everybody kept on saying–even though there were good reasons to be very skeptical about that notion.

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A 12-Step Program to Save US Democracy

Posted in '08 Election, Mark Crispin Miller on May 5th, 2008

by Mark Crispin Miller

Certainly the outlook for democracy seems pretty bleak-and how could it be otherwise? The surest way to make a problem worse is to pretend it isn’t there, which is exactly what our press and politicians have been doing; and the rest is, unfortunately, history.

But history can be changed, as We the People have continually learned, from our refusal of colonial subjection, to our (partial) establishment as a democratic republic, to the abolition of slavery, to the enfranchisement of women, to the end of formal segregation and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

After that, our progress seemed to stop, and it must now resume: for history can be changed, and for the better, but only through our own unbreakable commitment to, and action for, enlightened policies for the renewal of our democracy. Based squarely on America’s first principles, such policies would not be wholly new, however revolutionary they must sound in these bad, backward times. As it was certain policies that got us into this horrific situation, certain other policies can get us out.

The fact is that We the People are in lousy shape, and must get straight as soon as possible. For we are all addicted to the horse race-and we can’t win, because it’s fixed. And so, before we end up losing everything, we need to pull ourselves together, face the music, and then take all necessary steps to change the tune.

A 12-Step Program to Save US Democracy

1. Repeal the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
This step will inevitably follow an in-depth investigation of how HAVA came to be.

2. Replace all electronic voting with hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB).
Although politicians and the press dismiss this idea as utopian, the people would support it just as overwhelmingly as national health care, strong environmental measures, US withdrawal from Iraq, and other sane ideas.

3. Get rid of computerized voter rolls.
It isn’t just the e-voting machines that are obstructing our self-government. According to USA Today, thousands of Americans have had their names mysteriously purged from the electronic databases now used nationwide as records of our registration.

4. Keep all private vendors out of our elections.
With their commercial interests, trade secrets and unaccountable proceedings, private companies should have no role in the essential process of republican self-government.

5. Make it illegal for the TV networks to declare who won before the vote-count is complete.
Certainly the corporate press will scream about its First Amendment Rights, but they don’t have the right to interfere with our elections. When they declare a winner BEFORE WE even know if the election was legitimate, they PRE-DEFINE all audits, recounts and even first counts of the vote as the mere desperate measures of “sore losers.”

6. Set up an exit polling system, publicly supported, to keep the vote-counts honest.
Only in America are exit poll results not meant to help us gauge the accuracy of the official count. Here they are meant only to allow the media to make its calls.

7. Get rid of voter registration rules, by allowing every citizen to register, at any post office, on his/her 18th birthday.
Either we believe in universal suffrage or we don’t.

8. Ban all state requirements for state-issued ID’s at the polls.
As the Supreme Court smiles on such Jim Crow devices, we need a law, or Constitutional amendment, to forbid them.

9. Put all polling places under video surveillance, to spot voter fraud, monitor election personnel, and track the turnout.
We’re under surveillance everywhere else, so why not?

10. Have Election Day declared a federal holiday,
requiring all employers to allow their workers time to vote.

No citizens of the United States should ever lose the right to vote because they have to go to work.

11. Make it illegal for Secretaries of State to co-chair political campaigns (or otherwise assist or favor them).
Katherine Harris wore both those hats in Florida in 2000, and, four years later, so did Ken Blackwell in Ohio and Jan Brewer in Arizona. Such Republicans should not have been allowed to do it, nor should any Democrats.

12. Make election fraud a major felony, with life imprisonment–and disenfranchisement–for all repeat offenders.
“Three strikes and you’re out” would certainly befit so serious a crime against democracy.


This comes from Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, a new collection of writings by the major Election Integrity people, which IG Publishing will be bringing out in early April.
Mark Crispin Miller
About author

Mark Crispin Miller is the author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform, which is now out in paperback from Basic Books, with over 100 pages of new material. He may be reached through his blog at A movie based on his off-Broadway show, A Patriot Act, is available on DCD at

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Election Fraud News

Posted in General on April 25th, 2008

For daily election news, visit The BRAD BLOG and our own “Daily Election Fraud News”.

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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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Zogby – Voters Question Outcome Of ’04 Election

Posted in Exit Polls, General on September 26th, 2006



Only 45% of Voters “Very Confident” Bush Won Election “fair and square”

By Michael Collins

Part II of a II Part Series (Part I)

“Scoop” Independent News

Washington, DC

At their lowest points of popularity, do you recall anyone who claimed that Presidents’ Carter and Nixon stole their elections or that they didn’t win fair and square? Did any analysts or activist groups clam massive election fraud in the elections that brought these ultimately very unpopular presidents to office?

How confident are you that George Bush really won the 2004 presidential election? If you are a typical American voter and you have doubts, how did those doubts arise? A mid August Zogby Poll of 1018 likely voters answered the first of these two very important questions (The author was a contributing sponsor for the survey.)

How confident are you that George W. Bush really won the 2004 presidential election?

Very confident that Bush won fair and square…….. 45.2%

Somewhat confident that Bush won fair and square… 20.0%

Not at all confident that he won fair and square…… 32.4%

Other/not sure………………………………………. 2.4%

This is a remarkable result. Nearly two years into the second term of his presidency, less than half of those polled think that the 2004 election victory was “fair and square.” 20% say they are “somewhat” confident, which is hardly an endorsement of legitimacy. Webster’s defines “somewhat” as follows: “…in some degree or measure: SLIGHTLY.“ This does not exactly qualify as an endorsement of a critical democratic process. The 32% who are “not at all confident” represent a major portion of the population holding the belief that Bush failed to win without cheating. Combining “not at all confident” with “somewhat” “slightly”, according to Webster’s, produces a category of 52% who “doubt” the legitimacy of the election. Altogether, these results are a clear vote of no confidence.

Combining “not confident at all” and “somewhat” (“in some degree measure: SLIGHTLY”) produces a category of “Doubts.” This gives a clear picture on legitimacy versus illegitimacy issue.

Survey Excel file available here.

Those who doubt: Not at all confident that he won fair and square – 32%

Fifty nine percent of Democrats, 5% of Republicans, and 34% of independents comprise the group with no confidence in a Bush win. Dividing the group by race shows that 54% of Asians and 71% percent of African Americans have serious doubts in the legitimacy of the election, along with 25% of whites and 37% of Latinos. Thus, a majority of Asian and African American voters lack confidence in the president’s legitimacy to rule while significant numbers of whites and Latinos do as well.

Groups thought to be in the hip pocket of the Republican administration show no confidence at a significant rate. NASCAR fans doubt the election results at a rate of 28% and born again Christians at 25%. Those in rural areas and the suburbs show some real doubt with rates of 28% and 29% respectively demonstrating a significant level of doubt. Members of the armed forces were right at the survey average with 32% questioning the legitimacy of the election.

The geographical distribution of no confidence was mildly surprising: East, 44%; South 30%; Central States/Great Lakes 24%; and West35%. Given the strength of the Republican Party in the South and relative strength of Democrats in the Central States/Great Lakes, this outcome stands out.

Those who without doubt: Very confident that Bush won fair and square – 45%

Fifteen percent of Democrats, 80% of Republicans, and 39% of independents comprise the group that is very confident that Bush won fair and square. Dividing that group by race shows that 39% of Asians and 9% percent of African Americans are very confident in the legitimacy of the election, along with 51% of whites and 38% of Latinos. Central States/Great Lakes comprise 54% of this group with the South at 46%. The West comprises 42% with the East accounting for just 32% of likely voters.

Whites, 51%, born again Christians, 58%, and people with household incomes over $100,000 are at the top of those very confident in a legitimate election. Only 54% of the rural population was very confident in a legitimate election. This may reflect the significant decrease in rural support for Bush in 2004 when compared to the 2000 election. All of these figures in the low fifties indicate that even among core constituencies, there are barely a majority of voters with a high degree of confidence that the election was legitimate.

Those in between: Somewhat confident that Bush won fair and square – 20%

Democrats and Independents, at 24% and 22% respectively, out number Republicans at 14%. Those who said that they were “somewhat confident” in the legitimacy of the election were evenly distributed around the country with only 3% separating the lowest reporting region, the South at 19%, and the West at 21%, which was the highest. Born again Christians come in at 15% percent, while non sectarians report at a rate of 19%.

The “in betweens” show less difference than the “very confident” and the “not confident at all” responders among the various subgroups polled.

Where they live: confidence by location

Those with “doubts are more likely to live in a large city. But nearly half in rural areas show “doubts.”

The Importance of this Survey

Why are these results important? The notion of legitimacy is central to political systems and central to the ability of an elected leader to rule effectively (although a low level of legitimacy can allow a ruler to stay in power for a period). The vast majority of the public, regardless of political leanings, needs to confer legitimacy through a belief that those elected were elected fair and square. Significant numbers doubting basic legitimacy create major problems for those “elected” and for stability in the system. The result of only 45% trusting the system arises in a news environment in which the main stream media simply refuses to doubt the fairness or the 2004 election and studiously avoids any charges of outright election fraud and a corrupted result.

How the doubts arose will require more research. The response to other Zogby Poll questions in the same survey provides a major hint. 60% of American voters believe that tampering with only one machine can alter the outcome of an entire election. Nearly 80% oppose the use of secret, vendor-only computer code to run voting machines. Plus an amazing 92% of respondents said that they want the right to watch votes being counted and the right to make inquires of election officials regarding vote counting. They want that right because it belongs to them but also, I argue, because they doubt the process and the checks and balances. These doubts about the election occur at the same time there is doubt about the outcome and interact to reinforce each other.

Grave doubts exist about the 2004 presidential election in Ohio and elsewhere. Questions are asked primarily by mathematicians who cannot tolerate a seeming suspension of the laws of mathematics for one day only, November 2, 2004, voting rights activists who witnessed voter suppression and election irregularities at an extraordinary rate, and ordinary citizens whose civic concern was awakened by the 2000 Supreme Court selection and the 2004 election that defied all logic.

Despite the productivity of election fraud researchers and voting rights advocates, very little attention has been given to questions of election fraud by the corporate media. The significant vote of no confidence expressed by a representative sample of 1018 likely voters was driven by several factors: from information gained through channels other than corporate media outlets or due to a general distrust of the President based on his behavior and actions or a combination of these and other influences.

What does this mean? Some preliminary thoughts.

This survey elaborates another Zogby Poll conducted in Pennsylvania and sponsored by In that survey, 39% of Pennsylvania residents indicated that they thought that 2004 Presidential election was stolen. In the current survey, a middle category was created to capture those with doubts, only “somewhat confident” that Bush won fair and square. By creating that category in this national poll of likely voters, those who doubt legitimacy increased 13 percentage points to 52% while those likely to share the sentiment that 2004 was stolen, dropped from the Pennsylvania 39% to the national sample of 32%.

At this point, the Bush Presidency is an illegitimate one, lacking in the necessary consensus to rule with any degree of confidence by the people. We have entered the Potemkin Village of democracy where the façade of legitimacy is nothing more than a Hollywood back lot. This is the inescapable conclusion from this poll of likely voters.

Combining “not at all’ and “somewhat” responders, over half of American voters have doubts about the election, with a third of the total survey expressing serious doubts about the outcome of the election. Despite what the script writers at ABC and the other networks weave into the nightly network indoctrination, there is a vast distrust of this president and this administration; a distrust so profound that it includes a belief that the president wasn’t even re-elected in 2004.

Corporate Media: Asleep at the Switch

There won’t be much discussion of this Zogby poll by corporate media reporters and pundits. If it occurs, it might go something like this: “Most Americans confident in 2004 Election;” “Bush Still Solid with the People;” “Core Groups Support Outcome of 2004 Election.” Of course, none of those headlines will appear. For one or a multitude of reasons, the American corporate media has studiously ignored any controversy concerning election 2004. To discuss questions of legitimacy in public would entail raising the question of a stolen election. It won’t happen but it should. .

If we assume that this data is actually discussed by the corporate media, a dismissal strategy is available. The headlines would read: “Doubt in Legitimacy of 2004 Presidential Election Based on Attitude toward Bush Performance” or, for certain news organizations, “Complainers Doubt 2004 Outcome.” Those who think the country is headed in the right direction comprise 79% of those who are very confident in 2004 results. They comprise only 8% of the “not confident at all” group. Those who think the country is headed in the wrong direction represent 26% of the very confident responders and 47% of the not confident at all group.

Of course, President Carter’s popularity dropped below 30%, a majority of Americans were positive we were headed in the wrong direction. You will be very hard pressed to find one single voice rose to challenge Carter’s popular vote victory, even though his victory margin was narrow. The hypothesized right-wrong explanation of this exceptionally low level of confidence in the system is not a particularly good argument but it will not be needed.

There is a uniform failure to address the legitimacy of the 2004 election. It is not the fault of the public. From these results, it is easy to imagine a robust dialogue followed closely by an intense public debate on the real questions that lead those who do to doubt the legitimacy of the 2004 presidential election. With such a debate, the numbers “not at all confident” would rise even higher. What a shame it would be if the information managers win yet again.

*** # # # # ***

Copyright. Permission to reproduce in whole or part with attribution to the author, Michael Collins, a link to “Scoop,” and attribution of polling results to Zogby International.

Michael Collins is a writer who focuses on clean elections and voting rights. He is the publisher of the web site, His articles in “Scoop” Independent News can be found here.

MichaelCollins @


The Zogby poll was conducted from August 11 through 15, 2006. 1018 adult voters were interviewed by phone. The sample of people interviewed reflects the demographic and regional diversity of the United States. Due to the size, it has a 3.1 % (+/-) margin of error. 95% of Zogby’s political polls have come within a 1% margin of accuracy in predicting election outcome. The survey was commissioned and sponsored by election rights and business law attorney Paul Lehto of Everett, Washington. This author, Michael Collins, was a contributing sponsor, along with Democracy for New Hampshire.


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A Full Recount Would Show that López Obrador Won Mexico’s Presidency by More than One Million Votes

Posted in General, International on August 2nd, 2006

The Tip of the Iceberg of the Crimes Committed by Mexican Electoral Authorities Is the Fraudulent Vote Count of 2006

By Al Giordano

Part II of a Special Series for The Narco News Bulletin

July 8, 2006

Commercial Media organizations are reporting that Felipe Calderòn won Sunday’s presidential election by 0.58 percent of the vote and will govern Mexico for the next six years, beginning on December 1.

It would not be the first time that the Commercial Media has been wrong.

Many of those reports have claimed that Wednesday’s first official count of precinct results in Mexico – 130,000 pieces of paper that claim to represent the vote tallies – was a “recount.”

It would not be the first time that lazy “pack journalism” got a major international story wrong.

The truth: No recount occurred on Wednesday, or before, or since. What occurred – we repeat – was only the first official count of precinct tallies.

A Narco News investigation has found that in the small sample of precincts – less than one percent – where a recount was allowed, the shift in numbers away from Calderón was so drastic that, if recounts of all the ballots followed the same trend, the official results would invert and Andrés Manuel López Obrador would become the clear winner of the presidency by more than one million votes:

The Million-Vote Fraud

Part I of this series documented the election night dishonesty by Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE, in its Spanish initials) when it withheld 3.3 million votes (about eight percent of the total) from public view while claiming that its Preliminary Elections Results Program (PREP) had tabulated 98.5 percent of the vote.

Our report then showed that the inclusion of 2.5 million of those votes – when, under significant public pressure, IFE finally disclosed them – significantly reduced the agency’s original claim that Calderón had won by 377,000 votes: that total fell to a 257,000 vote margin in one swoop. Wednesday’s first official count reduced that margin by another 13,000 votes, even as the IFE refused to conduct hand-counts of more than 99 percent of the ballots.

An electoral arbiter acting in bad faith, with an interest in preventing an accurate tally, would, in response to such hemorrhaging (the daily freefall, since Monday, of Calderón’s alleged margin of victory), act hastily in a manner that would prevent transparent completion of a careful count.

On Thursday, in such haste, IFE chairman Luis Carlos Ugalde inexplicably usurped the legal role reserved for the judicial electoral tribunal (known as the Trife), by rushing to declare Calderón the official victor.

As Mexico’s leading newsweekly, Proceso, concluded from its own investigations:

“The decision by the IFE to leave the announcement of its PREP results in suspense, in spite of the fact it could have done so before midnight on Sunday, confirms that this agency has been an ally of the federal government in its goal of avoiding, at all costs, the arrival of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency.”

For authentic journalists, Mexico’s post-electoral conflict is one of those gigantic news stories that happens few times in the course of a lifetime: Not merely a story about how a state-of-the-art electoral fraud was perpetrated in a major country of 100 million people, but, more historically, the story of how that fraud will be laid to waste.

This news story will unfold for weeks, probably for months, before it is resolved. The first battle is already underway: the struggle to count the votes.

It is objectively false to report, as major news organizations have done, that there was a “recount” of votes on Wednesday. There was no such thing. What occurred was the first actual counting of reported precinct results, something that occurs days after every election, and the results demonstrate the overwhelming evidence that a full recount is necessary in order to achieve an accurate result.

On Wednesday, there was partial recount of less than one percent of the ballots: a partial recount that lowered Calderón’s supposed margin of victory by more than six percentage points, or more than 13,000 votes. In the context of the fraudulent results discovered in this sample of recounted ballots, it can therefore be projected that a recount of just 18.7 percent of the ballots would tie the race. A full recount – if the votes in the ballot boxes have not been tampered with or disappeared (as has already occurred in various parts of the Republic when marked ballots have been discovered in municipal dumps and garbage cans on the streets) – will show a victory by candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador by more than one million votes: 1,056, 900, more closely estimated.

López Obrador’s campaign is, in fact, seeking a recount of only those precincts where it found indications of fraud: a lot of them: 43,000, more or less. This extrapolation – if those precincts are counted vote-by-vote – would give his candidacy a victory of 243,000 votes.

Is it any wonder, then, that Calderón, his National Action Party, and Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE, in its Spanish initials), oppose and resist a full or partial recount even at the cost of their own legitimacy? (In spite of their legaloide claims that “the law” doesn’t allow a full recount, Articles 41 and 99 of the Mexican Constitution – we will translate the relevant constitutional passages in this report – do not just allow a full recount: they require it.)

The true and legal victor in last Sunday’s elections, former Mexico City Governor López Obrador, will make his case today, Saturday, to his supporters and to the nation of how exactly this election fraud was carried out against him and them. He will have to do so against the gale-force winds of a boycott of the true facts by much of the mass media (especially the Mexican television duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca), and the complicity of the country’s electoral authorities in the maintenance of their own false decrees. He will begin this daunting task today, Saturday, at 5 p.m. Central Time, directly to a multitude of his supporters that he has called to the Mexico City Zócalo – the Mexican town square in front of the National Palace – at an event which he has titled an “informational assembly.”

Despite the newsworthiness of the moment, even its value as a “ratings booster,” this opening statement by the prosecution will not likely be televised. Still, the facts will travel to every corner of the country and world by word-of-mouth, organization, and, significantly, via the Internet, which has an important role to play in this chapter of history.

Many observers have compared the post-electoral conflict in Mexico 2006 to that of 2000 in the United States. While there are indeed parallels (as well as distinctions) to be drawn, there is a very important difference in the equation, and it is societal: That part of the electorate in the United States that was robbed did not see any way to fight and overturn the fraud, or simply was too gullible or afraid to do so. In Mexico, however, the path exists, a critical mass of the Mexican populace understands exactly what was done to them and is ready to assume the ultimate risks to overturn the crime. At stake for global capital and its increasingly simulated “election” processes not just in Mexico but throughout the planet is the manufactured belief that nothing can be done. As occurred a century ago, with the Mexican revolution of 1910, Mexico is on the verge of, as Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos has often said, “amazing the world again.”

Guanajuato as Florida

The north-central Mexican state of Guanajuato – home turf of President Vicente Fox and an importantísimo electoral base for his and Calderón’s PAN party – is where official results from the state’s 6,122 precincts (less than five percent of the national vote) gave Calderón a margin of more than 700,000 votes. That is to say, even according the highly suspicious official results, López Obrador won the rest of the country by almost half a million votes. This was a state where electoral fraud was carried out – and continues to be covered up – on a systematic basis.

There, in Guanajuato, the official results from 640 of those 6,122 precincts show discrepancies and irregularities which include more votes cast than are voters in the precinct, more votes cast for Calderón than votes cast in the precinct, electoral officials that refused to count the votes in public, discrepancies between the actual result and the reported result, missing or suspect vote tally reports, each of them sufficient to trigger, under law, a vote-by-vote recount in the first instance; on Wednesday, despite motions to count the votes in each of those 640 precincts, Guanajuato election officials allowed only eight to be recounted.

Those eight precincts – representing 0.13 percent of the state’s vote – reduced Calderón’s margin by 253 votes, or an average of 31 votes per precinct. If the remaining 632 precincts with irregularities were to show a similar shift, López Obrador’s count would increase by 19,592 votes. If all 6,122 precincts, counted by hand, were to show a similar shift, Guanajuato alone would change the national tally by 189,782 votes. From five percent of the Republic, Calderón’s official margin of victory would, according to our math, be reduced nationwide by 77 percent, from 244,000 to just 55,000 votes. That is just one state with just five percent of the nation’s population.

Claims by IFE and others that the selection of civilian precinct authorities (something akin to jury duty) makes bias and fraud impossible are absurd. Corruption, in Mexican elections, is a two-way street with a long history. For every bribe or “dispensa” (food, construction materials, etcetera) handed out by a corrupt official to rent a vote or a voter ID card, there is a voter willing to do his part trade his vote (or his credential) for money or material things. The same goes for overzealous citizen poll staffers: A culture of corruption is not cured in a single election or in a six-year presidential term. It can only be countered by legal recourses such as the one that exists, or should: a vote-by-vote recount.

The perpetrators of this fraud, the PAN party, complained for decades about the very heavy-handed tactics used by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to rob elections from the PAN. But once in power, the PAN adopted those same anti-democratic tactics for its own use. In a place like Guanajuato, where the culture itself is heavily PANista, more than ten percent of the precincts fell victim to such obvious fraudulent activity that poll-watchers from other parties challenged the irregularities on election night and again on Wednesday during the official count. In others, in this heavily PAN-dominated state, there simply were no opposition observers in the room on Sunday to make the challenge (the same occurred in other highly populated PAN-governed states like Jalisco and Nuevo Leon). The bias of the jurors (and, during Wednesday’s official count, by IFE employees) was made evident by the refusal to open the ballot boxes and count, vote-by-vote, even in 632 precincts where clear and challenged irregularities had occurred with sufficient evidence to force a hand count.

This kind of stonewalling by the PAN, in its electoral strongholds (not just in Guanajuato but also in Jalisco (and its capital of Guadalajara), Querétaro and throughout Northern Mexico, (including Nuevo Leon and its capital Monterrey), and the IFE all over the country indicates that the participants in this fraud are well aware that their victory is one of theft and criminality. Every step since Sunday they have sought to prevent a full recount under the eyes of the press and public. Human nature is human nature: people’s bias and partiality plays a role in the vote counting, too, wherever it can. None of this analysis requires a conspiracy theory (not to say there hasn’t been a conspiracy, either; in Mexican politics, it would be strange if there was not): It is sufficient to trust in human nature and its untrustworthy elements, not to mention human error.

And this is precisely why a full recount is necessary. Those who oppose it or prevent it from happening reveal exactly why it must happen to clear up the significant public distrust of these results. If the pro-Calderón forces (including IFE) oppose that sunlight, that opposition strongly suggests that that they have reasons to prefer the darkness. Their refusal to permit it, if their opposition to a vote-by-vote recount prevails in these opening stages of the post-electoral conflict, assures that Calderón, if he makes it to inauguration on December 1, will face an impossible task of trying to govern an angry and organized population that does not consider him to have won legitimately. That the PAN is willing to risk even that is the best indication that it knows it “won” illegitimately, only through fraud.

As for Guanajuato – Mexico’s “Florida” in this year’s electoral fraud – Fox and the PAN party did not invent the anti-democratic tactics that they have embraced there and elsewhere in 2006. They learned how to cheat from the PRI, when it governed that state, and where the PRI used the same techniques against Vicente Fox when he ran for governor in 1991.

Vicente Fox, in his own autobiography (pulled off the shelves today by El Universal columnist Katia D Artigues), wrote of how he confronted the 1991 election fraud against him as candidate for governor of “Mexico’s Florida,” Guanajuato:

“After a 250-day campaign, the official results gave the victory to (PRI candidate) Ramón Aguirre with 53% of the vote. The PAN and I were in second place with 35% of the votes. The signs that a monumental electoral fraud had been perpetrated in Guanajuato were so evident that I immediately called for civil resistance. On August 21 in Irapuato, before 4,000 PAN sympathizers, I denounced the existence of more than 700 precinct results filled with immoralities. I detailed that in 506 of the 3,000 precinct results scrutinized there were more votes cast than voters…

“We began a march of 60 kilometers to the city of Guanajuato which we called the ‘walk for democracy’ to demand that the state electoral tribunal annul the results of at least 700 precincts. As part of these civil resistance actions, we blockaded highways, took over the international airport, surrounded the city of Guanajuato, took over city squares in Celaya, Irapuato and Dolores, filling them with citizens, housewives, students and elders, who denounced the electoral fraud. Our spirit was too overwhelming and to stop us, a horde of drunken PRI party members tried to destroy the state congressional building…”

Fox’s 1991 civil resistance led to a compromise in which then-independent (now PAN member) Carlos Medina Plascencia was installed as interim governor. (And that little piece of history explains why, as Narco News reported on June 30, Fox has positioned PRD founder Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas to become interim president if his party’s 2006 electoral fraud comes similarly crashing down as occurred to the PRI in Guanajuato in 1991.)

Revealingly, at the same present moment in 2006 when the PAN is attacking López Obrador’s announcement that he will file a legal complaint with the Trife electoral tribunal, the PAN itself is doing the same to challenge the local results for three seats on the Mexico City Council. What they say is that López Obrador should not appeal the results or spark civil resistance. But what they – the PAN – themselves have done is exactly what he – Obrador and the PRD – and his supporters are likely to do this summer and fall.

Vote Shaving, “Ant Style”

With a 244,000 “official” margin in the nation’s 130,000 precincts, the IFE-claimed margin comes down to less than two votes per precinct: less than two per ballot box, as many precincts contain more than one. An electoral fraud can be carried out simply by “shaving” or adding a few votes here and there: this pattern is already documented to have helped Calderón on the IFE PREP totals, and that IFE’s own website furnished the visible proof may explain why IFE – for all its claims of transparency – has not put the Wednesday “official count” results up by precinct online. Even as IFE has declared Calderón the winner, it has refused to account, precinct by precinct, where it got its current set of numbers.

Take a look at this photo of the “acta” (the signed precinct result) in Tabasco precinct number 0245, ballot box #2, and compare it with the result that IFE reported on its PREP system: The acta says that López Obrador received 236 votes: IFE’s PREP results, though, showed him with 203; a reduction of 33 votes from a single ballot box.

Photo of PREP result from Tabasco (click to enlarge):

Photo of the “acta” from the same precinct:

Or, here, in the State of Mexico, in precinct 1019: The photo of the acta gives 188 votes for Obrador, but only 88 – a difference of 100 – were reported by IFE:

Photo of PREP result from the State of Mexico (click to enlarge):

Photo of the “acta” from the same precinct:

In other districts, there was a pattern of one vote shaved from López Obrador between the acta and the PREP results, or one vote added to Calderón. Narco News has reviewed similar photos of that phenomenon from Baja California precinct 0105 (62 votes for Obrador, 61 reported), and from Baja California precinct 0548 (190 votes for Calderon, 191 reported).

Here are some others; this report only cites those that we have been able to review via photographs of the original actas: Veracruz precinct 2073: 188 votes for Obrador, 186 reported, two votes disappeared. Morelos precinct 0061: 194 votes for Obrador, 190 reported, four votes disappeared. Mexico City precinct 2411: 139 votes for Obrador, 134 reported, five votes disappeared. Querétaro precinct 0375, ballot box #1: 103 votes for Obrador, 102 reported, one vote disappeared. State of Mexico precinct 0855: 208 votes for Obrador, 197 reported, 11 votes disappeared. State of Mexico precinct 0297: 167 votes for Obrador, 159 reported, eight votes disappeared. Mexico City precinct 0444, ballot box #2: 322 votes for Obrador, 318 reported, four votes disappeared..

We have not seen a single photograph of the opposite occurring: of votes taken from Calderón or added to Obrador.

This election fraud tactic is known in Mexico as “estilo hormiga,” or “ant style.” In an election this officially close, there is no question that, if undetected, small shovelfuls of votes diverted or hidden can make the difference in the national result.

That IFE chairman Ugalde rushed to pronounce a winner on Thursday before his agency publicly disclosed the precinct-by-precinct tally counts is cause for concern: No citizen, candidate or party is able to confirm that the actual results from the hard count match the IFE final tally. In the context of this pattern of “ant style” differences with the PREP results on Sunday, and IFE’s dishonesty (see Part I of this series) in hiding 3.3 million votes from the PREP results while claiming 98.5 percent had been counted in them, Ugalde’s panicked rush to declare a winner without providing transparency in the result seems all too much like a repeat of his suspicious Sunday performance.

Do the Ballots Still Exist?

Earlier this week, Narco News shared reports and a photo of ballot boxes and ballots from the Obrador stronghold of Nezahuacoyotl, discovered in a municipal garbage dump. Similar sightings (photographed and notarized) have been unearthed in Veracruz and Mexico City (also bases of Obrador’s support). Here is a photograph from today’s La Jornada of three completed ballots found adrift all alone in a Mexico City garbage can: two of those votes are for Obrador, the third is for PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo.

Lost ballots found in the garbage.

Foto: D.R. 2006 La Jornada

What might explain IFE chairman Ugalde’s rush to pronounce judgment and opposition to a vote-by-vote recount is the possibility that these are not isolated cases; that if a full recount is ordered, but the ballots no longer exist in safe keeping, all the IFE and mass media claims of a “clean” electoral process will find themselves in the garbage dump of history. More personally, IFE officials could go to jail. Again, the only way to find out would be to conduct a full vote-by-vote recount of the kind that IFE and the PAN so vehemently oppose.

Wednesday’s hard count of precinct results was bizarre to behold. Your correspondent published, via the Narcosphere, the hour-by-hour results reported by IFE.

Interestingly, from the noon hour Wednesday when we first began tracking and logging the results, when 25 percent of the precinct counts had been reported, and hours later, when 65 percent had been tabulated, López Obrador consistently polled ahead of Calderón by 2.42 to 2.76 percent of the vote (a percentage consistent with our projection that López Obrador won by about one million votes); both candidates had almost no fluctuation to their totals. The manner in which that tally suddenly changed course is bizarre from a mathematical or statistical perspective.

As the latter third of the results came in beginning at 4:44 p.m. on Wednesday, Calderón’s vote percentage began to creep upward as López Obrador’s creeped downward by equal and opposite amounts. During this count of the final 35 percent of the tallies, interestingly, PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo’s percentage remained steadily the same as it had all day (within half-a-percentage point, landing at 22.26 percent) as did that of the also-rans Patricia Mercado and Roberto Campa. All day and night – see the accompanying graph – three candidates remained with their totals in a straight line, but in the final stretch only Obrador and Calderón percentages diverged from the consistency of the first two-thirds of the tallies.

Calderón partisans (including IFE and the mass media) explain the final shift as one of northern Mexican regions coming in last. But Madrazo’s vote, in particular, was uneven nationwide. This was shown by IFE’s PREP results in the breakdown among the five regions by which the vote count was organized.

Madrazo’s regional totals were 24.09 percent in Region 1 (Northern Mexico) and 23.12 percent in region 2 (North-Central Mexico), the regions from where Calderón supposedly got his late surge in Wednesday’s precinct count: nearly one and two points above his national average of 22.26. Had the final tallies in Wednesday’s precinct count really come in from the North and North-Central regions, a statistically significant upward shift would have been registered from Madrazo as well. That it did not casts important doubt upon the claims by IFE and television media that a regional vote saved the day for Calderón at the eleventh hour.

Again, these are from the already discredited PREP results, but it is significant how divergent Madrazo’s tally is region by region, and particularly how he finished higher in the two northern regions than in the combined three central-southern regions. And yet the sudden divergence early Thursday morning between Calderón and Obrador – according to IFE’s still undocumented conclusions – did not statistically change Madrazo’s total as it would have had it mainly come from Calderón’s northern base regions.

Suspicions about computer-generated fraud – rooted, in part, in the fact that IFE’s computer systems were partly designed by companies and partners of Calderón’s brother-in-law Diego Hildebrando Zavala – have been raised anew by the statistical anomalies and inconsistencies both in the PREP counts and hard counts claimed by the IFE, particularly the lack of fluctuation in Madrazo’s hard count tally at the very moments when a radical shift occurred from Obrador to Calderón. And the fact that IFE chairman Ugalde rushed, at 4 p.m. Thursday, to declare a winner without having transparently reported the region-by-region and state-by-state results (at press time, IFE still has not published them) smells as rotten as the legal fact that Ugalde is not empowered by any law to declare a winner but that he inexplicably did so anyway: that task belongs, legally, to the judicial branch of government, the Trife tribunal. Ugalde’s illegal hurry suggests motive to literally play fast and loose with the facts, as he has done.

As Article 99 of the Mexican Constitution, establishing the Electoral Tribunal (Trife) and its Supreme Court, clearly states: “The (Trife) Supreme Court will conduct the final count of the election of President of the Mexican United States.”

So why did Ugalde, arrogantly and illegally, steal that role for himself? What was his hurry? What was his fear of waiting, as the law provides, for the Trife to declare the winner?

The Constitution has some other interesting things to say that are relevant to this post-electoral conflict…

The Constitution Requires a Full Recount

Article 41 of the Mexican Constitution states:

“The people exercises its sovereignty through the Powers of the Union, in cases of their responsibility, and through those of the States, regarding their internal regimens, in the respective terms established by the present Federal Constitution and those of the States, which in no case may contradict the stipulations of the Federal Pact…

“III. The organization of federal elections is a responsibility of the State that is conducted by a public, autonomous agency named the Federal Electoral Institute, provided with legal power and its own resources, in whose formation the Legislative Branch, the national political parties and the citizens participate under the terms provided by law. In the exercise of this governmental function, certainty, legality, independence, impartiality, and objectivity are the guiding principles…”

This article requires, among other things, that the government provide “certainty” as to election results (as well as “legality” and “impartiality”). The mere existence of widespread public uncertainty (as well as illegal and biased activity by the IFE) provides the supreme electoral Tribunal with absolute legal grounds to reassert conditions that would restore public certainty. The Trife therefore has the power, and responsibility, to require a recount as the obvious and only means to restore that certainty.

And if a conflict surfaces between the IFE and the Trife as to interpreting those factors, Article 99 of the Mexican Constitution is very clear:

“The Electoral Tribunal will be, with the exception of the requirements of Article 105 of this Constitution (author’s note: which says that the national Supreme Court may only resolve, in the electoral arena, Constitutional conflicts between individual states, or between states and the federal government), the maximum jurisdictional authority in the material and specialized organ of the Judicial Branch of the Federation…

“The Electoral is responsible for resolving, definitively and finally, according to this Constitution and under law questions regarding…

“II. The legal challenges that are presented about the election of President of the United Mexican States that will be resolved once and for all by the (Trife’s) Supreme Court…”

This article clearly states that, in case of conflict between IFE’s interpretation and that of the Electoral Tribunal, the Tribunal has final power and say. Thus, the Constitution – see Article 41, especially the part about the requirement for “certainty” – must be interpreted as determinative over any IFE regulation.

That’s the law. It allows for, and requires, public “certainty” in presidential election results: something that does not exist today regarding Sunday’s vote. A recount is the only path available with which to establish that certainty in the 2006 election results.

But that presumes that the hype is true: that Mexico counts with honest institutions transparently upholding the rule of law.

Your reporter witnessed, in 1999, that same Supreme Electoral Tribunal – the Trife – fail to comply with its mandate at an hour when the voters of Guerrero were denied certainty of a gubernatorial election plagued with evidence of fraud. At that moment, the Trife ignored the public uncertainty, and allowed the PRI candidate to triumph in a situation very similar to today’s, in which the Guerrero state IFE granted, by a dubious one percent of the vote plagued with similar irregularities, against a candidate of the PRD for governor.

That was then. This is now. If the Trife decides to repeat its dark history, this year on the national level, what argument shall be left that the Mexican people can or should have faith in their institutions? The Trife will decide one matter – whether there shall be an authentic recount of the votes – but, in doing so, it will also determine the legitimacy of the Mexican Federal State. If it opts again to ratify illegitimacy, by denying a recount, nobody should claim surprise if the people respond accordingly, and take that power away from the corrupted institutions of the Mexican State.

To be continued…

from The Narco News Bulletin 

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Steve Freeman, Greg Palast on CSPAN Saturday, July 22nd ’06 : Integrity & US Elections!

Posted in '08 Election, Audio, Democratic Underground, Exit Polls, Greg Palast, Main Stream Media, Video on July 22nd, 2006
From Steve Freeman: I will be in New York this Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the Harlem Book Fair speaking on a panel on “A Matter of Trust: Integrity and the US Electoral System”.

It will be covered LIVE by CSPAN2 Time: 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

The event takes place at the Schomburg Center (Langston Hughes Auditorium) 515 Malcolm X Blvd. @ W.135th Street


John McWhorter, Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America

Paul Robeson, Jr., A Black Way of Seeing: From ‘Liberty’ to Freedom

Steve Freeman and Joel Bleifuss, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count

Greg Palast, Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats, Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal ’08, No Child’s Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War

Peniel Joseph, Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America; and moderator Dan Simon, Seven Stories Press.

QuickTime Video 1 hour, 7 minutes

mp3 audio of post discussion calls, 14 minutes 30 seconds.

Posted on Democratic Underground by IndyOp 

Video and Audio added by Organik on 7-23-06

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RFK Jr., Brad Friedman on Catherine Crier’s “Court TV”

Posted in Brad Blog, General, Main Stream Media, RFK Jr., Video on July 21st, 2006

Again Catherine joins the *very short* list of courageous TV personalities to speak up about election fraud! (video is from 7-20-06)

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