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Ohio's Perfectly Paranormal Recount Results

News: Election 2004: Ohio Counties Allegedly Reject Illegal Advice on How to Return a Perfect Recount -- Then Proceed to Return a Perfect Recount
The Nashua Advocate

George Orwell couldn't have written it any better.

Giving new meaning to the adjective ''Orwellian," just hours after the Ranking Minority Member of the House Judiciary Committee asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate allegations that two electronic voting-machine manufacturers -- Triad Governmental Systems and Diebold, Inc. -- not only tampered with voting machines in Ohio, but also (as to the former, and possibly the latter) instructed county elections officials on how to make a hand recount match a machine recount, countless Ohio counties (all of which are opposed to conducting any countywide recounting) have done exactly what Triad Governmental Systems allegedly instructed Hocking County (OH) elections officials on how to do: match preliminary hand and machine recounts perfectly in order to avoid a state statute requiring a countywide manual recount if a 3% sample of county ballots uncovers even one mis- or un-counted ballot.

Strangely, despite the source of the above complaint being a leading Congressman, the F.B.I. has been slower to respond to these allegations of statewide election fraud than a volunteer firefighter responding to a ham-radio report of local kittens caught in a pine tree.

So, today, The Advocate celebrates those Ohio counties whose elections officials -- having publicly decried the recount effort and expressed their determination to avoid any countywide manual recount -- have done such a "double-plus-good" job on their preliminary recounts that, conveniently, they've made their own dearest wishes come true: Butler, Lucas, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, and Summit counties, who, all told, recounted well over 23,000 ballots without uncovering even a single mistake in tabulation.

Not even one.

It appears the state's 92,000 undervotes were all in other counties. Or, barring that, that having set aside any such undervotes -- thereby preserving the appearance of professional competence in each county -- these counties found not a single additional undervote to add to the tends of thousands already identified in Ohio. As for overvotes? Forget about it. These counties were perfect on election night. Spot on, all of you!

Of course, in none of these counties were recount observers allowed to stand close enough to elections officials to actually see any of the ballots being counted; every county in which an observer asked to inspect an actual electronic voting machine rebuffed such request; one county, Delaware County, continues to refuse to even conduct a recount; and, as mentioned above, it would be a great surprise if Diebold and Triad representatives hadn't visited all the counties mentioned above, because the presidents of those companies seem to admit that they did -- the only question remaining, then, being whether those "visits" also involved criminal election fraud, as was reportedly the case in Hocking County. Perhaps the elections officials in Butler, Lucas, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, and Summit counties, none of which welcomed a recount, were less forthcoming regarding their "interviews" with Triad/Diebold representatives than was Sherole Eaton, Deputy Director of Elections in Hocking County?

If the F.B.I. continues to be the only investigative body on the case, the world may never know.

Meanwhile, other Ohio counties conducted recounts with less paranormal results. Whereas the six counties above counted 23,000+ ballots with no errors disclosed, tiny Knox County got a perfect score on its 3%-of-ballots recount, then saw approximately 25 votes change columns in the countywide machine recount. The Advocate wonders about the remaining 27,000+ votes never hand-counted in Knox County, given that a machine recount -- notoriously and spectacularly less effective than a hand recount in finding under-, over-, and un-counted votes -- nevertheless led to 25 ballots being re-identified. [None of which stopped the local newspaper, The Mount Vernon News, from reporting, "Recount Reveals No Change"].

Most Ohio counties have yet to report their recount results, or else have reported their recount results but have not reported (or have not had reported for them) whether those results were the product of an "initial hand" or "final machine" recount. Indeed, The Advocate notes that those counties which have reported "small" changes to their vote totals have been referring, most likely, to the results of their machine recounts, not hand recounts. This suggests that, as noted in this story, many more than the six Ohio counties listed above have had breath-takingly accurate initial hand recounts.

The Advocate further notes an interesting and undoubtedly mysterious coincidence: in every county in Florida which has conducted an initial hand recount, a substantial number of ballots have changed hands, frequently out of very small sample-sizes.

Florida, however, unlike Ohio, is not a contested state this year. And there's no word yet on whether Diebold or Triad employees made special "visits" to the affected counties.

News: Election 2004: Ten More Ohio Counties Report "Flawless" Recount Results; Greens Allege Widespread "Ballot-Prepping" -- That Is, Election Fraud

The Advocate is reporting that ten Ohio counties -- Brown, Clinton, Hamilton, Harrison, Jefferson, Medina, Monroe, Montgomery, Preble, and Washington -- have found no tabulation disparities whatsoever between their manual and machine recounts of 3% of county ballots. The Advocate estimates that these nine counties have now hand- and machine-recounted, all told, more than 27,930 ballots.

With no mistakes found.

This brings the total number of votes "flawlessly" hand- and machine-recounted across Ohio to at least 50,930 -- with these recounts spanning sixteen Ohio counties (see story, below). [Butler, Lucas, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, and Summit counties also enjoyed "flawless" recounts -- much to the delight of their elections officials, who had publicly expressed their dread over the prospect of countywide manual recounts].

The Green Party of America is reporting, however, that many Ohio counties are pre-selecting -- as opposed to randomly selecting -- precincts to recount (see link, below), possibly in contravention of Ohio statutes. The intent of this pre-selection process, according to Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, is to ensure that the smallest number of ballots is actually recounted -- that is, to target specific precincts which, when taken together, will comprise precisely or near-precisely 3% of all ballots cast countywide, rather than taking a random sampling of precincts whose total ballots reach the 3% threshold, i.e., ceasing the random-selection process as soon as sufficient precincts are selected to achieve the desired number of ballots.

Moreover, an update recently entered on the Party's website alleges that there are an increasing number of "tales of ballot-prepping (to allow the hand count and the machine count to match)..." [Parenthetical in original text]. This assertion is consistent with data being compiled and disseminated by The Advocate in this article and others.

Finally, recent reports (see link, below) suggest that Triad GSI and Diebold, Inc. representatives may have "visited" many of these and other counties to "calibrate" electronic voting machines in advance of a statewide recount. A top election official from at least one Ohio county, Hocking County, has alleged that her county's "visit" constituted a calculated and openly-acknowledged attempt by Triad GSI to defraud the recount process.


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