How The Grinch Stole The White House... Again
How The Grinch Stole The White House…Again
By Alan Waldman
Despite mainstream media attempts to kill or ridicule away the story, Talk Radio and the Internet are abuzz with considerable evidence that John Kerry was elected president on November 2 — but that Republican election officials made it difficult for millions of Democrats to vote while employees of three secretive, G.O.P. - bankrolling corporations rigged electronic voting machines and then hacked central tabulating computers to steal the election for George W. Bush.
Florida’s 2000 election problems—votes spoiled by chads, overvotes, undervotes, exclusion of minority voters, etc.—were never repaired and both worsened and spread to many other states, exacerbated by new and more devious abuses. The Bush Administration’s “fix” of the 2000 debacle (the Help America Vote Act) made crooked elections considerably easier, by foisting paperless electronic voting on states before the bugs had been worked out or meaningful safeguards could be installed. In 2004, employees of the three Republican-connected firms that dominate the business hacked electronic machines and the Op-Scan tabulating computers that count votes from paper ballots to steal the election by adding G.O.P. votes and reducing Democratic tallies.
Verified Voting, a group formed by a Stanford University professor to assess electronic voting, has collected 31,000 reports of election fraud and other problems—and elsewhere the total of election complaints has reached 57,000. AP/ABC observes that some of the first 1100 problem machines were taken off-line—but many others were not.
University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Steven Freeman, in his November 2004 paper “The Unexplained Election Poll Discrepancy,” concludes: “The odds of the discrepancies between predicted [exit poll] results and actual vote counts in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania could have been due to chance or random error are 250 million to 1,” so the unavoidable hypothesis is that they were caused by “systematic fraud or manipulation.”
Here’s a shocking fact. The reason it was so easy to steal this election is that, unlike the situation in Europe, where citizens count the ballots, employees of a highly secretive Republican-leaning company, ES&S, totally managed every aspect of the 2004 U.S. election. That included everything from voter registration, printing of ballots, the programming of the voting machines, tabulation of votes (often with armed guards keeping the media and members of the public who wished to witness the count at bay) and the first reporting of the results—for 60 million voters in 47 states—according to Christopher Bollyn, writing in American Free Press. Most other votes were counted by three other firms that are snugly in bed with the G.O.P. “Any actual counting of votes by citizens is very rare in the U.S., except for a few counties in Montana and other states, where paper ballots are still hand-counted,” Bollyn explains.
The tall hill of evidence below will demonstrate that the 2004 election fiasco had way too many “irregularities” for the late-Tuesday shift from Kerry (seen winning by 3% and more in exit polls and many more data) to Bush to possibly be an innocent coincidence.
This election is not the first to be hacked. In November 2002, Georgia Democratic Governor Roy Barnes led by 11% and Democratic Senator Max Clelland was in front by 5% just before the election—the first ever conducted entirely on touch-screen electronic machines, and counted entirely by company employees, rather than public officials —but mysterious election-day swings of 16% and 12% defeated both of these popular incumbents. In Minnesota, Democrat Walter Mondale (replacing beloved Senator Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash), lost in an amazing last-moment 11% vote swing recorded on electronic machines. Convenient glitches in Florida aided Jeb Bush and defeated Janet Reno in their primary elections. There is also reason to believe that North Carolina’s Senate race may have been hacked.
Then, in 2003, what’s known as “black box voting” helped Arnold Schwarzenegger—who had deeply offended female, Latino and Jewish voters—defeat a popular Latino Democrat who substantially led in polls a week before the election—in strongly Democratic California.
Actually, the first example of electronic machine fraud was probably recorded in 1996, when Nebraska Republican Chuck Hegel was CEO of ES&S whose voting machines recorded his long-shot first Senate victory—and then his re-election in 2002.
A Rat is Smelled
Realizing that the 2004 election results are highly questionable, many prominent people and groups have begun to demand action. Recently, six important Congressmen, including three on the House Judiciary Committee—Nadler (NY), Wexler (FL), Conyers (MI), Holt (NJ), Scott (VA) and Watt (NC)—asked the U.S. Comptroller General to investigate the efficacy of new electronic voting devices, because of numerous reports of lost votes across the country.
Black Box Voting—the nonprofit group which
spearheaded much of the pre-election testing (and subsequent
criticism) of electronic machines that found them hackable
in 90 seconds—is filing the largest Freedom of Information
Act inquiry in U.S. history. The organization’s Bev Harris
claims “Fraud took place in the 2004 election through
electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence,
documents, inside information and other data indicative of
manipulation of electronic voting systems.”
In Volusia County, Florida, BBV has already discovered two sets of voting total tapes: the first being much more favorable to Kerry.
Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jeff Fisher charged that he has and will show the FBI evidence that Florida results were hacked; he claims to also have knowledge of who hacked it—in 2004 and in the 2002 Democratic primary (so Jeb Bush would not have to run against popular Janet Reno). Fisher also believes that most Democratic candidates nationwide were harmed by GOP hacking and other dirty tactics—particularly in swing states.
Citizens for Legitimate Government recently called for an investigation of discrepancies in the 2004 election and may demand prosecution of those who carried out the second bloodless American coup d’ etat in four years.
Ralph Nader’s requested recount of 11 suspicious New Hampshire wards is currently ongoing. It was initiated by 20-year veteran software programmer Ida Briggs, who compared this year’s Granite State totals with those of 2000 and found 71 wards (of 300 total) where Bush did suspiciously better than he did four years ago. Fortunately, New Hampshire has a paper trail, so recounts are simple and can be reliable. If the recount find something fishy, it will almost certainly fuel recounts in Florida, Ohio and other states. Briggs has also discovered discrepancies (versus Bush’s performance in 2000) in New Mexico and Ohio.
The Green and Libertarian Parties have already requested an Ohio recount, because of voting fraud, suppression and disenfranchisement—and recounts are also being sought in Nevada and Washington.
Greens 2004 presidential candidate David Cobb charged, “It’s Florida all over again. Except this time it’s Ohio, where the person responsible for counting the votes is chair of the state Bush campaign. Once again there are widespread reports of intimidation, mis-marked ballots and targeted disenfranchisement of African American voters. It’s very possible the election has been stolen for the second time in a row. Again Democrats have conceded, rather than standing up for the right for people’s votes to count.”
The Indiana Recount Commission impounded election materials for a recount in the 9th District, where three-term incumbent Democratic Congressman Baron Hill lost by 1,485 votes—and machines were suspected of mis-recording votes. In nearby Franklin County, a recount proved that a tabulation error had given 600 straight-Democratic party votes to the Libertarian party.
Leading academics have also joined the fray, calling for widespread investigations. NYU Professor Troy Duster called for a full-scale probe, because “the data suggest that even if Bush won, he didn’t win by the kind of margins that are out there. We have a crisis here of potential legitimacy, and the way to deal with it is to do the research.”
Although the Internet is chock-a-block with stories of election fraud—and there are numerous stories about this crime in England, Canada and elsewhere, it is virtually nonexistent in the major U.S. media. Bev Harris reveals, “I have been told by sources that are fairly high up in the media—particularly TV—that there is now a lockdown on this story. It’s officially ‘lets move on’ time. I am very concerned about that, because it looks like we’re going to have to go to places like BBC to get the real story out.” So far, the only mainstream media outlet has been Keith Olbermann’s November 5 MSNBC Countdown show, but since then confidential sources at NBC say that the axe has come down and that Olbermann could be fire—unless he clams up.
On November 6, Project-Censored Award-winning author Thom Hartman said, “So far, the only national ‘mainstream’ media outlet to come close to this story was Keith Olbermann, when he noted that it was curious that all the voting machine irregularities so far uncovered seemed to favor Bush. In the meantime, the Washington Post and other media are now going through single-bullet-theory-like contortions to explain how the exit polls had failed.”
The 2004 Election Fraud: Its Scope and Nature
In May 2004, Johns Hopkins researchers performed a detailed analysis of the major types of electronic voting machines. They concluded: “The voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts. We identify several problems, including …vulnerabilities to network threats. We show that voters, without any insider privileges, can cast unlimited votes without being detected. Furthermore, we show that even the most serious of our outsider attacks could have been …executed without access to the source code. Worries about insider threats are not the only concerns; outsiders can do the damage. We conclude that this voting system is unsuitable for use in a general election.”
Votes collected by electronic machines (and by Op-Scan equipment that reads traditional paper ballots) are sent via modem to a central tabulating computer which counts the votes on Windows Software. Therefore, anyone who knows how to operate an Excel spreadsheet and who is given access to the central tabulation machine can make wholesale changes to election totals without being found out.
On a CNBC cable TV program, Black Box Voting executive Bev Harris showed guest host Howard Dean how to alter vote totals within 90 seconds. “By entering a two-digit code in a hidden location, a second set of votes can replace the original totals—in a matter of seconds,” Harris explains. Harris declared at a late-September press conference, “We are able to use a hidden program for vote manipulation , which resides on Diebold’s election software. It is enabled by a two-digit trigger. This is not a “bug” or accidental oversight; it is there on purpose.”
Some wonder why Democrats weren’t bright enough to hack the election for Kerry. Well, it has been recently learned that at least one of the three firms slyly utilized an old source code—rather than its current code—to escape donkey-party detection.
The Treacherous Three
More than 35 Ohio counties used electronic voting machines from Diebold, whose CEO Warren O’Dell declared in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president” in 2004. Up to 50,000 Diebold touch-screen machines and 20,000 scanners of paper ballots were used in 38 states during the November 2004 election.
Three major companies (aided by a few nasty minor ones) control the U.S. vote count: Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia. All of them are hard-wired into the Bush campaign and power structure. The Bush government gave them millions to roll out computerized voting machines. Diebold chief O’Dell is a top Bush fundraiser. Diebold’s Election division is headed by Bob Urosevich, whose brother Todd is a top exec at “rival” ESS. The brothers were originally staked by Howard Ahmanson, bagman for the extremist Christian Reconstruction Movement, which advocates the theocratic takeover of American government. Sequoia is owned by a partner member of the Carlyle Group, which has dictated foreign policy in both Bush Administrations and which has employed former President Bush for quite a while. Bev Harris and the State of California recently won a $2.6 million lawsuit against Diebold for lying about the security of its voting machines in Alameda County.
Wayne Madsen, of the Canadian organization Center for Research on Globalization, recently wrote, “There has to be a way …to sue Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell and Diebold board member W.R. Timken for conspiring to deliver Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush. O’Dell and Timken are top fund raisers for Bush—so-called ‘Pioneers.’ They should be the subjects of criminal investigations.” Diebold gave at least $195,000 to the G.O.P. between 2000 and 2002.
All Early Tuesday Indicators Predicted a Kerry Landslide
Zogby International (which predicted the 2000 outcome more accurately than any national pollster) did exit polling which predicted a 100 electoral-vote triumph for Kerry. He saw Kerry winning crucial Ohio by 4%.
Princeton Prof. Sam Wang, whose meta-analysis had shown the election to be close in the week before the election, began coming up with dramatic numbers for Kerry in the day before and day of the election. At noon, Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, Nov. 1, he predicted a Kerry win by a 108-vote margin. In the 23 closest states, Wang predicted Kerry's win chances in the following states to be: Florida 90%, Ohio 95%, Pennsylvania 100%, Hawaii 99%, Iowa 96%, Wisconsin 91%, Nevada 72%, Maine 100%, Michigan 100%, Minnesota, 100%, Oregon 100%, Washington 100%, Wisconsin 91%, New Mexico 60%, Arkansas 48%, Colorado 47%, Missouri 34%, New Mexico 20%, West Virginia 13%, Virginia 12%, Arizona 10%, Tennessee 8% and North Carolina 1%.
The Iowa Electronic Markets, where “investors” put their money where their mouths are and wager real moolah on election outcome “contracts,” Bush led consistently for months before the election—often by as much as 60% to 39%. At 1 p.m. CST on Election Day, however, before vote counting began anywhere, IEM had 51.9% of investors putting their money on a Bush win. Then something extraordinary happened: over the next six hours there was suddenly a massive shift to Kerry. At 3 p.m. CST, Kerry shot into the lead, with 60% of the hour’s investors banking on his victory. At 5 p.m. a mind-blowing 79.5% were betting on Kerry. And when the final sale was made, at 7 p.m., 76.6% of the last hour’s traders had gone to Kerry, with only 20.1% plunking their bucks down on Bush. These people knew something.
As the first election returns came in, broadcasters were shocked to see that seemingly safe Bush states like Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina were being judged by NEP as “too close too call.” Then, at 7:28 EST, before the Ohio and Florida results were hacked, networks broadcast that both states favored Kerry by 51% to 49%.
All Exit Polls Showed Kerry Won—Until They Were Altered.
In his research paper, Steven Freeman reports, “Exit polls showed Kerry had been elected. He was leading in nearly every battleground state, in many cases, by sizable margins. But later, in 10 of 11 battleground states, the tallied margins differed from the predicted margins—and in every one the shift favored Bush.”
In 10 states where there were
verifiable paper trails—or no electronic machines—the final
results hardly differed from the initial exit polls. Exit
polls and final counts in Missouri, Louisiana, Maine and
Utah, for instance, varied by 1% or less. In non-paper-trail
states, however, there were significant differences. Florida
saw a shift from Kerry +1% in the exit polls to Bush +5% at
evening’s end. In Ohio, Kerry went from +3% to
–3%. Other big discrepancies in key states were: Minnesota (from +10% to +4%), New Mexico (+4 to –1), Nevada (+1 to –3), Wisconsin (+7 to +0.4), Colorado (-2 to –5), North Carolina (-4 to -13), Iowa (+1 to –1), New Hampshire (+14 to +1) and Pennsylvania (+8 to +2). Exit polls also had Kerry winning the national popular vote by 3%.
In close Senate races, changes between the exit poll results and the fiddled final tallies cost Democrats anticipated seats in Kentucky (a 13% swing to the G.O.P.), Alaska (9%), North Carolina (9%), Florida, Oklahoma, South Dakota and possibly Pennsylvania—as well as enough House seats to retake control of the chamber.
Republican consultant and Fox News regular Dick Morris wrote after the election, “Exit polls are almost never wrong. They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots…and by substituting actual observation from guesswork. According to ABC-TV’s exit polls, Kerry was slated to win Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa—all of which Bush ultimately carried.”
Center for Research on Globalization’s Michael Keefer (a Professor at the University of Guelph) states, “The National Election Pool’s own data—as transmitted by CNN on the evening of November 2 and the morning of November 3—suggest that the results of the exit polls were themselves fiddled late on November 2, in order to make their numbers conform with the tabulated vote tallies. At 8:50 p.m. EST, CNN showed Bush leading by a massive 11-point margin and by 9:06 p.m., the incumbent had a 9% lead. However, at 9:06 p.m., exit polls showed Kerry leading by nearly 3%.”
This 12% gap caused embarrassment at NEC—the six broadcast networks’ official polling, counting and reporting entity. Keefer continues: “One can surmise that instructions of two sorts were issued. The election-massagers working for Diebold, ES&S and the other suppliers of black box voting machines may have been told to go easy on their manipulations of back-door ‘Democrat-delete’ software. And the number-crunchers at NEP may have been asked to fix up those awkward exit polls. Fix them they did. When the national exit polls were last updated at 1:36 a.m. EST, there was a 5% swing to Bush.”
How do we know the fix was in? Keefer explains, “Because
the total number of respondents at 9 p.m. was well over
13,000 and at 1:36 a.m. it had risen less than 3%—to
13,531 total respondents. Given the small increase in respondents, this 5% swing to Bush is mathematically impossible.”
Keefer adds: “In Florida, the exit polls appear to have been tampered with in a similar manner. At 8:40 p.m., exit polls showed a near dead heat but the final exit poll update at 1:01 a.m. gave Bush a 4% lead.” Again, the number of respondents made this swing mathematically impossible—because there were only 16 more respondents in the final tally than in the earlier one. The major TV networks glibly blamed the discrepancies between the original (untampered) exit poll results and the final official tallies on faulty exit polls.
Election Fraud Came in Many Flavors
Spoilage. Investigative journalist Greg Palast, writing in England’s Guardian, said, “The election in Ohio was decided…by spoilage. Typically, in the U.S., about 3% of the vote is voided. Most of these votes, say every official report, [are] in African American and minority precincts. In Florida in 2000, Katherine Harris excluded 179,855 spoiled votes. Most ‘lost’ votes in Florida then and Ohio now were cast on punch cards where the hole wasn’t punched through completely, leaving a ‘hanging chad.’ The majority of the two million votes tossed out in Tuesday’s election will be cast by minority citizens.”
Challenges. Palast continues: “First and foremost, Kerry was had by chads. But there were also the ‘challenges,’–the Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida Republican parties’ Supreme-Court supported use of an old Ku Klux Klan technique to block voters of color from voting.”
Provisional ballots that may or not be counted. In New Mexico, according to Albuquerque journalist Renee Blakely, “They were handing provisional ballots out like candy.” About 20,000 iffy provisional ballots were given out, mostly to Native Americans and Latinos, who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Santiago Juarez, who runs the “Faithful Citizenship” program for the Catholic Archdiocese of New Mexico, reported that his poor Hispanic voters were given provisional rather than countable ballots “almost religiously,” as they were questioned about their identification. Juarez added that some Hispanics were simply turned away. This activity was carried out in numerous minority communities across the country.
Kathy Dopp’s eye-opening examination of the State of Florida’s county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered, by party affiliation, (http://ustogether.org/Florda_Election.htm) reveals systematic and widespread election fraud (in 47 of the state’s 67 counties). Interestingly, she found that did not occur so much in the touch-screen counties, where public scrutiny would naturally be focused, but in counties where optically screened paper ballots were fed into a central tabulator PC, which is highly vulnerable to hacking. In these counties, had G.O.P. registrants voted Republican, Democratic registrants gone for the Kerry and everyone registered showed up to vote, Bush would have received 1,337,242 votes in the Op-Scan counties. Instead, his reported vote total there was 1,950,213! That discrepancy (612,971) is nearly double Bush’s winning margin in the state (380,952).
In Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Dixie, Franklin and 16 other counties—where 60% to 88% of voters registered Democratic, Bush won the reported vote. The Texan also won in 21 other Op-Scan counties where Democrats had a majority or plurality of registered voters. In Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democratic, but 58.5% of voters went for Bush. In Holmes County, the 72.7% Democratic voters went 77.3% for Bush. Bradford County had 61.4% Democratic registration but voted 69.6% for Bush; Calhoun County had 82.4% Democratic registration, but voted 63.4% for Bush. One egregious example: In Polk county, 42.6% registered as Democrats and 39% registered as Republicans. Yet the final vote count was: Bush 129,487 to Kerry’s 85,923. It has been suggested, that in some counties, the presidential candidates’ vote totals may simply have been switched.
Colin Shea of Zogby International analyzed and double-checked Dopp’s figures and confirmed that Op-Scan counties gave Bush 16% more votes than he should have. “This would have not been strange if it were spread across counties more or less evenly,” Shea explains, but it is not. In 11 different counties, the “actual” Bush tallies were 50-100% higher than expected. In one country, where 88% of voters are registered Democrats, Bush got nearly two-thirds of the vote—three times more than predicted by my model. In 21 counties, more than 50% of Democrats would have to have defected to Bush to account for the county result; in four counties at least 70% would have been required. These results are absurdly unlikely.”
Interestingly, eight of the 15 touch-screen counties showed voters moving toward Kerry and away from Bush (as compared to the numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans), which indicates that an honest statewide count would have shown a Kerry win, rather than the stunning 5% Bush victory.
In 13 Florida counties, the number of presidential votes exceeded the number of registered voters. (Source: http://ideamouth.com/voterfraud.htm). Palm Beach County recorded 90,774 more votes than voters and Miami Dade had 51,979 more, while relatively honest Orange County had only 1,648 more votes than voters. Overall, Florida reported 237,522 more presidential votes (7.59 million) than citizens who turned out to cast ballots (7.35 million).
The number and range of election complaints in Florida is mind-boggling. Here are but a few instances. Broward Country electronic voting machines counted up to 32,500 and then started counting backwards. The problem which existed in the 2002 election, but which was never fixed, overturned the exit-poll predicted results of a gambling referendum. In several Florida counties, early morning voters reported ballot boxes that already had an unusually large quantity of ballots in them. Throughout Florida, as in most tossup states, poll monitors saw prospective voters leaving because of long lines. There were numerous reports of sub-par facilities and faulty equipment in minority neighborhoods.
According to Canada’s November 3 Globe and Mail newspaper, “several dozen voters in six states—particularly Democrats in Florida—said the wrong candidate appeared on their touch-screen machine’s checkout screen (i.e. they voted one way and the result which appeared was the opposite).
Despite the registration of 20 times more Democratic new voters in Florida than Republican new voters (and 10 times as many in Ohio—as reported in the New York Times), final voting totals nationwide indicated that Bush must have gained 9 million new voters in 2004—to Kerry’s 4 million. One million of those alleged new GOP voter were reported to be in Florida—a highly dubious prospect.
Republicans have argued that the Florida counties which had majority Democratic registration but voted overwhelmingly for Bush were all “Dixiecrat” bastions in Northern Florida that are traditionally very conservative—and that all the reported votes were accurate. The facts do not bear this assumption out. Keith Olbermann, illustrated on MSNBC’s Countdown program that many of these crossover states were voting Republican for the first time. Olbermann poked another hole in the Dixicrat theory when he said, “On the same Florida Democratic ballots where Bush scored big, people supported highly Democratic measures—such as raising the state minimum wage $1 above the federal level. This indicates that only the presidential voting was rigged; they didn’t rig the rest of the voting form.” The final stake in the heart of the Dixiecrat theory, however, is that 18 switchover counties were not in the panhandle or near the Georgia border, but were scattered throughout the state. For instance, voters in Glades County (Everglades region) registered 64.8% Republican but cast 38.3% more votes for Bush than for Kerry. Hardee County (between Bradenton and Sebring) registered 63.8% Democratic but officially gave Bush 135% more votes than Kerry—a ludicrous result.
The University of California’s Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team just released a study, “The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Elections,” which revealed that touch-screen voting machines may have awarded between 130,000 and 260,000 excess votes to George Bush in Florida. In three large, Democratic bastions the results were particularly dramatic. In Broward County, which Kerry “officially” won by 105,000 votes, the Berkeley study revealed that touch-screen machines gave Bush 72,000 more votes than statistical consistency (with the 1996 and 2000 elections, taking into consideration changes in the Hispanic population) should have allowed. In Miami-Dade County (which Kerry took by 55,000 votes), Bush received 19,300 more votes than expected. And in Palm Beach (Kerry by 115,000), Bush got 50,000 more votes than considered possible. The research team, headed by Professor Michael Hout, said the probability of discrepancies this large occurring by chance was one in 1000.
“Mechanisms that would produce this outcome include having votes electronically registered in the machine prior to any voters using the machine or after the last voter usues it—through software errors or hacking—and other flaws that interfere with counting after some limit is reached,” the study reported.
Princeton professor Samuel Wang, who published extensive analysis of polling data up to the election (ultimately predicting a Kerry landslide), analyzed the study and declared, “I am not prone to conspiracy theories, but the Berkeley group’s evidence is convincing to me.” Wang’s own analysis, using different methods, concluded that Florida electronic voting machines gave Bush 270,000 excessive votes.
Another study examined the difference between Florida votes for Bush and for Republican Senate candidate Mel Martinez. The 27 counties showing the largest margins for Bush over Martinez were all in counties using Op-Scan machines, which are extremely easy to hack. In the worst case, Lafayette County (which has 82.8% Democratic registration), Latino Republican Martinez received 54.6% of the vote while Bush officially garnered a highly unlikely 74%--a 19.4% discrepancy between the presidential and Senatorial G.O.P. counts. A dozen counties had 10-19% discrepancies between Bush’s percentage and Martinez’s.
In Volusia County, Black Box Voting’s Freedom of Information Act Investigation revealed a smoking gun: proof positive of election fraud favoring Bush. On November 16, Volusia County election officials gave Bev Harris and some of her BBV colleagues unsigned printouts of the results that had been created a day earlier. Harris and her team then inspected the trash (destined for the shredder) in county election offices and outside a warehouse they used for records storage and discovered a second set of election records, signed on election day by six or more precinct officers, giving Kerry a much higher vote count. In just one largely African-American precinct (number 215), the votes were off by hundreds, favoring Bush. BBV managed to get other records (including memory cards and the Diebold GEMS server) locked down before they could be hidden or further tampered with. This is a continuing story that should produce revealing results in the weeks ahead, as BBV continues its investigation in at least 50 precincts throughout Florida.
The Ohio Outrage
A court decision allowed Republican intimidators to trash tens of thousands of Ohio votes and force hundreds of thousands of other voters to cast provisional ballots that may or may not be counted. In Gahana, Ohio, Bush was caught with a reported 4,258 votes… from only 638 voters. The two top election officials in quiet, rural Warren County lied to the press, claiming the FBI and Homeland Security Department told them they had a high terrorism risk, which made theirs the only Ohio county to bar media and other observers from the vote counting process. Staunchly Republican chief elections official J. Kenneth Blackwell, who ran the state’s Bush Re-election campaign (an egregious conflict of interest) arranged for ample voting booths in G.O.P. areas and a shortage in liberal college towns and minority precincts that caused hours-long lines in the pouring rain (and a consequent loss of many discouraged voters). Despite the huge increase in new voter registration (91% of which was Democratic), Blackwell provided fewer total voting machines than were used in 2000. A Toledo precinct opened 40 minutes late (causing 50 prosepective voters to leave) and then halted voting later because it had “run out of pencils” (causing another 100 departures).
Lawyer Ray Beckerman reported, “Hundreds of thousands of people were disenfranchised in Ohio. People waited in line for as long as 10 hours—but only in Democratic precincts. All day long, touch-screen voting machines in Youngstown registered “George W. Bush” when voters pressed “John F. Kerry”—despite complaints to police throughout the day. Countless other frauds occurred, such as postcards advising people of incorrect polling places, registered Democrats not receiving requested absentee ballots, duly registered young voters being forced to cast provisional ballots and many bad-faith challenges in Democratic precincts.”
In 29 Cayuhoga County (Cleveland) precincts, there were 93,136 more votes recorded than there were registered voters (at a time when minority voters were consistently harassed and many others were discouraged by 5-10 hour voting lines). One Cayuhoga precinct with only 1000 registered voters cast 4000 ballots for Bush. Lake County voters received bogus letters on official letterhead telling them they could not vote.
As in Florida, fraud is obvious because in many cases Kerry votes were mysteriously switched to Bush, while votes on other Democratic issues and candidates remained intact.
Officially, Kerry was trailing by 136,483 votes, before between 155,000 and 500,000 provisional ballots were examined and some overseas absentee ballots were to be examined and possibly counted.
Election Fraud in 39 States and Israel
Voters Unite! (http://www.votersunite.org/electionproblems.asp) details 382 specific election problems (recorded through November 19) in 39 states and Israel. These include 84 complaints of machine malfunctions in 22 states, 24 cases of registration fraud in 14 states, 20 abusive voter challenge situations in 10 states, U.S. voters in 18 states and Israel experiencing absentee ballot difficulties, 10 states with provisional ballot woes, 22 cases of malfeasance in 13 states, 10 charges of voter intimidation in seven states, seven states where votes were suppressed, seven states witnessing outbreaks of animosity at the polls, six states suffering from ballot printing errors and seven outrages in four states where votes were changed onscreen. In addition, the Voters Unite! site cites four states with early voting troubles, three states undergoing ballot programming errors, three states demonstrating ballot secrecy violations, bogus ballot fraud in New Mexico, cases of double-voting for Bush in Texas and 15 states victimized by a range of miscellaneous voting problems. And this list does not count the millions of votes that were hacked in more than half of the U.S. states.
On November 10, Keith Olbermann reported that computerized balloting in North Carolina was so thoroughly messed up that all statewide voting may have to be recounted. A Craven County, NC, district recorded 11,283 more votes than there were voters, overturning the results of a regional race.
In Chicago, journalist Christopher Bollyn discovered stacks of boxes containing “pre-punched ballots,” printed by ES&S, for the different precincts in Cook County.
Voters Unite! (www.votersunite.org/electionproblems.asp), which had reported 303 voting complaints in 39 states through November 11, turned up another 81 during the next week. They include Gaston County, North Carolina, where the numbers of votes and voters don’t match in more than half of the precincts, indicating the possibility of widespread double votes. Sandusky County, Ohio election officials also discovered 2600 cases of apparent double-counting of votes. In two Montgomery County, Ohio precicts, 25% of ballots mysteriously contained no votes for president. Grays Harbor County, Washington is officially recounting 28,000 ballots, many of which were apparently counted twice on election day. Funny business was also recently discovered in Arkansas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Indiana, Florida, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, New Jersey, Minnesota, Nevada and New York.
The election was clearly stolen
It is not credible that Bush could have legitimately won the 2004 election. Kerry’s victory was predicted by previously extremely accurate Harris and Zogby exit polls, by the formerly infallible 50% Rule (an incumbent with less than 50% in the exit polls always loses [Bush had 47%—requiring him to capture and improbable 80% of the undecideds to win] and by the Incumbent Rule (undecideds break for the challenger [as exit polls showed they did by a large margin this time]). Nor is it credible that: the surge in new young voters (who were witnessed standing in lines for hours, on campuses nationwide) miraculously didn’t appear in the final totals; that Kerry did worse than Gore against an opponent who lost support and that exit polls were highly accurate wherever there was a paper trail and grossly underestimated Bush’s appeal wherever there was no such guarantee of accurate recounts. Statisticians point out that Bush beat 99-1 mathematical odds in winning the election.
Zogby pollster Colin Shea, after thoroughly testing the discrepancies between total registration, turnout, party registration and the official tallies in Florida and Ohio, concluded, “The facts defy all logical explanations save one: massive and systematic voter fraud. We cannot accept the result of the 2004 presidential election as legitimate until these discrepancies are rigorously and completely explained. Until then, George Bush’s shameful legacy will have been that of seizing power through two illegitimate elections conducted on his brother’s watch, and engineering a fundamental corruption at the heart of the greatest democracy the world has known.”
Election results are not final until electors vote on Dec. 12. There is still time to investigate, to find the truth and to swear in legitimately elected President John F. Kerry.