Friday, December 31, 2004

Gone Fishing

Congressman Conyers has gone fishing for a Senator to back the challenge of the Ohio electoral votes on January 6, 2005, on the grounds of massive voting irregularities.

Also, a new article from The Free Press: Ohio's official non-recount ends amidst new evidence of fraud, theft and judicial contempt mirrored in New Mexico.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

To Catch a Thief

Check out this report from The Free Press: The 2004 Presidential Election: Who Won The Popular Vote? An Examination of the Comparative Validity of Exit Poll and Vote Count Data. This is an interesting read on the controversial election night polling data. Remember that the media has refused to release the raw data to Congressman Conyers’ Congressional Committee.

Here is another interesting read from The Black Commentator: No Holiday for Vote Thieves. It says in part (checkout the Salon interview with Conyers noted below):

“The Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus is confident that at least a few U.S. Senators will join House members on January 6 to question the fairness of the November 2 election. John Conyers, Jr., the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told Salon.com he doesn’t believe the Senate will repeat its performance of four years ago, when Black lawmakers sought in vain for one senatorial objection to 'official misconduct, deliberate fraud, and an attempt to suppress voter turnout by unlawful means' in Florida, as Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) put it at the time.

‘No, I think the Senate is going to go along with an inquiry this time,’ said Conyers. ‘I don't think they would embarrass themselves to let this happen two times in a row… I just don't think the Senate would get caught in that position.’ Conyers is careful not to name names, claiming he hasn’t spoken directly to a single Senator, but adding, ‘there are Republicans who support what I'm doing who haven't been willing to come forward.’”

Who in the U.S. Senate wants to be treated kindly by history?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Placebo Recount

Read this excellent open letter to Senator Kerry from Bob Fertik of http://blog.democrats.com entitled: Stolen Election 2004: An Open Letter to Senator John Kerry on Irregularities, Fraud, and Conspiracies. It reads in part:

“The effect of certain kinds of fraud can be roughly estimated by academics and statisticians -- such as the estimated 15,000 to 95,000 votes you lost due to the shortage of voting machines in the city of Columbus alone. More broadly, the total impact of the various frauds can be estimated by your 3.2% victory according to the networks' own exit polling.

But Bush's lawyers, and Republican judges all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, would never accept any statistical estimates, no matter how scientific. In 2000, they wouldn't even allow 175,000 uncounted ballots to be counted! In an honest political system, however, widespread fraud is grounds for nullifying an election and holding another one, regardless of the precise quantification of that fraud.

Election fraud drives a dagger directly into the heart of democracy. If the citizens of a democracy do not believe an election was fair, then the government chosen by that election has no legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens or the world.

Election fraud by the ruling party is especially poisonous, because the ruling party controls those investigative bodies which alone have the power to determine how widespread the fraud was, and how high up the chain of command it went. That is why volunteers are conducting the investigation in Ohio -- because Attorney General John Ashcroft is a partisan.”

There is also some interesting analysis from The Nashua Advocate blog regarding Kerry’s position on the Ohio election fraud issue. The post is entitled: Analysis: Election 2004: Troublesome Statements By One of Kerry-Edwards' Ohio Attorneys, Explained. It makes the case for Kerry “laying low’” during this time period, and the meaning of the recent language coming from Kerry’s legal team.

So did you hear? The “final tally” is in from the “Ohio Recount” where Kerry gained an additional 318 votes. Please give me a break and spare the theatrics. How anyone in his or her right mind (or I should say ethical mind) could call what took place in Ohio the past three weeks a recount is beyond me. Panacea would be a more appropriate label.

Secretary of State Blackwell thwarted the Ohio Recount effort at every opportunity. Voter logs and ballots were unsecured, voter logs were withheld from examination, machines were manipulated, and the recount sample was not selected randomly to ensure sample integrity. This is but a few of the issues, not to mention the election itself that disenfranchised untold thousands of Democratic voters.

I’ll close with my opinion of the validity of the Ohio recount by quoting from The New York Times article, entitled: Ohio Recount Gives a Smaller Margin to Bush.

“Daniel Trevas, a spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, said Democrats supported the recount but found that county elections officials sometimes ignored requests by recount observers to see rejected absentee and provisional ballots, and were not informed about procedures used to recount and reject ballots.

‘Some of these boards did not give us full access during the recount,’ Mr. Trevas said.

He said that in one county, Clermont County, in southwest Ohio, numerous complaints were filed by Democrats and the two independent parties when access to recount procedures was ignored.”

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Iraq tells U.S. election fraud is unacceptable

Ohio Republican election officials ignored a subpoena Monday and Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell refused to appear at a deposition challenging the legitimacy of the election. This described in an article from The Free Press, entitled: Ohio GOP election officials ducking subpoenas as Kerry enters stolen vote fray. This as Kerry filed, as expected, legal action to preserve voting records that may be used as evidence of fraud (see also: Conspiracies theorized, or conspiracies invoked?).

The piece describes:

* Voters testifying they received punch-card ballots pre-punched for Bush.
* A notarized affidavit from a woman stating a machine in her Democratic Precinct did not have a cartridge, which makes it likely none of the votes cast on it were recorded.
* Miami County, where a 98.5% voter turnout was recorded, yet canvassing of the precinct debunks a turnout of this size.
* Requested voting records came directly from a private firm.
* Several affidavits of “vote hopping,” where machines were preset to record a vote for Bush as proven by the fact that machines showed a vote for Bush before the voter voted.
* How Ohio touts, as evidence of fairness, that Democrats were involved in overseeing the counting of ballots, yet these same Democrats are beholden to Secretary of State Blackwell for their jobs.
* The certainty that several members of the Congressional Black Caucus plan to challenge the validity of the electoral votes when the Electoral College meets on January 6, but so far a required Senator has not committed to the challenge.

To the latter point, there is the Contest the Vote effort to convince a Senator to support this cause, and also a group calling itself the Coalition Against Election Fraud that is organizing a daily vigil at Kerry’s home from 12/28 to 1/5 in an effort to appeal for his direct support in challenging the election results.

There is also this post from Keith Olbermann: Kerry lawyer: does the re-election warrant the public trust? It states: “Kerry’s signature might not even be sought. There has been ‘very serious’ contact among the staffs of leading Democrats in both houses about the implications of the challenge, according to a congressional figure privy to that contact. He estimates for us that the chance of a Senator actually signing on has — in the last week — risen from almost nothing, to upwards of one third.”

Now in the “You knew I was a snake before you let me in” category, you must read this amazing article from Reuters entitled: Iraq Rejects U.S. Talk of Adjusting Vote Result. It states that Iraqi election officials rejected a suggestion from the U.S. to adjust votes to benefit the Sunni minority, whom Washington favors. To Iraq’s credit, an Iraqi spokesman who labeled the request “unacceptable” further stated: “Who wins, wins. That is the way it is. That is the way it will be in the election.”

It appears that what is modus operandi in the U.S. is not how it will be done in Iraq. In other words, an Iraqi election may very well be more legitimate than a U.S. election. It also appears that our government is getting much more overt in their tactics. I guess when you have the Presidency, the Senate, the Congress, the Courts, the key Secretaries of State, and oh yah, the voting machine manufacturers in your back pocket, there is no longer a need to be discrete in such matters.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Watergate II

An article from The Free Press: Another third rate burglary, tells the story of an October robbery of computers at the Lucas County Democratic Headquarters in Toledo, and the election day anomalies in precincts that correspond to those data the stolen computers held. It quotes from a Toledo Blade article entitled: Thieves hit Democratic Party offices; computers containing sensitive data removed from October 13.

Coincidence?

“Among the data on the stolen computer of the party's office manager were: e-mails discussing campaign strategy, candidates' schedules, financial information, and phone numbers of party members, candidates, donors, and volunteers. Also taken were computers belonging to a Lucas County Commissioner and to a Texas attorney working with the Kerry campaign to ensure election security.



‘They knew what they wanted,’ Mr. Chabler [Democratic Party spokesman] said, calling the incident a ‘third-rate burglary,’ a not-so-subtle reference to the break-in at National Democratic Committee offices in 1972 that began the Watergate scandal that eventually led to the President Nixon's resignation.

The burglary gave the thieves exclusive possession of two months’ worth of Democratic voter canvass records. It allowed them to target specific wards and precincts for voter suppression operations, and left the Democrats unable to prevent it. The reader will forgive me for not having imagined such a technique for adversely affecting voter turnout.”

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Radio Ad on Ohio Vote Fraud

Listen to the new radio ad from www.recountohio.org.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Kerry Preparing Grounds to UnConcede

Kerry may be taking first steps to withdraw his concession. Listen to the story in Kerry Preparing Grounds To UnConcede on Break for News with Fintan Dunne.

Friday, December 24, 2004

"Reed" the news, it's over Rossi

So Rossi and the Washington State Republicans have decided to put out a fire with gasoline, or rather piss on Gregoire all the way to the Governor’s mansion. Talk about “sore loserman.” In Washington, you have an election where the time was taken to follow due process and meticulously determine the winner in what was the closest race in the nation.

Dino Rossi, the Republican loser (in more ways than one, it appears), stated a few weeks ago that if he was in the same situation as Gregoire where the official count showed him losing, he would graciously concede in the best interest of the State and its citizenry. We’re waiting Mr. Rossi.

Now that the legal and final tally (as dictated by State Law) is in, he is quoted as saying, “I know many Washingtonians are hoping this will end soon, but I'm also sure that people across this state want a clean election and a legitimate governor-elect. At this point, we have neither.” His spokeswomen, Karen Hughes, I mean Mary Lane, goes further stating, “It's a total sham. If Chris Gregoire thinks democracy was well served by this, she's out of her mind. It hasn't been fair. It hasn't been consistent. It hasn't been democratic.” What is more democratic than counting all the votes to the letter of the law, Ms. Lane?

Then there is the honorable Republican Secretary of State, Sam Reed, who says he considers the race over. He continues, “If they have seen something that is just wrong that would change the outcome of the race, I would in no way begrudge their right to file a contest.” In other words, nothing short of proof of fraud will sway this election result. Reed will certify the results on Thursday, and Gregoire will be sworn in on January 12.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Kerry comes back for more

Watch this must see video of the Traid Technician, Michael, being interviewed about his tampering with the voting machines and his willingness to help the election officials in Ohio, his client, avoid a full recount. Also read the eyewitness affidavit of the incident.

It also appears that Triad Election Systems had remote access to their voting machines that were controlled by the Board of Elections in Ohio. Representative John Conyers, from the House Judiciary Committee, sent a follow-up letter (to the original) to the President of Triad and the Ohio Field Rep for Triad, inquiring into the nature of this connectivity. Remote access obviously threatens the integrity of the system tallies. This is a clear violation of election security, which could allow someone to remotely program the voting computer to count only the Presidential ballots by remote dial-up, for example.

Representative Conyers also sent a letter to campaign officials and candidates requesting information about recount problems.

The rash of stories regarding the Ohio recount makes it look more and more like the system was rigged to ensure that the random sampling of precincts was not so random and the Triad machines were fixed to produce the desired result. This because Ohio law states that in a recount, random samplings of counties are selected. An entire county is only recounted if a preliminary sample of 3% shows anomalies. There is lots of incentive by tired election workers and Triad Systems officials to thwart a full hand recount, which takes time, money, and effort, and could call the integrity of the machines into question. Bad for business, you know.

Meanwhile, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell continues to stonewall the recount process.

Kerry (remember him?) has reemerged, filing a motion for expedited discovery regarding the Triad voting machines and for preservation of all pertinent and potential evidence. The article states, “It should be noted that Kerry's filing of these requests does not indicate his complete entry into the recount process, but does clearly indicate that he is moving decisively in that direction. His previous stance on the matter was based simply on his desire to defend the right to have a recount in the first place. The evidence of election tampering in Ohio, specifically surrounding Triad, has motivated him to actively join the fight. The Democratic Party is also quietly putting financial resources into the Ohio recount effort.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of all this, from the activist point of view, has been the effectiveness of the telephone calls and letters to Kerry. The activist push to get him involved had a very significant effect on his decision to enter this effort. Likewise, calls to other Senators in order to convince them to join House members in challenging the election have likewise had significant effect. If such an effort continues, the activists involved will very likely see the desired result unfold.”

Alluding to the larger requirement for election reform, an article entitled, Election study finds widespread ballot-counting problems from the Scripps Howard New Service states, “A review of election results in a 10-county sampling revealed more than 12,000 ballots that failed to record a vote for president, almost one in every 10 ballots cast. The unofficial audit by Scripps Howard News Service uncovered malfunctioning voting machines, improperly designed ballots and poor accounting procedures around the nation.”

Lastly, this story from The Free Press, entitled Default settings in Mahoning County, stating the evidence that touch screen voting machines, all over the county, had default settings programmed for Bush. In other words, Bush would be selected by default, ensuring he would get the vote if the voter did not overwrite the default. There are examples of precincts with no under votes (practically impossible), where voters stated that their vote was recorded for Bush when they had definitely not voted for him. Good trick!

We'll wait to get it right

After the counting of the 732 remaining ballots, Democrat Christine Gregoire has bested Republican Dino Rossi in the Washington State Gubernatorial Race by a margin of 130 votes. The Republicans, as usual, are crying foul, but the results are final and will be certified on 12/30. Per state law, there are no provisions for another recount or recanvassing for votes once the results for a particular precinct has been certified.

I understand that the Republican propaganda machine has called out the dogs of war, claiming that the courts changed the rules and if the rules have changed, they want to revisit the counting of votes. What they do not tell their rank and file is that hundreds of ballots had already been added in Republican precincts that were not in the original count. This was not news because the Democrats never contested these additional ballots as the Republicans contested the heavily Democratic King County ballots, which they knew would favor Gregoire.

They also do not tell their minions that the 732 ballots were not originally counted simply because the signatures were not scanned into the computer properly and did not match the ballots. Once checked against the signatures on file, only the matching signatures were allowed. Furthermore, they fail to mention that Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, agrees with the ruling of the Washington Supreme Court saying it is consistent with state law. Reed further stated that the hundreds of ballots that were added in the Republican precincts would need to be backed out of the totals if the court ruled the 732 ballots inadmissible. So either way Rossi loses: either by 10 votes (minus the backed out votes) or by 130 votes, that will be certified next Thursday.

The Republicans are forever playing the victim card, even as they control the executive branch, the senate, the congress, and the courts. They believe, as witnessed in both the 2000 Presidential and 2004 Washington State Gubernatorial elections, that claiming victory and acting like the victor is tantamount to winning. “Listen to the words, not the facts,” is their mantra. They got away with it in 2000, but they were not able to bully their way into office this time around. Washington State has proven that the citizenry is willing to wait for several weeks for the outcome of an election in order to get it right.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

“The biggest deal since Selma”

For all you revisionists and “big lie” people who claim nothing was amiss in Ohio, here are two videos documenting the disenfranchisement of predominately black, Democratic voters. Believe your own eyes. They are about 17 minutes and 7 minutes in length, respectively. An accompanying press release was issued entitled, GROUP RELEASES VIDEO FOOTAGE OF ‘JIM CROW LIKE’ CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN OHIO ON ELECTION DAY.

The release states in part: "We hope this footage will serve as a wake up call to all Americans that the fundamental principles our country was founded upon like ‘democracy’ and ‘equal rights’ are being systematically dismantled by a small group of Republicans who are concerned with keeping power, not preserving liberty,’ said Zack Kaldveer, Communications Director, We Do Not Concede. ‘In America every vote must be accurately counted and equally valued, and that’s not what happened on November 2nd. We the people most definitely do not concede.’

The video provides a first hand glimpse of an emerging civil rights scandal of historic proportions that will culminate in a ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ bus trip organized by We Do Not Concede, consisting of voters who are contesting the Ohio electorate, led by Rev. Bill Moss of Columbus Ohio. The buses will travel from Columbus to Washington DC on January 4th through the 6th. Rev. Jesse Jackson has pronounced Ohio's vote fraud fiasco 'the biggest deal since Selma' and has called for a national rally at ‘the scene of the crime’ in Columbus January 3rd.

'For the second Presidential election in a row African-American voters have been subjugated to the role of second class citizens through efforts by Republicans to suppress, intimidate, and disenfranchise our vote,' said Rev. Bill Moss, original Contestant of Ohio Electors and founder of the Center for Freedom and Justice. 'Whether its Katherine Harris or Kenneth Blackwell, the purpose is the same: do everything in their power to ensure George W. Bush becomes President. If they are willing and able to thwart democracy and abuse the civil rights of American voters right in the face of the press and public, what else are they capable of? I am contesting this election because tyranny, particularly in the guise of democracy, is our civic duty to fight.'”

On the same subject, there is this awesome article from my heroes (Fitrakis, Rosenfeld, and Wasserman) at The Free Press: Ohio electoral fight becomes 'biggest deal since Selma' as GOP stonewalls. It starts, “As Republican officials stonewall subpoenas and subvert the recount process, Rev. Jesse Jackson has pronounced Ohio's vote fraud fiasco ‘the biggest deal since Selma’ and has called for a national rally at ‘the scene of the crime’ in Columbus January 3.” It continues, ”Jackson says this year will be different, urging election protection activists to stay focused over the holiday season. ‘We can't let [the Republicans] get away with this,’ he told the conference call. ‘Do not underestimate the outrage of the people. We are a legitimate force for democracy, here and around the world. We will count every vote and make sure every vote counts.’”

This is a very good read. At the end of the article, note the volunteer attorneys who have devoted their time to this noble effort.

Keith Olbermann backpedaled on his post from yesterday regarding the Hocking County incident. Among other statements, Olbermann writes, “Mr. Kalo [Minority General Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee] also points out details that make the recount situation in Hocking County, Ohio, seem far less closed than the County’s Assistant Prosecutor led me to believe. I guess I’m still a little naïve on such things, but it would seem to me that in telling his story of a 'comedy of errors' involving the inspection of the main vote tabulator there by a representative of the voting machine manufacturer, Triad Systems, David Sams might have been (sic) mentioned that in addition to being Assistant Prosecutor, he is also (per Mr. Kalo) the legal representative of the Hocking County Board of Elections during the recount.”

Keith also writes, “Representative John Conyers of Michigan is awaiting a staff report before deciding whether or not to formally challenge Ohio’s electoral votes a week from tomorrow. Ted Kalo, the Minority General Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, advises us by email that Conyers ‘is waiting until all the facts are in,’ but notes that Representative Maxine Walters [it is actually Waters] of Los Angeles has already spoken publicly about her willingness to be the house signatory on the challenge. Whether or not there’s a senator willing to do the same is still an open question.”

Speaking of Conyers, he sent a letter requesting the raw, controversial exit poll data, addressed to: Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company and President, Disney-ABC Television Group; Bob Wright, President, NBC; Gail Berman, President, FOX; Jim Walton President, CNN; Thomas Curley, President, Associated Press; and Andrew Heyward, President, CBS.

The letter states that Mitofsky refused his request for the raw data based on proprietary concerns, and then continues, “As you are aware, the American citizenry has voiced a collective lack of faith in government to carry out fair election procedures. It is important that the Judiciary Committee access the raw voter poll data so that discrepancies between those numbers and certified election results can be investigated. The data may evidence instances of voting irregularities that occurred as the result of poor election practices and intentional voter disenfranchisement. Without the raw data, the Committee will be severely handicapped in its efforts to show the need for serious election reform in the United States.” He then writes, “We are happy to honor any confidentiality restrictions you may need to place on this data.”

On the 2004 Ohio Voters Lawsuit (re: Cliff Arnebeck) front, “Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, a Republican who was re-elected on the same ballot as President George W. Bush Nov. 2 but has declined to recuse himself from a suit contesting the president's election, issued a motion and procedural ruling today that denies an expedited hearing in the case and lays out the framework by which he might dismiss the case.

In the ruling, Moyer orders those contesting the election to answer two questions: (1) Whether the suit is moot because it was filed too late, and (2) Whether there is a legal significance in delaying the hearing until after Congress certifies the results of the electoral college Jan. 6, 2005.

Moyer had previously dismissed the first iteration of the suit—which also contested his own election—ruling that two elections could not be challenged in the same suit.”

To end on a positive note, the Democratic candidate in the Washington State Governor's race, Chris Gregoire, pulled ahead of Rossi, the Republican, by 10 votes today after the final hand recount. This is without the 735 disputed King County ballots, which, oh by the way, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled may be counted. These votes are sure to favor Gregoire, but the official results will not be finalized until these remaining ballots are tallied. Her victory is all but a done deal now, with no provisions in state law for another recount.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Yes Virginia, there are ethical and fair Republicans

Keith Olbermann has a new post on his blog, Time to separate the wheat from the chaff, discussing the myriad of stories regarding election irregularities. Although I think he gets most of it right, other concerns such as the Hocking County, Triad machine tampering (where Keith takes the technician at his word), taking Congressman Feeney’s word (re: Clint Curtis) at face value, and the media failing to adequately cover the issues are all given short shrift. He “rolls over” much too easily on these fronts, defying a full logical analysis of issues by the most lenient of standards.

There is also a glaring omission of the most obvious and indisputable disenfranchisement: the shorting of voting machines in heavily Democratic precincts, not to mention the unexplained exit polls where Mitofsky refuses to reveal the raw data to prove the validity of his numbers. Come on Keith! How about all the intimidation, the purging of the voting rolls, and the thousands of other well documented election irregularities? What’s up with the picking and choosing of “facts?” When I read these types of posts, I question whether Mr. Olbermann is more foe than friend and if he is ultimately looking out for the interests of MSNBC. I'm just saying...

Here is another take on Olbermann's post, specifically regrading the Clint Curtis case.

Another piece from Dr. Richard Hayes, Election results in Southwestern Ohio, challenges the validity of the Ohio results and Bush’s win based on the likelihood of the given results.

In Washington State, gubernatorial race, recount news, the Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed stated that heavily Democratic King County has the same rights of every other county to correct errors during the recount, contrary to the rhetoric of the Republican rank and file. “If the court rules that King County can't count the 735 disputed ballots, Reed says, that means no county should have been able to reconsider ballots after the initial count.” This means that recently discovered votes in Republican counties that favored the Republican Rossi (which the State Republican Chair never mentions) will need to be subtracted from the tally. Yes Virginia, there are ethical and fair Republicans after all. Thank you Mr. Reed.

There is also this excellent commentary on the Washington State race entitled Democrats advocate a cherished value. It states:

“Vance's [State Republican Chair] charge is ludicrous that Democrats in the Seattle area are trying to steal the election. Fraud is a grave charge.



To use Vance's rhetoric, Democrats are pursuing an 'Armageddon'-type outcome that will ‘blow up’ the state's election system. To the contrary, Democrats are advocating a cherished democratic value that every vote be counted. Like Asotin and Kitsap, discrepancies in King County do not confirm Vance's inflammatory charges. Such unusually harsh charges warrant verifiable evidence.

The real nuclear bomb in this election is one that can blow up civil society with obstreperous speech, leading to uncivil consequences. Most of us do not want our state ‘uglied’ in like manner to Florida in 2000. We want to raise our children in an environment of respect for public institutions and respect for one another.”

Monday, December 20, 2004

Cliff Arnebeck Interview

Excellent 45 minute interview with Cliff Arnebeck, Co-Chair of the Alliance for Democracy and Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of Common Cause Ohio, and, of course, Co-Counsel 2004 Ohio Voters Lawsuit. A good listen, recorded on 12/15.

A Person of the Year that Makes Sense

Ron Baiman, Ph.D., has written an exhaustive report entitled: The United States of Ukraine?: Exit Polls Leave Little Doubt that in a Free and Fair Election John Kerry Would Have Won both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote. Dr. Baiman is an Economist/Statistician who works as a senior research specialist at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and teaches at the University of Chicago.

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Baiman’s scholarly, well-researched report:

“Again, assuming state specific error and performing a similar calculations for the other most critical of the critical states: Florida and Pennsylvania, the probability that that perfectly random exit samples would be off by as much as they were in the three critical states of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania is less than one to 152 million (1/152,209,887). The probability that non-random exit samples would be simultaneously in error in all three states at once is about one to 468 thousand (1/467,907), or in lay terms: impossible.



These unexplained statistical anomalies in the vote count in critical states, such as Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, and in the national popular vote for the 2004 Presidential elections, indicate:
a) Implausibly erroneous exit sampling especially for the national sample and for the most critical states where one would have expected pollsters to be most careful, and/or
b) Election fraud and/or discriminatory voter suppression that resulted in a in an election result in Ohio, Florida, and other states, and in the national popular vote outcome, that is contrary to what would have occurred in a free and fair election.

I conclude that, based on the best exit sample data currently available, neither the national popular vote, or many of the certified state election results, are credible and should not be regarded as a true reflection of the intent of national electorate, or of many state voters, until a complete and thorough investigation of the possibilities a) and b) above is completed.

An election that is not 'free' because of discriminatory suppression of the vote by not supplying an adequate number of voting machines, or by other means, could lead to an exit sampling discrepancy, as exit sampling is in part based on historic patterns of voter turnout. However the actual outcome in such an election would not be free or fair and would be less reflective of voter intent than exit sampling. Analysis of raw precinct level exit samples (which so far have not been released) should shed some light on where and when changes in the weights for raw precinct numbers, necessary to get state samples, were made.”

In an excellent essay, just in time for the holidays, entitled The Greatest Story Ever Told, Robert Lockwood Mills compares and contrasts the biblical tale with the 2004 election irregularities. Here are some excerpts:

“The United States is in crisis, 271 years after Zenger established press freedom as a precious right of Americans. A new despot has emerged in the form of corporate control of media. Our big-city newspapers and TV networks have consolidated; what the public learns and what it doesn’t is governed by a handful of oligarchs more concerned with the financial status quo, about their earnings and pleasing Wall Street, than about informing citizens. In 1733, what King George didn’t want printed was libel. Today, what the media barons don’t want read might not be libel…but it doesn’t get printed, either.



Within 48 hours of John Kerry’s concession on November 3, no fewer than 57,000 complaints had been lodged about one voting irregularity or another: unfair allocation of voting machines, penalizing minority neighborhoods; votes switched from Kerry to Bush electronically; minority voters being told by “election officials” that because of the long lines, they could vote on Nov. 3 if they wished; voters threatened with having their cars towed if they didn’t leave the queue; others denied provisional ballots on invalid premises, still others directed to the wrong polling stations by people posing as election monitors.



But the tabulated vote told a different story. George W. Bush was winning. The exit polls, as it happened, had been very accurate in states that used mostly paper ballots. But they were wildly ‘inaccurate,’ always favoring John F. Kerry, in states using predominantly electronic voting machines. Touch-screen and optical-scan voting equipment is manufactured exclusively by corporations with ties to the Republican Party. The source code inside these machines (which could reveal if they had been tampered with) is considered proprietary information, not subject to review or audit by non-partisan or Democratic election officials. The opportunity for non-detectable fraud is manifest.

Open-minded people, none of whom work at a major American newspaper or for a major television network, began to wonder, ‘Maybe the exit polls were right all along. Maybe it’s the tabulated vote that was manipulated in George W. Bush’s favor.’ Reports circulated on the Internet, a combination of reported facts and theories. College professors analyzed the election data and concluded that the likelihood of all the anomalies and inconsistencies occurring in one candidate’s favor was infinitesimal.

The New York Times devoted several front-page stories to the fraudulent election…in the Ukraine, that is. Its one front-page article on allegations of election fraud in Florida and Ohio carried a headline suggesting that Internet bloggers had been devising wild conspiracy theories, but that sensible folks were quickly debunking them. Meanwhile, Senator John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, held hearings in Washington and Columbus, Ohio at which witnesses detailed gruesome incidents of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. A software programmer offered an affidavit stating that in October, 2000, a Florida state legislator (now a congressman) had asked the programmer’s company to devise a vote-rigging prototype, which the programmer did…in time for the 2000 election. The congressman in question had been Jeb Bush’s running mate in a 1994 gubernatorial race. The allegation has not been refuted, except in the form of a non-specific blanket denial by the software company and its lawyer. The congressman remains silent.

None of the above news has reached holiday revelers in this Christmas season. The same media that failed to investigate Bush administration claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq now won’t explore what happened on Nov. 2. They’re eager to report to us on fraudulent elections in Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Romania, Kazakhstan, even Puerto Rico. But the very notion that an administration that deceived the American people about why it engaged in preemptive war against a country that wasn’t threatening us, would also rig an election in its own favor, is somehow incomprehensible.



Will the truth be known? It would be a wonderful Christmas present for a country that has lost its way."

To end on a well-deserved note, TvNewsLies.org has named Bev Harris of Black Box Voting 2004 Person of the Year. Are you reading this Time?

“In fact, Bev Harris is far more than the poster woman for a polarized nation. Rather, she is a symbol of perseverance and commitment to democracy in a time of doubt and suspicion. She is a model of unyielding focus and determination in a time of uncertainty and disillusion. And she is an inspiring example of how one person – just one single person - can make a real difference.

It is for her ceaseless, non-partisan efforts to uncover and expose the flaws and fraud connected to electronic voting machines that TvNewsLIES.org has chosen Bev Harris as our 2004 Person of the Year!”

Congratulations Bev! You inspire us. We love you!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Game Is Rigged

Check out this flyer for a Block Bush Constitutional Insurrection Rally on Capitol Hill, January 6th, to protest fraudulent electoral votes when they are delivered to Congress. Come out and let your patriotic voice be heard!

It looks like California found a soft spot in Diebold security and was able to make them pay to the tune of over $2.6 million. “The settlement is the fruit of a suit filed in September by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who argued that Diebold was not truthful about the security and reliability of its electronic voting machines.

Lockyer, who earlier dropped a criminal probe into Diebold, claimed that Diebold provided Alameda County with software that was not certified by the government. Researchers earlier determined the machines contained dangerous flaws.

Researchers said the voting system could easily allow someone to cast multiple votes in the same election. Last April, California set stringent standards for electronic voting by ordering new security measures for e-voting machines.”

Here is a good read entitled Only Chumps and Compulsive Gamblers Keep On Playing in a Rigged Game. It states, “My simple point is this - until a majority of progressive activists and intellectual opinion-makers drop the delusions and cop to the fact that we are playing in a game intentionally and adroitly rigged against us, we will not win, we will not govern, we will not be prepared to govern, because we will not deserve to govern. Good losers -- like John ‘Quick Concession’ Kerry and the ‘professional losers’ of the DNC -- will predictably go on losing. Just like the chain-smoking, gin-sipping, polyester-clad grandma pumping endless quarters into the slot machine.”

Saturday, December 18, 2004

It's Not Over

Firstly, watch this explosive Clint Curtis testimony (about 12 minutes long) from the House Judiciary Committee Hearing in Ohio last Monday. Curtis is the computer programmer that, according to his sworn testimony and affidavit, was asked to develop "vote flipping" software for Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL). I have been hesitant to follow this story, not knowing much about Curtis, but it appears The Judiciary has taken an interest in him, and he does have an accomplished resume.

Here are copies of the original and the updated filing of the Verified Election Contest Petition, filed in the Ohio Supreme Court and referred to in my last post.

Meanwhile, there is new evidence of electoral malfeasance in Ohio. As noted in this Ohio Free Press article:

“The epic legal battle over Ohio's presidential vote count is back in the state Supreme Court, with an election challenge claiming George W. Bush was wrongly declared the winner on Nov. 2 and seeking a court-ordered reversal of that victory. Meanwhile, efforts to recount Ohio's vote may have been fatally tainted by the Republican Party, raising questions of what the GOP has to hide, and prompting demands for criminal prosecution.

New affidavits point to possible criminal activity by top Ohio election officials, raising yet more questions about the 2004 vote. Rhonda J. Frazier, a former employee of the Ohio Secretary of State's office, has confirmed in an affidavit taken by Cynthia Butler, working with freepress.org, that the Office had secret slush funds. Frazier says it also failed to comply with the requirements of ‘The Voting Reform Grant’ that required all the voting machines in Ohio to be inventoried and tagged for security reasons. ’I was routinely told to violate the bidded contracts to order supplies from other companies for all 17 Secretary of State offices throughout the State which were cheaper vendors, leaving a cash surplus differential in the budget,’ Frazier states, ‘After complaining about the office's repeated practices of violating grants and contracts I was fired.’



On Monday, December 13, with Rev. Jesse Jackson at hand, citizen activists filed the now-famous landmark Moss V. Bush action demanding the Ohio Supreme Court vacate the apparent victory for George W. Bush and award the state's 20 electoral votes -- and thus the presidency -- to John Kerry. The filing lists a litany of problems with the November 2 balloting and vote count. The official tally showed a victory for George W. Bush of some 119,000 votes. But the filing claims the real outcome was a 134,000 vote victory for John Kerry, and it demands the Court install a slate of Democratic electors.



But far more serious charges than a mere delay surfaced at Conyers' hearing. A letter from the Shelby County Board of Elections, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, admitted that data critical to a meaningful recount had been discarded, possibly illegally. Sworn testimony from election observers in Greene County indicated that ballots had been left loose on tables in an unlocked, unguarded building, open to manipulation and theft, prior to a recount. And in Lucas County and Hocking County, it was revealed that technicians from the Diebold and Triad companies had inexplicably taken control of voting machines and dismantled them, rendering verifiable recounts impossible.



The observers' work has been frustrated and the recount tainted by destroyed records, compromised evidence, and by private vendors who have "re-programmed" machines in both Lucas and Hocking Counties. Despite his early concession, Kerry has now issued a letter to election boards in all 88 Ohio counties asking a series of questions about the vote count. Thus, charges that Republicans are hiding an outright theft have gained increasing media attention, as have charges that deliberate and illegal destruction of records has been rampant. Where this will all lead remains unclear. An escalation of court battles is the only certainty. The presidential election of 2004 is by no means over.”

And finally, here is an interesting read describing what the environment is like at the Ohio Recount in Cuyahoga County. It starts:

“This is Jen Frigolette, coordinator in Cuyahoga County. We started our recount today, Thursday December 16, 2004. I have started composing a long description of what transpired, but it occurs to me now that I no longer have the capacity to finish in such detail.”

To quote Neil Young (just for you Erik), "... And look out, look out, look out, the voice is now the choir. Can you feel it getting down to the wire?"

Friday, December 17, 2004

Refiling Reviling

One day after the Ohio Supreme Court threw out his voting fraud case on the grounds that two challenges cannot be filed in the same complaint, Cliff Arnebeck, of the Alliance for Democracy, refiled his case today after making the necessary corrections to appease the court.

“Coincidently,” Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, who dismissed the complaint, is also named as a defendant in the case. Justice Moyer, who ran on the Bush/Cheney ticket, has refused to recuse himself from the case, as would be appropriately ethical to guard against any appearance of impropriety. There is clearly a conflict of interest.

949 new votes have been uncovered in the Ohio recount, pointing to the liklihood of uncovering tens of thousands of new votes in an entire state recount.

And in Washington State Governor’s race, a judge today granted a state Republican Party request to block the counting of 723 recently discovered, heavily Democratic, King County ballots. The state Democratic Party has vowed to appeal the case to the Washington State Supreme Court.

These ballots are clearly legitimate and should be counted in the name of fairness, so that voters are not disenfranchised simply because there absentee signatures were not properly encoded into the computer database for ease of comparison. The actual signatures are on file and simple to validate manually.

I say lets get this count right, no matter how long it takes. I am absolutely mystified how we can take as much time as is necessary to get a state governor’s race correct, but we have to know who the President of the United States is within hours (or minutes) after the polls close. Go figure…

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tampering of Ohio Voting Equipment Heats Up Investigation and Suits

Keith Olbermann interviewed Representative Conyers last night on Countdown. Conyers said that he and other members of Congress are considering a formal challenge of the Ohio slate of electors when the votes are opened at a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2004. Click the hyperlink on the first sentence of this page to view the video.

Conyers also requested an FBI investigation into the actions of a voting equipment manufacturer in Hocking County, Ohio, where machines were tampered with in violation of two federal laws, and as many as four state statutes.

The lawsuit filed by Cliff Arnebeck, from The Alliance for Democracy, to overturn the election results was thrown out by the Ohio Supreme Court today for addressing two cases, where only one is allowed per lawsuit under Ohio State law. Arnebeck plans to split the suits and refile as early as tomorrow. Also more about tampering. Check out the Countdown video from today addressing both of these topics.

Senator Kerry's state counsel for Ohio has issued a letter to Ohio Republican Secretary of State and Bush-Cheney '04 chair Kenneth Blackwell demanding an official investigation into voting machine tampering in Hocking County.

The lawyers for Green presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, along with Kerry-Edwards 2004 have added election tampering to a civil suit filed against the state of Ohio over problems with the state's recount.

And finally, Text of Letter from Rep. Conyers to FBI Special Agent in Charge Kevin R. Brock and Hocking County, Ohio Prosecutor Larry Beal Requesting Investigation Into Alleged Ohio Election Problems, specifically dealing with the aforementioned machine tampering.

The letter begins:
"As part of the Democratic staff's investigation into irregularities in the 2004 election and following up on a lead provided to me by Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb, I have learned that Sherole Eaton, a Deputy Director of Board of Elections in Hocking County,Ohio, has first hand knowledge of inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering in the Ohiopresidential election in violation of federal and state law. I have information that similar actionsof this nature may be occurring in other counties in Ohio. I am therefore asking that youimmediately investigate this alleged misconduct and that, among other things, you consider theimmediate impoundment of election machinery to prevent any further tampering."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman

I have absolutely no time to post tonight, so I am posting an excellent article from The Free Press in its entirety, due to its importance, its synopsis of where we are in the process, and to ensure that people who read this blog, but don't always check the links, read this important piece:

American democracy hangs by a thread in Ohio
by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman
December 15, 2004

As the whole world watches, American democracy may be hanging by a thread in Ohio.

Monday, December 13, saw a triple play that will live in electoral infamy. But every new day brings still more stunning revelations -- this time from Toledo -- of vote theft and fraud and a towering wall of resistance and sabotage against a fair recount of the votes that allegedly gave George W. Bush four more years in the White House.

Three major events made December 13 a monument to electoral theft: a lawsuit filed in the morning at the Ohio State Supreme Court demanding a recount of all Ohio ballots; a Congressional hearing held in Columbus City Council chambers filled with angry, high-profile testimony of vote fraud and disenfranchisement and the illegal sabotaging of a recount; and then, at noon, a block away at the statehouse, the vote of Ohio's twenty illegitimate electors designating their choice of George W. Bush to be president.

On Tuesday, demonstrators staged the latest in a long string of protests at the statehouse. And at an evening hearing in Toledo, stunning new sworn testimony revealed that Diebold technicians have tainted official voting machines before a recount could be done, irrevocably compromising the process.

The December 13 lawsuit was filed in the presence of Rev. Jesse Jackson, who compared it to the attempts to win voting rights for African-American citizens in the era of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The suit seeks to overturn Ohio's presidential vote. It asked an immediate court order to stop Republican presidential electors from meeting and voting for George W. Bush.

Republican election officials prevented a vote count from starting until that very morning. Supervised by Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, co-chair of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, Ohio simply ignored all challenges to the vote count and all requests for a recount. Within hours the Bush electors cast their votes, even though the bitterly contested ballots that allegedly gave them standing as electors had not been recounted.

In other words, while every legal remedy to determine who won Ohio’s presidential election was being pursued, the state’s Republican political machine blocked the rights of those seeking to verify the vote.

“Today, in the state capital of Ohio, we are witnessing a crime against democracy, a crime against the right to vote and a crime against the Constitution,” said John Bonifaz, founder of the National Voting Rights Institute and attorney for the Green and Libertarian Parties in the recount. Ohio Republicans have " no right to convene a meeting of the presidential electors prior to the completion of the recount,” he said.

Bonifaz’s remarks came amidst testimony at the second field hearing on the 2004 election held by Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee. Last week in Washington, the committee opened what it said would be the first in an ongoing series of investigations into what happened on Election Day, when exit polls showed John Kerry heading toward victory but after midnight the returns shifted and network television declared Bush the victor.

“At the outset of this hearing, I would like to announce that 10 members of Congress, including myself, have written to (Ohio) Gov. Taft asking him to either delay or treat as provisional the vote of Ohio’s presidential electors,” Rep. John Conyers, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee said at the outset. “The closer we get to Columbus and the Ohio presidential election, the worse it looks. Each and every day it becomes increasingly clear that the Republican power structure in this state is acting as if it has something to hide.”

Ironically, Democratic State Senator Ray Miller of Columbus had secured the North Hearing Room in the statehouse. But Republicans cancelled that, and forced the gathering to convene at city hall, a block away.

Thus Ohio Republicans snubbed Conyers and Reps. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH), Ted Strickland (D-OH), Jerold Nadler (D-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA) as well as Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr (D-IL).

Packed to overflowing, the nearly four hour hearing hosted new disclosures about election irregularities and fraud on Nov. 2, while also pursuing remedies to account for the vote and delay the Electoral College certification of the president.

Prime target in the hearings was GOP Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who supervised the state's elections while also serving as co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign. Calls for Blackwell's removal were constantly repeated.

Conyers noted that Blackwell has ordered local election boards to not allow citizens to review poll registers of voters, a lockdown that is an apparent violation of Ohio state law.

David Cobb, the Green Party presidential candidate, told the panel that he had confirmed reports that an employee of one electronic voting machine manufacturer had come to one county election office and had taken apart the county tabulator of voting machine results, apparently replacing parts, before that county had conducted its recount. Such an action would taint any recount. “This could be a serious matter,” Conyers replied, asking Cobb to meet privately with committee staff to further investigate the matter.

Rev. Jesse Jackson told the congressmen that over the weekend he had spoken to John Kerry, who has since sent a letter to each of the state’s 88 county election boards, saying he supported three areas of inquiry in the recount. Jackson said Kerry wanted “forensic computer experts” to examine voting machines, especially those using optical scan technology, because in other states, notably New Mexico, Bush had won all the precincts with that voting system in place. Kerry also wanted to examine 92,000 ballots that recorded no vote for president, and 155,000 provisional ballots that were rejected.

But early responses from the counties to Freedom of Information Act requests for their voting records indicate such an effort may already have been sabotaged. Shelby County officials have admitted to discarding key election data. One county referred requesters to the software company that programmed the county's voting machines, saying the company's permission would be required for access to a recount, as the code is proprietary.

New reports of voter suppression and fraud corroborated the Supreme Court filing, which presented a detailed analysis of where votes were incorrectly counted for Bush instead of Kerry. An election challenge must prove the wrong presidential candidate was declared the winner. The challenge lawsuit asks the Ohio Supreme Court to declare Kerry the victor. Numerous witnesses offered testimony to support that conclusion.

A second brief was also filed Monday, seeking a temporary restraining order to block Republican presidential electors from meeting until the recount was done and the challenge was litigated. It focused on “overwhelming statistical evidence” that pointed to “statewide fraud allegedly conducted at the direction of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.”

The TRO filing was primarily based on national and statewide exit poll data, which was the extensive, non-partisan polling done by a consortium of the nation’s major news organizations. Expert affidavits accompanying the brief said an analysis of exit poll data found that the final vote tallies in all but the most contested battleground states mirrored the exit poll’s predictions. The experts said it was unlikely the exit polls could be so accurate in some states while significantly wrong in others. They said election fraud was the only plausible explanation for the discrepancy.

The TRO filing identified exactly when they believe the fraud occurred – at about 12.30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3. At that time of night, Ohio’s final voting returns were being tabulated at regional and county offices. It was about this time that the Ohio exit poll data – posted on websites such as CNN – put Bush ahead of Kerry, even though the exit polls expected Kerry to win with 52.1 percent of the vote.

What experts like Steven Freeman, Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania say happened was at this time the raw poll data, showing Kerry ahead, was replaced online and on television by “calibrated” data. This adjusted data was intended to reflect the total vote counts, once the results came in from late-reporting precincts – if it didn’t match the raw exit poll results. Ohio’s results didn’t match, and the likely reason is because across the state, in a variety of ways, the reported vote totals were being manipulated. If Bush votes were added to the total, or votes were taken away from Kerry, this shift was first noticed at about 12:30 a.m., when the networks started to report ‘calibrated’ figures, not the raw data.

“The media has largely ignored this discrepancy (although the Blogosphere has been abuzz), suggesting the polls were either flawed, within normal sampling error, or could otherwise be easily explained away,” Freeman wrote in an article, cited in the TRO filing. Instead, it simply reported Bush’s final tally as 51 percent to Kerry’s final tally of 48.5 percent.

As Rev. Jackson and election attorneys explained to the packed hearing, the election challenge suit describes how votes were added to Bush’s total, or in many cases, taken away from Kerry – because they were added to the totals of other Democratic candidates further down the ballot.

The Democrat whose totals were most likely to have been boosted by this kind of ‘vote-shifting’ was C. Ellen Connally, an African-American candidate for Ohio Chief Justice, who was little-known and outspent in the southern part of the state, the challenge complaint says. Because Secretary Blackwell has obstructed most efforts to examine ballots and poll records, it has been almost impossible to investigate and explain anomalies like Connally’s strong showing in the southern part of the state.

"What are they hiding?" asked Rev. Jackson. One after the other, witnesses argued that by making a recount virtually impossible, Blackwell has offered firm indication that the Republicans have something to hide.

"The secrecy of the ballot has been converted to the secrecy of the vote count," added Ronnie Dugger, founder of the Alliance for Democracy. Now based in Massachusetts, the legendary Dugger is founder of the Texas Observer. He said when Texas Republicans heard complaints that voting machines could be corrupted, "they knew that had found what they were looking for." Voting machines, he said, are the "most anti-democratic technology ever employed."

Dr. Ron Baiman, a statistician from the University of Illinois, Chicago, confirmed that the odds on vote counts diverting from exit polls as they did the night of November 2 were on the order of magnitude of millions to one. Baiman told freepress.org that the odds of the exit polls being wrong in the key battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio alone were "155,000,000 to one."

Dr. Norman Robbins of Cleveland testified that over 10,000 voters in Cuyahoga County alone were disenfranchised by various means, and that nearly all were "youth, poor and minorities."

In one Cleveland ward, he said, 51% of the provisional votes cast were thrown in the trash, virtually all of them from African-Americans.

Eve Roberson, a former election official from Santa Rosa, California, testified that while working as observer at precinct 354 in Wilberforce, home of Central State University, she witnessed conscious fraud aimed at a student body that went 95% for Kerry. Election officials used an inconsistent, discriminatory set of demands for Wilberforce students to register as opposed to those used in white precincts in Greene County.

Roberson and others also testified that after the election they discovered ballots sitting open, on unguarded tables where manipulation and random disposal could easily have occurred. It was, she said "a serious breech" of election security.

Riveting testimony followed from Clinton Curtis, a Tallahassee-based computer programmer who told the hearing he had been hired by US Rep Tom Feeney, then Speaker of the Florida House, to write a program that would conceal the theft of an election. Curtis said Feeney was then a lobbyist for a major computer company as well as Speaker. Curtis said Feeney wanted a program that could use voting machines to "flip an election" without being detected. Curtis said he wrote a prototype program, then quit.

Under questioning Curtis said a program could be written that would protect the security of voting machines, but that it had not been deployed in Ohio. He said it would be a simple matter, involving perhaps 100 lines of code and some simple switches, to turn an entire election.

"One person in a simple tab machine can affect thousands of votes," Curtis testified. "There is absolutely no assurance of anything on those machines."

Given what he had seen, he said, the Ohio election was "probably hacked."

The last hour of the Columbus hearing was filled with testimony from local voters who were harassed, intimidated and made to stand in long lines to cast votes that may well have been pitched in the trash.

Similar sworn testimony surfaced Tuesday at a citizens' hearing in Toledo. Among other things eye witnesses confirmed that a Diebold programming team entered the Lucas County (Toledo) Board of Elections to "reprogram" the opti-scan voting machines on the day the recount began.

Catherine Buchanan, a Democratic Party observer, testified that one of the sample precincts chosen as a control for the recount---Sylvania Precinct 3---had the programming card reprogrammed prior to the ballot testing. While the observers watched, nearly seven out of fifteen test ballots were rejected at least three times before the machine would read them.

Janet Albright told hearing officers she had been voting at the same Lucas County polling place for fourteen years but that the polling place was changed this year without notification to a station farther away. Machines throughout Lucas County malfunctioned in tests through the week prior to the election, and on election day. Thousands of Ohioans---primarily in Democratic precincts--thus lost their right to vote.

During the Lucas County reprogramming, election observers were shocked when they were denied the right to look at sheets that had target test results on them, or the reprogramming of the opti-scan machines used in the recount. Diebold-leased machines and software malfunctioned in the weeks prior to the election.

That echoed similar testimony from Green Party candidate David Cobb in the Columbus hearing. Witnesses said an unauthorized programmer from the Triad Corporation dismantled at least one voting machine in rural Hocking County. Conyers referred to the incident as "pretty outrageous" and asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a county prosecutor, to investigate "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in Hocking and perhaps several other Ohio counties.

Brett Rapp, president of Triad, told the New York Times it might be unusual to do what was done in Hocking County, but that Triad was involved in voting machines in 41 of Ohio's 88 counties.

The Hocking County investigation was spurred in particular by testimony Sherole Eaton, the deputy elections director. Such testimony will be transcribed and presented at www.freepress.org as it becomes available. But in the interim the battle of Ohio rages on, machine by machine and hearing by hearing. Because the recount process has been so severely tainted, the call for a revote is growing.

On January 6, Congress is scheduled to vote on whether or not to approve the tally of electors, including Ohio's tainted 20 votes. Conyers and the other US Representatives present made it clear more public hearings will be held before then.

In 2001, a host of US Representatives, most from the Black Caucus, asked that the tainted Bush electors be challenged. This year at least 14 members of the House of Representatives will demand an immediate "investigation of the efficacy of the voting machines and new technologies used in 2004 election, how election officials responded to the difficulties they encountered, and what we can do in the future to improve our elections systems and administration."

Their action requires the consent of a single Senator, which did not come in 2001. As the battle to save democracy rages in Ohio and elsewhere, January, 2005, could be very different.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Las Vegas Casinos Put U.S. Election Safeguards to Shame

Here is more correspondence from the great Congressman Conyers. There is the letter requesting the leadership in Ohio to delay the electoral vote certification until the recount is complete, especially considering all the obstacles from Secretary of State Blackwell. Moot now, I guess... The follow-up letter to Warren Mitofsky regarding his refusal to provide the congressional committee the raw exit pool data that appears to show irregularities. And finally there is the letter to Blackwell concerning his refusal to cooperate with the Judiciary Democratic members. The missive begins:

“I am in receipt of your December 14 response to the letter I, and eleven other Member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote to you on December 2. Frankly, I find your response disappointing and unacceptable and I am dismayed that it took nearly two weeks for you to proffer a letter that does not respond to a single one of our 36 questions.”

It ends:

“Your refusal to answer the 36 questions we posed to you is unfortunate and part of a pattern of decisions that have worked to obstruct and stonewall a search for the truth about Ohio voting irregularities. If these allegations are as obviously baseless as you have claimed, it would seem that you could perform a public service by dispelling them. The voters deserve no less.

I, therefore, renew my request for you to respond to these inquiries and remain faithful to the commitment you made, through our spokesman, to assist our search for the truth”

And from the demur Senator Kerry, a
copy of the official Kerry-Edwards position on handling the Ohio recount. It was sent to the individual Boards of Election in each Ohio County. It begins, "On behalf of John Kerry and John Edwards I am making the following requests regarding the conduct of the recount." It then goes on to list eleven requests.

Several anti vote fraud rallies occurred last Sunday. Here are photos (set one and set two) from one in Austin, Texas, and another in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Washington State recount news today, the State Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the Democratic lawsuit to have thousands of previously rejected ballots examined. Republicans argued that you should not be able to change the rules in the middle of the game. I never knew democracy was a game. In any case, Gregoire, the Democrat, probably does not need these extra ballots to pull ahead of Rossi once the heavily Democratic count in King County is complete, just before Christmas.

Did you know that gamblers in Las Vegas are given more protections than the U.S. electorate? This is absolutely incredible. Safeguards include: gambling machine software may be audited at any time by gaming officials, gamblers have the right to an immediate investigation if there are any suspicions of unfairness, and the gambling certification board may not have any relationship with the equipment manufactures. You need to
check this out. I guess a fair election is not worth a poker chip.

Ohio Vote Fraud Battle Heats Up provides an excellent overview of what is transpiring in Ohio. The story concludes:

"All across America, Americans
are demonstrating against fraud in our elections. They are marching, carrying candles in the dark. They are praying and they are reaching out to the discouraged and those who feel shocked at the hooliganism that has taken over and stripped the decency away from Americans who once held decency dear. Hooligans, if they could see themselves, are naked and their words like vomit on the altars of the churches. Yes, you can win an election by stealing it, but you’ll never be able to look at yourself in the mirror and respect the bloated coercive spirit behind the facile smile that stares back at you. If you were trusted with the sacred votes of trusting Americans and you embezzled them, 'flipped' them as some call it, or stuffed the boxes, you are a moral disgrace, a sick and perverted individual. May God have mercy on your soul."

Monday, December 13, 2004

There is nothing more fundamental than the right to vote

Startling new revelations about Ohio's presidential vote have been uncovered as Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee joined Rev. Jesse Jackson in Columbus, today, to hold a rare field hearing into election malfeasance and manipulation in the 2004 vote. The Congressional delegation included Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones.

"Taken together, the revelations show Republicans – in state and county government, and in the Ohio Republican Party – were determined to undermine and suppress Democratic turnout by a wide variety of methods.

On Sunday, John Kerry spoke with Rev. Jesse Jackson and urged him to take a more active role in investigating the irregularities and ensuring a fair and impartial recount. Kerry said there were three areas of inquiry that should be addressed: 92,000 ballots that recorded no vote for president; qualifying and counting provisional ballots; and supported an independent analysis of the software and set-up of the optical scan voting machines.”

Then there were amazing revelations from Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb. He stated that a Triad Systems representative tampered with voting equipment in Columbus, Ohio, changing out parts and attempting to alter the machine count with false data. Conyers was quite interested in this tale and asked for a follow-up meeting with Cobb.

Cobb cited an --as yet anonymous-- informant, that a Triad GSI employee had told staff at the Columbus County Board of Elections office to inconspicuously note a prepared recount result, then report this data irrespective of the actual recount.

’This is going on, all over the state,’ Cobb told the hearing.”

"John Bonifaz [acting for Cliff Arnebeck, and the Alliance for Democracy] also requested Rep. Conyers to formally object to any declaration of a winner of the electoral college vote on January 6th, 2005 --if a recount was still underway or a different set of electors had been nominated for Ohio.

'The nation is at a crossroads,' Bonifaz told the forum.

'We can stand by while our democracy erodes around us, or we can stand up and fight,' he said.

'For the dignity of our nation; and for the dignity of ourselves; and for the memory of those who struggled before us, we must choose to fight.'"

Meanwhile, the Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast their ballots, ignoring the statewide recount and the brewing tempest. This is clearly a criminal act, given the overwhelming evidence of malfeasance and the current ongoing discovery.

A careful review of the absentee vote in one Ohio county revealed that many more absentee votes were cast than there were absentee voters identified.

"If this pattern of overcounting absentee votes is a statewide one, then tens of thousands of phoney absentee votes were up for grabs in Ohio. Who grabbed them and how they got them should be a subject of an immediate congressional investigation."

Remember the story about Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell blocking access to voter logs on Friday. He claims he did this because a bi-partisan group must be present during these activities, and the records needed to be under lock and key until this group was convened.

The volunteers, who came back the following morning in an effort to complete their work, found the doors unlocked and a light on that was not on the night before. When they went to investigate, they found the ballots sitting unprotected in open boxes, along with challenge letters and the logbooks that were confiscated the day before. It appears very likely that tampering occurred overnight. Read Keith Olbermann's take on this drama.

There is one piece of great news in the Seattle Governor’s race. It turns out that 561 ballots were mistakenly rejected in heavily Democratic King County, where signatures on absentee ballots appeared not to match those found on registration forms. In reality, the ballots signatures were not checked against the original records, and they now appear to be valid. The elections director will seek to have them counted in a hearing on Wednesday. Only 42 votes out of 2.9 million separated the candidates prior to the currently ongoing hand recount.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

What's round on both sides and rotten in the middle?

Demonstrators in Ohio are urging the Ohio Electoral College Delegation, which is scheduled to meet on Monday to cast its 20 electoral votes, to delay it’s gathering until the legally authorized state recount has completed. John Bonifaz, of the National Voting Rights Institute, said, “In Ohio, there has not been a final determination. Therefore, any meeting of the Electoral College in Ohio prior to a full recount would in fact be an illegitimate gathering.” Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell has pulled out "all the stops" in an effort to stall the recount as long as possible, even impeding it (he promised Keith Olbermann he would support it) last Friday by locking-down public voting records, a clear violation of Ohio State Law.

The Ohio State recount is also scheduled to begin tomorrow, as is the Congressman Conyers Election Forum.

Meanwhile tonight, Kerry has once again weighed in asking Ohio election officials to allow his people to visually inspect 92,000 ballots cast that registered no vote for president.

And lastly, more public hearing transcripts on voter irregularities in guess where?

Need I say, this is going to be a very telling week in the Buckeye State. Fasten your seat belts and place your seats in their full upright and locked position.

Real Election Reform Now!

Please read this great analysis by Lynn Landes, entitled Voting Rights Groups 'Block' Talk of Machine-Free Elections. She notes:

"So much for a free and fair exchange of ideas. At conferences and hearings across the country, traditional voting rights organizations have successfully blocked any serious debate on machine-free, paper-only elections. It appears that our well-entrenched so-called 'voting rights' organizations, including the NAACP and ACLU, haven't absorbed the lesson from America's election debacles. They would rather invite the industry-funded National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) to speak at their conferences, than invite researchers and activists who will argue that the machines must go.

Tuesday's Dec. 7th conference in Washington, D.C., Voting 2004: A Report to the Nation on America's Election Process, sponsored by Common Cause, The Century Foundation, and LCCR (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights) was no exception. Instead of fighting for the peoples' right to a paper ballot and a hand count, the conference adopted the VerifiedVoting.org and Congressman Rush Holt's (D-NJ) prescription for voting integrity. It is beyond worthless.

It gives people false hope, instead of a sensible solution. Holt's legislation calls for ballot printers and audits. First, that leaves the machines in the voting process - ready, willing, and able to malfunction, break down, or not show up - causing chaos and confusion. Ballot printers won't fix that. Second, it proposes spot audits, which leaves the counting of ballots in the hands of the very election officials who prove with each new election how truly inept or completely evil they really are. And third, the only time paper ballots will be counted is in case of a 'close' election, ensuring that perpetrators of vote fraud will steal a sufficient number of votes to avoid triggering a recount. "

Check out the preliminary report from Common Cause based on extensive election monitoring activities, which includes participation running a national voter alert line (1-866-MYVOTE1) that received nearly 210,000 phone calls from 50 states, more than 1,000 election monitors nationwide and the collection of more than 1,700 voters' stories on their website.

Here is an excellent editorial making the case for election reform, entitled Election reform needed: U.S. system would fail certification elsewhere. It states:

“Former President Jimmy Carter - a veteran international elections monitor - pointed out that the Nov. 2 election in the U.S. would not have passed his certification in a Third World country. The United States has no nonpartisan national elections commission to ensure fair and equal treatment of all voters. Voting procedures vary wildly throughout the country. Worst of all, in some jurisdictions there is no voter-generated paper trail on which to base a recount in a contested race.

The fact that the nation avoided the kind of embarrassing meltdown that occurred in the 2000 presidential election is no reason for celebration. Ohio may have officially certified that President Bush won the state by 119,000 votes, but lawsuits have already been filed asking the Ohio Supreme Court to void the election results and declare John Kerry the winner.”

And there is this little ditty, from Ohio, of hubris and false outrage in Richland County, entitled Recount angers local GOP chief. It reads:

"Richland County Republican Chairman Mike Smith is not happy about a recount of last month's presidential election. 'This is the most insulting thing we've had to do since I've been involved in the election process. I know recount procedures are part of the electoral system, but the system stinks,' he said Thursday at the county board of elections meeting.'"

Nothing to hide? Then prove it to the world Mr. Smith by supporting the recount. Me thinks you doth protest too much…

For those new to this forum / issue, here are twenty facts about the 2004 election that are worth repeating. Thank you for the data Erik.

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.
8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.
9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
11. Diebold is based in Ohio.
12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
13. Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.
14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it!
17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.
20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

All coincidence, no doubt...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Black Well of Justice

Another rally: "On December 12th 2004 at 12 noon, before the steps of your State Capitol and the Federal Capitol, join with us to protest the theft of our votes and our voting rights in the 2004 election. As citizens, it is our duty to protect those basic rights that insure the survival of our democracy and constitution for present and future generations of Americans. Egregious infringements of our voting rights occurred in the 2004 election: our voting systems were compromised and our votes violated. The line was crossed: we no longer trust our voting systems. As citizens, we must stand together"

Also check out the Voter’s Bill of Rights on the bottom of this page. Great ideas.

Four Lucas County, Ohio employees have been suspended with pay. A Republican election board member said the four suspended are two supervisors and two clerks. He said, "I don't expect it will change much of anything in terms of results. It's just some internal procedures that appear to be not right..."

"Change much of anything?" Please describe “much,” “anything," and "right.”

What do drugs, overdose, voting fraud, and Mary Poppins have in common? Sure this makes perfect sense: Felony indictments for falsifying ten registration forms with names that would only be unnoticeable to the mentally retarded, but not even a slap on the wrist for Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell who steals tens of thousands of votes. White-collar crime pays off again. Massive voting fraud? Hey wait, look over there!

And speaking of the infamous Mr. Blackwell, it appears he has imposed a lock-down of public voting records. The story reads, “On Friday December 10 two certified volunteers for the Ohio Recount team assigned to Greene County, Dayton were in process recording voting information from minority precincts in Greene County, and were stopped mid-count by a surprise order from Secretary of State Blackwell’s office. The Director Board of Elections stated that ‘all voter records for the state of Ohio were locked-down, and now they are not considered public records.’”

“Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV Elections, Sec. 3503.26 that requires all election records to be made available for public inspection and copying. ORC Sec. 3599.161 makes it a crime for any employee of the Board of Elections to knowingly prevent or prohibit any person from inspecting the public records filed in the office of the Board of Elections. Finally, ORC Sec. 3599.42 clearly states: ‘A violation of any provision of Title XXXV (35) of the Revised Code constitutes a prima facie case of election fraud within the purview of such Title.’”

Now may we please indict Blackwell? Now will someone please arrest his law-breaking ass? Is there any justice in this country? Is enough, enough?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Zogby Wants Investigation and Conyers Fact Finding Continues

Pollster John Zogby, who predicted a large Kerry win on Election day, stands behind his prediction. He stated:

"We have a problem in this country of extreme partisanship and responsible, respectable people who believe that there was a conspiracy," which Zogby added "simply is not healthy." Zogby said he is calling for an investigation "not to suggest that the election was stolen or to suggest that the results would be overturned, but to collect an objective, independent body of evidence of those who believe there was a problem. "Zogby also praised the accuracy of his 2004 election polling. "My polling was very, very good and extremely accurate."

Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis explain in why history demands an Ohio revote:

"We will never know how many tens of thousands of Ohioans were turned away at the polls, were forced to leave before voting, or never went once they heard how long the lines were. This was a de facto denial of the Fifteenth Amendment right to vote, as surely as were the poll tax and literacy tests of the Jim Crow south.

As co-chair of Ohio's Bush-Cheney campaign, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who officiated over this election, was clearly a partisan. Without a re-vote to restore the rights of all Ohioans, this election's stench of manipulation will fester through the history books as surely as all those staged in Stalin's Soviet Union. Ukraine has now taken the obvious step of re-running a national election so that its fledgling democracy can maintain its credibility. Ohio can do no less."

This informative article from Dr. Phillips for The Ohio Free Press illustrates how ballot spoilage was several times higher in Democratic precincts of Montgomery County, Ohio. Convenient for stealing an election:

"Altogether, in these 47 precincts, Kerry won 14,871 votes to 2,032 for Bush, a margin of 7 to 1. In these 47 precincts there are 920 uncounted regular ballots, or 21.0% of the county wide total. In the other 541 precincts in Montgomery County, among which the uncounted regular ballots are distributed at a rate of 6.4 per precinct, Kerry won 128,106 votes to 136,329 for Bush. Thus, 21.0% of the uncounted regular ballots are in 8.7% of the precincts that accounted for 6.0% of the votes in the county.

In these 47 precincts, which went for Kerry by a margin of 7 to 1, the “spoilage” rate of regular ballots was 5.16%, compared to 1.31% for the rest of the county, and 1.70% for the whole of the county."

Here is a second analysis by Dr. Philips illustrating more election anomalies in Lucas County, Ohio:

"The more competitive the ward, the higher the reported turnout. Conversely, the less competitive the ward, the lower the reported turnout. This pattern cannot be explained by claiming that voters were unenthusiastic about John Kerry, because he did win every ward in Toledo. In fact, Kerry’s margin of victory was 20.24%, compared to 18.68% for Al Gore.

It is my professional opinion that the election in Lucas County was rigged, most likely by altering the vote totals in each ward by a percentage chosen for that ward, plus or minus, based upon voting patterns in past elections. The optical scanners used in Lucas County were not precinct-based. They were of the central count variety. The results could have been altered without anybody at the precinct level knowing about it. If turnout had been equal in Toledo and the suburbs, Kerry’s plurality in Lucas County would have been considerably larger. There is an old adage that says elections are stolen at the precinct level. This election was rigged at the ward and county levels."

Here is a list of statements submitted during the Representative Conyers Hearings on Ohio Voting Irregularities last Wednesday, and also the response from Warren Mitofsky to Conyers’ request for him to appear at the Hearings and release the raw polling data that showed Kerry winning early in the day. In short, Mitofsky told Conyers to “talk to the hand.”

It looks like the next step in the Ohio election fraud battle is a congressional forum that will be held in Columbus, Ohio on Monday, December 13. It will be lead by Representative Conyers and a group of representatives and luminaries.

Lastly, a good essay entitled U.S.: A Call for a New Election, by Ken Reiner. It suggests how to prevent these fraud issues in future elections. It also states:

"Were Americans to ever learn how corrupt their elections are, and how few choices they are given, they might rise up and change the entire system by which corporations run the country. The elite will do everything in their power to keep the people from learning just how crooked the system is. With the power of the press and TV under their total command, which we now clearly see, they likely will try every way they can to keep this fraudulent election, as they did with the prior two elections, out of the gaze of 'we the people.' After all, by reason of false media control, the majority of Americans, even today, are still convinced Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, despite Bush (and everyone but Cheney) admitting 'evidently they didn't.'"

Ignorance is bliss, or to quote Aldous Huxley, “The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”