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.”

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