(i became a member of Democratic Underground during the last election. the fraud was obvious to me and cultivating the potential to communicate with people involved in exposing it seemed the only thing anyone could do. election fraud renders every political argument or observation useless. it was abhorrent to see kerry scurry away from this fight. it was his turn at bat. his responsibility. same with gore. if we don't have a fair vote we have nothing. so read this long damn article and think about that.)
Election Fraud: It's Time to Make a Stand
It was the Republicans who first bandied the term "coup d'etat" to describe the 2000 presidential election. Since then, many have turned the tables and labeled Bush's victory a coup. But how much of this is merely political rhetoric?
- John Dee, COUP2K
How much, indeed.
I’m posting this as a wake-up call. I see a lot of Democrats, Progressives, Centrists and Moderates engaged in a serious bout of self-delusion. They believe, (quite earnestly), that by learning how to ‘frame the issue’ and by getting voters to the polls, they can defeat the Republican machine.
I see it differently. I see a lot of energy going to waste.
The issue, the only issue, is whether or not your vote is being counted fairly. It’s not about ‘Security Moms’ or ‘Family Values’ or ‘Social Security Reform’ or ‘gay marriage’. That is because all of these issues are meaningless once the ballots are cast. And if your ballot is cast digitally, it’s just a number that can be changed with a password and a few keystrokes, and voila, another ‘close-call’ election.
It turns out that Florida was a trial run. A successful trial run. The most important lesson learned is: have a Secretary of State in place who will do anything for you, as Gore Vidal illustrates below;
Asked to predict who would win in '04, I said that, again, Bush would lose, but I was confident that in the four years between 2000 and 2004 creative propaganda and the fixing of election officials might very well be so perfected as to insure an official victory for Mr. Bush. As Representative Conyers's report, Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio, shows in great detail, the swing state of Ohio was carefully set up to deliver an apparent victory for Bush even though Kerry appears to have been the popular winner as well as the valedictorian-that-never-was of the Electoral College.
I urge would-be reformers of our politics as well as of such anachronisms as the Electoral College to read Conyers's valuable guide on how to steal an election once you have in place the supervisor of the state's electoral process: In this case, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who orchestrated a famous victory for those who hate democracy (a permanent but passionate minority). The Conyers Report states categorically, "With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio." In other words, the Florida 2000 scenario redux, when the chair for Bush/Cheney was also the Secretary of State. Lesson? Always plan ahead for at least four more years.
It is well-known in the United States of Amnesia that not only did Ohio have a considerable number of first-time voters but that Blackwell and his gang, through "the misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters."
For the past few years many of us have been warning about the electronic voting machines, first publicized on the Internet by investigator Bev Harris, for which she was much reviled by the officers of such companies as Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S, Triad; this last voting computer company "has essentially admitted that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in numerous counties to provide 'cheat sheets' to those counting the ballots. The cheat sheets informed election officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count. In that way, they could avoid doing a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state law."
By preempting a recount with a big enough 'win' margin, things don't have to go to the stacked Courts, which draws too much attention, and where things could get messy.
David L. Dill, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University, and Founder of the Verified Voting Foundation and VerifiedVoting.org, gave this testimony Before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, June 21, 2005, Hearing on Voter Verification in the Federal Election Process;
We can have a trustworthy voting system if, instead of a futile effort to ensure that the voting equipment is error-free by design, we empower each voter to verify that his vote has been accurately recorded. In other words, we need voter-verified paper ballots.
The call for paper ballots is not based on nostalgia. Paper has specific properties, as a technology, that we don’t know how to replicate in electronic media. For example, most voters can verify the contents of a paper ballot without computer mediation; paper can be written indelibly; and the procedures for handling critical paper documents are easily understood by ordinary poll workers and voters. In addition, electronic ballot marking devices now exist to enable voters with disabilities to mark and verify optical scan ballots.
Paper is not a magical solution to our election problems, but, at least, understandable procedures exist for ensuring the accuracy of an election conducted with paper ballots. In particular, the ballots must be protected, and the processes for storing, transporting, handling, and counting them must transparent. Ideally, members of the public and non-governmental organizations as well as political party representatives should be able to observe all of the steps of an election, including machine testing, polling place operations, counting of votes, auditing and recounting.
One of the most important practices that could be adopted is the routine auditing of elections by choosing a small random sample of the ballots and manually counting them. This practice would make a valuable distinction between “audits,” which are routine checks on the quality of elections, and “recounts,” which have become increasingly politicized. Routine random audits would often catch procedural, equipment, and personnel problems in uncontroversial elections, so that those problems can be fixed before they potentially affect an election outcome.
So there is a solution, that is not covered by the ironically named 'Help America Vote Act'.
When you see things like Senate Committee meetings that air the concerns of professionals you may think, "I don't have to worry about this, my Party will ensure a fair election!"
The DNC, even under the navigation of Howard Dean has not mounted the issue of Voting Reform on the masthead. This banner should be flying high NOW, not a couple of months before the mid-term elections. Instead, since the DNC released the 2004 Election Report, it has been stowed away, where it should be brandished like a rapier in the office of every Democrat in Congress.
Bob Fitrakis and Steven Rosenfeld pull no punches when assessingthe DNC's report
The Democratic National Committee's investigation into Ohio's 2004 presidential election irregularities is the perfect postscript to the party's 'election protection' efforts last fall: it is a shocking indictment of a party caught completely off-guard in its most heated presidential campaign in years, and a party that still doesn't fully understand what happened and how to avoid a repeat in the future.
The report primarily documents the fact that Jim Crow voter suppression tactics targeting Democratic African-American voters were rampant in Ohio's cities during the 2004 presidential election. It cites and spends most of its time analyzing the most visible problems: from shortages of voting machines in minority precincts, to unreasonable obstacles to voter registration, to disproportionate use of provisional ballots on Election Day among new voters and Democratic constituencies, to inadequate poll worker training and election administration, to poor post-Election Day record keeping.
But the DNC reports says those factors do not mean John Kerry won the election, nor does it mean that the new electronic voting machines are unreliable — even though some of the precincts with the highest percentages of reported problems were outfitted with the new electronic voting machines, known as DREs. The DNC asked for access to the new electronic voting machines and their software, but was denied by local election officials and the private manufacturers. The report leaves the matter there.
It is statements like this one, on page 189, and a failure to follow-through that make the report more than a disappointment to election protection workers, voter rights advocates and those grassroots activists who worked for John Kerry's campaign. Speaking of the new electronic voting machines, the DNC report states, that "many of the county boards (of elections) do not actually control the electronic records created during the tallying process." When the Fairfield County Board of Elections was asked for election results, they merely forwarded data from a private vendor.
This reminds me, sadly, of George Tenet running around Washington 'with his hair on fire' warning of an impending strike, which turned out to be 9/11. Bob Fitrakis' hair is on fire, and he is doing his best to tell you that there is another impending strike, it is called the 2006 mid-term election.
The DNC, and groups like America Coming Together and MoveOn are devoid of references to voter reform or voter fraud on the front pages of their websites. I think we should all support Cindy Sheehan, but guess what, no matter how many people are woken up politically over the next year, it's not going to matter if the votes aren't counted properly.
Ok, so my hair is on fire too.
But Mark Crispin Miller is the Human Torch. His essay, 'None Dare Call it Stolen' was the cover essay on the August 'Harper's' magazine;
Whichever candidate you voted for (or think you voted for), or even if you did not vote (or could not vote), you must admit that last year's presidential race was—if nothing else—pretty interesting. True, the press has dropped the subject, and the Democrats, with very few exceptions, have “moved on.” Yet this contest may have been the most unusual in U.S. history; it was certainly among those with the strangest outcomes. You may remember being surprised yourself. The infamously factious Democrats were fiercely unified—Ralph Nader garnered only about 0.38 percent of the national vote while the Republicans were split, with a vocal anti-Bush front that included anti-Clinton warrior Bob Barr of Georgia; Ike's son John Eisenhower; Ronald Reagan's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, William J. Crowe Jr.; former Air Force Chief of Staff and onetime “Veteran for Bush” General Merrill “Tony” McPeak; founding neocon Francis Fukuyama; Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute, and various large alliances of military officers, diplomats, and business professors. The American Conservative, co-founded by Pat Buchanan, endorsed five candidates for president, including both Bush and Kerry, while the Financial Times and The Economist came out for Kerry alone. At least fifty-nine daily newspapers that backed Bush in the previous election endorsed Kerry (or no one) in this election. The national turnout in 2004 was the highest since 1968, when another unpopular war had swept the ruling party from the White House. And on Election Day, twenty-six state exit polls incorrectly predicted wins for Kerry, a statistical failure so colossal and unprecedented that the odds against its happening, according to a report last May by the National Election Data Archive Project, were 16.5 million to 1. Yet this ever-less beloved president, this president who had united liberals and conservatives and nearly all the world against himself—this president somehow bested his opponent by 3,000,176 votes. How did he do it? To that most important question the commentariat, briskly prompted by Republicans, supplied an answer. Americans of faith—a silent majority heretofore unmoved by any other politician—had poured forth by the millions to vote “Yes!” for Jesus' buddy in the White House. Bush's 51 percent, according to this thesis, were roused primarily by “family values.” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called gay marriage “the hood ornament on the family values wagon that carried the president to a second term.” The pundits eagerly pronounced their amens—“Moral values,” Tucker Carlson said on CNN, “drove President Bush and other Republican candidates to victory this week”—although it is not clear why. The primary evidence of our Great Awakening was a post-election poll by the Pew Research Center in which 27 percent of the respondents, when asked which issue “mattered most” to them in the election, selected something called “moral values.” This slight plurality of impulse becomes still less impressive when we note that, as the pollsters went to great pains to make clear, “the relative importance of moral values depends greatly on how the question is framed.” In fact, when voters were asked to “name in their own words the most important factor in their vote,” only 14 percent managed to come up with “moral values.” Strangely, this detail went little mentioned in the postelectoral commentary.
The press has had little to say about most of the strange details of the election—except, that is, to ridicule all efforts to discuss them. This animus appeared soon after November 2, in a spate of caustic articles dismissing any critical discussion of the outcome as crazed speculation: “Election paranoia surfaces: Conspiracy theorists call results rigged,” chuckled the Baltimore Sun on November 5. “Internet Buzz on Vote Fraud Is Dismissed,” proclaimed the Boston Globe on November 10. “Latest Conspiracy Theory—Kerry Won—Hits the Ether,” the Washington Post chortled on November 11. The New York Times weighed in with “Vote Fraud Theories, Spread by Blogs, Are Quickly Buried”—making mock not only of the “post-election theorizing” but of cyberspace itself, the fons et origo of all such loony tunes, according to the Times.
Such was the news that most Americans received. Although the tone was scientific, “realistic,” skeptical, and “middle-of-the-road,” the explanations offered by the press were weak and immaterial. It was as if they were reporting from inside a forest fire without acknowledging the fire, except to keep insisting that there was no fire. Since Kerry has conceded, they argued, and since “no smoking gun” had come to light, there was no story to report. This is an oddly passive argument. Even so, the evidence that something went extremely wrong last fall is copious, and not hard to find. Much of it was noted at the time, albeit by local papers and haphazardly. Concerning the decisive contest in Ohio, the evidence is lucidly compiled in a single congressional report, released by Representative John Conyers of Michigan, which, for the last half-year, has been available to anyone inclined to read it. It is a veritable arsenal of “smoking guns”—and yet its findings may be less extraordinary than the fact that no one in this country seems to care about them.
As precious time wastes away, with no political leadership to speak of; the timid, cowed media dips its collective toe into the murky waters of 'paper trails' with carefully 'balanced' pieces like this one from USA Today;
Three years into a national debate over the security and reliability of computerized voting machines, the skeptics are winning.
In the past month, legislatures in five states — Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Oregon — have passed laws requiring computer-based voting machines to produce a paper backup that can be verified by the voter, according to Electionline.org, which monitors voting systems. That brings to 25 the number of states that require a paper trail.
"We're not getting many landslides these days, so it's crucial that the votes be counted accurately," says Will Doherty, director of VerifiedVoting.org, which lobbies for paper trails on voting machines.
"The unintended consequence of a (paper trail) mandate could diminish, rather than enhance, voter confidence," says Conny McCormack, who runs elections in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction, Los Angeles County.
What is the reader supposed to draw from this article? There is an admission that yeah, paper trails are necessary, but 'some people say' that it might cause problems!
I guess this writer didn't get the memo.
WE'VE ALREADY GOT PROBLEMS! BIG ONES!
But you want proof, you say! Show me some research! I'm skeptical!
Alright, you selectively skeptical rascal, you!
Peter Phillips, of Project Censored brings you research from Cal Poly Poloma;
New research compiled by Dr. Dennis Loo with the University of Cal Poly Pomona now shows that extensive manipulation of non-paper-trail voting machines occurred in several states during the 2004 election...
...In 2004 Bush far exceeded the 85% of registered Florida Republican votes that he got in 2000, receiving more than 100% of the registered Republican votes in 47 out of 67 Florida counties, 200% of registered Republicans in 15 counties, and over 300% of registered Republicans in 4 counties. Bush managed these remarkable outcomes despite the fact that his share of the crossover votes by registered Democrats in Florida did not increase over 2000, and he lost ground among registered Independents, dropping 15 points. We also know that Bush "won" Ohio by 51-48%, but statewide results were not matched by the court-supervised hand count of the 147,400 absentee and provisional ballots in which Kerry received 54.46% of the vote. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio the number of recorded votes was more than 93,000 greater than the number of registered voters.
More importantly national exit polls showed Kerry winning in 2004. However, it was only in precincts where there were no paper trails on the voting machines that the exit polls ended up being different from the final count. According to Dr. Steve Freeman, a statistician at the University of Pennsylvania, the odds are 250 million to one that the exit polls were wrong by chance. In fact, where the exit polls disagreed with the computerized outcomes the results always favored Bush - another statistical impossibility. .
Dennis Loo writes, "A team at the University of California at Berkeley, headed by sociology professor Michael Hout, found a highly suspicious pattern in which Bush received 260,000 more votes in those Florida precincts that used electronic voting machines than past voting patterns would indicate compared to those precincts that used optical scan read votes where past voting patterns held."
No, not good enough?
In order to believe that George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also believe all of the following extremely improbable or outright impossible things...
...A big turnout and a highly energized and motivated electorate
favored the GOP instead of the Democrats for the first time in history.
...The fact that Bush got more votes than registered voters, and the fact that by stark contrast participation rates in many Democratic strongholds in Ohio and Florida fell to as low as 8%, do not indicate a rigged election.
...The fact that Bush “won” Ohio by 51-48%, but this was not matched by the court-supervised hand count of the 147,400 absentee and provisional ballots in which Kerry received 54.46% of the vote doesn’t cast any suspicion upon the official tally.
Is any of this getting through? The game is rigged. The deck is stacked. The dice are loaded.
No it's not. It's not over unless you decide it's over. You can keep your keep your head tucked in the sand like a good little ostrich, or you can get involved.
You can cover your ears, eyes and mouth like a no-evil monkey, or you can load for bear.
Get this book.
It will inspire (anger) you to action.
Move into action at the Verified Voting Foundation. There are many other places to get started, but this site is easy to navigate.