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Election Fraud

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Some background re- election fraud

  • snot (880 posts)
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    Some background re- election fraud

    For anyone not already familiar with the research and efforts re- election fraud following the 2004 elections – a lot of it is still worthwhile – I just sent some of the info below to an interested friend, so thought I’d post it here.  It’s admittedly spotty (if you want more, let me know), and who knows how many of the links still work.

    A number of old DU’er’s did a lot of work on this issue, especially after the 2004 elections – looking back in my “folders,” I’m amazed at all we did (i.e., in case you didn’t know, multiple investigations and statistical analyses plus tons of emails and phone calls to our fearless leaders and the media may be necessary ground work; but those alone, even coupled with Conyers’ Congressional inquiry and proposed legislative reform, had ZERO effect – we must be prepared to do MORE.  In fact, the main visible result of our efforts was the Help Americans Vote Act, the main effect of which was to replace more machines with electronic machines that would make electronic manipulation easier.)

    (And again, for anyone who didn’t know, many “1st-world” nations still actually hand-count paper ballots under bi- or multi-partisan supervision!)

    The DU forum in which a lot of old DU’er’s compiled much of this info is at http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topics&forum=203

    ________________

    Some statistical analyses:  http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203×47715

    ________________

    Reported at The Raw Story on Nov 8, statistical study done by former MIT math professor. Title: Odds of Bush gaining by 4 percent in all exit polling states 1 in 50,000; Evoting/paper variance not found to be significant
    Link: http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=405
    Excerpts: …A statistical analysis of exit polling conducted for RAW STORY by a former MIT mathematics professor has found the odds of Bush making an average gain of 4.15 percent among all 16 states included in the media’s 4 p.m. exit polling is 1 in 50,000, or .002 percent…..Anick reasons that there are four possible causes of the “Bush gains.” (1) Significantly greater lying or refusal to speak to pollsters in Bush voters versus Kerry voters; (2) Consistent/systematic errors in weighting demographic groups; (3) A surge of Bush voters after 4 p.m., in all states; (4) Systematic tampering/hacking of reported vote totals, in Bush’s favor.

    Research paper cited today (Nov 11) as a BuzzFlash News Alert, PDF copy of paper posted at Buzzflash. Statisitcal study done by Steven Freeman, MIT PhD on faculty of Univ. of Pennsylvania, studies poll data from OH, PA and FLA. Title: The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy
    Link: http://www.buzzflash.com/alerts/04/11/ale04090.html
    He calculates the odds against the observed exit poll anomalies in these three states as 250,000,000 to one.
    Excerpt from his conclusion: Systematic fraud or mistabulation is a premature conclusion, but the election’s unexplained exit poll discrepancies make it an unavoidable hypothesis, one that is the responsibility of the media, academia, polling agencies, and the public to investigate.

    ________________

    Gentlemen and Ladies:

    If you have not yet had the time personally to review the mounting questions and evidence relating to 2004 election irregularities, I urge you to do so as soon as possible.

    Perhaps you’re aware of a 11/11/04 Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project (VTP) report entitled Voting Machines and the Underestimate of the Bush Vote, purporting to conclude that the statistics do not establish that anything unusual occurred. Below are a few facts about the Caltech study proponents; more details can be found at http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=203&topic_id=48149#49045.

    A. The conclusions of the 11/11/04 Caltech/MIT report are inconsistent with their own prior, 95-page report of 7/01/04, Voting: What Is, What Could Be., which can be found at
    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/nr/2001/VTP_report_all.pdf.

    1) The conclusions of the 11/11/04 Caltech/MIT report are further contradicted by 11/10/04 report, The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy, by Dr. Steven Freeman; see http://www.buzzflash.com/alerts/04/11/ale04090.html. Dr. Freeman is a former MIT professor now at University of Pennsylvania. Unlike the Caltech study, Dr. Freeman’s study utilized exit poll data before it was “corrected” to artificially match reported election results, and also analyzed the unprecedented gaps between exit polls and reported votes w.r.t. to individual swing states. Dr. Freeman’s study concludes that the odds against the gaps in all three of Fla., Ohio and Pennsylvania occurring at the same time to have been 250,000,000 to one.

    B. David Baltimore, president of Caltech, has ties to religious right-wing activist Howard Ahmanson Jr.
    1) Ahmanson bankrolled electronic voting machine companies.
    2) Ahmanson a top donor to Caltech.

    C. Charles M. Vest, president of MIT, has close ties with Bush administration.
    1) MIT had a contract with the Pentagon worth $319 million last year in Bush’s secretive $60 billion antiballistic missile program believed by many to be unworkable. (The program is criticized by, e.g., Dr. Theodore Postol, a prof. of science and national security studies at MIT and a former top Navy science adviser on missile defense during the Reagan administration.)
    2) Dr. Postol accuses Dr. Vest of concealing evidence of criminal violations of federally funded research.
    3) Dr. Vest sits on the White House’s council of science advisors.

    Why are reputable computer scientists so alarmed by the code behind some of the infamous electronic voting machines that have been adopted throughout the country? Diebold just settled in a lawsuit that the state of California brought against them (source: http://www.internetweek.com/breakingNews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=52601461). A group of computer scientists warned against using these systems without a paper trail (source: http://news.com.com/Computer+scientists+slam+e-voting+machines/2110-1028_3-5384946.html?part=rss&tag=5384946&subj=news.1028.20). Can we really afford to turn a blind eye to possibilities of malfunction and corruption?

    Why did Republicans fight so hard in Florida (against U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler) to insist that no “paper-trail” should be required so as to enable a meaningful recount? What is the downside of a recount if you are sure you’ve won? ATM machines can print a receipt, why is it such a big deal for e-voting machines to do it? (source: http://www.sptimes.com/2004/10/16/State/Hood_agrees_to_manual.shtml)

    Why, in White Plains NY, were 22 voting machines missing their seals, or had seals that were damaged? Why did these machines show voting discrepancies under scrutiny, to the point it’s quite possible the results will be overturned? (source: http://www.wnbc.com/politics/3902820/detail.html)

    Why did Warren County election officials order a complete lockdown of the County Administration Building, excluding the media from the building, saying the FBI told them they were a 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10) for threat of a terrorist attack–while the FBI says they were not aware of any increased threat in Warren County? (source: http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041112/EDIT01/411120370/1020/EDIT)

    There are many more unanswered questions involving lost registration applications, lost votes, etc. The video at http://www.Votergate.tv provides a good introduction to the problems known at the time it was made; and others are surfacing daily. These problems cry out for our attention.

    OTHER SITES WITH INFO:

    Greg Palast reports for the BBC: http://www.gregpalast.com

    A good transcript featuring a couple of knowledgeable folks, as of 11/9: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203×39912

    A helpful new site: http://www.independentmediasource.com/evotingfraud.htm

    http://www.blackboxvoting.org, site of Bev Harris, who spearheaded awareness of e-voting insecurity and who is now spearheading massive Freedom of Information Act requests and other investigatory efforts.

    Here is a (second) letter from members of the House Judiciary Committee to the General Accounting Office requesting an official investigation:
    http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/gaoinvestvote2

    Here’s a great place to start looking at the info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._Election_controversies_and_irregularities#Evidence_of_electronic_voting_bias

    A couple of charts:

    Truth: http://www.geocities.com/electionmodel/electionmodel_files/Election2004ExitPolls_15022_image003.png

    Fiction: http://www.geocities.com/electionmodel/electionmodel_files/Election2004ExitPolls_15022_image002.png

    Here are some more interesting tables: http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm <http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm&gt;

    Here’s a good starting point: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1106-30.htm
    “When I spoke with Jeff Fisher this morning (Saturday, November 06, 2004), the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 16th District said he was waiting for the FBI to show up. Fisher has evidence, he says, not only that the Florida election was hacked, but of who hacked it and how. And not just this year, he said, but that these same people had previously hacked the Democratic primary race in 2002 so that Jeb Bush would not have to run against Janet Reno, who presented a real threat to Jeb, but instead against Bill McBride, who Jeb beat.” Etc.
    Jeb beat.” Etc.

    ________________

    Some good people working on this issue as of 2005:

    David Lytel – redefeatbush.com
    Bob Fitrakis – of Columbus
    Harvey Wasserman
    Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of OHIO’S STOLEN ELECTION: VOICES OF THE DISENFRANCHISED, 2004, soon available through http://freepress.org. Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, 1240 Bryden Road, Columbus, Ohio 43205.
    Susan Truitt
    Richard Hayes Phillips – statistical stuff – http://web.northnet.org/minstrel/cuyahoga.htm
    Chuck Herrin – computer expert & “certified ethical hacker”
    Dr. Steven Freeman – prof. at U. Penn, formerly at MIT, who has done statistical analyses of exit polls
    Cliff Arnebeck – [email protected]
    Ronnie Dugger-rduggar123@.aol.com
    John [email protected] – ?

    From http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=203&topic_id=275168:

    Report on NM Election Points to Widespread Problems and Irregularities
    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Did you know that 1 out of 20 votes for President in New Mexico was “lost”?

    Did you know that 1 out of 11 votes of Hispanic citizens in Bernalillo county was “lost”?

    Did you know that 1 out of 16 Native American votes for President was lost in New Mexico?

    Did you know that research shows that the different voting machine types used in New Mexico precincts are correlated with different kinds of voting errors and that New Mexico is planning on spending tens of thousands of dollars to buy new machines before 2006?

    All this and more is included in the detailed and well-documented “A Summary Report on New Mexico State Election Data,” prepared by Ellen Theisen and Warren Steward for http://www.HelpAmericaRecount.org . The report, dated 1/4/95, was released last week at press conferences in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, along with a brief summary of its findings. Click for a pdf file of this amazing and disturbing 12-page report.

    According to the brief summary report

    Analysis of the official New Mexico State election data reveals a pattern of stunning errors and severe irregularities in the election data. Until the paper ballots are examined and the electronic voting data verified, the canvass report certified by the State of New Mexico cannot be regarded as an accurate reflection of the will of the people.

    Other findings include:

    Excessively high numbers of undervotes (ballots with no vote recorded for president) suggest that thousands of votes may not have been counted. For example, none of Dona Ana County’s 207 overseas absentee ballots reported a presidential vote.

    Although only 41% of the state’s voters cast their ballots on push-button electronic voting machines (Shouptronic and Advantage), these machines accounted for 77% of the presidential undervotes, raising doubts about their accuracy.

    Although NM Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron has stated that the auditor they hired to review the election results found nothing amiss, the auditor’s letter says they found 233 errors in the data provided for absentee precincts and that the data compiled by Dona Ana County contained 222 errors. Click for a copy of the Audit letter from Robert J. Rivera, CPA.

    The Green and LIbertarian presidential candidates have filed with the Appeals Court in NM to allow their requested recount to proceed. No action has yet been taken by the court and there has been no word on when they will consider hearing the case.

    Thanks to Sonja Elison for information used in this report, which was presented at the DFA-DFNM Meetup on January 5th. Her organization, New Mexico Democratic Friends, will be spearheading an effort to push for real election reform at the upcoming NM Legislative Session. DFNM will be working with them on this, so keep on eye out on this blog for more information on this effort.

    link
    http://www.democracyfornewmexico.com/democracy_for_new_

    Link with links to videos of many speakers:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=203&topic_id=269980

    An excerpt from another thread:

    “On November 3rd, 2004, who would have thought it possible for a reporter from The Washington Post (in this case, William Raspberry) to write the following words?

    ‘I would like to know if public officials and private citizens did engage in significant and concerted effort to steal the election in the event the wrong person seemed to be winning it. And if so, I’d like to know who the miscreants were, what they did, and what heads are going to roll. Because if all we get are a few hearings and empty promises, it’s a safe bet it’ll happen again.'”

    The News Editor
    The Nashua Advocate
    http://www.nashuaadvocate.blogspot.com/

    Dear ——-, I cannot believe you should not be among those asking these questions, which are of such paramount importance to so many of us that ever since Nov. 2, we have been sacrificing time and energy we should be spending on our jobs, families, sleep, etc., to try to persuade the media and our gov’l reps to please just look at what we the people have found and RAISE THESE QUESTIONS . . .

    ________________
    From http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001336.htm :
    WaPo: ‘Dizzying List of Electoral Problems’ in 2004 Presidential Elections!

    Reported on Page 17.
    Jimmy Carter expresses concern that ‘electoral process’ may be ‘shot through with fraud’

    A not too bad article on yesterday’s Election Reform Commission hearing buried on page 17 of today’s Washington Post. Among the quotes used from Carter and Baker — seemingly taken from their unbroadcast press conference held after the hearing — is this one from Carter:

    “[W]e want to make sure that the electoral process has integrity — that it is not shot through with fraud.”

    …Well, that’s somewhat encouraging to hear. Though a pity that more such discussion did not actually occur in yesterday’s hearings (Live Blogged here).

    We’ve also heard from a reliable source that Carter spoke about “paper ballots” a number of times at that same press conference, and of using them as the counted ballot of record as they are overseas. That’s also encouraging…if true…and if he can climb over the mountain of hard-right Bush/Cheney/GOP partisans and voting machine representatives who comprise and stack the commission against such real reform.

    Also of note from the WaPo article was this little turn o’ phrase:

    Much of the testimony was anecdotal, with many bemoaning the lack of hard evidence that would indicate how widespread the problems are.

    We’re not sure who “many” refers to in the above, nor which “hard evidence” was lacking. We do know that the mountains of existing hard evidence of Election Irregularities from ’04 was not presented at all in yesterday’s hearings, and that John Conyers — who presented 102 pages of same — was not invited to share that evidence with this commission.

    The evidence that was presented, specifically on the strawman argument of “Voter Fraud” and “Voter Registration Fraud” and even “Provisional Voting Fraud” was indeed anectodal, and yet that was the “evidence” that was allowed to be presented to the commission yesterday. We hope that things will change in the next (and presumably last) meeting of the commission, but we are dubious at best.

    The WaPo piece, however, did manage to offer add small bit of refreshing light to the mainstream media blackout on this issue. A few notable passages from the article:

    [T]he first hearing yesterday of the Commission on Federal Election Reform made it clear that the 2004 election was not without problems.

    [T]he academics, advocacy group leaders and politicians invited to testify yesterday provided a dizzying list of electoral problems that might make some wonder how any ballots were counted in November.

    They told of absentee ballots that were never delivered. Of voters who were arbitrarily struck from the rolls. Of confusing and poorly designed ballots. Of long lines at the polls. Of inadequate funds to train poll workers.

    Some complained that polls are frequently inaccessible to wheelchairs. That bilingual assistance is lacking. That there are too few voting machines, especially in minority communities.

    Others asked whether partisan officials ought to be in charge of elections. Whether the country needs a voting holiday to improve turnout. Whether the nation should adopt uniform poll closing times so elections called in the East do not depress turnout in the West. Whether photo identifications ought to be required to vote. And whether to create a “paper trail” for electronic voting machines.

    “Years of inattention and, yes, complacency at all levels of government have given us an election management system that is not up to the task,” said Kay Maxwell, president of the League of Women Voters. “We must look more closely at the next steps that need to be taken to bring our election system back to health.”

    “In the 2004 presidential election, the United States came much closer to electoral meltdown, violence in the streets and constitutional crisis than most people realize,” professor Richard Hasen of Loyola Law School said in his written comments. “Less than a 2 percent swing among Ohio voters — about 100,000 voters — toward Democratic candidate for president John Kerry and away from incumbent Republican President Bush would have placed the Ohio — and national — election for president well within the ‘margin of litigation,’ and it would have gotten ugly very quickly.”

    Hmmm….maybe WaPo would like to begin investigating and reporting to the American people on some of the items in that “dizzying list of electoral problems”? America is still waiting…Perhaps we can bump it up to page 15 when that happens. As we like to say, it’s only democracy at stake.

    From http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=203&topic_id=356725&mesg_id=356725 :

    This syndicated column is available now from the (Chicago) Tribune Media Services syndicate. It will be made available automatically this morning to 200+ newspapers that use this syndicate nationwide. However, any newspaper in the country can obtain this column from the Tribune syndicate and reprint it. . . .

    We all owe Bob Koehler a great deal of gratitude for this hard-hitting piece. He doesn’t mince words — the election was stolen and it is up to us as citizens to do something about it. We were honored to have him in Nashville with us.

    ————————

    THE SILENT SCREAM OF NUMBERS

    By Robert C. Koehler
    Tribune Media Services

    As they slowly hack democracy to death, we’re as alone – we citizens – as we’ve ever been, protected only by the dust-covered cliches of the nation’s founding: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

    It’s time to blow off the dust and start paying the price.

    The media are not on our side. The politicians are not on our side. It’s just us, connecting the dots, fitting the fragments together, crunching the numbers, wanting to know why there were so many irregularities in the last election and why these glitches and dirty tricks and wacko numbers had not just an anti-Kerry but a racist tinge. This is not about partisan politics. It’s more like: “Oh no, this can’t be true.”

    I just got back from what was officially called the National Election Reform Conference, in Nashville, Tenn., an extraordinary pulling together of disparate voting-rights activists – 30 states were represented, 15 red and 15 blue – sponsored by a Nashville group called Gathering To Save Our Democracy. It had the feel of 1775: citizen patriots taking matters into their own hands to reclaim the republic. This was the level of its urgency.

    Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don’t want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener’s eyeballs roll. So let’s not ask that question.

    Let’s simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.

    This, mind you, is just for starters. We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don’t make sense (see, for instance, http://www.northnet.org/minstrel, the Web site of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, lead statistician in the Moss vs. Bush lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results). Indeed, the movement to investigate the 2004 election is led by such people, because the numbers are screaming at them that something is wrong.

    And we might, no, we must, ask – with more seriousness than the media have asked – about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a “shy Republican” factor as the explanation; and the media have bought this evidence-free absurdity because it spares them the need to think about the F-word: fraud.

    And the numbers are still haywire. A few days ago, Terry Neal wrote in the Washington Post about Bush’s inexplicably low approval rating in the latest Gallup poll, 45 percent, vs. a 49 percent disapproval rating. This is, by a huge margin, the worst rating at this point in a president’s second term ever recorded by Gallup, dating back to Truman.

    “What’s wrong with this picture?” asks exit polling expert Jonathan Simon, who pointed these latest numbers out to me. Bush mustered low approval ratings immediately before the election, surged on Election Day, then saw his ratings plunge immediately afterward. Yet Big Media has no curiosity about this anomaly.

    Simon, who spoke at the Nashville conference – one of dozens of speakers to give highly detailed testimony on evidence of fraud and dirty tricks from sea to shining sea – said, “When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death.”

    In contrast to the deathly silence of the media is the silent scream of the numbers. The more you ponder these numbers, and all the accompanying data, the louder that scream grows. Did the people’s choice get thwarted? Were thousands disenfranchised by chaos in the precincts, spurious challenges and uncounted provisional ballots? Were millions disenfranchised by electronic voting fraud on insecure, easily hacked computers? And who is authorized to act if this is so? Who is authorized to care?

    No one, apparently, except average Americans, who want to be able to trust the voting process again, and who want their country back.

    – – –

    Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at [email protected] or visit his Web site at commonwonders.com.

    © 2005 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

    From http://famulus.msnbc.com/famulusgen/reuters04-12-165037.asp?t=renew&vts=41220051903#body :

    Washington state suit wants vote machines opened
    By Reed Stevenson

    SEATTLE, April 12 — An electronic voting machine maker is battling a voter rights advocate in Washington state who wants to force the company to reveal the machines’ software blueprint.

    Paul Lehto, an Everett, Washington, lawyer has filed suit against Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., a privately held company based in Oakland, California, and Snohomish County, where his practice is located, arguing Sequoia’s contract should be voided.
    The lawsuit, filed last week in King County Superior Court, pits the right of a company to guard proprietary information against the public’s need to know how elections are tabulated, Lehto said.
    ”These are entities that are providing the most central governmental function that we have, the counting of the vote,” Lehto said Tuesday. ”If they are not only controlling that process but purporting to own it, then that is a serious problem.”
    Lehto said he began to question the reliability of Snohomish County’s voting system during Washington state’s 2004 governor’s race, which initially gave Republican Dino Rossi a lead over Democrat Christine Gregoire.
    That outcome was reversed after several recounts, putting Gregoire into the governor’s seat vacated by Democrat Gary Locke.
    Snohomish County auditor Bob Terwilliger said that there were no issues with the Sequoia touch-screen systems that the county used last year.
    ”We have had no reason to be concerned,” Terwilliger said, adding that the county had been using the machines since 2002.
    Out of 352,000 registered voters in Snohomish County, 200,000 voted by mail and 96,200 voted in polling locations using Sequoia’s electronic voting machines.
    Alfie Charles, a spokesman for Sequoia, said the underlying code, or software blueprint, for the company’s voting machines was not disclosed because it is considered a trade secret and its release could compromise security.
    ”Electronic voting (machines) performed extremely well. … They provided certainty in ballot results in places where they haven’t had it in the past,” Charles said.
    Charles and Terwilliger said that they had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

    Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

    From http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001318.htm :

    Miami Herald Discusses Clint Curtis, Calls for a Return to Paper Ballots!
    Condemns E-Voting, Outlines a Litany of What Went Wrong in 2004 Election Fiasco!

    The drumbeat of the pro-democracy movement in America (who could have ever imagined there’d be a need for one in this country?!) seems to be growing louder as more and more Mainstream Media folks get into the game!

    Following on the heels of yesterday’s Miami Herald piece about Miami-Dade’s possible return to paper ballots, Herald columnist, Robert Steinback jumps in with a damning condemnation of Electronic Voting today pointing out that, “Nothing is more important, for the world’s pre-eminent democracy, than assuring the sanctity of each vote.”

    Steinbeck goes on to say:

    Worst of all, computer voting machines deny critics, reporters, attorneys general and historians the chance to recheck results — which undermines the confidence any citizen can have in what are billed as free and fair elections.

    Indeed. Clearly there are still a few in the MSM who get it. It may just take them a while to figure it out.

    Moreover, Steinbeck — for the first time that we know of — mentions the Clint Curtis / Tom Feeney vote-rigging scandal in the pages of The Herald, along with a litany of reasons for returning to paper ballots [emphasis added]:

    Paper ballots can be forged or lost, for example, but attempting to swing elections using such methods almost surely requires a team of conspirators, and likely would leave a trail of evidence. With computerized voting machines, a hacked line of code can instantly alter thousands of votes.

    We may never find out what Walden O’Dell, CEO of touch-screen voting machine manufacturer Diebold Inc., meant when he told Republicans in a 2003 fund-raising letter that he was committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [Bush] next year.”

    We may never learn the truth behind the affidavit of computer programmer Clinton Curtis alleging then-Florida Rep. Tom Feeney — now a U.S. congressman — asked the software company for which he worked in 2000 to design an undetectable computer program for flipping touch-screen machine votes.

    We may never know for sure if Nov. 2 exit polls that projected John Kerry winning several states he ultimately lost were themselves biased — or whether they were accurate, exposing tampered election results. The victors, after all, never question the score — or the scoring.

    And tomorrow, The BRAD BLOG has learned, syndicated Tribune Columnist, Robert Koehler will also go on record about the pitfalls of E-Voting, a condemnation of what went wrong in 2004, and some terrific coverage about those of us who are out there trying to fight the good fight to save our endangered democracy…even while the rest of the MSM continues to yawn.

    From http: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0504/S00001.htm :

    Analysis – Vote Counts May Have Been Altered
    Friday, 1 April 2005, 12:40 am
    Press Release: uscountvotes.org

    Scientific Analysis Suggests Presidential Vote Counts May Have Been Altered
    Group of University Professors Urges Investigation of 2004 Election

    http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Exit_Polls_2004_Edison-Mitofsky.pdf
    US Count Votes
    March 31st , 2005

    Officially, President Bush won November’s election by 2.5%, yet exit polls showed Kerry winning by 3% [1] . According to a report to be released today by a group of university statisticians, the odds of a discrepancy this large between the national exit poll and election results happening by accident are close to 1 in a million.

    In other words, by random chance alone, it could not have happened. But it did.

    Two alternatives remain. Either something was wrong with the exit polling, or something was wrong with the vote count.

    Exit polls have been used to verify the integrity of elections in the Ukraine, in Latin America, in Germany, and elsewhere. Yet in November 2004, the U.S. exit poll discrepancy was much more than normal exit poll error (and similar to that of the invalid Ukraine election.[2] )

    In a recent survey of US members of the world’s oldest and largest computer society, The Association for Computing Machinery, 95% opposed software driven un-auditable voting machines [3] , of the type that now count at least 30% of U.S. votes. Today’s electronic vote-counting machines are not required to include basic safeguards that would prevent and detect machine or human caused errors, be they innocent or deliberate. [4]

    The consortium that conducted the presidential exit polls, Edison/Mitofsky, issued a report in January suggesting that the discrepancy between election results and exit polls occurred because Bush voters were more reticent than Kerry voters in response to pollsters.

    The authors of this newly released scientific study “Analysis of the 2004 Presidential Election Poll Discrepancies” consider this “reluctant Bush responder” hypothesis to be highly implausible, based on extensive analysis of Edison/Mitofsky’s exit poll data. They conclude, /“The required pattern of exit poll participation by Kerry and Bush voters to satisfy the exit poll data defies empirical experience and common sense under any assumed scenario.”/

    A state-by-state analysis of the discrepancy between exit polls and official election results shows highly improbable skewing of the election results, overwhelmingly biased towards the President.

    The report concludes, “ We believe that the absence of any statistically-plausible explanation for the discrepancy between Edison/Mitofsky’s exit poll data and the official presidential vote tally is an unanswered question of vital national importance that needs thorough investigation.”

    Ph.D. statisticians in America who have seen this group’s preliminary exit poll study have not refuted it. This new study is a much more comprehensive an analysis of the exit poll discrepancies.

    The report is available on-line:

    http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Exit_Polls_2004_Edison-Mitofsky.pdf

    An executive summary of the report by is available at:

    http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Exit_Polls_summary.pdf

    *Contributors and Supporters of the Report include:*

    *Josh Mitteldorf*, PhD – Temple University Statistics Department

    *Steven F. Freeman*, PhD – Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania

    *Brian Joiner*, PhD – Prof. of Statistics (ret) University of Wisconsin

    *Frank Stenger*, PhD – Professor, School of Computing, University of Utah

    *Richard G. Sheehan*, PhD -Professor, Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame

    *Paul F. Velleman*, PhD – Associate Prof., Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University

    *Victoria Lovegren*, PhD – Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University

    *Campbell** B. Read*, PhD – Prof. Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University

    *Jonathan Simon*, J.D., National Ballot Integrity Project

    *Ron Baiman, *PhD* *– Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago

    *************

    *About US Count Votes*

    US Count Votes is a Utah non-profit corporation. It is seeking financial support to complete its “National Election Data Archive” project. The goal of the project is to apply statistical and analytic methods to investigate the integrity of the 2004 elections and to provide for timely verification of the integrity of future elections..

    For further information: contact Bruce O’Dell, Vice President, US Count Votes

    Email: [email protected]

    or visit http://www.electionarchive.org

    NOTES:
    [1] “Evaluation of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004” prepared by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool (NEP) Jan. 19, 2005

    [2] In the November 21 runoff, Ukraine’s official vote count had Prime Minister Yanukovych the winner by 2.7%. Two exit polls showed him losing by 8% and 2%, respectively. Thus, the discrepancy was between 10.7% and 4.7%. In the US, the discrepancy was between 6.5% and 5.5%. See http://www.templetonthorp.com/ru/news808 and http://www.indybay.org/archives/archive_by_id.php?id=2669&category_id=44.

    [3] http://www.acm.org/usacm/weblog/index.php?p=73

    [4] http://uscountvotes.net/voting_machines/Best_Practices_US.pdf

    From http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=20738&mode=nested&order=0 :

    Diane Perlman: ‘Psychological resistance to facing election fraud’
    Contributed by FayWray on Saturday, April 16 @ 08:36:34 EDT
    This article has been read 3486 times.
    The Silence of the Scams

    By Diane Perlman, Newtopia Magazine

    Few Americans know about the historic event that happened on January 6, 2005, the official date for counting electoral votes. For the first time since 1877, congressmembers challenged the electoral count. Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio, accompanied by the lone senator, Barbara Boxer of California, led the challenge of the Ohio vote count. Although massive fraud was reported around the country, only Ohio was officially cited.

    It is curious that an issue so profound and consequential is barely on the radar screens of most Americans, especially those who voted for Kerry.

    Though we are not certain of the actual outcome, statistically impossible discrepancies exist between results of exit polls and official counts in counties without paper trails. Also documented are patterns of anecdotes about corrupted procedures and accounts of strange behaviors, phenomena and illegal interventions in Ohio as well as other places. Many say there is fraud in every election, but there was far more in 2004 than in any previous year, and if the errors were random, about half would go in Kerry’s favor. Virtually all went in Bush’s favor.

    But rather than demanding a thorough investigation, the American people seem eager to forget the incidents and put the election behind them, thus implicitly supporting such corruption.

    A Political Psychological Puzzlement
    Under what conditions do millions of allegedly “free” people knowingly acquiesce to being deceived, dominated and deprived of their own political will? How is it that even those who were politically engaged for the first time resign themselves to an unjust fate, refusing even to consider what happened to our country? Why do progressive citizens actively dismiss and even malign a small group of courageous, devoted people working day and night on their behalf to uncover, calculate, analyze, and evaluate the extensive, varied forms of criminal sabotage that undermined their democracy? How are Americans becoming complacent with escalating fraudulent activity? In other words, how do so many people live with the knowledge that they have been tricked before, were just tricked again–and then submit to life under the power of those who tricked them?

    Why were hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians out for days in the freezing cold, refusing to accept fraud, while Americans are helplessly colluding with forces of domination? Granted, we face a conspiracy of silence in the media, a propaganda campaign discrediting exit polls (which are accurate in counties with paper trails and other countries), and a dismissal of those who challenge the vote as nuts, sore losers and “conspiracy theorists.” Censorship, brainwashing and intimidation create an environment of passivity and fear in subtle yet powerful ways that keep the system going with the complicity of those who have been robbed.

    We must wonder what is going on in the collective psyche that allows the systematic and progressive usurpation of power.
    The Dance of Domination
    The psychology of electoral domination has two parts–what is being done to people and how they allow it.

    Psychological techniques, used deliberately, allow many tricks to go unnoticed and unchallenged. For example, “mystification” is a plausible misrepresentation of reality in which forms of exploitation are presented as forms of benevolence. Like magic and the use of distraction, the issue of voting reform was manipulated and misrepresented, so people felt calmed by the illusion that the problems are being corrected. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Elements of the Help America Vote Act, HAVA (a name as Orwellian as the Clear Skies Initiative, more accurately should be called “Hide America’s Voting Anomalies”), includes intrusive identity checks, the introduction of the “provisional ballot” most of which were not counted, and the use of electronic voting machines. Each of these was brilliantly misused for the opposite intention–to corrupt and deny votes to Kerry in ways people wouldn’t notice.

    The subterfuge was successfully accomplished with use of censorship, illusion, distortion, brainwashing, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, mystification, intimidation, shaming, and domination. As Bush might say, it was a “catastrophic success.”

    These techniques combine to form something like a collective hypnotic induction, which creates an illusion of a consensus that cannot be challenged. Few have the insight, training or tools to see through the manipulation. Even fewer have the courage to take on the challenge. For many, responses to domination may include learned helplessness, psychic numbing, fear, cowardice, conformity, denial, cognitive laziness, disbelief, avoidance, and submission to authority. These items are inter-related and the lists are not exhaustive.

    Before the psychological explanations, it is necessary to acknowledge a basic factor: the overwhelming ignorance of the facts that most Americans have(though subliminal awareness and lack of desire to know the facts can exacerbate this). Of course if the facts were accurately reported in the mainstream media, the collective psychological climate would be conducive to a healthier public response. People accept fraud for reasons which may be conscious or unconscious. Some of the ways that they do this are described below.
    Confusing Outcome with Process
    Many don’t want to deal with the corruption because they believe that challenging fraud won’t change the outcome, so there’s no point. This might be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It represents a kind of immature, black-and-white thinking, as the outcome is a separate issue from the process. Even if it doesn’t affect the outcome, voter suppression is criminal.

    Paradoxically, refusal to examine the process prevents discovery, which might change the outcome. The Ohio vote challenge required two-hour debates in the House and Senate. Most Democrats who supported the challenge, emphatically stated that they didn’t expect it to change the outcome, as if they were intimidated into making that point first or they would be ridiculed and dismissed. Most Republicans ignored their actual words and made emotional, even hysterical accusations of them not accepting the outcome, being sore losers, and worse. Republicans ignored the issue of voter suppression and praised Kerry highly for not making a big deal out of this.
    Numbers, Imagery and Perceptions
    People believe that Bush won by 3,500,000 votes–a margin too large to challenge, compared to Gore’s 500,000. They are not aware of the long list of dirty tricks, and knowing of one or two, don’t believe they can add up to 3,500,000. To bring the popular vote to a tie, it only has to add up to half that, 1,750,000, or an average of 35,000 votes per state, Correcting for Ohio’s fraud could change the electoral vote. People may believe subliminally that even if Ohio went to Kerry, the difference in the popular vote is too great. The report of the Conyers Committee may be the best single summary that we have at this time to suggest estimates of the numbers affected.
    Discomfort with Numbers
    The best evidence for fraud in the 2004 election is statistical, according to Josh Mitteldorf of Temple University’s Statistics Department. Many are uncomfortable with numerical and statistical science that quantifies judgments about likelihood. For example, statistician Dr. Steve Friedman of University of Pennsylvania, and graduate of MIT found that the discrepancy between exit polls and the actual vote count in each of three states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is 1 in 1,000,000, but the likelihood of all three states being discrepant in the same direction is 1 in 250,000,000. What people heard in the news was a smear campaign invalidating the credibility of exit polls, even though they are considered highly accurate, are used in many countries as indicators of fraud, and that exit polls in counties with a paper trail matched the official vote count, and in counties where there was no paper trail and evidence of computer irregularities, the official count was different than the exit polls and always favored Bush. They even made up fake reasons for this discrepancy regarding response bias–which did not exist where there were paper trails.
    Disbelief

    Many people don’t believe the allegations of fraud because they didn’t read about it in the New York Times or hear it on CNN. (The only mainstream media to report it was Keith Olberman on Countdown, MSNBC.) We might wonder about the media censorship on this story and intentions to promote disbelief in the populous, in addition to ignorance.

    Conformity and Herd Mentality
    Because of the media blackout, ignorance, and emotional tone of reporting, Americans have a false perception of consensus about objective reality. The majority conforms to this misperception and most do not have the psychological make-up to challenge the status quo. The few that are courageously addressing this are not heard, or else they are severely shamed, ridiculed and viciously accused of causing problems. Thus, even the thought of questioning is suppressed.
    Learned Helplessness
    Psychologist Martin Seligman’s theory of learned helplessness explains how when one’s repeated actions have no effect, people learn that what they do doesn’t make a difference and give up, even in situations where they can potentially make a difference. People worked hard on this election and believe that they lost. They are burned out. They feel all their hard work, time, energy and money didn’t help so they don’t want to deal with it. Learned helplessness is also associated with elevation of levels of cortisol and immune suppression–suggesting it is ultimately not adaptive or healthy to give up. Conversely, taking action in the face of injustice is a sign of health, enhanced immune response and can be an antidote to depression.
    Cowardice
    It is reasonable to fear sticking one’s neck out and challenging the powers that be. There may be legitimate reasons to be afraid of individual action, but this becomes part of the problem and rewards domination. As long as people remain silent and isolated from one another, we don’t realize the safety implicit in concerted collective action. The safety in numbers can reduce fear.
    Denial and Psychic Numbing
    We are comforted with the belief that our leaders are good people who are protecting us. Many decent, well-meaning people believe the best about our system of government and democracy and can’t believe that corruption is going on. It is frightening, unsettling, and intolerable for many Americans to question these core beliefs about our leaders and to accept the reality of extensive fraud. Also, ignorance is bliss, but for the moment, and knowledge implies responsibility, which may be feared and avoided.

    Denial and numbing–not knowing and not feeling–protect us from this painful awareness in the present, but they cannot protect us from the real effects of these hidden realities which render us vulnerable to increasing domination and danger in the long term.

    If one is in an impossible situation, these habits serve as survival mechanisms to avoid the pain of awareness. However, if one can do something to make a difference, then psychic numbing and denial are maladaptive.
    Submission to Authority
    The thought of challenging powerful, dominating authority with the prospect of losing is overwhelming. Increasing authoritarianism reinforces this dynamic in gradual, subtle ways. Some may also be afraid of challenging a president during a war and falsely believe it will harm national security.
    Political Egocentrism
    Many feel that there is no action that they can personally take on this level. It is too big for them, so they don’t even seek out information or support or value the work that others are doing on their behalf.
    Avoidance and Compartmentalization
    People want to retreat, to focus on their own survival, family, daily life and pleasure, which are manageable. They are less focused on the scary bigger picture. This is completely understandable and even enviable. Furthermore, those struggling with high unemployment, lower wages, and other hardships created by the Bush administration are too preoccupied with their survival issues to pay attention to politics. In this way, disempowerment of certain segments of the population works to the administration’s advantage.
    Evolution, Adaptation and Survival
    All of these reactions are understandable, but all are part of the problem. In the short run, they may minimize pain, but in the long run they are counterproductive and serve to magnify and multiply problems that are not being faced. Such avoidance mechanisms are not adaptive, as they play into the game of the destructive forces, allowing them to dominate. The continuation of the processes of systematic domination requires the ignorance, passivity and complicity of the majority of decent people, including the millions who supported Kerry. These people are colluding with their own domination.
    The Courageous Minority
    The reactions listed above are completely natural. Carl Jung said that consciousness is a work against nature. To go against the collective tide of ignorance, conformity and cowardice is a work against nature taken on by the courageous few. This collective, archetypal drama described by Jung was popularized by Joseph Campbell in The Hero’s Journey. The Hero is the one who is willing to take on challenges that most people fear. According to Jung, the hero archetype represents the progressive force in society.

    The people I have witnessed working intensely to investigate and challenge voter fraud, have a particular psychological profile. They are courageous and willing to face pain and fear. They call up their strength to challenge authority, as our lives, our freedom and democracy depend on it. They are unable to deny what is going on or remain silent. They are the heroes, in our mythical, archetypal Hero’s journey, willing to face the dragons who are guarding our “National Treasure.”

    They are acknowledged in a piece by William Rivers Pitt called “Heroes” on Truthout.org. Pitt quotes Bob Dylan: “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

    Only by facing the pain can we transcend it. Consciousness is the first step. Action is an antidote to depression. It would be a sign of health, freedom, and conscious evolution if more people could muster up the courage to face the painful truth of what is happening in our country and support the great work of those courageous souls–who are not nuts or conspiracy theorists, but evolved, conscious, healthy leaders taking personal risks and sacrifices to elevate our democracy, restore our integrity and ultimately to increase our security on the world stage … if we let them.

    *****************
    Some Links for Detailed Accounts of Voter FraudFor a proper psychological understanding of suppression, it is necessary to recognize the quantity and quality of information being suppressed. The extent of fraud and ignorance of it are mind-boggling. Below are some links with detailed information.

    Links for detailed information about voter fraud http://www.auditthevote.org/briefing.jsp

    A Guide to Ohio and New Mexico Recounts: Statistical Anomalies and Evidence of Voting Machine Malfunction and Fraud in the 2004 Presidential Election January 5, 2005

    By: Audit the Vote and Help America Recount

    http://www.helpamericarecount.org/election.html
    Analysis of 2004 Election Irregularities

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/123004B.shtml
    TV Networks Officially Refuse to Release Exit Poll Raw Data
    By Gary Beckwith, The Columbus Free Press, 22 December 2004

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0103-32.htm
    Thom Hartmann in “Dialing for Democracy–Now Is Critical January 3, 2005, CommonDreams.org

    http://nightweed.com/usavotefacts.html
    20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

    http://www.votersunite.org/info/mapflyer2004.htm
    Partial list of incidents reported in the news

    http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2005/1065
    by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman

    © Newtopia Magazine

    Reprinted from Newtopia Magazine:
    http://www.newtopiamagazine.net/modules.php?
    op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=12

    ________________

    The Wikipedia page as of Nov. 12, 2004:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._Election_controversies_and_irregularities#Evidence_of_electronic_voting_bias

    2004 U.S. Election controversies and irregularities

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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    After the U.S. presidential election on November 2, 2004, some pro-Kerry sources have made allegations that data irregularities and systematic flaws occurred during the election. The overall official result of the election is not at this time being challenged by the U.S. Senator John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, who is the only possible winner if the unofficial results change. This is however not relevant to the US electoral process in which the Electoral College not the candidate has the final say, and which may ‘draft’ him even unwillingly to serve unless he actually refuses, in which case they may select John Edwards as President.

    At the moment any change in the result of the election highly unlikly due to that fact that Bush’s margin of victory was greater than the number of alleged fraudulent votes. However, some people and groups (including the media, independent candidate Ralph Nader, Kerry’s brother and legal advisor Cameron Kerry, members of the House Judiciary Committee, and many Democratic groups) are currently analyzing the available data.

    Dan Hoffheimer , the statewide counsel for the Kerry campaign, has said the Kerry campaign is not trying to challenge the election. “We’re not expecting to change the outcome of the election,” Hoffheimer said.

    No comprehensive analyses have yet been produced, but there is a large volume of both primary and secondary data, and preliminary analyses, reports and observations have been made by a variety of commentators ranging from computer scientists to voting rights organizations, and many others. One preliminary attempt to analyze the issue from Caltech concluded that “there is no evidence, based on exit polls, that electronic voting machines were used to steal the 2004 election for President Bush.” However, this analysis used exit polls that had been weighted by the final vote count, thereby assuming the conclusion.

    One part of the controversy are electronic and optical-scan voting machines, which were used in greater numbers than before as a result of concerns over the reliability of manual machines raised during the 2000 election. Other reported problems relate to abnormally high voter turnout (more votes in many precincts than registered voters in said precincts), discrepancies between exit poll data and actual results especially in swing states and the complications which arose due to long lines; particularly in high-population areas and in closely contested states.

    Contents [hide]

    1 Key issues
    2 Voting machines

    2.1 Voting machine companies with partisan ties to political parties
    2.2 Other criticisms of Diebold’s voting machines
    2.3 Evidence of electronic voting bias
    2.4 Expert testimony on quality of current voting machines
    3 List of complaints
    4 Charts, Graphs and Statistics

    4.1 Result Plots – Florida
    4.2 Exit Polls

    4.2.1 Discrepancies Map
    4.2.2 Exit Polls vs. Machine Tallies, by State (9 States)
    4.2.3 Misrepresentation of exit poll data
    5 Vote Suppression

    5.1 Long Lines
    6 Minorities
    7 Formal proceedings
    8 Official viewpoints and responses

    8.1 Republican Party
    8.2 Democratic Party
    8.3 U.S. media
    8.4 Overseas
    9 Other sources compiling this information
    10 External links
    11 News articles

    11.1 General
    12 Headline text

    Key issues
    ? Electronic touch screen voting machines. The reliability and accuracy has not been established, and in most cases they were not designed with a paper trail or auditability in mind. Many computer scientists have claimed the potential of these machines to be tampered with was high, citing such possibilities as the machines being reprogrammed on election day. The election incident reporting system (EIRS ) has recieved many reports from voters and election officials of votes for Kerry being recorded as votes for Bush. The fact that the CEO of one electronic voting machine company was quoted in 2003 as saying he wanted to “deliver” the next election for Bush has further fuelled suspicions of fraud.
    ? Problems with non-electronic voting machines. In some counties there are larger statistical discrepancies than electronic voting machines. See below.
    ? Voter suppression, intimidation, lost ballots, efforts to discredit citizens that may be validly registered. This has the aim of reducing turn out for people believed to support the other side.
    ? Significant disagreement between exit poll data and actual results, especially in swing states (apparently not matched by similar discrepancies in most non-swing states or other election matters).
    ? Significant disagreement between party affiliation registration statistics for counties and results for that county, especially in swing states. For example, in one Florida county that has 77 percent registered Democrats, Bush received 77 percent of the vote.
    ? (7) An comprehensive article here discusses both voting machine and other means by which voter suppression occurred.

    Voting machines

    In many cases there were concerns as to whether votes were fairly, reliably, and accurately recorded and reported by the electronic machines involved. The charts below demonstrate this.

    Above are maps of electronic voting machine incidents reported to the EIRS. On the left are county maps of Florida and Ohio, showing the Democratic-voting counties in shades of blue proportional to the population, and on the right are maps with the machine incidents in yellow, orange, and red. Note that most Democratic-voting counties traditionally have more voters and voting machines, and thus are statistically more likely to encounter a problem. Also, electronic voting machines were primarily placed in Democratic counties.

    Voting machine companies with partisan ties to political parties

    In 2003 Wally O’Dell CEO of Diebold said in a letter to Ohio Republican officials that he was committed, “to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President”. [1] However, Punch card voting took place in 68 of Ohio’s 88 counties, including three of the four most populous — the counties which include Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati.[2] Diebold is the company which makes electronic touch screen voting machines used in Ohio and other states, most significantly Florida. Ohio and Florida were two of the “swing” states critical to the 2004 election.

    Diebold’s political ties are not limited to Republicans. [3] “Diebold’s election-systems division is run by a registered Democrat” and Mark Radke (Director of Marketing for Diebold Election Systems) “has an exclusive Democratic donation history”…”including the legal limit of $2000 to John Kerry in the recent campaign”.

    Chuck Hagel, the previous chairman of ES&S, another major manufacturer of voting machines and still a $1m stock-holder in McCarthy & Co which owns a quarter of ES&S, became a Republican candidate. Hagel’s Democratic opponent made a formal protest to the state of Nebraska over the conflict of interest.

    Other criticisms of Diebold’s voting machines
    ? Unreported faults and problems known to manufacturer
    Oct. 27, 2004 — The state of California has ordered that 15,000 brand new touch-screen voting machines not be used in next week’s presidential election. These electronic machines were manufactured by Diebold Inc., a North Canton, Ohio-based company that also specializes in automated teller machines and electronic security.
    “Of course we would have wished the situation would not have happened, but it did,” Rapke told ABC News. “There was back up available. But again, with additional familiarity with the system, again, this problem would not have happened.” But a former Diebold technical worker, James Dunn, told ABC News the company was aware of the software and electronic problems before the election, and never reported them. “The machine would lock up or lose its software load. A very uncommon thing and not a good thing,” said Dunn. “And once that machine’s locked up you’re unable to produce voter cards, which means you’re unable to open the election voting machine and people can’t vote. But they shipped it anyway.”
    ? Poor security against hacking and other electronic fraud
    The same source also claims that “Experts have raised questions about the machines’ security features, which some say can be easily defeated, making it possible to manipulate the actual vote count.
    “In all of my consulting work and all of my work in industry I’ve never seen a system that I thought was this vulnerable to abuse,” said Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, who, along with other security experts, analyzed Diebold’s source code for the electronic voting machines.”

    In at least one case it appears a voting machine was hacked during a primary election in King County Washington and a warning was issued to disconnect all voting machines from the internet. But this would not prevent the effects of hacking totally [4] .
    ? Recent historical voting anomalies
    March 5, 2004 : “Harris has also posted a post-mortem [of the 2000 election] by CBS detailing how the network managed to call Volusia County for Bush early in the morning. The report states: “Had it not been for these [computer] errors, the CBS News call for Bush at 2:17:52 AM would not have been made.” As Harris notes, the 20,000-vote error shifted the momentum of the news reporting and nearly led Gore to concede.
    What’s particularly troubling, Harris says, is that the errors were caught only because an alert poll monitor noticed Gore’s vote count going down through the evening, which of course is impossible. Diebold blamed the bizarre swing on a “faulty memory chip,” which Harris claims is simply not credible. The whole episode, she contends, could easily have been consciously programmed by someone with a partisan agenda. Such claims might seem far-fetched, were it not for the fact that a cadre of computer scientists showed a year ago that the software running Diebold’s new machines can be hacked with relative ease. The hackers posted some 13,000 pages of internal documents on various web sites — documents that were pounced on by Harris and others. A desperate Diebold went to court to stop this “wholesale reproduction” of company material.”
    (Sources for this section: 1) ABC News [5] and 2) [6] )
    Voting Machine problems (including Diebold): Electronic voting#Problems with electronic voting

    Evidence of electronic voting bias

    Note: As with all statistics, it is very important to consider other causes of apparent anomalies, and to provide verifiable and neutral source data that can be checked in a neutral way by third parties. All the information and sources below appear prima facie to be statistically reasonable in terms of both analysis and assumptions, and to be based upon verifiable public data.

    (1) An analysis of Florida counties with 80,000 – 500,000 registered voters concluded (with a few caveats of a usual kind) that machine type (E-Touch vs Op-Scan) was a “significant predictor” of vote at the p < 0.001 level (less than one chance in a thousand of this degree of anomaly happening by chance) [7] [8] [9] Source data and calculations [10] .

    (2) One thread on the “democraticunderground” website discusses Gahanna, Franklin Co. Ohio. The vote reported by the county in Gahanna precinct 1-B was 4,258 Bush, 260 Kerry, and the total votes cast in Gahanna overall were 20,736. However:
    ? Gahanna has some 20,000 people elegible to vote and the reported turnout was around 70%. On a casual reckoning approximately 14,000 people voted, and yet nearly 21,000 votes were reported by voting machines.
    ? 4,258 Republican votes were electronically reported for Bush in Gahanna 1-B. But there were only 638 votes cast in the precinct. Furthermore the 3,893 extra individuals who are said to have queued to vote for Bush, and were therefore presumably Republican, did not appear to vote on any other matter bar the Presidency. (These other matters included the Senate race, County Commissioner, several County and State officials, and the infamous Gay Unions vote, issues of great importance in the election.)

    Source: [11] , source data from govt website pdf

    (3) An analysis reported in the New Zealand press looks at the differences between exit polls and reported voting in more detail. It identifies that in a selection of non-swing states, the exit polls and final results match. However in a large proportion of what were identified before the election as key swing states (Wisconsin, Pennysylvania, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, etc.), the exit polls and final votes do not match.

    The error was in each case a statistically anomalous and electorally critical 4 – 15% swing (change between exit polls and electronic voting) and furthermore the anomalies were not random. In each of the above swing states, this variation between what voters said they voted and what the machines reported was in favour of Mr. Bush. Source [12] , article discussing here , graphs here .

    (4) An interesting article comments that:
    ? Exit polls into the evening of Nov. 2 actually showed Kerry rolling to a clear victory nationally and carrying most of the battleground states, including Florida and Ohio, whose totals would have ensured Kerry’s victory in the Electoral College.
    ? The exit polls covered both the Presidential and Senate races. The votes reported by voting machines for the Senate races were in line with the exit polls for the Senate race, however the votes reported by the same voting machines for the Presidency often significant disagreed with the exit polls for the Presidency.
    ? It also comments that “Democratic suspicions also were raised by Republican resistance to implementing any meaningful backup system for checking the results on Diebold and other electronic-voting machines.”

    (5) There were additional reports of significantly large data irregularities with the “optical scan” type voting machines in at least Florida. In one county using optical scan voting machines for example, election records showed 77% registered democrats but Bush received 77% of the vote.

    (6) Wired News has examined this issue and reports that, “…according to academics, the internet pundits are reading the data out of context. Demographic figures and vote trends over several years show the numbers to be consistent with previous elections. According to University of California at Berkeley political scientist Henry Brady, the Republican vote share has been going up in Florida’s rural optical-scan counties for years.”

    Wired further reports that, “[t]hree professors of government also examined the numbers after being pressured by many people, including lawyers for the Democratic Party, and concluded the same thing.

    Expert testimony on quality of current voting machines

    (1) Testimony of Dr. Aviel D. Rubin to U.S. Federal Election Assistance Commission, on Electronic Voting Systems, May 2004:

    (Witness credentials: Professor of Computer Science, Technical Director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University, served on SERVE security peer review group for Dept. of Defense, member of National Committee on Voting Integrity, and 2004 election judge in local county)
    ? There is no way for voters to verify that their votes were recorded correctly.
    ? There is no way to publicly count the votes.
    ? In the case of a controversial election, meaningful recounts are impossible.
    ? With respect to the Diebold Accuvote TS and TSx, we found gross design and programming errors, as outlined in our attached report. The current certification process resulted in these machines being approved for use and being used in elections.
    ? We do not know if the machines from other vendors are as bad as the Diebold ones because they have not made their systems available for analysis.
    “On the spectrum of terrible to very good, we are sitting at terrible. Not only have the vendors not implemented security safeguards that are possible, they have not even correctly implemented the ones that are easy. If I had more time I would debunk the myth of the security of the so-called triple redundancy in the Diebold machines. I would explain the limitations of logic and accuracy testing in an adversarial setting, I would explain how easy it would be for a malicious programmer to rig the election with today’s DREs [voting machines], and I would describe the seriousness of the security flaws that we and others have found in the Diebold machines. These are all things that I could have done and would have been happy to do, before anybody started purchasing and using these DREs. But nobody asked.”
    “Since our study came out, three other major studies … all cited serious security vulnerabilities in DREs. RABA, which is closely allied with the National Security Agency, called for a “pervasive rewrite” of Diebold’s code. Yet, the vendors, and many election officials … continue to insist that the machines are perfectly secure. I cannot fathom the basis for their claims. I do not know of a single computer security expert who would testify that these machines are secure. I personally know dozens of computer security experts who would testify that they are not.”
    (Source: [13] )

    List of complaints
    ? The Election Protection Coalition received a total of 32 reports of touch-screen voters who selected one candidate only to have another show up on the summary screen. [14] While some spotted this, there are fears that most may not have. There were numerous reports of voting machines doing this all day but nonetheless being used all day. [59] [60] [61]
    (Anecdotally from websites, a common theme on this topic seems to be that claims of vote mis-statement are more often made by people who voted for Kerry but the vote showed for Bush. It’s not clear whether were this to be studied, it would turn out to be urban myth or verified fact)
    ? Machines are supposed to not lose votes in a power outage. Voters cannot tell whether vote integrity was in fact maintained as intended when power goes down, as happened at least in one polling station (Dekalb Co. GA, 15 minutes powerout) [15]
    ? Machines are not robust against error [16] and [17]
    A minor abberation: At least one machine began counting back down to zero when it reached 32000 votes; manufacturers ES&S are said to have known about (but not rectified) this issue for two years since the same problem had arisen in a previous mayoral election. (Broward Co., FL) [18]
    (Also some machines malfunctioned and demo machines were used instead, hastily programmed to replace them. It is not clear to those who voted who did this or what was involved in this “programming” [19] )
    ? Machines do not always produce an audit trail—that is, if there is a doubt as to whether the machine has accurately represented and counted votes, there may not always be a way to neutrally verify the stated result. [20]
    ? Machines do not have “open” software, so it has not been generally possible for people to confirm that the software does not mis-state votes periodically.
    ? Unexplained 3 hour gap in electronic voting machine security audit records intended to confirm no hacking has taken place (King Co., WA.)
    ? Discrepancies in claimed totals of provisional ballots (Ohio)
    ? “Votes” present in at least one electronic voting machine before polls opened
    ? Unless exceptionally well designed, computers can be “hacked” and manipulated in an undetectable manner by experts.
    ? Other sources of lost data include hard drive crashes, inappropriate deletion, and the like, including, when audit trails are kept, failure for the totals to match the tally of votes as reported by machines [21] .

    Voting fraud is also both possible and hard to prove with some versions of electronic voting machines.
    Sample source: “Experts said the company designed the machines and software so that vote totals could easily be altered without leaving a trace. Losing candidates in one race charged that when the computer acted up on election night, a CES employee inserted control cards into the machine. The plaintiffs sued to retrieve the source code, and the court, for once, consented. When computer experts examined the software, they determined that CES had changed the computer’s instructions for tallying votes on election night. But because the program lacked adequate auditing mechanisms to track the nature of those changes, no one could determine if the company had rigged the election.” [22] for this and similar stories.

    Charts, Graphs and Statistics

    Result Plots – Florida

    See http://www.ustogether.org/election04/florida_vote_patt.htm

    Exit Polls

    Exit polls have been used successfully in other countries to determine election fraud. [23] Because final published exit polls in America are matched to vote counts, they cannot be used to determine election fraud. However, in the 2004 election, pre-matched exit polls were leaked onto the internet. The exit poll results of one major consortium of news organizations, the National Election Pool (“NEP”), were based on interviews with voters in 49 states (omitting Oregon because its system of voting by mail eliminated the traditional polling place). The NEP results available during the day on Election Day showed Kerry leading Bush. These discrepancies led to charges that the exit polls were more accurate than the official counts, for various reasons. The co-director of NEP, Warren Mitofsky, said he suspected that the difference arose because “the Kerry voters were more anxious to participate in our exit polls than the Bush voters.” [24]

    Discrepancies Map

    Voting locations that used electronic or other types of voting machines that did not issue a paper receipt or offer auditability correlate geographically with areas that had discrepancies in Bush’s favor between exit poll numbers and actual results. Exit polling data in these areas show significantly higher support for Kerry than actual results (potentially outside the margin of error). From a statistical perspective, this may be indicative of vote rigging, because the likelihood of this happening by chance is extremely low. A study of 16 states by a former MIT mathematics professor places the likelihood at 1 in 50,000. [25]

    Exit Polls vs. Machine Tallies, by State (9 States)

    Supporting the same conclusions of the maps above, here are bar graphs indicating the differentials between Exit Polls and Machine Tallies for nine e-voting and paper ballot states. The discrepancies appear to affect the e-voting states to a significantly greater degree than they affect the Paper Ballot states.

    Source and background discussion are listed here: http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00000893.htm

    Source data and analysis: http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm http://ustogether.org/election04/mitteldorf/Liddle.htm

    Corroborating Data and Analysis: [26]

    Misrepresentation of exit poll data

    The following tables compare final exit poll data with penultimate exit poll data, note the large swing of support towards Bush, with Kerry losing votes, which is impossible if votes are only being added. National Election Pool, the consortium which conducts exit polls, has stated that the early data was inaccurate due to regulations preventing pollsters from approaching voters, barriers, (neither of which would skew the data) and the alleged perception that Democrats are more willing to answer exit polls. The consortium dismissed the possibility that their early exit poll was accurate and that vote counts were wrong, but did not provide any reasoning for this assessment. The early exit poll data was not meant to be released to the public. The data that was meant to be released to the public was intended to be weighted by the actual vote count. Exit polling companies claim this is standard procedure. Critics argue exit poll data should never be weighted by final results and have requested access to the raw data.

    Direct link to screenshots and data: CNN website 12.21am CNN website 1.41am

    CNN screenshot #1:

    12.21 am, 1963 respondents so far

    Total vote: Male 47% , Female 53% of which:

    Male – Bush
    47% x 49% x 1963
    452

    Male – Kerry
    47% x 51% x 1963
    471

    Female – Bush
    53% x 47% x 1963
    489

    Female – Kerry
    53% x 53% x 1963
    551

    TOTAL – Bush
    941

    TOTAL – Kerry
    1022
    (rounding: estimates of voters in each category accurate within +/- 10)

    CNN screenshot #2:

    1.41 am, 2020 respondents so far (57 more than above)

    Total vote: Male 47% , Female 53% of which:

    Male – Bush
    47% x 52% x 2020
    499

    Male – Kerry
    47% x 47% x 2020
    451

    Female – Bush
    53% x 50% x 2020
    535

    Female – Kerry
    53% x 50% x 2020
    535

    TOTAL – Bush
    1034

    TOTAL – Kerry
    986
    (rounding: estimates of voters in each category accurate within +/- 10)

    The addition of an extra 57 voters at this station was therefore reported as +93 votes for Bush by AP and CNN at least, and voters monitoring the exit polls were told authoritatively that Bush had now taken a lead from Kerry.

    Note that the counts for Kerry under Male voters changed in a negative direction after additional voters were included. The net subtraction of 20 votes from the Kerry total after adding new voters seems to reflect an adjustment process.

    Vote Suppression

    Long Lines

    Long lines, though seemingly benign – “a mere inconvenience” – may well be the most serious problem with the 2004 election. In many places, lines were over 6 hours long.

    Prior to the election, there was much ado about each precinct getting enough ballots, but an equally serious matter that seems to have been overlooked by people trying to protect people’s right to vote is whether the precints had a sufficient number of voting machines, such that the votes could be proccessed at a sufficient rate. Machine quantity as well as ballot quantity determines the saturation point of votes. Number of machines * Max. votes per hour per machine * hours poll is open = max. number of votes precinct is able to process. Every voter over this limit is effectively disenfranchised, just as if the precint had run out of ballots; the precinct runs out of voter-time-slots.

    Although low population precincts had relatively plenty of voting machines and were well within the limits of processing capacity, high-population centers often did not, and sometimes had less than half the machines requested and were well outside the limits of processing capacity, effectively disenfranchisng an undetermined number of voters.

    This may explain the discrepancy between expected voter turnout in high-population areas and counted voter turnout in these areas. Since high-population areas are predominantely Democratic, this would primarily effect the Democratic constituency, and appear on the surface to reflect inefficacy in the Democratic GOTV effort.

    841 incidents of this type have been reported, 241 of which are from Ohio , and 106 of which are from Florida . 124 such incidents have been reported out of Cuyahoga county, Ohio .

    Minorities

    Specific concerns were raised in the course of the election in respect of votes from key minorities, such as Blacks [27] or Cuban Hispanics.

    Formal proceedings

    On November 5, Ralph Nader filed a request for a recount of the votes in New Hampshire with that state’s Secretary of State. Nader’s request cited “irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire” and added: “These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5 percent to 15 percent over what was expected.” [28] As one of the candidates on the ballot, Nader has the right to demand a recount, but is required to pay for it (because he lost by more than 1 percent of the vote). The state Attorney General’s office has responded that Nader’s request was not valid because no check for the expenses was submitted by the deadline. [29]

    Official viewpoints and responses

    As of yet, neither major political party has made an official response to the issue.

    Republican Party
    (none yet)

    Democratic Party

    Several Democratic members of the House Committee on the Judiciary have written to the GAO requesting a formal investigation. Their first letter was written three days after the election, on November 5 [30] , and this was followed by a second letter on November 8 listing further matters which had since come to light [31] .

    House Committee website for later information

    U.S. media

    Glitch gave Bush extra votes in Ohio http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/05/voting.problems.ap/

    An article by Salon.com purporting to debunk many of the data irregularities. http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/11/10/voting/index_np.html

    A wired news article purporting to debunk many of the data irregularities. http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65665,00.html

    Overseas

    This article written after the election summarises media viewpoints from many countries round the world.

    Other sources compiling this information
    ? truthout.org
    ? disinfopedia.org especially an article on the alleged fraud using Diebold systems
    [edit]

    External links
    ? blackboxvoting.ORG
    ? blackboxvoting.COM
    (Note, these two websites are not affiliated with each other, however both carry web pages relevant to this article))
    ? blackboxvoting Articles and voter field reports
    ? Institute for Public Accuracy
    ? [32] Expert testimony as to procedures needed to make electronic voting secure
    ? [33] article written by the founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security Inc., on Electronic Voting.
    ? [34] Article by The Economist
    ? [35] e-voting experts’ website and weblog, large amount of information and expert discussion (panellist credentials provided)
    ? Keith Olbermann’s blog 11/07/04
    ? 11/08/04 Olbermann segment online
    ? [36] Voters Unite Listing of All Reported Irregularities
    ? [37] Tom Paine’s article
    ? [38] Democratic Underground discussion board on the topic
    ? Common Dreams report
    ? Voting reopened in NC because of mistake
    ? 268,159 more votes than voters in florida
    ? VotersUnite.org Database of E-Voting Problems

    News articles

    General
    ? Rutenberg, Jim. “Report Says Problems Led to Skewed Surveying Data.” New York Times. November 5, 2004. [39] – Outlines alleged problems with the early exit poll data.
    ? AP. Democratic lawyers on “fact finding” mission in Ohio. [40]
    ? Shuster, David. “…The congressman demanding a Government Accountability Office investigation is not nuts” MSNBC.com [41]
    ? “Countinghouse Blues: Too many votes.” WOWT (KN) News. [42]
    ? Fitrakis, Bob. “None dare call it voter suppression and fraud.” The Free Press (OH). November 7, 2004. [43]
    ? Fitrakis, Bob. “And so the sorting and discarding of Kerry votes begins.” The Free Press (OH). November 10, 2004. [44]
    ? Book, Sue. “Election problems due to a software glitch.” Sun Journal (NC). November 5, 2004. [45]
    ? Johnson, Mark. Winner so far: Confusion; agriculture, education races change as counties fix vote-tally errors. The Charlotte Observer. [46]
    ? WCNC. .[47]
    ? Bronis, Jason. “Ballot counting turns into legal fiasco.” News 14 Charlotte. November 10, 2004. [48]
    ? Gwin, Harold. “Democrats’ leader decries voting glitches.” The Vindicator (OH). November 6, 2004. [49]
    ? “Glitch gave Bush extra votes in Ohio.” CNN. November 5, 2004. [50]
    ? Glitch Found in Ohio Counting [51]
    ? Voting Problems in Ohio Set Off an Alarm [52]
    ? Final Results Delayed in Rockland County, NY [53]
    ? Officials, printers examine flaws that slowed vote count (Nov 9, 2004) [54]
    ? Equipment glitch delays Escambia County vote tally (Nov 8, 2004) [55]
    ? Palm Beach Post article about their situation
    ? Solvig, Erica. “Warren’s vote tally walled off.” The Enquirer (OH). [56]
    ? [57] article summarising media viewpoints from many countries round the world.
    ? Warren Co. defends lockdown decision, FBI denies warning officials of any special threat [58]

    Categories: Pages on votes for deletion | Accuracy disputes | NPOV disputes | Politics and technology | U.S. presidential election, 2004

    ? This page was last modified 06:40, 12 Nov 2004.

     

    eridani, Lynetta, Melissa G and 5 othersStupidRedhead, Pastiche, k8conant, GoodWitch, Lorien like this

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  • eridani (1877 posts)
    Profile photo of eridani Donor

    1. Excellent compilation. However I noticed that there was nothing on 2008–

    –and 2012.  I’d bet good money that just as much fiddling went on, but I wasn’t paying attention because Obama’s victory margin outweighed it.  Neither were a lot of the folks who invested a lot of energy in 2000 and 2004.  If we are going to change that, we have to stay involved in the issue regardless of whether or not our personal oxen have been gored or not.

    You've heard of the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West, right?  I'm the Morally Ambiguous Witch of the Northwest.
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