Twelve Ways to Steal the Vote in Ohio
The 'Red Shift': Situation Critical
November 16, 2004
Twelve Ways to Steal the Vote in Ohio
By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
(October 27, 2004) -- The Republican "November Surprise" to steal the 2004 election is in full force here in Ohio. With polls showing a dead heat, the GOP is staging an all-out attack on a fair vote count in the Buckeye State.
Here are a dozen ways they're doing it:
Under an archaic Ohio law, both the Republican and Democratic Parties, or any slate of five candidates, may embed official election challengers inside polling places. The New York Times reported on Oct. 23 that the Republican Party intends to place thousands of lawyers and other GOP faithful inside the polls to challenge voters.
Republican insiders confide here that the key goal is to jam lines and frustrate new voters. The GOP apparently figures many voters in key Democratic precincts won't wait in line more than 15 minutes to vote. This is certain to be a major tactic in Cleveland's Cuyahoga County and other Democratic strongholds. The GOP is not planning to challenge voters in Republican districts.
The Republican party has sent letters challenging thousands of Franklin County students who are registered to vote absentee. Franklin County is home to Columbus, the state's largest city and its capitol. Though it is also home to Ohio State University, thousands of local students go to schools outside the county or state. The GOP apparently does not want their votes counted.
This unprecedented mass challenge has prompted the Franklin County Board of Elections, whose director is a conservative Republican, to reserve the large Veterans Memorial Auditorium downtown to process the challenges this Thursday, as John Kerry comes to town with Bruce Springsteen. The County has told thousands of students that if they don't appear in Columbus to answer the GOP challenges, they may lose their right to vote.
The Franklin County Board of Elections has called or written an undetermined number of voters who obtained absentee ballots, challenging their addresses. In at least one case, after a series of angry phone calls, the Board admitted there was nothing wrong with the address in question and re-instated voting rights. The voter in question was a registered Democrat. His wife, an independent at the same address, was not challenged. It is unclear how many others have been wrongly knocked out.
Even if they are counted, Franklin County's absentee ballot forms are rigged in ways strikingly reminiscent of those in Florida 2000. On many absentee forms, Kerry is listed third on the list of presidential candidates. But the actual number you punch for Kerry is "4." If you punch "3" you've just voted for Bush. Sound familiar?
Franklin County's right wing Elections Director is insisting on e-voting machines which have malfunctioned in at least two Congressional elections, and which have no paper trail. The November issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics Magazines ran the following headlines on their covers, respectively: "E-vote emergency: And you thought dimpled chads were bad'" and "Could hackers tilt the election?" Vigorous protests against the paperless machines have been staged here, but many will be used, rendering a meaningful recount impossible.
In four other Ohio counties, the notorious Diebold company, whose CEO Wally O'Dell has pledged to deliver Ohio's votes to Bush, will provide the e-voting machines to count votes without any paper trail while using proprietary "secret" software. O'Dell lives in the wealthy Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington and is a major Bush donor.
Twenty GOP-dominated Ohio counties have given wrong information to former felons about their voter eligibility. In Hamilton County, home of Cincinnati and the Republican Taft family, officials told numerous former felons that a judge had to sign off before they could vote, which is blatantly false.
Franklin County, which normally cancels 2-300 registered voters a year for felony convictions, has sent at least 3,500 cancellation letters to both current felons and ex-felons whose convictions date back to 1998. The list includes numerous citizens who were charged with felonies but convicted only of misdemeanors.
Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has reversed a long-standing Ohio practice and is barring voters from casting provisional ballots within their county if they are registered to vote but there's been a mistake about where they are expected to cast their ballot.
In this year's spring primaries, Blackwell allowed voters to cast provisional ballots by county, even if they were in the wrong precinct. But this fall, such voters will have to leave the wrong precinct and find their way to the right one. Blackwell hopes to succeed Republican Bob Taft as governor, and has labored hard to install e-voting machines with no paper trail, to give the statewide contract to Diebold, and to take a long series of steps apparently designed to help hand Ohio to George W. Bush. Blackwell is being widely compared to the infamous Katherine Harris, who handed Florida to George W. Bush in 2000 and was rewarded with a safe Congressional seat.
The Columbus Dispatch (which has endorsed Bush) and WVKO Radio have both documented phone calls from people impersonating Board of Elections workers and directing registered voters to different and incorrect polling sites. One individual was falsely told not to vote at the polling station across the street from his house, but at a "new" site, four miles away. Under Blackwell's new rules, such a vote would not be counted.
In Cincinnati, some 150,000 voters were moved from active to inactive status within the last four years for not voting in the last two federal elections. This is not required under Ohio law, but is an option allowed and exercised by the Republican-dominated Hamilton County Board of Elections.
Secretary of State Blackwell ruled that any voter registration form on other than 80-pound weight bond paper would not be accepted. This is an old law left over from pre-scanning days. Many voters who had registered on lighter paper, had their registration returned, even though the forms had been officially sanctioned by local election boards.
No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio. This year the GOP seems determined to win it, no matter what they have do to the electoral process.
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of George W. Bush versus the Superpower of Peace (www.freepress.org).
©1970-2004 / The Columbus Free Press. The essay was originally posted by the Columbus Free Press and is available at the following link: www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/810
Kat L'Estrange / Citizens for Legitimate Government
(November 4, 2004)
Concerned citizens are calling for an investigation into the discrepancies identified in the election results between exit polling data provided by independent polling organizations and the data supplied to the national networks by Edison Media Research (EMR) and Mitofsky International (MI) in the final electoral vote analysis that awarded Bush the presidency on November 3. Sen. John Kerry conceded the election to Bush, but a growing number of concerned citizens believe the votes in this election are not his to concede. The votes belong to the voters who cast them.
Exit polling on election day as reported by Zogby International and other independent exit-polling organizations show a different result earlier on in the contest than what was reported later by six national networks. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and The Associated Press received their exit polling data from EMR and MI.
Exit polling using statistical analysis is an important part of our election process. It provides necessary checks against the tabulated results and a reasonable amount of protection against vote fraud.
EMR had a direct connection to county election results across the nation via computer modems. Although early polling data obtained by Edison/Mitofsky appear to be accurate, as the situation unfolded later into the night, the exit polls were combined with and therefore contaminated by the tabulated results, ultimately becoming a mirror of the apparent actual vote.
Jonathan Simon of Alliance for Democracy notes, "Statistical discrepancies were identified in key battleground states that exceeded the margin of error of the exit polls. In Ohio, for instance, a shift of 3.1% toward Bush converted a 52% - 48% exit poll "victory" for Kerry into a 51% - 49% electoral "victory" for Bush.
Other critical states showed similar anomalous results, each of which should occur less than 5% of the time. In the 12 critical states selected for analysis, exit-poll-vs.-tabulated-vote shifts exceeded the polls' margin of error in four cases, which according to statistical analysis would occur only 0.2% (or one five-hundredth) of the time in the absence of significant mistabulation of votes." Exit polling appears inexplicably to have been significantly more accurate in non-battleground states.
Rather than objectively exploring reasons for these identified discrepancies, the networks now glibly claim exit polling based on scientific methodology is completely unreliable, and have all but forgotten that there was widespread concern about the security of the vote-tabulating apparatus leading up to this election.
Wally O'Dell, the CEO of Diebold, providers of Ohio's electronic voting equipment, may have foreshadowed the November 2 results, at least in Ohio. O'Dell, acting as a Republican fundraiser in August 2003 wrote: "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president."
This statement fueled even greater concern about the trend toward use of electronic voting equipment without paper receipts -- and tabulation equipment owned, operated, and protected from scrutiny by partisan corporations.
The nation is divided, but it is believed that Americans have been trending toward change in the White House since the 2000 election, not toward greater conservatism or support of George Bush's policies, and that exit polling by independent pollsters on November 2 reflected this change.
Americans concerned about voter fraud in Election 2004 are urged not to concede their vote to George Bush, and to prepare for further pro-active measures designed to empower millions of legal voters who continue to be disenfranchised by party politics.
The "Red Shift": Situation Critical
|In this map, the Blue Zones indicate counties where electronic voting machines were installed for the November 3 election. Note the concentration of electronic voting in swing states, Ohio, and Democratic regions of Florida. In Florida's Baker County, the "actual" Republican vote increased over the expected vote a staggering 220.4% -- while the Democratic vote decreased -68.4%. Similarly wild numbers occur in nearly all of the other 52 counties using optical-scan ballots.|
35 Non-Critical States
Exit Poll Data and post-midnight "Red Shift" from Kerry to Bush
(Non-Critical) State Average Red Shift: +1.4
12 Critical States
Exit Poll Data and post-midnight "Red Shift" from Kerry to Bush
(Critical) State Average Red Shift: +2.5%
Note that because of rolling updates, some states may have been relatively pure at c. 12:20-12:25, while others may already have been slightly corrupted.
In Ohio, the shift was +3.1. In Pennsylvania, +3.4. In Massachusetts, +3.7. In New Hampshire, +4.9. In Vermont, +5.2. A sudden late-night shift of nearly four percentage points to Bush in Sen. Kerry's home state seems improbable.
CLG Newsletter editor: Lori Price. www.legitgov.org. Copyright ©2004, Citizens For Legitimate Government ®All rights reserved.
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