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Kerry lawyer asks for visual inspection of some Ohio ballots
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Democrat John Kerry is asking county elections officials to allow his witnesses to visually inspect the 92,000 ballots cast in Ohio in which no vote for president was recorded, a Kerry lawyer said Sunday night. The request is one of 11 items that Kerry is asking for as part of the recount that Ohio's 88 county boards of election will begin this week, according to a letter sent to the boards over the weekend."We're trying to increase the transparency of the election process," said Donald McTigue, the lawyer handling the recount for the Kerry campaign.
 
 
 
Defend the Re-Count

http://www.nvri.org/
www.defendtherecount.org
http://www.progressivetrail.org/articles/041208Bonifaz.shtml

National Voting Rights Institute
27 School Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 624-3900
Fax: (617) 624-3911
email: nvri@nvri.org

 
Update Ohio Recount Nov 23rd


3 November 2004  Not even the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has a complete list of all the companies that count votes in U.S. elections.

 

Voting Fraud in the USA:  A Tale of Two Brothers

http://nightweed.com/3_november_2004.html

 

About 4 years ago Bush stole the election or even earlier.....

Once upon a time there were two brothers:  Bob and Todd Urosevich.  In the 1980's, with the financial backing of the right-wing extremist Christian billionaire Howard Ahmanson (also a major player behind the whole anti-evolution movement), Bob and Todd founded a company called American Information Systems (AIS) that built voting machines.  They were also certified to count votes.

 

It is interesting to note that back then there was no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.  Even more interesting is the fact that this is still true todayNot even the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has a complete list of all the companies that count votes in U.S. elections.

 

But let us get back to our story....

 

In 1992 a conservative Nebraskan fellow called Chuck Hagel  became chairman of AIS as well as chairman of the McCarthy Group, a private investment bank.  This all happened shortly after he stopped working for Bush Sr.'s administration as Head of the Private Sector Council. 

 

In 1995 Hagel resigned from AIS and a year later ran for Senate, with the founder of the McCarthy Group as his campaign manager.

 

In 1996 Chuck Hagel became the first Republican to ever win a Nebraska senatorial campaign in 24 years, carrying virtually every demographic group, including African American precincts that had never voted Republican. The only company certified to count votes in Nebraska at the time was AIS. 

 

But getting back to our two brothers Urosevich....

 

In 1997 Bob and Todd decide to buy the Dallas-based Business Records Corp. (BRC) and merge it with AIS.  BRC was partially owned by Cronus Industries, a company with connections to the oil - and mineral-rich Hunt brothers of Texas.

 

The company created from this merger was Electronic Systems Software (ES&S).  Today ES&S is the largest voting machine company in the United States and Todd Urosevich is its vice-president.

 

In 2003 the Senate Ethics Committee forced Chuck Hagel to reveal the fact that he had $1 million to $5 million in investment in the McCarthy Group, a fact he'd previously neglected to mention.  The McCarthy Group also happens to be a major owner of ES&S.

 

But let's get back to the two brothers, shall we?  What happened to Bob?

 

Well, Bob Urosevich became president of Diebold, the corporation that makes the 45,000 touch-screen voting machines used in Ohio and other states.  In 2002 Diebold purchased Global Election Systems, a company that itself bought a company called AccuVote back in 1991.

 

Besides voting machines, Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket-dispensing machines, all of which come with an auditable paper trail.  (Can you imagine trying to sell Home Depot a checkout scanning system that has no paper trail?) 

 

None of Diebold's electronic voting machines are equipped with vote-verification systems.  In other words, you cannot audit these machines.

 

Diebold is now the third largest voting machine company in America.  Together, Diebold and ES&S count 80% of all votes in the United States. 

 

Almost 30% of all votes are on non-auditable touch screen voting machines and computerized ballot scanners will count another 57.6% of the votes, including absentee ballots.

 

But wait, there more....

 

The Chairman and CEO of Diebold, "Wally" O' Dell, is a major Bush campaign donor, having helped raise over a quarter million for Bush's 2004 campaign.  In an August 2003 fundraising letter to some 100 wealthy friends, Diebold's chairman and CEO wrote,

"I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Well, maybe he chose the wrong words.  Perhaps the ethics of these voting companies are beyond reproach.  Let us see.

 

During the 2000 presidential elections, Diebold made 16,000 presidential votes "vanish" in one Florida county.

 

Back in 2002 Diebold supplied the state of Georgia with brand new electronic voting machines. That was when incumbent Democratic Governor Ray Barnes was defeated and the Republicans won for the first time in 134 years. The poll results showed an amazing 12-point shift that took place in the last 48 hours.  

 

Diebold was subsequently sued for applying a last-minute code patch to the machines that was never reviewed.  In another strange turn of events, that code was also deleted right after the election and the suit fell through.

 

Earlier this year California sued Diebold for fraud and decertified its voting machines. 

 

But, wait, there's more! 

 

Diebold employs 5 convicted felons as developers.  These are the people who write the voting machine computer code.  Worse, Diebold's Senior Vice-President, Jeff Dean, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.  He was caught planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

 

And did you know that none of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio?  And did you know that Warrne County, Ohio, denied the press and other observers access to the voting polls because of a Homeland Security alert that nobody else in Ohio seems to have received and that the FBI denies ever sending?

 

 

But what about the other 20% of the votes?  Who counts them?

 

America's second largest voting corporation is Sequoia Voting Systems.  This company is owned by the British company De La Rue, who also owns 20% of the British National Lottery.  In 1995 the SEC filed suit against Sequoia for inflating revenue and pre-tax profits.

 

In 1999 charges were filed by the Justice Department against Sequoia in a massive corruption case that sent top Louisiana state officials to jail for bribery, most of it funneled through the Mob.  Sequoia's executives were given immunity in exchange for testimony against state officials.

 

And in fourth place we have Science Applications International Corporation Fourth (SAIC).  This secretive defense contractor became involved in counting American votes through Admiral Bill Owens, former military aide to Dick Cheney

 

Despite a history of fraud charges and security lapses in its electronic systems, SAIC is now one of the largest Pentagon and CIA contractors.

 

Then there are the bit players.

 

Last year, two of Diebold's top executives, Howard Van Pelt and Larry Ensminger, moved over to Advanced Voting Solutions, which is the new name of the scandal-ridden voting company Shoup Voting Solutions.

 

In 1971 Shoup Voting Machine Co. had been indicted for bribing politicians in Florida.  In 1979 Ransom Shoup was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice during an FBI inquiry into a Philadelphia election. Shoup got a mere three-year suspended sentence.

 

In the meantime, Philadelphia bought new voting machines from a new voting machine company, Danaher-Guardian.  But this company only sells voting machines formerly known as the "Shouptronic."  

 

But wait, there's more....

 

After the 2000 election, Cal Tech and MIT conducted a study to find that between 1.5 million and 2 million votes were not counted because of confusing paper ballots or faulty equipment.  That's when Bush decided to pass the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

 

One of the main goals of the HAVA is the "Replacement of punch card and lever voting machines.”  With what?  Electronic touch screen voting machines, the ones that cannot be audited.

 

How do you feel about your vote now?

 

Suspicious Election Results

 

NOTE:  For more up-to-date voting results, please refer to the bottom of THIS PAGE instead.

 

Below is a list in no real order (it's happening so fast) of sites showing some extremely suspicious election numbers, some of which are currently being investigated by the FBI....

 

If you still think everything was played fair and square, check out some these strange Florida election numbers, reported by Buck Mulligan:

 

2000   2004  
Bush 2,912,790 Bush 3,836,216
Gore 2,912,253 Kerry 3,459,293
Nader      97,421 Nader      32,035
Other      40,193 Other      28,382
TOTAL 5,963,657   7,355,296

Which means 1,392,639 new voters (99% precincts counted, no provisionals or absentees).

So there are 1.39 million new voters in Florida and 77,197 fewer third-party votes but Kerry loses by 376,923 votes? Which would mean he lost a huge majority of them or he lost a huge majority of regular voters, and by much than Gore lost.

The exit polls showed that Kerry had way more Hispanic and Cuban supporters than Gore.  Also most exit polls in Florida had Kerry leading, but in the end Kerry lost by a whopping 5%?

Some more suspicious Florida voting statistics are shown here.  Brandon Adams of Western Washington U. also did a great job of examining the bizarre Florida voting results.  Peter Smith at Ledge of Liberty has done an admirable job of charting the blatant fraud in several states and the Brad Blog has compiled a nice list of sites with more voter fraud information.     

And then there's accounts of possible fraud in Ohio that the press, including the Washington Post, is looking into.  This was reported by the valiant folks at AMERICABlog. There's even a lovely photo of a Cincinnati poll manager putting used ballots on his Bush/Cheney-stickered truck.

Exit polls discrepancies in Ohio are discussed by Greg Palast at length.  Other exit poll oddities in this last election are discussed at the Blue Lemur here and here.  These are also dicsussed at eRiposte's election 2004 results.

Not only do the reports indicate that voting machines errors reported consistently favored Bush, but it is also very suspicious that a strong correlation exists between voter discrepancies and the type of voting machine used

Cuyahoga County of Ohio is also seriously questioning the validity of some goofball election numbers, where the number of votes cast was higher than the number of voters who showed up.

And, by the way, did you know that the international election observers were forbidden access to the Ohio polls?  I thought that was interesting as well.

What You Can Do About It

Last, but not least, no discussion about voting machine fraud would be complete without mentioning the extraordinary work of Bev Harris, a 52-year-old grandmother who decided to do a little research after the 2000 Florida voting machines fiasco. 

Bev Harris is responsible for exposing the horrifying vulnerabilities of voting machines to the public and continues to fight for vote verifiability at BlackBoxVoting.org.  She has filed the largest Freedom of Information Act request in U.S. history for all the documents pertaining to the 2004 elections.

Bev Harris has already been informed by reporters that there is a very tight TV news blackout on the voter fraud story.  To find out details on how Bev thinks you can help right now, CLICK HERE

You can also help reveal the fraud team help Bev at DemocraticUnderground.com!

The main thing you can do to help, though, is make sure everyone knows that it was voter fraud!  Spread the news in any way you can!  Maybe we CAN save the world....

_________________________

I hope this has made you think.  You mustn't always take what you see at face value.  If not common sense, then the lessons of history show us that power tends to stay with the powerful and that the rich tend to stay rich. 

 

Bearing this in mind, the United States was founded by a group of powerful, rich white men.  If they had sincerely desired equality for all U.S. citizens then or in the future, they would have simply set a cap on the assets any one entity could own. 

 

And with that, I bid you good night and until next time!

 

Angry Girl

Back to Angry Girl

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/11-18-2004/0002462583&EDATE=

UC Berkeley Study Questions Florida

E-Vote Count

Print This Story     Email This Story     Save this Link          
               Research Team Calls for Immediate Investigation
                           
                                When:   Thursday, November 18, 2004, 10:00 a.m. PST
                           
                                Where:  UC Berkeley campus, Survey Research Center Conference Room --
                                2538 Channing Way (intersection of Channing/Bowditch). Parking on Durant
                                near Telegraph.
                           
                                What:  A research team at UC Berkeley will report that irregularities
                                associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded
                                130,000 - 260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in
                                Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained
                                discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic
                                voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting
                                methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance -- the
                                probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team, led by Professor
                                Michael Hout, will formally disclose results of the study at the press
                                conference.
                           
                                To attend the conference or request dial-in information, contact:
                           
                                Erin Reasoner
                                Eastwick Communications
                                650-480-4057
                                erin.reasoner@eastwick.com
                           
                                Erica Pereira
                                Eastwick Communications
                                640-480-4024
                                erica@eastwick.com
                           
                                Noel Gallagher
                                UC Berkeley Media Relations
                                510-643-7944
                                noelgallagher@berkeley.edu
                           
                           

Help America Recount!
If the Politicians and the Parties Won't Do It,
America's Citizens Will!


 
 
WEDNESDAY NOV 10, Washington D.C. -- Consumer groups rallying citizens for recounts in Ohio, Florida; voters can fund audits of Ohio and court challenges in Florida by donating to HelpAmericaRecount.org, a 527 tax exempt organization set up exclusively for recount funding.


 

From the Randi Rhodes Show
(November 9th, 2004)
Randi Rhodes gives a lengthly sermon that pertains to black box voting and the superiority of the Neo-cons.  
Listen here 

Getting out the vote is good, but getting a 123 percent turnout is too good to be true. This happened in Fairview Park, Ohio. In Broward County, Florida, voting machines can do the moon walk: They count back-wards, but only on certain ballot measures.

If you want to buy a recount in Ohio you don't need to live there...you do need to be a US citizen and you need to get out your check book. How much is Democracy worth to you...starting next week no one can stop us from auditing Ohio. We're gonna get em.

In New Hampshire, voting trends seemed to depend more on which voting machine was used than on what party voters were affiliated with. When asked to produce “zero reports” at poll opening, some Florida touch-screen machines reported votes were already in the system, apparent stuffing of the electronic ballot box. Gahanna, Ohio had thousands more votes show up than voters.

Accounting for provisional ballots has been murky, and anomalies have now surfaced in Cuyahoga County, Perry County, and Youngstown Ohio. Florida optical scan machines in 40 counties had statistically improbable results, which did not exist in Florida touch-screens. Technicians got inside access to a central tabulator in Collier County during the middle of the election, and modem security settings may have been disabled for Diebold machines.

As hundreds of anomalies pop up, citizens are thinking:

Who really won? Don’t know. Gotta audit!

http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=415

Green Party has raised more than $70,000 towards $113,000 Ohio recount
Filed under: General— site admin @ 8:29 pm Email This
By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

The Green Party in concert with the Libertarian Party has raised more than $70,000 towards an estimated $113,000 filing fee for a recount of Ohio ballots in the presidential election as of 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, RAW STORY has learned.

The party, which posted an appeal and press release at 11 a.m. Eastern time, has received a flood of small contributions, according to Green Party Media Coordinator Blair Bobier. Their donation site is available at gp.org

“All of it is coming in small donations at this point,” Bobier said. “I think it’s just starting to get traction.” 

 

The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy 

BuzzFlash was forwarded a copy of a new research paper (271k PDF) on the exit polls from the 2004 election.

In "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," Dr. Steven F. Freeman says:

"As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts in the three critical battleground states [Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania] of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error."

The odds of those exit poll statistical anomalies occurring by chance are 250,000,000 to one. 250 MILLION to ONE.

He concludes the paper with this:

"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." 

www.buzzflash.com

http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=17395

Right now, PFAW Foundation's Election Protection team is:

  • supporting efforts to impound voting machines, or obtain back-up data from machines, in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico because of reported voting discrepancies and problems.

  • collaborating on public hearings in Ohio this weekend to take official testimony and input from voters and volunteers who observed voting problems there on November 2.

  • pursuing legal challenges to some troubling election incidents, including the failure of elections officials to supply absentee ballots to voters that requested them and the inconsistent application of voter identification and provisional ballot requirements.

November 10, 2004 | 12:43 p.m. ET  Keith Olbermann

NEW YORK— With news this morning that the computerized balloting in North Carolina is so thoroughly messed up that all state-wide voting may be thrown out and a second election day scheduled, the story continues.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/

 
Wednesday Nov. 10th: www.blackboxvoting.org Bev Harris got the Ohio Re-Count and she needs our help. Adopt a Precinct $10.00 and fees for precinct workers: she has one week to pay for this effort . Please Help Democracy Find The Light Of Day. 
Her site for fundraising announced on the radio www.helpamericarecount.org but please double check her main site for the above addresss accuracy. Thankyou
 
& A Nevada Women got a recount in her state. Look for the Updates  :-)
 
Nov. 8th Monday 
Black Box Voting reported tonight on Air America Radio that
Ralph Nader's request for a re-count of votes was accepted in New Hampshire; and that he is going ahead with applications for the same in Ohio and Florida. 
 
 

Last Chance For Democracy To See The Light Of Day.
THURSDAY Nov. 4 2004: Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence -- red flags, exit polls -- but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the most massive Freedom of Information action in history.  Help America Audit

We need: Lawyers to enforce public records laws. Some counties have already notified us that they plan to stonewall by delaying delivery of the records. We need citizen volunteers for a number of specific actions. We need computer security professionals willing to GO PUBLIC with formal opinions on the evidence we provide, whether or not it involves DMCA complications. We need funds to pay for.. the evidence.

Please send to all three: If you have specific factual information about voting problems that could be helpful to the lawyers doing their job, please send it to vri@dnc.org; www.blackboxvoting.org; www.therandirhodesshow.com they are doing important work and your information is valuable.

 

 Post-Election
 
Go to this site first for details about the FAX 202 265 0092.
  1.  FAX 202 265 0092
    Both parties have refused to ask for a recount. Ralph Nader might: Black Box Voting on Air America Radio today is telling us that we should fax 202 265 0092 with this letter: Ralph, Challenge the election results in New Hampshire now. Then sign the fax - the fax needs your signature; and make a notation that you are from black box voting as an activist: please keep faxing until you get through; tell your friends and family and activist internet friends to do the same asap ( IF RALPH GOES FORWARD CHALLENGING N.H.THEN THERE IS A POSSIBILITY 34 STATES COULD BE
    AUDITED )
     
    2) www.blackboxvoting.org
    Bev Harris is filing the largest number of  Freedom of Information Requests in the history of the USA to examine the results of the election.
     
    3) Randi Rhodes Air America Radio is fundraising/asking that we send $1 or $5 or more to: Black Box Voting, P.O. Box 25552,Seattle Wa. 98165 to cover the expensive fees to file for and receive the Freedom of Information Requests.
    http://www.therandirhodesshow.com/

4) www.fairvote.org

National and state media have given extensive coverage to voting system reform and the views of FairVote staff. Fair elections legislation has been introduced in Congress and many states.

Election 2004: Big wins for IRV in Ferndale, MI and Burlington, VT; reports of well-run San Francisco IRV election.

Read FairVote's pre-election projections for congressional elections and report on spoilers. See pages on the electoral college, voter mobilization and voter information

San Francisco - First major U.S. city to use instant runoff voting!
November 2ond Ferndale, MI and Burlington, VT, where citizens voted overwhelmingly to adopt Instant Runoff Voting. San Francisco leads the nation in electoral systems reform, as it was the first major U.S. city to use instant runoff voting. On November 2, Bay Area voters had the opportunity to select most city offices using this ranked choice voting system.

 

Published on Thursday, November 4, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
The Ultimate Felony Against Democracy
by Thom Hartmann

 

The hot story in the Blogosphere is that the "erroneous" exit polls that showed Kerry carrying Florida and Ohio (among other states) weren't erroneous at all - it was the numbers produced by paperless voting machines that were wrong, and Kerry actually won. As more and more analysis is done of what may (or may not) be the most massive election fraud in the history of the world, however, it's critical that we keep the largest issue at the forefront at all time: Why are We The People allowing private, for-profit corporations, answerable only to their officers and boards of directors, and loyal only to agendas and politicians that will enhance their profitability, to handle our votes?

Maybe Florida went for Kerry, maybe for Bush. Over time - and through the efforts of some very motivated investigative reporters - we may well find out (Bev Harris of www.blackboxvoting.org just filed what may be the largest Freedom of Information Act [FOIA} filing in history), and bloggers and investigative reporters are discovering an odd discrepancy in exit polls being largely accurate in paper-ballot states and oddly inaccurate in touch-screen electronic voting states Even raw voter analyses are showing extreme oddities in touch-screen-run Florida, and eagle-eyed bloggers are finding that news organizations are retroactively altering their exit polls to coincide with what the machines ultimately said.

But in all the discussion about voting machines, let's never forget the concept of the commons, because this usurpation is the ultimate felony committed by conservatives this year.

At the founding of this nation, we decided that there were important places to invest our tax (then tariff) dollars, and those were the things that had to do with the overall "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" of all of us. Over time, these commons - in which we all make tax investments and for which we all hold ultimate responsibility - have come to include our police and fire services; our military and defense; our roads and skyways; our air, waters and national parks; and the safety of our food and drugs.

But the most important of all the commons in which we've invested our hard-earned tax dollars is our government itself. It's owned by us, run by us (through our elected representatives), answerable to us, and most directly responsible for stewardship of our commons.

And the commons through which we regulate the commons of our government is our vote.

About two years ago, I wrote a story for these pages, "If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines," that exposed how Senator Chuck Hagel had, before stepping down and running for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska, been the head of the voting machine company (now ES&S) that had just computerized Nebraska's vote. The Washington Post (1/13/1997) said Hagel's "Senate victory against an incumbent Democratic governor was the major Republican upset in the November election." According to Bev Harris, Hagel won virtually every demographic group, including many largely black communities that had never before voted Republican. Hagel was the first Republican in 24 years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska, nearly all on unauditable machines he had just sold the state. And in all probability, Hagel run for President in 2008.

In another, later article I wrote at the request of MoveOn.org and which they mailed to their millions of members, I noted that in Georgia - another state that went all-electronic - "USA Today reported on Nov. 3, 2002, 'In Georgia, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows Democratic Sen. Max Cleland with a 49%-to-44% lead over Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss. 'Cox News Service, based in Atlanta, reported just after the election (Nov. 7) that, "Pollsters may have goofed" because 'Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Max Cleland by a margin of 53 to 46 percent. The Hotline, a political news service, recalled a series of polls Wednesday showing that Chambliss had been ahead in none of them.'" Nearly every vote in the state was on an electronic machine with no audit trail.

In the years since those first articles appeared, Bev Harris has published her book on the subject ("Black Box Voting"), including the revelation of her finding the notorious "Rob Georgia" folder on Diebold's FTP site just after Cleland's loss there; Lynn Landes has done some groundbreaking research, particularly her new investigation of the Associated Press, as have Rebecca Mercuri and David Dill. There's a new video out on the topic, Votergate, available at www.votergate.tv.

Congressman Rush Holt introduced a bill into Congress requiring a voter-verified paper ballot be produced by all electronic voting machines, and it's been co-sponsored by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives. The two-year battle fought by Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay to keep it from coming to a vote, thus insuring that there will be no possible audit of the votes of about a third of the 2004 electorate, has fueled the flames of conspiracy theorists convinced Republican ideologues - now known to be willing to lie in television advertising - would extend their "ends justifies the means" morality to stealing the vote "for the better good of the country" they think single-party Republican rule will bring.

Most important, though, the rallying cry of the emerging "honest vote" movement must become: Get Corporations Out Of Our Vote!

Why have we let corporations into our polling places, locations so sacred to democracy that in many states even international election monitors and reporters are banned? Why are we allowing corporations to exclusively handle our vote, in a secret and totally invisible way? Particularly a private corporation founded, in one case, by a family that believes the Bible should replace the Constitution; in another case run by one of Ohio's top Republicans; and in another case partly owned by Saudi investors?

Of all the violations of the commons - all of the crimes against We The People and against democracy in our great and historic republic - this is the greatest. Our vote is too important to outsource to private corporations.

It's time that the USA - like most of the rest of the world - returns to paper ballots, counted by hand by civil servants (our employees) under the watchful eye of the party faithful. Even if it takes two weeks to count the vote, and we have to just go, until then, with the exit polls of the news agencies. It worked just fine for nearly 200 years in the USA, and it can work again.

When I lived in Germany, they took the vote the same way most of the world does - people fill in hand-marked ballots, which are hand-counted by civil servants taking a week off from their regular jobs, watched over by volunteer representatives of the political parties. It's totally clean, and easily audited. And even though it takes a week or more to count the vote (and costs nothing more than a bit of overtime pay for civil servants), the German people know the election results the night the polls close because the news media's exit polls, for two generations, have never been more than a tenth of a percent off.

We could have saved billions that have instead been handed over to ES&S, Diebold, and other private corporations.

Or, if we must have machines, let's have them owned by local governments, maintained and programmed by civil servants answerable to We The People, using open-source code and disconnected from modems, that produce a voter-verified printed ballot, with all results published on a precinct-by-precinct basis.

As Thomas Paine wrote at this nation's founding, "The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery."

Only when We The People reclaim the commons of our vote can we again be confident in the integrity of our electoral process in the world's oldest and most powerful democratic republic.

Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show.

Republicans 'outfoxed' elitist Democrats, Daley says

November 5, 2004

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

 

Mayor Daley said Thursday his beloved Democratic Party took a beating in Tuesday's election because they were "outfoxed": Republicans remembered that all politics is local, while Democrats became the "party of Washington" insiders and big money.

"We always thought the Republican Party was Washington, D.C. The Democrats are Washington, D.C., politicians. They don't reach out to a mayor, a governor, or the state chairman. There's no local anymore," Daley said.

"If you watch the Republican Party, they're to the people they're more grass-roots than Democrats. We think we are. The Republicans outfoxed the Democrats. They became the party of precincts, a county, a city. Their strategy was to go to the people and not to the money people. We're supposed to be the party of the people. We're the party of the money.  We've become the party of the insider."

Daley said he can't help but laugh when he turns on the tube and sees those same Democratic insiders playing Monday morning quarterback in the wake of John Kerry's defeat.

Earlier this week, Daley said the re-election of George W. Bush signaled a sea change in American politics that would make it more difficult for Democrats to win future presidential elections.

The mayor also accused unnamed "Washington elitists" of underestimating the power of the Religious Right.

"People in Washington called the elitists don't like faith-based organizations. They don't like people who have different beliefs than they do -- who maybe read the Bible or read the Quran and have some religious beliefs that, maybe, differ from the politicians in Washington. There's a long message there. These are good people. . . . But, they were shoved out and shoved across America," the mayor said.

On Thursday, Daley threw in a plug for Howard Dean, the candidate he favored all along.

The mayor said if you listen closely to the Dean message -- before that infamous ranting and raving speech -- you'll hear the anti-Washington, anti-establishment message that Democrats ignored.

"Howard Dean talked about that. Democrats didn't like that in Washington," the mayor said. "Go back and read and take all of the [TV news] clips of the primary. What was Howard Dean telling everybody? We were the insiders. We were not the outsiders. We couldn't think outside the box. We were inside the box. That's what he talked about," Daley said.

                                                                        


                                                                                   Sunday, November 07, 2004

"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery."
- Tom Paine

In the 1940s, I remember reading an American magazine which was trumpeting a new cure for anti-social behaviour. This now discredited surgical operation was called prefrontal lobotomy or leukotomy, in which the nerves connecting the frontal lobe to the higher centres of the brain were cut. The procedure, invented by a Portuguese surgeon, won him a Nobel Prize. Lots of supposedly anti-social people were 'cured' by this operation.

As it turned out, the operation destroyed the personality and left the victims emotional zombies. One woman said that after the operation her daughter was present physically but her soul was somewhere else.

Troublemakers among the rich and famous were often subjected to the operation. Rosemary Kennedy, sister of JFK, was given a lobotomy on the orders of her dad, Joseph Kennedy. The result was so awful that she was confined to a mental institution for the rest of her life. Frances Farmer, a famously beautiful actress, was thought by her parents to be too unruly.

                    "She was a radical political activist, communist sympathiser and of a rebellious and aggressive nature. After several squabbles with the authorities, in 1942 she was wrongfully declared 'mentally incompetent' and was committed by her parents to various asylums where all therapies failed to tame her into "normalcy".

In 1948, her parents ordered a lobotomy. "She was released in 1953 from the hospital, no longer a threat to society." - Renato ME Sabbatini, PhD, The History of Psychosurgery, Brain & Mind magazine, June 1997.

Prefrontal lobotomy cured lots of troublesome ailments, including "nymphomania", socialism and the insatiable thirst for freedom.

For me, the defining moment of last week's US Presidential Election came about an hour before midnight. All night the CNN anchor, General Blitzer, had been refusing to reveal the results of the exit polls; CNN didn't want to mislead people. But it was nevertheless becoming clear that John Kerry was going to be the next president of the United States. Robert Novak was a panellist on Blitzer's show. Wan, demoralised, and apparently near to complete collapse, Novak told Blitzer that he had just been in touch with his GOP cronies in Ohio who told him that all appeared to be lost.

What Novak did not know was that help was on the way in the shape of the Diebold company, makers of electronic voting machines. Within hours, Kerry was no longer winning but on the road to conceding the election to Mr G W Bush.
The Republicans had stolen the presidency of the United States for the second time in a row.

The most significant thing about the state of US politics is the compliant posture of the national press. They seem ready to believe anything. They appear to have been lobotomised, physically present but missing their souls.

Mark Twain got it right: "Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the press, for they will steal your Honour. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse"(Thanks to Tom at (http://www.informationclearinghouse).

Exit polls - asking people just after they voted who they voted for - are not precise indicators, because they are sample surveys. But they have always been more precise than the pre-election sampling. For years the networks have depended on them. Only in 2002, in Florida, was there any question of their reliability. And we soon found out why.

According to the US media on Tuesday night, the exit polls got it wrong. This, of course, can only mean that people who voted for Bush told the pollsters that they voted for Kerry. A most unlikely event.

And it would be interesting to discover why CNN and other news media changed their published exit poll data after Wednesday morning.

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 per cent toward Bush converted a 52 per cent - 48 per cent exit poll "victory" for Kerry into a 51 per cent - 49 per cent electoral "victory" for Bush. In the group of 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, [should] occur only 0.2 per cent (or one five-hundredth) of the time in the absence of significant mistabulation of votes."

Simon also notes that exit polling appears inexplicably to have been significantly more accurate in non-battleground states than in the states that were crucial to a Bush victory.

Citizens for a Legitimate Government (CLG) (www.legitgov.org) declares: "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 a deep and widespread concern about the reliability and security of the vote tabulating apparatus leading up to this election."

CLG continues: "A statement by Wally O'Dell, the CEO of Diebold, providers of Ohio's electronic voting equipment in August 2003, may have foreshadowed the November 2 results, at least in Ohio. O'Dell, acting as a Republican fundraiser at the time wrote, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president" .George Bush seemed to take O'Dell's pledge at face value, hardly deigning to campaign in Ohio, which was a confusing strategy to many pundits given the state's cliffhanger closeness and critical importance."

One crucial statistic made me quite sure that the election was stolen. It is a well-recorded phenomenon that after an election result is known, more people will claim to have voted for the winner than actually did.

After this election, is a remarkable fact that only 51 per cent of the US electorate said they were happy Mr Bush had been elected. The post-election bandwagon effect is well documented.

"Response error tied to over-estimation of voting is one of the oldest and most persistent types of response error to be documented. .[Stanley Presser] reports that such response errors tend to range between 12 and 16 per cent. with the error tending to be larger the closer a survey was done to the election". ( Robert H Prisuta,

A post-election Bandwagon Effect 1992 and Stanley Presser: Can Context Changes Reduce Vote Over-reporting?; Public Opinion Quarterly, Wier 1990)

In this case, and as far as I can discover, only in this case does the percentage claiming to have voted for the winner fall below the percentage actually voting for him.

The US press in its cocoon of fantasy, pretends to believe that this result is possible and accurate. 

No one can - without his consent - be deprived of his rights. It says so even in Third World constitutions.

Shortly after he returned from Venezuela in August, former President Carter warned that the voting arrangements in the United States for the Presidential Election could not be considered satisfactory, fair and above board. This was in contrast to Venezuela, where they also used voting machines, made in the USA, but those machines had a paper trail.

Many people foresaw the theft of the election. In an article for The Nation earlier in the year, ('How They Could Steal the Election This Time') Ronnie Dagger revealed that five out of every six US voters would be casting votes in machines which could easily be programmed to produce the wrong result. She predicted: "The result could be the failure of an American presidential election and its collapse into suspicions, accusations and a civic fury that will make Florida 2000 seem like a family spat in the kitchen."

Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's labour secretary, has written, "Automated voting machines will be easily rigged, with no paper trails to document abuses". Senator John Kerry told Florida Democrats last March, "I don't think we ought to have any vote cast in America that cannot be traced and properly recounted". Pointing out in a recent speech at the NAACP convention that "a million African-Americans were disenfranchised in the last election", Kerry says his campaign was readying 2,000 lawyers to "challenge any place in America where you cannot trace the vote and count the votes" [ www.thenation.com/ Greg Palast, "Vanishing Votes", May 17, 2004].

The probability that the election was stolen becomes even more likely when it is recalled that GOP majority leader in the House, Tom DeLay, and the speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, have for two years prevented a vote on a bill requiring that all electronic voting machines should have an auditable paper trail. Congressman Rush Holt introduced the bill requiring all electronic voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper ballot. The bill was co-sponsored by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives - GOP and Democrat.

There were serious anomalies in the reported Florida vote. According to the results, there were 1,392,639 new voters. There were 7,355,296 votes cast in this election as against 5,963,657 in 2000 when, according to the official results, Bush got 2,912,790 in 2004 to Gore's 2,912,253 a difference of less than 600.

The split in 2000 was approximately 50/50. In this election Kerry got 3,459,293 or 47 per cent, while 3,836,216 or 53 per cent voted for Bush. Despite the Democrats outperforming the GOP 60/40 in registering new voters, Kerry got half-a-million more, while Bush got twice as many. Unbelievable.

We must believe, contrary to all the known facts, that there was a swing to Bush of eight per cent! Bush got 32 per cent more in 2004 than four years before, while Kerry increased Bush's total by only 19 per cent.

But there was no swing. According to one exit pollster, both candidates retained 90 per cent of their party's 2000 voters. So the swing came in the computers. In Florida people complained that their votes were recorded for Bush although they had voted for Kerry.

Republicans were so worried about their failure in signing up new voters that they set out to intimidate and disqualify as many voters as possible. Can anyone, even including the US press, believe that these figures are anything but bogus?

The real problem is that many people cannot believe that the Republicans could be so arrogant and barefaced to do what it is obvious that they must have done. On KLAS-FM on Wednesday morning, the two presenters initially thought I was being funny when I said the election had been stolen. But it isn't funny, and forecasts horrendous consequences as we shall see in Fallujah shortly, and perhaps Haiti.

After the 2000 election I predicted that we were in for a hard time. I didn't think it was going to be this bad. I had no idea that democracy itself and its handmaiden, the press, were scheduled for prefrontal lobotomies.

The ultimate irony, of course, was provided by the American media which solemnly pronounced that Bush won the election on moral values, despite Enron, Halliburton, Iraq WMDs, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act and the host of other scandals.

If that represents morality, perhaps we should all get prefrontal lobotomies. We need to remember though, that nothing is ever over until we give up.

Copyright©2004 John Maxwell
john.maxwell02@uwimona.edu

 
 
Bush's 'Incredible' Vote Tallies
By Sam Parry
November 9, 2004
(Excerpted) 
George W. Bush’s vote tallies, especially in the key state of Florida, are so statistically stunning that they border on the unbelievable.
While it’s extraordinary for a candidate to get a vote total that exceeds his party’s registration in any voting jurisdiction – because of non-voters – Bush racked up more votes than registered Republicans in 47 out of 67 counties in Florida. In 15 of those counties, his vote total more than doubled the number of registered Republicans and in four counties, Bush more than tripled the number.
Statewide, Bush earned about 20,000 more votes than registered Republicans.
While it's conceivable Bush might have achieved these and other gains through his hardball campaign strategies and strong get-out-the-vote effort, many Americans, looking at these and other statistically incredible Bush vote counts, are likely to continue to suspect that the Republicans put a thumb on the electoral scales, somehow exaggerating Bush's tallies through manipulation of computer tabulations

Stolen Elections
Presidential Race Still Undecided in New Mexico
Fri Nov 12, 7:36 PM ET   Politics - Reuters
 
SANTA FE, N.M. (Reuters) - Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) has conceded, President Bush (news - web sites) has laid out his plans for a second term and New Mexico still does not know who won the election in the sparsely populated state.

New Mexico is the only state that does not have a clear-cut winner in the presidential vote, and state officials were red-faced over the slow count. The state had vowed to speed up counting ballots after it took about a month to tally the vote in the 2000 presidential race, where Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) beat Bush by 366 votes.

Bush has about 373,000 votes to 365,000 for Kerry with most of the ballots counted, and several media outlets have projected Bush winning New Mexico's five electoral votes.

On Friday, all of New Mexico's counties had to complete a count in their regions, but one rural county still had problems and did not meet the deadline. The secretary of state's office said Bush's lead over Kerry has narrowed to about 6,800 votes, according to initial tallies of the provisional ballots submitted to the office on Friday.

The main problems this time were the narrow margin between Bush and Kerry, troubles sorting through provisional ballots and not learning from the 2000 count, critics said.

It will still take more than 10 days to find out who took the last state up for grabs in the Nov. 2 election.

"I will not be declaring a winner until Nov. 23," said New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron.

About 750,000 people voted in New Mexico, and Republicans said money that should have gone to getting the vote counted ended up in a marketing campaign aimed at getting out the vote in the state run by Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.

"The counties were unprepared for the volume of voters because the money wasn't there," said New Mexico Republican Party Executive Director Greg Graves.

Nader requests N.H. vote recount

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041106/NEWS02/111060040/-1/news 

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN, Telegraph Staff
landrigank@telegraph-nh.com

Published: Saturday, Nov. 6, 2004

CONCORD - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader requested a hand recount of ballots in New Hampshire after getting seven-tenths of 1 percent of the vote.

“We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire,’’ Nader wrote.

“These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5 percent to 15 percent over what was expected. Problems in these electronic voting machines and optical scanners are being reported in machines in a variety of states.’’

Nader’s recount request came in as a fax at 4:59 p.m., one minute before the deadline.

The application is not legal, however, because it did not come with payment, according to Assistant Attorney General Bud Fitch.

“At this point, we aren’t considering it to be a valid request,’’ he said.

Anyone who loses by more than 1 percent of the vote has to pay for a recount, he said, noting the cost statewide could be $80,000.

Nader can appeal that decision to the state Ballot Law Commission.

Two years ago, the commission agreed to go forward with a recount for a legislative seat after a losing candidate tried to fax a copy of the check to pay for the recount.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner said a Nader official told him the campaign tried to fax a copy of the check to pay for the recount but it jammed.

“If they appeal, it’s up to the Ballot Law Commission to settle this,’’ Gardner said.

Fitch said he had been in contact with Nader campaign officials throughout Friday to inform them of the recount requirements.

In the request, Nader said he wants either a full recount or a “statistically significant sample audit’’ of these vote counts.

“We would like to make sure every vote counts and is counted accurately,’’ Nader wrote.

Gardner said his staff intends to meet today to schedule the 14 recounts that were legally requested - three state Senate elections and 11 for seats in the 400-person House of Representatives.

The recounts requested on Friday included Hillsborough County District 27, the Hudson-Litchfield-Pelham district that elected 13 representatives on Tuesday.

Hudson Democrat Donna Marie Marceau requested the recount after finishing 32 votes away from the 13th-place finisher.

Kevin Landrigan can be reached at 224-8804 or landrigank@telegraph-nh.com.

 

 
http://www.jefffisherforcongress.com/ 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.

Articles:
 
  • http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00000905.htm
  • 50,000 Votes LOST in Dem Indiana County! Yet another ES&S computer "failure".
  • 10,000 Extra Votes Added in Nebraska County Another ES&S computer "failure".
  • *** Diebold Inc. gave $411,320 to Republicans and promised "to deliver the Ohio electoral vote to the President"! Also, please watch this film!
  • Graphical Look at Exit Polls vs. Final Results in Paper vs. Non-Paper Ballot States
  • Dems on House Judiciary Comm. ask GAO for Vote Count Investigation!
  • 11,238 More E-Votes Recorded Than Actually Cast in single NC Precinct!
  • 70,000 Votes "Discovered" in Broward County, FL; Extra Presidential votes "show up", results of local initiative overturned after find! Software glitch in counting machine blamed.
  • 4,258 votes for Bush in single OH precinct where only 638 votes total were cast!
  • NC election officials admit 4500 (out of 7000) votes lost entirely on a single E-voting machine due to memory limit on machine; Same machines used in OH!
  • Huge discordance between "Expected Votes" (based on party registration) and "Actual Votes" in Florida, but only occuring in counties with Diebold/ES&S optical scan counting machines!
  •  
    http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=usacoup
     

    CORRECTION  BEV HARRIS SITE IS www.BlackBoxVoting.org

    www.BlackBoxVoting.com is not affiliated with Bev Harris and any contribution you might send to them will not go to Bev Harris's important work.  These Chapters are provided for your study but the web site that provides them should not be confused with the ACTUAL BLACK BOX VOTING.org

    Please do not confuse these URL's

    CHAPTERS ONE to 14 NOW OUT!!!

    Click To Read In PDF Format
    Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5
    Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10
    Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14

    Click HERE to download Adobe PDF reader 

    If

    floridaelection2004riggedtheopticalscancounters.gif
    Florida's Rigged Optical Scan Counter Results

    Baker County: The "actual" GOP 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. The results are unmistakable. The suspicious figures cropped up in nearly every one of the optical scan counties.  In each case the GOP and only the GOP reaped the rewards.

     

     

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm 
     
        
     
     
     
       
     

     
     
     
    Published on Saturday, November 6, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
    Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked
    by Thom Hartmann
     

    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.

    "It was practice for a national effort," Fisher told me.

    And some believe evidence is accumulating that the national effort happened on November 2, 2004.

    The State of Florida, for example, publishes a county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered to vote by party affiliation. Net denizen Kathy Dopp compiled the official state information into a table, available at http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm, and noticed something startling.

    Also See:

    Florida Secretary of State Presidential Results by County 11/02/2004 (.pdf)
    Florida Secretary of State County Registration by Party 2/9/2004 (.pdf)

    While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking – the results seem to contain substantial anomalies.

    In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.

    In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.

    The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.

    Yet in the touch-screen counties, where investigators may have been more vigorously looking for such anomalies, high percentages of registered Democrats generally equaled high percentages of votes for Kerry. (I had earlier reported that county size was a variable – this turns out not to be the case. Just the use of touch-screens versus optical scanners.)

    More visual analysis of the results can be seen at http://us together.org/election04/FloridaDataStats.htm, and www.rubberbug.com/temp/Florida2004chart.htm. Note the trend line – the only variable that determines a swing toward Bush was the use of optical scan machines.

    One possible explanation for this is the "Dixiecrat" theory, that in Florida white voters (particularly the rural ones) have been registered as Democrats for years, but voting Republican since Reagan. Looking at the 2000 statistics, also available on Dopp's site, there are similar anomalies, although the trends are not as strong as in 2004. But some suggest the 2000 election may have been questionable in Florida, too.

    One of the people involved in Dopp's analysis noted that it may be possible to determine the validity of the "rural Democrat" theory by comparing Florida's white rural counties to those of Pennsylvania, another swing state but one that went for Kerry, as the exit polls there predicted. Interestingly, the Pennsylvania analysis, available at http://ustogether.org/election04/PA_vote_patt.htm, doesn't show the same kind of swings as does Florida, lending credence to the possibility of problems in Florida.

    Even more significantly, Dopp had first run the analysis while filtering out smaller (rural) counties, and still found that the only variable that accounted for a swing toward Republican voting was the use of optical-scan machines, whereas counties with touch-screen machines generally didn't swing - regardless of size.

    Others offer similar insights, based on other data. A professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, noted that in Florida the vote to raise the minimum wage was approved by 72%, although Kerry got 48%. "The correlation between voting for the minimum wage increase and voting for Kerry isn't likely to be perfect," he noted, "but one would normally expect that the gap - of 1.5 million votes - to be far smaller than it was."

    While all of this may or may not be evidence of vote tampering, it again brings the nation back to the question of why several states using electronic voting machines or scanners programmed by private, for-profit corporations and often connected to modems produced votes inconsistent with exit poll numbers.

    Those exit poll results have been a problem for reporters ever since Election Day.

    Election night, I'd been doing live election coverage for WDEV, one of the radio stations that carries my syndicated show, and, just after midnight, during the 12:20 a.m. Associated Press Radio News feed, I was startled to hear the reporter detail how Karen Hughes had earlier sat George W. Bush down to inform him that he'd lost the election. The exit polls were clear: Kerry was winning in a landslide. "Bush took the news stoically," noted the AP report.

    But then the computers reported something different. In several pivotal states.

    Conservatives see a conspiracy here: They think the exit polls were rigged.

    Dick Morris, the infamous political consultant to the first Clinton campaign who became a Republican consultant and Fox News regular, wrote an article for The Hill, the publication read by every political junkie in Washington, DC, in which he made a couple of brilliant points.

    "Exit Polls are almost never wrong," Morris wrote. "They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by substituting actual observation for guesswork in judging the relative turnout of different parts of the state."

    He added: "So, according to ABC-TVs exit polls, for example, Kerry was slated to carry Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, all of which Bush carried. The only swing state the network had going to Bush was West Virginia, which the president won by 10 points."

    Yet a few hours after the exit polls were showing a clear Kerry sweep, as the computerized vote numbers began to come in from the various states the election was called for Bush.

    How could this happen?

    On the CNBC TV show "Topic A With Tina Brown," several months ago, Howard Dean had filled in for Tina Brown as guest host. His guest was Bev Harris, the Seattle grandmother who started www.blackboxvoting.org from her living room. Bev pointed out that regardless of how votes were tabulated (other than hand counts, only done in odd places like small towns in Vermont), the real "counting" is done by computers. Be they Diebold Opti-Scan machines, which read paper ballots filled in by pencil or ink in the voter's hand, or the scanners that read punch cards, or the machines that simply record a touch of the screen, in all cases the final tally is sent to a "central tabulator" machine.

    That central tabulator computer is a Windows-based PC.

    "In a voting system," Harris explained to Dean on national television, "you have all the different voting machines at all the different polling places, sometimes, as in a county like mine, there's a thousand polling places in a single county. All those machines feed into the one machine so it can add up all the votes. So, of course, if you were going to do something you shouldn't to a voting machine, would it be more convenient to do it to each of the 4000 machines, or just come in here and deal with all of them at once?"

    Dean nodded in rhetorical agreement, and Harris continued. "What surprises people is that the central tabulator is just a PC, like what you and I use. It's just a regular computer."

    "So," Dean said, "anybody who can hack into a PC can hack into a central tabulator?"

    Harris nodded affirmation, and pointed out how Diebold uses a program called GEMS, which fills the screen of the PC and effectively turns it into the central tabulator system. "This is the official program that the County Supervisor sees," she said, pointing to a PC that was sitting between them loaded with Diebold's software.

    Bev then had Dean open the GEMS program to see the results of a test election. They went to the screen titled "Election Summary Report" and waited a moment while the PC "adds up all the votes from all the various precincts," and then saw that in this faux election Howard Dean had 1000 votes, Lex Luthor had 500, and Tiger Woods had none. Dean was winning.

    "Of course, you can't tamper with this software," Harris noted. Diebold wrote a pretty good program.

    But, it's running on a Windows PC.

    So Harris had Dean close the Diebold GEMS software, go back to the normal Windows PC desktop, click on the "My Computer" icon, choose "Local Disk C:," open the folder titled GEMS, and open the sub-folder "LocalDB" which, Harris noted, "stands for local database, that's where they keep the votes." Harris then had Dean double-click on a file in that folder titled "Central Tabulator Votes," which caused the PC to open the vote count in a database program like Excel.

    In the "Sum of the Candidates" row of numbers, she found that in one precinct Dean had received 800 votes and Lex Luthor had gotten 400.

    "Let's just flip those," Harris said, as Dean cut and pasted the numbers from one cell into the other. "And," she added magnanimously, "let's give 100 votes to Tiger."

    They closed the database, went back into the official GEMS software "the legitimate way, you're the county supervisor and you're checking on the progress of your election."

    As the screen displayed the official voter tabulation, Harris said, "And you can see now that Howard Dean has only 500 votes, Lex Luthor has 900, and Tiger Woods has 100." Dean, the winner, was now the loser.

    Harris sat up a bit straighter, smiled, and said, "We just edited an election, and it took us 90 seconds."

    On live national television. (You can see the clip on www.votergate.tv.) And they had left no tracks whatsoever, Harris said, noting that it would be nearly impossible for the election software – or a County election official - to know that the vote database had been altered.

    Which brings us back to Morris and those pesky exit polls that had Karen Hughes telling George W. Bush that he'd lost the election in a landslide.

    Morris's conspiracy theory is that the exit polls "were sabotage" to cause people in the western states to not bother voting for Bush, since the networks would call the election based on the exit polls for Kerry. But the networks didn't do that, and had never intended to.

    According to congressional candidate Fisher, it makes far more sense that the exit polls were right - they weren't done on Diebold PCs - and that the vote itself was hacked.

    And not only for the presidential candidate - Jeff Fisher thinks this hit him and pretty much every other Democratic candidate for national office in the most-hacked swing states.

    So far, the only national "mainstream" media to come close to this story was Keith Olbermann on his show Friday night, November 5th, when he noted that it was curious that all the voting machine irregularities so far uncovered seem to favor Bush. In the meantime, the Washington Post and other media are now going through single-bullet-theory-like contortions to explain how the exit polls had failed.

    But I agree with Fox's Dick Morris on this one, at least in large part. Wrapping up his story for The Hill, Morris wrote in his final paragraph, "This was no mere mistake. Exit polls cannot be as wrong across the board as they were on election night. I suspect foul play."

    Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show. www.thomhartmann .com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," and "What Would Jefferson Do?: A Return To Democracy."

    ###

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