Who Really Won?

Monday, January 31, 2005


"The new Edison/Mitofsky report fails to provide any evidence to substantiate the hypothesis that Kerry voters participated in exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters, or that exit polling errors caused exit polls to favor Kerry by 3% when Bush won the election by 2.5%," said Kathy Dopp, President, US Count Votes. "The possibility that the overall vote count was substantially corrupted must be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly."

Among the revelations uncovered in the study was that the response to exit pollsters was actually higher in precincts that strongly favored Bush than in those that strongly favored Kerry. This contradicts the E/M hypothesis that Kerry voters' tended to cooperate more, and suggests that if anything, the exit polls may have been skewed towards President Bush, not Senator Kerry.

"The report's findings add one more study to a growing list that indicate our democracy was compromised on November 2nd by an assortment of un-democratic tactics," said Susan Truitt, President and Chief Counsel, CASE America. "Putting faith in partisan corporations to correctly count our vote `with secret proprietary software' was a catastrophic mistake. We should be spending less time worrying about bringing democracy to Iraq and more time working to ensure we practice it here at home."

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Several volunteer workers in the Ohio recount in Clermont County, Ohio have prepared affidavits alleging serious tampering, violations of state and federal law and possible fraud. They name the Republican chief of Clermont’s Board of Elections Daniel Bare and the head of the Clermont Democratic Party Priscilla O’Donnell as complicit in these acts.

These volunteers, observing the recount on behalf of the Greens, Libertarians and Democrats, assert that during the Dec. 14, 2004 hand recount they noticed stickers covering the Kerry/Edwards oval, whereas the Bush/Cheney oval seemed to be “colored in.”

Some witnesses state that beneath the stickers, the Kerry/Edwards oval was selected. The opti-scan ballots were then fed into the machines after the hand recount.

Allegations of ballot tampering in Ohio – which decided the outcome of the presidential election by some 100,000 votes – find particular resonance in Clermont, one of three Ohio counties which saw the biggest increases in votes for Bush from 2000 to 2004. The other counties were Butler and Warren; Warren County had a lockdown after an alleged terror threat that the FBI later denied.

These counties “increased their support of Bush by only a few percentage points each,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday. “But in the raw numbers of votes, they made the difference.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Free Press: Blackwell's File

The Free Press does a summary of the shenanigans of Ohio Secretary of State/Bush Election Chairman Kenneth Blackwell. A clip:

When asked to explain why he forced Franklin County Board of Elections officials to run an election with only 2798 machines when they needed 5000, he pointed to the Board’s bipartisan nature and the Democrats serving as Chair and Deputy Director and claims he had nothing to do with the decision.

Of course, if you go to the Ohio Secretary of State website and click past the progressive-sounding phrases “Change our world” and his personal motto “A passion for truth, a quest for excellence,” you will find that he admits that he “appoints the members of Boards of Elections in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.” The Democrats that work in these highly-prized and well-paid jobs all serve at Blackwell’s pleasure and can be fired in an instant.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


The Republican National Committee apparently paid a Virginia networking firm to buy BushCheated.com on their behalf, RAW STORY has learned.

The domain, which has no content, was likely registered to prevent others from setting up a website at the address.

Friday, January 21, 2005

John Conyers Updates-Updated!

Rep. John Conyers writes a letter to the Ohio Attorney General:

It is also noteworthy that the Ohio Secretary of State intentionally delayed certifying the vote, thereby insuring that the recount could not be completed by the date the electoral college met on December 13. The Ohio Secretary State also refused to respond to numerous questions regarding the irregularities submitted to him by several members of the House Judiciary Committee, has refused to respond to a single concern set forth in the Judiciary Report, and also sought a protective order to avoid any discovery related to the legal challenges. In short, Ohio election officials have compounded public doubt concerning the election by refusing to provide any sort of accountability and acting in almost every respect as if they have "something to hide."

And gives an interview to The Blue Lemur:

Conyers: Here we are two presidential elections in a row, one state determines the winner, and each time that state has the highest number of irregularities, unusual procedures, outright violations of election law. It does not require political science to get the connection

John: You don’t think that was simply because there was more focus on, say, Ohio in this election, and Florida in the last?

Conyers: It all came down to the same thing, John, the one state that would make the difference was the one state that was plagued with the most irregularities and the most complaints. I did not pick Ohio, Ohio leapt to our attention because that is where the majority of the calls came from.

Larisa: Congressman Conyers… I do want to tell you that there were significant problems in Florida.

Conyers: Well, I think that if Ohio had not come into such prominence, Florida would have again been the most contentious state in the union, don’t you?

Larisa: Well, I think Ohio overshadowed Florida. …The office of the inspector general for the state of Florida basically in an audit released shortly after the Nov. 2 election cited serious violations with regard to Federal law as well as the NAACP settlement of 2000. The audit fell largely on deaf ears. Just to give you a brief background summary, as you know in the 2000 election, there was a “fake” felon list that listed non-felon African Americans as felons, falsely…

Conyers: Of course.


And he writes the pollsters:

To be frank, blaming such factors as distant restrictions on polling places, weather conditions, the age of exit poll workers, and the fact that multiple precincts were contained at the same polling place, as your report does, does not come close to explaining why the exit polls overstated support for the Kerry/Edwards ticket in 26 states and support for the Bush/Cheney ticket in only 4 states. Many of the factors you point to appear to merely be random characteristics of the election and your exit polling, rather than quantifiable and justifiable explanations. Nor can I believe that the massive discrepancies can credibly be written off to eagerness of Kerry voters to participate in the exit polls.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Tad Off Topic: The Power Of Liberal Blogs

Chris Bowers looks at the scoreboard in the battle between right wing blogs and lefty blogs:

More importantly, however, we did a tremendous amount of work that had little to do with the media while they did almost none. We raised well over a million dollars for Democratic candidates in the 2004 cycle whereas they did not even come close to 100K. We crushed Roemer's candidacy for DNC chair and are on the verge of basically selecting the new DNC chair, whereas they said nothing about the RNC chair. We changed a law in Virginia, but I have never heard of them contacting lawmakers. We organized a challenge to the electoral vote certification, but I can't remember the last time a Republican Senator did something on the urging of the right-wing netroots. We have significantly whipped our own party into line on Social Security, and there is nothing comparable on their side. We formed a PAC and started running ads, but I guess they have Rather. And we did a bunch of other things as well that I did not mention here, but, of course, they have Rather.

Click here to read the whole thing complete with links....

Exit Poll Explanations??

JMKnapp looks at those exit poll explanations over at Daily Kos.

Exit Polls Explained

Exit polls all make sense now. Bush voters were ashamed to admit it, and old too.

Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International found that the Democratic challenger's supporters were more likely than President Bush's supporters to participate in exit poll interviews. They also found that more errors occurred in exit polls conducted by younger interviewers, and about half of the interviewers were 34 or under.

"You look at the factors out there, and young voters in this election were the strongest supporters of Kerry by age group," he said. "Older voters seeing a younger interviewer may have been less likely to participate because they might believe that interviewer might not agree with them politically."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sore Winners

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to sanction four lawyers who handled a legal challenge, later withdrawn, to last year's presidential election in Ohio.

The motion targeting Clifford Arnebeck, Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt and Peter Peckarsky was filed Tuesday on behalf of Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's top elections official, said Kim Norris, spokeswoman for Petro.

The motion said the 37 protesters filed a "meritless claim" for "partisan political purposes" and said "a contest proceeding is not a toy for idle hands."

"Instead of evidence, (the lawyers) offered only theory, conjecture, hypothesis, and invective," Petro's office wrote. It said the challenge was filed "only for partisan political purposes."

Arnebeck called the motion frivolous. He said his clients "put in a great deal of evidence in the form of affidavits and sworn testimony."

He accused Blackwell of "stonewalling" and refusing to answer questions as requested in his December court filings.

Exit Polls To See the Light Of Day?

This week, the firms that produced exit polls of voters last November will tell the news organizations that paid them what, if anything, they think went wrong.

The surveys of voters as they left polling places led to widespread speculation on Election Day that Sen. John Kerry was sweeping President Bush out of office. But whether voters will ever know what happened remains unclear.

Edie Emery, a spokeswoman for the six-member media consortium that paid for the exit polls, says representatives from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC and the Associated Press want to review the report before making any decisions about what to make public.

The behind-closed-doors delivery of the report could come as soon as today. Because the report's conclusions might not be made public, the report is unlikely to appease critics who say the six media companies have moved too slowly to release information collected in the exit polls and have said too little about possible problems with those surveys.

"It's amazing to me that there's even a possibility that the report won't be released to the public," says Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "There was a major national controversy involving the integrity of the news organizations and of the polling firms involved."

Any dissatisfaction with the handling of this week's report would add one more complaint to a growing list of grievances some journalism experts have about the way the news media report about polls. They say that last year, as during every presidential election for at least the past four decades, the media were too obsessed with meaningless changes in polls.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Day Late and Dollar Short Dept

Sen. John F. Kerry, in some of his most pointed public comments yet about the presidential election, invoked Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy on Monday as he criticized President Bush and decried reports of voter disenfranchisement.

The Massachusetts Democrat, Bush's challenger in November, spoke at Boston's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast. He reiterated that he decided not to challenge the election results, but said "thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote."

"Voting machines were distributed in uneven ways. In Democratic districts, it took people four, five, 11 hours to vote, while Republicans [went] through in 10 minutes -- same voting machines, same process, our America," he said.

In his comments, Kerry also compared the democracy-building efforts in Iraq with voting in the United States, saying that Americans had their names purged from voting lists and were kept from casting ballots.

"In a nation which is willing to spend several hundred million dollars in Iraq to bring them democracy, we cannot tolerate that here in America too many people were denied that democracy," Kerry said.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Reminder

From Rising Hegemon:


The debate over the unequal distribution of voting machines in Ohio is not a matter of crazy logic or a review of a ledger. The screaming nut-wing on Fox "news" and in talk radio and other nether regions where the light of rational enlightenment thought has been repeatedly attacked state over and over that there could not have been election fraud. But they are wrong.

The claims of fraud are accurate. They are accurate for a simple reason: the people behind the distribution of these machines, paper provisional ballots, and poll workers were republicans who were part of the Bush "re" election campaign. These were not the people running the polls. Ohio law requires an equal number of republican and democrats running the precinct (of course, this is based on previous voting and self identification as a republican or democrat which could never be wrong).

But as Ohio's top election figure, Kenneth Blackwell, a republican who worked on Bush's campaign in Ohio, supervised the direct distribution of voting machines throughout the state of Ohio. But... but but but, the republicans scream: "There were democrats and republicans in every precinct in Ohio. Nothing bad happen here unless the democrats colluded!" Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

The democrats were not in charge of distribution of the voting machines themselves, republicans were. I am sure that republicans would not send fewer voting machines to largely democratic precincts in the state because that would lead to long lines and possibly discourage democrats from voting (and that could make a big difference in a close election). And since Mr. Blackwell assures us that he distributed the machines fairly, we should believe him, right? Because telling the truth and acting truthfully is a self-professed republican value. Of course, Mr. Blackwell accepted money himself illegally, but its ok because he is going to give it back.

One Republican Hypocrite Sees the Light

Hard to use the "Sore Loser" tag when folks in your own party behave the same way. So one Republican acts...

Former Republican House candidate Eric Opiela has withdrawn his election challenge for the South Texas seat, his attorney confirmed Friday.

Democratic Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles was sworn in to office Tuesday but was not allowed to vote until the challenge had been settled.

Opiela, of Karnes City, alleged voter fraud in the election he lost by 853 votes.

By the way, Toureilles after all the recounts, had 51% of the vote, which as we all know, is a mandate.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Ticket Splitting

The Washington Post writes about the election turnout. You can read all about those millions of Nader and new voters who this time turned out in force to vote their approval of the great successes of the first Bush term:

President Bush officially won 62,028,719 votes, which was 50.8 percent of the ballots cast and 11.5 million more than he won in 2000. Sen John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) took 48.3 percent, or 59,028,550 votes. That was about 8 million more than Al Gore won in 2000. Independent Ralph Nader won 440,513 votes, less than 0.4 percent of the total. In 2000, he won more than 2.8 million votes.

Unfortunately, many people who voted Democratic in other races had their votes counted for Bush:

The organization also found that Kerry ran behind his party's statewide candidates -- governors and senators -- who were up for election in 30 of 37 states. Bush fared much better, winning fewer votes than Republican candidates in just 16 of 37 states.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Time for Long Lines to GAO

Two senior Democratic lawmakers asked Wednesday for a congressional investigation into long Election Day lines, including some that took hours to get through and continued even past midnight.

In a letter to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, the lawmakers said one nonpartisan voter hot line received nearly 1,400 reports of "excessively long lines" from 32 states, including the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Reps. Henry Waxman of California, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, and John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the GAO to investigate how much the lines affected minority, young or first-time voters; find out what caused the lines; and recommend solutions.

"While it seems most Americans endured this wait where possible, it is clear that in some cases citizens left the polling places without having voted when personal responsibilities or health concerns made waiting exceedingly difficult," the letter said.

Congress Blew It

Last Thursday, however, democracy got trumped. The vast majority of the members of the House and Senate chose not to live up to the responsibility rested upon them by the founders.

Congressional Democrats who failed to support the objection to the Ohio count - as well as those moderate Republicans who would like to think of themselves as anything more than rubber stamps for a president who has never displayed respect for the Constitution - need to ask themselves some questions:

What is it about the phrase "electoral justice" that they don't understand? Is there any level of minority disenfranchisement that they would take seriously? Do they really believe that conservative Republicans in Congress would go along with certification of election results from a state where there was significant evidence of disenfranchisement of a Republican-leaning group, such as evangelical Christians?

They know the answers to those questions. And if they are honest with themselves, those thinking members of Congress who failed to object to the certification of the Ohio results know that they let down the American people.

Lessons Learned

Christine Gregoire's furniture was lugged into the governor's mansion early Wednesday morning, and she recited the oath of office shortly after noon.

"I keep getting asked, 'What's the mandate?' Well, what was the mandate for President Bush?" she said. "We have to move on. We cannot allow the closeness of the election to prohibit us from being bold. That is what George Bush did."

Gregoire said that her reading of state law is that, absent fraud, "there is no provision for a do-over."

Republicans Sore Losers display their class and dignity ala Kerry and Gore:

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Free Press: Default of the Machines

The Free Press again:

In certain counties in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Mexico where touch screen voting machines were used, there have been complaints from voters who selected Kerry on the touch screen and saw their votes change to Bush on a summary screen. In addition, there was a specific problem with the Sequoia AVC Edge machine (not used in Ohio) where voters actually saw preselected default choices presented to them.

With touch screen machines, it is possible to set up a default choice for Bush that would not be seen by the voters. Their votes would be automatically cast for Bush unless they successfully overrode the default choice of the computer. Likewise, if they deliberately chose not to vote for president, their votes would be counted for Bush.

Mark Munroe, Chairman of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, said there were 20 to 30 machines that needed to be recalibrated during the voting process because some votes for a candidate were being counted for that candidate’s opponent. In addition, about a dozen machines needed to be reset because they “essentially froze.” Later on election night, problems arose in 16 precincts (11 in Youngstown, 2 in Boardman, and one each in Jackson Township, Craig Beach, and Washingtonville), causing election results to be delayed for three hours as Board of Elections employees checked the vote tallies of the touch screen machines.

Read it all here.

Sore Losers Lose Again In Washington State

On the first day of the legislative session, Senate Republicans made a rushed attempt to persuade lawmakers to put off Democrat Christine Gregoire's gubernatorial confirmation for two weeks while a court challenge to her slim victory is heard.

They failed, but the Republican Party said its case for nullifying the election and getting a revote gets stronger by the day. GOP Chairman Chris Vance said yesterday King County Elections officials had exaggerated the extent to which they could explain discrepancies between the number of votes counted and people credited with voting -- a key component of the Republicans' legal challenge.

Guess they didn't listen to their Republican colleagues in Washington DC last week:

"But apparently, some Democrats Republicans only want to gripe about counts, recounts, and recounts of recounts," said Rep. Deborah Pryce, an Ohio Republican.

"So eager are they to abandon their job as public servants, they have cast themselves in the role of Michael Moore, concocting wild conspiracy theories to distract the American public people of Washington state."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan dismissed the challenge as "partisan politics."

"The election is behind us," he said. "The American people now expect their leaders in Washington (State) to focus on the big priorities facing this country their state."

Erasing Votes By the Thousands In Ohio

Ralph and Barbara George are lifelong Democrats who first registered to vote for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and have lived in the same East Toledo house for 44 years.

They called the Lucas County Board of Elections early last year to make sure they still were registered to vote.

Informed that they were, they went on with life, including helping their son, just home from military service, to purchase a new home. Then, last fall, they applied for absentee ballots.

It was then that they were surprised to discover - too late to do anything about it - that they were somehow no longer registered and wouldn't be allowed to vote in the general election.

At the last minute, they learned that they could cast provisional ballots, so they hustled down to their polling place and did so.

It was a waste of time. Their votes were thrown out.

"Nothing surprises me anymore," said Mrs. George when she discovered last week their votes were fruitless.

"My God. We are 66 years old. We registered when we first turned 21. We have lived in this same house for 44 years, and I can't vote. It just seems ridiculous that you have to keep re-registering if you don't vote," she said. "It just turned into plain, absolute frustration."

An examination of elections records showed that, because of inactivity in recent elections, they were purged from voter rolls in August, less than three months before the presidential election.

They weren't alone. Of the 3,122 provisional ballots from the Nov. 2 general election that were rejected in Lucas County, 64 percent were bounced because the voter was not registered. Of those, 405 had been registered until they were purged from the county election rolls in August, just months before the presidential election.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


A group of voters on Tuesday asked to drop their challenge of Ohio's presidential election results, saying congressional certification of the electoral votes last week and the upcoming inauguration render the case moot.

Citing fraud, lawyers representing 37 voters who cast ballots Nov. 2 had asked the court to examine several problems with voting procedures in the hopes of overturning President George W. Bush's victory in the state.

The election turned on Ohio's 20 electoral college votes, and not until preliminary results were finally available early on the morning of Nov. 3 did Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry concede.

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the state Supreme Court must still rule on the motion to dismiss the case, although he is expected to go along with the request.

Without giving specifics, attorney Cliff Arnebeck said challenges of the results would continue in state or federal courts. But he conceded that there was nothing available now to try to prevent Bush's inauguration.

"We are not quitting, we are going on to any other forum that's available and we intend to pursue those avenues aggressively," Arnebeck said.

The Bush campaign welcomed the announcement.

"This lawsuit was going be dismissed by the Supreme Court because it has no merit -- it looks like the people who filed it understood that," said Mark Weaver, an attorney representing the Bush campaign.

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Raspberry From The Washington Post

William Raspberry, Washington Post columnist:

So what am I to think about all the allegations I've been reading in the noncertified press since November? That the left-wing bloggers are blowing things out of proportion? That the mainstream press is being properly circumspect? That nothing much happened in Ohio?

But "Preserving Democracy" belies such a benign conclusion. Listen:

"We have found numerous, serious election irregularities . . . which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. . . .

"In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio."

Presumably Conyers is being careful not to draw conclusions because he wants Congress to have a look. But we're talking about a Congress whose members often pass important legislation without bothering to read it. What makes him think anyone is going to read his report unless he waves it about like a smoking gun?

Instead, he and a few other Democrats offered a formal challenge to Thursday's ceremonial counting of the electoral votes from November, forcing a brief delay in the official certification of President Bush. The point, he said, was to "maximize the seriousness of the issue," not to overturn the election results.

Well, I don't want to overturn the election, either. But I would like to know if public officials and private citizens engaged in a 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.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Refusing to Concede, Jan 2005 Edition

Cleveland Plain Dealer looks at 4 folks who refuse to concede:

While a two-hour debate raged on the floors of the U.S. House and Senate over the certification of the presidential election, more than 400 activists waited outside to learn which of their leaders would join their cause.

Under an overcast sky, the Rev. Jesse Jackson told the activists - still refusing to accept the results of the November election - not to be bitter.

As he spoke, many of them wept, because for some, the anger over what they refer to as "the stolen election" is precisely what won't let them let go.

It has been more than two months since President Bush declared victory. But the activists who assembled Thursday in Washington, D.C., and countless others across the country say they refuse to concede and have made investigating voter irregularities in Ohio their top priority - sometimes forsaking their livelihood or former selves.

Rest here.

Eight Little Hours?

Georgia10 says it's her last election update at DailyKos.

She spread the word about the tortured logic of the National Associations of the Secretaries of State:

We recognize that better allocation of resources and improved poll worker training would have helped cut down on voters' wait time. We accept the fact that better voter education campaigns and poll worker training could have reduced the number of provisional ballots cast. We also know that Americans with no confidence in the system would not have waited as many as eight hours in some cases to vote, and that for the first time, no voter was turned away.

Maybe next time we can prove our confidence in voting by waiting a couple days. Especially if we want to vote against Republicans.

Some waiting in line were hoping to avoid casting provisional ballots, a good choice as many were tossed aside against their intended purpose.

We Moved Mountains?

The Free Press sees a half full glass:

On January 6, we forced an angry Republican-dominated Congress into an unprecedented confrontation with the Truth about Ohio's stolen election, about dubious vote counts nationwide, and ultimately about an electoral process worthy of zero public trust.

America's progressive grassroots further showed it could prompt the "democratic wing" of the Democratic Party to finally stand up for its constituents' right to vote, even in the face of the usual withering slander from Karl Rove's dirty tricksters.

And those of us who work the Internet showed we could spark a mass movement by exposing a national travesty despite relentless abuse from the mainstream media, which did absolutely nothing to uncover the systematic corruption of our electoral process.


Tony Auth

Another "Innocent" Blackwell Mistake

Mr. Integrity at it again:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state's chief elections officer, accused of mishandling the presidential vote in Ohio, sent a fund-raising letter for his own 2006 gubernatorial campaign that was accompanied by a request for illegal contributions.

A pledge card with the letter from Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who co-chaired the Bush-Cheney election campaign in Ohio, said "corporate & personal checks are welcome."

Corporate donations are illegal in Ohio.

His spokesman, Carlo LoParo, said Saturday that any corporate donations would be returned.

A group of voters citing fraud has challenged Bush's 118,500-vote win in Ohio with the state Supreme Court, citing irregularities including long lines, a shortage of voting machines in minority precincts and problems with computer equipment.

Blackwell has maintained that he is permitted to campaign for Bush and that Ohio's election system has checks and balances to ensure fair elections.

"I have an obligation to follow the law," Blackwell said.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Blackwell Judges Himself Innocent Again

Ohio's top elections official found no evidence to support claims that voting irregularities helped House Speaker Larry Householder win the race for Perry County auditor, a spokesman said Monday.

The accusations, which surfaced in a recent lawsuit that seeks to overturn Householder's narrow victory, caused Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to dispatch longtime Director of Elections Patricia Wolfe to Perry County.

"After an exhaustive review, she found no evidence of any fraud," just technical glitches and poll workers in need of additional training, said Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo.

Filed on behalf of Householder's opponent, Bill Crane, the lawsuit contends that the number of votes cast exceeded the number of people who signed voting books in at least 11 of the county's 46 precincts.

Republican Hypocricy In Washington State

Robert L. Jamieson Jr. of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Funny, the Republicans didn't have much to say about how "broken" the state's election machine was after the general election Nov. 2.

That's probably because their man, Rossi, got the win.

Later, Republicans were mum when it came to widespread allegations of election high jinks. And they weren't yowling about more votes being counted than there are voters on preliminary voting lists. Why bother when a machine recount pushed Rossi ahead again, this time by a nose?

But when Democrats sought a final recount by a manual process -- as the law permits -- and Gregoire was victorious by 129 votes, the elephant party went on a stampede.

The Republicans are willing to kick up anything -- uncounted military ballots? -- that could cast any doubt on the election result and fuel a revote.

None of the stuff they rail about now seemed to matter much when they were basking in the honeymoon glow of postelection.

Just goes to show that "integrity" in the voting process becomes a vital issue when your party is on the short end.

Republican leaders have to know their shifting positions for a new election plays like a klutzy ballerina with vertigo on a newly waxed floor.

Rest here.

Friday, January 07, 2005

I See Dead Voters

The Republicans tried to express concern about dead people voting during yesterday's
"debate" in Congress about the 2004 elections.

Well, some dead voters have been found in the Washington State gubernatorial race, and at least one of them voted Republican.

Bob Holmgren said yesterday that he voted on behalf of his late wife, Charlette Holmgren, who died Sept. 29. The West Seattle man filled out his own ballot and hers, and signed both of them.

"Her vote was important to her," Holmgren said. "She was very strongly against Governor-elect Gregoire."

Apparently, the Republicans can't 'get over' or 'move on' from their 'wacky Hollywood out-there conspiracy theories' about the Washington election. Or it's another case of IOKIYAR...

What Went Wrong in Ohio

In case you're just getting to this story now, here's a link, via truthout, to a summary of the 102 page report Rep Conyers referred to yesterday, and a link to the PDF file of that report...

We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.

This report, therefore, makes three recommendations: (1) consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the State of Ohio; (2) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (3) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people's trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws.

With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Hunter at Dailykos wraps up the vote challenge:

I was impressed by how prepared the Democratic speakers were, in both houses, and how very unprepared the Republican speakers were. While Democrats were citing example after example of actual vote suppression efforts, partisan electioneering on the part of state officials, etc., etc., Republicans who got up to speak mainly read from newspaper clippings or otherwise strutted and blustered about. It seems fairly clear that the Republicans weren't actually expecting a contest, and were unprepared for it.

The issue was framed very well. This isn't a contest of the outcome, but of the process, and the partisan corruption therein. Republicans will spin it as they will, but they will have very little ammunition, from Democrats, to work with. The talking point needs to be, at this point: Democrats are standing up for the right to vote of all citizens. Why aren't the Republicans?

Blackwell got hammered spectacularly, as he should have been. But for Blackwell, this is just the beginning. An investigation needs to take place as to the pattern of abuses found in Blackwell's office before, during, and after the elections -- especially those pertaining to the requested recount.

Tom DeLay is the Eric Cartman of the House. A self-centered, perpetually pissy figure with no apparent motive in life other than to cravenly scoop whatever political power he can before people get wise to him. The odds of him being indicted are soaring rapidly; couldn't happen to a more deserving nut.

By the way, the Wikipedia definition of Eric Cartman:

Eric, who is often only addressed by his last name, "Fatass" or "the fat kid", is spoiled, self-centered to the point of narcissism, foul-tempered, foul-mouthed, disloyal, manipulative, cowardly, racist, anti-Semitic, bullying, and openly contemptuous of the few who can stand his company.

One Senator Grows a Spine

Folks can now change their message to their Senators from "Please make a challenge" to "Why not join the challenge?"

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., signed a challenge mounted by House Democrats to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which put Bush over the top. By law, a protest signed by members of the House and Senate requires both chambers to meet separately for up to two hours to consider it. Lawmakers are allowed to speak for no more than five minutes each.

"I have concluded that objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate way to bring these issues to light by allowing you to have a two-hour debate to let the American people know the facts surrounding Ohio's election," Boxer wrote in a letter to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, a leader of the Democratic effort.

The action seems certain to leave Bush's victory intact because both Republican-controlled chambers would have to uphold the objection for Ohio's votes to be invalidated. But supporters of the drive hope their move will shine a national spotlight on the Ohio voting problems.

Challengers Are Go?

At least according to

It appeared all but certain in early evening Wednesday that House Democrats had secured the support of up to half a dozen Senators to formally challenge the Electoral College slate from Ohio, when the votes are opened before a joint session of Congress (Thursday).

Congressional sources tell this reporter that the house half of the written objection — which has the declared support of more than a dozen Representatives — is expected to be signed by Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio. Republican leadership expects the Senate signatory to be Barbara Boxer of California, but this has not yet been formalized. The Majority is also worried about the possible absence of many of its members in both houses, and the prospect that a quorum might not be achieved, leading the process into uncharted, albeit not very threatening, constitutional grounds. There is a mathematical, if not practical, chance that the ratification of the Electoral College vote could be delayed past tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Congressional Update

24 Reps write a letter:

Clinton Curtis, who either has some kinda smoky gun or is a wacko conspiracy theorist, has supposedly met with a bunch of Senators:

A source visting the Senate offices with Curtis tells us that so far the reception they've received from each office has been "very positive" and that "things are lit up like a Christmas tree here" with all of the Senate office phones ringing off the hook with callers urging Senators to stand up and object. Almost zero calls coming in advising the contrary as our source describes it.

At the time we talked with our source, the Democratic Senators were in "an issue meeting", and the source tells us that this issue -- the challenge to Electors tomorrow -- is described as "the major issue" being discussed.

The Senate story is seconded by 'pronin2' at DailyKos:

here is what I did today, like you:
---all day I called every single democratic senator, plus jeffords, chaffee. Im compeltely exhausted. the senators are inundated, make no doubt guys. one girl I spoke with was at the point of tears, thousands of phone calls. I asked the operator: So a high call volume today? she said tens of thousands are calling, all about ohio. good. phone lines are jammed-literally. could never get to feingold. finally got to boxer's san diego office. the only office of her's that had a open phone line! holey hell.
--my oberservations: either the staffs of these senators have been told to play coy on tommorrow's events,or they are bullshiting on the phone, or they are really pset by conyers' report and are thinking of contesting the vote.
--whose offices were most helpful: byrd, schumer, clinton. hands down.
clinton's staffer told me -hillary has a group of lawyers who are examining the issue and is deciding what action she will or will not take tommorrow on the senate floor. also he said these lawyers have been to ohio verifying information.
*schumer's staffer told me-we are flooded. thousands of calls. a real flood on ohio. said call kerry. I did-kerry's dc office says" mailbox full, sorry." has he already left the nation?
*byrd's office was especially receptive. said all the senators have conyers' report and reguard it with great seriousness.
*sen. landrieau's office: really receptive. I mentioned msnbc reported boxer may challenge. they said that changes everything. whatever that means.
*kennedy's office-snide, but then the staffer said "we are overwhelmed beyond belief. we are physically and meotionally exhausted from the calls. expressed great concern. said kennedy is deciding what action to take.
the others had nothing really distinctive, but almost all would say "let me guess, ohio right?" yes, that is how many calls.
--I just wanted my voice to be added to the tally the staffs keep on issues. clearly today's tally is exclusively in favor of contesting the vote. Im amazed that so many people are calling. the internet movement has moved to the senate and house. to all of us who have fought so hard-called, faxed letters may we find our efforts proven fruitful. if not, I will be devastated. we have done all can today, I think.

The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election

Georgia10 at DailyKos has another great posting, The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election.

A collection of good information, some already linked to here, but also the news that we won't have to worry about John Kerry approving of an objection to the Electoral College certification:

Where is Senator Kerry in all this? Kerry, always the Statesman, will be in Iraq, on a 13-day fact finding mission for peace in the Middle East. Why the notable absence from the elector certification? Some say the answer is simply human. It would be too painful for him to have to cast a vote denying him the White House and making the man who spit so much vitriol at him for two years President again. Others say it has a much more strategic reason. If there were to be an objection, Kerry's absence would avoid a Representative asking the Distinguished Senator from Massachusetts what he think should be done.

In any event, Kerry will not be objecting, and most believe it would be in poor form to do so anyway. All eyes will be on Senator Boxer (D-CA), who has said she is "considering it", Senator Byrd (D- WV) (as it may be his last term, does he have nothing to lose?) and freshman Senator Obama (D-IL) (will he set the tone for the rest of his political career and stand up for the Party?)

Wolves Guarding The Hen House

Our great electoral system: The Ohio Secretary of State, in charge of fairly running his state's elections, writes a letter...

In apparent disregard for his nonpartisan role as Ohio’s chief election official, the Republican Secretary and chairman of Bush’s Ohio reelection campaign slammed Senator Kerry as a “disaster” who would have reaped “terrible” and “horrible” results on both Ohio and the United States.

Further, Blackwell’s use of the word “deliver” finds striking resonance with another controversial fundraising letter sent by the CEO of voting machine manufacturer Diebold Walden O’Dell in the summer of 2003 when he said he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

Blackwell’s campaign office confirmed that they that sent the letter but offered no further comment.

“Without your enthusiasm, generous support and vote, I’m afraid the President would have lost,” Blackwell wrote, “And an unapologetic liberal Democrat named John Kerry would have won.”

“Thankfully,” he adds, “you and I stopped that disaster from happening.”

Blackwell also noted that he was “truly pleased” to announce President Bush the victor in Ohio even before all the votes had been counted. He adds that he declared the victor on his own personal belief.

“In the late hours of Election Night I was truly pleased to announce President Bush had won a critical and clinching victory here in Ohio, on the belief that it was statistically improbable for Senator Kerry to recover,” the Secretary penned.

Even in the wake of a House Judiciary Committee investigation by Democrats into voting irregularities in Ohio, Blackwell goes so far as to say that he was proud to prevent voting fraud. Myriad published reports have noted that Blackwell went out of his way to keep voters from voting–at one point insisting that voter registration cards be accepted only on paper of a certain weight.

“I have never shied away from giving the liberals fits,” he remarked in the letter. “And I’m sure that with all the voter fraud we prevented during this last election, they will be looking to get even with me in my next political campaign.”

Washington State Republicans

Most are dealing in (say in your best James Carville imitation) hy-po-cri-sy, but some have honor and dignitude:

Sam Reed, the Republican Secretary of State, who chose to follow his legal and constitutional duty and certify Gregoire as the governor-elect, now believes the anger toward him is driven by a feeling that he hasn't been Republican enough. For example, some think he should have backed the party's call for county auditors to reopen their tallies in hopes of getting more Rossi votes counted.

"There are people who think I should be using the position of secretary of state simply to weigh the scales on the side of my own party. I just don't accept that, and it would not be proper," he said.

"There are some people who have been dismayed that I wasn't a Katherine Harris who took the position, 'I'm a Republican, and by God that comes first.'

Those dismayed Republicans decided to wage a PR campaign ala Florida 2000 to stop the legal and safe recounts. Now they are whining about losing and trying to change their strategy and actually count votes instead of stopping the counting of votes.

You can read a review of events here including this bit:

But King County was one of the few places where the votes trended Gregoire's way, so Republicans -- playing the same kind of cherry-picking tactics they had earlier accused Democrats of using -- decided to contest the counting of those ballots in that county only, by filing a suit to prevent it. So much for having faith in the voters, not lawyers.

What was especially noteworthy was that all of the discoveries of mistakes in King County were mistakes that heavily favored Rossi. That is, what they actually signalled was the possibility that Republican operatives within the elections office had made "mistakes" that gave Rossi an illegitimate win and let him claim an initial victory.

UPDATE: Sore loser hypocrite Republicans spotted in Texas as well.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Call A Senator (Bumped to the Top)

Or two, from ssteurer at dailykos:

Monday morning PLEASE take the few minutes to call a senator to ask them to join Representative John Conyers when he argues that the Ohio electors were not lawfully certified...

I've tried calling Kerry's office--they told me that they want to hear only from constituents--Call him anyway!

And call your senators (yes, even if they're old hacks like Dodd and Lieberman)--dare them to stand up and be Democrats!

Call toll free: 1-877-762-8762

Tell them to join with John Conyers when he argues that the Ohio electors have been unlawfully certified (see directly below for talking points).

Talking Points from truthout:

Rep. Conyers and the other House members involved do not believe the electors have been lawfully certified. They believe that there has been too much illegal activity on the part of Blackwell [the Ohio Secretary of State], other election officials, and Republican operatives on the ground and therefore, as stated in the letter, the electors were not "lawfully certified" under state law.

From Conyers's letter: The Senators who shall receive the greatest focus from Conyers in this matter are Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Clinton, Conrad, Corzine, Dodd, Dorgan, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin, Inyoue, Jeffords, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Mikulski, Nelson (FL), Jack Reed, Harry Reid, Rockefeller, Sarbanes, Stabenow, Wyden and Obama.

Why should you bother? So you can live with yourself.

Apparently, Barbara Boxer's gotten a lot of calls..."everyone in California".

New Mexico Phantoms

Undervotes? New Mexico's got 'em. Just another allowable sloppy vote tabulation, move along...

Does it really seem possible that 17,095 people (almost 1 in 20) felt compelled stand in line on Election Day in order to cast no vote for president? Did 1,664 people actually bother to cast their non-vote early and another 2,325 express their lack of opinion by absentee ballot? It seems just as likely that some of those undervotes represent votes that were not counted by the machines - and we will never know about how those votes might have affected the outcome.

Had she chosen to spend a little more time on undervote issues she might have noticed the curious fact that 85% of these apathetic voters chose to express their lack of concern on electronic voting machines - the ones without a paper trail. She also might have noticed that the undervote rate is roughly the same in the congressional and judicial races on the ballot, suggesting the possibility that entire ballots may have been blank rather than just the presidential selections. How do we know these machines did not lose entire ballots, as paperless voting machines have been shown to do in other elections?

Yeah, those folks skipped voting. But what about phantom voters? They make sure their votes are counted....

As for phantom votes, the Secretary of State maintains they are simply "not possible." Much as I would like to agree with her, the canvass report suggests that there do seem to be phantoms residing in New Mexico - in almost half the counties. In fact, 228 phantoms seem to be in Dona Ana County precinct 106 where 107 absentee ballots somehow recorded 325 presidential votes. Bernalillo County Precinct 558, 141 phantoms voted early, while in Precinct 14, 114 phantoms waited until Election Day. In all there are 2,087 phantom votes in this state where the margin of victory, according to the same canvass report where all these phantom votes are hiding, was 5,988. If these phantom votes were ignored what else was ignored?

In the past, out-going elections director Denise Lamb has blamed these phantom votes on "administrative lapses." Lapses indeed. In a report submitted to the Secretary of State the day before certification, an independent auditor noted well over 500 errors in the 100 precincts that he was asked to examine, adding that these errors had been corrected during the process of the audit. There are 1,332 other precincts in the state and if they had the same error rate of 5 per precinct, we may have as many as 6,500 uncorrected errors that were not even identified, much less corrected before Governor Richardson certified this election.

Provisional Ballots?

Don't really count...

Counting the ballots.

They're better odds than Lotto. Still, if you were one of 27,451 Florida voters forced to cast a provisional ballot in the 2004 election, chances are your vote didn't count.

Two-thirds of all provisional ballots submitted in the general election were rejected, according to a Tallahassee Democrat analysis of reports provided by the state's 67 county supervisors of elections.


Provisional ballots were required for the first time nationwide in the 2004 election as a way to give elections officials more time to verify ballots of voters whose eligibility was in question. It would be expected that most voters who don't show up on the voting rolls would be ineligible to vote.

Still, the high rejection rate gives some election activists pause.

"That's not a viable solution to just discard thousands of votes of people trying to exercise their civic duty," said Reggie Mitchell, legal director for Election Protection of Florida. "They're showing up and actually trying to vote at a polling place, and by some technicality, their vote gets thrown out."

Will Kerry Report For Duty?

Read it.

My guess would be "no", by the by.

This Does Not Compute

The Free Press has 10 reasons why the Bush vote does not compute. A sampling:

1. More than 106,000 Ohio ballots remain uncounted. As certified by Blackwell, Ohio’s official results say 92,672 regular ballots were cast without indicating a choice for president. This sum grows to 106,000 ballots when uncounted provisional ballots are included. There is no legal reason for not inspecting and counting each of these ballots. This figure does not include thousands of people who did not vote, despite intending to do so in Ohio’s inner cities, due to a lack of voting machines, having no available ballots, intimidation, manipulation of registrations, denial of absentee ballots and other means of depriving American citizens of their rightful vote.

2. Most uncounted ballots come from regions and precincts where Kerry was strongest. In Hamilton County, 4,515 ballots or 51.64 percent of the uncounted county total, came from Cincinnati, where Kerry won 67.98 percent to Bush’s 31.54 percent. In Cuyahoga County, 4,708 ballots or 44 percent of the county total came from Cleveland, where Kerry won all 65 precincts. In Summit County, 2,650 ballots or 48.72 percent of the county total came from Akron, which Kerry won 68.75 percent to Bush’s 28.00 percent.

3. Of the 147,000 combined provisional and absentee ballots counted by hand after Election Day, Kerry received 54.46 percent of the vote. In the 10 largest Ohio counties, Kerry’s margin was 4.24 to 8.92 percent higher than in the certified results, which were predominantly machine counted. As in New Mexico, where George W. Bush carried every precinct whose votes were counted with electronic optical scanning machines, John Kerry's vote count was significantly lower among ballots counted on Election Day using electronic tabulators.

Make Sense of This

CNN's exit poll data-2004 votes compared to the 2000 election.

17 % Didn't Vote in 2000:

Went for Kerry 59-39.

38 % Voted for Gore in 2000:

Went for Kerry 91-8.

41% Voted for Bush in 2000:

Went for Bush 90-9.

4% Other Candidate in 2000:

Went for Kerry 65-13.

So Kerry did better among those who didn't vote for Bush or Gore in 2000 by substantial margins, and held more of the Gore vote than Bush held of his vote. AND Gore got more votes in 2000. Yet Bush 'won' by 3%?

Bush Says, Move On, Folks

Gee, I wish we were allowed to toss aside the various Whitewater/Paula Jones cases that turned out to have no basis in fact:

President Bush's re-election campaign asked the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday to throw out a challenge of the election in this swing state, saying the case resembles "a poorly drafted script for a late night conspiracy-theory movie."

Is that a legal argument or a PR campaign? Why not let the case be disproven if it's so lame?

UPDATE: Voters Stand Firm

One voter didn’t see any signs of fraud on Election Day but was suspicious of the results. Another was surprised by long lines in her suburban city, where voting was always quick in the past.

Others were angered by having to wait hours to vote in black neighborhoods. Some left in frustration without casting their ballots.

In all, 37 voters in this swing state are challenging President Bush’s Nov. 2 victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry. They want Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to set aside the election results.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Early Polls Matched Exit Polls

In Ohio, the exit polls (which allegedly are wrong) matched the polls taken before election day...

The final result in Ohio was 51% for Bush. Here you'll find 76 Ohio polls, covering roughly 9 months prior to the election. In 67 of these (88% of the polls), Bush scores lower than 51%. The last time he scored higher than 51% was in September.

If you restrict the analysis to the 23 polls taken 10/12 or later, there's not a single instance where Bush manages to reach 51%. The highest he manages is 50.1%. His average in this group of polls is 47.8%. Amazingly enough, Ohio exit polls showed Bush at 47.9% (see pdf here). In other words, conventional polls indicated a result for Bush virtually identical to what was indicated by the exit polls. But somehow his final tally was more than 3% higher. Hmm.

Maybe you'd rather look at spread. The final spread was 2.5%. In 17 of the final 23 polls leading up to the election, Bush fails to achieve a spread that large. If you average the last 9 polls immediately before the election, he fails to achieve a spread that large.

In making the case that the exit polls should be taken seriously, it could be helpful to point out this example of the exit poll being so precisely corroborated by earlier polls.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

In With The New (Voting)

Both sides after Fla in 2000 and Wash St in 2004 (maybe even a few timblair fans)could actually agree with Michael Kinsley today. Excerpts:

For better or worse, 2004 was the year the American Way of Voting changed. What had been startling novelties in the 2000 election were confirmed as new traditions. Recounts and legal challenges don't shock us: We expect them. And other developments suddenly got noticed after years of steady growth. In Washington state, where I vote, they mail you a ballot on request, no questions asked, and once you're on the list you get a mailed ballot in subsequent elections without even asking. Nationwide, a fifth or more of all votes on Nov. 2 came in some way other than going to the polls on Election Day.

Frankly, it's a mess. "Election Day" now goes on for weeks, and tabulating the result goes on even longer. No one has confidence in the count. The complex orchestrations of political campaign consultants -- composed to reach a crescendo at exactly the right moment -- are outmoded. But a mess isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The new voting makes us uncomfortable because it strips away a lot of myth and ritual and forces us to realize that democracy is not an exact science. You count the votes, whether by machine or by hand, and you get a different number every time. There is nothing magic about what I think on Nov. 2 that makes it superior to what I might think on Oct. 25 or Nov. 10. Most important, the inherent winner-take-all nature of elections is an unavoidable but serious defect. If a vote is so close that every recount changes the result (as in the recent race for governor in Washington state), it's fantasy to claim that either possible result is superior to the other as an expression of the people's will. Yet the winner by one vote takes the same office with the same powers as the winner by a landslide.

The old voting was romantic. It believed, or pretended to believe, the great cliche of democracy that "every vote counts." The new voting is tragic. It knows that every vote does not count. If an election is so close that one vote might make the difference, the mechanics of democracy aren't sharp enough to make that call accurately, and the philosophy of democracy is inadequate to explain why decisions that affect everyone should turn on such an infinitesimal difference in the count.

The new "convenience voting" (as it might be called) seems to be increasing voter turnout, which is no bad thing for democracy. And convenience itself deserves some consideration. Voting is, among other things, a burden. The new voting, with its unromantic realization that every vote does not count, emphasizes that burden. Voting is more a rite than a right. So it had better be convenient.

Let's not get carried away about the secret ballot. It is not part of the Constitution or inherent in the concept of democracy. It came in, in England and America, in the second half of the 19th century. The New England town meeting and the Iowa presidential caucuses are older American democratic traditions in which public embrace of a candidate is not just allowed, but central.