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A Beginner’s Guide to the 2004 Vote Fraud

by : Ben Frank
Thursday November 25, 2004 - 02:31
1 comment

Most Americans by now have heard about the election 2004 voting problems, but odds are it’s been from mainstream media sources like the NY Times, Fox News or NPR debunking the internet researchers as ’tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists’. In fact, we are simply patriotic Americans doing the job that the corporate media is failing to do. One thing is for sure, millions of Americans do not accept the whitewash the media is giving us, and we refuse to roll over and play dead at Kerry’s request. To discredit the media pundits that label this investigation as one for wackos only, I’ll start with the letter signed by six Congressmen:

6 House members call for an investigation in voting problems

John Conyers, Jerrold Nadler and Robert Wexler were the first democrats to step forward and ask for an investigation into the nationwide voting problems reported on Nov 2nd. In their letter asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate, they state:

More than 30,000 complaints have been noted on one website, voteprotect.org such as:

In Sarper County, Nebraska, a computer problem doubled the votes in half the county’s precincts, adding 3000 phantom votes to the totals.

In Guilford County, North Carolina vote totals were so large that the tabulation computer threw numbers away. Retallying changed two outcomes and awarded an additional 22,000 to John Kerry.

In Broward County, Florida at least 21 voting machines malfunctioned and were replaced. Most of them had already been used by voters.

Poll workers in Broward County, Florida expressed concern that boxes of absentee ballots remained uncounted in the central storage facilities and were promptly escorted out of the Supervisor’s office by security after raising that concern.

Citing concerns about potential terrorism, Warren County, Ohio officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count. Warren County was apparently the only one of 88 counties to opt for such measures.

Warren County Commissioners President Pat South said, "In a face to face meeting between the FBI and our director of Emergency Services, we were informed that on a scale from 1 to 10, the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio was ranked at a high 8 to a low 9 in terms of security risk. Warren County in particular, was rated at 10.”

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s countdown has been the lone voice in the mainstream media reporting on the voting irregularities, he reports that the Bureau issued no such warning.

“The FBI did not notify anyone in Warren County of any specific terrorist threat to Warren County before Election Day,” FBI spokesman Michael Brooks told Cincinatti Enquirer reporters Erica Solvig and Dan Horn.

Through a spokeswoman, Ohio Public Safety Director Ken Morckel told the newspaper that his office knew of no heightened terror warning for election night for Warren County or any other community in Greater Cincinnati.

Despite the contradiction from both security services, Ms. South again amplified, telling the Enquirer “It wasn’t international terrorism that we were in fear of; it was more domestic terrorism.”

So the media was kept two floors away from the vote counting at the Warren County Administration on election night on the basis of a “10” FBI terror threat that the FBI says was never issued.

Many of the Voting Irregularity stories stem from impossible statisical coincidences

Here’s the original formatted article with graphs and links

One of the first statistical anomalies to appear on election night were Bush’s astounding victories in Florida. In counties registered heavily democratic, Bush scored amazing victories, earning all of the republican vote and half of the democrat vote as well. For instance, in Holmes County, Florida democrats are 73% of the registered voters, yet Bush received 77% of the vote. What’s an even more striking coincidence is that these results are repeated only in Florida optical-scan counties. In touchscreen voting counties the number of registered democrats and the number of kerry votes was similar, but in optical-scan counties they were reversed.

Optical-scan counties use Diebold software on the central tabulator, which is a windows pc hooked up to a modem. Precincts dial in their results to this machine which is something akin to the ’one ring to rule them all’. Bev Harris found it odd that county officials accidentally gave her the county’s central tabulator phone number- if she had been a malicious hacker, she could have hacked the vote from her home computer.

Exit Polls created much of the controversy, when they were dead on in most states, but way off in swing states, where the early exit polls predicted a Kerry win, the machine tabulators computed a Bush victory. The mainstream media instantly reported that the exit polls were flawed, CNN even went so far as to change their exit polls to match with the voting results. A member of DemocraticUnderground.com had been watching these polls closely, and had actually saved a screenshot of the CNN exit poll before it was altered. CNN claimed to have over-sampled black voters, and had changed their results accordingly.

This still doesn’t account for the amazing coincidence of the exit polls being accurate in most states, but off in others. Steven Freeman, PhD professor at the University of Pennsylvania writes that exit polls are usually quite accurate, and the odds of them coincidentally being off in some states and not others is about 250 million to 1.

Dr. Freeman also referenced a NY Times article from Oct 17, 2004 titled: Exit Polls to Protect the Vote which notes that Exit Polls are used to verify the vote around the world. Just this summer in Georgia (Eastern Europe) the exit polls showed the challenger ahead, but the vote showed the ruling party winning- people marched in the streets and demanded the leader step down in a peaceful revolution.

Dr. Freeman’s well-reasoned, well-written argument and statistical analysis of the exit poll data is presented very convincingly- he concludes:

"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."

Since publication, the mainstream media has continued to debunk the vote fraud stories as ’tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists’, but they don’t call Dr. Freeman’s analysis a conspiracy theory, they just ignore it.

One of the biggest voting problems will never show up, even with a full hand recount. That’s because Republicans across the country employed various voter suppression techniques such as calling democrats with false polling locations, flyers stating that the polls would also be open on wednesday, and by not providing enough voting machines in poor neighborhoods.

People reported waiting in line for 6, 8, even 10 hours to vote- we’ll never know how many turned away because they had work or kids and couldn’t afford to wait in line all day. Cleveland voted +90% for Kerry even with the vote suppression- ie that’s why it was targeted- imagine the results if everyone in Cleveland was able to vote without standing in line.

Why are any of these practices acceptable? Why do white people in Red states go in and vote without having to wait in line at all, while black folks in poor ghetto neighborhoods are forced to wait for hours on end? If any single person is denied the right to vote, then our democracy is in danger- Election 2004 saw thousands of people denied access to the polls in several different states- why is this acceptable at all? The media talks as if it’s something to be fixed for 2008... but my question is why did it happen, and why isn’t there a re-vote?

Aside from the voter suppression, most of the nationwide voting problems Nov 2nd were quote ’computer glitches’

Computer Loses More Than 4,000 Early Votes WSOC Charlotte, NC TV Channel 9

Jacksonville, N.C. — More than 4,500 Carteret County votes have been lost because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did.

Carteret officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the county’s electronic voting system, said each storage unit could handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes. When they tried to store more than 7,500 early votes in the unit, some 4,530 were lost.

In a letter to county officials, president and owner of Calif. based UniLect Jack Gerbel blamed the mistake on confusion over which model of the voting machines were in use in Carteret County.

But he also noted that the machines flash a warning message when there is no more room for storing ballots.

"Evidently, this message was either ignored or overlooked," he wrote.

There were complaints in several states of touchscreen voting machine problems USA Today reports:

Roberta Harvey, 57, of Clearwater, Fla., said she had tried at least a half dozen times to select Kerry-Edwards when she voted Tuesday at Northwood Presbyterian Church. Each time she selected Kerry, Bush would appear as her choice. After 10 minutes trying to change her selection, the Pinellas County resident said she called a poll worker and got a wet-wipe napkin to clean the touch screen as well as a pencil so she could use its eraser-end instead of her finger. Harvey said it took about 10 attempts to select Kerry before and a summary screen confirmed her intended selection.

One county in Florida had two very different problems. In Broward County 58,000 absentee ballots were lost before the election and on election day it was discovered that after reaching 32,000 votes, the machines started to count backward.

Michael Mayo of the Florida Sun Sentinel writes:

Let me get this straight. Nearly half the absentee ballots mailed out by the Broward elections office earlier this month have disappeared, and the best deputy supervisor Gisela Salas can do is blame the post office and say, "We really have no idea what’s going on."

The Palm Beach Post covered the story about voting machines that count backward after 32,000 votes. The problem cropped up in the 2002 election. ES&S (the voting machine company) told Mayor Ilene Lieberman it had sent software upgrades to the Florida Secretary of State’s office, but that the office kept rejecting the software. The state said that’s not true. Broward elections officials said they had thought the problem was fixed.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Jenny Nash said all counties using this system had been told that such problems would occur if a precinct is set up in a way that would allow votes to get above 32,000. She said Broward should have split the absentee ballots into four separate precincts to avoid that and that a Broward elections employee since has admitted to not doing that.

In Ohio a machine error gave Bush an extra 3,893 votes USA Today

An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said.

Franklin County’s unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry’s 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

To date, know one has explained how the central tabulating computer added up the results correctly in all cases except one- computer programs don’t work that way.

Which brings us to a demonstration done on tv: how to hack the vote in 90 seconds. Howard Dean was the guest host of CNBC’s Topic A with Tina Brown, his guest was Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org :

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."

Watch this clip and more at votergate.tv, including a California poll worker that says officials had the volunteers take the electronic voting machines home before the March 2 primary, and a computer security professor that says if a student submitted the Diebold code as a project, he would give that student an F because the code is that unbelieveably poor.

New Statistical Analysis = Fraud in Florida

Statistical Analysis - the Sole Method for Tracking E-Voting - Shows Irregularities May Have Awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or More Excess Votes to Bush in Florida Research Team Calls for Investigation

BERKELEY, CA — November 18 — Today the University of California’s Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting - reporting 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 - what the team says can be deemed a "smoke alarm." Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance - the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally disclosed results of the study at a press conference today at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, where they called on Florida voting officials to investigate.

’Stinking Evidence’ of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida

"On the porch was a garbage bag," Bev said, "and so I looked in it and, and lo and behold, there were public record tapes."

Thrown away. Discarded. Waiting to be hauled off.

"It was technically stinking, in fact," Bev added, "because what they had done was to have thrown some of their polling tapes, which are the official records of the election, into the garbage. These were the ones signed by the poll workers. These are something we had done an official public records request for."

Where is Kerry? What happened to ’wrong direction, wrong priorities for our country’ and ’bush is taking us over a cliff’ ? Down by 136,000 with 255,000 uncounted ballots, largely from poor democratic neighborhoods Kerry conceded too early, and asked us to get in line behind bush. For the last several months kerry told us bush was taking us towards disaster, Millions of Americans were sold the Anybody But Bush platform and they accepted Mr Kerry, the richest Senator and career leader in lobby money as their choice to replace ’the village idiot’. But Kerry is done, he is not interested in a recount. Fortunately for us, it’s not up to Kerry.

Bev Harris and BlackBoxVoting.orgare starting a citizens audit of Florida, while Green and Libertarian Party candidates David Cobb and Michael Badnarik are raising funds for an Ohio recount, and Ralph Nader has asked for a recount of the New Hampshire vote. Kerry won New Hampshire, but the results were quite different that the exit polls. The fiery "Granny D" Haddock ran for Senate in New Hampshire, I for one am hoping the recount proves Granny D was victorious. Why would New Hampshire, whose state motto is ’Live Free or Die’, vote for Republican yes man Gregg when it is Granny D that has lived the state motto?

Cobb and Badnarik are trying to raise $150,000 for the ohio recount, and the NH officials have warned Nader that he’ll have to pay for the recount, which could run up to $70,000... meanwhile, many democrats are asking- where’s John Kerry?

The Center for Public Integrity has uncovered that John Kerry has $51.6 million while third parties scramble for recount funds. Many posters at DemocraticUnderground feel betrayed by Kerry’s lack of concern and justifiably ticked off, scratching their heads and saying, wtf, eh?

I’ve got just one thing to add here - the Bush Administration lied to start a war - 100,000 innocents are dead! - is anyone really going to argue that fixing an election is beyond them?

Are you pissed off yet? Good. So what do we do about it?

I think Eminem has the right idea.


ps- this is just the tip of the iceberg, but isn’t it enough to warrant an investigation? And not only a recount, but a nationwide re-vote, on paper ballots. An honest candidate would not accept a victory marred by so many ’glitches’ that all favored himself. What a joke he is, too bad our kids are going to be stuck with the consequences- unless you, he, she, them and we all speak out now.

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> A Beginner’s Guide to the 2004 Vote Fraud
Thursday November 25 - 17:01 - Posted by ebc0c6842c479aa2...

This is a great summary to take to Thanksgiving gatherings! Also there is a flyer in the comments here

The biggest travel day of the year- good time for freeway blogging too...

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