Saturday, April 02, 2005

Science proves that vote fraud is real! (Plus: Keeping out the "riff raff")

The day of the Fool is over, and I must return to serious subjects.

Vote fraud confirmed: US Count Votes has come out with a remarkable paper authored by a committee of twelve, most of them highly-qualified mathematicians and statisticians from major universities. This study highlights the serious ramifications of the exit poll discrepancy while demolishing the "chatty Dem" theory (more properly known as the "reluctant responder" theory), which remains the official explanation for that incongruity.

The only possibility left is vote alteration.

Alas, this important scientific study has yet to make an impact. The media, distracted by the Pope's death, hasn't noticed that Uncle Sam is also facing the Reaper. The only significant coverage of this report has appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal.

For those of you who are paying attention, the full analysis is here. An "executive summary" is here.

And if you'd like an ultra-brief summary of the summary:

The exit poll discrepancy in the 2004 American presidential election was the largest in the poll's history -- about five-and-a-half percent. The odds against the polls being so wrong are roughly one in a million. The "chatty Dem" theory is nonsense: Responses to the pollsters were higher in Republican strongholds -- where the exit poll discrepancies were widest.

Answer that, Mr. Mitofsky.

I suppose the only (weak) counter-argument he might offer would be along these lines: For some reason, Kerry supporters in Bush strongholds -- but not in Democratic precincts -- were remarkably eager to push all others aside and commandeer the pollsters. Not only is this scenario counterintuitive, it goes against all previous experience. It also goes against Mitofski's own data.

Once again, I would remind readers of another oddity besetting these troubling exit polls: On November 2, 2004, pollsters did not restrict inquiries to the votes cast on that date. They also asked voters about the 2000 election. 43% of the respondents said they had chosen Bush on that previous occasion, while 37% reported having cast a ballot for Al Gore. But Gore WON the popular vote. This simple fact -- which even math illiterates should be able to comprehend easily -- proves that the exit pollsters favored Republicans, not Democrats.

Author Josh Mitteldorff, in the executive summary of the US Count Votes report, does not favor the theory that touch screen voting had greater error rates than did punch cards. However, on page 18 of the report proper, we see data suggesting that mechanical voting machines had a significantly higher error rate than did paper ballots.

How to resolve this seeming contradiction? I remind readers that punch cards are run through a computerized central tabulator -- the "mother machine," as Teresa Heinz-Kerry once put it. Absentee ballots and provisionals must be counted by hand.

The issue of touch screen vs. non-touch screen voting reminds me of another important study -- the Leto-Hoffman study of Snohomish County, Washington. This investigation revealed that the ultra-close gubernatorial contest in that state would have been won more decisively if the vote were cleaner. Unfortunately, machine-counted votes had many more problems (to put the matter delicately) than did absentee and provisional ballots. Also see this account in the January 26-February 1 Seattle Weekly:

Their study findings, issued in December, got lost among the recount chaos. "I personally am surprised that the Republicans are shouting fraud from the rooftops," Lehto [sic] says, "and yet the Lehto and Hoffman study is non-news for the mainstream media."
This report, if read carefully, is damning. I was particularly intrigued by their investigation of Diebold's strange insistence that the power cords for the voting machines be "daisy chained." Most people don't realize that data can be transmitted over power lines.

Returning our attention to the new US Count Votes report:

So far, the best analysis of this analysis comes from Newsclip Autopsy. Highly recommend reading.

Here's an important excerpt:

The exit polls for the 2004 election not only tabulated views from the Presidential election. It also received information about the voters intentions for the U.S. Senate races. Guess what?! Yup. Strangely enough, the exit polls were far more accurate at determining who would win for Senator. As history shows us, there is no precedent for widespread "ticket-splitting" in other elections. That is, if you vote democratic for President, there is an overwhelming probability that you would vote democratic for the Senator. US Vote Counts summarizes this peculiarity this way:

"There is no logic to account for non-responders or missed voters when discussing the
difference in the accuracy of results for the Senate versus the presidential races in the same exit poll."

No logic, indeed. Unless this is a nation where "multiple personality disorder" is present in epidemic proportions!!! To allay that particular fear, this report confirmed another startling finding which was observed in a previous report by the same group. Exit polling accuracy was dependent on whether the election ballots were hand-counted or not!! This is a highly significant finding, considering that, in Ohio, only a non-random 3% of the ballots were hand recounted. Many of these instances had recounts which were different from the machine counts.
And how did Ken Blackwell, the corrupt Ohio Secretary of State, respond to all this?

"What are you going to do except laugh at it?" said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who's responsible for administering Ohio's elections and is a Republican candidate for governor. "We're not particularly interested in (the report's findings)."
There you have it: Laughter directed at science. Laughter directed at ten PhDs. As though placing the topic behind a curtain of guffaws replaces the need for a counter-argument.

Once more, the Republicans assail Reason itself.

Please do everything you can to publicize the work of US Count Votes. This important scientific analysis should be leading all other headlines on Buzzflash, Bush Watch, Air America, Daily Kos...not to mention the New York Times, CBS, ABC and the rest of the mainstream media. Alas, even the wonderful blog by John Conyers has not yet covered this report.

Let's make sure the riff-raff can't vote: Conyers' blog does direct our attention to important developments in Georgia, Indiana, and other states. In order to combat the alleged epidemic of non-existent registered voters (a "spin point" the G.O.P. has pushed for many months), Georgia will now tighten identification requirements. The result, of course, will be depressed turn-out among minorities and the elderly.

-- Georgia would be the first state not to permit an alternative to a photo ID, such as a signed affidavit.

-- another provision of the bill, supposedly designed to prevent voter fraud, would totally eliminate the requirement that a voter seeking an absentee ballot state a reason for wanting it, even though there is far greater concern about the use of absentee ballots for fraudulent purposes. If measures like this pass, it becomes all the more imperative to enact voting reform legislation that I and others have introduced to protect voting rights.

-- "Neither Georgia's secretary of state nor the secretary of state of Indiana, where a voter identification measure has been under consideration, could point to an allegation of voter identification fraud."

-- The AARP has observed that more than a third of Georgians over 75 lack a valid driver's license.

-- The bill would have a disproportionate impact on rural voters, given that Georgia's 159 counties have only 53 driver's license offices, and ten of them are in metropolitan Atlanta.
Readers of Cannonfire will recall that I've been predicting this very development. Indeed, the whole point of the American Center for Voting Rights -- the now-notorious "non-partisan" Republican front group -- has been to whip up hysteria over the misleading issue of false registrations.

As we have noted earlier: Anyone can send in a fake registration form. If such acts have indeed taken place (the ACVR cites unofficial reports of registration forms bearing flagrantly bogus names), the listed party affiliation does not necessarily tell us who to blame. No evidence indicates that a single "fake" voter ever cast a ballot for Kerry; the exit poll discrepancy offers a profound argument against this notion.

We thus come to that famous question: Cui bono? Who benefits?

A Democratic registration form bearing a ridiculous "joke" name can only buttress the arguments of Republicans who favor the enforcement of strict photo ID requirements at the polls. Such requirements will make participation difficult for the poorest sectors of our electorate. Many poor people have expired driver's licenses, or no licenses at all -- and many may not relish the prospect of acrimonious interaction with cops at the poll booth.

(By way of comparison: My local library switched from a policy of allowing anyone access to the internet to a system which allows only official library card holders to surf the web. The result: Drastically reduced usage of the computers. Since cards go only to those with addresses and photo ID, the homeless lost much-needed access to email accounts and websites helpful to the poor.)

By asking "cui bono?," we can see the outlines of the scheme. Through the simple expedient of filling out a few bogus registration forms, far-sighted Republican operatives will now be able to fulfill their long-held goal of keeping the "riff-raff" away from the engines of democracy.


Anonymous said...

The $64 trillion dollar question now is, who's the sheriff here?

Who do we run to with this information when it seems all legal avenues have been poisoned by Republican influence or Democratic spinelessness? And the media, our means of circulating info, are solidly bought into the "accepted wisdom" that vote fraud is negligible?

Have we any recourse at all?

Yes, the internet, but that seems not be be getting us very far. Yes, the court of world opinion, but that's ignored here. Indeed we are now more or less officially disenfranchised.

So. We're being beaten up by the bully in the schoolyard and all our classmates are prepared to swear it never happened... or it was our fault... or something equally damning.

Does anyone have a clear idea what course we might pursue that could benefit us at all?

Or must we just wait for the obituary of the historians?

Anonymous said...

This story will never get mainstream media coverage. Consider the position of the handful of publishers and managing editors, who are asking themselves, "what if it's true"? These are people who (however fatuously) regardless themselves are guardians of the Republic. For them, promoting the notion that a coup d'etat has taken place is worse for the country than 4 more years of Bush. (The fact that it will happen again in 2008 if it's never reported in the first place doesn't seem to trouble them.)

Even if a few publishers/broadcasters were prepared to endure the invective, ridicule, the cries of treason, the angry emails, etc., what would be gained (in their view) by publishing stories which cast doubt on the legitimacy of the current de facto regime, with both the courts and congress in Republican hands, with at least half the country willing to believe any lie (the Republican noise machine wouldn't sit idle during this period), and with no other mechanism for an orderly removal of the Bush administration?

What *could* occur is social turmoil, the dumping of American assets world-wide, and an expedited default.

Given the choice between personal security (and preservation of their assets) and democracy, most people will choose the former. Publishers, of course, are very rich people, and will always choose the former.

In a word, this story will never be covered seriously, unless Bush & Cheney make a public confession and depart in a helicopter. Short of that, it's a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

Take this information to your local 'public radio' and confront them- NPR has been exposed as just another Bush shill- why do they insist on playing Bush propaganda? The excuse here is "NPR is neutral"

Time to Reclaim our PUBLIC airwaves- starting with your local PUBLIC radio station.

Anonymous said...

Are the American people ready for a "samizdat"? This would be an underground press -- an underground media. The problem is that people need to know that they are being lied to and kept in the dark -- people who think they are well-informed won't seek out an underground media and won't take part in keeping it going.

I suspect that an American samizdat should be a video production, distributed via tapes and DVDs.

theresa said...

Maybe we should re-release Farenheit 911 underground. Everything in that film was the truth.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that we have been lying to ourselves since the begining. This country has been ruled by fear, intimidation, and lies (marketing) of the aristocracy from the beginging. The greatness of our country lives within the individual. As individuals, we are blessed and are a blessing to others. Our nation state is, as all are, a necessary evil. It's power has always come from the suppression of the individual. We are great because of our power. We are powerful and power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The question is, when will the "neccessary evil" become and "intolerable evil." At that point, the balance will shift. Not from right to left. But from stability to revolution. We have had a revolution about once every hundred years (1776, 1860-65). What this articale demostrates is a move toward "taxation without representation." The more successful they are..the bolder they will get. The bolder they get...the more they will incite the passion for the oppressed. Rome, Greece, Egypt all stand as testimony to this fact. We know how those all turned out. We are only 230 years old. The important question is, how far along the spiral stair case we have gone. And, are we going up or down. I hope we are still going up.

Anonymous said...

Elections will continue to be stolen until the day the American people are no longer divided. You know the saying, "United we stand, divided we fall." We have been divided for a very long time and until the elections read more like 70% versus 30% they can steal the election.

At 49% versus 51% it's easy to do, they can not do it though if we are united. The only thing we can do is get the word out anyway you can.

STOP_George said...

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Please see this story for inspiration:


WebGuy said...

Discouraging that several days later, only one large newspaper in the U.S. has carried the story.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the mainstream media isn't reporting this story because it is a bunch of #$%@!

You people need to get a LIFE! Or better yet, move to Canada. The gov't gives out free drugs.

Anonymous said...

Averil says...

It's time to rid ourselves of the GOP made Voting Machines. Let's get a true count with paper ballots, and hand counts.

Anonymous said...

Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.

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