Daily Kos :: Slow and steady does it: Cooking up Election Numbers

Using Absentee as benchmark in NC

From Common Ground Common Sense this brilliant insight:

I saw that the absentee vote (which apparently also includes the early voting data) was huge, comprising more than *a million votes* and nearly a full third of the total vote (30%). It offered the chance to compare an unadulterated voting pattern against the strange results of election day.

I reasoned with an early vote that large, it is no longer a sample but a benchmark. The nearer one approaches 100%, the more accurate the picture of the whole.

At one third, any inconsistencies should even out -- even if more white suburban Republicans voted by absentee (as has been charged in the past with smaller samples) or if the Democratic GOTV pushed our early numbers (as has been assumed for this election). In that respect, I was lucky to have looked at North Carolina -- it's not as crazed as the battleground states and the electorate is nicely split between parties.

Any inconsistencies of one side dominating the early vote would have showed up in the data -- they didn't.

9% swing found for Bush ????
With that in mind, I began an informal review of the NC absentee vote. What I found was stunning, and I believe it should have national implications. I have little doubt that we will find the same thing elsewhere by using benchmark absentee data against election day returns. It not only reflects the pattern of exit poll discrepancy we saw throughout the country, but it also makes a compelling case for purposeful tampering with the electronic data. I also think it reveals the three objectives of the Bush re-election campaign: 1) re-election 2) mandate 3) strong Senate majority.

Now, here is the absentee data for all the statewide offices, followed by the overall vote, and then the poll-only results (obtained by subtracting the absentee data from the overall figures). The poll-only data is important as it gives us an isolated snapshot of the results that were returned on election day

GOVERNOR (Absentee)
Mike Easley (DEM): 573,120 (55.6%)
Patrick J. Ballantine (REP): 445,505 (43.2%) -12.4
Other: 12,490 (1.2%)

GOVERNOR (Overall)
Mike Easley (DEM): 1,939,137 (55.6%)
Patrick J. Ballantine (REP): 1,495,032 (42.9%) -12.7
Other: 52,512 (1.5%)

GOVERNOR (Poll only)
Mike Easley (DEM): 1,366,017 (55.6%)
Patrick J. Ballantine (REP): 1,049,527 (42.7%) -12.9
Other: 40,022 (1.6%)

All follow pretty close EXCEPT Pres, Senator
Already we notice that the Democrat, Easley, ran consistently at 55.6% at the polls, in the absentee, and in the poll-only vote. The Republican, Ballantine, actually did very slightly better in the absentee.

this is the overall pattern of consistency in all the statewide races (except for Senate and President which I'll hold till last). There is one other important hidden benchmark we can measure here, percentage of turnout. Perhaps the Democrats had more early/absentee voters and the Republicans had a bigger election day turnout? Well, we can figure that by dividing Easley's absentees by his overall votes (573,120 divided by 1,939,137) to find a ratio of 30% for the Democrat. And then do the same for the Republican Ballantine to also get a ratio of 30%. Both Democrats and Republicans turned out in equal numbers in early voting and at the polls. Thank you, North Carolina

... it was important to establish that there was a clear, obvious, and unaccounted diversion from the norm in both the Senate and Presidential races, so I spent a couple of twelve hour days and went through all the statewide numbers including the amendment votes...

Of all the statewide races, the only other votes that may raise red flags are the Labor and Agriculture Commissioners, though likely the Catawba data will pull them into line. none of the races showed anywhere near the unexplained swing of the Senate race

SENATOR (absentee)
Richard Burr (REP): 492,166 49.48%
Erskine Bowles (DEM): 492,536 49.52% .04
Other: 9,917 1%

SENATOR (overall)
Richard Burr (REP): 1,791,460 51.6%
Erskine Bowles (DEM): 1,632,509 47.0% -4.6
Other: 48,103 1.4%

SENATOR (poll only)
Richard Burr (REP): 1,299,294 52.4%
Erskine Bowles (DEM): 1,139,973 46.0% -6.4
Others: 38,186 1.5%

WOW. With essentially the same vote demographics in the absentee and the poll, there was a sudden shift of 6.4% of the vote toward the Republican That's more than a little alarming and is in itself enough to call into question the legitimacy of the election day vote. North Carolinians in this forum can speak to this, but Bowles is generally well liked. There is absolutely nothing to account for the bizarre drop of support in the electorate by 6.4% between the early voting (mostly the week prior) and election day But when we compare it to the Presidential race, it is dwarfed by absurdity

PRESIDENT (absentee)
George W. Bush: 529,755 52.9%
John F. Kerry: 469,522 46.9% -6.0
Others: 2749 0.2%

PRESIDENT (overall)
George W. Bush: 1,961,188 56.0%
John F. Kerry: 1,525,821 43.6% -12.4
Others: 13,989 0.4%

PRESIDENT (poll only)
George W. Bush: 1,431,433 57.3%
John F. Kerry: 1,056,299 42.3% -15.0
Others: 11,240 0.4%

NINE points shift in 1 week ?
So what the heck is going on here??? Kerry was behind by 6 points in the absentee/early voting. The result is consistent with the pre-election polls and most importantly with the exit polls of November 2nd. THE EXIT POLLS TELL US THAT PEOPLE VOTED IDENTICALLY TO THE OTHER THIRD OF THE ELECTORATE. By all standards of reason, the other two-thirds of the vote should be very close to the same result. But look at what happens -- a sudden and unexplained plummet in the very same electorate of NINE POINTS at the election day polls, more than doubling Kerry's overall margin of defeat. A 15 point edge for Bush in North Carolina on election day??? Come on -- I'm not that gullible. I honestly don't know how to account for that outside of computer programming -- and if it's there, there's a damn good case with the nationwide inconsistencies between exit polls and results on election day to say that it follows everywhere electronic tabulation goes.

My gut tells me that this is why there is a reluctance in Florida and Ohio to push the absentee counting and that the ballots and counts had best be watched very damn closely. They present a paper trail challenge that if understood will provide a key benchmark for election day fraud I also want to point out that the differential was not there prior to election day -- meaning there either had to be a *date specific* alteration in the software, a hack, or a specific activation just prior to the election. And lastly, it is not only the Presidential election day vote that is spurious -- the close Senate races also bear close scrutiny


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