11/16/2004

Vote Fraud Allegations Gather Steam

Vote Fraud Allegations Gather Steam

Vote Fraud Allegations Gather Steam
As we've often said here at About Civil Liberties, the right to vote is among the most important civil liberties we have. But that right is meaningless if the vote is not counted accurately.

I have avoided falling into the community of conspiracy theorists by claiming "vote fraud" just because I am personally unhappy with the election results. I'm not interested in what aluminum - foil - hat wearing kooks have to say on the subject. However, in view of mounting evidence, vote fraud is coming mainstream, and it's important that we discuss this topic.

First of all, let's consider exit polls. How could they be so wrong in certain battleground states? Either the exit polls were very wrong, or the vote count was very wrong. Wrong by more than the margin of error of the polls.

In Florida, the exit poll was off by 5% in Bush's favor, and in Ohio, the exit poll was off by 6.7% in Bush's favor. 6.7% is a huge difference, and far far past the margin of error for the poll.

So then, are the exit polls valid? What could account for such a statistical difference? A recent examination of exit polls in light of this election is presented here by Dr. Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania. In his study, Dr. Freeman shows that exit polls have historically been a very accurate indicator of election results.

If polls have been historically accurate, what then accounts for the many discrepancies in this election? And why were these discrepancies isolated to specific key battleground states?

In the 10 key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Bush received an average of 4.7% more votes than the exit polls indicated. In NH it was a whopping 9.5%. In 8 of these states the poll was off by more than the margin of error. On the other hand, the swing state of Wisconsin, and in many other states, the exit poll was exactly accurate.

In some of the battleground states, the difference would not change the election outcome. But in Florida, Ohio, and many others, the difference swings Kerry into the winner's seat - and in a big way.

Now, perhaps one could dismiss these 8 very unusual anomalies where the poll was off by more than the margin of error as some sort of statistical freak accident. Perhaps one could, were it not for the many thousands of reports of malfeasance relating to the vote in these states.

In both Ohio and Florida, computer touch screen machines miscast votes for Bush, which were intended for Kerry. A machine in an Ohio precinct awarded Bush an additional 3,893 votes, Thousands of votes were lost by machines in North Carolina, and Florida machines miscounted absentee ballots. And these are just a few of the problems we know about today.

A second oddity is that in many of these states, Diebold electronic voting machines are used. These machines do not leave a paper trail of verifiable votes. More curious is that the CEO of Diebold said that he'd "give Ohio to Bush". While it may be inconceivable that such a bold fraud would actually be perpetrated, there have been reports that Diebold machines came "pre-loaded" with 2000 votes for Bush.

And a final concern is over the manner that the elections were carried out. As an example, in Ohio's more Democratic precincts, voter lines were 10 hours long. This is because Democratic leaning precincts were given only 1 voting machine per 1000 voters, while Republican precincts had 1 voting station per 184 voters.

So then, where is Kerry in all of this? He made his concession speech, sure - but a concession speech is not legally binding in any way. What if a recount in Ohio or Florida gave Kerry a majority of the electoral college? Then yes, he would become president.

So is Kerry walking away? I wouldn't be so sure. As Betsy Vasquez writes, Kerry is waging a smarter war on the recount issue - instead of falling into the trap that Al Gore did, igniting the passions of the nation in 2000, Kerry and his team are quietly gathering evidence and seeking the truth. Meanwhile, Nader and Cobb are calling for recounts. With third parties calling for recounts, the focus is shifted off Kerry, who will not come forward unless there is evidence that will change the out come of the election. And if there is, then you can bet that Kerry will become very visible indeed.

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