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November 5, 2004 1:13 PM   Subscribe

A bizzare pattern of impossible anomalies This has long been known : the welter of financial ties of Diebold and ES&S to the radical religious right (with stakeholders currently, it seems, on the secretive CNP) and Bob Fitrakis notes : "Wherever Diebold and ES&S go, irregularities and historic Republican upsets follow." Howard Ahmanson was the original funder for Bob and Todd Urosevich's Data Mark,which became ES&S, Bob later left to head Diebold ,maker of HAVA Act mandated touch screen voting machines used in Ohio and Florida and elsewhere....Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist (a form of Dominionism ) who has talked of imposing Biblical law on the US - including the death penalty for gays and drunkards - and is also a main funder of the Chalcedon Foundation. However, the most bizzare patterns of anomalies in Florida came not from touch-screen but optical scan machines. Florida's central vote tabulator also is Diebold made, raising questions on the a bizzare pattern of anomalies in which a large number of counties in Florida had increases in Republicans votes over expected levels - by an overall average of 50% to 100% and - in one county, as high as 700%. Meanhwhile, here are graphs of variance between exit poll results for battleground states.
posted by troutfishing (85 comments total)

 
That last line should continue "...and the tabulated results."
posted by troutfishing at 1:15 PM on November 5, 2004


The AP is also reporting problems in Ohio, where (I believe) Diebold machines were used. Suburban Columbus had about 4,000 extra votes for Bush.
posted by occhiblu at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2004


The question is, what is going to be done?

Its becoming more and more apparent that there are some shenanigans going on between Diebold and the GOP. How do we force this issue into the open?

How do we make Big Media pay attention to the real news instead of the packaged shite being served by BushCo?
posted by fenriq at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2004


quick!
posted by andrew cooke at 1:28 PM on November 5, 2004


(Oops, didn't read the updated article I posted. The Ohio problem was not with a Dieblod machine.)
posted by occhiblu at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2004


This link all broke like 404 yo: http://ustogether.org/florida_election.htm
posted by petebest at 1:32 PM on November 5, 2004


Andrew, casting aspersions on people who just want the process to be honest and verifiable is pretty lame.

See? No ranting insult. Just a statement.
posted by fenriq at 1:33 PM on November 5, 2004


fenriq, we'll be hearing a lot of comments from 'andrew cookes' in the coming weeks - people who got their win and want to run with it, regardless of fraud, errors, or just plain incompetence.
posted by NationalKato at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2004


http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm

HERE it is. Sorry 'bout that.
posted by troutfishing at 1:37 PM on November 5, 2004


Exit polls had a 60-40 Kerry lead in Penn and an 18 point lead in Minnesota. Is it reasonable to imagine that those numbers are wrong? Yes, ok. Now, is it reasonable to imagine that the exit polls in other states could be off as well? I'm just throwing that out there.

I voted for and donated to Kerry, so don't call me a right-winger either.
posted by graventy at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2004


we'll be hearing a lot of comments from 'andrew cookes' in the coming weeks - people who got their win and want to run with it, regardless of fraud, errors, or just plain incompetence.

Just as, regardless of what the evidence eventually shows, we'll be hearing about how the Republicans stole the election.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2004


Something is weird, but I think it is with the registered party affliliation data, not the election results. Comparing the countiy results from 2000 to 2004 doesn't show huge swings like the link proposes.

For instance, Liberty County is that 700% number...

2004 Result: Bush- 1,927 / Kerry - 1,070
2004 Registration: Rep - 237 / Dem - 2667
2000 Result: Bush - 1,317 / Gore - 1,017

The question is why Republicans are so under-registered in smaller Florida counties. Even Manhattan probably doesn't have Dem/Rep split of 10:1.
posted by smackfu at 1:47 PM on November 5, 2004


i wanted kerry to win too, NatinalKato.

that was when i thought this was an election about politics - about changing the world into a better place.

since then, i've realised it wasn't about that at all. it was about a bunch of arrogant jerks who despised their fellow countrymen just as much (more, i suspect) then they were despised themselves.

instead of the kind of left wing values i cherish - compassion, understanding, tolerance - i see them demonstrating the kind of right wing failings - blaming others, making scapegoats, calling names - i see on the other side.

i'm not arguing with you because i don't think you'll listen. i'm laughing because otherside i'd fucking cry. pathetic isn't strong enough.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:54 PM on November 5, 2004


Krrlson, the more people dig their heels and say NO, we will not investigate this election, quit whining, the MORE its going to look like the GOP has something to hide and people will assume (for lack of evidence to the contrary) that they stole the election.

If they didn't steal it then why not open it up and prove it?

We're not asking for anything extraordinary, we're just asking to verify the results. The fact that that bothers the GOP is cause for concern in and of itself.

If the situation were reversed can you honestly say that you would let it go and plan for 2008? No, I didn't think so.

On Preview: Again, Andrew, why do you have such a problem with verifying that the election was, in fact and not just in spin and soundbite, won by Bush? If he won clearly and cleanly then I would imagine the GOP would be happy to poke big holes in the conspiracy theories of the "moonbat" Left.
posted by fenriq at 1:57 PM on November 5, 2004


Neither Michael Moore nor Al Sharpton is formally claiming that this election was fraudulent, racist, rigged or otherwise illegitimate.


That should tell you something.

No doubt the world is already laughing at a subpopulation who couldn't produce a candidate likeable enough to defeat Bush. Do you really want them laughing even harder at the sore loserism & psuedo-intrepid scatology happening with these dumb Diebold theories?
posted by dhoyt at 2:01 PM on November 5, 2004


Thing is, with the non paper trail machines, there is absolutely no way to verify if the votes were counted correctly or not. We are simply trusting that the people that run the machines won't cheat. Whether the votes are counted or not is up to the people running the system. No checks, no balances. *

Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, how bout you? Thing is, why would anyone oppose paper trails for ballots unless the lack of such is their "ace in the hole"? I can't think of any other reason to oppose a paper record, can you?

If people are laughing at us it is because we will accept such a fundamentally flawed system in the first place.

*Yeah there is some MS access database audit logging junk, ask a comp sci person how reliable that is.
posted by jester69 at 2:04 PM on November 5, 2004


I voted for Kerry. I wanted him to win. I'm REALLY not pleased that the didn't. That being said, I understand Andrew's position. It's pretty obvious that there was some shady vote tampering. However, I think that Kerry would've lost anyway. What worries me is that this kind of thinking will prevent the Democratic party from making the changes it needs to win. Let's be blunt. Kerry lost the election. The party lost congress two years ago. The Democrats won the election 4 years ago, but it was close. Too close, considering how little political capital Bush should've had back then. What worries me is that the left will be so busy looking for cheating, that they'll neglect to make changes so that they can win elections. I don't want a Republican to win in '08. Looking at ourselves squarely in the mirror and admitting we need to change strategies is a good first step.
posted by unreason at 2:07 PM on November 5, 2004


actually dhoyt, the world is not laughing. not at all. so fuck you.
posted by quonsar at 2:08 PM on November 5, 2004


so, let me make sure i have this straight:

- holding teachers and schools accountable through the "no child left behind" act: good
- holding students accountable by denying federal aid to those with drug offesnes: good
- holding kerry accountable for everything he may or may not have said and has been alleged to have done or said: good

- holding the election process in the World's Greatest Democracy (TM) accountable by demanding transparency and investigations of irregularities: BAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!

is that how it works?
posted by lord_wolf at 2:10 PM on November 5, 2004


No doubt the world is already laughing at a subpopulation who couldn't produce a candidate likeable enough to defeat Bush.

well, the world kind of likes that "subpopulation" -- a "subpopulation" that, by the way, subpopulates 95% of the places that the world actually takes the time to visit in the US, but I'm digressing.

No, the world's kinda scared, waiting for the next fraudulent invasion -- Syiria? Iran? France?
and the world's certainly not laughing at Kerry's supporters, really
posted by matteo at 2:10 PM on November 5, 2004


also, dhoyt, that's a lot of gloating and bragging for a 51% win
posted by matteo at 2:11 PM on November 5, 2004


Go troutfishing go!
posted by loquacious at 2:19 PM on November 5, 2004


"Gloating"? I wasn't among the 51% of people who voted for him.

actually dhoyt, the world is not laughing. not at all. so fuck you.

Funny, every single one of my friends abroad is laughing for exactly the reasons I mentioned. Which is why I said it.
posted by dhoyt at 2:23 PM on November 5, 2004


If the situation were reversed can you honestly say that you would let it go and plan for 2008? No, I didn't think so.

Given the numbers right now, I probably would let it go, but then again I'm neither Republican nor American (and I definitely would accept that I need a better plan for '08). I'm all for counting every vote and checking it twice, as well as investigations into potential fraud and a serious examination as to whether current voting machines are reliable. I have nothing against a reasonable national standard that requires simple, open-source voting systems with a paper trail.

But I'm sure we can agree that there are people who are interested in this story solely because they want to be able to claim this election was stolen and remain in denial no matter what happens. I hope this mindset doesn't catch on, for the Democrats' sake.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:24 PM on November 5, 2004


while krrrlson, dhoyt, the christian right, the nra, and bushies in general pat themselves on the back and gleefully look forward to 4 more years of faith based presidency ... the rest of the world is beginning to boycott american products, and may soon tire of offering the credit tit those in power in washington are addicted to... when that happens. look out.
posted by specialk420 at 2:24 PM on November 5, 2004


specialk420 - The US has the unbeatable military, so their only recourse is economic.
posted by troutfishing at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2004


Very interesting how "skeptics" here have refused to address the actual content of my post : it's "The Culture of Mendacity", perhaps?
posted by troutfishing at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2004


The question is, what is going to be done?

Nothing, duh.
posted by rushmc at 2:36 PM on November 5, 2004


dhoyt -- you have friends? And abroad, no less?

... and while we're at it -- just how do you sneer and smirk so much without understanding that you're doing it? Just wondering -- that level of self-delusion must be a really useful skill, and I'd love to be able to master it...

Krrrlson: As you well know, the fact that some people are interested in this for some particular reason, does not in any way change the facts of the case. If a prosecutor wants a certain guy to go down for murder, and the procedures are lawful, then it remains true that the only important question is whether the guy actually did it.
posted by lodurr at 2:42 PM on November 5, 2004


> Very interesting how "skeptics" here have refused to address the actual
> content of my post

smackfu addressed your content, very reasonably.
posted by jfuller at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2004


Very interesting how "skeptics" here have refused to address the actual content of my post : it's "The Culture of Mendacity", perhaps?

What, there's actual content in there amid the conspiracy theories and the blatantly obvious point that religious fundamentalists are crazy? You should put it in all caps or something.


I'd say specialk420 should learn to read but it's far more entertaining to watch his convulsions in a fantasy world of his own making.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2004


Unbeatable? We haven't been up against a first-class millitary since the 50s -- when the outcome was a tie. And we're in the process of getting our asses kicked by a bunch of bush-leaguers for the second time.
posted by hob at 2:47 PM on November 5, 2004


This thread reminds me of the syndicated show I used to watch in the 1970's on WNBC: In Search of, with Leonard Nimoy. OMG YOU ARE DELUDED.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2004


instead of the kind of left wing values i cherish - compassion, understanding, tolerance - i see them demonstrating the kind of right wing failings - blaming others, making scapegoats, calling names - i see on the other side.

Those failings are neither "right" nor "left". They're human.
posted by Slothrup at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2004


why is it so unamerican and cowardly to admit that something could have went wrong? this country seriously cant be that delusional than to think we honestly are infallible. i mean - i wouldnt doubt the governments denial - but that the populace holds no standards of quality for results is disgusting! now im all depressed again.
posted by c at 2:56 PM on November 5, 2004


Funny, every single one of my friends abroad is laughing for exactly the reasons I mentioned.

case closed.
posted by quonsar at 2:57 PM on November 5, 2004


Both sides tend toward certain virtues and failings, and it's inappropriate to say there's no tendency toward a certain personality type on either side. The left has its own failings. That said, I'm definitely willing to speculate that the Diebold/Republican alliance, rogue hackers, whoever, dallied with the numbers. I wouldn't say it's amazingly likely but it's worth exploring. There's no reason why exit polls have become such a terrible indicator compared to previous elections.
posted by abcde at 3:02 PM on November 5, 2004


my god ... does the phrase "increased evangelical voter turnout" mean anything to anyone?

BUSH WON

will everyone just please knock off this bullshit about "he stole the election again"? it's not going to fly this time

quit being such piss-poor losers and start figuring out how the next fight's going to be won ... grow up ... please ... the country doesn't need this ... and neither does the left
posted by pyramid termite at 3:20 PM on November 5, 2004


No doubt the world is already laughing at a subpopulation who couldn't produce a candidate likeable enough to defeat Bush.

They did manage to produce a candidate who got more votes than the so-called highly popular president Ronald Reagan ever did, though. And Clinton. And Bush I. Despite the results, he had very broad appeal. Not quite broad enough, though, unfortunately.
posted by chuq at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2004


pyramid termite, quit being such a piss poor winner and allow the process to be legitimately completed.

I'm sick and tired of people trying to tell the Democrats to move on. You move on, we'll wait until the votes have been fully counted and we'll investigate anamolies until we're satisfied.

But thanks for having the Democrat's best interests in mind. NOT!
posted by fenriq at 3:28 PM on November 5, 2004


So, pyramid_terminte -- what's the harm if we actually test the system to make sure that it works? I mean, we can pretty conclusively demonstrate that HAVA has been a disaster, and that the Diebold machines are a criminally poor piece of design -- their security is execreble, the design is conceptually flawed, and the company that makes them has a disturbing record of intense partisan affiliation.

Shouldn't we at least take some steps to ensure that voting is fair and honest? Are you saying that we shouldn't do that?
posted by lodurr at 3:32 PM on November 5, 2004


i'd agree that a paper trail is necessary ... but asking for a recount in this election will make the democrats look like they're trying to override what most of us perceive as a clear win

bad strategy ... very bad

fenriq ... i voted for david cobb of the green party for president ... so my guy lost, too ... am i whining? ... no ... it was a protest vote

and seeing the absolute madness of what's been expressed here by democrat partisans ... bush stole the election ... i'm moving to canada ... 51% of the population is stupid ...i feel quite justified in voting that way

i've been sick of the right for many, many years ... now i'm equally sick of the left

something desperately needs to change
posted by pyramid termite at 3:43 PM on November 5, 2004


Hmm, like maybe finding out what's wrong with the system and fixing it? Wow, what a great idea.

And voting for Cobb you were well aware that he was going to lose. I voted for Kerry because I wanted him to win, it wasn't a protest vote, it was a vote in support of my candidate.

Absolute madness in saying Bush stole this election? Why? Because he's never stolen a presidential election before? Oh wait, nevermind.

I'm moving to Canada is stupid? There are people that are refusing to accept Bush as their president and they are choosing to live elsewhere and you're deriding them for making the incredibly hard decision to leave their home and country?

Something does desperately need to change, we need a voting system that isn't hidden in the shadows and we need to be able to verify that our votes were counted to which candidate we wanted them tallied for.

Wouldn't you be pissed if your vote for Cobb was given to Bush?
posted by fenriq at 3:49 PM on November 5, 2004


Funny, every single one of my friends abroad is laughing for exactly the reasons I mentioned.

The fucking machines don't work.

Seriously, even rejecting the conspiracy theories, don't you and your laughing boys think this might matter a tiny bit?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:54 PM on November 5, 2004


"it's not going to fly this time"

Didn't fly last time either, so what's your problem with us claiming fraud again?
posted by MetalDog at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2004


Was there fraud in key swing states? Undoubtedly.
Was it enough to throw the election to Bush? Almost definitely not.
Does this second point mean those who committed felonies in Ohio and elsewhere don't deserve prison? Absolutely not.
posted by Vetinari at 3:59 PM on November 5, 2004


I'm still waiting for an intellectually honest argument against investigating every last detail of the election. This is supposed to be the world's greatest democracy, yet we have people here on both sides who insist there's something shameful in wanting evidence that things are as they appear, that democracy was served and that the outcome was correct. If you don't believe the results of such an investigation will harm you, why would you oppose it?

All voting systems should be fully auditable -- this is a fucking no brainer for a society as capable as ours. All election systems should be subject to random audits after the fact. I have heard no sensible or even sane argument to the contrary -- indeed, those who "argue" against it can only muster emotionalism, flames and abuse. Which tells you what their opinions are worth.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:02 PM on November 5, 2004


Good work pointing out the connection between ES&S, Ahmanson and Rushdoony. It's like turning over a rock to expose the crawling things underneath--but somebody's got to do it. The mandate they're seeking is the overthrow of our Constitution, pure and simple.
posted by gimonca at 4:12 PM on November 5, 2004


Here is the solution: the Henchman Whistleblower Bounty. Ask wealthy Democrat supporters to donate money towards a substantial "bounty", say $20 million, claimable by anyone who can provide evidence of voter fraud by Diebold that is sufficient to lead to the conviction of at least one Diebold executive, with a time limit of New Years 2008, before Bush gets to hand out his end-of-Presidency pardons. We can fairly assume that any pre-emptive pardon would prove not only the recipient's guilt, but Bush's.

Because if Diebold is guilty, then the people who work for them do so from a combination of belief in the cause and personal greed, because such an enterprise would have to pay enough to keep hold of people whose loyalty wavers. So, if that's the case, there is undoubtedly at least one who is greedy enough to take the money and run, and only the first gets it. Put Diebold through the n-person Prisoners' Dilemma.

And if they're not guilty, no weathy Democrat needs to write a cheque, and their honesty can be considered to be well-proven.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:15 PM on November 5, 2004


"quit being such piss-poor losers and start figuring out how the next fight's going to be won ... grow up ... please ... the country doesn't need this ... and neither does the left"

You know, I almost wish that the Democrats had shoved new election equipment down the throats of Americans in 92-93, which would've pushed the GOP into a permanent minority, which is where the Democrats are going to be placed, if this election fraud shit isn't taken of.

Who could doubt the conventional wisdom that Democrats shifted party votes in record numbers all around Florida? They were very enthusiastic to get to the polls and pull a Zell Miller, don't you think?

would you deposit money in ATM's if they gave you no receipt?
posted by Busithoth at 4:17 PM on November 5, 2004


Absolute madness in saying Bush stole this election? Why?

because he won by a substantial enough amount

I'm moving to Canada is stupid?

who says the canadians want you to? ... it's rather arrogant of you to assume that their country exists for the purpose of harboring our discontents ... it's also pretty chickenshit of you to run out on the lower class people who can't afford to move ... it tells me you didn't really give a damn about us to begin with

Something does desperately need to change, we need a voting system that isn't hidden in the shadows and we need to be able to verify that our votes were counted to which candidate we wanted them tallied for.

then advocate for it ... but don't tell us that the election was stolen ... and don't try to tell us anything if you're not even willing to live here

and quit being so hysterical ... our country has survived worse than this
posted by pyramid termite at 5:02 PM on November 5, 2004


pyramid,

has it occured to you that BushCo might have planned to win by just the margin needed to refute the "close election" complaints?

And moving to Canada (or Europe or somewhere else) is a last resort for some. I lived in South Africa before the elections there, I watched families who'd been there for generations pick up and move their entire lives to other nations. Why? Because they were genuinely concerned about their family's safety.

When faced with what you feel is an imminent danger to your family, do you truly consider what your actions impacts will be on society at large?

Why its called quitting and cowardly to look after your own best interests is beyond me. If I felt that my family was in danger by remaining in this country, I would leave.

I'm not going to leave though. I am going to stay and fight. But I understand the desire to go somewhere where the rule of the stupid and ignorant is the exception and not the rule.

And please, please, please don't tell me to stop being hysterical. Hysteria is generally marked by an utter loss of the capacity to reason. I'm nowhere near there. Unless you meant that you thought I was being really, really, really funny but I don't think you meant that kind of hysterical.

The USA will survive, sure. But that doesn't mean you or I will survive.
posted by fenriq at 5:23 PM on November 5, 2004


... but don't tell us that the election was stolen ... and don't try to tell us anything if you're not even willing to live here

and quit being so hysterical ...


You appear to have a big personal problem with people questioning this election. Too bad. You are apparently content that everything was on the up and up. How very jolly for you. Now explain how you would be injured by an investigation. Explain how you are terribly wounded by the comments you're reponding to. What injury are you suffering here that makes you so judgemental?

You don't have a problem with how this election was conducted? Good. Enjoy that feeling. But given the naked partisanship of the makers of the election systems and the fact that they were held to no standards whatsoever in making or operating them, it's perfectly reasonable -- even downright patriotic for christ's sake -- to demand an accounting. The fact that there is no accounting, no possibility of one, is an absolute disgrace. You have some kind of faith that it was all sound. How nice for you. But don't confused that faith with the kind of rationally-based confidence that we deserve to have in our democratic process, and don't.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:27 PM on November 5, 2004


and this is what you have to offer us? ... divisive and paranoid conspiracy theories? ... claims that we're all in mortal danger because bush is serving 4 more years as our head jackass? ...

i saw that someone mentioned the 1960 election today, which some believe was stolen for jfk ... nixon suspected it ... and refused to make an issue of it because "it would tear the country apart" ... and he had a lot slimmer margin and a lot better evidence for it

good god, people, you're making me nostalgic for richard nixon, for pete's sake

i'm being judgemental? ... why, by god, yes i am ... i'm showing judgement ... common sense ... that you don't divide the country further over accusations that you don't have any basis for and don't have a chance of changing the outcome of the election with

you have to know that bush's supporters are going to think you're nuts ... and the great majority of people who voted for kerry are going to think you're nuts, too

do you or don't you have enough specific proof of these accusations being made that a prosecuting attorney would feel obligated to prosecute? ... i don't see it here ... when you get some, then make a case

Hysteria is generally marked by an utter loss of the capacity to reason.

when you show a capacity to reason about this, i'll quit calling you hysterical ... get over your denial, deal with the reality of the situation and figure out how we can turn it around

do it for your country ... please ... all you're going to do is marginalize yourselves

this site's becoming more like the liberal version of free republic every day ... i'm about ready to give up on it ... and i am giving up on this thread ... bye
posted by pyramid termite at 6:21 PM on November 5, 2004


one more question ... why isn't john kerry claiming the election was stolen? ... i thought y'all trusted him as your leader
posted by pyramid termite at 6:33 PM on November 5, 2004


Oh, I see. We're not supposed to investigate because the Bush voters will lose all respect for us? What a joke. A) Like we care, and B) Like they respect us now. And by the way, do you have enough ellipses in there? It reads like you're being coached by a listening device in your ear. Oh, and I do admire the way you "gave up on the thread", by posting a question to it 12 minutes later. Guess we don't have to answer it since you're gone, right?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:55 PM on November 5, 2004


Um, hey Pyramid Termite, pssst. No really. Come here, I want to actually tell you something and see if you can hear it.

Closer.




Closer.




Closer.




All we the people are asking for is for the election to not have discrepancies that won't be examined. All we want is for the election process to be honest and open.

When you play Monopoly, do you play by the rules or do you cheat? Or better, what happens if you cheat while playing poker?

This is the process to select the most powerful man on earth. Um, hello, an honest and open election's really not too much to ask for since it is kind of one of the fundamental principles that this country was founded upon.

How that is unreasonable or irrational to you is really kind of amazing.

posted by fenriq at 6:56 PM on November 5, 2004


Fine, Kerry, concede. I don't care much anyway. I can see the upside of 4 more years of insanity over 4 years of milquetoast. But I paid you. A lot of people paid you and we weren't giving up because you lost. Concede, I don't care. But then get your ass in court and nail every case of voter intimidation, misinformation, fraud, and whatever else possible. We put our heart and soul into you. Who gives a fuck if they call you a sore loser. You are a fucking loser. Revel in it and do something good with that legal warchest you've got. The least you could do is go down fighting, you sucking chest wound. You pile of sniveling vomit.
posted by velacroix at 7:12 PM on November 5, 2004


We're laughing at you, America, but not for the reasons dhoyt seems to think we are.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:37 PM on November 5, 2004


Who's "we" stavros?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:10 PM on November 5, 2004


pyramid we've been nostalgic for Nixon for 4 years now.
posted by goneill at 9:20 PM on November 5, 2004


Folks, this is just the beginning. I've got my popcorn, and I'm settling in for a long four to ten years of this.

One America - ha!!! I just hope we all live to see the next election.
posted by fungible at 9:29 PM on November 5, 2004


Who's "we" stavros?

Your fellow Canadians, who preferred Kerry to Bush by a 2:1 margin. Perhaps you should reach out to them Krrrslon, and try to understand why they feel they way they do. Otherwise, you'll just be perrenially irrelevant in your own country.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:30 PM on November 5, 2004


Sigh. Typo catastrophe. Mea culpa.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:36 PM on November 5, 2004


I don't understand why an investigation into voting is such a bad thing to ask for. We've got a brand new electronic system in place and the least we can do is to verify it. If it makes us look silly, well, I think that should be something we accept gladly. After all, being anal-retentive for democracy is no sin.

Why is that my bank can handle millions of transactions and yet for somer reason, we can't even get a good verifiable number with these election systems that we paid so much for?

The "Trust us, we're the government" line has never been all that convincing.
posted by rks404 at 10:16 PM on November 5, 2004


Can someone explain to me why an investigation into suspected irregularities is a bad thing?

And if you say waste of money I say Clinton investigation.
posted by fullerine at 12:08 AM on November 6, 2004


I don't think the election was stolen.
I think Bush is just a miracle worker when it comes to the polls.
After all, he beat Ann Richards fair and square and she had a 70% approval rating in the polls.

/sarcasm
posted by bashos_frog at 12:36 AM on November 6, 2004



Who's "we" stavros?


Anywhere between 60-90% of the population in Canada, France, Germany, England, Spain, etc.

Not you though. You're not part of the royal We.
posted by The God Complex at 3:21 AM on November 6, 2004



Your fellow Canadians, who preferred Kerry to Bush by a 2:1 margin. Perhaps you should reach out to them Krrrslon, and try to understand why they feel they way they do. Otherwise, you'll just be perrenially irrelevant in your own country.


Yeah. We'll see if Martin has the guts to stay out of this mess now that the Americans are begging Nato to bail them out.
posted by The God Complex at 3:24 AM on November 6, 2004


Pyramid Termite:
"i saw that someone mentioned the 1960 election today, which some believe was stolen for jfk ... nixon suspected it ... and refused to make an issue of it because "it would tear the country apart" ... and he had a lot slimmer margin and a lot better evidence for it"

Err, he hardly refused to make an issue of it:

"...The Republicans pressed their case doggedly. They succeeded in obtaining recounts, empanelling grand juries, and involving U.S. attorneys and the FBI. Appeals were heard, claims evaluated, evidence weighed. The New York Times considered the charges in a Nov. 26 editorial. (Its bold verdict: "It is now imperative that the results in each state be definitively settled by the time the electoral college meets.")

The results of it all were meager..."

Let's be realistic, in elections as close as this one, the losing candidate will always look for any and all electoral problems.
posted by talos at 4:57 AM on November 6, 2004


Really I'm stunned at the "sore loosers" kind of arguments in here. When I was asked "who do you think will win the election in the US" a month before, and a day before the election my response was "Bush, he'll take Ohio". My explanation was "Diebold voting machines". I'm really stunned that in a so called democracy, it's such a bad thing to want to verify the votes. Why is this such a horrible thing to say? Why is this effectively being shut up by other people who live in the same democracy?

The only time I laughed was when US election monitors in Belarus called their election fraudulent and that it "failed to meet international standards". The irony got to me there.
posted by dabitch at 6:35 AM on November 6, 2004


Oh how I wish this was all true... Just the thought of all the chaos and hopefully all out revolution gives me such a hardon... ;)
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:24 AM on November 6, 2004


The question is why Republicans are so under-registered in smaller Florida counties.

Florida has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but in every election it seems like the GOP has home-field advantage here. Jeb Bush squashed Bill McBride like a bug, for instance.

I suspect that we still have a lot of Zell Millers here -- longtime Democrats who have moved politically over to the Republicans but haven't had the gumption to switch their registration.

That certainly was the case in Texas when I was growing up, where many Democratic politicians were as Republican as you can get on the issues.
posted by rcade at 8:15 AM on November 6, 2004


Pyramid Termite,

What's wrong with counting the votes? A lot of these "provisional", and "spoilage" votes should be counted and reexamined, because it's an election. That's what you do, you count votes.

If the election went the other way, and a lot of Republican's were claiming that there Soros voting machines were acting funny, wouldn't you want that looked into?

I explain it that way, because you tend to only see things in a partisan way. Looking into the voting process is something that's good for everyone, and in Bush's case could stop four years of some skepticism that will weaken his presidency. His margin was large enough that he should jump all over this.... Unless he knows something I don't ;-)

I can't for the life of me understand how these problems haven't been fixed or why anyone is using Diebold machines. Again, to flip things, if Kerry won, I am sure he wouldn't want all these questions related to his authority based on Soros voting machines.

These problems have existed for four years, and I do partly blame Bush for not fixing them. The Republican party has shown that they want voting to be made as difficult as possible, and that SUCKS.
posted by xammerboy at 8:17 AM on November 6, 2004


"....Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud."

Also see : statistical graph of Florida Vote-Data ( and here : county-by county data w/ more graphs ( scroll down) of statistical variance.

".....i'd agree that a paper trail is necessary ... but asking for a recount in this election will make the democrats look like they're trying to override what most of us perceive as a clear win

bad strategy ... very bad"
(pyramid termite) - Well, given the fact that most of the electronic voting machinery used in the 2004 election:

1) Produced a "result" that could not be verified in ANY way, so that we are being told that we must simply "trust" Diebold and ES&S's integrity - in the face of the extensive reporting which suggests that these companies don't have a shred of integrity and that their machines and software are riddled with flaws and also equipped with improbable "back doors" which allow vote tampering (see this Wired article) and...

2) The extensive financial association of these companies with backers who openly advocate (and who are financially backing efforts towards this) turning the US into some sort of bizarre Leviticus-based Biblical theocracy...

Suggests to me that anyone calling this story "... divisive and paranoid conspiracy theory" is 1) unwilling, for whatever reason, to confront the facts, 2) a naked partisan for the Republican party with little moral integrity, 3) insane.

_________________


"my god ... does the phrase "increased evangelical voter turnout" mean anything to anyone?" (pyramid termite) - Sure, it means to me "The media says that there was an increased evangelical voter turnout", and that you believe mainstream media on this. I reserve judgment on that and am suggesting that you are, perhaps, a little overly credulous given the fact that, although that mainstream media poo-poohed the 2000 election vote-fraud story explored by Greg Palast ( see, also, Greg Palast on the 2004 election, that story was eventually, begrudgingly acknowledged - long after it had any political significance.

For example, the NYT eventually acknowledged massive vote fraud in the Florida election 3 YEARS later.

Trust the media? 'mkay. While you're at it, do you have a knitting needle I can use for a bit, to shove up into my eye-socket and scramble my frontal lobes a little ? I've heard that that would help with my "media credibility" doubts.

I'm sure there WAS increased Evangelical turnout. And there was also - judging from voter registration, RECORD Democratic Party turnout. But do we have any way of checking the actual numbers for Republican and Democratic turnout ? And, can we make any empirical assessments about the unusual correlation such that the early poll survey results were fairly accurate in non-"battleground" states but way off in "battleground" states, including Ohio and Florida ? (scroll down for graphs)

- The answer is NO. The relevant data is either "Black Box" data (non-verifiable, with no paper trail or any verifiable trail whatsoever), or it's held by partisan controlled voting authorities who - in the case of Florida - have been very reluctant to allow scrutiny of actual ballots (Florida actually tried to destroy the 2000 election ballots. Lawsuits ensued.)

And, were those discrepancies all due to Rovian gay-bashing, "Kerry will ban your Bibles" scare tactics which drove evangelicals to the polls? Did pre-election polling simply fail to reach those evangelicals? And how was it that the record for new Democratic voter registrations failed to counterbalance the evangelical vote ? Once again, we have no way of accurately assessing these questions. [ You won't hear this fact on American television, but exit poll data is considered, by the UN, to be highly accurate and the best benchmark against voting fraud : but apparently, according to pundits and that Godlike voice of objectivity from up on high - Public Radio - the exit polls got it all wrong. Hmmm. America is a mysterious, tricky place. ]

Ignoring all of this absurd indeterminacy - so elections in American Democracy are "Faith Based" now, without any objective benchmark of a verifiable audit trail ? - and jamming one's fingers into one's ears while shouting LA LA LA LA LALALA LA! will not alter the fact that there is absolutely no way that we can actually determine the reality of the matter of who actually won the 2004 (or the 2002 and 2000 elections, for that matter) :

The machinery of power says that Bush won in 2004. And who knows ? Maybe he did, but I've learned to give little credibility to that machinery (which gave us, among other dubious blessings, the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" hoax and the whole seemingly endless list of flimsy, shifting justifications for the invasion of Iraq) I'm going to reserve my judgment on who was the actual victor in 2004 while researchers dig in to attempt to determine the actual scope of electoral fraud - in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere.

American Democracy has been rendered - intentionally, I'd assert - "Postmodern" : some choose to believe the mainstream media accounts (despite that media's demonstrated refusal to publicize proven election fraud), and others point to a huge (and growing) body of journalism and research claiming to demonstrate pervasive patterns of vote fraud of various sorts that is often associated either with electronic voting or with partisan control of the voting process.

Now, the burden of proof has been heaped - by mainstream media and by those who brand this as "conspiracy theory" - at the feet of those alleging pervasive vote fraud :

And, those who allege vote fraud have been meeting that challenge by building up carefully researched, well substantiated bodies of work that demonstrate 1) when and where these alleged frauds have been perpetrated. 2) How it was done, 3) By whom it was probably done, 4) The overall partisan affiliations of officials and companies in control of the voting process and machinery at the time of these frauds, and 5) the association of electronic voting machine companies with financiers who hold and who fund extreme, radical-right political agendas.

So - on the one hand we have the mainstream-media generated "orthodox" claims, that the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections were substantially legitimate. And on the other hand, we have a growing empirical challenge to those claims.

By far - the internet and the blogosphere notwithstanding - mainstream media holds the lion's share of power in terms of shaping public perception of this controversy , and - for it's dominating influence - mainstream media does not need to deal at all with this empirical case, with the actual know facts of the matter.

The M.O. of American mainstream media - as demonstrated in the case of the 2000 election - has been to simply ignore and not publicize these controversies over voting, and to marginalize their proponents by insinuating that they are "conspiracy theorists". Then, as the actual facts of the alleged frauds are brought to light and these cases are built up bit by bit, through lawsuits and investigative jounalism, the mainstream media eventually, begrudgingly, admits the likelihood of the case for these election frauds being irrefutable - but mostly quietly, somewhere buried on the back of it's newspapers or perhaps in a brief, fleeting mention on television.

But, by then the whole issue has been rendered moot by the passage of time. It's become a footnote to history and thus is considered "old news" that's not worthy of further publicity (even though the scandal has finally, begrudgingly, been given the official stamp of "truth").

__________________

The best referents for empirical truth we have in this matter were the exit polls - but which set of those should we give more credit to ? : the earlier exit poll data which showed a clear and strong Kerry lead or the later exit poll data - which showed a sudden and dramatic reversal, from a Kerry lead to a Bush lead ?

Oddly, the early exit poll data, overall, correlated much more closely with actual vote counts in the non-"battleground" states, while in Ohio and Florida, for example, the early exit poll data was not predictive at all.

Now, add to that the "Provisional" ballots and voter suppression tactics chronicled in Ohio and Florida....

- With the facts of Diebold and ES&S's shady associations, proven track record of erratic machine behavior, and bizarre "back door" software and machine designs, the association of the use of those machines in elections with "unprecedented" republican victories, the fact that the California Attorney General BANNED the use of Diebold and ES&S electronic voting machines...

- And with the various improbable to impossible statistical patterns shown the Florida polling data ( "The magnitude of the apparent effect of voting machine type on voter behavior nonetheless would seem to warrant investigation. " )

To suggest that challenging the vote result counts from the 2004 election is a "Bad Strategy" amounts to an exhortation, to Democrats, to "roll over and play dead" and hope that the Republican Party won't give it a stomping.

If challenging these funky vote count results is a "Bad Strategy", then Copernicus' challenge to the Catholic Church - in the form of his heliocentric solar system, was a "bad strategy" too.

We're talking, here, about this question - what are the facts of the matter concerning the profusion of questions surrounding the 2000 election ? What are we to make of these bizarre statistical patterns and of countless improbable and even impossible vote counts for Bush. Take the case of Liberty County (I did a short write up on Liberty County's bizarre, unlikely vote counts from the 2000 and 2004 elections).

_________________

A BIT OF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:"Op-scan machines tended to be used in counties with small numbers of registered voters, while very largest counties tended to used E-touch, so that the entire two groups of counties (E-touch and Op-scan users in Florida) cannot be validly compared, as county-size itself might account for the data. However, for the 26 mid-sized counties with between 80,000 and 500,000 registered voters, the type of machine used was not significantly related to the number of registered voters in the county. Eight of these counties used E-touch machines, and 18 used Op-scan machines. There was no significant difference between these two groups of counties in either their numbers of registered voters or their proportion of registered Republicans to registered Democrats. Neither covariate was a significant predictor of change. However, "machine used" was very significant (p< .01), with op scan favoring repubs./i>







posted by troutfishing at 8:30 AM on November 6, 2004


Your fellow Canadians, who preferred Kerry to Bush by a 2:1 margin. Perhaps you should reach out to them Krrrslon, and try to understand why they feel they way they do. Otherwise, you'll just be perrenially irrelevant in your own country.

Disagreeing with an apparent majority of the population suddenly makes me irrelevant? I wonder what that says about folks who voted for Kerry. Perhaps you should also ask yourself why Canada is so irrelevant on the international stage these days.

How presumptuous and delusional of all of you to speak for the entire world based on a few website polls. Your failure to acknowledge the mere existence of people who disagree with you is a major reason Bush won this election.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:58 AM on November 6, 2004


trout, I hate to break it to you, but there's really nothing mysterious about rural Southern rednecks registering Democratic and voting Republican. It's a commonplace, not an anomaly or an impossibility.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:48 AM on November 6, 2004


Err, he hardly refused to make an issue of it:

That was a very interesting article (except I kept reading "Thruston Morton" as "Thurston Moore" - but really, what kind of name is "Thruston"?!). It's interesting that it was written in Oct 2000, just before the issue become so relevant again - well, I guess all the close polls forecast the likelihood of such a close election.

Anyway, I hope some kind of bipartisan congressional act can attempt to make voting procedures regular across states, transparent to citizens, and recounted as a matter of course. If it is called for by those who lost elections, it will easily come across as self-serving, but the basic concerns are central to democracy and shouldn't be brushed aside whoever comes out the winner. I realize that perfection is impossible when you've got 300 million people, but standard recounts hardly seems like too much to ask for.
posted by mdn at 10:55 AM on November 6, 2004


ROU_Xenophobe - no, but that's not at all what is at issue here. Look into the statistical analysis pages from my first link.

This is about voting patterns which (even after careful consideration of various mitigating factors) show a highly unlikely variance between voting counts from touch screen voting machines and from optical scan machines.

The voting results from the optical scan machines conformed fairly well with what would be expected given voter registration - but the results from the optical scanning machines had wild variances that, even factoring in differences in rural/urban voting patterns, were extremely unlikely to be random occurences.
posted by troutfishing at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2004


A careful consideration of mitigating factors would address the religiosity of each county along catholic, evangelical-protestant, and other lines. It would address the voting history of each county, in particular examing the extent to which Democrats in that district tended to switch and vote for Republican presidents. It would address aggregated measures of ideology. It would address local-level mobilization efforts. It would address local attitudes towards homosexuals. It would address the racial and ethnic mix of each county. It would be, in short, a comprehensive model of county-level voting, with the variable of interest thrown in. A really careful model would also include a model of voting-method choice, to make sure that there's nothing countercausal.

What you've posted does none of that. It is not a careful consideration of anything. It is an off-the-cuff wild-assed guess employing some stunningly naive ideas about how people vote. The only thing I can gather about its model of the data-generating process is that people vote their party registration, which is size extra stupid in the South. And, yes, a lot of those counties in Florida are, I assure you from personal experience, in the South.

All that it really says is that Republicans did well in those counties in 2004. Which, looking at the list of counties, is utterly unsurprising. With the exception of Alachua, Leon, and maybe Volusia counties, it's a list of largely redneck / cracker mid-sized counties that Republicans would be expected to target for mobilization and that might be ignored by Democratic efforts, which we'd expect to be concentrated in the Miami--WestPalm area.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:39 PM on November 6, 2004


Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked
posted by muckster at 4:34 PM on November 6, 2004


House Dems Seek Election Inquiry
posted by muckster at 6:56 PM on November 6, 2004


Great investigative work trout.

You're quite adept at "connecting the dots."

Obviously you've been very busy lately.
posted by nofundy at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2004


Nixon didn't need to burgle the Watergate, but he still did it.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:04 PM on November 6, 2004


"A careful consideration of mitigating factors would address the religiosity of each county along catholic, evangelical-protestant, and other lines. It would address the voting history of each county...."

And, it would also address the remarkable differences in vote-counts coming from touch-screen voting machines and optical scanning machines......and, over all, the fact of central vote tabulating machines provided by an absurdly partisan company.

ROU_Xenophobe - so, why don't you want me to manage your bank account ? I really can't provide an audit trail, but you are just being paranoid ! - I have your best interests in mind....no agenda, nope, not me....so give me the money.
posted by troutfishing at 9:14 PM on November 6, 2004


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