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Recount shenanigans in Ohio
December 17, 2004 1:43 AM   Subscribe

Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed. Move over "election irregularities", say hello to "recount irregularites". Hot on the heels of Blackwell's about face on his promise to let the recount proceed unmolested, and a Karen-Silkwood-esque attack on the "recount activist" who broke that story, comes even more damaging allegations concerning the central tabulators. The Kerry-Edwards campaign is nominally on the case, and the NY Times is finally picking up the story. Is American democracy hanging by a thread?
posted by dinsdale (69 comments total)

 
Could this be a big deal? Yes... but I'm skeptical. TriAd came in and checked the machines before a very important recount. Sounds like a good idea to me; I know that if one of our labs is going to be used for an exam, we close it a half hour early and rebuild every computer.

He told them not to turn off machines that were 14 years old until after the recount. Yeah, that sounds right too. Once you've got the fans and storage warmed up on an old machine you don't turn it off until you're done. Who knows if it will start up again.

So he contradicts his own instructions once. Big deal... when talking to users you make things as simple as possible. You don't say "you can turn off these machines, but only if it is really quick" because you'll lose the user after the "but".

Did he have spare parts in his coat? Maybe, maybe not. I carry everything with me, so my book bag is frequently heavier than it needs to be. Besides, the lady hung his coat up (implying he was separated from it), and in all her details she fails to mention him once going to the coat. On top of that, it appears he took parts from a spare machine, which he didn't have previous access to.

Was it improper to ask which county would be selected? Yes, but the NYT says they didn't even use that county when the final day came. And what was the result? A perfect match. Funny, that isn't mentioned in the Truth Out article.

And finally, it's regrettable that he didn't know about all the intricacies of election law. However, I don't know squat about general ledger software, yet I've still fixed it. I don't know anything about SAS or SPSS, but I still install them for use on some 400 machines. Just because he works for a voting company doesn't mean he knows all the laws dealing with election recounts. He just wants to do his job and get back to the office where he can play Counter Strike.

Really, the whole thing sounds like a lot of speculation, conjecture, and grasping at straws. Let them work it out in the courts if they want to, but I doubt anything will come of it.
posted by sbutler at 2:16 AM on December 17, 2004


Oh America :(
posted by Savvas at 2:23 AM on December 17, 2004


"He told them there was a problem and the system had a bad battery and had "lost all of its data"."

But what's with that sbutler? I'm not familiar with 14-year old machines, but my computer doesn't lose all its data after it powers down, it's stored on the hard drive and the tiny battery on the motherboard only runs the system clock.
posted by banished at 2:27 AM on December 17, 2004


You know, I think that Bush won the election fair and square, but, God, we're supposed to be the worlds greatest democracy and our elections are rife with all these problems? Ugh.
posted by deafmute at 2:31 AM on December 17, 2004


Perhaps so many people taking comfort in the idea of the US being the "greatest democracy" is what let things get this bad.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:36 AM on December 17, 2004


I deeply resent the way this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist.
posted by hindmost at 2:46 AM on December 17, 2004


so, troutfishing was right after all?
posted by matteo at 3:09 AM on December 17, 2004


I see hindmost reads the Nielsen Hayden's blogs.
posted by Justinian at 3:17 AM on December 17, 2004


sbutler... the problem stems not from any of the things you mention but from this:
The Triad Systems representative suggested that since the hand count had to match the machine count exactly, and since it would be hard to memorize the several numbers which would be needed to get the count to come out exactly right, that they should post this series of numbers on the wall where they would not be noticed by observers.
He's telling them to IGNORE THE RESULTS of the hand count, and use the results from the machine. That sounds fishy to me ... now he may have been just trying to do his job and avoid having to do a statewide recount, but he definitely stepped way over the line there.
posted by thedude256 at 3:27 AM on December 17, 2004


Inserts the "you lost get over it" line so that others don't have to bother with it.

Wow, a lot of Republican Party donators are apparently in the vote-counting business.
posted by dabitch at 3:28 AM on December 17, 2004


By combining enough computer database experience to understand the technical side with entirely too much time spent analyzing the "our way at any cost / we can get away with anything" tactics of the current crew in the White House, I realized that this was going to happen at least two years ago. It was very much like a sneeze - you knew it was coming but there was nothing you could do about it.

One damning factor in my eyes was the companies what built the voting machines said a paper trail would be too expensive to implement, even though that technology is standard equipment in ALL the ATM machines and gas pump card readers they have built for years.

Gasoline purchases we can protect, but not our VOTES?

Either profits are more important that vote integrity, or the machines were DESIGNED to allow the votes to be diddled.

I don't know which is more appropriate - the Joe Stalin quote about the guy that "counts the votes decides everything", or George Carlin's observation that "We’re all fucked. It helps to remember that."
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:09 AM on December 17, 2004


"The TRO filing was primarily based on national and statewide exit poll data, which was the extensive, non-partisan polling done by a consortium of the nation's major news organizations. Expert affidavits accompanying the brief said an analysis of exit poll data found that the final vote tallies in all but the most contested battleground states mirrored the exit poll's predictions. The experts said it was unlikely the exit polls could be so accurate in some states while significantly wrong in others. They said election fraud was the only plausible explanation for the discrepancy."

But, as long as you're not exactly sure, everything went just fine. Fraud? What fraud? Sheeesh!
posted by acrobat at 4:20 AM on December 17, 2004


Obviously posting vote totals up on the wall and telling them to make that the final count is bad. However, having dealt with computers back in the day, I can tell you that the CMOS battery probably had already been replaced once already, and the second one was going after fourteen years. In your standard PC clone from around that time, the result of the CMOS battery dying is that the machine won't boot, because that was before the day of autodetection of hard drive parameters. Back then you would have had to enter the cylinders, heads, and sectors per track into the BIOS screen, or if it's really old, select a "drive type." This would not be information that would be easily obtainable by election workers. Thus having a technician come out to fix this would not be unusual at all. Furthermore, if he was unable to replace the battery, telling them not to turn off the computer would make perfect sense. The batteries for these machines weren't very standard back then, so he might have brought the wrong one. In that case, he would have set the CMOS information, and booted up the computer. Unfortunately, rebooting the computer in that state would have caused it to lose that information. As long as he was there to retype the information, rebooting the computer would be annoying but no real problem.
posted by cameldrv at 4:31 AM on December 17, 2004


My issue is that Bush's victory will suddenly be touted by a ridiculously lazy media, one that gave only the tiniest of shits to begin with about vote fraud, as "proof the system works" and that "everyone's was worked out about nothing."

As for Bush's victory, I don't even think it's a matter of "did he really win or not?" Unlike Florida, where it was basically proven that more voters wanted to vote for Gore than Bush, there's no proof to argue. Bush won because the machines said so, his popular vote lead is statistically inarguable, and in most of the anti-Bush arguments I've seen with Ohio and elsewhere this time around there's no hard evidence that fraud was committed, only theoretical plausibility.

In Washington State, actual, physical ballots have been found and now must be counted. That's proof. Arguing that there's theoretical, or even logical, arguments for machine fraud simply isn't good enough.

Paper records is an issue that I think can be won, though. Frankly, there's just as many paranoid right-wingers who think Democrats want to rig machines as there are left-wingers who state the opposite. Creating a bi-partisan movement would be very effective; I think right now it's opposed because a lot of victory-happy Republicans are opposing anything anti-Bush people suggest on self-satisfying principle. (I'm sure had Kerry won and Dems swept the Senate, the opposite would be happening, too)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:54 AM on December 17, 2004


Ukraine wins.
posted by Flem Snopes at 5:08 AM on December 17, 2004


Is American democracy hanging by a thread?

Naa! It died in election 2000. Got buried in Katherine Harris' back yard.

so, troutfishing was right after all?
posted by matteo at 3:09 AM PST on December 17


Yup. And I really miss trout's contributions to MeFi. I doubt he'll come back though, not after the savaging he received all around.

[obligatory snark]
Good thing troutfishing didn't post this! Else it would have been immediately deleted!

Ukraine wins.
posted by Flem Snopes at 5:08 AM PST on December 17


I love it!
posted by nofundy at 5:10 AM on December 17, 2004


Good thing troutfishing didn't post this! Else it would have been immediately deleted!
Sad but true.

rawstory has had tons of great info on all of this. It's a sin that the mainstream media is only now starting to really cover this (now that the Peterson trial is over? A murder is much more important than democracy, i guess)

I've heard that there may be a discounting or throwing out of Ohio's electoral votes if this is not resolved in time.
posted by amberglow at 5:29 AM on December 17, 2004


Murder is more important than democracy? No...

A rich white woman's murder? Perhaps.
posted by pemdasi at 5:40 AM on December 17, 2004


What bothers me is how NYT glossed over some of the details of the story (as reported by other, non-mainstream sources.)

Of course, all this discussion is moot. What happens if Ohio's electoral votes are thrown out? Seriously, does Bush suddenly move out of the White House? Instead, you'll see this tied up in federal courts for, oh, I don't know, a little under 4 years. Pundits will build careers out of commenting on the ongoing legal battle, we'll have loads of blogger fodder, and we'll be sufficiently distracted from the domestic chaos. We'll have better election protocols in 2008, but as we'll be broke and embattled, it won't matter.
posted by FormlessOne at 5:42 AM on December 17, 2004


Seriously, does Bush suddenly move out of the White House?
We can only hope. If the situation was reversed, there'd be 20,000 GOP lawyers and spinmeisters talking and suing about this nonstop--and they'd make Kerry leave.
posted by amberglow at 5:44 AM on December 17, 2004


Still Counting
posted by Otis at 5:45 AM on December 17, 2004


He's telling them to IGNORE THE RESULTS of the hand count

Exactly!
posted by danOstuporStar at 5:53 AM on December 17, 2004


soup lines
free loaves of bread
5lb blocks of cheese
bags of groceries
social security
has run out on you and me
we do whatever we can
gotta duck when the shit hits the fan
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:55 AM on December 17, 2004


What's the story on troutfishing? Who would be deleting his post and for what reasons?
posted by acrobat at 6:07 AM on December 17, 2004


Why would an election be run on 14 year old PCs?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:08 AM on December 17, 2004


Paper. Pencil. Box.
posted by jon_kill at 6:10 AM on December 17, 2004


Good thing troutfishing didn't post this! Else it would have been immediately deleted!

If troutfishing had posted it, it wouldn't have been a succinct, focused post with a set of new links; it would have 80% the same as his previous post, with mostly the same set of links as last time, about a quarter of which would point to his own blog, and would have taken up more than a screenful of space, and he'd have already added several hundred kB of the same comments as the last time he posted substantially the same thing.

What's the story on troutfishing? Who would be deleting his post and for what reasons?

Matt started deleting troutfishing's election-fraud posts and telling him to get his own blog after the Nth iteration.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:19 AM on December 17, 2004


jon_kill, that's clearly too mistake-prone and easy to screw up.
posted by oaf at 6:20 AM on December 17, 2004


Why would an election be run on 14 year old PCs?

They're still trying to work out the Y2K bugs.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:26 AM on December 17, 2004


Thanks, ROU. Still sad though
posted by acrobat at 6:26 AM on December 17, 2004


Still sad though

Try and keep up, for fuck sakes, will you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:31 AM on December 17, 2004


(Sorry, that was unnecessisssaarily adamgreenfieldian of me. Still, try and follow the Days Of Our MetaLives more closely, won't you, friend, for all our benefits?)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:35 AM on December 17, 2004


i wish I didn't buy into conspiracy theories so much...but I think there were lot of "higher powers" involved the outcome of the election...and I'm not talking about who Jesus favored more in this running.

Trilateral Community
Bilderburger Society
Free Masons
Your Mom

I think they tell this country what to do (on a national scale)
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:47 AM on December 17, 2004


Black Helicopters
posted by caddis at 6:54 AM on December 17, 2004


A question, only regarding the issue of this technician from Triad. Why is it that there is no problem with assuming that a vast conspiracy coordinating vote rigging across the country exists, with thousands of people, presumably including technicians, "in on it", but not an ounce of suspicion is raised about this Sherole Eaton person and what her motivations might be? Can't conspiracies work for democrats too? A sworn affidavit is not "proof" of tampering, no matter what it might say. It isn't even evidence. It is one person's impression of what happened. And completely unprovable and indisputable. Not only that, but it doesn't even allege that Kerry won the county in question, just that maybe someone somehow managed to prevent a recount.

Seriously, what is everyone talking about here? I understand the complaints that the media isn't digging deep enough, assuming there is something to find, and I agree that it's fishy that the vote counters are predominantly heavy Republican supporters, but how is jumping all over this news snippet helping? I've read through it a few times, and unless I'm missing something, it reeks of grasping at straws. I can understand why many would be anxious to do just that, but melodramatic pronouncements of "democracy hanging by a thread" are counter-productive, aren't they? And they certainly can't help in getting the main stream media on your side.
posted by loquax at 7:03 AM on December 17, 2004


I get the creeping feeling that even though there may have been fraud in the election tabulating, most people may not even care because the fraud wasn't on a scale to change the election results.
posted by pepcorn at 7:18 AM on December 17, 2004


To answer the question... it's always hanging by a thread. The real scandal is that so many people just don't vote.
posted by tranquileye at 7:26 AM on December 17, 2004


Damnit, people, I was a huge Kerry supporter, and I'd like nothing more for Bush to be thrown out of office for something like this, but election irregularities are as old as America. Ask someone from Boston, Chicago, or Kansas City what vote manipulation is all about.

For that matter, ponder this: American "democracy" survived only allowing white men over 21 to vote, then survived only allowing all men over 21 to vote, then survived only allowing all men and women over 21 to vote, and finally today allows all law-abiding men and women over 18 to vote. In other words, American "democracy" has had a color and gender-blind franchise for less than half the life of this country, and has allowed a large and draft-susceptible part of the population to vote for less time than that. So before you proclaim the death of American democracy, consider that we've been working for almost 200 years just to breathe life into it.

If BushCo did, in fact, seriously manipulate the vote, then, yes of course, I'll be right there at the front demanding that he step down. But, damnit, entrenched and determined groups have been manipulating American election results for a long, long time. It's one of the reasons we HAVE a three-branch government: even if the president is a scumbag, the aggregation of representatives (little "r") in the Congress is meant to counter that (even if some of them are corrupt too; and if all else fails, those damn activist judges are supposed to be able to say from on high "nope, sorry, y'all stepped over the line."

Anyway, I'm terribly sorry for the rant, but I just wish people would have some perspective. This is directed more at some of the forum hounds on my favorite Democratic discussion boards than you folks, but the FPP tripped something.

On preview -- tranquileye, the concern is that even if people vote, their votes won't matter because of the manipulation. A wholly legitimate concern, but it's nothing new in our system.
posted by socratic at 7:38 AM on December 17, 2004


One more thing (sorry, really, I'm don't usually go off like this, out of respect for all of you and this community, but I hope this isn't out of line) -- it seems like what we're mourning the loss of here isn't democracy as we it. Rather, we're mourning the death of democracy as we idealize it. And folks have been doing that almost since we picked our system.
posted by socratic at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2004


But what's with that sbutler? I'm not familiar with 14-year old machines, but my computer doesn't lose all its data after it powers down, it's stored on the hard drive and the tiny battery on the motherboard only runs the system clock.

Unfortunately, we threw out old IBM XT out a couple years ago, otherwise I could check. But as another user said, think about what she described: the computer "losing all its data", and him calling the office to get the codes. Might this not be a non-technical description of some sort of BIOS, and him calling to get a cylinder/head count for the HD?

He's telling them to IGNORE THE RESULTS of the hand count, and use the results from the machine. That sounds fishy to me ... now he may have been just trying to do his job and avoid having to do a statewide recount, but he definitely stepped way over the line there.

The person swearing to the affidavit seemed to have problems remembering any direct quotes, so we'll probably never know what he actually. But let's parse closely what little we have:

The Triad Systems representative suggested that since the hand count had to match the machine count exactly...

He didn't explicitly say "these two results have to match exactly," he just implied it. Which means it was open to her interpretation. Suppose he said "You'll want the two results to match exactly..."? Couldn't you read that as both a) how the election worker did and b) a simple statement of fact. That is, people were going to be scrutinizing the machine results, so you would in fact want the best results possible?

... and since it would be hard to memorize the several numbers which would be needed to get the count to come out exactly right, that they should post this series of numbers on the wall where they would not be noticed by observers.

I have no idea what these machines output, but it doesn't look like just a simple set of totals. I'm guessing there are some status codes involved. Maybe what he put on the wall was a simple status code to physical meaning translation so that they didn't interpret the results incorrectly.

He could have finished my above speculated statement with "... and here's the numbers so you get perfect results, and don't have to do a hand count", meaning "here's how to read the results perfectly from the machine, so you don't have to do a hand count due to human error."

I mean, how could he possible generate a set of numbers that would exactly match not only the results from the county he was told they would recount, but also the county they actually recounted? What I think we have here is an operator who was given information or say things she didn't understand, and attributed some mystical purpose to it. Unknowledgeable computer users do crap like this all the time.

Of course, like I said, this is all speculation because she couldn't swear to what the tech actually said. I still think that even if you accepted the Truth Out view of the two above points, the evidence against this being a fraud outweighs the evidence for.
posted by sbutler at 7:54 AM on December 17, 2004


"Why would an election be run on 14 year old PCs?"

You go to elections with the PC's you have, not the ones you want or wish for.
posted by LouieLoco at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2004


Stavros, you could control yourself a little so you don't have to retract. Sorry I'm not keeping (what?) up but I also have a real life to live. I'm going to miss trout, miss the political discussions, I'm going to miss the trolls. Bye all.
posted by acrobat at 8:07 AM on December 17, 2004


Paper. Pencil. Box.
posted by jon_kill at 6:10 AM PST on December 17


Yeah, that does work for the rest of the world, after all. Which is precisely why the USA won't adopt it. In general, the USA is a country that's obsessed with bells and whistles and gewgaws and incredibly complex ways of doing very simple things. In many ways, this is great-- just look at the technological innovations the country has developed.

Unfortunately, when you apply the same ideals to something as important as an election..
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:13 AM on December 17, 2004


Was there fraud? Hard to say, since Ohio's Secretary of State is a Republican on the rise who wants the same outcome as Katherine Harris got after Florida (cha-ching -- up the GOP roster to Washington!)

I think the results in Ohio are more likely "death by a thousand cuts" -- many, many small increments that added up to complete cornholing of democracy.

1. Voter fraud was not done with the public machinery -- not the voting machines themselves. Fraud was most likely perpetrated using the tabulators (as in the post). The "fix" was not large, but it allowed the "51%" result to occur. Get used to that figure. If we don't do something, those "51%" numbers will be cropping up all over the US. Look it up on "truthout.org"

2. Intimidation took place, documented in many parts of Ohio. Groups of outside Republicans visited many Democratic precincts, calling former felons (who were mostly black and Democrats), visiting polling places with clipboards, grim looks, and black SUVs, getting in the faces of many legitimate voters. Check out numerous places -- including the testimony Rep Conyers committee received.

3. Access was denied in other places, documented by various people who reported waiting times of well over 4 hours in many Democratic precincts, while neighboring Rethuglican ones had too many machines. Also, voting machines were not all distributed, but only Democratic precincts went without. Again, documentation was submitted to Conyers' committee.

It was a classic conspiracy, with compartmentalized "agents" working alone without really knowing the entire plan. Soe weren't even doing anything illegal, by itself. But it all added up.

And the beauty of it all? No one will talk, because they are all true believers, and those who might not be don't know enough. It really is a beautiful thing, if your mind runs to appreciating the completely abhorrent and wretched.

Death by a thousand cuts...
posted by mooncrow at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2004


I can't tell if some of you are saying, "Bush won fair & square, but the system needs work" or if you're saying, "Bush had Republican operatives alter the vote-count in his favor". Those are very different ideas, and some of you seem to be straddling the line either because you have some concrete proof Repubs conspired to cheat voters, or because MeFi gives us a platform to be melodramatic & conspiratorial--and dishonest. It'd hard to tell.
posted by dhoyt at 8:57 AM on December 17, 2004


How about if we just say, "there are too many questions surrounding yet another election, and the Republicans are the ones that benefited, yet again" ?
posted by amberglow at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2004


Ukraine voter fraud = mass protest

American voter fraud = lets go shopping.

I tried composing a long link-rich post about the recent history of elections and the troubled times we are in for democracy, see everything from Mongolia, Venezuela, Honk Kong, and the US. But the post got wiped by a FPP delete of one of trout's last attempts.


Suffice to say... without recreating all that effort right now. The last few years have seen a lot of democratic turmoil, and that isn't even talking about Iraq.

Should people think about reworking the democracy idea a little? Perhaps it's not the best solution? I don't know, I am not going to ramble on with my thoughts much longer except to say, question everything you think is obvious, maybe something better will come up.
posted by edgeways at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2004


Does this look like a Democracy?

1.  80% of all votes in America are counted by only
two companies:  Diebold and ES&S.

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold

2.  There is no federal agency with regulatory
authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine
industry.

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

3.  The vice-president of Diebold and the president of
ES&S are brothers.

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

4.  The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush
campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he
was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral
votes to the president next year."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml

http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886

5.  Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman
of ES&S.  He became Senator based on votes counted by
ES&S machines.

http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html

6.  Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected
with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about
his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26

http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx

http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php

7.  Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George
W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm

http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html

8.  ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in
the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

9.  Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no
paper trail of any votes.  In other words, there is no
way to verify that the data coming out of the machine
is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm

http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html

10.  Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and
ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and
can generate a paper trail.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm

http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm

11.  Diebold is based in Ohio.

http://www.diebold.com/aboutus/ataglance/default.htm

12.  Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior
managers and developers to help write the central
compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes
in 30 states.

http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml

13.  Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and
senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code,
was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the
first degree.

http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how

http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

14.  Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was
convicted of planting back doors in his software and
using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade
detection over a period of 2 years.

http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how

http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

15.  None of the international election observers were
allowed in the polls in Ohio.

http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html

16.  California banned the use of Diebold machines
because the security was so bad.  Despite Diebold's
claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a
chimpanzee was able to do it!  (See the movie here
.)

http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190

17.  30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on
unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no
paper trail.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml

18.  All -- not some -- but all the voting machine
errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor
of Bush or Republican candidates.

http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html

http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm

http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html

http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=950

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm

19.  The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush,
is the President's brother.

http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/news/local/7628725.htm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10544-2004Oct29.html

20.  Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again
always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically
demonstrated and experts are recommending further
investigation.

http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm

http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.html

http://uscountvotes.org/

(from dailykos)

posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2004


Other countries can use pencils and paper because their general election ballots typically have exactly ONE item -- a choice among parliamentary candidates.

US general election ballots usually have DOZENS of items: President, members of Congress, state legislators, local officers, ballot initiatives, etc. Not practical to do hand-marked ballots or to count by hand, either.
posted by MattD at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2004


Pencil, paper, box

Yeah, that does work for the rest of the world, after all. Which is precisely why the USA won't adopt it.


Voting with pencils (or pens), on paper ballots, is the most common method of voting in the US.

The only difference is that they're almost always counted by scanners, -- just like in many Canadian municipal elections.

Karl H. Marx on a bicycle, how many times does someone have to say this?

onpreview: MattD, marking them is easy, except for people with vision or hand-coordination problems. It's only counting by hand that becomes difficult with ~50 elections on the same ballot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2004


Maybe the Presidential election should take place separate from other elections.
posted by papercake at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2004


Maybe this is the trillionth time I'm going to repeat the same thing, but repetita iuvant

For Jebus shake, why do you -need- to use machines to
count ?

I've heard arguments pro machine counting:
1. because they're faster then hand counting
2. because they're cheaper then hand counting
3. because they're more accurate
4. blah blah blah

As a matter of fact all of the above statement may be perfectly true , but none of the above have ANY weight when compared to the following facts:

a. you really don't know shit about how computer works, as 99,8% of world population
b. your using Windows doesn't count, you didn't make it.
c. you can hardly use a cellphone or a vcr features without a manual
d. one programmer can turn the content of one million computer on a dime in a second, literally...and you'll not even see him on the keyboard. He/She is probably sipping tequila somewhere while rigging an entire election


I have absolutely no doubt that if I said

1. I can enter your bank account
2. your credit card security is ridicolous
3. a bank can scam your records in seconds
4. (former) Arthur Andersen destroyed tons of proofs of Enron scandal stored in electronic storage

then you would probably be worried (expecially for #1)
but when one speak about election no no nonon it's massive consistent persistent DENIAL time all the time.

And it's the 2nd time in a row elections have been somehow tampered with. If I was a foreign investor I wouldn't spend a dime in a country so politically unstable (maybe Mao Tse "Reverend" Moon will be elected next time, or Paris Hilton or some other celebrity, or Madonna..who knows) and technologically contradictory , in which marvels of techonology are conceived and implemented, yet they can't run an election without need for OCSE supervision like 3rd world countries.
posted by elpapacito at 11:00 AM on December 17, 2004


This makes me so sad.

Either voting is open, transparent, and as fraud proof as possible, or you have a monkey trained by the highest bidder pulling names out of hat.

P.S. If trout had posted this, it would have been deleted. Way to silence the messenger, particularly one who had so much information, reliable sources, and the willingness to back up his claims with data. Unlike so many of his detractors.
posted by Freen at 11:02 AM on December 17, 2004


we need the UN in here to do this. we're too immature to handle our own elections, apparently.

i think anyone who doesn't believe that there is foul play here is totally dreaming. thanks for connecting the dots, Fuzzy Monster. there's a lot of other things to be added to that list regarding Ohio and Florida, as well as with Ken Blackwell's efforts to make it as hard as possible for Democrats to vote in Columbus and other counties. In summary, this is some bullshit.
posted by Embryo at 11:08 AM on December 17, 2004


Fuzzy Monster

Thanks, I had seen a lot of those articles at different times. It makes me ill seeing it all together. I think there is a very compelling argument that the whole thing (at least the part that matters) was fixed.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2004


sbutler: ...this is all speculation...

Exactly - but you're perfectly happy with that. It sort of reminds me of "battered woman syndrome", bending over backwards to give the aggressor the benefit of the doubt. More than 100,000 deaths in Iraq later, and we're still giving these people the benefit of the doubt...

What I can't figure out is why a well funded and highly organized political entity like the Republican party would tolerate the *appearance* of impropriety. They could have swept aside all of these "speculations" pro and con, by insisting on a transparent and auditable elections process. Instead, they did the exact opposite - killing every verifiable (ie. auditable) voting initiative put forward. Why would any sane political grouping do this?
posted by dinsdale at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2004


(maybe Mao Tse "Reverend" Moon will be elected next time, or Paris Hilton or some other celebrity, or Madonna..who knows)

Didn't you hear. Our new president in 2008 will be Arnold. They are already working on his 2012 "I'll be back" campaign.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2004


Pretty much everyone credible in the computer security world considers the US election laughable. Not to say they all mind. Pretty much every time it's brought up, they put forth one or two "yeah, just because it could be hacked, doesn't mean it was"'s before they just flat out say, heh, the dem's stole 1960, remember?
posted by effugas at 11:45 AM on December 17, 2004


Paper & pencil please.
FuzzyMonster -- a worrying set of links you got there -- we need an independent committee now.
posted by uni verse at 11:48 AM on December 17, 2004


Mr. Zero, seeing it all together makes me feel... not quite sick, exactly. Resigned, perhaps?

To me, the fact that The Republicans count the votes-- and poorly-- was the number one issue of the 2004 Presidental election, but it got hardly any airtime from the mainstream news. And sure enough, the exact same patterns of abuse from the 2000 election got played out all over again. Are we going to see a repeat in 2008? "Voter Machines Crap Out Yet Again!" "'What nonsense', says GOP. 'You Lost. Get Over It.'"

I got the list from here:
http://dailykos.com/story/2004/12/10/202611/20

And I've been emailing it like crazy, with a little note above the list that says "Please Forward This To Anyone Who Still Cares About Living In A Democracy." I figure we can at least help to spread the word.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2004


What I can't figure out is why a well funded and highly organized political entity like the Republican party would tolerate the *appearance* of impropriety. They could have swept aside all of these "speculations" pro and con, by insisting on a transparent and auditable elections process. Instead, they did the exact opposite - killing every verifiable (ie. auditable) voting initiative put forward. Why would any sane political grouping do this?
posted by dinsdale at 11:09 AM PST on December 17


Great question! [whistles while waiting for a Defender Of All Things Dubya to reply with a cogent response]

Perhaps because they can't help but steal? :-) Remember Nixon? He had the election won easily but what did he go and do? Is it part of the "need for being the underdog victim" mentality? I don't know.
posted by nofundy at 12:47 PM on December 17, 2004


"What I can't figure out is why a well funded and highly organized political entity like the Republican party would tolerate the *appearance* of impropriety."

Clearly they dont' think it makes any difference, and they can do whatever they want.

They seem to be mostly correct about that. Don't they.

"Geordie thinks he is in command here. And he is correct." - Data
posted by zoogleplex at 1:11 PM on December 17, 2004


Nicely done, Fuzzy Monster.

ROU_Xenophobe hits it on the head above re that snit that used to post here.
posted by bingo at 2:39 PM on December 17, 2004


p.s. zoogleplex: What episode is that from?
posted by bingo at 2:40 PM on December 17, 2004


Bigfoot shot Kennedy. Man never went to the moon. Aliens invaded my double-wide. Kerry will ever be president.
posted by dancingbaptist at 4:24 PM on December 17, 2004


and baptists aren't supposed to dance?
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on December 17, 2004


that snit that used to post here

Hey, I like the troutster 95% of the time. It's just his longwinded posts when he got a bee in his bonnet, and the way he'd become amazingly gullible then, that bugged me.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:55 PM on December 17, 2004


If troutfishing had posted it, it wouldn't have been a succinct, focused post with a set of new links; it would have 80% the same as his previous post, with mostly the same set of links as last time, about a quarter of which would point to his own blog, and would have taken up more than a screenful of space, and he'd have already added several hundred kB of the same comments as the last time he posted substantially the same thing.

That's what ROU said that I agree with. Sorry for not being more specific.
posted by bingo at 6:20 PM on December 17, 2004


the NY Times is finally picking up the story

I read about election fraud in the nyts over a month ago. They dismissed it. New evidence (using that word lightly) comes around and they cover it again.

Basically, if the nyts doesn't come out convinced of voter fraud, they "ignored it". Remember, unlike all the posters (mainly new...surprise!) here yelling "you must be dreaming to think there was no voter fraud", the nyts must try to have some credibility. They're not posting behind some screen name in a thread that will be forgotten if it all proves nonsense.

so, troutfishing was right after all?

Good thing troutfishing didn't post this! Else it would have been immediately deleted!

Sad but true.


There's nothing sad about it, in fact, metafilter is lucky to have a founder who, despite going left has enough vision to see what the future of mefi would be like if he let such members run wild.

Troutfishing links were not deleted because they were wrong, or poorly researched, but because he made it his mission to cover the topic. Wouldn't it be great if we could all push our views day after day?

It's all been covered again and again in metatalk. To not understand this simple concept may be understandable for new members, but not posters who basically live on mefi.

If the situation was reversed, there'd be 20,000 GOP lawyers and spinmeisters talking and suing about this nonstop--and they'd make Kerry leave.

If I didn't think you were serious that statement would be hilarious. Only on metafilter could it go unchallenged. It wouldn't be taken serious in a grade school debate.

Are all lawyers now gop? Is the ACLU now suddenly conservative? Is there a giant conspiracy among laywers AND the media now? Amberglow, you live in your own world where playing victim is a way of life.

I'm sure the left has enough lawyers just waiting for more to sink their teeth into. But keep playing the 'poor me' role. You're safe there, and it goes well with your tinfoil hat.
posted by justgary at 11:46 AM on December 18, 2004


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