Friday, November 25, 2005

Why Election Fraud Should be Our #1 Issue

by deerskie cross posted from DailyKos
Fri Nov 25, 2005 at 08:33:08 AM PDT

If the GOP can truly steal a national election, it won't matter how low Bush's poll numbers are ... how many Repubs are indicted ... how many Neocon crimes are uncovered ... or how many great progressive candidates we can field in '06.

I truly believe that if we don't reclaim at least one congressional majority in '06, it will be too late for our democracy, so there's not much time left.

Unfortunately, most Americans don't even know about this because there has been a media blackout on this issue ...

See the flip to find out what you can do:

deerskie's diary :: ::


Go read this post! I am encouraged by what I see as the momentum.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

POLL SHOCK - By Robert C. Koehler - Tribune Media Services

By Robert C. Koehler
Tribune Media Services

One of the most wildly inaccurate pre-election polls in memory, which was off by over 40 points on some predictions, may prove to be deadly accurate as an indicator of the problems we face as a nation with our voting process - and democracy itself.

But you won't learn this by reading the Columbus Dispatch, the newspaper that conducted the poll just prior to Ohio's Nov. 8 election. The paper's public affairs editor conceded to me that the poll results the Dispatch wrote about, wrongly indicating massive public support for several proposed constitutional amendments, were, in essence, the journalistic equivalent of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

"Much like the American space program, both our triumphs and our shortcomings are out there for all to see," Darrel Rowland said in an e-mail. Unlike NASA, however, which did manage to find that faulty O-ring, the newspaper's powers that be don't seem particularly interested in learning how their big public flop occurred. "We'll certainly double-check the poll mechanics," he said, "but see no reason to discontinue a methodology that's proven accurate for decades."

And Rowland's right, as far as I can tell: The Columbus Dispatch's survey of voters, conducted by mail, has historically been a reliable poll; it has been cited for its precision in the scholarly journal Public Opinion Quarterly and is considered far more accurate than telephone surveys. There is no faulty O-ring, in other words; the methodology doesn't need changing.

And that's why there's a story here that must not be allowed to vanish.


You have to read this entire piece. It more clearly illustrates the magnitude of the election corruption issues we face than any other I've read.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

GAO report upholds Ohio vote fraud claims

It was nice to see this Illinois newspaper (RockRiver Times) article being passed around on the internet! What I don't understand is why no one is saying, "Get out of office, George; Kerry won."

GAO report upholds Ohio vote fraud claims
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor
From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue

As if the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby wasn’t enough to give the White House some heavy concerns, a report from the Government Accounting Office takes a big bite out of the Bush clique’s pretense of legitimacy.

This powerful and probing report takes a hard look at the election of 2004 and supports the contention that the election was stolen. The report has received almost no coverage in the national media.

The GAO is the government’s lead investigative agency, and is known for rock-solid integrity and its penetrating and thorough analysis. The agency’s agreement with what have been brushed aside as “conspiracy theories” adds even more weight to the conclusion that the Bush regime has no business in the White House whatever.

Read the rest at:


What would happen is the main stream media actually ran with this earth shaking news??


November 20,2005
Sheri Myers, CitizensAct


Believe me, I really don't want to ruin your day. But you need to hear this. This is an URGENT ACTION ALERT. The rally/protest is this Monday in Sacramento, we have ONLY next week to voice our concerns so they go on the record.

If you don't read this and take action, you are allowing your vote to be stolen. California will turn red.

If you read this and do nothing, you are giving up your rights as a citizen. Do it for your country. Your children. Our future.

All Californians who care about the sanctity of their vote must let Secretary of State McPherson know that they WILL NOT ALLOW him to certify Diebold machines, that they are OUTRAGED that he is undermining our democracy.

McPherson was appointed by Schwarzenegger to replace Democrat Kevin Shelley.Folks, if they can't win legally, they WILL steal the votes they need. THAT'S YOUR VOTE.

This is a Republican coup, and they are counting on YOU, and ME to do NOTHING. Is it worth FIVE MINUTES OF YOUR TIME to send a FAX, an email or make a call? PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY.

Onward, furiously!
Sheri Myers

Call or write:
Secretary Bruce A. McPherson
1500 11th Street 5th floor
Sacramento, CA95814
916-653-6814 (main menu, press 6, then 3 - starting at 8:00 am Monday)
916-653-3214 (the FAX is on tis weekend)

Tell McPherson we demand an extension of the HAVA Deadlines. The California Election Law says:

19205. The Secretary of State shall establish the specifications for and the regulations governing voting machines, voting devices, vote tabulating devices, and any software used for each, including the programs and procedures for vote tabulating and testing. The criteria for establishing the specifications and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) The machine or device and its software shall be suitable for the purpose for which it is intended.
(b) The system shall preserve the secrecy of the ballot.
(c) The system shall be safe from fraud or manipulation.

Please contact your CA congressperson:

Here's the info the Rally on Monday:

Monday Nov. 21, 10 a.m. May be your last chance to block Diebold
Secretary of State's Office, 1500 11th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

more info:

Please show up to speak your mind about Diebold. You have two minutes. The vendor has had hours, days, months. Shut up, you're just a taxpayer. Even if you feel a bit intimidated by the prospect of speaking at a podium, it will feel great to muster the courage to speak your mind and make a difference. You just put your name on a card before the hearing. Speak your mind. Show up a few minutes early. However we recommend for best results, show up by 9:00 a.m. on the west steps of the Capitol building. Just a heads up, something may happen.

Full article with the latest appalling info on Diebold:

California Election Protection Web site:

BACK STORY - HOW McPherson is Sticking it to California.

California Sec. of State Disbands Voting Panel, Leans Toward Reversal of Previous Stance Against Diebold! Recertification Hearing on E-Voting Machines Changed at Last Minute, Participants Not Notified

JUST IN: Something very rotten suddenly seems to be occurring in the state of California! RAW STORY has the story, we explain it quickly...




Saturday, November 19, 2005

Diebold Accused Of Skirting Election Law Again...

Legal Issues Contributed by Mike on Friday, November 18th, 2005 @ 04:48PM
posted from TechDirt:

from the what-are-they-hiding? dept.

Diebold never seems to think the law applies to it. The maker of electronic voting machines, has a long history of questionable activity when it comes to those machines. After it was discovered that internal documents proved that the company knew about security flaws in their own software, they sued, claiming copyright infringement -- basically confessing that the documents were legit. There were additional stories about Diebold illegally changing their software at the last minute, leaving default passwords, threatening extortionate prices to add a paper trail, and mostly hiding the fact that the main person who wrote most of the voting machine software had been jailed for fraud in the past. With all that in mind, you would think that (1) the company's e-voting machines would deserve extra scrutiny and (2) the company would bend over backwards to assist in that scrutiny to prove their systems were fine. It appears that's not the case. Over in North Carolina, where a new law says e-voting companies need to hand over their source code, Diebold somehow convinced a judge to exempt it from obeying that law. The EFF is now suing Diebold for evading the law in North Carolina. They may have a tough case, but it still should be scary for anyone still using electronic voting machines that this is still happening. It's entirely possible that Diebold has a legitimate reason for getting the exemption -- but it would seem like they should be pretty forthcoming in explaining just what that is.


Link over and read the article - they have a number of imbedded links that are worth a look..

More on Ohio's Staggeringly Impossible '05 Results

Cross Posted from BradBlog

The Corporate Media Continues to Not Care, But a Rightwing Blogger Finally Does...

The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But...

The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But clearly the citizens do, and even one rightwing blogger who has recently seen at least some of the light...

The response to our article on the "staggeringly impossible" results of last week's election in Ohio on several Election Reform initiatives which would have struck deep into the heart of far-right Republican Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been notable to say the least.

We felt the report was notable enough that we decided to cross-post it both at BRAD BLOG and at HuffPo, where -- though it was never added to the front page as a "featured blog" -- it has already received an extraordinary 93 comments as of this posting.

To give you an idea of what that story documented, here are the numbers from just one of the four Election Reform initiatives which all ended up failing by numbers which defy reasonable explanation when compared to the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch poll, completed and published just days before the Election in the Buckeye state:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

The results on that issue alone was so far askew that it was enough to give the usually dubious Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster pause enough to comment, "These results had MP seriously wondering whether the pollsters or election officials had mistakenly transposed 'yes' and 'no' in their tables."

See the original post for a comparison of Polling vs Final Results for all of the initatives, but suffice to say while the one above was the most inexplicably out-of-whack, the others, with the exception of Issue 1 -- which was the only one supported by Ohio's Republican Governor and on which the Dispatch poll was virtually right on the money on "Yes" voters -- all of the initiative Final Results bring the entire election machinery in Ohio once again under deservedly fresh scrutiny.

(We'll remind you that Ohio's results in the '04 Presidential Election squeeker, where just 6 votes for Kerry instead of Bush at each precinct would have changed the entire result for the nation. And also that the results from that election remain completely suspect, largely uncounted, and never recounted according to state law even while several elections officials have either been indicted or remain under investigation for their role in gaming that fiasco...the one in the state which gave Bush enough electoral votes to claim the Presidency).

The original report we filed, discussed an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of the Free Press in Columbus where they've been detailing an extraordinary amount of the election chicanery and "irregularities" under the iron-fisted rule of Blackwell, the Ohio elections arbiter and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair in a state which is currently a snakepit of Republican machinery and out-and-out corruption.

Amongst the comments at both BRAD BLOG and HuffPo where the blog item was posted, a few, as expected, have knee-jerked that it must have been the Columbus Dispatch polling that was wrong, rather than the Final Results reported by the State which added brand-spankin' new, and wholly unaccountable, unrecountable, untransparent, and undemocratic Electronic Voting Machines for the first time in this election to 44 of its 88 counties. Machines which use secret software on which voters are asked to trust -- but not verify -- that their votes will be recorded accurately...or at all.

In addition to those 44 counties (41 of them using the same machines by Diebold, Inc. that the Republican Sec. of State in California recently decertified for their 20% failure rate), several other counties already use Electronic Voting Machines, and nearly all of them use electronic tabulating machines of one brand or another to count those votes.

We spoke yesterday to Fitrakis about the Dispatch poll's "historic accuracy" (which he described as "legendary" in our phone call) and about the various wingnuts who predictably presume the polling, instead of the election results, were wrong...

Fitrakis commented himself on The BRAD BLOG in response to some of folks who he suspects are part of a "deliberate campaign" to spread enough disinformation to put an end to the entire discussion. If so, we will work hard to ensure that they fail at that. Here's the bulk of Fitrakis' response, from which he also pulls information from some of noted-pollster Blumenthal's posts on the matter:

Fact: The Dispatch has always used a mailed-in ballot poll. It was completed on Thursday Nov. 3, just prior to Election Day. The Dispatch poll is so accurate at least two academic studies have been published in Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ). The first paper documents that the Dispatch mail-in poll between 1980-1984 was far more accurate than telephone polling. The study showed the Dispatch error rate at only 1.6 percentage points versus phone error rates of 5%. A companion study published in POQ in 2000 dealt specifically with the question of statewide referenda. A quote from the study: "The average error for the Dispatch forecast of these referenda was 5.4 percentage points, compared to 7.2 percentage points for the telephone surveys."

The academic study concluded that the Dispatch's mail survey outperformed telephone surveys for both referenda and candidate's races.

The fact that the Dispatch was nearly 30 points off in predicting the "YES" vote on Issue 3, which reduced campaign contributions from $10,000 to $2,000, has nothing to do with their widely-respected polling technique. Their astonishingly inaccurate poll can best be explained by the introduction of brand new private partisan company-controlled e-voting machines using secret source code in 44 Ohio counties and the chaos that resulted from untrained election workers being totally reliant on Diebold technicians for results.

People need to look at the recent AP story that describes the massive breakdown at the polling places and the Board of Elections wherever these new e-voting machines were introduced.

Bob Fitrakis,
Free Press Editor
Ph.D. Political Science

We still wait for the Dispatch to investigate the matter themselves. It is, after all their credibility at stake. At least if they wish for anybody to ever take one of their polls seriously again.

In the meantime, Mystery Pollster Blumenthal -- who had pooh-poohed the concerns many of us have about the historically accurate Exit Poll descrepancy with the Final Results in last year's Presidential Election, where they were accurate virtually everywhere...except in the key swing states -- has again decided that it must be the polls that are wrong, never the Election Results:

the venerable Columbus Dispatch mail-in poll, which after decades of outperforming conventional telephone surveys turned in one of the more spectacularly inaccurate performances in recent memory.

While Blumenthal extols the accuracy of the Dispatch polling over the years, whose methodology has been honed for decades, he again takes for granted that results counted on newly invented and programmed voting machines, verified and double-checked for accuracy by nobody, should be trusted instead. That, despite U.S. Homeland Security warnings from just prior to last year's election verifying that Diebold's central vote tabulators are hackable by just a single malicious user, and the non-partisan GAO Report, released barely a month ago after a year-long investigation, which showed that Electronic Voting Machines are not secure, not properly certified and indeed confirming that "[C]oncerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes."

Hello?! Earth to AP...NY Times...Reuters...WaPo...Anybody out there in Corporate Mainstream Medialand...[thump, thump]...Is this thing on?

But not all is lost. Perhaps the message is getting out despite ostriches like Blumenthal, and democracy haters like those commenters who would do anything to try and discredit those who might put forward information which gives doubt to the legitmacy of elections like those which handed George W. Bush the "Presidency" and showed that Ohio voters are actually crazy about the terrific way that elections are being run in their state!

Readers who follow our work closely know that we have never personally made the charge that Bush stole the '04 election. We have documented for months a mountain of evidence to suggest that it was quite likely stolen for him by somebody, or at least contained enough screaming, troubling and unexplained "irregularities" to put the entire election wholly into doubt.

So with that in mind, we are delighted to see that John Cole, the proprietor of the far-Right leaning blog "Balloon Juice" has displayed enough intellectual honesty and courage in a post yesterday to at least concur that "While none of this means that it actually happened, it certainly means vote manipulation with electronic voting machines could happen and could have happened."

Right. If Cole's pride requires he avoid out-and-out acknowledging the mountain of documented problems with our recent elections (he had previously pounded relentless on those of us who had been making these points), we're okay with that. However, he arrived at his conclusion, we'll take it: "Electronic voting needs to go the way of the Edsel," said Cole, "if enough of the electorate thinks the vote has been manipulated...that in and of itself does a great deal of damage and should be avoided at all cost."

Thank you. That is no small news from a rightwing blogger who regularly refers to those who question such matters as "moonbats" and "tin foil hat wearers." So in that spirit, we congratulate "wingnut" Cole for understanding at least what is at stake here.

Cole says he is currently reading Mark Crispin Miller's FOOLED AGAIN: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them). So perhaps it's because Cole has bothered to actually educate himself on some of these matters -- unlike most of his rightwing brethren -- that he goes on to add about the damage done to our democracy if only due to the growing perception that something is going horribly awry.

I generally am of the belief that in government, if the truth is on your side, perceptions should take a back seat. This is not one of those cases.

It certainly isn't. And even Cole's commenters seem to be finally seeing the light now that they've been given the permission by one of their own.

All of which leads us once again to dust off one of our oft-used phrase: This isn't a matter of Right versus Left, it's a matter of Right versus Wrong.

And furthermore, in hopes that you might help to spread this article, and others like it, far and wide -- while the entirety of the Corporate Mainstream Media still refuses to mention even one word about that GAO Report or last years' Homeland Security Warning about Diebold or just about anything else on these matters: Be the Media...cuz someone's got to!

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Staggeringly Impossible Results of Ohio's '05 Election

Is this the Election that will finally break the camel's back?

With so much going on, few have noticed the extraordinary outcome of last Tuesday's election in Ohio where the crooked state that brung you -- by hook and by crook -- a second term for George W. Bush may have turned in results so staggeringly impossible, that perhaps even the Mainstream Corporate Media (if only in Ohio?!) will have no choice but to look into it.

As usual, the Free Press' heroic Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are on the case. Their article on what happened on ballot issues 1 through 5 last week is A MUST READ for anybody who still gives the slightest damn about whatever democracy might be left in America.

I'll try to summarize here briefly. There were five initiatives on the ballot last week. Issue 1 was a controversial proposition for $2 billion in new state spending. The Christian Right was opposed (because some of the new funds might go to stem cell research), but otherwise, the Republican Governor Taft's Administration (he recently plead guilty to several counts of corruption) was pushing it hard alongside progressives in the state.

The Columbus Dispatch's pre-election polling, which Fritrakis and Wasserman describe as "uncannily accurate for decades", called the race correctly within 1% of the final result. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 2.5% with a 95% confidence interval. On Issue 1, the Dispatch poll was right on the money. They predicted 53% in favor, the final result was 54% in favor.

But then came Issues 2 through 5 put forward -- a bi-partisan coalition pushing these four initiatives for Electoral Reform in the Buckeye State largely in response to their shameful '04 Election performance led by the extremely partisan Secretary of State (and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair) J. Kenneth Blackwell.

On those four issues, which Blackwell and the Christian Right were against, the final results were impossibly different -- and we mean impossibly! -- from both the Dispatch's final polling before the election and all reasoned common-sense. Take a look:

ISSUE 1 ($2 Billion State Bond initiative)
PRE-POLLING: 53% Yes, 27% No, 20% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 54% Yes, 45% No

ISSUE 2 (Allow easier absentee balloting)
PRE-POLLING: 59% Yes, 33% No, 9% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 36% Yes, 63% No

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

ISSUE 4 (Ind. Comm. to draw Congressional Districts)
PRE-POLLING: 31% Yes, 45% No, 25% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 30% Yes, 69% No

ISSUE 5 (Ind. Board instead of Sec. of State to oversee elections)
PRE-POLLING: 41% Yes, 43% No, 16% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 29% Yes, 70% No

Now, you tell us...What could possibly explain such unheard of differences between the Dispatch's poll and the final results?

Now, we'll tell you...This was the year that Ohio, under the encouragement and mandates of Blackwell, rolled out new Electronic Touch-Screen Voting Machines in 44 of its 88 counties...41 of them employeeing the same Diebold Touch-Screen Machines that California's Republican Sec. of State decertified in this state when 20% of them failed this summer in the largest test of its kind ever held.

Those would be the very same Electronic Voting Machines which a recent GAO Report (still unmentioned by a single wire-service or mainstream American newspaper) confirmed to be easily hackable.

Will the absurdly skewed results from last Tuesday's Ohio Election finally light a fire under the media -- either nationally or just in Ohio alone -- to look into what the hell is going on here?! We remain hopeful...if not optimistic.

The Free Press article is a must read, as mentioned, but we'll share their closing thoughts here on the possible reasons for the wildly unexplained discrepancy between the final polling and the final results which, as they posit, are due to either a completely inexplicable breakdown of the Dispatch's historically accurate polling methods wildly beyond the margin-of-error for all initiatives except Issue 1...or...somebody hacked that vote count:

If the latter is true, it can and will be done again, and we can forget forever about the state that has been essential to the election of every Republican presidential candidate since Lincoln.

And we can also, for all intents and purposes, forget about the future of American democracy.

Anybody in the Mainstream Media ready to give a damn yet?


So let me go on record again: This will not end until the United States Congress acts on the content of the GAO report. And that can't happen untill the Dems take back the Congress.

O6 will be a repeat o fthe 04 election. That fact that Blackwell and his minions are so blatant and audacious that they would steal the elections on only the ballot initiatives they really cared about show how far they are prepared to go.

Where is the outrage in the mainstream media?