05 April 2014

I give my heartfelt thanks to Joe Knapp for his Cuyahoga County spreadsheet, to Bernard Windham for forwarding it to me, and to Roman Sasik for compiling the table of precincts according to my instructions.

Provisional ballots are issued to persons who show up at the polls on Election Day but find that, for whatever reason, their names are not on the voter rolls, or find their right to vote challenged by a member of the opposing party.  They are asked to provide certain information when casting their provisional ballots, and this information can be checked afterward to determine if they were eligible to vote.  If so, then their votes are to be counted.

One of the most common reasons for the issuance of a provisional ballot is that the voter has gone to the wrong precinct, in which case, according to instructions from the Ohio Secretary of State, the vote is not to be counted.  In many cases in Cuyahoga County there were polling stations for several precincts at the same polling place.  Many voters waited in long lines at the wrong table in the right building, were issued provisional ballots, and later found out that their votes were not counted.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State, there were 24,788 provisional ballots issued in Cuyahoga County, 15.95% of the state wide total, and more than in any other county.  Franklin County at 14,446 and Hamilton County at 14,386 were a distant second and third. 

The data used in this study include the provisional ballots that were counted.  I have no data at the precinct level for provisional ballots that were rejected, and no data at any level as to why.

OVERVIEW OF BALLOTS CAST AND COUNTED, CUYAHOGA COUNTY

 

                Official  Unofficial  Difference

 

Ballots Cast    687,260     665,334     21,926

Regular         602,048     584,710     17,338

Absentee         85,212      80,624      4,588

 

Votes Counted   673,729     652,381     21,348

Regular         591,347     574,475     16,872

Absentee         82,382      77,906      4,476

In Cuyahoga County, according to the unofficial results, which did not include provisional ballots, there were 584,710 ballots cast, and 574,475 votes counted for president, exclusive of absentee ballots.  The official results reported 602,048 ballots cast, and 591,346 votes counted for president, exclusive of absentee ballots.  The difference represents the number of provisional ballots.  Of the 24,788 provisional ballots issued in Cuyahoga County, 17,338 (69.95%) were ruled valid, and 16,872 (68.07%) were counted as votes for president.

PROVISIONAL BALLOTS BY WARD, CUYAHOGA COUNTY

 

Ward     Turnout  Votes  Prov  % Prov  Bush  Kerry

 

WARD 1    62.22%  10622   263   2.48%    13   234

WARD 2    57.91%   9164   334   3.64%    22   295

WARD 3    56.53%   9191   275   2.99%    12   245

WARD 4    55.15%   8392   307   3.66%    10   251

WARD 5    45.48%   7166   278   3.88%     2   248

WARD 6    48.74%   7855   314   4.00%    18   223

WARD 7    47.49%   7933   447   5.63%    12   410

WARD 8    53.01%   8270   317   3.83%    10   286

WARD 9    55.31%   8402   262   3.12%    14   244

WARD 10   54.44%   8515   580   6.81%    13   536

WARD 11   55.47%   8613   177   2.06%    10   139

WARD 12   49.35%   5976   314   5.25%    42   261

WARD 13   45.16%   8147   377   4.63%    71   291

WARD 14   42.06%   5832   255   4.37%    45   196

WARD 15   57.20%   7847   303   3.86%    71   216

WARD 16   62.67%   8913   301   3.38%   101   188

WARD 17   44.94%   5901   247   4.19%    52   183

WARD 18   52.52%   7694   287   3.73%    49   223

WARD 19   56.50%   7917   318   4.02%    51   247

WARD 20   61.17%   8898   285   3.20%    78   188

WARD 21   62.34%  10912   371   3.40%   142   220

 

Total     55.63% 172160  6612   3.84%   838  5324

If 6,612 of the valid provisional ballots were from Cleveland, and 6,221 have been counted for president (59 being cast for third-party candidates), this would mean that 10,726 valid provisional ballots were from the suburbs, and 10,651 have been counted as votes for president.  This, in turn, would mean that the rate of spoilage, of blank or void ballots, was 5.91% in Cleveland, and only 0.70% in the suburbs.

There were 172,160 ballots cast in Cleveland, 28.60% of the county wide total, excluding absentee ballots, which are reported on at at-large basis, county wide.  The percentage of valid provisional ballots from Cleveland was 38.14% of the county wide total, which is an indication that Cleveland precincts were targeted by challengers at the polling places, whose job it was to question the voting credentials of as many people as possible.

Altogether there were 212 precincts in Cuyahoga County where 20 or more provisional ballots were actually counted, among an unknown number issued. 

There are 419 precincts in Cleveland.  122 of them (29.1%) are on this list.  There are 1017 precincts outside of Cleveland.  90 of them (8.8%) are on this list.  This disparity is another indication that Cleveland precincts were targeted by challengers at the polling places.  The list shown below is abbreviated, so as not to overwhelm the reader.

PRECINCTS WITH 20 OR MORE PROVISIONAL BALLOTS COUNTED

 

Precinct     Ballots Cast  Prov.  % Prov  Bush  Kerry

 

CLEVELAND 10L         498   279   56.02%     5   263

CLEVELAND 7E          490   110   22.45%     2   102

OLMSTED TWP G        1085   119   10.97%    69    49

CLEVELAND 13D         285    30   10.53%     1    29

BEACHWOOD J           309    32   10.36%     6    22

WESTLAKE 3-E          247    25   10.12%    13    10

NORTH ROYALTON 4-C    374    37    9.89%    18    19

CLEVELAND 21G         404    37    9.16%     8    29

CLEVELAND 19P         440    37    8.41%     3    35

CLEVELAND 7J          432    36    8.33%     1    32

CLEVELAND 12D         375    31    8.27%     9    19

CLEVELAND 10Q         441    36    8.16%     0    33

NORTH OLMSTED 4-C     282    23    8.16%     5    18

CLEVELAND 18D         433    35    8.08%     7    26

CLEVELAND 14F         299    24    8.03%     2    20

CLEVELAND HTS 1-B     428    34    7.94%     7    26

CLEVELAND 17N         311    24    7.72%     5    16

CLEVELAND 8A          367    28    7.63%     0    28

NORTH ROYALTON 3-D    476    36    7.56%    16    20

EAST CLEVELAND 4-B    358    27    7.54%     1    23

LAKEWOOD 4-G          378    28    7.41%     3    25

CLEVELAND 17O         399    29    7.27%     3    26

RICHMOND HTS 2-B      292    21    7.19%     1    17

CLEVELAND 5G          482    34    7.05%     0    32

CLEVELAND 13K         356    25    7.02%     6    18

CLEVELAND 11M         557    39    7.00%     3    36

CLEVELAND 12H         445    31    6.97%     7    25

CLEVELAND 17E         431    30    6.96%     8    20

CLEVELAND 12I         360    25    6.94%     3    20

LAKEWOOD 4-E          322    22    6.83%     4    15

EAST CLEVELAND 2-C    368    25    6.79%     2    18

BEDFORD 4-A           503    34    6.76%     4    29

CLEVELAND 21J         535    36    6.73%    21    15

MIDDLEBURG HTS 1-D    728    48    6.59%    23    25

SOLON 2-C             396    26    6.57%     8    18

LAKEWOOD 4-P          320    21    6.56%     6    14

CLEVELAND 21D         473    31    6.55%     6    25

STRONGSVILLE 2-A      351    23    6.55%    11    11

CLEVELAND 7G          444    29    6.53%     1    27

LAKEWOOD 3-L          496    32    6.45%     5    25

CLEVELAND 4H          513    33    6.43%     0    24

WARRENSVILLE HTS 7-B  659    42    6.37%     1    39

CLEVELAND 4K          440    28    6.36%     0    26

CLEVELAND 7U          472    30    6.36%     1    26

WARRENSVILLE HTS 6-B  410    26    6.34%     1    24

CLEVELAND 17I         429    27    6.29%     7    21

LAKEWOOD 4-H          334    21    6.29%     5    15

CLEVELAND 7P          400    25    6.25%     0    23

CLEVELAND 6I          369    23    6.23%     0    22

CLEVELAND 6M          467    29    6.21%     0     8

PARMA 1-E             339    21    6.19%     6    15

BEDFORD HTS 2-C       436    27    6.19%     1    24

CLEVELAND 12N         438    27    6.16%     2    24

CLEVELAND 15F         457    28    6.13%     2    26

EUCLID 2-C            637    39    6.12%     5    32

CLEVELAND 2J          429    26    6.06%     0    25

CLEVELAND 11L         331    20    6.04%     0    18

BEDFORD HTS 1-D       633    38    6.00%     1    35

CLEVELAND 5M          451    27    5.99%     0    28

CLEVELAND 12G         351    21    5.98%     4    16

CLEVELAND 12K         335    20    5.97%     3    16

CLEVELAND 8D          439    26    5.92%     1    23

CLEVELAND 8J          423    25    5.91%     0    21

CLEVELAND 11Q         390    23    5.90%     2    20

PARMA 4-B             441    26    5.90%     7    16

CLEVELAND 13W         343    20    5.83%     4    16

LAKEWOOD 2-Q          397    23    5.79%     4    18

MIDDLEBURG HTS 2-D    417    24    5.76%    12    12

CLEVELAND 11O         400    23    5.75%     2    17

CLEVELAND 6T          402    23    5.72%     4    17

CLEVELAND 5T          682    39    5.72%     0    36

CLEVELAND 6N          420    24    5.71%     0    24

EUCLID 2-B            525    30    5.71%     4    23

CLEVELAND 1D          439    25    5.69%     1    23

CLEVELAND 13N         599    34    5.68%     6    25

CLEVELAND 13X         406    23    5.67%     0    21

CLEVELAND 3Q          389    22    5.66%     0    22

CLEVELAND 11J         373    21    5.63%     4    16

CLEVELAND HTS 3-E     516    29    5.62%     3    21

CLEVELAND 18J         428    24    5.61%     1    23

CLEVELAND 20E         482    27    5.60%     7    19

CLEVELAND 14K         393    22    5.60%     4    15

CLEVELAND 18F         465    26    5.59%     3    21

CLEVELAND 12B         449    25    5.57%     1    23

CLEVELAND 9M          504    28    5.56%     2    24

EAST CLEVELAND 4-E    486    27    5.56%     2    25

LAKEWOOD 3-M          378    21    5.56%     8    12

ROCKY RIVER 3-A       434    24    5.53%    13     9

Among the precincts where 20 or more provisional ballots were counted, there were 15 precincts where the provisional count exceeded 8% of total ballots cast.  Of these, 10 were in Cleveland, and 5 were in the suburbs.  There were 58 precincts where the provisional count exceeded 6%.  Of these, 34 were in Cleveland, and 22 were in the suburbs.  There were 88 precincts where the provisional count exceeded 5.5%.  Of these, 57 were in Cleveland, and 31 were in the suburbs.  There do not appear to have been any specially targeted wards.  Among the 212 precincts where 20 or more provisional ballots were counted, every one of Cleveland’s 21 wards is represented, with frequencies ranging from 2 precincts in Ward 17 to 11 precincts in Ward 13.  The whole City of Cleveland was targeted.

Easily the most interesting case is Precinct 10L in Cleveland.  In my groundbreaking paper, “Stealing Votes in Cleveland,” I called attention to Precinct 10L and 26 other precincts because of their reported voter turnout of less than 40%, and to seven entire wards because of their reported voter turnout of less than 50%, which I found to be simply not credible.

I hoped the correct numbers would emerge, knowing that “Some, but not all, of the unreported votes will turn up as provisional ballots or uncounted punch cards.”  The original paper is available online at freepress.org/images/columns/steal_cleveland.pdf

In the unofficial results dated November 8, 2004, Precinct 10L reported 886 registered voters, 219 ballots cast, and a turnout of 24.72%.  The vote was 207 for Kerry, 7 for Bush.  Now, it turns out, according to the official results dated December 1, 2004, there were 498 ballots cast, turnout was 56.20%, and the vote was 470 for Kerry, 12 for Bush.  Think about it.  There were 219 persons allowed to vote unmolested, 279 persons forced to fill out provisional ballots, and indeterminate numbers who were so intimidated or discouraged that they never voted at all.  In Precinct 7E, the unofficial results were 949 registered voters, 380 ballots cast, turnout 40.04% (which allowed this precinct to escape my scrutiny), and the vote was 348 for Kerry, 10 for Bush.  Now, it turns out, there were 490 ballots cast, turnout was 51.63%, and the vote was 450 for Kerry, 12 for Bush.  Perhaps the correct numbers have emerged in Precincts 10L and 7E, but if so, they are the exception, not the rule.  Here is a table of the 27 precincts, with the unofficial vote and turnout numbers alongside the provisional ballots counted:


PRECINCTS FROM “STEALING VOTES IN CLEVELAND”

 

Precinct        Bush  Kerry  Turnout  Bush  Kerry

 

CLEVELAND 2D      4     99    39.92%    0     2

CLEVELAND 2N     22     94    35.63%    2     5

CLEVELAND 5C     29    195    28.97%    0     8

CLEVELAND 5I     21    210    31.92%    0     2

CLEVELAND 5J     20    127    32.91%    0     9

CLEVELAND 5L      9    218    35.06%    0    11

CLEVELAND 5O     21     98    39.69%    0     3

CLEVELAND 5P      8     21    32.67%    0     0

CLEVELAND 6B      4     82    21.80%    0     1

CLEVELAND 6C      1     45     7.10%    0     5

CLEVELAND 6D      5    127    28.83%    0     3

CLEVELAND 6K     27    161    33.22%    0     4

CLEVELAND 6W      8    104    39.02%    0     9

CLEVELAND 7C     10    188    35.86%    0     7

CLEVELAND 7K      5     78    34.71%    2    11

CLEVELAND 7V     33    249    29.25%    0     6

CLEVELAND 10L     7    207    24.72%    5   263

CLEVELAND 11U    25    235    34.62%    0    12

CLEVELAND 13D    42    207    13.05%    1    29

CLEVELAND 13F     4    156    19.60%    0     4

CLEVELAND 13H    10     71    31.67%    0     0

CLEVELAND 13O     5     44    21.01%    0     1

CLEVELAND 13W    60    252    32.73%    4    16

CLEVELAND 13Y     4     13    30.36%    0     0

CLEVELAND 15B    17     70    32.96%    0     1

CLEVELAND 15S    32     78    39.78%    3     4

CLEVELAND 19O    44    135    37.68%    1     7

The correct numbers have not emerged.  In Precinct 13D, where 30 provisional ballots have been counted, the official turnout is 14.58% (1954 registered voters, 285 ballots cast).  In Precinct 6C, where 5 provisional ballots have been counted, the official turnout is 7.85% (662 registered voters, 52 ballots cast).  These are total ballots cast, including any uncounted blank or void punch cards.  These numbers simply cannot be right.  This is not a matter of “professional opinion.”  This is election fraud.  Votes have been stolen from John Kerry in Cleveland.

How many votes were stolen we will likely never know.  There are still 13,531 uncounted regular ballots in Cuyahoga County, 4,708 of them in Cleveland.  There are still 7,450 uncounted provisional ballots county wide that were ruled invalid for reasons undisclosed, and another 466 that were ruled valid and still not counted, 391 of them in Cleveland.  And suppression of turnout, officially below 60% in 17 of 21 wards in Cleveland, has shaved another 14,000 votes from John Kerry’s margin of victory in Cleveland.