22 September 2014

The Free Press on Election Day posted a disturbing story, later confirmed by the Columbus Dispatch.  The Free Press reported that Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matt Damschroder deliberately withheld voting machines from predominantly black Democratic wards in Columbus, and dispersed some of the machines to affluent suburbs in Franklin County.

 

Damschroder is the former Executive Director of the Franklin County Republican Party.  Sources close to the Board of Elections told the Free Press that Damschroder and Ohio’s Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell met with President George W. Bush in Columbus on Election Day.


The idea was to discourage turnout in Democratic wards by forcing voters to wait in long lines at the polling places.  Such a strategy would be far more effective than encouraging turnout in Republican wards.  Elections are all about margins.  There are 74 wards in Columbus.  George W. Bush won 12 wards, with a margin of 7.35%.  John F. Kerry won 62 wards, with a margin of 37.62%.  Affecting Kerry’s turnout would greatly reduce his margin of victory in Columbus, giving the Republicans a much better chance of overtaking Kerry given a strong enough showing in suburban and small town Republican strongholds.

 

 

COLUMBUS POPULAR VOTE (EXCLUDING PROVISIONAL BALLOTS)

 

Location      Kerry           Bush         Others

Kerry Wards  141520 68.40%   63693 30.78%  1704 0.82%

Bush Wards    36228 46.01%   42015 53.36%   496 0.63%

Grand Total  177748 62.22%  105708 37.01%  2200 0.77%

 

 

In order to investigate this matter, I obtained from the Franklin County Board of Elections all the data I needed in order to calculate, ward by ward, and precinct by precinct: (1) The ratio of registered voters per voting machine. (2) Percent turnout, calculated as total ballots cast divided by the number of registered voters. (3) Percent for Kerry, calculated as votes cast for Kerry divided by votes cast for president. (4) Margin of victory or defeat for Kerry, calculated as the difference between the vote totals for Kerry and Bush.

 

The first thing I noticed was the distribution of turnout.  There is a statistically significant difference between the turnout in the Bush precincts and the turnout in the Kerry precincts.

 

 

DISTRIBUTION OF TURNOUT

 

Percent    Bush       Kerry

Turnout  Precincts  Precincts

 

 > 60        68        57

55-60        32        55

50-55        17        73

45-50         7        78

40-45         1        49

 

Total       125       346

 

Median Bush Precinct:  60.56%

Median Kerry Precinct: 50.78%

 

Best Bush Precinct: Ward 57, Precinct F

Bush 64.97%  Kerry 34.82%  Margin 30.05%

 

Best Kerry Precinct:  Ward 17, Precinct D

Kerry 97.66%  Bush 1.98%  Margin 95.68%

 

Note: Ward 22, Precinct H was a tie.

 

 

As the above table shows, turnout was over 60% in 68 of 125 Bush precincts (54.4%), and over 50% in 117 of 125 Bush precincts (93.6%).  By contrast, turnout was over 60% in only 57 of 346 Kerry precincts (16.5%), over 50% in only 185 of 346 Kerry precincts (53.5%), and under 40% in 34 of 346 Kerry precincts (9.8%).

 

Was the uneven distribution of turnout due to a lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic candidate?  Or was it due to an uneven distribution of voting machines?  To answer this question, I arranged the data, ward by ward, according to the ratio of registered voters per voting machine.

 

 

DISTRIBUTION OF VOTING MACHINES, TOP OF THE LIST

 

Ward      Voters/  Percent  Kerry    Kerry

          Machine  Turnout  Percent  Margin

 

WARD 19   261.2    67.99    63.33    + 1491

WARD 65   265.1    60.10    44.33    -  496

WARD 30   266.4    56.25    52.50    +  147

WARD 72   267.4    62.33    39.42    -  774

WARD 22   274.1    60.21    54.89    +  465

WARD 28   276.2    58.48    82.04    + 2371

WARD 63   278.7    56.10    47.37    -  242

WARD 48   278.9    52.84    82.37    + 1909

WARD 46   279.8    58.22    55.19    +  981

WARD 70   285.5    61.17    50.95    +   79

WARD 06   292.9    47.44    91.29    + 2494

WARD 21   293.9    57.92    58.45    +  719

WARD 34   295.8    55.85    65.05    + 1051

WARD 69   296.4    57.97    41.98    - 1030

WARD 60   296.7    55.97    44.27    -  478

WARD 66   300.0    53.01    52.32    +  203

WARD 05   302.9    46.24    94.34    + 1854

WARD 62   303.2    57.96    55.68    +  760

WARD 45   303.8    57.89    55.47    + 1208

WARD 47   304.8    52.85    73.83    + 1534

WARD 20   306.2    61.96    71.46    + 1077

WARD 53   307.2    53.66    55.01    +  499

WARD 15   308.4    51.88    60.71    +  291

WARD 27   308.4    53.06    68.63    + 1283

WARD 56   308.6    55.71    82.75    + 4065

WARD 52   308.7    53.68    68.52    + 1610

WARD 10   311.5    57.18    47.58    -  560

WARD 67   313.1    54.17    48.03    -  221

WARD 64   313.6    52.73    47.88    -  153

WARD 57   314.2    56.81    48.74    -  155

WARD 50   316.4    59.54    77.14    + 1447

WARD 58   317.6    55.04    49.82    +   41

WARD 07   318.1    44.24    94.21    + 2332

WARD 36   318.7    53.31    50.57    +   91

WARD 43   319.9    56.27    58.53    +  475

WARD 73   320.6    58.23    44.18    - 1032

WARD 71   322.2    53.93    47.58    -  307

WARD 74   322.8    55.02    46.19    -  339

 

 

As the above table shows, the 38 wards in which the number of registered voters per voting machine was the lowest enjoyed high voter turnout.  All but 3 of the 38 wards at the top of Damschroder’s list had a turnout above 50%, and 6 of the 38 wards at the top of the list had a turnout above 60%.  All 12 of the Bush wards are included in the top of the list.  The 26 Kerry wards in the top of the list are not his biggest strongholds.  In only 13 of the 26 wards did Kerry exceed his city wide share of 62.22% of the vote, which makes 13 of 38 wards altogether.  However, these Kerry wards did enjoy a high voter turnout.  In 23 of the 26 wards, Kerry’s turnout exceeded that of his median precinct, 50.78%.  Turnout exceeded 55% in 14 Kerry wards, and exceeded 60% in 3 Kerry wards.  Clearly, Kerry enjoyed a higher turnout where the polling places had enough voting machines.  What about the bottom of the list?

 

 

DISTRIBUTION OF VOTING MACHINES, BOTTOM OF THE LIST

 

Ward      Voters/  Percent  Kerry    Kerry

          Machine  Turnout  Percent  Margin

 

WARD 38   324.4    48.15    67.32    +  546

WARD 35   327.5    50.90    92.36    + 2104

WARD 17   330.6    48.67    93.12    + 2465

WARD 42   330.6    46.34    70.77    +  966

WARD 14   333.4    49.37    81.31    + 2068

WARD 13   338.6    44.91    93.36    + 1702

WARD 44   340.7    48.87    72.98    + 3212

WARD 18   342.4    55.15    76.84    + 2043

WARD 51   343.6    46.93    88.59    + 1857

WARD 61   345.6    49.28    62.35    +  594

WARD 68   347.3    44.61    75.43    +  950

WARD 04   348.6    37.69    91.75    + 1643

WARD 32   348.7    55.11    58.82    +  456

WARD 26   349.3    41.34    89.69    + 1692

WARD 33   350.1    52.64    69.19    + 1803

WARD 54   350.6    52.77    59.82    +  668

WARD 49   353.9    50.76    54.45    +  370

WARD 25   354.6    52.90    91.57    + 3872

WARD 24   356.9    48.99    68.47    +  991

WARD 37   356.9    44.37    58.99    +  441

WARD 02   357.1    52.56    69.94    + 1517

WARD 11   365.4    49.14    58.80    +  531

WARD 31   367.0    45.05    69.86    + 1000

WARD 29   369.2    45.65    61.09    +  417

WARD 16   369.5    44.61    75.98    + 1732

WARD 09   373.4    35.06    68.71    +  497

WARD 39   374.4    46.29    70.06    +  711

WARD 55   377.3    43.55    88.64    + 1644

WARD 59   381.2    48.32    54.16    +  288

WARD 08   381.8    41.52    68.99    +  974

WARD 40   381.8    42.41    78.15    + 1205

WARD 03   396.9    44.69    84.66    + 1728

WARD 41   400.5    40.22    65.95    + 1110

WARD 23   400.9    47.57    73.47    + 1252

WARD 01   407.1    44.37    68.50    +  744

WARD 12   423.9    41.81    86.47    + 1557

 

 

As the above table shows, the 36 wards in which the number of registered voters per voting machine was the highest suffered low voter turnout.  All but 8 of the 36 wards at the bottom of Damschroder’s list had a turnout below 50%, and 2 of the 36 wards at the bottom of the list had a turnout below 40%.  All 36 of the wards at the bottom of the list were won by Kerry, and they include most of his strongholds.  In 29 of the 36 wards, Kerry exceeded his city wide share of 62.22% of the vote.  However, these wards suffered a low voter turnout.  In only 7 of the 36 wards did Kerry’s turnout exceed that of his median precinct, 50.78%.  Turnout was below 45% in 14 of the 36 wards, and was below 40% in 2 Kerry wards.  Clearly, Kerry suffered a lower turnout where the polling places did not have enough voting machines.

 

A similar pattern is evident when examining the data for individual precincts.  I have arranged the data in the same manner as above, precinct by precinct, according to the ratio of registered voters per voting machine.  The 61 precincts with the lowest ratio of registered voters per voting machine are shown below:

 

 

PRECINCTS WITH THE MOST VOTING MACHINES

 

Ward &    Voters/  Percent  Kerry    Kerry

Precinct  Machine  Turnout  Percent  Margin

 

60-G      166.0    65.06    40.99    -   56

22-H      176.3    63.52    49.23         0

63-I      180.0    53.52    52.10    +   14

28-G      185.7    57.99    76.34    +  170

69-G      190.0    53.16    48.33    -   10

63-E      192.3    62.05    43.75    -   41

52-H      192.7    52.08    70.76    +  133

70-C      199.5    63.73    50.47    +   12

67-K      212.7    64.58    42.16    -   61

65-G      213.8    61.57    40.15    -  153

 

46-F      215.7    65.84    39.71    -   85

30-C      216.7    66.00    50.95    +   10

65-D      219.3    65.65    44.08    -   50

33-H      221.7    52.48    78.03    +  195

72-D      228.0    67.21    38.30    -  136

46-I      228.2    64.68    54.96    +   76

69-D      228.6    64.48    47.81    -   29

28-E      229.0    69.98    88.23    +  488

21-E      231.0    68.57    58.93    +  142

19-D      232.0    66.55    58.87    +  142

 

64-D      235.3    58.50    47.33    -   20

46-A      235.7    61.53    48.85    -   10

71-A      236.3    67.14    42.19    -   69

10-E      238.6    67.73    36.63    -  211

56-C      239.3    63.51    74.67    +  224

57-D      240.0    67.33    43.50    -  102

19-G      241.0    68.36    58.66    +  117

21-F      242.0    66.63    57.98    +  105

57-H      242.3    63.82    50.22    +    6

15-B      242.5    62.47    54.62    +   68

 

34-E      242.7    63.32    59.04    +   90

60-F      242.8    64.37    37.18    -  155

10-H      244.0    64.07    49.46    -    2

66-F      244.3    66.85    46.42    -   32

57-K      245.0    68.42    46.31    -   75

18-D      246.7    67.97    71.49    +  217

72-A      247.0    64.68    40.13    -  122

18-E      247.3    62.89    75.84    +  308

65-H      247.3    50.27    54.86    +   40

48-D      247.5    56.67    83.70    +  380

 

14-D      249.7    56.88    79.48    +  252

19-C      250.0    72.00    59.55    +  139

70-E      250.0    51.11    65.83    +  167

46-B      250.8    58.13    51.94    +   27

60-D      251.5    63.62    45.02    -   61

45-I      251.6    52.31    56.31    +   85

64-H      252.8    54.70    52.28    +   26

48-E      253.0    58.50    62.33    +   78

73-E      253.1    60.78    49.67    -    1

06-E      254.0    50.49    94.43    +  453

 

70-D      255.3    66.41    50.30    +   11

66-D      255.6    55.79    48.52    -   18

69-C      255.8    54.50    36.10    -  186

42-C      256.0    61.98    57.14    +   74

46-L      256.0    66.54    57.84    +  162

10-P      256.5    65.30    35.33    -  190

47-F      257.7    50.84    76.96    +  211

45-H      259.8    60.59    44.03    -  183

19-B      261.0    70.11    60.80    +  164

52-B      261.5    62.43    62.21    +  159

69-I      261.5    68.36    37.80    -  169

 

 

As the table above shows, of the 61 precincts with the most voting machines per registered voter, 26 were won by Bush, 34 were won by Kerry, and one was a tie.  Again, Bush enjoys disproportional favoritism.  Bush won 125 precincts and 26 of them (20.80%) are represented here.  Kerry won 346 precincts, only 34 (0.98%) are represented here, and they are not his major strongholds.  In only 12 of the 34 Kerry precincts did he exceed his city wide share of 62.22% of the vote, which makes 12 of 61 precincts altogether.  Most of these precincts enjoyed high voter turnout.  In all 61 precincts, turnout was above 50%.  In 42 of the 61 precincts, turnout was above that of Bush’s median precinct, 60.56%.  Of these 42 precincts, 22 were won by Bush, and 20 were won by Kerry.  This proves once and for all that the Kerry precincts could have enjoyed a voter turnout similar to that of the Bush precincts, if only they had been supplied with enough voting machines.

 

And what of the precincts with not enough voting machines?  The 60 precincts with the highest ratio of registered voters per voting machine are shown below:

 

 

PRECINCTS WITH THE FEWEST VOTING MACHINES

 

Ward &    Voters/  Percent  Kerry    Kerry

Precinct  Machine  Turnout  Percent  Margin

 

12-A      551.7    34.50    84.96    +  407

01-B      540.0    34.57    68.41    +  211

25-B      507.7    41.56    91.33    +  522

23-B      501.0    41.38    79.13    +  363

41-C      490.0    38.91    60.53    +  127

60-E      481.0    40.47    51.05    +   15

11-A      476.7    35.24    74.80    +  252

18-A      475.0    48.77    80.46    +  430

59-D      464.3    45.51    59.46    +  123

03-D      462.3    46.21    79.15    +  374

 

03-A      461.0    37.09    92.37    +  442

54-C      459.7    40.54    63.82    +  159

40-A      458.0    40.90    77.10    +  312

10-U      455.0    52.00    53.15    +   85

12-B      453.3    38.60    92.31    +  445

61-C      449.7    43.66    70.31    +  234

49-E      447.3    38.75    52.70    +   30

55-B      446.0    42.38    91.80    +  473

23-A      444.0    45.12    81.76    +  381

09-B      439.8    28.82    68.66    +  195

 

02-A      439.7    38.06    80.32    +  308

57-A      437.3    42.91    65.41    +  176

31-C      437.0    39.97    65.07    +  160

16-E      436.7    41.98    68.50    +  205

32-C      436.3    43.54    60.99    +  128

74-F      436.3    45.23    51.86    +   25

54-A      435.7    46.82    67.77    +  218

11-D      435.0    47.28    55.67    +   81

69-H      433.8    54.76    40.93    -  167

53-G      432.7    45.30    68.49    +  219

 

10-C      431.0    39.68    81.80    +  321

69-J      428.8    47.00    47.44    -   38

67-A      427.3    54.37    41.99    -  108

16-C      427.0    40.28    77.13    +  475

29-A      426.0    36.85    70.81    +  196

04-C      423.3    32.44    89.46    +  332

41-D      423.0    42.47    64.75    +  165

36-G      421.0    37.29    66.52    +  156

08-D      419.7    51.55    69.47    +  253

42-A      417.7    40.30    81.64    +  321

 

57-B      417.0    48.28    57.87    +   97

73-B      415.0    41.69    46.41    -   29

26-A      413.0    41.81    89.88    +  403

02-B      412.3    53.27    69.54    +  263

52-E      412.0    46.60    87.39    +  431

08-A      411.6    30.95    79.75    +  381

73-J      411.6    63.56    42.62    -  189

44-A      409.7    48.90    86.36    +  434

57-G      409.0    43.60    50.00    +    7

33-C      407.0    47.42    64.11    +  170

 

46-J      405.7    47.99    66.38    +  197

44-B      405.3    45.97    81.37    +  348

44-G      405.0    37.22    79.02    +  348

71-B      404.3    42.04    49.80    +    1

49-D      403.7    45.33    51.58    +   22

24-B      402.7    45.45    65.50    +  174

39-A      401.0    46.05    67.51    +  398

55-D      400.7    42.43    87.38    +  382

10-A      400.3    39.72    55.91    +   60

45-J      398.8    57.30    58.77    +  165

 

 

As the table above shows, of the 60 precincts with the fewest voting machines per registered voter, only 5 were won by Bush, and 55 were won by Kerry.  Again, Bush enjoys disproportional favoritism.  Bush won 125 precincts, and only 5 of them (4.00%) are represented here.  Kerry won 346 precincts, 55 (15.9%) are represented here, and they include his major strongholds.  In 41 of the 55 Kerry precincts, he exceeded his city wide share of 62.22% of the vote.  None of these precincts enjoyed high voter turnout.  In only 7 of the precincts was turnout was above 50%.  Of these, 4 were won by Kerry, and 3 were won by Bush.  Turnout was below 45% in 34 precincts, below 40% in 16 precincts, below 35% in 5 precincts, and below 30% in one precinct.

 

It is important to understand what these numbers mean.  The polls in Ohio were open from 6:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.  That is 13 hours, or 780 minutes.  If there are 400 registered voters per voting machine, and turnout is 60%, each voter has less than 3.5 minutes to vote, and that is assuming a steady stream of voters, with no rushes at certain hours.  It also assumes no challenges to voters at the polls.  If there are 550 registered voters per voting machine, and the turnout is 60%, each voter has 2.4 minutes.

 

All of this amounts to theft of votes.  It has been shown above that the Kerry precincts enjoyed a voter turnout similar to that of the Bush precincts when supplied with enough voting machines.

 

It is an easy matter to calculate, assuming the same vote percentages for each ward, how many more votes John Kerry would have gotten with a 60% voter turnout.  This is not an unreasonable number.  The median Bush precinct enjoyed a turnout of 60.56%.  The turnout was 66.31% for Cincinnati, city wide.

 

I am aware that because the Franklin County Board of Elections did not purge its voter rolls, there are more registered voters than adults listed as living in Franklin County by the United States Census.  There are many “registered” voters who are dead or have moved away.  One might expect, therefore, a lower percentage of voter turnout in Cleveland than in Cincinnati.  However, 60% of the voting age population is a reasonable figure.  Presidential elections have surpassed this figure four times in my lifetime: 1952 (61.6%), 1960 (62.8%), 1964 (61.9%), and 1968 (60.9%).  In 1992 the figure was 55.9%, and the 2004 election was probably more hotly contested.

 

 

PROJECTED COLUMBUS RETURNS WITH 60% TURNOUT

 

Ward or   Percent  Kerry   With 60%  Gain or

Precinct  Turnout  Margin  Turnout     Loss

 

WARD 01   44.37    +  744   + 1006   +  262

WARD 02   52.56    + 1517   + 1732   +  215

WARD 03   44.69    + 1728   + 2320   +  592

WARD 04   37.69    + 1643   + 2616   +  973

WARD 05   46.24    + 1854   + 2406   +  552

WARD 06   47.44    + 2494   + 3154   +  660

WARD 07   44.24    + 2332   + 3163   +  831

WARD 08   41.52    +  974   + 1408   +  434

WARD 09   35.06    +  497   +  851   +  354

WARD 10   57.18    -  560   -  588   -   28

WARD 11   49.14    +  531   +  648   +  117

WARD 12   41.81    + 1557   + 2234   +  677

WARD 13   44.91    + 1702   + 2274   +  572

WARD 14   49.37    + 2068   + 2513   +  445

WARD 15   51.88    +  291   +  337   +   46

WARD 16   44.61    + 1732   + 2330   +  598

WARD 17   48.67    + 2465   + 3039   +  574

WARD 18   55.15    + 2043   + 2223   +  180

WARD 19   67.99    + 1491

WARD 20   61.96    + 1077

WARD 21   57.92    +  719   +  745   +   26

WARD 22   60.21    +  465

WARD 23   47.57    + 1252   + 1579   +  327

WARD 24   48.99    +  991   + 1214   +  223

WARD 25   52.90    + 3872   + 4392   +  520

WARD 26   41.34    + 1692   + 2456   +  764

WARD 27   53.06    + 1283   + 1451   +  168

WARD 28   58.48    + 2371   + 2433   +   62

WARD 29   45.65    +  417   +  548   +  131

WARD 30   56.25    +  147   +  157   +   10

WARD 31   45.05    + 1000   + 1332   +  332

WARD 32   55.11    +  456   +  496   +   40

WARD 33   52.64    + 1803   + 2055   +  252

WARD 34   55.85    + 1051   + 1129   +   78

WARD 35   50.90    + 2104   + 2480   +  376

WARD 36   53.31    +   91   +  102   +   11

WARD 37   44.37    +  441   +  596   +  155

WARD 38   48.15    +  546   +  680   +  134

WARD 39   46.29    +  711   +  922   +  211

WARD 40   42.41    + 1205   + 1705   +  500

WARD 41   40.22    + 1110   + 1656   +  546

WARD 42   46.34    +  966   + 1251   +  285

WARD 43   56.27    +  475   +  506   +   31

WARD 44   48.87    + 3212   + 3944   +  732

WARD 45   57.89    + 1208   + 1252   +   44

WARD 46   58.22    +  981   + 1011   +   30

WARD 47   52.85    + 1534   + 1742   +  208

WARD 48   52.84    + 1909   + 2168   +  259

WARD 49   50.76    +  370   +  437   +   67

WARD 50   59.54    + 1447   + 1458   +   11

WARD 51   46.93    + 1857   + 2374   +  517

WARD 52   53.68    + 1610   + 1800   +  190

WARD 53   53.66    +  499   +  558   +   59

WARD 54   52.77    +  668   +  760   +   92

WARD 55   43.55    + 1644   + 2265   +  621

WARD 56   55.71    + 4065   + 4378   +  313

WARD 57   56.81    -  155   -  164   -    9

WARD 58   55.04    +   41   +   45   +    4

WARD 59   48.32    +  288   +  358   +   70

WARD 60   55.97    -  478   -  512   -   34

WARD 61   49.28    +  594   +  723   +  129

WARD 62   57.96    +  760   +  787   +   27

WARD 63   56.10    -  242   -  259   -   17

WARD 64   52.73    -  153   -  174   -   21

WARD 65   60.10    -  496

WARD 66   53.01    +  203   +  230   +   27

WARD 67   54.17    -  221   -  245   -   24

WARD 68   44.61    +  950   + 1278   +  328

WARD 69   57.97    - 1030   - 1066   -   36

WARD 70   61.17    +   79

WARD 71   53.93    -  307   -  342   -   35

WARD 72   62.33    -  774

WARD 73   58.23    - 1032   - 1063   -   31

WARD 74   55.02    -  339   -  370   -   31

 

GRAND TOTAL                          +16788

 

 

Thus I conclude that the withholding of voting machines from predominantly Democratic wards in the City of Columbus cost John Kerry upwards of 17,000 votes.  A more detailed calculation could be done on a precinct by precinct basis, but that is not necessary here.  The purpose is to illustrate the magnitude of the conspiracy.

 

Matt Damschroder did not act alone.  There are 74 wards and 472 precincts in Columbus, Ohio.  It is not possible for one person to have delivered all the voting machines, and it is unlikely that nobody else was involved in planning where to deliver them.  Anyone who associated with Mr. Damschroder on or shortly before Election Day should be investigated for possible complicity.

 

Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D.

Canton, New York