23 November 2014

1. Exit Polls Did Not Match Actual Vote in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida

The gulf between the exit polls and counted votes was glaring. The Zogby Poll and the media consortium poll (including CNN and AP) had Kerry winning an electoral landslide with 53% and 51% respectively in Ohio. Why did exit polls match the actual vote in the nation – EXCEPT for Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania?

Exit polls are considered the most accurate measurement of the vote. Exit polls were responsible for calling for a revote in the Ukraine. The odds of the exit polls being outside the margin of error in these three battleground states are about 155 million to one. The exit poll data has never been released. There must be an investigation of the exit poll disparities.

2. Voting machines owned by private, partisan companies subject to manipulation

Voting machine tampering occurred throughout the state. In Mahoning County, votes “hopped” from Kerry to Bush. In Franklin County, votes for Kerry “faded” away. In Lucas County, Diebold machines froze up and rejected ballots in pro-Kerry precincts.

There were 16 precincts in Cleveland where votes intended for Kerry were shifted to other candidates.

Triad technicians re-programmed vote tabulating computers to Hocking County election officials. In Lucas County, Diebold employees re-programmed vote machines in preparation for the recount. Election officials in that county, including the executive director, are resigning.

Diebold and Triad are led by executives who aggressively supported Bush. Private companies should not be allowed to control voting machines and secret software, which are highly susceptible to hacking and manipulation. There must be a full investigation of the voter machines.

Private owned machines, that leave no audit trail, with owners with a vested interest in the outcome, is offensive to our sensibilities.

3. Uncounted and Provisional Ballots disproportionately affected African American voters

There are 92,672 uncounted ballots in Ohio, concentrated in precincts that voted overwhelmingly for Kerry. As many as 36,000 votes might swing to Kerry if these votes are counted. Nearly 25,000 provisional ballots statewide were rejected and went uncounted.

In Cleveland there are 65 precincts where 4% or more of the ballots went uncounted. These precincts voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry, by a margin of 12 to 1. No one has ever looked at these punch cards to determine the intent of the voters.

There were 24,788 provisional ballots issued in Cuyahoga County, nearly 16% of the statewide total, more than in any other county in Ohio. 7,450 provisional ballots from Cuyahoga County were rejected, reaching as high as 51% in some African American precincts/wards.

4. Inexplicable Vote disparities

The Connally Anomaly: In 13 Southern Ohio counties a under funded, African American municipal court judge from Cleveland, Connally received more votes than John Kerry. In Butler County, Bush got 109,000 votes to Kerry’s 56,000 – but Connally received 61,000 and her republican opponent got 68,000.

In Warren County, election officials declared a Homeland Security threat on Election Day, locked out the press and observers and secretly counted the vote. Bush received an unusually high differential, 68,035 to 26,043.

In three counties - Butler, Warren and Clermont Counties – voter disparities were glaring – Bush’ margin was 132,685 (his statewide margin was 118,775).

In Perry County, the Secretary of State certified two precincts with 124% voter turnout.

In Miami County, a precinct was certified with a 98.55 % turnout – all but ten eligible voters. But a canvass of less than half of this precinct has already located 25 voters that did not vote. An additional 19,000 votes were reported after 100% of the precincts had reported (with the exact percentage as the earlier “100% reported vote”), with Bush adding 6,000 votes to his margin.

In heavily Democratic Cleveland districts, where Kerry was winning 98% of the vote, officials certified a highly improbable 7.85% turnout in one precinct. This precinct was not subject to the recount.

There were 30 precincts in Cleveland with inexplicable voter turnout of below 40%.

In Cuyahoga, two voters gave affidavits swearing they received punch card ballots already punched for Bush.

5. Voting Rights Act Violations

In 42 predominantly African American precincts in Franklin County, there were fewer machines utilized than in the primary. An inner city precinct with 1600 voters had just three machines, while a suburban precinct with 300 voters had three machines. The state guideline is 1 machine per 100 voters.

At the pro-Kerry Kenyon campus, students had just two machines – one which broke down on numerous occasions - and waited up to ten hours until 4:00am to vote.

Districts that voted 60-80% democratic lost machines; precincts with 60-80% voting republicans lost no machines.

There were 700,000 new registrations in Ohio, but in the highest areas of new registration there were no additional voting machines.

77 machines broke down in Franklin County.

Voters in inner city precincts waited in the rain for up to 6 hours to vote, while at least 68 machines stayed dry in the warehouse. A canvas of one of the precinct showed that 20% of voters attempted to vote but left due to time constraints.

Hispanic voters in Cleveland were forced to vote at precincts where all of the ballots were in English, and poll workers did not speak Spanish.

6. The Recount did not Recount the Votes

Only 3% of the precincts were subject to a hand count. Most were not selected randomly as required by law, but hand-picked by partisan election officials. Vote machines in at least two counties were re-programmed by Triad or Diebold officials after the “sample 3%” precincts were selected. Throughout the state, private vendors supervised or monitored the machine or hand recount.

Secretary of State Blackwell and county election officials have a vested interest in delivering Ohio to Bush, a clear conflict of interest.

There was a full hand count of all ballots in just one of Ohio’s 88 counties. Differences in the original count and the “recount” – which should have triggered full hand count of the entire county - were routinely ignored.

7. Challenge at January 6 Joint Session of Congress

ALL of these “glitches” fell in Bush’s favor. The systematic bias and potential for fraud is unmistakable. An in-depth investigation is vital. On January 6, Congressman Conyers and members of the House will step up and challenge the voter irregularities in Ohio. To force that debate, they need only one member of the Senate to join them, and Democratic Senators should join them.

If America is to be a champion of democracy abroad, it must clean up its elections at home. If it is to complain of fraudulent and dishonest election practices abroad, it cannot condone them at home. But more important, if our own elections are to be legitimate, then they must be honest, open, with high national standards. We need national standards for voting, an end to partisan control of the election process by state officials, accompanied by a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote for all Americans.