The Columbus Dispatch editorial of September 19 proclaimed: “Votes of confidence” and the editors offered this subhead: “Poll shows Ohioans trust elections to be fair, with accurate results.” The Dispatch touts a poll by the Institute for Public Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati demonstrating that most voters have confidence in the Ohio election system.

This is a bit like the Vatican scribes announcing in medieval times in a Papal bull that the vast majority of people believe that the world is flat. The Dispatch, with its usual Republican operative arrogance, writes “The outlandish conspiracy accusations concerning the 2004 election have been intended to convince the Democratic rank and file that the GOP ‘stole’ the Ohio vote to ensure President Bush’s re-election.”

The reality is that the Bush State Department recognizes exit polls as the international gold standard for election theft. Indeed, the Bush diplomats demanded the overturning of the Ukrainian election when their exit poll results came in similar to Ohio’s in 2004. The fact is that the exit polls showed Kerry wining substantially in Ohio, 51% to 48%. The official results certified by the Bush-Cheney Re-election Campaign Co-Chair, who masqueraded as Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, are virtually the opposite of the vote reported by voters as they left the polls.

The Dispatch has worked hand-in-glove with Bush and Rove to spin the myth that the universal laws of mathematics and statistics apply everywhere in the world except Ohio. They reported in their paper the words of OSU law professor Dan Tokaji, untrained in exit polling to convince the world that the bizarre vote totals in Ohio’s southwestern Republican counties were plausible.

While the Dispatch loves to quote the unqualified Tokaji, they’ve completely ignored Ivy League professor Steven F. Freeman. Professor Freeman of University of Pennsylvania co-wrote the authoritative tome Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count. Freeman concludes that the actual count in Ohio was statistically improbable and that the actual vote count was most likely tampered with.

Now we have a long-time Republican loyalist and McCain supporter who has sworn under oath that the Ohio voting apparatus is vulnerable and hackable.

While the words of Tokaji are treated as infallible, like the Pope’s pronouncements in medieval times, let’s look at the words of Steve Spoonamore, one of the world’s foremost computer fraud experts, who recently wrote in an affidavit to the federal court that “The centralized collection of all incoming statewide tabulations would make it extremely easy for a single operator, or a pre-programmed single ‘forced balancing computer’ to change the results in any way desired by the team controlling Computer C – in this case GOP partisan operatives.”

What Spoonamore concludes in his affidavit is: “In my opinion, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY to make a secure touch screen voting system.”

In Spoonamore’s analysis, “Secure systems are predicated on establishing securely the identity of every user of the system. Voting is predicated on being anonymous. It is impossible to have a system that does both.”

But the Dispatch editorial board loves “faith-based voting.” There’s nothing more exciting to them than push-and-pray machines provided by for-profit private companies who secretly write the codes that decide who you cast your vote for.

One of the worst and most constant lies perpetrated by the Dispatch Republican operatives is that somehow “Ohio’s bipartisan administration of election is structured so the system doesn’t favor either Republicans or Democrats.” The reality is that the e-voting companies that create the hardware and software that we vote on, particularly ES&S and Diebold – now re-named as Premier – have extensive Republican ties.

The Dispatch would have you believe that the political appointees in each county are expert computer programmers or clairvoyants who can somehow secretly decipher the non-transparent proprietary source code inside the computers.

What the Dispatch refuses to acknowledge is that every single study of the electronic voting machine systems find them dangerously vulnerable and easily hackable. The Dispatch, aprivate, closely-held corporation that hasn’t endorsed a Democrat for president since 1916, wants you to trust them. They don’t want you to look at the report by the General Accountability Office; computer scientists at Stanford, Johns Hopkins Princeton, and other institutions; as well as the Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s Everest study. All of those see the obvious – that there’s a job category in the world called “computer programming” – and if you allow a few people to secretly program your computers, the vote count can never be verified.

Anyone who points out facts regarding the e-voting machines, whose software was originally developed by companies connected to the CIA, is immediately dismissed as a conspiracy theorist.

The Dispatch is telling you the equivalent of the Earth is flat; they have unleashed the Inquisition upon the academics and the enlightened and learned community who realize computers can be programmed to produce any results. The Dispatch prefers a system of voting where the votes are non-transparent, can never be verified, and where a few people can subvert democracy and steal the people’s votes.

The rest of the world’s great democracies vote on paper with voters allowed to watch the public counting of the vote. Why is the Dispatch the leading propaganda force for unverified “black box” voting?