Vote Fraud Roundup


"With all due respect, Tim, you're full of shit."

That's what highly regarded media critic Mark Crispin Miller told me this morning, in response to my opinion that President Bush had been reelected in a more or less fair vote, with electoral and popular margins that can't be explained away by the various (often credible) claims of vote fraud.

Well, if a respected NYU professor says it, it must be true. Still, I think folks on the left might be better off figuring out why more people voted for Bush than continuing to pound the Bush-illegitimacy drum that Tuesday's results would appear to have silenced.

However, while I don't think more Diebold conspiracy theories are going to be of much use to the Democrats, I'm happy to see attention focused on the real problem of vote fraud. In that spirit, here is a roundup of anomalies, some apparently real and some pretty dubious, making the rounds since Tuesday:

* Glitch in electronic voting in Franklin County, Ohio delivers 3,893 extra votes to Bush.

* 1,100 separate complaints of irregularities with touch-screen voting nationwide. Many of these involve cases where a vote for Kerry showed up as a vote for Bush. The president of the Election Protection Coalition calls these complaints "troubling but anecdotal," and says the higher numbers of complaints from Democrats may be due to greater awareness of voter protection coalitions.

* Former U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow (R-SD) objects to GOP's Victory campaign, saying it cheats the vote. "When you tamper with it, you cheat the system. And cheating in elections is the worst form of cancer because it's uncontrollable."

* Exit polling said to be accurate in non-swing states was off in Ohio and Florida, raising suspicions of Kerry supporters.

* Broward County corrects a bug that miscounted thousands of absentee ballots.

* Greg Palast, the man with the fedora and the discredited sources, says the total number of provisional and discarded ballots in Ohio (247,672) is more than the Bush margin of victory (136,483).

* A correspondent claiming to be an international pollster writes to Miller with the following observations:

The breakdown/meltdown of registration vs actual voting trends in several counties throughout Ohio and Florida. THIS IS NOT ANECDOTAL. I have been exposed to multiple electoral models in my original country, and you can argue all you want about demographics and such. The plain and simple truth is that it is nonsensical to accept that the ALL THE VARIATIONS mathematically favored the Bush over Kerry, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. By basic statistical rules, that is impossible…

The turnout of newly registered voters has been said to explain the results in Florida. That is completely false. The data…show that if we take the results in several Florida counties that went heavily for Bush, the numbers of registered Republicans ACTUALLY VOTING IN THE COUNTIES goes over 100% statistically, while newly registered Democrats underperform…

Zogby's exit polling must not be ignored. His exit polls predicted 311 electoral votes for Senator Kerry at 5:00 PM on Nov. 2. He apologized for this the next day because Kerry "failed" in Ohio and Florida. The truth is that the exit polling was accurate in states with paper-trail voting, and inaccurate in states with voting machines operating…

* Count Every Vote 2004, a voting rights group, reports hundreds of anomalies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina:

Among their preliminary findings, the group listed a shortage of early voting locations in Duval County, Fla., the largest county in Florida in area and voting-age population, the failure of electronic voting machines in three South Carolina counties, and the loss of votes at a North Carolina precinct when too much information was stored on a computer unit.

"In one case, sprinklers came on while people were waiting to vote and the poll workers didn't know how to turn them off," said Alma Ayala, who monitored voting in St. Petersburg, Fla.

* Unexplained power surge/glitch in LaPorte County, IN reduces 79,000 votes to 22,000 (or something like that: This particular story makes no sense to me).

* A voter in New Mexico reports touch-screen machine turned his straight Democratic ticket into a straight Republican ticket.

* Former director of the Auglaize County, Ohio, Board of Elections claims a former employee of Election Systems and Software violated election protocol by using the computer that creates ballots and compiles election results on October 16.

* Summit County, Ohio, election worker says GOP operatives accompanied retards and nursing home residents into voting booths.

* Conyers, Nadler, Wexler demand GAO investigation into problems with ES&S machines.

* Various snafus with e-voting nationwide.

* Problem with ranked-choice voting in San Francisco produces result in which Tim Cavanaugh's top three choices for local supe finish in the bottom of the pack.

Since the Democrats by and large lost this time around, they'll be the ones coming up with voting scandals, which is fine by me. I just don't want to hear any claims about how Republicans are uniquely, or even unusually, trying to game the vote. Who kept Ralph Nader off the ballot in 16 states? Who paid a freelance campaign worker in crack to register fake voters? And how come when Democrats do it it's good ol' two-fisted ward politics, amusingly reminiscent of Tammany Hall and the Daley machine, but when Republicans do it it's a totalitarian scheme coming straight from Karl Rove's lair in Berchtesgaden? That having been said, vote fraud is a disgrace no matter who's doing it. So turn over every rock, Democrats.

Hit it, Thoreau…

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  1. Still, I think folks on the left might be better off figuring out why more people voted for Bush than continuing to pound the Bush-illegitimacy drum that Tuesday’s results would appear to have silenced.

    Uh, isn’t the point of questioning the returns that maybe more DIDN’T actually vote for Bush?

  2. Hit it, Thoreau…

    What am I supposed to say? I can say that I have confidence in our procedures out here in Santa Barbara County, but I don’t know enough to comment on the various allegations in this thread.

    Granted, lack of knowledge rarely stops me from commenting on various subjects 🙂 But most of those subjects are ones where even with complete information people could still disagree over interpretations or predictions based on that information. Here it seems more dependent on details. Either the machine changed that guy’s vote or it didn’t. Either the machines gave Bush extra votes or they didn’t.

    Wish I could offer some sort of analysis, but I can’t.

  3. Dear Tim:

    I am a libertarian & mathematician both. Evidence suggests that although both parties cheated, the Republicans did so much more effectively in the swing states. Finger pointing at both sides doesn’t really settle question of whether or not the Repub. cheating changed the final result. Mathematics suggest this is possible. Dem. cheating is there but statistically not imp.

  4. “With all due respect, Tim, you’re full of shit.”

    Well, if that’s all the respect you’re due. But Dr. St. Crispin is full to over brimming.


    But he’ll remember with advantages

    What feats he did that day: then shall our names.

    Familiar in his mouth as household words

    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,

    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,

    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.

    This story shall the good man teach his son;

    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,

    From this day to the ending of the world,

    But we in it shall be remember’d;

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

    This day shall gentle his condition:

    And gentlemen in England now a-bed

    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

  5. Since the Democrats by and large lost this time around, they’ll be the ones coming up with voting scandals, which is fine by me. I just don’t want to hear any claims about how Republicans are uniquely, or even unusually, trying to game the vote.

    As a third party supporter, this pisses me off. What’s the point of the Libertarian party if the 2 majors game the vote in every election? Why would the GOP or the Dems even reach out to third party issues if they know they can win with their support? I hope the voter fraud issue is pushed all the way to the top regardless of who’s face receives the egg.

    I certainly am now interested in the accuracy of the exit polls when Bush is no longer running for prez. 🙂

  6. Fraud is easy when you can register to vote and vote without ever producing any form of ID. I just told them who I was and they believed me.

    When I was in college a few years ago, I was in a program where they sent me an application for an absentee ballot, I’d return it, and they’d send me my ballot. When I graduated, I didn’t re-register for this program. Guess what was mailed to my parents house last month? A ballot. I had never even received an absentee application for any previous elections.

  7. Why would the GOP or the Dems even reach out to third party issues if they know they can win with their support?

    That was supposed to be “without their support.”
    Gotta use preview when posting during a football game! 🙂

  8. Exit polling said to be accurate in non-swing states was off in Ohio and Florida, raising suspicions of Kerry supporters.

    I’ve seen numerous reports indicating that exit polling showed Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina too close to call…and the networks took an awfully long time to call Mississippi. Those were not swing states. Mississippi, in particular, is about as non-swing as Massachusetts. The idea that the exit polls were only off in Florida and Ohio is bunk. Good lord, they originally showed Kerry leading in Pennsylvania by 20 points!

    I’m not thrilled at the notion of the GOP with a monopoly lock on government, but if Democrats continue to rant insanely about the evil GOP vote-fixers, the party’s loss of power is only going to continue. The ’90s were all about the crazy anti-Clintonoids, the ’00s are about the crazy anti-Bushoids….here’s hoping the ’10s are a decade low in conspiracy theorists and political insanity.

  9. Why don’t we privatize voting? Seems like something that the government should be able to outsource. Nothing inherently governmental about having people fill in a questionnaire and making sure they only do it once.

  10. an “informed” source (friend) fron eastern PA was bitching how the Dems in Philly committed a massive voter fraud thereby ensuring PA went to Kerry even though the rest of the state was significantly pro-Bush!

    I am not sure of the numbers, but apparently Bush has a quarter-million vote majority in the rest of the PA, but Dems have almost half-million majority in Philly area?

    anyway, we can’t be sure that the voting machines were tampered with, but these allegations shouldn’t be dismissed without due investigation. one thing we are sure of: it is too damn easy to register and to vote again and again in this country (no proof required). for some reason States seem very reluctant to require a proper ID when folks register and when they show up to vote.

  11. I was asked I.D. when I voted; my wife voting in her first election since becoming a citizen last May, was not. She remarked that it would have been easy for a non-citizen to register and vote; she does not recall any point in the process where she was asked to prove she was a citizen.

    They also forgot to have her sign the book everybody signs. I imagine she could have easily gone back later in the day and voted again. The poll workers are like volunteer greeters. There to make sure everyone is smiling and happy and getting what they need, but certainly not there to make sure everything is happening according to procedure and without fraud. My wife was shocked at how shabby the procedures are compared to her home country.

  12. “for some reason States seem very reluctant to require a proper ID when folks register and when they show up to vote.”

    Here in Wisconsin, the GOP tried to reform the election laws to require a voter to produce a photo ID when they show up at the polls. Even though that the state would provide free photo IDs to people if they didn’t have a driver’s license, Governor Doyle vetoed the bill on the grounds that the ID requirement would “disenfranchise” poor and minority voters.

  13. dead elvis-

    I don’t know where you voted, but as a poll worker in California I can speculate on why such a situation might arise here:

    If this is your first time registering to vote in the county, and if you registered by mail, then ID is required. If your wife registered at a government office, ID isn’t required.

    I personally think ID would be a very reasonable thing to require at the polls, but I just carry out the laws at the polls, I don’t write them.

  14. 1) zorel, I’ve heard similar allegations from other sources. Is all of it true? Highly doubtful. Are all of the allegations Tim mentioned true? Highly doubtful. My personal feeling is that, while voting fraud and irregularities are horrible, the current state of affairs has the shenanigans of both sides essentially cancelling each other out. Maybe I’m too insoucient about this, but…

    2) One thing the conspiracy theorists might want to keep in mind is that Ohio is essentially a Republican state. It has a Republican governor and two Republican senators. I’m pretty sure its House representation is majority Republican. The fact that it might be inclined to vote for a Democratic candidate for president who is not a native Ohioan is, to me, the real anomoly. I’m not saying it couldn’t have happened…just that Ohioans seem really comfortable voting for Republicans in every other branch of government, and if their Presidential preferences hadn’t caught up yet, they likely would soon. As for Florida, it has a Republican governor who won last time with a 13 percent victory margin. (And this is after late polls showed the race tied!) Now, part of that is the fact that Jeb himself seems fairly popular — I’ve even seen Carl Hiassen writing complimentary things about him. But, by rights, a populace that re-elects a Republican governor with that victory margin really should be thought likely to go for a Republican Presidential candidate who is said governor’s brother. If as many voters in Florida felt as disenfranchised in 2000 as certain people would have us believe, Jeb would be gone, IMHO. To sum it up: if Bush had carried Maine or Connecticut by five points, I’d be crying fraud. But Florida and Ohio? No.

    BTW, here in Texas I was asked for an ID…but Texas is not exactly a swing state, to put it mildly…

  15. mbesq-

    One thing the conspiracy theorists might want to keep in mind is that Ohio is essentially a Republican state.

    Pretty much… with some caveats.

    Before the most recent election-

    Zero Dems elected to statewide non-judicial offices in over ten years.

    National House was 12-6 Repub.
    (Bi-partisanly gerrymandered to hell and back.)

    State House was 61-38 Repub.
    (Look at one of the “vote by county” maps- Kerry beat Bush in about 25 of the 88 counties…unfortunately, in the two largest, Dems dominated as usual in Cuyahoga-(Cleveland), and Franklin-(Columbus) has been slowly trending Dem over the last 3-4 elections)

    State Senate was 21-12 Repub.

    But, with a Repub. base upset with RINO Bob Taft, shady actions by Statehouse Repub. leaders, and a poor economic recovery- I really did think that Kerry would squeak it out.

  16. “retards”?

    The round-up misses the funniest of them all: Warren County, OH.

    Here’s the most important development so far.

    I note I covered the Franklin County thing 12 hours before it broke on AP.

    Wade into those fever swamps, people! DUmmies, indeed.

    I would be very unsurprised if we discovered significant – perhaps even winner-changing – fraud and/or mistakes. The companies that make eVoting machines have just made it too easy; see for several examples, like her appearance with Howard Dean on some cable TV show where she demonstrated how easy it was to change votes.

    I’ve been posting roundups of my own in this category and at my blog.

    The Dems should stress this is not an attempt to change the presidential election. Instead, it’s important to America, etc. etc. However, if the Dems can change enough votes in Ohio before Dec. 13 things might get really interesting.

  17. Why don’t we privatize voting? Seems like something that the government should be able to outsource.

    imo, Outsourcing sounds like a _wonderful_ idea. I know a whole lot of Europeans who would have used their competitive advantage to deliver a more market-intelligent result than the one you ended up with.

  18. Because most people are going to the polls in order to steal stuff, I’m not going to wake up in cold sweats when they’re disenfranchised. Kiss my ass, thieves.

    – Josh

  19. I can’t speak for most states, but I can say the following about Illinois, if you register to vote in person, you need to present two forms of photo ID with your address on at least one of them. It is true that you can register by mail without presenting ID, but you need to vote in person the first time and present ID. If you register by mail, then you can still technically vote in person by what is called ‘in person absentee voting.’ Basically, this consists of voting at your city or county hall before the election if you have a valid reason to request an absentee ballot.

    Of course, I’m from Cook County, where the problem isn’t so much with the creation of invalid registrations but rather with absentee voting by those who previously and properly registered to vote but have since received a death certificate.

  20. Paid in crack? God, it’s like 2008 is NEVER GOING TO BE HERE ALREADY ARRRRRGH …hey, this is a nice blender, can I pa… have it? Early Christmas? No? Ok, I’ll just set it here in my backpack so it doesn’t…. fall… [jumps out glass plate window towards pawn shop; proceeds from pawnshop to downtown]

    Huh, you know I’d be on that, didn’t you? God, I argued politics for years, and this is just an all around better, wildly less boring, format, you know? Annnnyway, how about this shovel? You’re not usi… burying your cat? Hey, you’re wearing Nik.. no, no, I just thought that since the shoebox your cat is in said Adidas that… Oh… I’ll just take the shovel then. Don’t worry, I’ll pay you back two shovels or something!

  21. Oh, and I forgot to tie in that the lowest point in my life was when I frantically encouraged others to vote Gore in 2000. Lower than any gutter, I say. My breath still has a slight off touch to it from shout such horrible sloganry, so many years (well, four anyway) ago…

  22. I am bothered by the fact that, in Georgia at least, we don’t get a receipt. When I lived in Central Florida, we voted on a very large paper ballot, using a permanent marker. In the Greater Atlanta Area, where I live now, we have electronic voting machines.

    It’s kind of creepy.

  23. Ummm…

    That is all.


  24. If this is your first time registering to vote in the county, and if you registered by mail, then ID is required.

    Having moved to San Diego withing the last year, I voted in this county for the first time on 11/2, and was never asked for ID. I registered by mail, and when I voted they just wanted to see my sample ballot (with my name printed on it).

  25. Zorel,

    Living in Philly, I’d buy Kerry getting a half-mil margin from the city hands down. There are a small quantity of power-yuppies downtown and an enclave of republicanism in the northeast; other than that the city is almost pure “D”. Besides which, the best indication that there wasn’t Dem malfeasance: Specter smoked Hoeffel.

    Here’s the true crime though – moderate Northeast-style republican (ie, ok with abortion and pro-stem cell/embryonic research) Arlen Specter is currently fighting Republican leadership to keep the chair of the Judiciary committee.

    Good grief, please let the new Supreme Court nominee process pass through Specter’s hands rather than some reactionary creationist fucktard! What kills me about the R party is the way they’re crumpling up the old-skool eastern republicans – first Whitman marginalized and then disposed at the EPA, now this assault on Specter. When will they burn out Pataki or Guiliani?

  26. Mark D.-

    Maybe I was wrong. All I know for certain is that under circumstances based on a person’s registration, ID is required at the polls. This is marked in the roster as “ID required” by the person’s name. I was told that it applied if you registered by mail and this is your first time in the county, but maybe the circumstances are even more select than that.

  27. In Los Angeles, I wasn’t asked to show ID. In fact, I had gone to the same polling place twice. Once just to make sure it was correct. Then, when I went back to vote they recognized me from before and asked if I’d voted. I said no and was given the ballot. They then scratched off my name; one wonders if they would have still allowed me to vote if I had voted the first time. Of the six workers there, two of them barely understood English; “write-in” was apparently a new phrase for those two and a third as I negotiated the use of a pen.

  28. Joe L,
    You are kidding right? You can start here. For past years you can look… Oh hell, do your own damn googling.



  30. Funny business in Washoe County, NV, could tilt Nevada:

    Submitted for repost/reprint/forwarding. Margie Burns

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