Why Didn't Horseface Complain About the Horse Race?

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When the ombudsman starts making more sense than the writer, something's gotta be wrong. Since writing a stolen-election column evocatively titled "The Silent Scream of Numbers," Tribune Media columnist Robert C. Koehler has been in a poop-slinging contest with Don Wycliff, "public editor" of the Chicago Tribune. Before getting into the competing claims in Koehler's column and Wycliff's underwhelming response, here's a key section from an exchange between the two, cited in a second Koehler column that was spiked by the Trib but posted on Koehler's own site:

"If John Kerry and the Ohio Democratic Party and all the other folks who had the most to gain from the election were making this challenge, I would get interested. But when the people with the most at stake don't step up, I'm suspicious."

So Don Wycliff, the Chicago Tribune's public editor, wrote to me in an e-mail exchange a few days ago, explaining why he, if not the Tribune itself, had no intention of investigating the issue with any seriousness…

Of all my objections to what he wrote, his contention that Kerry has the most at stake in all this is the most dispiriting, and most reflects the wrongheaded, "horse race" coverage of elections the media have shoved down our throats for as long as I can remember.

I grok Koehler's point, and I wouldn't be happy to be cheated out of my franchise (though in fact, I may have been so cheated last November). But I've run some numbers, and discovered the probability that the 2004 election might end with Tim Cavanaugh getting a $400,000-a-year job where I get to live in a mansion, be courted by sycophants, issue executive orders, kill people in foreign lands, control America's nuclear arsenal, and steal money from the populace, was incredibly small. John Kerry obviously had more at stake than any individual voter, and his refusal to fight for his advantages clearly carries more weight than any other factor. To pretend otherwise is to believe in platitudes.

As for the specific claims of Koehler and Wycliff, and more importantly of the competing vote-fraud camps they represent, neither man covers himself in glory. Wycliff's column noted above puts the C in mediocre, and is in no way a serious consideration of the issue. But Koehler demonstrates another discredited tactic—preemptively mocking those who would call him a conspiracy theorist:

Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don't want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener's eyeballs roll. So let's not ask that question.

Let's simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country… why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president… and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.

We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don't make sense….

And we might, no, we must, ask…about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush.

Yeah, and how could a cheap Italian rifle fire three shots in five seconds? And where did 19 boneheads from the Third World learn to fly jumbo jets and outsmart the national security colossus? And who profited from the assassination of Selena more than…Jennifer Lopez?

Of the rhetorical questions Koehler asks, several come with ready answers: I can't speak for "inner-city" Columbus and Cleveland, but my own experience, in an upscale, lily-white neighborhood of America's most leftwing city, where the Democrats control everything but the weather (maybe that too), the wait at my polling place was six times longer than it's ever been in my ten years of voting there. Is there anybody in this country who did not have a longer-than-usual wait to vote last year?

On to the no-president ballots: I have no answer to that one, though I do wonder what the exact issue is here. Is it the cheatin' Diebold machines which leave no paper trail, or a paper trail that has left a questionable record? As for the vote-switch, I have no answer either; I'm inclined to agree with Christopher Hitchens that Diebold should not be given another dime until it fixes the problem, and in fact I'm going back to doing most of my bank business through a teller. But reporting bias still goes a long way toward explaining this mystery—Kerry voters spotted these problems because they were the ones looking for these problems.

The Ph.D.-level mathematician Koehler favors—Celtic troubador and statistician Richard Hayes Phillips—looks like a more fun figure than most, but of course, the other side has its own batch of statisticians ready to roll. And what does it mean that "the numbers don't make sense"? If it's that the voting results don't match the exit polls, Koehler is trying to get away with two rhetorical questions for the price of one. If it's that population statistics don't match the turnout, there may be something to that, but these cases have been noted, corrected, and reported on in obscure journals like USA Today, and none of the numerical discrepancies have been large enough to turn the election, either nationally or in the immediate case of Ohio. (The vote-fraud zealots need to address whether they think hankypanky can really account for Bush's three-percent lead in the popular vote, and if not whether they'd really want Kerry to be president with the largest electoral/popular split in U.S. history.)

Koehler really goes wrong in claiming we might, nay must, ask about the exit poll discrepancy. Of all the stolen-election lifelines, this is the feeblest. Jimmy Rutenberg explained the specific problems with the exit polling in an article published three days after the election in that Republican Party house organ The New York Times. But the technical details of wrong exit polling only partly explain the larger story: that exit polls have always been wrong, and were traditionally "reconciled" through a fancy-sounding process that really amounts to changing the results when new information (i.e., the actual vote numbers) comes in. The difference in 2000 and 2004 is that now we know what the exit polls are actually saying when they say them. Thank you, embargo-breakers!

This last point is a good place to wrap up this voluminous post. Every American knows a great deal more about electoral shenanigans now than ever before. The reasons for this are almost exclusively what are ordinarily considered positive developments: higher turnout, very close elections, more public awareness, more information, and a system that, despite the best efforts of the party machines, is becoming more transparent. And with all that improved information, all indications are still that Bush won, almost fair and square. If the vote-fraud crowd wants a legitimate cause, let them look to a true election robbery: the 2004 Democratic primary, which the Clinton/McAuliffe mafia stole from Howard Dean.

Further reading: The Conyers report on the Ohio vote.

NEXT: The Real Cost of Gov't (in 3 Measures)

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  1. Kerry realized he was fucked early on. Bush got to the machines in Ohio somehow (Diebold) and Kerry knew that the idea that voting machines could be rigged is way outside the electoral pale. End of story.

  2. “If John Kerry and the Ohio Democratic Party and all the other folks who had the most to gain from the election were making this challenge, I would get interested. But when the people with the most at stake don’t step up, I’m suspicious.”

    This sucks. Five years ago, the call to take another look at whether the election process worked was put down in the media because the Democrats were just arguing in their own interest. Now, the excuse is that since the Democrats aren’t arguing in their own interest, there’s no reason to bother.

    “The vote-fraud zealots need to address whether they think hankypanky can really account for Bush’s three-percent lead in the popular vote, and if not whether they’d really want Kerry to be president with the largest electoral/popular split in U.S. history.” Remind me again, why does arguing in favor of accurate vote counting require a defense of the Electoral College?

  3. I won’t “call you a conspiracy nut,” but I will call you a poor communicator. Could you please rewrite your post in a way that makes sense?

  4. You’re a conspiracy nut. Lot of conspiracy nuts posting to HNR these days, for some reason.

  5. I can understand why people might distrust the Diebold eVoting machine.

    What I don’t understand is why they ignore that *not a single county in Ohio or Florida* used those machines!:

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/111004V.shtml

    “No Ohio County used Diebold Electronic Voting Machines.

    Ohio did not use modern electronic voting machines in this election. Six counties use an older form of electronic voting, which has a means of verifying the accuracy of the vote. In 69 Ohio Counties, punch card ballots were used.”

    http://www.cuttingedge.org/news_updates/nz1799.htm

    “Both Broward and Miami-Dade counties use machines made by Election Systems & Software, while Palm Beach county uses machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems. No Florida counties used touch-screen machines made by Diebold Election Systems, the company whose machines have received the most scrutiny over the last year.”

  6. David T, I will NOT allow your facts to get in the way of my emotions. Screw that, man.

    Life is more exciting when I can go around pretending there’s conspiracy and treachery floating around stuff that everyone else takes for granted, like the act of voting. It shows how much more tuned in I am to the REAL reality in the world. It gives me a tingle — it’s like living in a movie!

    So don’t mellow my harsh, dude. I like being bitter and thinking the worst about Republican motivations. My professors are on my side, and they’re smarter than any of you, because I’m 20 and they talk smarter than anybody I’ve heard my whole life, and so I know they’re smarter than you. I’m on the side of right, that is to say the side of Kerry. You people are on the side of fat cats and old money.

    Without peace, there is no justice! Or something like that.

  7. Very nice sophomore.

  8. I live in a suburb of Columbus which generally votes Republican. When I voted the wait was maybe 10 minutes. A couple of miles north, in the inner city, people were waiting for hours. I don’t know why that difference existed, but it definitely did.

  9. “I don’t know why that difference existed, but it definitely did.”

    More voters? Fewer voting booths? Smaller proportion of poll workers per voter? Voters who were more careful and thus more time-consuming? Less-educated voters spending more time making sense of the ballot?

    Not everything’s automatically a “problem” that has to be fixed. (I’m not saying that was your take, but it’s certainly the stance of a certain segment of the population.)

  10. “I don’t know why that difference existed, but it definitely did.”

    I think it’s probably just another case of wealthy people getting better service than poor people. Suburban schools, courthouses, and libraries are all much nicer and better funded than their inner-city counterparts. Why would polling places be any different?

  11. Apropos of absolutely nothing else, has anyone else noticed that Google has been down for about half an hour? Very odd. Never seen it inaccessible for even half a second, let alone like this.

    I don’t know why it strikes me as worthy of comment, except that it’s sort of, like, the reigning king of the Web. (And my home page.)

  12. Google seems to be back, but I still can’t get to Google News.

  13. I always make sure I get front and center every time there’s a roast of those “election conspiracy nuts.” That way the conservatives can’t call ME a “soreloserman”! Man i hate that. If it means ceding my most fundamental rights as a US citizen, it’s worth it not to feel the sting of those bumper stickers again.

    So i say, lets never find out what happened in either of the elections that Bush may or may not have “really” won. Who cares! I say those theorists are big fat crazy hate filled liberal morons who hate America and want our troops to die and they’re probably crazy too. I feel sorry for them (that’s my way of saying I’m superior to them).

    So conservative guys, where do i go to pick up my brownie points?

  14. Ok, the truth is out now, the Administration used
    the Diebold,ESS (will the villainy of Chuck Hagel
    ever cease) to cover up the assassination of Prince Nayef; back in 2001; directed by the chief intelligence officer in the Near East; who happened to be a Skull & Bones Yalie, cousin of Andrew Card; this was all to cover up the failed
    manned mission to Ganymede.

    The following was a transposing of the events from Charles McCarry’s Better Angels & Shelley’s
    Heart; into Moveon/Democrat Underground tin foil;

  15. Independent Worm–

    Bush won. His margin was 3 million votes nationwide. He won Ohio, by what, over 100,000 votes or something? If you really want to play this game, why don’t you go to states Bush barely lost.

    If you honestly believe that “your fundamental right as a US citizen” is in jeopardy, I bet you can find the same kinds of “irregularities” I hear people like you complaining about in Ohio. Oh, but those don’t count because they wouldn’t help prove that Bush “stole” the election.

    Which is my biggest beef. You don’t give a shit about your “fundamental rights”. You hate Bush, the GOP, anything remotely right-of-center. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. You’re entitled to your beliefs. But don’t lay this bullshit on everyone about “democracy” and “fundamental rights.” Your guy lost and you’re grasping at straws.

    While you’re entitled to your beliefs, what you’re not entitled to is ascribing the worst possible motives and deeds to your adversaries based on pretty much no evidence. Long lines at polling booths, bogus exit polls–this is your evidence of the grand conspiracy?

  16. Tim, do you get paid by the word?

  17. No, he gets paid by the obscure literary references and incomprehensible segues.

  18. The Ohio election wasn’t even all that close. The Pennsylvania election was closer. Seems like Ohio’s gotten all the attention primarily because it was the last state the media called (and they even waited for Kerry to concede first in many cases), and people were having visions of Florida II. But there’s a pretty hefty difference between winning a state by a couple hundred votes, and winning one by 150,000 or whatever Ohio turned out to be at the end there.

    Getting riled up about something as close as Florida 2000 or Washington state 2004 is understandable. Seeing DU go on about Ohio 2004 and how Kerry won was just sad.

  19. I just wanted to correct myself. The final certified numbers from PA were not closer than OH — only the numbers I had saved to my computer from mid-November. Still, the numbers were comparable.

  20. Phocion–You totally just made my point. I made the point why don’t the Kerry supporters bring up the states Bush barely lost? The obvious reason is because that would ruin their narrative.

    As to FL in 2000, I don’t blame Dems for being pissed off about it. But I look at it this way: It was basically a tie. The Elephants could have just a good a case to be pissed if Gore had one. (And spare me the all the evil theories about FL–I’ve heard them. There were no roadblocks blocking black voters. The felony voting list mix up–yes some legitimate voters got blocked–but probably as many, if not more felons got to vote–and they voted Gore.)

    Most of the press recounts in FL showed Bush won. Again, basically a tie. But if you want to get into the weeds–we can find other states Bush lost that year that there’s some compelling evidence of Dem perfidy. So I basically think it balances out.

  21. This is way more noise than this topic deserves at this point.

  22. Agreed Douglas!

  23. David T,

    You incorrectly implied that Ohio had a clean shiny paper trail for all of its electronic voting machines, which are found in 19 of the 88 counties.

    I have to correct you. At least one county, Franklin, had e-voting without a trace. From Cincinatti Enquirer:

    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/08/14/loc_voting14.html

    “Franklin County, which includes Columbus, is one of the few Ohio counties with an electronic voting system, but it doesn’t have a verifiable paper receipt, which the Ohio General Assembly recently insisted upon as a security measure.”

    That story comes from August, three months before the election, but I’m pretty sure that Franklin county didn’t have the time to switch out those unverifiable machines. So there’s one “black hole” for you, in a county with about 750K residents, demographically highly shifted toward minority Democratic voters.

    So now this is getting a little bit easier, if there are other counties like Franklin. We know there are 88 counties in Ohio. If 69 of them had punch card balloting, then that still leaves 19 counties with e-voting. It is a fact that 70 precent of the ballots cast were punch card, with the other 30 percent machines of some sort. Granted, although machines are used in some of the largest counties like Cuyahoga (Cleveland), no Diebold machines are used, mea culpa, but still at least one “black box” county, Franklin, with no paper trail, and keep in mind that the election was decided only by a paltry 118K votes out of 5.6 million ballots cast in Ohio.

    And you only have to switch half that number for Kerry to win Ohio. Really we’re just talking about vote switching a meager 60K or so: 118/2 = 59K+ votes needed to switch from B to K for Ohio’s decisive electoral votes to make Kerry President.

    So let me break it down for you. The Evil Overlord Known as Karl Rove doesn’t have to be really that evil or even that smart to realize that you can get a Bush victory rather easily. Just “mix and match” your tactics by screwing with maybe 20 or 30K machine entries from Franklin county where we know no one could ever possibly know that they were tampered with, (that gets us about halfway there). Then just by moving some of the other “verifiable” machines away from minority precincts in the other 18 machine counties, you increase lines and drop vote totals selectively by precinct, and thereby ensure your other half of the 120K.

    A couple of posts here erroneously stated that the machine shortages had to affect all Ohio voters equally. So what if there were a few scattered problems with the e-boxes, it all came out in the wash, right?

    Wrong.

    Black people got T-BONED in Ohio, disenfranchised in a way that should cause Ohio electoral planners to be truly ashamed. It’s obvious in this excellent analysis of the controversy from Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._election_voting_controversies%2C_Ohio#Voting_machines_in_Ohio

    “Detailed analyses indicate that reports of malfunctioning voting machines were tightly clustered in black neighborhoods, further exacerbating machine shortages. Of the 82 precints for which voters reported that one or more voting machines were not working, the vast majority were in neighboroods where over 75% of the population were black, while non-working machines were reported in only five precincts where less than 5% of the population were black. In one precinct 7 of 17 voting machines were not working. In another, 3 of 9 voting machines were not working. In yet another 2 of 3 voting machines were not working. In two precints, all the machines were not working for a significant period during the day. In addition to reports of machines not working at all, there were multiple reports of voting machines that would not accept a vote for the presidential race, multiple reports of voting machines which highlighted a vote for Bush when Kerry’s button was pressed, and multiple reports of voting machines that indicated that a vote for Bush had been registered on the summary screen, despite repeated attempts to select Kerry. [5]”

    Sounds pretty creepy, huh? 82 out of 88 precincts reported one or more machines not working, and at least 50 or so were from 75 percent black counties. While there were only five precincts with broken machines in the overwhelming white counties.

    That’s fucking unreal!

    And let’s face it, they just flat-out FUCKED Columbus, in Franklin county. Big minority population there. Again from Wikipedia:

    “Document reveals Columbus, Ohio voters waited hours as election officials held back machines. One telling piece of evidence was entered into the record at the Saturday, November 13 public hearing on election irregularities and voter suppression held by nonpartisan voter rights organizations. Cliff Arnebeck, a Common Cause attorney, introduced into the record the Franklin County Board of Elections spreadsheet detailing the allocation of e-voting computer machines for the 2004 election. The Board of Elections’ own document records that, while voters waited in lines ranging from 2-7 hours at polling places, 68 electronic voting machines remained in storage and were never used on Election Day…. An analysis of the Franklin County Board of Elections’ allocation of machines reveals a consistent pattern of providing fewer machines to the Democratic city of Columbus, with its Democratic mayor and uniformly Democratic city council, despite increased voter registration in the city. The result was an obvious disparity in machine allocations compared to the primarily Republican white affluent suburbs.”

    You got that? They had buttloads of machines in STORAGE instead of in front of minority voters. Let’s continue:

    “The … Republican enclave of Upper Arlington has 34 precincts. No voting machines in this area cast more than 200 votes per machine. Only one, ward 6F, was over 190 votes at 194 on one machine. By contrast … 17% of Columbus’ machines were operating at 90-100% over optimum capacity while in Upper Arlington the figure was 3%. In the Democratic stronghold of Columbus 139 of the 472 precincts had at least one and up to five fewer machine than in the 2000 presidential election. … 29% of Columbus’ precincts, despite a massive increase in voter registration and turnout, had fewer machines than in 2000. In Upper Arlington, 6% had fewer machines in 2004. One of those precincts had a 25% decline in voter registration and the other had a 1% increase. Compare that to Columbus ward 1B, where voter registration went up 27%, but two machines were taken away in the 2004 election. Or look at 23B where voter registration went up 22% and they lost two machines since the 2000 election, causing an average of 207 votes to be cast on each of the remaining machines … Thus, in four years, the ward went from optimum usage to system failure.”

    And, finally, this scathing, undeniable stastic, which really wraps up the poor machine availability situation in Franklin county among others. Again from the same Wiki article:

    “The amount the machines in a precinct were over capacity was directly proportional to the percentage of voters in that precinct voting Kerry”

    So your access in Ohio was directly proportional to your desire not to vote for Kerry. Amazing! We’re getting some votes cancelled out now! Hell yeah, we might just make our 60K yet!

    With those Republican machines just purring along, and those black people scratching their ass in line, we’re making quite a bit of progress here.

    There is only one question we need to answer: Is there 60K of butt-scratching going on there to go along with the 20K or so we were going to “no trace” from the black boxes with no paper trail in Columbus? Hell, 50K is not a large number when you’ve got what appears to be massive selective disenfranchisement of minority Democratic voters throughout the state of Ohio. Not a very large number at all.

    So, in light of that David, SP, Rob, phocion, all of you. I have to ask you:

    Do you really consider it that improbable that the Ohio vote could have been manipulated to the tune of 25K mystery switches and 60 thousand black line dropouts through a combination of “Franklin No Trace” and “Cuyahoga Make Em Wait”?

    If so, explain why.

    One last thing: Tim, when you say, “Bush won, almost fair and square,” what in God’s name do you mean? How can something be “almost fair and square”? That’s like saying the flowers in my garden are almost petunias!

    I thought your article well-considered, even though I disagree with the conclusion.

    I encourage you to delve deeper into the Wiki analysis of the Ohio controversy found here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._election_voting_controversies%2C_Ohio

    It really has opened my eyes to the distinct possibility that Ohio’s 2004 process was deeply flawed and possibly criminally manipulated.

  24. The Democrats can no longer win the majority vote. Federal judges still like them, so they want judges to decide elections. They also want to perpetuate the myth of stolen elections so they can play the victim of “evil” Republicans.

    The Democrats say they want “every vote counted” when they make sound bites, but reading their court challenges tells a different story. In Florida 2000, Gore didn’t ask for a recount of all of Florida, he only wanted the counties with a Democrat majority recounted. This violates a fundamental law of collecting data, always use the same counting method throughout the count. Every counting method has error. Just try counting 20 million marbles and see if you get the same number twice. As long as that error is random, you get an unbiased result. That is as fair as we can get in the real world. Using one method to count the votes from some people and a different method to count the votes for other people creates a systematic bias in your results. Fortunately, the Supreme Court saw this and ended the recount based on the equal protection cause of the 14th amendment.

    Here is a hypothetical example of how a hand recount of only the Democratic strongholds would help Gore. As long as you only recount Democrat counties, the direction of the bias is the same, even if you change the numbers.

    Take a Republican county of 100 people, 60 vote Republican in reality and 40 vote Democrat in reality. The machine has a 10% error rate. This error causes the official vote to be 58 for the Republican and 42 for the Democrat.

    Then consider a Democrat county of 100 people, 40 vote Republican in reality and 60 vote Democrat. The machine has the same 10% error, so the official vote is 42 for the Republican and 58 for the Democrat.

    Now agree with Gore’s request and hand count the votes only in the Democrat count. Assume hand counting gives you 100% accuracy. The new official vote is biased in Gore’s favor by 2 votes.

  25. Huck,

    Take a breath. Humor. Hu-mor. You never know where you might discover it!

    Notice, i did say that Bush “may” or may not have won both those elections. He may have. He may not have. I am completely agnostic on the matter. As a citizen I’d like to see that our election results are reliable, and cannot understand why anyone would want anything other than a process that values the full, fair, honest, complete and accurate tabulation of all the votes.

    But beyond that, i could care less who actually prevails out of the Dumbopublican clusterfuck.

  26. “Do you really consider it that improbable that the Ohio vote could have been manipulated to the tune of 25K mystery switches and 60 thousand black line dropouts through a combination of ‘Franklin No Trace’ and ‘Cuyahoga Make Em Wait’?”

    Yes, I do. Think of the vastness of the conspiracy you are proposing, how many people must have been willing to cooperate with such nefariousness in order to make it all work so perfectly. That’s one hell of a lot of voting machines to rig, and a hell of a lot of people on various boards of election throughout a pretty large state willing to go along with something very wrong and very illegal. And not one of these individuals has been forced by either guilty conscience or tabloid money to come forward and tell their story to the world?

    You are a conspiracy nut.

  27. Caveat: I vote Libertarian, and am neither “pro-Bush” nor “pro-Kerry”.

    For the sake of argument, assume:

    ? Democrat political hacks are functionally as evil as Republican political hacks.

    ? In some states, the hacks (R) have the upper hand.

    ? In other states, the hacks (D) have the upper hand.

    That being the case, why do so many assume that R treachery outweighed that of the Ds? And why do people attribute to malice that which can, in at least some part, be a laid at the feet of incompetence? The local Republicans where I live are convinced that the Dems finagled the vote in Milwaukee, Racine and probably Dane Counties (Madison). The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s Greg Borowski has written article after article outlining the total screw-up that the City of Milwaukee made of the `04 election. A good summary is here, with emphasis on the political ineptness of the new mayor’s unqualified appointee to be city elections commish. She has since resigned. A sample, under “Election failings”:

    After the election, a host of problems came to light: undelivered absentee ballots; 1,200 votes from invalid addresses; a 7,000-vote gap with more ballots counted than people recorded; the results themselves counted though they were not properly handled by the city and county.

    Wisconsin also had these problems:

    ? Individuals sworn as elections registrars are supposed to verify new voters’ names and addresses by checking ID, using very loose standards. It is suspected that many, especially volunteers for the labor and ?527 organizations, didn’t even bother to ask for this info, while attesting that they did.

    ? Suspected chicanery regarding absentee ballots.

    ? Suspected funny-business surrounding early voting.

    ? Possible voting by Persons B who presented themselves at the polling place, claiming to be Persons A. There is no requirement that polling officials ask for ID from an already-registered voter at the polling place, except when an elector is challenged by a poll watcher. The Dem governor recently vetoed a bill requiring photo-ID for voting.

    ? Possible fraud in WI’s system of same-day voter registration.

    ? Voting by convicted felons who had not yet completed their full sentences. In WI, full civil rights are restored when felons complete their sentences, including any probation after release.

    Then there is the absurd theatre of employees of the Democratic party, charged with slashing the tires of the GOP’s get-out-the-vote motor pool on election eve, in something called Operation Elephant Takeover.

    An archive of the Journal-Sentinel‘s stories on the mess here. Keep in mnd that the MJ-S is as dependably pro-statist as any paper in the country, and its editorial page opposes some of the changes the “reformers” want.

    Scrutiny of other big cities – Philadelphia, anyone? – will doubtless turn up similar sloppy procedure, if not outright fraud, that favored the Democrats. While some of the voting reforms both sides want are a good idea, people should get over the “my-ox-was-gored” attitude. A good percentage of votes in any election are and have been corrupt for a good long time in the US, back to the days when an immigrant was sworn in as a citizen five minutes after stepping off the boat, and told who to vote for [and where, and how many times 🙂 ] by Tammany Hall or other local machines. You guys ever hear of “walking around money”, “Landslide Lyndon” or The Dead Who Vote in Cook County, IL?

    Kevin

  28. “Notice, i did say that Bush “may” or may not have won both those elections. He may have. He may not have.” -iw

    Uh, looks to me like he won the election. Not may or may not. But your point that we should do everything we can to make EVERYONE’S vote gets counted so that “our election results are reliable, and cannot understand why anyone would want anything other than a process that values the full, fair, honest, complete and accurate tabulation of all the votes.”

    Call Me A Conspiracy Nut, your question is as silly as most of the conspiracy stuff I see popping up on HNR. For exactly the reasons that Mr. Strangelove points out above and that College Sophomore lampoons so accurately.

  29. Wikipedia has zero credibility on any politically controversial issue.

  30. The official tally in Ohio ended with Bush ahead by 90k not 100+k. Close enough to be overturned, and not by a small margin, if all those Democratic ballots had votes for president – including the ballots of people who waited 10+ hours (that county commissioner race was a real barn-burner) – almost 25% of Democratic ballots in Ohio had no vote for president as opposed to 3% of Republican ballots. People registering Democratic having their registrations tossed in the trash with no recourse in Nevada and Ohio (at least). There were counties in Florida, Ohio and New Mexico that had no-trail electronic voting. I’d be willing to wager that if every vote were counted, Bush wouldn’t have won the popular vote. But we’ll never know – no tracks, no fingerprints. That’s why Kerry checked out; he knew that even if he was robbed, he wouldn’t be able to prove it, so why create a monster contraversy noone really needs and won’t accomplish anything? Saying that Democrats were looking for these things doesn’t wash either. Republicans were the ones putting all the minders in the polling places, remember? They didn’t trust “the system” any more than the Democrats.
    Which brings us to the real problem with all of this – trust in the electoral system. A poll before the election showed that more than a third of the electorate – evenly split between R’s and D’s – would not believe that any result showing the other side winning was legitimate. One third. THAT is not good, and all of these irregularities just feed the paranoia. Watch the Republican reaction when the tide shifts, and the Democrats pick up one of the houses in Congress. It will be as bad or worse. Something has to be done to restore faith in the system, just poo-pooing people with issues doesn’t do it. They’re a lot more numerous than you think.

  31. Those Ohio “undervotes” are easily explained by Kerry’s confusing the Buckeyes with the Michigan Wolverines on the stump. That fubar wasn’t enough to convince Democratic Ohio State fans to check the box for Bush, but they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Ol’ Horseface. 🙂

    Kevin

  32. Geeno – How about the number of us who believe that no matter who wins, the other side is going to put forward a bunch of baloney that says that they ACTUALLY won the election? I bet that’s at least 1/3 of the population – though my demographic probably crosses into both parties and includes a big portion of the 1/3 you mentioned.

    Dewey Defeats Truman, anyone? Obviously a conspiracy!

    Seriously, tho, the election system probably needs to be looked at in such a way as to standardize the machinery and ensure that 99+% of the votes are accurately counted by impartial tally machines.

    This is about the only hitch I can see in a democratic republic prior to electronic vote counting – that people who do the counting are fallible. But so are machines. (Hanging chads anyone? No? Good.)

    We need to ensure accuracy of representation as much as possible, but accept that in a close race things may not go our way even in a world where every vote is counted perfectly.

    But that is a separate issue from the folks who will argue totally improbable conspiracies in the face of reasonably accepting that their side lost a close election.

  33. Let’s simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country

    So, the mechanics of the election process were messed up in areas where Democrats control the political and election machinery, and thus it’s the fault of . . . Republicans!

    Here’s why I look on all claims of “Bush stole the election” with a jaundiced eye. 1) How did he know ahead of time that Florida (’00) and Ohio (’04) would be the pivotal states? 2) Vast conspiracies don’t last long because people talk. 3) Democrats are implicated in so many more election frauds that it’s hard to count them all. Heavily Democratic cities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri, etc. often report voter turnout in the 90%-105%(!) range. 4) Democrats fight hard for every “reform” that makes vote fraud easier (provisional ballots, Motor Voter, absentee voting, multiple-day voting) and against every reform that makes fraud harder (ID requirements).

  34. A poll before the election showed that more than a third of the electorate – evenly split between R’s and D’s – would not believe that any result showing the other side winning was legitimate. One third. THAT is not good, and all of these irregularities just feed the paranoia.

    Link? If this poll is accurate then that’s just sad.

    I have my own conspiracy theory: Maybe both sides are right about the other side’s shenanigans, and they cancel out. Maybe for every felon and illegal immigrant that the Dems send out to vote 10 times, there’s an evil white cop who scares 3 blacks into not voting, an evil white precinct inspector who rigs the lines to so 3 more blacks give up, and an evil Diebold hacker who erases 4 more Democratic votes.

    Not likely, but it has the advantage that I can nod my head and pretend to agree when confronted by a conspiracy nut from either side.

  35. And, while we’re on the subject, why is that Republicans always think it’s the illegal immigrants who vote? Why don’t the ones with green cards ever show up to vote fraudulently?

    I guess the illegals just have more initiative in them.

  36. Here’s a thought – instead of spending time moaning and wailing about how the election was “stolen” from John Kerry, take a long, hard look at voting patterns and demographics in the last 2 national elections.

    Simply put, the Democratic Party cannot continue getting its butt kicked in every state south of the Mason-Dixon line and between the Mississippi and the Sierra Nevada and have any prayer of regaining the Presidency. Being reduced to reviewing ballots in a handful of Ohio counties and yelling “fraud” doesn’t look too impressive, especially when you’re losing in the popular vote by 3 million or so.

    As an aside, please spare me the stories about Republican-motivated voting fraud in New Mexico – I grew up there, and I can testify from personal experience that the state’s political machinery, at least in the north is 100% Democrat-controlled. True, they cough up a Republican governor every now and then, but Democrats pull the levers of power there and always have.

  37. “And, while we’re on the subject, why is that Republicans always think it’s the illegal immigrants who vote? Why don’t the ones with green cards ever show up to vote fraudulently?”

    Perhaps because ILLEGAL immigrants, by their very nature, are inherently more likely to do ILLEGAL stuff? And because the immigrants who are taking the PROPER route to obtain citizenship are inherently more likely to do PROPER stuff?

  38. SP-

    That reminds me of, well, every time some journalist is shocked! schocked! to learn that prison populations have increased even though criminal activity has decreased. Because, you see, no element of a person’s behavior could possibly tell us anything about the likelihood of other behaviors. Joe Blow with his speeding ticket-stained driving record is just as likely as a serial murdurer to kill an incremental person.

  39. Xavier,
    Dispute the facts, don’t malign the source. If you go to the actual analysis:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._election_voting_controversies%2C_Ohio

    you find quite a bit to talk about, stockpiles of minority voting machines in storage, precincts with marked minority voter registration increase having their machine count adjusted downward, devious, systematic crap like that. Tell me what from there you actually dispute.

    rob,
    My question is silly only if you dispute that election fraud couldn’t have tricked out 100K paltry votes or so. You never made any indication as to why you thought that wasn’t possible. I know it could happen both ways, but, at least in Ohio, there appeared to be widespread selective disenfranchisement of minority voters, especially Cuyahoga and Franklin precincts, with the long-term misallocation of machines to precincts with positive voter enrollment growth. This is something they plan out years in advance, btw.

    kevrob,
    You have a good point. The porous, and sometimes insecure nature of our elections can chop both R and D. It is this feature that I oppose, I only use the apparent Repub shenanigans due to the preponderance of selective ward-by-ward disenfranchisment against minorities in Ohio. I’m sure Kerry was doing the same crap in many other states.

    As a libertarian it disgusts me that a voting system could actually get selected by a county and yet lack a clear verifiable physical manifestation of the vote.

    Utterly incomprehensible that we would forfeit that crucial, necessary check on the electrons rolling around behind the touchscreen.

  40. It amazes me that the whine goes on. Hey why don’t we look for fraud in the 1960 election in Illinois, Deleware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey and Texas. We should know if Kennedy actually won the election even though Nixon didn’t want to pursue it. We need to know who was supposed to be assassinated.

  41. Dude, c’mon… Your question and your position is silly because it’s a conspiracy theory – for all the reasons that conspiracy theories are almost ALWAYS silly. I mean, all of this widespread selective disenfranshisement planned out years in advance and NO ONE ever talks? I mean, Karl Rove is a sneaky SOB, but he can’t do all of that work alone!

    If Kerry had actually won the election, someone who could prove they were in on the conspiracy would have cashed in on a book deal by now. Hmmm… but there’s still no whistleblowers. Strange.

    I’m not saying that the system is perfect, or that it isn’t something to work on making sure that we close the loopholes. I’m just saying that someone who rigged the election successfully would eventually INEVITABLY want to crow about it – “I changed history!” Especially at the local voting-booth level of the bureaucracy.

    I’m with you on fixing the vote tallying mechanism. I just have to call BS on the conspiracy theory.

  42. Every time that Boortz convinces me to go the Libertarian Party route, I visit this site and come back to my senses.

    Yeah, I know, every movement or cause has its true blue believers and its unwise and unfair to characterize an entire party by fringe elements.

    Only problem is I’m not sure these elements are the fringe.

    Sorry Neal, no dice.

    SMG

  43. I recently sent a request to the Libertarian party to remove my name from the membership roll. The LP did nothing to make me mad. It’s just that after the the last Washington Gubernatorial election it is too obvious that elections are rigged.

    Some will say that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. But that is like telling a mark that if he doesn’t play a crooked game, he has no chance of winning.

    I have voted in every major election since 1972 and most of the minor ones as well, but I will unregister to vote soon too. That will have the added benefit of taking me off the jury duty rolls as well. (I always tell them I believe in the right of Jury Nullification and they never pick me anyway.)

    This former voter has gone on strike!

  44. “Yeah, I know, every movement or cause has its true blue believers and its unwise and unfair to characterize an entire party by fringe elements.”

    Sheesh – what’d I/we do to piss you off?

  45. I have had enough of the choice of lesser evils system. When I moved to Arizona, I did not register to vote. That did not stop Mohave County from sending me a jury duty letter.

  46. I like the way jtuf follows a long, data-rich post by Call Me A Conspiracy Nut by speculating on “Democrats'” feelings. What they hate, who they like, what they want, what they’re motivated by…

    I don’t know enough to venture an opinion on how well Ohio’s election machinery worked, but as someone who finds the political/intellectual combat between the factions interesting, the difference in how this issue is talked about is revealing.

  47. oh come now joe…we all know there’s very little difference in the way the kush/berry legions talk about this.

  48. thoreau wrote: Maybe both sides are right about the other side’s shenanigans, and they cancel out. ….

    Not likely, but it has the advantage that I can nod my head and pretend to agree when confronted by a conspiracy nut from either side.

    Statistically it is almost impossible they’d both cancel out. It is vastly more likely that one side does a better job than the other and tilts, the outcome toward their favor. Far less likely though, that it would be enough to actually change the entire outcome of the race.

    But if one accepts the premise that there is or may be some validity to the notion that both parties fiddled with the vote count, or the voting process, does that make one different in degree, or in kind, to those they label “conspiracy nuts.”

    It’s an interesting question.

    One of great relevance to me and my work; I use the “disgruntled nut” ad hominem from time to time in white-collar defense cases. You see, what happens is: (a) a greedy executive or accountant or lawyer or broker steals loads of money from people, which (b) ruins their lives, which (c) causes them to become livid, irate, furious, murderous, etc.

    So the two-step is this: (1) fuck them over, then (b) turn their righteous outrage itself against them, as evidence they are out of their minds, untrustworthy, unreliable witnesses who, if nothing else, are certainly not entitled to anything the way they rant and rave. They are unsympathetic screwballs filled with hate and rage. They just hate white men in suits who have more money and power than them; that’s all. That’s what we say. And in their wild outrage, they portray that stereotype to a T. And they lose; or else, accept ghastly little settlements; a few pennies on the dollar.

    So while I find this a very easy and effective strategy to employ, I recognize its destructive power in the arena of public discourse. What it does is it has the tendency to marginalize anyone working to uncover corruption, malfeasance, etc. And in fact, the majority of white collar crime that is committed is a conspiracy; to do anything worth doing in terms of a payout, you need help from other people. Otherwise you’re just swiping fivers out of the cash register, and that’s not going to cut it for most people with serious short term financial ambitions. Cooking books, rigging auctions, embezzling millions, insider trading, laundering money, etc. ALL require cooperation among multiple conspirators. And they go on every day. If we truly were to marginalize people MERELY on the basis that they are positing a conspiracy, all we would really accomplish by that is making it that much easier for the corrupt and the powerful to profit.

    But as i joked in my post above, for a lot of people, placing themselves outside the “nut” category is more important than anything. Better to let corruption run amok than have anyone marginalizing us.

    so we can either accept evidence or reject it on our own analysis of whether it makes sense to us or not. But to reflexively label those who present such evidence as “nuts” we do ourselves a great disservice. sometimes they do turn out to be nuts, but sometimes they are the pioneers of truth; and they embolden others to come forward with more evidence.

    Mr. Strangelove: people who have committed felonies RARELY step forward to confess out of a “guilty conscience”. In a similar vein, the tabloids probably aren’t paying enough to make it worth the trouble of going to prison for 10 years. As for the improbability of large numbers of people coordinating illegal activity, you are probably aware of many if not all of the following: Tammany Hall, the Black Gangster Disciples, the Crips, the Bloods, the Hells Angels, La Cosa Nostra, the Shower Posse, Enron, the Nixon administration, Chicago’s political machine, and the pedophile priests. So it’s not unthinkable that a large number of people would get together, commit crimes, and seek to continue getting away with it rather than selling out to tabloids or coming forward out of a sense of guilt.

    So given that, I doubt that by the magic power of having something to do with being the “Official Elections People”…. these people are immune to corruption. Maybe crooked election workers are there for the same reasons pedophiles take jobs coaching kids sports teams or performing youth ministry. Maybe they took those jobs just to help rig the outcome. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Nobody thought it about the priests; and the first accusers to come forward were nuts; it wasn’t until there were so many of them it could no longer be ignored. But the bottom line is: You just don’t know what folks are up to until somebody blows the lid off.

    Hopefully neither of you will find these comments to be over the top or forceful; I don’t mean them to be and i’m not singling anyone out, only the comments. I reference the people making them only to direct their attention to my replies, nothing more. Not being argumentative for its own sake, but rather trying to bring a different perspective to the same set of facts we are all looking at.

  49. iw, I agree with at least this much of what you’ve said: “But the bottom line is: You just don’t know what folks are up to until somebody blows the lid off.”

    Then again, I’m comfortable describing self-described conspiracy nuts as, well, conspiracy nuts. And until someone comes forward with proof of a conspiracy, if it sounds like something I’d hear from a tin-foil-hat-wearing X-Files fan, then I’m going to treat it that way.

    I don’t think you can count the gangs you listed as conspiracies – but the others are good examples. The difference is that most of them happened before the era of video-cameras, cell phone cameras, the Internet and so forth. It makes it a lot harder for cops to get away with denying people the right to vote via road-block, and it makes it a lot more likely that a conspiracy will remain secret, unless the conspiracy is tightly contained to a small number of people.

    All of your other examples are small numbers of people who worked together and were risking the same level of trouble for coming forward (except the Chicago political machine – which pretty much operated in the open).

    So like you said, until some whistleblowers step up to demonstrate how massive voter fraud was conducted, I’m going to remain skeptical.

  50. Nice, standard, rob – you won’t consider any evidence except admissions from the people who got away with it.

    “We should know if Kennedy actually won the election even though Nixon didn’t want to pursue it.” Actually, Nixon and the Republicans contested the outcome of the 1960 election quite vigorously, in numerous federal and state courts. From a book on the election, as quoted on Atrios:

    “New Jersey was typical. The GOP obtained court orders for recounts in five counties, but by December 1 the state Republican committee conceded that the recounts had failed to uncover any significant discrepancies, and they halted the process. Kennedy was certified the state’s official winner by 22,091 votes. Other states’ recount bids and investigations similarly petered out.
    Texas and Illinois, the two largest states under dispute, witnessed the nastiest fights. In Texas, where Kennedy won the twenty-four electoral votes by a margin of 46,000 ballots, the GOP took to the courts. But its suits were thrown out by a federal judge who claimed he had no jurisdiction. In Illinois, the appeal was pursued more vigorously, maybe because the electoral take was higher (twenty-seven) and Kennedy’s margin slimmer (9,000 votes). Charges focused on Cook County (specifically Chicago) where Kennedy had won by a suspiciously overwhelming 450,000 votes.

    National GOP officials plunged in. Thruston Morton flew to Chicago to confer with Illinois Republican leaders on strategy, while party Treasurer Meade Alcorn announced Nixon would win the state. With Nixon distancing himself from the effort, the Cook County state’s attorney, Benjamin Adamowski, stepped forward to lead the challenge. A Daley antagonist and potential rival for the mayoralty, Adamowski had lost his job to a Democrat by 25,000 votes. The closeness of his defeat entitled him to a recount, which began November 29.

    Completed December 9, the recount of 863 precincts showed that the original tally had undercounted Nixon’s (and Adamowski’s) votes, but only by 943, far from the 4,500 needed to alter the results. In fact, in 40 percent of the rechecked precincts, Nixon’s vote was overcounted. Displeased, the Republicans took the case to federal court, only to have a judge dismiss the suits. Still undeterred, they turned to the State Board of Elections, which was composed of four Republicans, including the governor, and one Democrat. Yet the state board, too, unanimously rejected the petition, citing the GOP’s failure to provide even a single affidavit on its behalf. The national party finally backed off after December 19, when the nation’s Electoral College certified Kennedy as the new president — but even then local Republicans wouldn’t accept the Illinois results.”

    So let’s file this one under “Nobody has ever fillibustered a judicial nominee before” in the Cherished Republican Myths Hall of Fame.

  51. rob writes– I don’t think you can count the gangs you listed as conspiracies – but the others are good examples

    a quick fyi on that: the legal definition of a conspiracy is roughly: any agreement between two or more people to commit a crime.

    So those gangs, conspiring as they constantly do to sell drugs, kill enemy gangmembers, intimidate witnesses, etc. are textbook examples of conspiracies. If you’ve had a look at Freakonomics (which is why i cited the Disciples) you see a good example of just how organized and calculated drug-gang conspiracies are (not to mention unprofitable for all but the top players, but that’s another story). Very meticulously well-documented in fact.

    If these weren’t conspiracies, then we could properly label all the people in Congress who passed the RICO act to be “conspiracy nuts” too! (which they might have been; and certainly would be by today’s standards, where displaying any amount of suspicion or cynicism is met with calls for Prozac).

    As for the openness/secrecy distinction: there is none. Operating in the open just means the conspirators chose not to engage in a cover up. But conspiracies are don’t need to be covered up to be conspiracies. The cover-up is just a useful appendage to avoid the whole prison thing. If you wield enough power, however, you don’t need to bother with it!

  52. Getting riled up about something as close as Florida 2000 or Washington state 2004 is understandable. Seeing DU go on about Ohio 2004 and how Kerry won was just sad.

    Sad? Why sad? I was thinking funny

  53. a quick fyi on that: the legal definition of a conspiracy is roughly: any agreement between two or more people to commit a crime.

    It isn’t that real conspiracies don’t happen; it’s that the “Oliver Stone” the government killed JFK type conspiracies tend to be crap.

    Certainly, there has been localized cheating at the pols. It isn’t likely that either side has had a large, well run conspiracy that has been able to alter the outcome in anything other than a Fl 2000 or Il 1960 type of situation (when localized cheating may have worked). There isn’t any solid evidence that cheating played a part in Fl 2000, and the cheating may not have changed the outcome in Il 1960.

    In times past, the Democratic Party had a significant corruption advantage. At this point in time, both sides play much cleaner, in part because everything is much more visable to the public and in part because the Democrats have lost their bear-nuckle political fighters.

  54. “and certainly would be by today’s standards, where displaying any amount of suspicion or cynicism is met with calls for Prozac”

    hardly. there’s probably far more of it than ever before. from everyone. yet another good reason to venerate tricky dick, the dark nix of the soul.

    i don’t particularly have a hard time in believing voter fraud takes place with regularity. it’s the centralized “davinci code effect” that’s a bit more difficult.

  55. iw – That’s one accepted definition of conspiracy. (I suspected that was where this discussion was going next.) The definition I’m referring to is more along the lines of what Don is talking about in his comment at May 9, 2005 01:26 PM. So, while all of these are “according to Hoyle” conspiracies, they don’t all meet the definition of what we’re really talking about here.

    Bottom line: Fix the system, and we agree it needs to be fixed. But don’t expect that I’m going to drink the conspiracy theory Kool-Aid without compelling evidence.

    joe – It’s not the only evidence I’d accept. But I’m past arguing with you. For all of the reasons I’ve mentioned in numerous previous threads ad nauseum. What’s the point of arguing with someone who is so invested in their stance that they’ll go to the lengths you have?

  56. rob — then I guess you wouldn’t be interested in my theory that Lee Greenwood was behind 9/11?

  57. iw – Not just interested – I’m a believer! As Ollie Stone says, one of the quickest ways to find out who’s behind a conspiracy is to ask “Who benefitted?” Obviously, it’s Greenwood – and he would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!

  58. One other thing: in something as close as Fl 2000, does it matter (on republican principles) who wins? Certainly it matters to the parties, but if 200 more voted for Gore or 800 more voted for Bush, wouldn’t a coin toss work just fine?

    Well, no, a coin toss probably wouldn’t be such a great idea, unless it was the predetermined deciding factor in such circumstances.

    My point is that the vote delta is pretty low in the noise, and you can’t determine exactly how many voted for whom, and you (or some) are going to the extent to devine voter intent. Why not just cut the silliness and go with who won the first count, or have some predetermined coin toss rule? — ’cause it just doesn’t matter in principle, except to those like joe who just want to win . . .

  59. My point is that the vote delta is pretty low in the noise, and you can’t determine exactly how many voted for whom, and you (or some) are going to the extent to devine voter intent. Why not just cut the silliness and go with who won the first count, or have some predetermined coin toss rule? — ’cause it just doesn’t matter in principle, except to those like joe who just want to win . . .

    I know this thread is about to disappear, but I think this is a good point. When you’re talking about miniscule margins no result can be considered reliable.

    But a coin toss wouldn’t be a good idea. Sure, it makes perfect sense if there’s an exact tie, or even a margin of a couple votes out of a million. What about a margin of 100 votes? 1000 votes? 10,000 votes? What’s the cutoff?

    My solution (which I realize will never be implemented) is to give some official body the authority to reverse the result by some majority set on a sliding scale. If the margin is a perfect tie then a simple majority suffices. As the margin increases the size of the majority needed to overturn the result increases. A margin that’s 20% of the noise level could be overturned by 60%, a margin that’s 40% of the noise level could be overturned by 70%, and so forth.

    Once we reach a margin that exceeds the noise level (might be 0.1%, might be 1%, or whatever, depending on the dependability of the voting system) even a unanimous vote wouldn’t be enough to overturn the result.

    This official body could be the state legislature, or an assembly of election officials, or whoever. The point is that they should be publicly accountable people who are decided upon in advance.

  60. Thanks for proving my point, Don.

    If you complain about the problems with the election, you “just want to win,” so why should anyone go to the trouble?

    If you don’t complain about the problems, they’re obviously not important, so why should anyone go to the trouble?

  61. My idea (which I plan to implement as soon as I take over the country) is still the coin toss. I don’t want some “official body” making this kinda decision, I’d rather have a coin make it. We can always accomplish thoreau’s proportional idea via multiple coin tosses, if we (i.e., I) decide it’s necessary.

  62. We can always accomplish thoreau’s proportional idea via multiple coin tosses, if we (i.e., I) decide it’s necessary.

    Fair enough. Set a higher proportion of tosses to reverse the vote as the margin starts to approach the noise level.

  63. Today (5.10.2005) The U.S. Attorney for eastern Wisconsin’s Task Force released findings on the 2004 election shenanigans, as reported by Greg Borowski in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.*

    And even now, three months after the investigation, officials have not been able to close a gap of 7,000 votes, with more ballots cast than voters listed. Officials said the gap remains at 4,609.

    U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic likened it to trying to prove “a bank embezzlement if the bank cannot tell how much money was there in the first place.”?

    In other cases, according to Tuesday’s report, people “registered and voted with identities and addresses that cannot in any way be linked to a real person.”

    It’s all the crap that I mentioned up-thread. Lifetime hack, Milwaukee D.A. E. Michael McCann (D) may even be embarrassed enough to actually indict some people. If he doesn’t, the Feds will. Kerry only took WI by ?11,000 votes. Minus the hanky-panky, Bush might have picked up the state’s 10 electoral votes.

    Kevin

    *If they ask for reg info, type in noway@nohow.com.

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