5 November 2004

Hard to imagine how one could conclude that this election was clean

As President Bush boasts of his political capital, questions linger on whether this election was a clean one. Over a 1000 reports of electronic voting trouble and perhaps many more escaped detection, considering that there is no audit trail, no verification process of the validity of counting the vote.

In North Carolina, a voting computer irretrievably lost 4,500 votes. They simply vanished into the ether, and cannot be recovered, thus disenfranchising those voters. Did this happen in other places and not get noted? With no audit trail, there can be no recovery. That is a state that must be remedied ASAP.

And the large turnout was an increase over 2000 totals, but not that significant, in terms of percentage. Yet, while most reported no problems with lines and excessive waits in 2000, there were widespread accounts of excessive lines, and polling places that were kept open until the wee hours of the morning. Here's a discussion of Franklin County, Ohio voting. And here is another citizen report from Ohio:

Hundreds of thousands of people were disenfranchised in Ohio. People waited on line for as long as 10 hours. It appears to have only happened in Democratic-leaning precincts, principally (a) precincts where many African Americans lived, and (b) precincts near colleges.

I spoke to a young man who got on line at 11:30 am and voted at 7 pm. When he left at 7 pm, the line was about 150 voters longer than when he'd arrived, which meant those people were going to wait even longer. In fact they waited for as much as 10 hours, and their voting was concluded at about 3 am. The reason this occurred was that they had 1 voting station per 1000 voters, while the adjacent precinct had 1 voting station per 184. Both precincts were within the same county, and managed by the same county board of elections. The difference between them is that the privileged polling place was in a rural, solidly republican, area, while the one with long lines was in the college town of Gambier, OH.

Lines of 4 and 5 hours were the order of the day in many African-American neighborhoods.

Touch screen voting machines in Youngstown OH were registering "George W. Bush" when people pressed "John F. Kerry" ALL DAY LONG. This was reported immediately after the polls opened, and reported over and over again throughout the day, and yet the bogus machines were inexplicably kept in use THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Countless other frauds occurred, such as postcards advising people of incorrect polling places, registered Democrats not receiving absentee ballots, duly registered young voters being forced to file provisional ballots even though their names and signatures appeared in the voting rolls, longtime active voting registered voters being told they weren't registered, bad faith challenges by Republican "challengers" in Democratic precincts, and on and on and on.

Here is a detailed chart on surprising Florida election results. I'm too tired to make sense of it now, or even if it is indicative of anything.

Again, I'm not concluding that the election was rigged. On the other hand, we cannot definitively say it was not, since there is no way to tell.

But some people say Kerry won.