On November 2, 2004, America officially ceased being a democracy. On that day, the legitimate, elected President of the United States, John Kerry, was denied office by a massive, systematic election fraud perpetrated by the Republican Party and the George W. Bush campaign.
This is a fact, not a nutcase conspiracy theory. This page documents the various aspects of how the Republican party and the Bush-Cheney campaign perpetuated the largest and most systematic election fraud in American history...to date. (Note: Currently the information on the first part of this page comes exclusively from Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse. More information from additional sources will be included in the near future.)
You will also find links below to articles documenting various aspects of the fraud perpetrated on the American people. These links were collected in the days and weeks after the November elections; some of the links undoubtedly no longer function.
"Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the remaking of the Reich as they call it." -- Adolf Hitler
Refer to CNN's clickable map of the official November 2004 presidential election results for voting results by state and county. Note that the listed exit poll results are not the same as those garnered on Election Day, but have been "massaged" to correlate with the official tallies. The site Exit Pollz has retained archives of the original exit polls from the presidential elections of November 2, before they were contaminated by being "reworked" to reflect the "official" results. Exit polls taken on Election Day itself show John Kerry with a 51%-48% popular vote margin, and a commanding 311-213 electoral vote lead (with Nevada and Colorado, holding 14 electoral votes between them, noted as too close to call). On the night of November 2, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio were all called for Kerry; Kerry actually tallied a six-point lead in Ohio before the results were altered. It is worth reminding the reader that these sorts of exit polls are considered so reliable that they have been used in a number of instances to challenge "official" election results.
"This election was not won by country club Republicans. I don't know if they exist. There are only country club Democrats." -- George W. Bush, speaking to his cabinet, almost all of whom are millionaires, November 4, quoted by Bob Woodward
The Stealing of American Democracy
"Caging Lists" and Voter Purges
John Wooden, the owner and operator of the satirical site GeorgeWBush.org, receives a number of e-mails from the Republican National Committee erroneously cc'd to him on October 8, 2004. Wooden immediately forwards them to the BBC and the researchers who work with investigative journalist Greg Palast. The intended recipients of the e-mails are Brett Doster and Randy Kammerdiner. Doster is the chief of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida, and Kammerdiner runs research operations for the RNC in Washington. Other recipients include Tim Griffin, the research director and deputy communications director for the Bush campaign, who will later become the controversial choice for US attorney in Arkansas. Attached to one e-mail, which contains a list of around 2,000 names, is a file called CAGING.XLS, an Excel spreadsheet file. Other e-mails contain other attachments; Wooden and Palast received in total about fifty lists, with tens of thousands of names. The "caging lists" are comprised entirely of African-American voters who live in urban areas in Florida, including Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and even Plantation, Florida. Palast shows the lists to Ion Sancho, the relentlessly non-partisan elections supervisor in Tallahassee County, Florida. Sancho, one of the state's top experts on voting procedures, says of the list, "The only thing that I can think of -- African-American voters listed like this -- these might be individuals that will be challenged if they try to vote on Election Day." Sancho is visibly upset over the list. For years he has ensured that neither party used the challenge process to disrupt voting, and, with the expectation that many more black voters than usual will vote on November 2, such widespread challenges would wreak havoc with the entire voting process: "It would discourage and intimidate legitimate voters," Sancho says.
It would also be a crime. Civil rights attorney Ralph Neas confirms to the BBC that any challenge of large groups of voters on a racial basis is illegal, even if some individual challenges have merit. No such challenges have been mounted since the days of the White Citizens Council's blocking of blacks from voting by using everything from literacy tests to beatings. Old-time Democrats did it in the South; Republicans did it in the West, with the GOP's 1958 "Operation Eagle Eye" discouraging black and Hispanic voters in Arizona by forcing them to "qualify" by interpreting passages from the Constitution to the satisfaction of GOP election monitors. Of course, all of these were rendered illegal by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But in 1981, the GOP tried creating caging lists of 45,000 black voters in New Jersey. They were caught and the national party promised never to do it again. So much for obeying agreements made in court.
Palast's attempt to confirm the authenticity of the caging lists is sourly amusing. In Florida, Brett Doster refuses to see him, referring him instead to spokeswoman Mindy Tucker Fletcher. At first, Fletcher claims not to know anything about caging lists. After disappearing to consult with her superiors, she returns with an explanation -- actually, several of them. Flanked by several party officials, she claims that the lists are made up of potential donors to the Bush campaign. Palast shoots that down by asking how many potential Bush donors are black and homeless. Then the lists become newly registered voters who had campaign mailings returned for bad addresses. Palast shoots that down too, pointing out that campaigns don't send out mailers first class (with return privileges) unless they want to pay for a very expensive list of return addresses. Fletcher eventually confirms that the list were not created for the purposes of challenging black voters, but they can well be used for that purpose "where it's stated in the law." She also claims that voter challenges are routinely done during every election by both parties. Palast quickly confirms that no such challenges had ever been conducted in Florida since 1965.
Other lists of black voters also turn up, including students from primarily black Edward Waters College, homeless shelters, soldiers -- anyone whose address can be "legitimately" challenged. One soldier's wife confirms that his address had changed because he had been posted to serve in Iraq.
On October 26, the BBC breaks the story. Around the globe it becomes the most-watched news report among viewers, except in America, where all of the major news networks refuse to air the report. Only one network, ABC, reports on the story at all, and their take, on their Web site, is, "The entire BBC story was more or less incorrect." Their only source: Fletcher.
On November 2, the GOP implements a "massive multi-million dollar campaign of mass challenges of voters in black precincts, concentrating on Ohio, where the GOP worked from a base of 35,000 names," Palast writes. Ohio's Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell thwarts challenges from NAACP lawyers, saying that the 1981 court order preventing Republicans from using such lists of voters only applies to the national party, not to state parties. In Florida, Democratic lawyers threaten lawsuits if they find the lists have been used, so GOP operatives are more careful, but challenge thousands of voters anyway. Lists and challenges are used by Republican party officials in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin as well. "The United States hadn't seen such a mass challenge to dark-skinned voters since Martin Luther King was jailed in Birmingham," Palast observes. The responsibility of challenging the caging lists lies with the Attorney General, John Ashcroft, who takes absolutely no action. (Side note: before Fletcher became spokeswoman for Bush-Cheney, she was the press representative for Ashcroft.) But not just blacks and Hispanics are targeted; in Florida's Palm Beach, thousands of elderly Jewish voters are also challenged.
In New Mexico's "Little Texas," a cluster of heavily Hispanic counties with largely Republican election officials, the results are instructive. In 2000, Chaves County, which is 42% Hispanic, carried for Bush in 2000 because 10% of the ballots cast registered no choice. GOP elections official Dave Kunko said blithely of the results, "Well, there's a lot of those people who just don't want to vote for president." A New Mexico state senator told Palast in August 2004 that "if this election's going to be stolen, it will be stolen in Little Texas." In Chaves, Eddy, and Curry counties, the Catholic Church mounted a strongly successful voter registration drive. With the ethnic and income makeup of the counties, Democratic registration was expected to break records. Instead, the number of Democrats registered to vote in those counties actually dropped by almost 12%. Why? According to a GOP election official in Eddy County, it was because thousands of Hispanic voters switched their party registration. Voter registration official Sancho Juarez is astonished at the claim. Further investigation shows that, far from an unprecedented wave of registration changes, election officials had "cleaned up" -- i.e. purged -- the voter rolls by eliminating "felons" and other suspect voters. The state continues to refuse to release the lists of purged voters.
Before the 2004 elections, Florida governor Jeb Bush secretly ordered a new purge list of 45,000 voters, including many like Kines who had been illegally denied their right to vote in 2000. CNN and other mainstream news outlets did report on the purge this time, but was "refuted" by a spokesman from the American Enterprise Institute, John Lott, who falsely claimed on CNN that the US Civil Rights Commission "was not able to identify even one person" wrongly disenfranchised. The Wall Street Journal's John Fund echoed Lott's statement almost word for word in the Journal's editorial pages. Palast and his investigators were able to find several thousand wrongly purged voters in Tampa and Jacksonville alone, including Willie Steen, a Gulf War veteran working at the Florida Orthopedic Center in Tampa (Florida law prohibits felons from working at hospitals). The NAACP sued Florida and the creators of the purge list, ChoicePoint, prompting Jeb Bush to admit "error," tossing the purge list, and promising never to do it again. So the BBC decides to film Steen attempting to vote on November 2. Sure enough, Steen is told he cannot vote because he is a convicted felon. The Republican elections supervisor, after learning that the BBC is filming the incident, rushes down to the polling place; his clerk tells the reporters, "Wow, this is extraordinary! Steen's status was just changed this morning!" With the cameras rolling, Steen is allowed to vote, but tens of thousands more are not.
Voting purges take place in other battleground states. Ohio purges thousands of "felons" from their rolls, though Ohio specifically allows convicted felons to vote. Texas, another state which allows almost all ex-felons to vote, purges 525,967 voters from its rolls for "illegal registration," without filing a single criminal charge for the crime of illegal voter registration. Most of these voters are given provisional ballots on Election Day, which are usually not counted. And in Colorado, Republican Secretary of State Donetta Davidson removes 6,000 supposed felons from the voting rolls mere weeks before the election, almost all Democratic registrants. In Colorado, only felons currently serving time may not vote; there has not been a single instance of a felon casting a vote from inside prison. Davidson is prohibited by state law from conducting such voter purges within 90 days of an election; she gets around this by declaring a "state of emergency," though the only real emergency seems to be that Bush and Kerry are in a dead heat in the polls.
In Florida, over 4,000 African-American college students suddenly switched their registration from Democrat to Republican before the election, most without their knowledge or consent. Tallahassee elections supervisor Ion Sancho was surprised to find that his own stepdaughter had switched parties. He quickly found out why: she and many other students had signed a fake petition to support the legalization of marijuana. Then some enterprising elves had forged her signature onto the registration change form. She and the others, now doubly registered, are not allowed to vote at all on Election Day. Sancho immediately calls the police, who inform him that they are too busy to investigate until after the elections. The investigation never happens. In Ohio, black voters were 200% more likely as white voters to have their mail-in registrations rejected. In US representative Katherine Harris's Florida district, many Democratic voters find on Election Day that, though they submitted their registrations on time, their applications were not processed until after the deadline, denying them the right to vote on November 2. (Greg Palast)
Provisional ballots are another way that votes are suppressed. Greg Palast calls these "baloney ballots," a sort of voting placebo. A voter forced to use a provisional ballot thinks his or her ballot counts, when it is quite likely to have been tossed in the trash. Provisional ballots were adopted in response to the 2000 election debacle, when tens of thousands of African-American voters in Florida were illegally blocked from voting. At the insistence of the Congressional Black Caucus, the provisional ballots were mandated as part of the 2002 "Help America Vote Act." Like "affidavit" ballots in many states, provisional ballots are intended to be counted unless there is evidence that the particular provisional voter is lying about his identity or precinct, an exceedingly rare occurrence. HAVA mandates that provisional ballots be given out when there is an issue or a conflict with an invididual voter, but does not require that those ballots be counted. Of the 3,107,490 provisional ballots handed out to American voters on November 2, 1,090,729 of them -- over a third -- are not counted. The GOP strategy -- challenge black and other minority voters, "settle" the challenge with provisional ballots, and then toss those ballots aside. It is a spectacular success. Had those ballots been properly counted, John Kerry would have won in Ohio, New Mexico, and Iowa.
In Ohio, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell ruled just days before the election that any provisional ballots cast in the "wrong precinct" would not be counted, a seemingly reasonable ruling that is horrendously, and deliberately, misapplied. For decades, Ohio voters could cast "affidavit" ballots (PDF link) in any precinct, and have them counted for state and national races. No longer. Worse, tens of thousands of voters are told by Republican elections officials not to worry about voting in their proper precinct because provisional ballots will take care of their vote -- even if the "proper precinct" is a different table in the same school gymnasium or firehouse that houses their polls. At least 33,998 provisional ballots are thrown out in Ohio, mostly because of this "wrong precinct" ruling. When asked about his feelings about replaying the role of Katherine Harris in 2000, Blackwell responds, "Last time I checked, Katherine Harris wasn't in a soup line, she's in Congress."
Provisional ballots don't cost the presidential election for Kerry in only Ohio. In New Mexico, Santiago Juarez, who spearheaded a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote drive for the Catholic Church, says, "They're handing out provisional ballots like candy to Mexicanos." In New Mexico, 6,593 provisional ballots are not counted -- more than Bush's 5,998-vote margin of "victory." In Colorado, Hispanics are also given a disproportionately large number of provisional ballots; the Colorado secretary of state, Republican Donetta Davidson, rules that over 12,000 of those provisional ballots will not be counted. And in Nevada, another extremely close call (less than 22,000 votes), a particularly underhanded scheme costs thousands of Democratic voters their votes. An organization called Voter Outreach, funded by Arizona operatives of Sproul and Associates who are themselves funded by the Republican National Committee, collected registration forms from Democratic and Republican voters alike -- then, according to a Voter Outreach worker who later testified under oath, the organization processed the Republican registrations and threw the Democratic registrations in the garbage. Those voters who found themselves unregistered on Election Day are given provisional ballots, 60% of which were voided by Nevada's secretary of state.
In 2003, Professor Mark Spelling of Cleveland State University found an "overwhelming" correlation between the race of Cleveland voters and the likelihood that their votes would not be counted. Blackwell wrote in response to Spelling's findings, "The possibility of a close election, with punch cards as the state's primary voting device, invites a Florida-like calamity." After issuing this warning, Blackwell proceeded to fight to retain the antiquated punch-card voting machines in Ohio, which were primarily used in poor, usually majority-black districts. "Hanging chads" and undervotes cost Al Gore the Florida election in 2000, and the same phenomenon costs Kerry the Ohio election in 2004. In 2003, the ACLU sued Ohio and six other states for non-compliance in replacing worn-out punch-card machines. The other states took care of the problem, but Blackwell refused, instead inviting a lawsuit from the ACLU. The ACLU did indeed file a lawsuit -- it was scheduled to be heard three weeks after the November election. (Blackwell won the first round in court; the ACLU's appeal is still pending. The lower court concluded that the huge amount of uncounted votes was due, not to racial bias, but to "income level.") Palast writes, "This is crucial: You don't have to 'fix' machines to rig an election, you just have to fail to fix the broken ones. Strategically."
On Election Day, though Democrats and Republicans are evenly registered in New Mexico's Chaves County, Bush wins the county by a nearly 2-1 margin. Almost every white voter makes a choice for president, and in the six "whitest" precincts, less than 1% of the ballots fail to note a choice. (Amazingly, Precinct 21, which is 83% white, registers 8 more votes for president than votes cast, an anomaly reported in several other precincts and discussed below in the section "Ghost Voters.") As in other New Mexico counties, Chaves experiences the phenomenon of the "browner" the precinct, the more likely that no vote for president is counted. In 75% Hispanic precincts, the vote loss is 900% higher than in 75% white precincts. In Quay County, one heavily Hispanic precinct records 115 votes for county commissioner and zero votes for president. The pattern is repeated in a dozen heavily minority precincts. Overall, in these counties, after "vote spoilage," poll-location tricks, provisional ballot issues, and other games, the numbers show that a dismal 44.2% of registered Democrats cast their vote, while an amazing 103.2% of registered Republicans vote.
Interestingly, the type of machines used in the New Mexico precincts directly correlates to the number of "no choice" votes. Almost all precincts with heavy populations of Native Americans use old Sequoia push-button ballot counters: 10% of votes cast on these machines register as making no presidential selection. But the handful of Native American votes cast on more modern iVotronics machines record less than an 0.5% no-choice selection. The same holds for heavily Hispanic districts: most of these districts use old Shouptronic machines, which register 7.4% no-choice votes. Those few Hispanic precincts using newer optical scanners record less than 1 in 400 no-choice votes. (Greg Palast)
Absentee ballots are a crap shoot, pure and simple. In many states, the voter's party is printed on the outside of the envelope, making it easy for partisan elections officials to make the other party's ballots "disappear." Predictably, in many key states, far more Democratic absentee ballots "failed to return" -- counted as mailed out but not returned by the voter -- than Republican. In Colorado's Arapahoe County, 300% more Democratic absentee ballots failed to return than GOP ballots.
In San Diego, the 2004 mayoral campaign was decided in favor of the GOP candidate by 2,108 votes after 5,557 absentee ballots for the Democratic write-in candidate were thrown out. Why? The Democratic candidate wrote in their candidate's name, but failed to check the box next to her name. Around the nation, absentee votes for Kerry were 265% more likely to be rejected than for Bush. Almost any reason can trigger a rejection, from a misprinted ZIP code to a stray pencil mark. Absentee ballots are not protected by federal law, so shenanigans are rampant. In Florida's Broward County, the new GOP elections supervisor didn't bother to fulfill 60,000 absentee ballot requests until it was too late for the voter to return them by the deadline; the vast majority of these ballot requests, which arrived at the office on time, were Democratic. This robbing of Democratic absentee ballots happens in state after state, county after county. (Greg Palast)
Vote Spoilage and Electronic "Glitches"
That bugbear of Florida 2000, the vote "spoiled" as unreadable or uncountable because of one technical glitch or another, raises its head in Florida in November 2004 as well as in New Mexico. In Florida's Duval County (Jacksonville) alone in 2000, 27,000 ballots were supposedly ruined, 11,000 from five precincts alone. Of course, those five precincts are heavily African-American and heavily Democratic. Duval elections superviser Dick Carlberg, a Republican, ran the ballots through the machine counter once, and thousands indicated no vote for president. Carlberg ran them through a second time, and the second run opened up some of the incompletely punched chads: Bush garnered 80 more votes and Gore 160. Carlberg, knowing that Bush held a tiny lead in Florida, refused to run the ballots through any more. Palast asked Carlberg, "so, Dick, if you ran the 'blank' ballots through a few more times, we'd have a different president?" Carlberg grinned and said nothing. Also in 2000, 12% of Florida's Gadsden County votes were recorded as spoiled and uncountable. Gadsden County is the poorest and blackest of Florida's 67 counties. Gadsden voters used old optical scanners that reject ballots for single stray pencil marks such as an inadvertent pencil swipe. Those votes were not counted. Next door in Tallahassee, voters used paper ballots whose machines refuse to run the ballot when inserted, giving the voter a chance to erase the stray mark. In Tallahassee, no ballots were rejected.
As her last act as secretary of state, Katherine Harris ordered all of Florida's counties to switch to computer "touch screen" machines. Why? Touch-screen machines produce 600% more unrecorded votes than paper-ballot machines such as the ones used in Tallahassee, and cost 400% more than paper-ballot machines. And touch-screen machines do not allow the voter to visually confirm his or her vote before submitting it. Overall, computer voting machines spoil 300% more votes in minority districts than in white. Apparently alarmed by these results, Governor Jeb Bush appoints a "select Task Force on Elections Procedures" after the 2000 disaster; when that committee recommends using paper ballots statewide, Bush rejects the recommendation. In 2002, Bush ordered a test run of the new machines in Broward County's gubernatorial primary vote: the computers crash, machines refuse to boot up, and thousands of votes, mostly from African-Americans, are lost. Palast writes, "In other words, the test was a success, and the vote-eating system was immediately rolled out statewide." The Broward County elections supervisor who objected to the test (a Democrat) was fired by Bush and replaced by a Republican. The Florida tests were so convincing that brother George W. Bush allocated $2 billion in the Help America Vote Act to help the entire country adopt the computerized voting systems.
Of course, one of the biggest criticisms of the new machines, used to telling effect in Florida's 2004 voting as well as in other states, is their failure to produce paper "receipts" that can be stored in a lockbox for later recounts as needed. Gas pumps and ATMs produce paper receipts, but the voting machine manufacturers routinely claim that their far more sophisticated machines can do nothing of the sort. Interestingly, electronic voting machines that produce paper receipts were used in the last presidential election in Venezuela, where, after Hugo Chavez won with a million-vote lead, the Bush administration howled election fraud, and Chavez blandly offered to have the votes manually recounted. The machines used in Venezuela were manufactured in Florida. On the other side of the issue, Sequoia demonstrated its new bilingual voting machines in California in August 2004. The machines easily toggled into a Spanish-language ballot, but recounts proved that the machines failed to tally any votes cast in Spanish. Sequoia terms the failure a "glitch."
In Albuquerque, voter Joyce Bartley tries to cast her vote for a Democratic congressional candidate on several machines without success -- the machines refuse to take the vote. "I pressed the circle next to the name," she recalls, "and his check mark went into the circle of the other candidate." Another voter with the same experience recalls, "Someone in the line said, 'You're a Democrat, right?' and everybody laughed." The problems are not entirely Democratic -- a Soledad County Republican judge complains that his machine won't let him vote for himself. The machine manufacuter, AES, claims that the problem is because of "an inconsistent stream of electricity." The judge is able to get his problem rectified, but the New Mexico Democratic Party sees no reason to pursue Bartley's complaint.
Sometimes the cheating is just blatant. One New Mexico precinct avoids the entire question by leaving John Kerry's name off of the tally sheet entirely. (Greg Palast)
New Mexico (which turned for Bush by less than 6,000 votes) may be an even more telling example of vote rigging. According to paper ballots (absentee, early voting, etc), Navajo voters go overwhelmingly for Kerry. But according to the machine tallies, many Navajo don't bother to choose either Bush or Kerry for president. They drive sometimes for an hour or more to vote, then once they get to the polling place and get through the line, don't bother, if the machines are to be believed. In 9 precincts in McKinley County, which has the largest density of Navajo in New Mexico, less than 10% of the voters bothered to choose a presidential candidate, according to machine counts. Across the state, 7.3% of voters in majority Native American precincts don't bother voting for a presidential candidate. This is 300% more than the percentage of white voters who abstained. In Taos, Navajo leader Ruben Romero points out that county officials, mostly white Republicans, brought in new voting machines just before the election. "We thought they knew about these sophisticated things, so we trusted them," he says.
Tiwa leader Richard Archuleta says that the Native Americans he knows were very motivated to vote, spurred on by everything from local issues over gaming licenses to the large numbers of Native Americans serving in Iraq. And in New Mexico, they vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Hispanic voters in New Mexico are also apparently struck by indecision -- 7.1% of these voters also fail to pick a president, the machines tell us. Statistical analysis shows that Hispanic voters are 500% more likely not to have their vote for president recorded than whites, and the number for Native Americans is even higher. Overall, 89% of the "unvotes" for president in New Mexico are cast by non-whites. When one keeps in mind that New Mexico is 10% Native American and 43% Hispanic, Bush's 5,998-vote margin of "victory" becomes understandable. Across the state, entire precincts report zero votes for president on November 2, all in heavily Hispanic areas. 90% of New Mexico's Native Americans and Hispanic voters choose Kerry over Bush; had all of their votes been counted, 18,765 minority votes would have been added to New Mexico's tally. 90% of them were likely Kerry votes, adding a probable 16,888 votes (more or less) to Kerry's total and giving him a slender, 11,000-vote victory.
In Little Texas's Dona Ana County, 207 ballots were received from overseas, mostly Hispanic soldiers. According to the machines, not one of them recorded a choice for president. (Greg Palast)
Maximizing Voting Difficulties
In New Mexico's huge, rural desert county of Chaves, where many voters are forced to drive long distances to cast their votes, only a few Hispanic voters cast their votes early -- possibly because GOP official Dave Kunko's office only places one early voting booth in the entire county, and that in a white suburban shopping center in Roswell, where most Hispanic voters rarely shop and where workers in the area's slaughterhouses and dairies would be hard-pressed to get off work by 5 pm and make it to the booth by its 6 pm closing time. When the Catholic Church organized a bus and caravan to take Hispanic voters to the early-voting booth in Roswell, county officials were ready, refusing voter after voter the right to vote by challenging their IDs -- a missing middle initial or an added "Jr." at the end of a name was enough. Many Hispanic voters found themselves in bitter agreement with a young Chicana who told organizer Sancho Juarez that she would not come back: "They don't want me there anyway."
"Unreported undervotes" are best characterized as votes not cast because voters leave the polls without casting a ballot. The best way to make this happen is to make voters wait hours to vote, or to otherwise make their voting process as difficult as possible. In Jacksonville, Florida, the Republican elections supervisor, knowing that turnout in heavily black precincts will be unprecedentedly high, removes many of the voting machines from their polling places. Two separate statistical analyses of voting patters in Franklin County (Columbus), Ohio show that Kerry lost at least 17,000 votes in that county alone; over the entire state Kerry lost at least 90,000 votes because voters grew tired of waiting for seven hours or more to vote. The richer and whiter a district is, the more likely it is to have enough (or a surplus of) voting machines. (Greg Palast)
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Chicago Democrats were famous for recording the votes of dead people, prompting cries that votes from Chicago's graveyards put John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon in the 1960 elections (investigations proved that the allegations, while perhaps true, did not lead to a Kennedy victory). In New Mexico, "ghost votes" for non-existent Republican voters help Bush eke out a victory in that state. Ghost votes happen when voting machines register more votes than the precinct has registered voters, or more votes for a candidate than votes actually cast. In Albuquerque's Precinct 512, Bush wins by a landslide, taking 206 votes out of 166 cast. (Recall that statewide, 103.2% of Republicans cast their votes for Bush. Hmmm.) In Precinct 588, 178 absentee voters register 319 votes. Statewide, 3 out of every 4 ghost votes register for Bush; half of Bush's winning tally comes from ghosts. Routinely, the majority-white precincts record ghost votes; equally routinely, precincts with majority minority voters or with a majority of Democratic voters have a tremendous amount of voters who "forget" to cast a vote for president (see above). Interestingly, the type of machines used in the precincts directly correlates to the number of "no choice" votes. (Greg Palast)
Democrats Refuse to Investigate
John Kerry, who promised to contest every single instance of alleged vote fraud and fight to the bitter end if any reason to suspect election theft became apparent, concedes almost immediately. The "phalanx of lawyers" the Democratic National Committee promised to unleash on allegations of election fraud, paid by the $51 million of leftover campaign cash, were personally told by DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe to "stand down," according to an aggrieved NAACP lawyer. In New Mexico, local politics (explained in detail by Palast) prompts Democratic governor Bill Richardson to support Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Guron, also a Democrat, in her refusal of an offer of $114,000 to investigate vote fraud in the state; on January 12, Vigil-Guron orders the voting machines wiped clean, eliminating all evidence of the November vote tallies. Richardson later rams through the New Mexico legislature a law requiring anyone who wants a recount of suspicious votes to post a $1 million surety bond. Palast writes, "In other words, it's against the law to buy votes, but in New Mexico not against the law to buy the vote count." (Greg Palast)
The Media Rolls Over
Across the country, the mainstream media outlets either refuse to report on any allegations of vote fraud, or do so merely to mock the allegations. The headline in November 3's San Jose Mercury News is a typical example: "No Major Glitches Reported with Electronic Voting Machines." It is typical of the coverage provided by America's mainstream news sources. Except for a small number of investigative journalists and concerned citizens, no one in what Palast calls the "Media-Bush Axis" bothers to check into the major discrepancies between the exit polls and the official results. Two who do bother are the Columbus Free Press's Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, who petition Ohio's election officials to release the backup logs from the state's voting machines to confirm the official election tallies. As does any Ohio citizen, the two have the right to ask for this under the state's Freedom of Information law. Instead, they are told, "The backup tapes have been destroyed so as not to conflict with the official tally and create confusion." That is an amazing statement -- since the computer logs are different than the official tally, officials destroy the computer logs and declare everything okay? Especially when destroying voting records is a crime? Further requests from Fitrakis and Wasserman are met with blanket refusals. (Greg Palast)
Faux "Investigations," Vote Privatization, and New ID Regulations
The phalanx of Democratic lawyers promised to be ready to counter any and all voting fraud allegations after November 2 is never unleashed. However, plenty of GOP lawyers do show up, to challenge provisional ballots cast by Kerry voters. A small, desperate attempt by Green Party officials to challenge vote fraud in Ohio and other states never bears fruit, largely because the Democratic Party gives them no support. Otherwise, challenges and demands for voting law reform all come from the right, as with New Mexico state legislator Justine Fox-Young's claim of finding "several" specific cases of voter identity theft -- a felony -- that justifies new legislation requiring photo IDs to vote. Fox-Young is unable to provide any evidence of her claims, and neither is Assistant US Attorney Norm Cairns, who confirms that none of Fox-Young's claims can be substantiated. Voter registration official Santiago Juarez notes that a requirement to provide photo IDs to vote intimidates and discourages Hispanic voters all too familiar with a variety of official forms of harassment.
In seven states, thousands of provisional ballots are trashed for a failure for the voter to provide "proper ID," though the US Constitution and the 24th Amendment bar such requirements as a form of "poll tax," a fee used to keep poor blacks and Catholics from voting in the days of Jim Crow laws. In 2005, Georgia Republicans, along with some Democrats, pass a law requiring either a drivers license or a special ID (obtainable for $20) to vote; federal courts quickly find that the requirement is a hidden poll tax and strike down the requirement.
In 2001, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford headed a blue-ribbon panel that made a number of recommendations for cleaning up voter problems, including the elimination of all types of voter purges. The Bush adminstration ignored the report. In 2005, another commission, this time headed by Carter and Bush crony James Baker, will produce a new set of recommendations, eliminating all recommendations to get rid of voter purges and instead recommending national voter IDs. Some skeptical commission members note that for a century, matching voter signatures to their registration signatures prevented identity theft, but that caveat is ignored.
As documented above, New Mexico's Democratic secretary of state refuses to investigate allegations of electronic vote malfeasance after the November 2 results, because of local political tussles documented in Palast's book but not in these pages. However, Secretary Vigil-Guron does hire an official to investigate and fix the rampant technical problems encountered on November 2, a man named Ernie Marquez. In a sense, Marquez is a perfect hire. He is the former elections director of McKinley County, which had experienced the highest vote loss of any county in the state, almost of all of which were Navajo votes. Marquez hires a private firm, Automated Election Systems, to deal with the problems; between running McKinley's elections and being hired by New Mexico to fix its voting machine problems, Marquez had been an official for AES. In 2002, while Marquez was an AES official, the firm printed up all of Vigil-Guron's campaign literature for free.
Shocked by the collusion between Vigil-Guron, Marquez, and AES, concerned citizen Holly Johnson forms "Voter Action New Mexico" (VANM) and sues New Mexico to force an investigation into the voting debacle. When Johnson asks Marquez for the "canvass" reports from each machine in the state, Marquez replies that he doesn't have these figures in his office, but AES has them. Such privatization of vote counting and vote resolution is an invitation to the most egregrious corruption and cheating, of course, which is exactly what Johnson and VANM find -- when they compare the records of the canvass of presidential votes that they have secured from state government sources to AES's own records, many of the "ghost" votes that helped put Bush in office have disappeared. Palast writes, "[I]f ghost votes could disappear so easily, just like magic, from the private company tallying the votes of the state's machines -- maybe other votes could disappear, votes from dogcatcher to votes for President of the United States. And if done on Election Day, no one would know."
Outside of local politics, why is Vigil-Guron so eager to put any voting problems aside? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, after the elections, instead of heading out into the desert precincts to investigate the machines, she leaves New Mexico to officiate a "meeting" of the National Association of Secretaries of State -- a lavish dinner cruise aboard a cruise ship and paid for by companies like Diebold and ES&S. Vigil-Guron lists ES&S and Sequoia as two of her top ten campaign contributors. The voting machine manufacturers show a lot of love to key elected officials: ES&S hired the husband of the Pinellas County, Florida elections supervisor and the husband of the state legislator from Broward County. And Florida elections advisor Sandra Mortham, who recommended the state use ES&S machines, is also an ES&S lobbyist. (Greg Palast)
The Future of American Voting
Palast predicts that the voter frauds of 2004 will be endemic by '08: "Think of the new computer black boxes as a convenience. You may have already voted in 2008, they just haven't told you how." Ohio governor Bob Taft has recently signed into law a whole raft of new restrictions making it more difficult to vote. "His legal trim job won't stop Democrats from voting in '08," Palast writes, "it's just that fewer of their votes will count." Palast believes the real fraud action is taking place in the West: "Just as wiping out black voters in Florida in 2000 was practice for Ohio in '04, New Mexico '04 is the test site for disenfranchising the new demographic goliath, the Hispanic vote that will decide '08. Republicans, who have turned the American Dream into American Mean, are surprised that Mexican-American voters still don't feel welcome in their party. Therefore, the voting machinery must be adapted to correct for these voters' error in judgment."
Palast writes, "But, dear reader, there's one cold statistic Kerry voters must face: 59 million Americans marched to the polls and voted for George W. Bush. The fact that Republicans monkeyed with the votes in key swing states doesn't wash away that big red stain. If Osama doesn't scare you, that should. Because if 59 million Americans agreed with George Bush that every millionaire's son, like him, shouldn't have to pay inheritance taxes; that sucking up to Saudi petrocrats constitutes a foreign policy; that killing Muslims in Mesopotamia will make them less inclined to kill us in Manhattan; that turning over Social Security to the casino operators that gave us Enron, WorldCom and world depression is smart economics; then, fine, Mr. Bush deserves the job. But most Americans, bless 'em, don't actually believe any of that hokum. Yet most still voted for him. What we witnessed on November 2, 2004 was a 59 million strong army of pinheads on parade ready to gamble away their pensions so long as George Bush makes sure that boys kill each other, not kiss; who feel right proud that our uniformed services can kick some scrawny brown people in the *ss in some far-off place when we're mad and can't find Osama; who can't bring themselves to vote for a guy with a snooty Boston accent who's never been to a NASCAR tractor pull and who certainly thinks anyone who does is a low-IQ beer-burping blockhead. ...So the election came down to this: Nitwits who think Ollie North's a hero not a con man, who can't name their congressman, who believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were going steady, who can't tell Afghanistan from a souvlaki stand and, bloated with lies and super-size fries, clomped to the polls 59 million strong to vent their small-minded hatreds on all of us. I fear the election was an intelligence test that America flunked." (Greg Palast)
"It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes."
-- Joseph Stalin
"It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."
-- Republican congressman Peter King, shortly before the elections
Some facts you should know about American voting, from a well-sourced article on the Web site What Really Happened.
- 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S. (Online Journal, Wikipedia)
- There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry. (CommonDreams, Online Journal)
- The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers. (American Free Press, Online Journal)
- The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." (CBS, Wish TV)
- Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became a senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines. (Mother Jones, Online Journal)
- Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee. (Black Box Voting, The Hill, Lisa Rein)
- Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates. (Business Week, Independent)
- ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the US and counts almost 60% of all US votes. (ES&S, Online Journal)
- Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters. (Common Dreams, IT World)
- Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail. (Common Dreams, Diebold)
- Diebold is based in Ohio. (Diebold)
- Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states. (Wired, Indymedia)
- Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States. (Scoop, Chuck Herrin, Black Box Voting [PDF file])
- Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years. (Chuck Herrin, Black Box Voting [PDF file])
- None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio. (Global Exchange, Cincinnati Enquirer)
- California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it: see the movie here. (Wired, MSNBC)
- 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail. (CBS)
- All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates. (Wired, Yurica Report, Rise4News, , Scoop)
- The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the president's brother. (Tallahassee Democrat, Washington Post)
- Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation. (Yurica Report, Computer World, American Free Press, Common Dreams, Consortium News, US Counts Votes)
In-Depth Analysis: Start Here
Check the stories about BBV's investigation of vote fraud and records destruction in Florida, along with fraud investigations in Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, and other states. BBV has also filed a lawsuit against the vote count in Volusia County, Florida.
What Vote Fraud (Bev Harris article)
Analysis of an Electronic Voting System
(the May 2004 report that serves as a touchstone for most analyses of e-voting problems)
Democracy Now interview with Black Box Voting's Bev Harris and Professor Aviel Rubin, author of an intensive study of electronic voting machines
Greg Palast's Investigative Journalism
Palast is one of the few journalists to thoroughly document the 2000 Florida election fraud, and was one of the first to bring 2004 fraud problems to the fore.
Palast's humorous rejoinder to David Corn's Nov 29 critique
Numerous interviews by and with Palast concerning the stolen election, along with readings from his book, Armed Madhouse
Wayne Madsen Articles
Wayne Madsen article alleging that the Bush campaign spent $29 million to replace polling place officials with operatives who hacked election machines. If Madsen can prove his allegations -- which he has yet to do -- this is the smoking gun that will convict possibly scores of Bush campaign officials and send the Bush administration packing. Update: Madsen has yet to prove his claims. His reliability has come under serious question by other reputable sources. While his claims may yet turn out to be true, until proof from other quarters emerges, he cannot be considered reliable.)
addendum to original Madsen article
Madsen ties story of vote-fraud software to his larger story
Wayne Madsen Q&A Compilation (Q and A with Madsen)
With the official certification by Congress of the Bush "victory," activism now is focused on demanding investigations into election fraud and more general protests. Many of these links are now out of date, but plenty of activism still continues.
lots of links to other activist sites as well as these folks' own efforts
march from Selma to Washington on January 4-6
Also see below for several banner links to activist organizations.
General Articles, Information, and Commentary
a chillingly informative video --
watch this before you dive into the statistics
(Republican Peter King promises victory before the election because "we'll take care of the counting")
good compilation of video and audio files
another compilation of links, much information here
howlingly angry editorial featuring some good information as well as a writer spitting mad about the theft of our democracy
nice blog that avoids the truly irrational Internet claims
Wikipedia article that has been marked for deletion due to its controversial nature; I have archived the original article in a .DOC file in case it disappears
excellent legal analysis outlining the legal mandate for a court challenge of the 2004 election results
Mainstream Media Response to Fraud Allegations
long Salon article on John Conyers
the New York Times pens an op-ed calling for all votes to be counted without specifically taking a position on any of the specific state or national elections in question -- the media still handles this like two porcupines making love, but at least the Times is weighing in
finally, a Florida paper picks up on the charges of voter fraud from Clint Curtis -- little new information here for BradBlog readers, but notable that this story is finally creeping into the mainstream media
author Mark Crispin Miller angrily decries the Times' decision to ignore the Democratic hearings on Ohio vote fraud
evenhanded editorial decrying media's failure to pay attention to voter fraud allegations
scathing editorial slamming Kerry campaign for ignoring voter fraud issue
Denver article about local media refusing to report on election fraud due to corporate connections
debunking of Washington Post's dismissal of vote fraud allegations
Keith Olbermann's blog -- virtually the only mainstream journalist covering the issue
Note: Karl Rove gave the press his OWN poll information contradicting the mainstream media's call of Ohio and Florida for Kerry, and successfully pressured the networks covering the election to begin calling the two states for Bush based on nothing more than his word and mysterious "poll numbers" that were not sourced.
somewhat skeptical profile of BBV and other election fraud analysts
debunking of a Drudge Report claim that voting machines in Philadelphia already had votes on them before voting opened; stories like these may have been "planted" in the mainstream media to draw attention away from stories about voter fraud perpetuated by the GOP
an article acknowledging the controversy while simultaneously downplaying the facts behind the issues
a truly insulting article that misrepresents the facts and emphasizes the "lunatic fringe" of the controversy
tears apart the above story
a very misleading NPR feature dismissing the vote-fraud controvery as "fantasy" and a "conspiracy theory;" NPR gives very one-sided, selective "statistics" supposedly disproving the exit-poll controversy and the connections between the GOP and Diebold, ES&S, and other voting machine corporations; an excellent example of how even a "liberal" mainstream media outlet obligingly echoes the corporate-governmental line
Election Theft in Ohio: The Eye of the Storm
Video Clips from Ohio: View or Download
The following video clips are provided courtesy of The Free Speech Zone. (Mac-compatible and larger, higher-resolution clips are also available through this site.) All told, the two clips provide about 25 minutes of video from Franklin County, Ohio voting sites. Unwarranted delays, deliberate misinformation, and a host of problems are documented in these videos. View them for yourself, or download them (right-click and choose Save Target As to download the clips to your own computer).
175,000 "purged" voters in the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, 133,000 purged voters from Cincinnati and Toledo, many of whom were purged because "they had not voted in the two previous federal elections," a blatantly illegal removal; also 16,000 provisional ballots and 90,000 "machine-spoiled" votes have yet to be counted.
explains why the instance of Mahoning County (Youngstown) recording the extraordinary figure of "negative 25 million votes for Kerry" is evidence of deliberate voting fraud, in rather involved computer jargon.
Jesse Jackson continues to fight the good fight -- so why won't Kerry?
if true, this means we will never really know who won Ohio, which means we will never know who is the rightful President
a meaningless recount that fails to address any of the problems plaguing the Ohio vote
Kerry campaign files to have recount information protected
Blackwell requests that the courts protect him from being interviewed about Ohio election results -- astonishing!
potentially devastating video showing an interview with a Triad Systems computer "troubleshooter" who may have tampered with vote tallies during recounts
contradicts Blackwell; machines left unused contributed to tremendously long lines at polls in Democratic strongholds
STUNNING information about corporate employees' attempts to tamper with voting machines in preparation for a fraudulent recount; also, Arneback files lawsuit with Ohio SC
Blackwell stops recounts in Ohio, declaring that all votes are "locked down" even though it seems he lacks the authority to do so
hundreds of Cleveland votes for Kerry may have been wrongly given to third-party candidates
Democrats hold December 8 hearings on Ohio voter irregularities; the hearings go virtually unreported on by the US media, but are broadcast live by C-SPAN and are available in the media archive, at least temporarily
The Catch-22 of Voting
(commentary on Conyers hearings)
Dan Hamburg jailed for "trespassing" while trying to deliver a letter regarding voter fraud to Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell
AP article noting Ohio vote count irregularities -- but note how hard the reporter falls over himself to write that the irregularities are irrelevant
testimony that Franklin County's GOP head of the Board of Elections rigged the vote, denying thousands of Democrats their right to vote
Video The Vote - Ohio
(video of voter intimidation in Ohio)
Note that an ES&s employee is accused of operating the computer being used to compile election results in the days before the election.
article written before the election that documents how Ohio votes are being rigged
Election Theft in Florida: Deja Vu All Over Again
"We found anomalies indicitive of fraud." -- Bev Harris, Black Box Voting
the author witnessed a Republican "poll watcher" tampering with a voting machine and taking the memory card (storing the entirety of the votes in the precinct) away with him, with the complicity of the Supervisor of Elections
Clint Curtis charges of voter fraud software for 2000 election
potentially huge story -- computer technician Clint Curtis affirms that he created a vote-stealing program for a Florida Republican congressman in 2000
Curtis testifies under oath; names GOP congressman Tom Feeney as the person who ordered him to build vote-tampering software
adjunct to Curtis affidavit
includes debunking of Yang Enterprise statement
Yang employee lies about connection to illegal spying by employees for China
the Seminole Chronicle covers the story; some additional info in Brad's story
interesting analysis that casts doubt on whether Curtis's program could have ever been used
only 34,000 votes, nothing to see here....
chart comparing voter registration to votes cast
documentation of "glitches" in Florida e-voting, including hundreds of claims that Kerry voters kept having their votes improperly recorded as votes for Bush
Yale law professor believes he and other Democratic observers were caught looking the wrong way
Election Problems and Potential Fraud in Other States
I just find it amazing that every single one of these so-called "glitches" cost Kerry votes and added to Bush's totals. Wouldn't you think that, with a 51%-49% voter split, that the glitches would be similarly spread out between both camps?
Blackwell knows time is on his side)
since the first recount was meaningless
only the Agricultural Commissioner race gets a revote?
Greens challenge ruling that they must pay for entire recount up front
confirmation that the law is on the Greens' side
interesting that the Washington GOP wants a revote because their candidate loses, but the idea of revotes in any states won by Republicans is tantamount to treason....
"phantom votes" contributed to Bush's victory
Montana -- state Supreme Court finds invalid ballots give control of the House of Representatives to Democrats
Washington secretary of state says found votes must be tallied
Washington race goes to Supreme Court
interesting cautionary op-ed from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Washington state -- time to revote and forget recounting?
Washington state governor's race -- vote was so close that these ballots could change the outcome in favor of Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire
once again, the GOP doesn't want all the votes counted
focusing on disputed governor's race
Illinois -- FBI probing vote fraud in East St. Louis
problems all over the place
Bush New England campaign chair indicted for phone jamming before election -- tip of the iceberg?
backwards-counting ES&s voting machines cost Kerry nearly 40,000 votes and gave Bush almost 400,000 votes, both fraudulently
editorial decrying NC's election problems; note that Gaston County's votes were handled by a corporate technician with no public oversight; Presidential votes radically off in two other counties; a private, voting-machine dominated organization called "The Election Center" gains the ear of state election officials through gifts and apparent bribes
Nevada -- lawsuit asks that disenfranchised voters be allowed to vote
North Carolina -- Gaston County fails to tally 13,000 votes
North Carolina -- speculation that entire state's votes may be jettisoned due to massive problems with machine voting
Minnesota -- voter registration purges deny legitimate voters access to polls
New Mexico -- details of anomalies in vote tallies county by county
Nebraska -- more votes cast than voters registered
Information on Diebold, ES&S, and Other Electoral Machine Manufacturers
Popular Mechanics article detailing just how easy it is to hack a voting machine
article written by a professional IT auditor who reminds us that Enron, too, used to be a conspiracy theory
company whistleblower forced to resign
editorial summarizing electoral machine manufacturers's ties to GOP and voting machine problems
Athan Gibbs, maker of verifiable e-voting machine, dies in mysterious car crash, March 2004
Exit Polls Fail to Match Results
It's worth noting that, as a rule, exit polls have been proven so accurate that UN monitors routinely use them to document election fraud...in other countries, at least.
VERY IMPORTANT: Statistician analyzes poll results in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, and concludes the chances of the "statistical anomalies" happening as they did are 250 milion to one
Statistician debunks election results
more skeptical analysis by a Temple U. mathematician who still finds reason to question results
candidate Nader and pollster Zogby both believe election was manipulated
evenhanded editorial based on skeptical reading of statistical analyses above
WARNING: Some of these sites are as partisan as can be imagined. Some of them must be considered of questionable reliability. Others are quite determined to be as impartial and statistically accurate as possible. It's up to the reader to determine if a site's partisan nature necessarily invalidates its claims, or whether an article's allegations bear up under scrutiny.
This is as important an issue facing our still-endangered democracy as our colonial ancestors faced in 1776. What we do will go down in history as just as important, and critical to the continued survival of freedom and democracy in this country, as the call to arms of Paul Revere or the gallant resistance of American patriots to Tory and Hessian soldiers on Breed's Hill.
Some will not agree, and refuse to even consider the possibility that anyone, particularly the Republicans, would steal an election. Those readers are invited to either continue on to the rest of this site through the links above or below, or they are invited to peruse other Web sites. Naturally, hard-core Bush supporters will not agree. These people, by and large, have chosen to abandon American ideals once they accepted the 2000 voter fraud that gave us the first G.W. Bush term. They have chosen might over right and their own fanatical ideology over American ideals and the U.S. Constitution. Like the self-satisfied elites of the former Soviet Union, they care nothing for freedom as long as their own interests and ideologies are supported by their government. They don't care if Bush won fairly or unfairly; they don't care if the bedrock ideal of "one citizen, one vote" is destroyed as long as their candidate, and their ideology, is victorious. Others do not choose to believe because they can't bring themselves to accept the fact that America's democracy was thwarted by vote manipulation. They believe that "it can't happen here." For those people, I suggest they make the attempt to open their minds to the possibility that yes, it did indeed happen here. Follow the links above. Do your own research. Draw your own conclusions. Don't base your conclusions on the corporate media's breathless acceptance of the Bush "victory." The mainstream American media has long since abandoned any pretense of independence. They are wholly owned and manipulated -- in most cases, willingly manipulated -- by the conservative corporations who control their content. You will not hear this story on CNN, Fox, or the networks.
(However, I would think that a fair-minded conservative would rather have a legitimately elected president representing a true majority of the American people than the candidate he or she personally favored if it was evident that the favored candidate won through election fraud and manipulation.)
For the rest of us -- the liberals and progressives who already know that this election was stolen, the Bush supporters who believe more in American standards than in radical conservative ideology, and the moderates who don't strongly support either candidate but know that the election results are unbelievable and unacceptable -- the next question is, "What can we do?" The first thing to do is to decide to FIGHT. We cannot afford to roll over and let this destruction of democracy happen unchallenged. Argue among yourselves as you will, blame this or that aspect of the Kerry candidacy as you will (and you may well join me in being tremendously angry and disappointed that Kerry chose to bow to the Bush campaign's theft of the election rather than fight), but it is imperative that we decide, together and separately, to oppose this theft of the American presidency and this ultimate subversion of American democracy.
Right now, the biggest and potentially most effective challenge to the election theft is being mounted by Bev Harris's organization at Black Box Voting. BBV is mounting the largest Freedom of Information Act request in US history to attempt to retrieve the Diebold and ES&S voting machines used to perpetuate this vote theft before they can be "sanitized." The organization is calling for lawyers, computer specialists, election officials, and anyone with knowledge that may prove useful in proving this election was actually fraudulent. If you are one of these people, contact BBV immediately. Most of us, however, aren't in the position to provide this kind of help. In this case, the rest of us can help by donating money to BBV. The organization needs at least $50,000 to pay for the FOIA documents and fees that they are requesting. BBV has NO rich sponsors or corporate donors to aid in their efforts. The organization is truly a David battling a Goliath. BBV needs your help. Visit the Web site to see how you can help with a donation of money, time, or both. (I don't know what the problem is between "blackboxvoting.org" and "blackboxvoting.com," and I don't care. It doesn't matter. Both sites seem to be fighting the good fight, so their personal differences are irrelevant to me, and hopefully to you. The .ORG site does seem to have more credibility, and is more involved in fighting for examination of election results.)
Next, you can help by getting personally involved. If you have a Web site or blog, this needs to take center stage. Everything else is secondary. Make it the main focus of your site. You should also contact your local media outlets. Maybe they'll treat you as a nutcase. So what? Pressure the local media to make an issue of this, ESPECIALLY if you live in a battleground state, and PARTICULARLY if you live in one of the three states -- Ohio, Florida, and New Mexico -- whose voting results were reversed by the Bush campaign's tampering. Write letters to the editor. Phone local TV news stations. Whatever it takes. Raise hell on local and national talk radio. The locals will probably give you a hearing, though they may make fun of you, but again, who cares? The important thing is that you are getting your message out. Listeners who have come to the same conclusions as you will realize that they are not lone voices in the wilderness, and may decide to get involved themselves. Next, contact your local and state Democratic Party outlets. Most of them have decided to cooperate with the Kerry rollover, but the more pressure they get from the grassroots, the more likely they are to respond by adding their voices to the call for action. Contact your local ACLU and other activist organizations. Contact ACT, MoveOn.org, and other progressive organizations. Pressure them to take action. Lastly, contact your local election officials. Demand a full audit of each precinct's votes.
Recognize that the more active you become in this fight, the more likely it is you will be targeted by the anti-American forces that swept Bush into office against the will of the people. You will undoubtedly be reviled by friends and co-workers, and perhaps even family members. You may be verbally or even physically assaulted or vandalized. You may even draw the attention of the Secret Service and the FBI. If this kind of pressure to remain quiet is too much for you, then I can understand that. Leave the overt fight to the rest of us, and God bless you. You can, however, make donations or help out with other supportive activities "under the radar."
Lastly, join the fight to make paperless, unverifiable voting machines illegal. Verified Voting is a bipartisan organization committed to bringing reliable, verifiable voting to all 50 states. Visit their site to find out how you can help.
I can not overstress how important this issue is. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of American democracy. No matter your party affiliation, if you are a freedom-loving American with a real commitment to American liberties and the affirmation of the principle of "one citizen, one vote," then you MUST become involved in this fight. No candidate in any election, Republican or Democrat, President or dog-catcher, can be allowed to take office through voter fraud. This cannot stand. This far, and no further.
In conclusion, I will quote a poster on the Democratic Underground forums simply known as "TruthIsAll," who sums up the entire stunt most succinctly: To believe that Bush won the election, you must also believe:
- That the exit polls were WRONG...
- That Zogby's 5 pm election day calls for Kerry winning OH and FL were WRONG. He was exactly RIGHT in his 2000 final poll.
- That Harris's last minute polling for Kerry was WRONG. He was exactly RIGHT in his 2000 final poll.
- The Incumbent Rule I (that undecideds break for the challenger) was WRONG.
- The 50% Rule was WRONG (that an incumbent doesn't do better than his final polling)
- The Approval Rating Rule was WRONG (that an incumbent with less than 50% approval will most likely lose the election)
- That Greg Palast was WRONG when he said that even before the election, 1 million votes were stolen from Kerry. He was the ONLY reporter to break the fact that 90,000 Florida blacks were disnfranchised in 2000.
- That it was just a COINCIDENCE that the exit polls were CORRECT where there WAS a PAPER TRAIL and INCORRECT (+5% for Bush) where there was NO PAPER TRAIL.
- That the surge in new young voters had NO positive effect for Kerry.
- That Bush BEAT 99-1 mathematical odds in winning the election.
- That Kerry did WORSE than Gore agains an opponent who LOST the support of SCORES of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000.
- That Bush did better than an 18 national poll average which showed him tied with Kerry at 47. In other words, Bush got 80% of the undecided vote to end up with a 51-48 majority -- when ALL professional pollsters agree that the undecided vote ALWAYS goes to the challenger.
- That voting machines made by Republicans with no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven by thousands of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways, were NOT tampered with in this election.
"John Kerry will win it. Oh, but put the question the other way around, because Americans never vote for anybody -- whom will they vote against? They will vote against Bush, which means Kerry will be elected by the popular vote. The problem is that Kerry may never be allowed to be president. All of the plots that were in line during the 2000 election are still there, from the purge list of supposed felons to computer touch screen voting and so on." -- Gore Vidal, November 1, 2004
The place to start
Non-partisan organization working for free and fair elections
Brad Friedman's blog -- proving to be a tremendous source of information. Also note this adjunct site being used for focusing on vote election info
No Stolen Elections
Just what it says; another organization challenging the election results.
Another organization working to challenge the vote.
Justice Through Music is offering a $200,000 reward for evidence of vote fraud.