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More Vote Irregularities in Ohio

December 2nd, 2004

In addition to the 4000-or-so extra votes one machine magically conjured up for Bush in Franklin County (only 638 people voted in that precinct), there are other problems that investigators are now finding in Ohio. One of them is the always-mysterious people-who-don’t-vote-for-president, an unnaturally high 93,000 in Ohio. These ballots would have to be examined by hand, and most that can be read that way would likely go to Kerry, as most are in poorer areas with more minority voters, who were more often given punch-card machines which register such “non-votes” when the chad are not punched just right–sure you remember that mess.

There were also strong correspondences between minority areas and other voting machine problems. Almost all problems reported just happened to be in Kerry strongholds, primarily in areas with a high concentration of African-American voters; in the chart below, red areas indicate black population levels, blue dots are reported problems in Kerry districts, green for Bush districts:

Not hard to see the disparity. The same applies to vote spoilage:

Republicans will likely roll out the old “Democratic voters are stupid” riff like they did in Florida in 2000, but with numbers so disproportionately skewed, that chestnut will be nothing more than a lame insult to minority voters. But they’ll make the charge anyway, most likely. But this absolutely harmonizes with the stated Republican goal of suppressing the minority vote.

I saw the CBS 60 Minutes report on voting machines recently, and in the report, it showed an rather easy way to misvote: if you have three buttons lined up vertically, and you push the top and bottom one at the same time, the middle button is selected on the computer screen. The representative for the voting machine company (or perhaps she represented the district) insisted that a voter would never press buttons like that. However, it is easy to see how she is wrong. Try this: point your index finger as though you would press a button. Now look at your hand: most likely, your other three fingers are curled up into your palm, with you thumb resting over your middle finger (some people actually have the thumb extended, more likely to hit a surface). Now look at the position of your thumb knuckle. When you press the button, the thumb knuckle will be protruding downward, and could come in contact with the surface at the same time your forefinger does. We usually don’t hit anything with it as a usual button may be raised (or touching the surface below the button may be unimportant), but you should be able to see how the thumb knuckle could hit the flat surface of the touch-screen on the voting machine. That would generate a misvote, and explain why many people tried to vote for one candidate and kept seeing another’s name coming up on the screen.

Harder to explain is the Pat Buchanan effect in Ohio. In many districts heavily weighted for Kerry, third-party candidates did far too well. In precinct 4F of Cleveland’s East Side, the ultraconservative third-party candidate, Michael Peroutka, got 40% of the vote. In precinct 4N, the Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik captured 32.5% of the vote. It is highly unlikely that these candidates won such large percentages of the vote in precincts almost totally devoted to Kerry, meaning that there was obviously something wrong with the voting machines in those precincts.

In Florida in 2000, if one were to have given Gore all of the votes he lost due to vote fraud, vote spoilage, and machine ‘malfunctions,’ he would have won Florida and the election easily by tens of thousands of votes. Ohio may not be such a easy ‘real’ win for Kerry, but it could easily turn out that without all the ‘errors’ coincidentally all working against him, Kerry might very well have won the state, and again, the election. All of this making George W. Bush truly worth of the Thief of the White House.

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  1. James
    December 26th, 2004 at 02:01 | #1

    I wonder if there is or will ever be an investigation, either by federal authorities or the press (independent or mainstream) into these growing accounts of voting irregularities?
    Does anyone know?


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