Monday, January 17, 2005

Kerry Criticizes Election Outcome and Cites Voter Irregularites

Kerry Criticizes Election Outcome

Associated Press, January 17, 2005

BOSTON - Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites), in some of his most pointed public comments yet about the presidential election, invoked Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy on Monday as he criticized President Bush (news - web sites) and decried reports of voter disenfranchisement.

The Massachusetts Democrat, Bush's challenger in November, spoke at Boston's annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast. He reiterated that he decided not to challenge the election results, but "thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote."

"Voting machines were distributed in uneven ways. In Democratic districts, it took people four, five, eleven hours to vote, while Republicans (went) through in 10 minutes — same voting machines, same process, our America," he said.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

House Judiciary Committee Report on Election Irregularities Released

Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio
Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff


full pdf from Raw Story

Ohio Electoral Votes Challenged: Tubbs-Jones (D-OH) and Boxer (D-CA) Force Debate on Election Irregularities

Boxer Kicks Off Challenge to Ohio Vote
Associated Press, January 6, 2005

(AP) - A small group of Democrats agreed Thursday to force House and Senate debates on Election Day problems in Ohio before letting Congress certify President Bush's win over Sen. John Kerry in November.

While Bush's victory is not in jeopardy, the Democratic challenge would legally compel Congress to interrupt tallying the Electoral College vote, which was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EST Thursday. It would be only the second time since 1877 that the House and Senate were forced into separate meetings to consider electoral votes.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., signed a challenge mounted by House Democrats to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which put Bush over the top. By law, a protest signed by members of the House and Senate requires both chambers to meet separately for up to two hours to consider it. Lawmakers are allowed to speak for no more than five minutes each.

"I have concluded that objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate way to bring these issues to light by allowing you to have a two-hour debate to let the American people know the facts surrounding Ohio's election," Boxer wrote in a letter to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, a leader of the Democratic effort.

The action seems certain to leave Bush's victory intact because both Republican-controlled chambers would have to uphold the objection for Ohio's votes to be invalidated. Supporters of the drive said that rather than changing the election outcome, their hope was to shine a national spotlight on the Ohio voting problems.

"The goal is to debate the issue," Tubbs Jones said in an interview. "And why not? We go across the world trying to ensure democracy, but there are some problems with the process in the United States."

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Five Senators and Eight House Members to Challenge Election

Four Senators Join Boxer, Seven House Members Join Conyers
By David Swanson, ILCA

Senator Barbara Boxer was the first, and Kim Gandy of the National Organization of Women announced it at a rally in Lafayette Square Park Thursday morning, across from the White House. Senator Boxer would be joining Congressman John Conyers and other House Members in challenging the electoral votes from Ohio in a joint session of Congress called to certify the election.

Nearl two hours later, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., took the stage -- the final speaker before the crowd of about 300 activists in orange clothes (as worn in the Ukraine) headed down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. Jackson told the crowd - to shouts and cheers, and in some cases tears - that Boxer would be joined by Senators Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and Barak Obama. From the House, Jackson said, Congressman John Conyers would challenge the Ohio vote, with the support of Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Dennis Kucinich, Jesse Jackson Jr., Maxine Waters (who also spoke at the morning rally), Robert Scott, Mel Watt, and Jerrold Nadler.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

House Judiciary Democrats Issue Report on Ohio Election Irregularities

Reports Raw Story:

The House Judiciary Democrats investigating election irregularities in Ohio have issued their final report, titled, "Preserving Democracy: What went wrong in Ohio." RAW STORY has released the entire report in PDF format because it is too long to break out onto individual pages.

“We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters," Conyers' staff writes in their executive summary. "Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousands of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.”

Full Report linked at Raw Story:

Slate reports: "Exit Poll Smoking Gun"

Exit Poll Smoking Gun
Bloggers can attack with New Zeal!
By Mickey Kaus, Slate
Updated Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005, at 3:22 PM PT

I'm as willing to jump on new CNN chief Jonathan Klein as the next blogger--he seems way too slick. (And he won't be forgiven for the "pajamas.") But isn't Klein's controversial "flood the zone" comment--about CNN's intensive tsunami coverage--the sort of highly unfortunate word mistake almost anyone could make? ... He was just going with the cliche! ... 3:10 P.M.

The smoking gun indicting the official Mitofsky/Lenski exit poll appears to have surfaced--in New Zealand! Mystery Pollster points the way to this file posted on the Scoop website. It is one of several that "appear to be actual internal Election Day reports generated by Edison/Mitofsky," according to MP. ... What it shows: As late as 7:33 P.M. on Election Day, Mitofsky and Lenski were apparently telling their clients (NBC, CBS, CNN, AP, etc.) that after "weighting" Kerry was beating Bush by 9 points among women and losing by only 4 among men. By 1:24 P.M. the next day (see this file) revised results revealed that, in fact, Kerry won women by only 3 points while Bush won men by 11 points. Whoops! ... It wasn't the dumb bloggers who didn't understand on Nov. 2 that they were being prematurely leaked "complex displays intended for trained statisticians," as Mitofsky would have it--or the dumb Kerry aides and dumb Bush aides who believed the same leaked numbers. It was that the weighted results Mitofsky's statisticians put out were full of it! ...

Friday, December 24, 2004

New York Times Gives Front-Page Coverage to Ohio Voting Problems

Voting Problems in Ohio Spur Call for Overhaul
By JAMES DAO, FORD FESSENDEN
and TOM ZELLER Jr.

New York Times, December 24, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 22 - William Shambora, 53, is the kind of diligent voter who once assumed that his ballot always counted. He got a rude awakening this year.

Mr. Shambora, an economics professor at Ohio University, moved during the summer but failed to notify the Athens County Board of Elections until the day before the presidential election. An official told him to use a provisional ballot.

But under Ohio law, provisional ballots are valid only when cast from a voter's correct precinct. Mr. Shambora was given a ballot for the wrong precinct, a fact he did not learn until after the election. Two weeks later, the board discarded his vote, adding him to a list of more than 300 provisional ballots that were rejected in that heavily Democratic county.

"It seems like such a confused system," said Mr. Shambora, a John Kerry supporter who blames himself for the mistake. "Maybe if enough people's votes had counted, the election might have turned out differently."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Conyers Requests Raw Exit Poll Data from Networks

From Raw Story:

The following letter [shown at Raw Story], issued by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich), calls on the five major television networks and the Associated Press to release the raw exit poll data from the 2004 presidential election. The letter below, acquired by RAW STORY late this afternoon, is a facsimile; the congressman's office said an actual image of the letter will not be released until Wednesday.

The letter was sent to: Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company and President, Disney-ABC Television Group; Bob Wright, President, NBC; Gail Berman, President, FOX; Jim Walton President, CNN; Thomas Curley, President, Associated Press; and Andrew Heyward, President, CBS.

"As you are aware, the American citizenry has voiced a collective lack of faith in government to carry out fair election procedures," Conyers writes. "It is important that the Judiciary Committee access raw voter poll data so that discrepancies between those numbers and certified election results can be investigated...Without the raw data, the Committee will be severely handicapped in its efforts to show the need for serious election reform in the United States."

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Monday, December 20, 2004

U Chicago Statistician finds US Vote Results at Odds with Exit Polls

The United States of Ukraine?: Exit Polls Leave Little Doubt that in a Free and Fair Election John Kerry Would Have Won both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote
by Ron Baiman
December 19, 2004

reported in The Free Press, and originally noted at Cannonfire.

from the report's conclusion:

These unexplained statistical anomalies in the vote count in critical states, such as Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, and in the national popular vote for the 2004 Presidential elections, indicate:

a) Implausibly erroneous exit sampling especially for the national sample and forthe most critical states where one would have expected pollsters to be most careful, and/or

b) Election fraud and/or discriminatory voter suppression that resulted in a in an election result in Ohio, Florida, and other states, and in the nationalpopular vote outcome, that is contrary to what would have occurred in a free and fair election.

I conclude that, based on the best exit sample data currently available, neither the national popular vote, or many of the certified state election results, are credible and should not be regarded as a true reflection of the intent of national electorate, or of many state voters, until a complete and thorough investigation of the possibilities a) and b) above is completed.

An election that is not “free” because of discriminatory suppression of the vote by not supplying an adequate number of voting machines, or by other means, could lead to an exit sampling discrepancy, as exit sampling is in part based on historic patterns of voterturnout. However the actual outcome in such an election would not be free or fair and would be less reflective of voter intent than exit sampling. Analysis of raw precinct levelexit samples (which so far have not been released) should shed some light on where and when changes in the weights for raw precinct numbers, necessary to get state samples,were made.

This raises the more general question of what form of vote counting is more reliable.Vote counting that is overseen by a highly partisan Secretary of State with a clear vested interest in the outcome with election equipment that leaves no audible paper trail and/orcentral tabulating equipment that has been shown to easily hacked, or vote counting by exit sampling firms whose major vested interest is in getting the prediction right.13 These“unfair” elections in the U.S. mirror the situation in the Ukraine where one party controlled the collection and tabulation of the vote. At a minimum one would havethought that the oldest democracy in the world would implement its elections with unbiased civil servants and a uniform code of regulations. “Neutral” electionimplementation was a key demand of the Ukrainian opposition.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Berkeley City Council Announces Call for Investigation into Election 2004 Irregularities

Berkeley Pries Open Votergate, Calls for Immediate U.S. Election Investigation

The day after electors cast votes at state capitols nationwide, at the regular meeting of the Berkeley City Council, half the public speakers expressed concern for democracy, given problems on Nov. 2 including minority and student vote suppression.

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) December 16, 2004 -- The day after electors cast votes at state capitols nationwide, at the regular meeting of the Berkeley City Council, half the public speakers expressed concern for democracy, given problems on Nov. 2 including minority and student vote suppression. By unanimous consent, the Berkeley City Council adopted the "Resolution Supporting the Request that the Government Accountability Office Immediately Undertake an Investigation of Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Elections." Drafted by Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission, the Resolution also lists 17 measures to improve elections.

Outgoing Vice Mayor and civil rights champion Maudelle Shirek agrees with District 3's newly elected Max Anderson that, "It's extremely important for the foundations of our democracy that every citizen's vote is counted. Fraud or manipulation, whether not counting votes or suppression of voters, should be of vital concern to all."

Councilmember Kriss Worthington added, "Politically, technologically and bureaucratically, undemocratic forces have stopped America from counting every vote. We must demand justice for purged voters, provisional voters and discouraged voters forced to stand in line for hours. As the United States risks our soldiers' lives to invade Iraq to 'spread democracy' it is tragically incomplete at home."

...

Home of the free speech movement, Berkeley often tackles injustices. After hearing the citizens speak at the Tuesday night meeting, Mayor Tom Bates proclaimed, "Nothing is more fundamental than a free, fair election. When you start tinkering with that, it throws the whole system into disarray. I am pleased that we are taking this stand." The City Council then adopted, by unanimous consent, the "Resolution Supporting the Request that the GAO Immediately Undertake an Investigation of Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Elections." It is posted on the web at www.berkeleyresolution.blogspot.com.