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By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 11:40am PT  


STEPHEN COLBERT: Eleven states approved anti-Gay Marriage ballot initiatives yesterday. Clearly our deep national fear of hot man on man monogamy...drove turnout among the nation's so called "value voters". And here's what's interesting...these voters see the connection between terrorism and what I'll call...homo-ism.
...
JON STEWART: If those are the two major issues concerning voters --- and again, uh --- why would New York City --- which really has the most significant gay population in the country...and has already had the most significant terror attack in the country...vote overwhelmingly for Kerry?

STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, here's the thing, John. We in New York are too close to the terrorism and the gay people. Only the red states, with the advantage of a safe distance, can take in the whole picture...and clearly see what we should do about those issues...And so, on behalf of everyone living in the blue states, I'd like to thank the red states...for saving us...from ourselves. John?

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Massive 'Freedom of Information Act' Filing Now Under Way!
Pay Attention!
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 9:19pm PT  

Connecting the dots... Investigative reporter, Bev Harris, has been reporting on the various concerns related to electronic voting for some time via her site BlackBoxVoting.org She released a book within the last year on the topic, and likely has compiled more evidence on the matter than anyone else in the world.

After studying the audit logs from one Washington state county's voting machines (audit logs obtained through a "Freedom of Information Act" petition) they discovered 3 hours of deleted data on the logs from the primary election there just six weeks ago.

Today they posted this:

THURSDAY Nov. 4 2004: If you are concerned about what happened Tuesday, Nov. 2, you have found a home with our organization. Help America Audit.

Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence --- red flags, exit polls --- but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the most massive Freedom of Information action in history.

We need: Lawyers to enforce public records laws. Some counties have already notified us that they plan to stonewall by delaying delivery of the records. We need citizen volunteers for a number of specific actions. We need computer security professionals willing to GO PUBLIC with formal opinions on the evidence we provide, whether or not it involves DMCA complications. We need funds to pay for copies of the evidence.

Visit the site for more details on how you can help...

Other ways you can help: 1) Send the link to this story and/or this blog and/or as many of the previous items I've reported on (scroll down!) to as many folks as you can! 2) If you find something you think I should look at, feel free to post here in comments or email me with a link (please pardon if I can't respond immediately, I assure you I'm looking at it).

The Mainstream Media has largely taken their lead from the Bush Administration and the Rightwing media to follow the "Great Bush Mandate" storyline despite the numbers --- at best --- just not adding up, and even if accepted at face value, they represent the slimmest margin for a sitting President since Woodrow Wilson in 1916!

I understand full well that "conventional wisdom" is already beginning to harden that Bush "won" this race, and I'm sorry to continue to offer troubling information to those of you who would have liked a clean result this time around. If that's where my investigation leads, I will tell you that. But as of now, every street I turn down seems to display more and more that something is rotten in the state of Diebold/ES&S. Pay. Attention.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 5:37pm PT  

Though Ohio got all the Florida-like attention this year from the mainstream media (who can't seem to focus on more than one thing at time, and at that, for only mere seconds) back in Florida --- where nobody is looking, and yes the results were close though less so than in 2000 --- something also doesn't add up.

Kathy Dopp has been crunching hard election result numbers and a strange --- yet very clear pattern --- is emerging.

Using the very rough gauge of comparing Republican and Democrat registrations county by county to the actual final voting results, she finds that the percentage change of "Expected Votes" versus "Actual Results" are fairly consistent in counties that used E-Voting machines.

But in counties that used Optical Scan Voting the "Expected Votes" versus "Actual Results" are wildly discordant to say the least.

For example, look at just one sample from Baker County, FL...

Registered Voters
REP: 24.3% DEM: 69.3%

Actual Votes
REP: 7,738 DEM: 2,180

Change from Expected Results
REP: 220.4% DEM: -68.4%

That's a sample from just one county, but the majority of counties that used Opti-scan systems, particularly those systems made by "Election Systems and Software (ES&S)" show the same wildly discordant pattern.

Such a disparity between Actual Results and Expected Results (based on voter registration) could well be explained if the voter turnout was simply far and away in favor of Bush in Florida due to any number of factors. But why then do virtually none of the Electronic Voting counties in Florida show anything like those kind of disparities in the Expected versus Actual Results?

She's been updating her data throughout the day, adding info as it's made available by the state of Florida.

(Thanks reader Teri K. for the tip)

UPDATE: ES&S, together with Diebold Election Systems, are responsible for tallying some 80% of votes in the U.S. The CEO of Diebold Election Systems is also the founder of ES&S according to this interesting report from July 2003. It's also an interesting report because it seems to describe yesterday's results "to a T" in many ways...More on that soon...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 4:32pm PT  

If the mainstream media is reporting their data from Exit Polling as being accurate in regards to who voted on Election Day (for example: "Christian Conservative" voters showing up in increased numbers) why was the information from those same polls concerning who people were voting for so wildly different from the reported Final Results?

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 2:16pm PT  

From an email yesterday from Jaime:

PS. if Kevin Bacon can change the attitudes of theo-conservatism with his positive disposition and upbeat dance moves...so can we.
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Pay Attention...Or Not.
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 2:02pm PT  

I'm sorry if there are some of you who would rather "move on". I'll err on the side of accurately counting "the will of the people in a Democracy". If, like so many of the wingnuts out there, you'd rather not examine such matters accurately (and I can hardly blame the wingnuts), you are welcome to read other blogs more likely to repeat to you what you wish to hear.

To that end, there are continuing questions about the results in Ohio, New Mexico, and yes - Florida. Since Democracy demands both vigilance and an accurate reflection of the will of the people, I will do my best to stay on top of these matters as so many of your Emails have requested of me. I hope to have more information for you about those states later today.

In the meantime, here's a report just released by AP concerning at least 4,500 votes that Election Officials admit were lost in North Carolina in just one county due to inaccurate information provided by the makers of the E-Voting machine in use there:

Local officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the county's electronic voting system, told them that each storage unit could handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes.

Expecting the greater capacity, the county used only one unit during the early voting period. "If we had known, we would have had the units to handle the votes," said Sue Verdon, secretary of the county election board.

Officials said 3,005 early votes were stored, but 4,530 were lost.

[UPDATE]: The link to the AP story is now dead. Here's another one with the same info.

That was just one county in North Carolina. Pay attention...

UPDATE: More problems with UniLect machines now reported! This time in Ohio where they used thousands of UniLect machines:

"I don't know what happened," said James Bennington, who had been assured Friday that all 250 of the county's touch-screen units had been checked and rechecked. The county has 100 voting precincts.

Keith Jenkins, director of the county's computer department, agreed that it was a software malfunction and said repeated calls to UniLect Corp., the company that sold the machines to the county in 2001, failed to resolve the problem.

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The One President-Elect Bush Won't be Viewing.
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 1:28pm PT  

What America actually looks like in regards to this election. States sized proportionally to their population...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 12:20pm PT  


JON STEWART: Ed, the election is over, what's happening there in Washington today?...What's the focus?

ED HELMS: Well, John...The president is focusing on his agenda for the next four years. 1) Finishing the war in Iraq. 2) Starting the war in three other places...TBD, of course. 3) The Supreme Court has got some vacancies to fill...The constitution still has a few loose ends that need tightening...And, I'm not going to say "prayer will be mandatory"...but, let's just say thine loom and churn best be still on the sabbath, goodman.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 12:12pm PT  

From President-Elect Bush's press conference today:

"Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That's what happened in the --- after the 2000 election."

Any questions?

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The Bush Legacy: 1124 and Counting...
A Photographic Tribute
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 5:59pm PT  

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Democracy Requires Vigilance
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 5:43pm PT  

One more note or two on some Ohio anomalies previously reported, but which may have gotten lost in last night's crush.

The final vote, apparently, was cast in Knox County, Ohio last night (this morning) at 3:55am after loads of student voters (who broke heavily for Kerry) at Kenyon College had stood in line to vote for as many as ten hours due to a shortage of electronic voting machines. Do you suppose there were many who chose not to wait that long to cast their vote and simply left?

The still-open polls, of course, did not keep Fox from making their call for Bush in Ohio at 11:41pm last night, a full four hours before the polls in Ohio had closed.

Apparently their protestations of "media bias!" back in 2000, when some of the nets called Florida for Gore in 2000 before voting had ended in conservative Tallahassee, was just another piece of bullshit at the time meant to go down the Memory Hole once that battle-cry became no longer operative. (UPDATE: Murdoch's NY Post also called Bush the winner in it's 2am issue, before polls had closed, according to Drudge. Surprised? Didn't think so.)

As well, if you missed it last night, see AMERICAblog's photo and story of Ohio ballots being carted away yesterday in a "Bush-Cheney '04" truck. The photo and incident was confirmed with multiple witnesses and they are reporting today that some in the media are investigating. I hope so. Though, again, I'll not be holding my breath.

ReddIt this story!



Only E-Voting Results Appear to Have Varied Wildly from Exit Polling.
Now why would that be?
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 4:29pm PT  

As I was trying to get to sleep this morning, I wondered about the wild differences between the Exit Polling numbers, which strongly favored Kerry, versus the Final Results which narrowly favored Bush.

Given the statement in August of 2003 by Walden O'dell, the CEO of Deibold Inc., the Ohio-based company and the nation's #1 maker of Electronic Voting Machines there is reason to be suspicious.

He wrote in a fund-raising letter to Ohio Republicans last year that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

As I lay in bed, trying to make sense of what still makes little sense, I had hoped to look today into how much the Exit Poll results varied from the Final Results in states and districts where there was Electronic Voting versus the difference in states where paper ballots etc. were in use.

Looks like Raw Story has begun to do exactly that. UPDATE: Here is a graphic representation of the information that the Raw Story article details.

Their early investigation shows that in states where E-voting with no paper trails were used, there was an enormous difference --- always in favor of Bush --- between the Exit Polls and the Final Results. Whereas in the states with paper ballots or E-voting machines that provided a printed paper trail, the Exit Polling was within .01% of the Final Results. Look at those numbers yourself.

Perhaps the mainstream media will discover a sense of civic duty and look further into that. For some reason, I'm not holding my breath, and it'll probably fall to folks like us to do their heavy lifting for them.

Look also at the bizarre numbers that Oliver Willis discovered amongst the vote tabulations as they were coming out of Ohio's website last night. He supplies pictures, so it should be simple for you wingnuts to understand.

And on Nov. 1, the day before the election, BlackBoxVoting.org --- a site which has been warning for some time of such concerns - issued an urgent release which began:

MONDAY Nov 1 2004: New information indicates that hackers may be targeting the central computers counting our votes tomorrow. All county elections officials who use modems to transfer votes from polling places to the central vote-counting server should disconnect the modems now.

There is no down side to removing the modems. Simply drive the vote cartridges from each polling place in to the central vote-counting location by car, instead of transmitting by modem. �Turning off� the modems may not be sufficient. Disconnect the central vote counting server from all modems, INCLUDING PHONE LINES, not just Internet.

I am pleased to see that that group has now filed "Freedom of Information Act" petitions for the audit logs of Electronic Voting machines in many states, given that they found some three hours of missing data from such audit logs six weeks ago on a central computer in Washington during their primary elections there.

Finally, I wonder if anyone will follow up with Karl Rove's statement to Sean Hannity on Sept. 29th when he said "We've got a couple of surprises that we intend to spring."

Now that the election is over and won, perhaps Mr. Rove could elucidate on what those "surprises" actually were.

Anyone in the media willing to take your job seriously enough to ask him?

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A Divider Not a Uniter
The Long National Nightmare Continues...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 2:54pm PT  

It's only been an hour or two, but the spinning and cynically opportunistic misinterpretation by the zealots of President-Elect Bush's victory has already begun. As expected.

Never mind that a man who received a "free" all-expense-paid four-year campaign commercial masquerading as "President" could claim only a slim 1% victory over his contender, with more Americans voting against him than any candidate in history, the Right has already begun the spin (as evidenced in comments here) that even the moderates in America support Bush.

Andrew Sullivan quotes Noam Scheiber putting some truth to that earliest of lies:

Not only did Kerry win by an 86-13 margin among self-described liberals, he also won by a 55-45 margin among self-described moderates. So how'd Bush pull it off? He won 84-15 among self-described conservatives, and, more importantly, he made sure conservatives comprised a much bigger chunk of the electorate than they did in 2000. (Conservatives comprised about 34 percent of the electorate yesterday, versus 29 percent in 2000--a huge shift, raw numbers-wise.) Anyone anticipating a conciliatory second Bush term should stop and consider how much Bush owes his base.

Adding to that, I associate myself with Josh Marshall who saw the Bush/Cheney statements today claiming a "a broad, nationwide victory" as ominous writing on the sleaze-room wall:

This is the touchstone and the sign. A 'broad, nationwide victory'? He must be kidding. Our system is majority rule. And 51% is a win. But he's claiming a mandate.

"A broad, nationwide victory"?

It would almost be comical if it weren't for the seriousness of what it portends. This election cut the nation in two. A single percentage point over 50% is not broad. A victory that carried no states in the Northeast, close to none in the Industrial midwest is not nationwide, and none on the west coast is not nationwide.

And yet he plans to use this narrow victory as though it were a broad mandate, starting right back with the same strategy that has already come near to tearing this country apart.

I'll have more on that "same strategy" and the ugliness it required to win a 1% majority victory as the day goes on...

CORRECTION 11/4/04: As pointed out by reader "Jeff", I said above that Bush "could claim only a slim 1% victory over his contender" I should have said "a slim 1% victory over his contenders" since Bush received 51% of the popular vote. As well, "Jeff" pointed out that I said Bush had "more Americans voting against him than any candidate in history". That was misleading as well. What I should have said was Bush had "more Americans voting against him than any Republican candidate in history". A seemingly good source to check on these matters is right here. BRAD BLOG regrets both the errors and the sleepless haze in which they were written.

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Shame on us.
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 1:51pm PT  

For some reason I decided to get in a few hours of sleep this morning. So I'm just beginning to catch up on all that's transpired since I went to bed. Much analysis and opinion to come today no doubt.

There will be plenty of time for the hand-wringing and discussions of the Right's Victory of Hate and Fear over Hope and Courage.

For the moment though, as I begin to get caught up, read the ominous tea-leaves of what Bush's statement today foretold, and catch up with comments and email here, I think the words of The Freeway Blogger say it best:

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It may set a good example...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 2:07am PT  

It's incredible to be saying it again four years later, but here we go again.

Fox "News" pulled the rope-a-dope. After laying back all night and calling most of the close states about an hour later than everyone else, they threw one good sucker punch at 12:41am ET. While folks were still, apparently, in line voting in Ohio --- where some some precincts were reported having to stay open to accomodate voters until 1am ET --- Fox called Ohio for Bush. Drudge quickly followed, announcing "BUSH WINS" with siren, and the storyline of the night and the morning papers was set. Before the votes were counted. Just as in 2000.

Though clearly I'm disappointed that my predictions of a decisive Kerry victory and a Democrat Senate majority have not come to pass, I am pleased to see that the Dems have promised this time to make all attempts to ensure that every vote gets counted. I think that's a fine idea for the world's oldest and most important Democracy.

Of note, in 2000, the GOP proved rather unimpressed with the fact that Gore received the majority of the Popular vote, arguing instead that only the Electoral vote mattered.

They were correct in that at the time. Like it or not, the Electoral College is our system. Though I wonder however, with the apparent if majority Popular vote this time, if they may come to regret that ardent 2000 position. Or if, as is their pattern, they'll soon begin claiming the "voice of the people has spoken" and develop their usual case of amnesia to "all that went before".

In 2000, Gore had the popular vote as the moral wind beneath his wings to press forward and request the counting of the ballots in Florida. Today, it seems, Kerry may not have the Popular vote in his favor. But he does have Bush's own disregard for that Popular vote in 2000 beneath his wings which he would be correct to remind folks about as he makes his case to continue until an acccurate Electoral vote can be determined.

Additionally, it seems a reminder is in order that it was the Bush campaign who brought a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to challenge the counting of ballots in Florida. It was not those "litigious Democrats" as they seem to enjoy inferring. Again, with disregard to facts, history, and all of the pesky truths from the Reality-Based World.

I'll need more time, of course, to make full sense of exactly what happened in America today, as it seems to me there's much more of this story still to come. Clearly, no matter what the final results, they are a good deal short of what I had hoped for and expected.

In short, however, if the numbers hold up, and if indeed Kerry loses, it will have been a sad, yet stark victory of Hate and Fear over Hope and Courage.

And at the shameful and dirty heart of it all...a case of good old fashioned American homophobia that will have won the day.

More details on that...and everything else, no doubt...in the days to come...after a few hours sleep.

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