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The Higher the Vote Turnout, the Fewer Votes for Kerry!
Go figure!
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 4:54pm PT  

There's been much talk about the 97,489 more votes than voters cast in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. A plausible explanation for the huge difference between votes and actual voters, as reported via the Cuyahoga County website), is being attributed by County Officials to the strange method they have for including absentee ballots into the vote counts separately from the Election Day voters. Or something.

So setting that oddity aside for the moment, take a look at this interesting graph. I have not been able to confirm the specific numbers it shows, so I can't testify to it's accuracy, but I'm posting it here because, if accurate, this seems worth getting out to the world for further scrutiny.

Though it's difficult to read this small, the trend-lines are all that really matter here (The full sized graph is here).

If correct, this graph would seem to show that precinct-by-precinct in Cuyahoga County, Ohio --- where Cleveland is, and thus it's a heavily Democratic county --- the larger the turnout in each precinct, the smaller the percentage of the vote for Kerry!

The GREEN trend line is the size of voter turnout in each precinct, and the BLUE trend line is the percentage of votes for Kerry.

While conventional wisdom is often wrong, if the above numbers are accurate, it does seem a bit odd to say the least that the higher the turnout in a strongly Democratic county (Kerry won Cuyahoga 63%-33% if I recall correctly), would result in a smaller percentage of votes for the Democrat!

I don't know what to make of it, or how to explain it, but it seems worth putting out there for the armchair investigators.

UPDATE: I was asked what the balloting/counting methods are in Cuyahoga County. Apparently punch card, as counted by machines made by our old friends at ...Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S). Source

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 4:25pm PT  

Apparently this story appeared last Friday, but I missed it. I'm trying to keep all of these stories straight, report them only once, and attempt to confirm them before passing them on.

In this case, as many as 22,000 miscounted votes were caught in time to reverse the results of two different races in state races in North Carolina according to the Charlotte Observer.

Agriculture, education races change as counties fix vote-tally errors

The Guilford totals didn't change President Bush's win in the state, but did shift the vote total by 22,000.

Please remember the announced margin of "victory" for Bush in Ohio was about 135,000 in a state of 5.5 million. How many of these types of errors went undetected and/or unreported in Ohio?

How many more of these types of articles do you we need, folks? The system is a disaster, and Congress is sitting on their hands waiting for the Electoral College deadline to pass.

Sign this online letter now if you haven't already! And this one too!

ReddIt this story!



Apparently, it's up to us to find the answers.
(Sshhh...Don't wake media.)
By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2004 9:25pm PT  

Excellent and cogent analysis and action items concerning Florida and the Exit Polls from Ian Welsch over at BOP. Please give it a look and see if you can help.

I would add one further question/action item to Ian's list. It would be useful to learn what type of counting machine was in use in Broward County when it began subtracting votes from the tally, due to a bug in the software, and what other counties in Florida and/or the rest of the country used the same machine and software. 70,000 votes were "found" in that incident, and a local initiative overturned with the discovery of them.

The code used in these machines is not written separately for each individual machine that I know of. If the error occurred once in Broward (and was reportedly noticed), where else did it also occur and not get noticed?

Ditto for the UniElect machine in North Carolina that entirely lost at least 7,000 votes in a single county because it's memory chip only held 3005 votes instead of the 10,000 that manufacturer UniLect had promised. Where else was the same type of computer in use? I know Ohio used UniLect machines, and they reported unfixable problems with them on Election Day, but I haven't been able to tell if they were the same type as those in North Carolina.

(It must be up to us to figure this crap out, because the MSM is enjoying their well-deserved nap.)

ReddIt this story!



All Media Locked out of Counting due to
Warren County Bush Vote Nearly Highest in State!
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2004 9:36pm PT  

Citing "homeland security concerns", Warren County, OH was alone in locking out media from their counting of ballots on Election Night. They were amongst the last to report their tallies that night, and according to Ohio's Election Night website Warren County ended up having the highest percentage of Bush votes amongst all of Ohio counties that had a total vote turnout greater than 22,500.

  • Warren 92,251 votes - Bush: 72.1% Kerry: 27.53%
  • There were only four counties with a higher percentage vote for Bush, and they all had 22,279 voters or less:

  • Mercer 20,058 votes - Bush: 74.89% Kerry: 24.55%
  • Putnam 18,631 votes - Bush: 76.20% Kerry: 23.34%
  • Holmes 10,976 votes - Bush: 75.61% Kerry: 23.89%
  • Auglaize 22,279 votes - Bush: 73.78% Kerry: 25.71%
  • So what happened that night in Warren County when all of America was waiting for the counting to finish in Ohio to decide the election? Why was it the only county in all of Ohio where media was not allowed to witness the counting?

    The Cincinnati Enquirer explained it this way:

    Citing concerns about potential terrorism, Warren County officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count as the nation awaited Ohio's returns.

    County officials say they took the action Tuesday night for homeland security, although state elections officials said they didn't know of any other Ohio county that closed off its elections board. Media organizations protested, saying it violated the law and the public's rights. The Warren results, delayed for hours because of long lines that extended voting past the scheduled close of polls, were part of the last tallies that helped clinch President Bush's re-election.

    "The media should have been permitted into the area where there was counting," Enquirer attorney Jack Greiner said. "This is a process that should be done in complete transparency and it wasn't."

    Warren County Emergency Services Director Frank Young said he had recommended increased security based on information received from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in recent weeks.

    Commissioners made the security decisions in a closed-door meeting last week, but didn't publicize the restrictions that were made until after polls closed.
    ...
    Typically, the Warren County commissioners' room is set up as a gathering place for people to watch the votes come in. But that wasn't done this year.
    ...
    A representative of The Associated Press, which had stringers at every Ohio board of elections site, said no such election-night access problems were reported outside of Warren County.

    It's ashame both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are apparently now dead, isn't it?

    UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting that "the federal government" was involved in the lock-down!:

    the decision got more dubious still when County Commissioners confirmed that they were acting on the advice of their Emergency Services Director, Frank Young. Mr. Young had explained that he had been advised by the federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland Security.

    Connect. The. Dots. People.

    UPDATE: 11/10/04 5:5pm PT Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown --- virtually the only major media organization giving this story the coverage it deserves --- has just reported that both the FBI and the Homeland Security Dept. have denied giving warnings in Ohio to anybody about anything. That would be contrary to the claims made in this report which quotes a letter from the President of the Elections Board in Warren explaining that the lockdown was due to warnings they'd recieved from the FBI. The letter says in part:

    In a face to face meeting between the FBI and our director of Emergency Services, we were informed that on a scale from 1 to 10, the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio was ranked at a high 8 to a low 9 in terms of security risk. Warren County in particular, was rated at 10 (with 10 being the highest risk).

    Okay. So now who's telling the truth? And why did they lock down Warren County and, unlike every other county in Ohio, disallow reporters from witnessing the vote tallying?

    UPDATE: 11/23/04 Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper which broke the Warren County Lockdown story originally, reports that the county had been planning the action for at least a week prior to the election. Details...

    ReddIt this story!



    Troubling Evidence is Beginning to Mount!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 5:38pm PT  

    Folks are beginning to pay attention, guys!

    Wired Magazine is now reporting that three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee are now calling for an investigation of the troubling incidents that we've been reporting concerning irregularities in Tuesday's vote counting!:

    Three congressmen sent a letter to the General Accounting Office on Friday requesting an investigation into irregularities with voting machines used in Tuesday's elections.

    The congressmen, Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Florida, New York and Michigan, cited a number of incidents that came to light in the days after the election. One was a glitch in Ohio that caused a memory card reader made by Danaher Controls to give George W. Bush 3,893 more votes than he should have received. Another was a problem with memory cards in North Carolina that caused machines made by UniLect to lose 4,500 votes cast on e-voting machines. The votes were lost when the number of votes cast on the machines exceeded the capacity of the memory cards.

    There were also problems with machines that counted absentee ballots in Florida. Software made by Election Systems & Software began subtracting votes when totals surpassed 32,000. Officials said the problem affected only certain countywide races on one of the last pages of the ballot. Elections officials knew about the problem two years ago, but the company failed to fix the software before the election this year.

    Reports from voters in Florida and Ohio also indicated that some of them had problems voting for the candidate of their choice. When they tried to vote for John Kerry, they said, the machine either wouldn't register the vote at all or would indicate on the review page that the vote was cast for Bush instead.

    Click for complete story...

    Keep up the noise, guys! They're starting to listen! I've had other unconfirmed reports about both Dems and the Kerry campaign beginning to take notice of all of this as well!

    UPDATE: House Judiciary Committee Letter to GAO, as mentioned above, available here in PDF format. (Hat tip "Shari H-D" for the link!)

    ReddIt this story!



    What a Difference a Day Makes.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 11:53am PT  

    I'm happy to report that folks are starting to catch on to all of this. Hunter over at DailyKos gives a very sober and detailed analysis of where things are at this point in regards to both counting votes and the serious potential fraud being looked at, much of it that we've reported over the last two days here in various items.

    Lots of good and new information in that piece is offered as well. Including this little "anomaly" discovered in the released Franklin County, OH voting results in PDF format:

    Franklin County, OH: Gahanna 1-B Precinct
    638 TOTAL BALLOTS CAST

    US Senator:
    Fingerhut (D) - 167 votes
    Voinovich (R) - 300 votes

    US President:
    Kerry (D) - 260 votes
    Bush (R) - 4,258 votes

    AP has now picked up that story, and some of the others I'd been telling you about over the last couple of days. But perhaps even more notably, Drudge(!) is also now pointing to that article!...So I guess it's now officially "news"!...DEVELOPING HARD...

    ReddIt this story!



    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.

    ReddIt this story!



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