Saturday, November 06, 2004
SIDEBAR: A couple of related items forwarded by Zemblan patriot B.K. First, a report from an Ohio poll worker:
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader requested a hand recount of ballots in New Hampshire after getting seven-tenths of 1 percent of the vote.
“We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire,’’ Nader wrote.
“These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5 percent to 15 percent over what was expected. Problems in these electronic voting machines and optical scanners are being reported in machines in a variety of states.’’
Nader’s recount request came in as a fax at 4:59 p.m., one minute before the deadline.
The application is not legal, however, because it did not come with payment, according to Assistant Attorney General Bud Fitch.
“At this point, we aren’t considering it to be a valid request,’’ he said.
Anyone who loses by more than 1 percent of the vote has to pay for a recount, he said, noting the cost statewide could be $80,000.
Nader can appeal that decision to the state Ballot Law Commission.
Two years ago, the commission agreed to go forward with a recount for a legislative seat after a losing candidate tried to fax a copy of the check to pay for the recount.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner said a Nader official told him the campaign tried to fax a copy of the check to pay for the recount but it jammed.
I worked for 3 days, including Election Day, on the tatewide voter protection hotline run by the Ohio Democratic Party in Columbus, Ohio.And a report from Kansas City InfoZine:
I am writing this because the media is inexplicably whitewashing what happened in Ohio, and Kerry's concession was likewise inexplicable.
Hundreds of thousands of people were disenfranchised in Ohio. People waited on line for as long as 10 hours. It appears to have only happened in Democratic-leaning precincts, principally (a) precincts where many African Americans lived, and (b) precincts near colleges.
I spoke to a young man who got on line at 11:30 am and voted at 7 pm. When he left at 7 pm, the line was about 150 voters longer than when he'd arrived, which meant those people were going to wait even longer. In fact they waited for as much as 10 hours, and their voting was concluded at about 3 am. The reason this occurred was that they had 1 voting station per 1000 voters, while the adjacent precinct had 1 voting station per 184. Both precincts were within the same county, and managed by the same county board of elections. The difference between them is that the privileged polling place was in a rural, solidly Republican, area, while the one with long lines was in the college town of Gambier, OH.
Lines of 4 and 5 hours were the order of the day in many African-American neighborhoods.
Touch screen voting machines in Youngstown OH were registering "George W. Bush" when people pressed "John F. Kerry" ALL DAY LONG. This was reported immediately after the polls opened, and reported over and over again throughout the day, and yet the bogus machines were inexplicably kept in use THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
Countless other frauds occurred, such as postcards advising people of incorrect polling places, registered Democrats not receiving absentee ballots, duly registered young voters being forced to file provisional ballots even though their names and signatures appeared in the voting rolls, longtime active voting registered voters being told they weren't registered, bad faith challenges by Republican "challengers" in Democratic precincts, and on and on and on.
I was very proud of the way so many Ohioans fought so valiantly for their right to vote, and would not be turned away. Many,however, could not spend the entire day and were afraid of losing their jobs, due to the severe economic depression hitting Ohio.
I do not understand why Kerry conceded and did not fight to ensure that all Ohioans would have a chance to vote, and for their vote to be counted.
Voters from at least half a dozen states reported that touch-screen voting machines had incorrectly recorded their choices, including for president.
Voters discovered the problems when checking the review screen at the end of the voting process. They found, to their surprise, that the machines indicated that they voted for one candidate when they had voted for another. When voters tried to correct the problem, the machine often made the same error several times. While in most cases the situation was reportedly resolved, many voters remain uneasy about whether the proper vote was ultimately cast. Meanwhile, voting experts are concerned that other voters are experiencing the problem, but failing to notice that the machine is indicating the wrong choice on the "summary" screen.
Election observers with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Verified Voting Foundation (VVF) reported yesterday that the problem, which some voting officials initially attributed to "voter error," is evidently widespread and may even be relatively common with touch-screen machines. Incorrectly recorded votes make up roughly 20 percent of the e-voting problems reported through the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS), an online database in which volunteers with the Election Protection Coalition, a coalition of non-partisan election observers dedicated to preventing voter disenfranchisement, are recording and tracking voting problems.