Black Box Voting finds more Florida irregularities posted by Rick at 10:37 PM
Bev Harris and her investigators from blackboxvoting.org have managed to get voting records in Volusia County, Florida, put under lockdown after finding some pretty bizarre things going on there.
Friday Black Box Voting investigators Andy Stephenson and Kathleen Wynne popped in to ask for some records. They were rebuffed by an elections official named Denise. Bev Harris called on the cell phone from investigations in downstate Florida, and told Volusia County Elections Supervisor Deanie Lowe that Black Box Voting would be in to pick up the Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request, or would file for a hand recount. "No, Bev, please don't do that!" Lowe exclaimed. But this is the way it has to be, folks. Black Box Voting didn't back down.
Monday Bev, Andy and Kathleen came in with a film crew and asked for the FOIA request. Deanie Lowe gave it over with a smile, but Harris noticed that one item, the polling place tapes, were not copies of the real ones, but instead were new printouts, done on Nov. 15, and not signed by anyone.
Harris asked to see the real ones, and they said for "privacy" reasons they can't make copies of the signed ones. She insisted on at least viewing them (although refusing to give copies of the signatures is not legally defensible, according to Berkeley elections attorney, Lowell Finley). They said the real ones were in the County Elections warehouse. It was quittin' time and an arrangment was made to come back this morning to review them.
Lana Hires, a Volusia County employee who gained some notoriety in an election 2000 Diebold memo, where she asked for an explanation of minus 16,022 votes for Gore, so she wouldn't have to stand there "looking dumb" when the auditor came in, was particularly unhappy about seeing the Black Box Voting investigators in the office. She vigorously shook her head when Deanie Lowe suggested going to the warehouse.
Kathleen Wynne and Bev Harris showed up at the warehouse at 8:15 Tuesday morning, Nov. 16. There was Lana Hires looking especially gruff, yet surprised. She ordered them out. Well, they couldn't see why because there she was, with a couple other people, handling the original poll tapes. You know, the ones with the signatures on them. Harris and Wynne stepped out and Volusia County officials promptly shut the door.
It gets weirder. The investigators went on to find some of the "missing" poll tapes in the garbage, and saw what looked like more of them being removed from Hires' office and spirited away. And there were significant discrepancies between the original, signed tapes they were able to get their hands on, and the unsigned printouts released under the FOIA request:
Black Box Voting began to compare the special printouts given in the FOIA request with the signed polling tapes from election night. Lo and behold, some were missing. By this time, Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson had joined the group at Volusia County. Some polling place tapes didn't match. In fact, in one location, precinct 215, an African-American precinct, the votes were off by hundreds, in favor of George W. Bush and other Republicans.
Hmm. Which was right? The polling tape Volusia gave to Black Box Voting, specially printed on Nov. 15, without signatures, or the ones with signatures, printed on Nov. 2, with up to 8 signatures per tape?
Columbus hearings reveal massive voter suppression in Ohio posted by Rick at 10:25 PM
From the Columbus Free Press:
Hearings on Ohio voting put 2004 election in doubt by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman November 18, 2004
Highly-charged, jam-packed hearings held here in Columbus have cast serious doubt on the true outcome of the presidential election.
On Saturday, November 13, and Monday, November 15, the Ohio Election Protection Coalition’s public hearings in Columbus solicited extensive sworn first-person testimony from 32 of Ohio voters, precinct judges, poll workers, legal observers, party challengers. An additional 66 people provided written affidavits of election irregularities. The unavoidable conclusion is that this year's election in Ohio was deeply flawed, that thousands of Ohioans were denied their right to vote, and that the ultimate vote count is very much in doubt.
Most importantly, the testimony has revealed a widespread and concerted effort on the part of Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to deny primarily African-American and young voters the right to cast their ballots within a reasonable time. By depriving precincts of adequate numbers of functioning voting machines, Blackwell created waits of three to eleven hours, driving tens of thousands of likely Democratic voters away from the polls and very likely affecting the outcome of the Ohio vote count, which in turn decided the national election.
Read the rest of the article, including excerpts from several witnesses' testimony, here.
Study finds Bush got extra votes from paperless polls posted by Rick at 9:39 PM
A multiple-regression analysis of Florida voting, published in a working paper by social scientists at UC Berkeley, concludes with 99.9% certainty that non-voter verifiable touch-screen voting machines gave George W. Bush about 130,000 extra votes in Florida - as many as 72,000 votes in Broward County alone.
Here's the authors' "Summary of Findings:"
The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Florida Elections
- Irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 excess votes or more to President George W. Bush in Florida.
- Compared to counties with paper ballots, counties with electronic voting machines were significantly more likely to show increases in support for President Bush between 2000 and 2004. This effect cannot be explained by differences between counties in income, number of voters, change in voter turnout, or size of Hispanic/Latino population.
- In Broward County alone, President Bush appears to have received approximately 72,000 excess votes.
- We can be 99.9% sure that these effects are not attributable to chance.
Because many factors impact voting results, statistical tools are necessary to see the effect of touch-screen voting. Multipleregression analysis is a statistical technique widely used in the social and physical sciences to distinguish the individual effects of many variables.
This multiple-regression analysis takes account of the following variables by county:
- number of voters
- median income
- Hispanic population
- change in voter turnout between 2000 and 2004
- support for President Bush in 2000 election
- support for Dole in 1996 election
When one controls for these factors, the association between electronic voting and increased support for President Bush is impossible to overlook. The data show with 99.0% certainty that a county’s use of electronic voting is associated with a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush.
The data used in this study come from CNN.com, the 2000 US Census, the Florida Department of State, and the Verified Voting Foundation – all publicly available sources. This study was carried out by a group of doctoral students in the UC Berkeley sociology department in collaboration with Professor Michael Hout, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center.
About those electronic votes... posted by Rick at 1:46 PM
This article discusses the odd coincidence that the exit polls - usually a rock-solid indicator of actual election results - were significantly farther off the mark in precincts where paperless electronic voting machines were used.
This one shows how placing the most unreliable machines in the areas most likely to vote Democratic easily cost Kerry enough votes to win Ohio, New Mexico, and the White House.
And this one examines the larger implications of allowing private companies' computers, whose source code we're not allowed to see and whose results are completely unverifiable, to count our votes.
But enough sour grapes. Fair and square or not, we lost our bid to oust the Bush League. Which means that, barring a miraculous awakening of the Republican legislature to the necessity of putting country above party, this site and others have four more years of cataloging to do. America will regret the day they put this bunch in office, but only if they are made to see what it did to our country. It's our responsibility to show them, to keep it in their faces, and to make sure they never forget. More about that soon....
CNN exit polls showed Kerry winning in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Early returns have Bush leading in 2 of the three. If he wins them, is it because the exit polls were wrong? Or could it be that the fix was in? Studies of results where DREs were used will be very interesting.
[edited 11/6 to correct the name of the network whose election polls showed Kerry winning in Ohio and Florida until they changed them - the next morning - to agree with the puzzling results.]