Bush Faces Mounting Allegations of Widespread Fraud in 2004 Election
Commentary ~ November 14, 2004: The evidence
is mounting against George Bush and his election team for committing
widespread fraud in the November 2004 elections. Documented allegations
range from telephone subterfuge to get Democrats to stop voting,
to high-tech warfare that suppressed the votes of thousands of Kerry
far the most effective method for Bush may have been the use of
electronic voting machines, provided by three companies run by close
friends of the Bush family. A total of three companies manufacture
"black box" computer voting machines. All three were committed
to re-electing Bush.
Black box voting machines leave no paper trail. No paper trail
means no recounts: what the computer says is the what gets accepted
– even if exit polls show the exact opposite. In Ohio, for
example, exit polls showed Kerry leading Bush. But the black boxes
told a different story.
Diebold Election Systems provided the electronic voting machines
that are in use all over Ohio. Diebold’s president, Walden
O'Dell, told Republicans in the summer of 2003 that he was "committed
to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next
year." Diebold, which is based in Ohio, provided computer voting
machines for 16 Ohio counties with somewhere around 800,000 voters.
Bush claimed he won Ohio by 136,000 votes – not counting
the provisional ballots still in dispute. Ohio’s 20 electoral
votes put Bush over the 270 mark and effectively handed him the
presidency for another four years.
The Associated Press, quoting election officials, reported
that an error with an electronic voting system gave Bush 3,893 extra
votes in suburban Columbus. Franklin County's unofficial results
had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct
in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.
Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections,
told The Columbus Dispatch that Bush actually received only 365
votes in the precinct.
Also in Ohio, eligibility criteria for provisional ballots (which
are expected to favor Kerry) changed after the election in Cuhayoga
County. Ballots without birth dates were ordered to be thrown out
even though earlier instructions clearly stated lack of birth date
was not a disqualifier. Meanwhile, in West Dayton, Ohio, registered
Democrats received calls reminding them to vote on Nov. 5 —
three days after the election.
Over in Nebraska, Sarpy County election officials are trying to
figure out how they ended up with more votes than voters in the
general election. As many as 10,000 extra votes have been tallied
and candidates are still waiting for corrected totals.
In Indiana, in a predominantly democratic county, more than 50,000
votes were not counted due to an electronic voting machine "glitch".
At about 7 p.m. on election day, it was noticed that the first two
or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an
identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300
registered voters. That means the total number of voters for the
county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000
registered voters. LaPorte County Clerk Lynne Spevak said workers
at the clerk's office thought a computer correction could be done
once they received a software patch from Election Systems and Software,
the Chicago company that makes nearly half the voting machines used
in the United States, including all those used in Nebraska. However,
the patch did not work.
"We thought we could get a copy of it e-mailed to us and start
all over, but once the program was downloaded from Chicago, it still
didn't work right," Spevak said.
In Florida, Broward County officials had to correct a computer
glitch that miscounted thousands of absentee votes, instantly turning
a slot-machine measure from loser to winner and reinforcing concerns
about the accuracy of electronic election returns. The Miami
Herald reported that the bug, discovered two years ago but
never fixed, began subtracting votes after the absentee tally hit
32,500 -- a ceiling put in place by the software makers.
In North Carolina, The Sun Journal reported that a systems
software glitch in Craven County's electronic voting equipment is
being blamed for giving Bush 11,283 more votes than the total number
In New Hampshire, the Republicans were slightly more low-tech in
their approach to cheating: The New Republic reported they
simply called up registered Democrats and told them “you don't
have to bother voting, because Kerry is doing so well we feel there
are enough people who have already voted in the state of New Hampshire."
In West Virginia, democratic leaders in one of the nation’s
most hotly-contested battleground states received reports of voter
suppression activities that can be traced back to the Republican
Party. According to the report, Republican operatives, pretending
to be from the Democratic Party, tricked voters into revealing personal
information, and then told them they were ineligible to vote.
few examples are reportedly just the tip of the iceberg. The independent
watchdog organization, VoteWatch 2004, has documented at least 123
allegations of voter fraud from around the nation – more than
enough to tip the scale in Bush’s favor.
Despite the mounting evidence, many Americans are refusing to
question Bush's legitimacy. But is it so incredible to consider
that Bush, who claimed to have “won” Florida's 27 electoral
votes in 2000 because large numbers of ballots were thrown away,
and who was installed in the White House by a 5-4 Supreme Court
decision, would cheat to win re-election?
What worked for Republicans in 2000 still works for them in 2004,
except this time around they had the added benefit of the magical
black box voting machine.
The Republicans have essentially turned the United States into
a Third World dictatorship, where those who want to hold onto power
simply manufacture a façade of democracy to keep the illusion
alive. As Stephen Post at the Daily Collegian has put it: “Bush
and his henchmen have hijacked American policy to serve their own
But Bush and his henchmen have hijacked more than American policy
– they have hijacked and bushwhacked democracy itself. Thanks
to them, this country may never again realize that elusive dream
first articulated by this country’s founding fathers.