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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 supporters.

By 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 cast.

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.

These 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 ends.”

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.

 

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December 4, 2004: Once again, it’s the Bush Administration vs. the World

November 14, 2004: Bush Faces Mounting Allegations of Widespread Fraud in 2004 Election

October 28, 2004:American Economy Cannot Survive Four More Years of Bush

September 29, 2004: Bush's Hometown Newspaper Endorses Kerry

September 28, 2004: Observers say Bush Team is Preparing to Cheat Again in Florida Election

September 14, 2004: Bush Honors 9/11 by Putting Assault Weapons Back onto American Streets, and into Terrorist Hands

September 10, 2004: The Sleazy and Despicable Bush-Halliburton Administration