Vote Count Watch
Washington, DC: With reports of problems in the 2004 election—including voter registration problems, voter suppression on Election Day, inconsistencies between the vote count and exit polls and voter trends, absentee ballot, and provisional ballot problems—are resulting in increased reports about the vote count being inaccurate. As a result, the Nader/Camejo campaign will be issuing periodic summaries of vote count issues.
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UC Berkeley Research Team Finds Unusual Votes for Bush in Florida Electronic Vote Counts: The University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. CNN reports a 377,000 vote margin between Bush and Kerry. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods - what the team says can be deemed a "smoke alarm." Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance - the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally called on Florida voting officials to investigate.
"Nader Recount in New Hampshire Moving Slowly" by Erik Stetson, Associated Press, reviews the progress in the New Hampshire recount. The Nader/Camejo campaign requested the recount after a statistical analysis showed Bush doing better in unexpected parts of the state: the urban areas along the border with Massachusetts.
"Hearings on Ohio Voting put 2004 Election in Doubt," by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, reviews citizen hearings reviewing Election Day in Ohio. The report emphasizes that the testimony 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.
"Democrats Take Up Fight Over Ballots," by Bill Sloat looks at the Democratic Party's efforts to set up statewide standards for the counting of provisional ballots in Ohio. Currently Bush's lead is 136,000 votes and there are 155,000 provisional ballots. The party has filed suit to seek standards but U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson, a Bush appointee, has not set a hearing date.
"'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida," by Thom Hartmann, reports on Bev Harris' (of BlackBoxVoting) uncovering possible election fraud. He reports how Harris, along with people from Florida Fair Elections, showed up at Florida's Volusia County Elections Office on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 16th, 2004, and asked to see, under a public records request, each of the poll tapes for the 100+ optical scanners in the precincts in that county. The elections workers—having been notified in advance of her request - handed her a set of printouts, oddly dated November 15th and lacking signatures. Bev pointed out that the printouts given her were not the original poll tapes and had no signatures, and thus were not what she'd requested. Obligingly, they told her that the originals were held in another location, the Elections Office's warehouse, and that, since it was the end of the day, they should meet Bev the following morning to show them to her. The next day she showed up bright and early, was pushed out the door—and started searching the garbage bags outside, finding public record tapes in the trash. Disparities between the November 15th tape and November 2nd tape emerged—all favoring George Bush.
"U.S. Election: Democracy in Question" by Ritt Goldstein and published by the Interpress News Service Agency, interviews John Zogby, Ralph Nader, and activist Harvey Wasserman about a range of problems. "People are deeply concerned that this is the end of American democracy, that we cannot get a fair election," Wasserman said.
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