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Beware election fraud in US presidential elections - 2004 discrepancies analysed

The Guardian's US correspondent recently reported that the incidence of voter fraud in US elections is "minimal". While this may be true if "voter fraud" means strictly fraud committed by individual voters in the polling booth, skilled researchers have published a series of analyses of discrepancies that strongly suggest a significant degree of fraud in the 2004 presidential elections. This article summarises a few of these analyses and points to sources of up-to-date articles re fears of fraud in the forthcoming US presidential elections of November 2008.
In an article titled "Democrats accused of trying to steal election" in the Guardian on Wednesday, October 15, the paper's US correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg tells us that "Democrats and voting rights experts say that the incidence of actual voter fraud is minimal in US elections ... "

Now, if "voter fraud" means strictly fraud committed by voters in the polling booth, she may be right. However, voting rights experts and statisticians have discovered numerous perplexing "errors" in the counts from the US presidential election of November 2004 that suggest significant fraud at the point of registering or counting votes.

Writing in the Free Press of Columbus, Ohio, Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman reported dozens of affidavits documenting "vote hopping" from Kerry to Bush on electronic voting machines that evidently had a default setting for Bush.
(See  http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1046 )

Their report is archived along with new articles about preventing fraud in this year's presidential elections, under the "Election Issues" department at www.freepress.org.

Richard Hayes Phillips, PhD, found several suspicious tallies in Ohio. For example, turnout was supposedly 98.55 percent in the precinct of Concord South West, and 94.27 percent in Concord South.
(See  http://tinyurl.com/26cor2 )

These percentages are more than impressive; they are utterly implausible. After all, when turnout figures of almost 96 percent were reported in pro-Yanukovych eastern areas in Ukraine's presidential elections later the same month, the US State Department dismissed them out of hand, describing them contemptuously as a "North Korean-Style Turnout".
(See  http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/39542.htm )

On checking the voter signature book, Phillips found that only 556 out of 692 registered voters had voted in Concord South West on the day - i.e. only 80.35 percent. So it seems that 119 extra ballots were created during the count.

Ron Baiman and Kathy Dopp published a statistical analysis of discrepancies between exit polls and vote tallies in Ohio, which they found to be "consistent with outcome-altering vote miscounts". And they later found irregular patterns of vote counts in Florida, Washington, New Mexico and other states, too.

While nationwide exit polls indicated that John Kerry would win by 3 percent, George Bush was awarded the victory by a margin of 2.5 percent - a difference of 5.5 percent, or about 5 million votes. The polling company, Edison/Mitofsky, tried to identify a bias in the way the poll was conducted, but the experts found that the numbers contradicted this idea.

For these analyses and new articles about fears of fraud in the forthcoming US presidential election, please see www.uscountvotes.org .