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by William Thomas
Excerpted from Convergence Weekly
Tony Blair went to sleep on the night of the world’s most important
election certain that John Kerry had won.
He wasn’t the only one.
And we were right. >From evidence already gathered by award-winning
investigators Bev Harris and Greg Palast documenting uncounted Kerry
votes and suspicious electronic voting machine irregularities
in key states, there can be no doubt that the Kerry/Edwards ticket swept
the decisive states of Ohio, New Mexico and Florida.
America’s vaunted democracy is putrefying
after exit polls asking voters how they voted
often failed to match the actual votes counted.
The polls turned out to be “largely accurate in paper-ballot states
and oddly inaccurate in touch-screen electronic voting states,”
says award winning author and commentator Thom Hartmann.
“The ‘erroneous’ exit polls that showed Kerry carrying Florida and Ohio
(among other states) weren't erroneous at all,”
Hartmann maintains. “It was the numbers produced by paperless voting
machines that were wrong, and Kerry actually won.”
The Ohio exit polls are accurate, Greg Palast agrees.
The award winning investigative journalist who exposed
extensive vote-rigging in Florida the last time around says,
“Kerry took the state.”
In states like Ohio and New Mexico, where most voters told pollsters
that they’d punched or tapped their ballots for Kerry-Edwards,
many of their votes “were simply not recorded” explains Palast.
KERRY TAKES OHIO
In Ohio, 1.96% of legally cast votes were trashed in 2000.
Assuming state officials did nothing more than hold to this same
national average for spoiled votes in 2004,
“that's 110,000 votes – overwhelmingly Democratic,” Palast figures
When the polls opened, the man in charge of counting Ohio’s vote
was Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.
After predicting “a Florida-like calamity” in his state,
the man described as “a rabidly partisan Republican”
now refuses to release the actual number of provisional ballots handed
out to mostly minority voters –
whose names on the voting rolls were to be checked later.
Instead, Blackwell “estimates” that 175,000 of these catch-you-later
ballots were handed out.
But Democrats say a quarter-million provisional votes were dispensed
last Tuesday in Ohio alone.
Let’s stay carefully conservative and pick the lower,
Republican-admitted number of uncounted Ohio votes.
Though it’s safe to assume that nearly all of these minority-cast
ballots went for Kerry/Edwards, applying the exit poll tallies of at
of the total vote going to the Democrats
still leaves 92,750 additional votes for them.
DIEBOLD FOR PRESIDENT
This is also the state where Die bold corporate chief and top Bush
fundraiser, Wally O'Dell, publicly promised to "deliver" a Bush win.
Nine crucial Ohio counties use the same electronic machines
banned in California after an earlier voting fiasco there.
The Diebold machines are a dictator’s dream.
Blackboxvoting.org has posted an internal Diebold memo
showing how easy it is to change the vote tallies by modem.
King County, Washington was very likely rigged.
A Freedom of Information request filed there by Black Box Voting
immediately following the Sept. 15, 2004 primary has already uncovered a
three-hour “deletion” during the heaviest voting in a district
with more than one million registered voters.
The critical phone number needed to remotely access the county’s voting
computers was provided to poll workers, office personnel –
and Black Box Voting activists!
“Networks called the election
before anyone bothered to perform even the most rudimentary audit,”
complains Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting.
Reporting from her website of the same name,
Harris says that her organization has already launched the largest
Freedom of Information action in U.S. history.
Filed on election night, the first in a series of requests
is seeking internal computer audit logs from all polling places in 3,000
counties and townships.
Requested records for all types of voting systems – optical scan,
touch-screen, and punch card – also include all polling results slips,
modem transmission logs, and “computer trouble” slips from audit logs.
Similar to the “black box” flight data recorder in an airliner,
the voting computer’s “audit log” automatically records all attempts
to access the central vote tabulator –
either remotely by modem, or through direct tampering of the hard drive.
During the electronic balloting on Nov. 2, 2004,
“information indicates that hackers may have targeted the central
computers that are counting our votes,” Bev Harris claims.
In Ohio, to name just one state with this fascinating arrangement,
all voting machines can be accessed while in use by modem
and a laptop from the Republican-run county elections office.
As the Diebold memo confirms, no password is needed to
“change vote totals without being detected by observers,”
Harris writes. Attacks by remote access are possible even if the modem
is turned off!
There can be zero doubt that Kerry and Edwards did not just win Ohio –
they won it big.
KERRY WINS FLORIDA
In the state where the erasure of the Democratic black vote
was termed “fraudulent” by the Florida Supreme Court,
just before the 2004 sequel,
Governor Jeb Bush removed the Democrat election supervisor.
His Republican replacement failed to send out nearly 60,000 absentee
Florida is ES&S territory.
The supplier of the ES&S voting machines that tallied a third
of the votes cast in the United States last Tuesday is Howard Ahmanson.
A member of the right-wing National Policy “steering group”
that helps set Dubya’s dubious course,
Ahmanson is also a major financial backer of the extremist “Christian
ES&S voting machines can be remotely “adjusted” by modem
while in use.
After Jeb Bush was dissuaded from choosing ES&S lobbyist
Sandra Mortham as his 1998 gubernatorial running mate,
Mortham made a mint installing the uncheckable machines
that counted Jeb’s votes!
Also in the Hurricane State, many black voters were simply “cleansed”
from lily white voting rolls.
Though the exact numbers of eligible Kerry voters struck from the rolls
this year have not been released,
we can take a close guess.
After 91,000 eligible, democrat-favoring black voters were cut
from the Florida rolls to throw the election to his brother in the 2000
Jeb Bush hired the same company to conduct further voter purges
for the 2004 repeat.
This time around, Palast learned that the voters on Florida’s secret
“caging” lists intended to block their legal ballots are “almost
exclusively, residents of African-American neighborhoods.”
No wonder exit polls showed Kerry carrying Florida.
That is, before Bush “won” that state by 370,000 votes.
In New Mexico, which Gore won handily in 2000,
the Democrats once again took that state’s decisive electoral votes.
KERRY WINS NEW MEXICO
In New Mexico, Greg Palast insists, “The Kerry plurality – if all votes
are counted – is more obvious still.”
Using the 2.68% spoilage rate reported by New Mexico in the last
presidential race, Palast calculates at least 18,000 ballots
went into New Mexico’s spoilage bins last Tuesday –
almost entirely, he adds, from Hispanic, Native American
“and other poor precincts that are Democratic turf.”
New Mexico’s Hispanic districts are controlled by Republican election
Chaves County, for example, has a 44% Hispanic population,
as well as many African Americans and Native Americans.
Yet, the “spoils” of Chavez County went to George Bush,
who “won” 68% of the votes that weren’t thrown into segregated garbage
In Rio Arriba, where Democrats enjoy an eight-to-one registration edge
in 2000 one in 10 votes simply weren’t counted.
Looking at the 2004 vote, an election official told Palast,
“If the vote is stolen here, it will be stolen in Rio Arriba County.”
Other minorities fare little better.
Across America, watchdog group Democracy South has found
that black voters are 300% more likely than white voters
to have their voter registration sign-ups rejected.
As for Native Americans, “vote spoilage is epidemic near Indian
reservations,” Palast found.
Palast calls this, “apartheid democracy, in which wealthy white votes
almost always count,
but minorities are often purged or challenged or simply not recorded.”
You could also call it racism – a word carved in the psyches of black
sisters and brothers, whose initial response to their latest democratic
disenfranchisement can already be heard in music
sounding more like machine-gun fire than melody.
Listening to these blistering lyrics, the self-righteous Christian Right
who arranged this latest outrage
had better fall to their knees and pray
that the Americans they shafted yet again confine their rage to Rap.
The Hispanic vote alone was enough to give Kerry and Edwards New Mexico,
where provisional ballots were being handed out “like candy” according
to Albuquerque reporter Renee Blake.
Considering at least 18,000 “spoiled” ballots and 20,000
as yet uncounted provisional ballots –
almost every one for the Democrats –
either one of these corrected tallies says bye-bye to Bush’s 11,620-vote
Taken together, the phantom Republican juggernaut got its doors blown
off in New Mexico.
WHY KERRY WHY?
There can be no doubt that forces inimical to freedom, democracy
and equality rigged the 2000 and 2004 elections in a back-to-back
electoral coup d’etat.
By letting them get away with it a second time,
the Democratic Party
has much to answer for.
Was John Kerry’s family threatened?
Did a decorated war hero chicken out?
Or was some kind of deal struck between a lackluster stalking horse and
his fraternity brother?
Whatever went down in the Kerry camp,
the world has a right to know why, unlike last time,
the Democrats bailed before demanding that “deciding states”
like Ohio and New Mexico recount all those cards
with not-quite-punched holes.
If they had, the President’s initials today would be JK – not GW.
Then again, given such a stunning abdication,
it might not have made any difference.