The recount of the ballots in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (which contains the city of Cleveland) was rigged, a court has concluded.
Leading up to the recount, the election workers were to do a count of a random sample of precincts. If the sample counts had discrepancies between machine and hand tallies, the entire county had to be counted by hand.
The elections officials deliberately selected precincts where they knew no errors in counting had occurred, and they were able to do a machine recount on equipment that is acknowledged to have at least a 2% error rate.
I had a feeling that this was going to be the verdict. They had these people admitting to what they did. It was just a matter of formality.
This is also just the tip of the iceberg of the 2004 Ohio recount. Such shenanigans were documented to have occurred all over the state, pretty much wherever they could get away with it. Laziness? Probably. Politics? Perhaps.
Something has to be done about this broken system that we have. Really, truly, done about it. I have about reached the point of opposing electronic voting in any form, and I’ve drafted designs for a full line of such systems. You can build all the security you want into a machine, but ultimately you have to give someone administrative power over the county’s equipment and ballots. These computerized systems are only as secure as the people you put in charge of them. This verdict and the Florida debacle in 2000 show just how secure that is.
It would be really nice if apathetic election officials across the country would just do us all a favor and step down. There are thousands of activists who care about the movement and would take their job very seriously.
Clint Curtis is a Florida computer programmer who in 2004 accused then-FL Statehouse member Tom Feeney of contracting him to build a vote-stealing program. He went under oath to make his assertion and passed a lie detector test as well.
He is running for Congress this year and is within 2 percentage points of overtaking now-Congressman Feeney in the 24th District of Florida.
From Electoral Vote:
In FL-24, on the central east coast of Florida, a Zogby poll puts Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and Clint Curtis (D) in a statistical tie. Feeney ran unopposed in 2004 because the Democrats regarded this heavily Republican district as hopeless.
The race is 45% Feeney – 43% Curtis according to the Zogby poll.
“Pattyp”‘s highly intriguing blog on the race makes reference in the comments to an internal campaign poll that shows her candidate leading Feeney by 10 points. It is absolutely astounding how, in a heavily Republican district, a candidate could run a highly competitive race against a person he had accused of asking him to rig the vote. Truly, it blows my mind. You’d think he would have been laughed out of town with demographics like that, but clearly that is not the case.
If Curtis wins this seat, the Democrats would already have won the House, and this would just be padding a majority. However, the biggest benefit is that the House would have obtained a strong advocate for voting systems reform, a person who truly understands the issue. Curtis undoubtedly would work with Rep. John Conyers, and we would see some real reform on that front come out of the House.
Curtis’s official website
Dead horse? What dead horse?
For those of us who have long thought that the 2004 Ohio election was every bit as corrupt as the 2000 Florida election (if not more so), this is sweet.
Richard Hayes Phillips, statistician and now election reform advocate, in a legal declaration:
Having reviewed a substantial amount of forensic evidence, it is my conclusion that there is direct evidence of ballot tampering in each of the eleven counties whose public records I have examined, and that there is a compelling need to protect the evidence from destruction, presently scheduled to take place on or shortly after September 2, 2006. The Court should order all Boards of Elections to continue to preserve and protect all ballots, poll books, voter signature books, and associated records from the November 2, 2004 election until a suitable repository is found for their permanent preservation.
I will get to reading this later this week, and, hopefully, include some of what I glean from it in my election systems blog.
A little background: These ballots were scheduled to be destroyed earlier this month, but they will be preserved, thanks to these motions that were filed.
This is verrrry verrrry interesting.
Wow, time to dust off, oil, and polish this blog. It’s been awhile. I will have some real blog posts later, and over the weekend, but in the meantime, here’s a roundup of interesting topics.
- Most importantly of all, I have a new banner graphic.
- On blog community site Daily Kos, blogger “Bill in Portland Maine” gives us the Hurricane Katrina Hall of Shame, a list of the worst of the worst in quotes from public figures. I am from the Gulf Coast region and have a personal stake in this, but anyone with a heart would do well to read this.
- The Gulf Coast has lucked out this year, so far. After fears that Ernesto would enter the Gulf of Mexico and intensify to a major hurricane, it took a turn north. I’ll have a blog entry this weekend about the dynamics in play this season, which have thus far kept activity minimal.
- John Kerry sends out a fundraising e-mail for Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland, who is running against Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Because he used the true statement that Blackwell abused his office in the 2004 election and prevented legitimate voters from casting their ballots, the media attacks it. Amazing that it’s acceptable political discourse to accuse the opposition party and 60% of the American public of aiding terrorists, but it’s NOT acceptable to call attention to voter suppression.
- The South’s obesity problem continues to… um, expand.
- Senators George Felix Allen of Virginia and Conrad Burns of Montana are idiots. With enough people coming out to vote for their opponents–Jim Webb and Jon Tester–they can be removed from office this year. The polls are showing both races neck and neck.
That’s all for now! A preview of features for Friday and the weekend:
- A blog on the technology of voting systems. Why the systems used in most precincts in the U.S. are horribly insecure
- A blog on the 2006 Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons, with analysis of factors that have so far enhanced or prevented tropical cyclone formation