20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the U.S.A.
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Did you know....
- 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
- There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting
- The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
- The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote
in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the
president next year."
- Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based
on votes counted by ES&S machines.
- Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught
lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
- Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential
- ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of
all U.S. votes.
- Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other
words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as
what was legitimately put in by voters.
- Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each
transaction and can generate a paper trail.
- Diebold is based in Ohio.
- Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the
central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
- Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold's central
compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.
- Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his
software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a
period of 2 years.
- None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
- California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite
Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it. (See the movie here.)
- 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with
no paper trail.
- All - not some - but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went
in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
- The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.
- Serious voting anomalies in Florida - again always favoring Bush - have been
mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.
By Stephen Dinan
As evidence mounts that this election was likely
stolen, it becomes imperative that the unleashed outrage is channeled into effective
political action. I submit that the most important next step for this work is to
unify around a nationally-recognized and credible spokesperson who also has access to
elite Democratic circles.
We owe a great deal to people like Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, who have led the charge
to this point. She will be a key player as this scandal unfolds. But for the
full power of the outrage to be harnessed, we need a political leader who is already
established on the national stage, especially one with an organizational infrastructure
that can be activated. I believe that person is Howard Dean.
I say this not because I supported him in the primaries (I backed Kucinich) but because he
has exactly the right assets to turn the undirected outrage of the moment into an
unstoppable movement. He ran as an outsider to the Washington establishment but he
has access and respect within the halls of power. He effectively channeled the
anti-war sentiment into a political force. He has a fighting spirit and balls of
steel. He had the courage to air a national special on electronic voting with Bev
Harris, so he knows how easily fraud can be accomplished. And he has a loyal base of
support that can be re-activated.
Right now, the Democratic establishment is playing this issue very conservatively and that
is unlikely to change until the movement reaches a certain level of power. That means the
Kerry campaign structures and DNC are effectively out of play. They will be brought
online once the movement reaches critical mass, but until that moment, we cant
utilize the vast infrastructure or money the Kerry campaign has at its disposal. We
need to build momentum with an outsiders structure until the
insiders structure feels safe enough to activate. Thats why
we need to focus energy on drafting Dean hes the best bridge between the
outsiders and the insiders.
Dean himself may start out resistant to the process, but thats ok. Looking
back, it as if the anti-war movement drafted Dean rather than Dean harnessing the anti-war
movement. The massive sense of unrest about the war needed to find a focal point
within the Democratic Party, a way to exert leverage. And, despite all the other
ways that he didnt carry a strongly progressive message, Dean was drafted for that
duty, surprising everyone with the power of his run.
I believe that if we start a strong national movement to re-activate the Dean networks and
put positive pressure on Dean himself, the election stealing issue will quickly become
front-page news. It takes time to develop relationships of trust and accountability,
which is why it is best to mobilize people who have already worked together and learned to
become efficient. We dont have time to cobble together a whole new
Other political leaders will play a role, of course. Representatives John Conyers of
Michigan, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Robert Wexler of Florida have all started an
investigation into irregularities, although they say they are not seeking to overturn the
election results (http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65623,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2)
Ralph Nader has come out as a vociferous critic but his credibility is at a lifetime low.
As momentum builds, many others will take a stand.
A few thoughts on effectively coalescing a movement:
Evidence gathering - We should channel our support for the legal
groundwork to Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, which is doing the largest filing for
information under the Freedom of Information Act ever, demanding the computer logs from
over 3,000 voting machines around the country. That effort can serve as an important
legal wing of operations (www.blackboxvoting.org)
as momentum builds
State Focus - We should focalize our energy on Ohio and Florida,
because those two states are the key to overturning the election results and have some of
the strongest evidence of vote stealing and manipulation. There is evidence emerging
in many other states but Ohio and Florida are key to overturning the election
Language George Lakoff has written about how
masterfully the right wing has used the framing of issues, a lesson we need to
learn. Every time you refer to the election, I encourage you to use the word
stealing. Stealing is more personal than fraud and hits people on
a visceral level. It takes time for ideas to penetrate the dominant culture,
so hammering away with the same terms is good strategy. Think of how the Bush
campaign smeared Kerry with the term flip-flopper No one could
escape it. Ideally, every time you refer to the election, refer to it as the
stolen election. If youre less sure, then phrase it as a question,
as in, Do you think the election could have been stolen? Fraud is
vague and impersonal; stealing is very personal.
Repetition To build an idea in the public
consciousness takes many, many exposures. The more times that people get information
in their inbox and the more sources they hear something from, the more credible
it becomes. Dont be shy about sharing your suspicions and
forwarding the best material.
Foreign media One of the best ways that
our allies in other countries can help is to put heavy pressure on their own media to
cover the evidence that Americas election was likely stolen. As news reports
build around the world, it will force American media to start covering. Right
now, the American media is so compromised that I dont think we should focus on
it first. England might be the best place to start.
If people in this country rise up powerfully on this, we can create a
historic victory. I want to make my prediction right now: this elections
results will not stand and Bush will not serve out four years.
Pre-Nov. 2 articles warning of the possibility of Electronic
voting fraud and other problems:
Evidence of Voting problems in the Nov. 2 Election
Insights from Paul Ray, Ph.D., sociologist and author of The
We don't need an impossible vote recount from
show that the vote was probably stolen. There's another way--and it's not even hard.
Odds are very high the election was stolen, judging from just the
initial "evidence" being offered all over the internet. I say this as
a social scientist who has done innumerable surveys. I have a Ph.D.
in sociology, and I have done statistical modelling for over 30
years, and I say this is an easy research design to make a convincing
Your best rhetoric should be to use "the odds" to set up a legally
binding re-examination of the vote in the swing states: Having really
objective researchers calling voters to see who they voted for. Even
the dumbest mouth-breather can get the idea that the election might
have been stolen, and that experts can give the odds that it was.
The best thing you can do to advance the progressive cause is to
participate in the detailed examination of the discrepancy in
percentage vote between exit polls and recorded vote. Exit polls are
remarkably accurate, historically in the US, and elsewhere, say in
Germany. Hire some top experts in political science methodology
RIGHT NOW and put them to work on this.
It simply takes a 2-stage strategy to set up the third and final
stage of a challenge to the election, i.e., legally binding
contacting of those who are listed as voting:
1) Do an initial analysis, state by state, and precinct by by
precinct of the publicly listed discrepancy between exit polls and
the recorded vote. Not just for Kerry vs. Bush, but also for
contested Congressional seats. That will tell you if you have
something suspicious. There's lots of yelling going on on the
internet, and some of it is very suggestive. This stage would say if
it's worthwhile going on.
2) Do a random sampling of people listed as having voted in those
counties you detected as having suspiciously large discrepancies in
key states. Ask who they voted for, for Congress and President. You
need a good survey house, like Zogby, to do this right. It will take
a big sample size, so it won't be cheap. Doing this quickly may
overwhelm single firms, so you may need to hire several, with a
single political scientist controlled methodology giving them
(Note: A lot of the polling firms will want to rescue their damaged
reputations, and may be glad to participate for reduced profits.)
For both stage 1 and stage 2 your researchers are looking for two
kinds of discrepancies, not one:
A) Electronic Vote Recording Fraud: in the swing states, all
to fund is studies comparing that discrepancy for districts where
there was electronic voting without a paper trail to where there was.
Any competent statistical program will give you the odds whether the
result appeared by chance.
We can mobilize Democrats and progressives around voting
Here's how to set it up so scientifically that it supports a legal
case for a full blown challenge:
If it is true, as it now appears, that "exit poll failures" occurred
mostly where there's no paper trail, then there's a prima facie case
that the recorded voters need to be systematically polled by phone
and by mail, by truly impartial researchers to say who they voted
for, for congress and for president.
B) Spoiled Ballots and Ballots Never Recorded: For example: It
appears that Blackwell in Ohio is refusing to give the legally
required spoilage numbers. Odds are high that too many votes were
thrown away, simply unrecorded. Greg Palast is claiming loudly that
this happened in a number of states, and was done systematically by
Republicans. This was once the norm in the South, and may simply have
come back in more sophisticated form. This can be detected
statistically from examining exit polls as well, though it's probably
a little more complicated.
Notice that the statistical tables are only a little more complex if
both vote spoilage and electronic voting machine fraud were going on
simultaneously. You simply have to control for both kinds of
tampering, and compare a good sample of what people say they did
with the outcome. It's a big sample size, but it will set up the later,
Again, the second stage will say whether you have a good basis for
Stage 3: to go to court to demand a full and complete recontact of
people who are listed as voting.
Kerry has $45 million for legal challenges. We need to persuade him
to use it.We also need to contact major donors to the Dems, who should
want to protect their investment.
Paul H. Ray, Ph.D.