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By David Horowitz
The continuing efforts of a fringe group of conservatives to deny Obama his victory and to lay the basis for the claim that he is not a legitimate president is embarrassing and destructive. The fact that these efforts are being led by Alan Keyes, a demagogue who lost a Senate election to the then-unknown Obama by 42 points, should be a warning in itself.
This tempest over whether Obama, the child of an American citizen, was born on American soil is tantamount to the Democrats’ seditious claim that Bush “stole” the election in Florida and hence was not the legitimate president. This delusion helped to create the Democrats’ Bush derangement syndrome and encouraged Democratic leaders to lie about the origins of the Iraq war, and regard it as illegitimate as Bush himself. It became “Bush’s War” rather than an American War — with destructive consequences for our troops and our cause.
The birth-certificate zealots are essentially arguing that 64 million voters should be disenfranchised because of a contested technicality as to whether Obama was born on U.S. soil. (McCain narrowly escaped the problem by being born in the Panama Canal zone, which is no longer American.)
What difference does it make to the future of this country whether Obama was born on U.S. soil? Advocates of this destructive campaign will argue that the constitutional principle regarding the qualifications for president trumps all others. But how viable will our Constitution be if five Supreme Court justices should decide to void 64 million ballots?
Conservatives are supposed to respect the organic nature of human societies. Ours has been riven by profound disagreements that have been deepening over many years. We are divided not only about political facts and social values, but also about what the Constitution itself means. The crusaders on this issue choose to ignore these problems and are proposing to deny the will of 64 million voters by appealing to five Supreme Court Justices (since no one is delusional enough to think that the four liberal justices are going to take the presidency away from Obama). What kind of conservatism is this?
It is not conservatism; it is sore loserism and quite radical in its intent. Respect for election results is one of the most durable bulwarks of our unity as a nation. Conservatives need to accept the fact that we lost the election, and get over it; and get on with the important business of reviving our country’s economy and defending its citizens, and — by the way — its Constitution.
Even though every political and statistical indication points to an Obama victory tonight — and a healthy one at that — a certain brand of liberal paranoia persists. This is too good to be true, Democrats declare, fingers grasping at their hair. McCain is tightening the race in key states. The youth vote won’t come out.
And so it goes.
But if in fact McCain were to win this election it would be, one of the nation’s foremost pollster says, almost historically unprecedented.
“There is no reason in history to suggest [Obama won’t win],” said Frank Newport of Gallup. “All you can go by is history and compare our last polling that we have done before the election and the actual outcome in the presidential election… We have most polls showing Obama with a statistically significant lead nationally and also in these states. If he were to lose, it will be the first time since World War II something like this has happened. Now, keep in mind. It’s a small sample, less than 20 elections, but it would be very unusual, in fact, exceptional… improbable.”
Indeed, the last time that Gallup’s final poll before the election did not accurately determine the winning candidate was 1948, when they stopped polling a week before Harry Truman’s comeback victory against Thomas Dewey. Even in 1980, when Ronald Reagan staged a late comeback that turned into an electoral rout, Gallup caught glimmers of this trend just in time, showing the Gipper up three points in its last poll.
When it comes to the current election, the firm has Obama up eleven points in its final survey. But what should make Democrats more assured, said Newport, is that the Illinois Democrat has maintained a steady margin throughout the past month.
“Since September 15, Obama has been ahead in every poll we have conducted or any other polling I have seen and often by substantial margins,” he said. “It is not like it is race in which McCain was leading and we are seeing some kind of shift for Obama, it has been Obama ahead pretty dominantly.”
Moreover, other polling firms are documenting similar trends — a confluence of data that validates the larger picture.
“We are all using a measuring instrument to estimate a big population,” said Newport. “It is like we have a giant lake and we are trying to estimate the bacteria percentage. So we take a sample and test it and that is what we are doing. But yes… if you have 15 scientists and they are all showing the same thing, that does give you more assurance that the lake has some bacteria.”
There are, of course, Obama supporters who will remain unconvinced. And as evidence they could cite the polls leading up to the New Hampshire primary, which showed the Illinois Democrat in a similarly comfortable lead only to lose to Hillary Clinton by two points. Newport acknowledged that the primary fight in the Granite State gives him and others in the business pause — he has yet to find a smoking gun to explain what happened, though he hinted that massive late-stage change in voter preference moved too quickly for polls to pick up.
But that was, for better or worse, an aberration. Pressed to quantify just how big a failure for the polling industry a McCain victory would represent, he didn’t feel comfortable even following the hypothetical.
“Call me tomorrow,” he replied. “Obviously when Gallup and other scientific polling organizations do our best… and if for some reason the actual voting out there didn’t mirror, internally, what we were showing, it certainly would be a time where we would have to say, ‘What are we doing wrong?’… But we will cross that bridge if we get there. Right now, we aren’t crossing that bridge… It is improbable. But like I said, call me tomorrow.”
Hoping to beat the rush, voters flocked to the polls early this morning only to find parking lots already packed, turnout high and long lines already snaking around the block as scattered voting problems were reported in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
In Virginia, reported problems were widespread, according to reports gathered by the Election Protection Coalition, a cooperative effort by more than dozen voting rights groups.
Voters said they encountered broken touch-screen machines and paper jams in the scanners that are supposed to read the ballots at polling places in Richmond, Alexandria, Newport News, Chesapeake, and Vienna. Polling places in Virginia Beach were not opened at 6 a.m. when they were supposed to be.
“They harangue us to vote and then they don’t have the capacity to handle us when we show up,” said a man standing with a cane in a two-hour line in Fairfax, Va.
Virginia election officials said three polling places opened late because of what she called “human error.” In some cases, voters came in from the rain and failed to properly dry their hands before touching their ballots, fouling the optical scanning machines.
In Pittsburgh, Pa., some lines were stretching several hundred voters long by 7 a.m. In Philadelphia, lines were equally long and at one polling place on in the east side of the city several voting machines were not working because there was no extension cord available to help them reach the electrical outlet.
Despite the scattered problems, most people held on, steadfast in their passion to vote, undeterred by rain, sore feet or the long waits.
Voting experts predicted a record turnout of 130 million voters, which would be the highest percentage turnout in a century. It could shatter the previous record of 123.5 million who cast ballots four years ago. If 64 percent of registered voters make their way to the polls, as some predict, it would be the highest percentage since 1908.
Florida Secretary of State Kurt A. Browning said the 1992 record of 83 percent turnout could be surpassed in his state. Pennsylvania officials believe as many as 80 percent of the state 8.75 million votes will show up at the polls, a record.
Lines and other problems began well before Election Day.
By Monday night, Election Protection Coalition received calls about more than 700 early voters in West Creek Community Center in Kansas City, who waited more than eight hours to cast their ballots. Lines for early voters in Atlanta left people waiting for nearly ten hours.
There were also reports of underhanded tactics. Several callers from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland reported receiving automated phone calls with incorrect polling locations. Dozens of people in Colorado and New Jersey reported not receiving confirmation of their voter registrations or absentee ballots.
Yesterday alone, the hotline received more than 30,000 calls. Most were from voters in high population and swing states, including over 2,000 calls from Florida. The most common calls by far up until Election Day have been in regard to registration problems, followed by absentee ballot issues and polling place problems, which include extremely long lines.
Note: Video the Vote is a network of citizen journalists, independent filmmakers, and media professionals documenting voter problems at the polls. We will be posting links from them throughout the day.
In 14 national polls completed over the weekend, Barack Obama surpassed the 50-percent threshold in all but one, suggesting he is within striking distance of a feat no Democrat has accomplished since Jimmy Carter in 1976: winning a majority of the vote.
The one notable and slight outlier is IBD/TIPP; it estimates Obama’s likely margin at 48 to 43 percent.
Two of those pre-election national polls, which project the undecided vote, show Obama in a particularly commanding position. Gallup reports Obama winning 55 to 44 percent, while the Pew Research Center has him winning 52 to 46 percent.
Presidential elections, of course, are not national contests. Rather, the president is selected in 50 different state elections. Here is how the final polls look in 14 of the most competitive battlegrounds.
An Arizona State University poll (Oct. 23-26) had McCain’s lead cut within the margin of error early last week, at 46 to 44 percent. About a month earlier, the poll had McCain leading by 7 points. In the summer, McCain was leading by double-digits in the same survey.
Polls completed Oct. 28 by NBC News/Mason-Dixon and CNN/Time had McCain ahead by 4 and 7 points, respectively. However, a poll completed Friday by Research 2000 measured the race as effectively tied, with McCain on top 48 to 47 percent.
The most recent poll, conducted by FOX News/Rasmussen on Sunday, showed Obama ahead by 4 points, 51 to 47 percent—the survey’s same margin as one week earlier. The Denver Post/Mason-Dixon poll completed Friday and Saturday shows Obama ahead by 5 points, 49 to 44.
SurveyUSA’s final poll, completed Monday night, had Obama ahead 50 to 47 percent. The latest Reuters/Zogby poll, completed Sunday, shows Obama leading 48 to 46 percent— a statistical tie, as the poll showed one week earlier. Surveys by Quinnipiac University and Public Policy Polling, completed the same day, show the same 2-point margin. But in Sunday’s FOX News/Rasmussen poll McCain was up 50 to 49 percent, also a dead heat. One week ago, the FOX poll had McCain trailing by 4 points.
Two polls completed over the weekend, by InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position and SurveyUSA, show widely varying margins. InAdvantage/Poll Position reported a statistical tie but SurveyUSA showed McCain ahead by 7 points. Strategic Vision’s most recent survey, completed Sunday shows the margin right in between, with McCain leading 50 to 46 percent.
Last week’s Indianapolis Star/WTHR poll showed the two candidates statistically tied, with Obama at 46 and McCain at 45. But the Zogby poll competed Sunday has McCain ahead by 5 points, 49 to 44 percent—roughly the same margin it found the week earlier. SurveyUSA’s last poll completed Oct. 28 shows the race tied, while Rasmussen pegs McCain’s lead at 3 points.
Polls conducted since Thursday by Rasmussen, SurveyUSA and Zogby show the race tied. An Oct. 29 Politico/InsiderAdvantage poll had McCain ahead by 3 points, 50 to 47 percent.
The most recent Rasmussen (Oct. 29) and Research 2000 (Oct. 28-30) polls show McCain ahead by 4 points. A Public Policy Polling survey completed Sunday had the race effectively tied, with 48-47 tilting to Obama’s favor.
McCain has not held a lead in Nevada since mid-September. Sunday’s Reuters/Zogby poll showed Obama ahead 51 to 43 percent. A couple days earlier, the Las Vegas Review Journal/Mason-Dixon survey (Oct. 28-29) showed Obama leading by a slimmer 4-point margin, 47 to 43 percent, the same 4-point spread as Rasmussen’s Oct. 27 poll. The Reno Gazette-Journal poll, taken Oct. 25-28, puts Obama ahead by 5 points.
The last two SurveyUSA polls peg McCain down by 7 points. The latest, conducted Oct. 29-31, shows Obama leading 52 to 45 percent. Rasmussen’s Oct. 28 poll also showed Obama comfortably ahead, 54 to 44 percent.
In the past week several polls have shown McCain with the slightest lead, though always bobbing within the margin of error. Recent surveys by Rasmussen (Nov. 2), SurveyUSA (Oct. 30-Nov. 2), and Zogby (Oct. 30-Nov. 2) place McCain ahead by 1 point. Mason-Dixon (Oct. 29-30) pegs McCain ahead by 3, while the Oct. 29 Politico/InsiderAdvantage poll showed the state split evenly at 48.
A recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll (Oct. 28-29) showed McCain ahead 47 to 46 percent. The week earlier, the same survey showed the two candidates tied. In mid September, Research 2000 showed McCain ahead by 13 points.
Sunday’s Rasmussen poll showed the race exactly tied, at 49 percent each. SurveyUSA’s poll, also completed Sunday, has Obama ahead 48 to 46 percent–a statistical tie. Another recent poll (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), by Strategic Vision, shows McCain ahead by a similar margin, 48 to 46 percent. However surveys by Zogby, Quinnipiac and the Ohio Poll, also taken over the same period, have Obama ahead by 6 or 7 points.
No public poll has shown McCain ahead in Pennsylvania in the general election. Still, four polls completed over the weekend show Obama ahead by 6 to 8 points–with Zogby the outlier, measuring a 14-point lead for the Democrat.
McCain has not led in a public poll in the state since September. Two polls completed over the weekend, by SurveyUSA and Rasmussen, show Obama ahead by 4 points. In the same period, Zogby shows Obama ahead by 6 while Mason-Dixon estimates the Democrat’s lead at 3.
Just days after Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman reached an agreement in a lawsuit filed against him for allegedly illegally purging voters from the state’s voter roll, Coffman purged an additional 146 voter records from the list.
According to the Denver Post a federal judge angrily ordered Coffman Friday afternoon to stop purging names from the statewide voter registration list. U.S. District Court Judge John Kane said if Coffman didn’t stop the purges “he’ll be listening to me personally.”
Coffman was sued by Common Cause of Colorado and two other groups who claimed the state violated the National Voter Registration Act by illegally purging some 20,000 voters from its registration list within 90 days of the general election. The plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction that would reinstate the purged voters and prevent the state from purging anyone else before the election.
The NVRA prohibits states from purging an already-registered voter from a list during that timeframe unless a voter has died or been declared unfit to vote or notifies officials that he has moved out of state.
Aside from those categories, and outside of the 90-day-timeframe, election officials must notify voters before they remove them from the voter list. Voters whose names are matched to death or convicted felon lists can be removed without notice. But voters who are suspected of having moved must be sent a notification that they may be dropped from the list. Even then, a state cannot purge the voter from the list until the voter fails to vote in two consecutive federal elections.
Coffman maintained that he followed the law for purging the names of convicted felons and people who died, moved, or had duplicate records on the list. He also said only duplicate records had been purged during the 90-day period.
But Linda Townsend Johnson and her husband, James Edward Johnson, testified at a hearing that they were removed erroneously within the 90-day period. After moving to Colorado in May and registering to vote, they had received confirmation of their registration as well as absentee ballots in the mail. But the state removed them from the voter list after two people signed voter registration applications in their names in September, using a different address.
When the county clerk’s office sent mail to the address registered by the two people in September, it was returned. Officials then removed the Johnsons from the voter roll, in violation of the NVRA.
On Wednesday night, shortly before U.S. District Judge John Kane was to rule on the case, Coffman and the plaintiffs reached an agreement that would allow all of the voters whose names had been removed from the list since May 14 to cast provisional ballots in the election. They would be presumed to be eligible to vote and would have their ballot counted by default unless there was “a showing by clear and convincing evidence that a voter is not eligible.”
The secretary of state also agreed to compile a complete list of every voter removed from the role since May 14 and provide it to county clerks and the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Coffman said the settlement agreement didn’t require him to stop purging voter names.
He said the new purges were duplications or voters who had moved out of state or died. Half a dozen names were purged because the voter had withdrawn his registration application, was a convicted felon or wasn’t a U.S. citizen, implying that all of the 146 purges were legal cancellations under the NVRA. Nonetheless, Coffman agreed to comply with the judge’s order.
“My office and the county clerks were in full compliance with the judge’s original order,” Coffman said in a statement. “As required after today’s court order by Judge Kane, I’m instructing the county clerks to reinstate the registrations cancelled since 9 p.m. Wednesday evening.”
The big worry is that the Republicans will attempt to steal this election. By cheating to get in George Bush – we get a lower quality candidate – or more in this election – it’s the best person to lead the country in these economic times. McCain’s view is backward looking, at best he would have made a better president back in 2000, but George W/Rove dirty tricks sealed his fate. In this election he has a person as his VP, who has been deemed unqualified to hold higher office, by the majority voting public. To steal the election – would send the wrong message to the world and put America on a course, which it may not recover from for some time. John McCain has surrounded himself with lobbyists, all lobbyist can’t be bad, but it seems that his focus will be on the interests of these lobbyist over the interests of the average American. These include oil lobbyist, of which he plans to give EXXON Mobil a tax credit – although they made record profits – over giving the poorest workers, and the middle class a tax break. The polls have indicated that people have selected Obama as the best person to steer the county on a new path, while giving high priority to the the interests of the average person who wishes to do well in America. The Republicans propped on the belief that their belief in God/ gives them priority over all others, even those believing in the same God, that this gives them the right to cheat, steal, lie, smear, deceive and manipulate to win an election, by any means, disenfranchising those honest voters, and making a mockery out of the democratic system. Republicans, don’t need to steal this election, what they need, is to steal away and rethink what it means to be Republican – not the racist, hateful, bigoted bag of tricks they have been promoting, not the war mongering blinded by addiction to oil and obtaining the next fix by military means strategy, but a meaningful this is who we are, this is how we want to present ourselves and here’s what we hope to achieve or how we think we might do it better. Alternatively maybe they should select who among them would like to go to prison – for their larger supremacist goal.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Barack Obama’s campaign said Democratic voters were piling up imposing early voting totals in battleground states, warning that John McCain must win big on election day on Tuesday to catch up.
“The die is being cast as we speak,” Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters, saying the Democrat was running strong in swing states Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and others.
“So Senator McCain, on election day is going to have to not just carry the day but carry it convincingly,” Plouffe said.
Plouffe also said that the campaign would expand its advertising in the frenetic final days of the campaign into Republican McCain’s home state of Arizona, following polls which suggest the race had tightened there.
The campaign would also take out advertising spots over the final weekend in normally Republican states like Georgia, after being encouraged by early voting figures and North Dakota, he said.
Plouffe said that in the crucial swing-state of Florida, Democrats had built a 200,000 strong gap over McCain after early and absentee voting — reversing the trend from 2004 when President George W. Bush beat John Kerry in the state.
“In 2008, as of last night, we had just about a 200,000 vote edge over the Republicans, which is, obviously, a big change from 2004,” Plouffe said.
Republicans went into election day that year with an edge of around 40,000 votes.
In the western swing state of Nevada, 43 percent of Democrats who voted early were either new voters or sporadic voters — a prized demographic as campaigns seek an edge in close fought states, Plouffe said.
In North Carolina, Plouffe said, 19 percent of Democrats who voted early had never voted in a general election before, bolstering Obama’s hopes of bringing large numbers of new voters into the process.
“We very much like what we’re seeing in early vote. And obviously, in states like Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina.”
The McCain campaign scheduled its own conference call later on Friday to address the state of the race, four days before election day.
“The pundits have written us off much as they have done before, but we are closing my friends, and we are going to win Ohio,” McCain said in the crucial midwestern battleground state on Friday.
“We’re a few points down … but we’re coming back strong.”
Source: Raw Story
Newly obtained computer schematics provide further detail of how electronic voting data was routed during the 2004 election from Ohio’s Secretary of State’s office through a partisan Tennessee web hosting company.
A network security expert with high-level US government clearances, who is also a former McCain delegate, says the documents – server schematics which trace the architecture created for Ohio’s then-Republican Secretary of State and state election chief Kenneth Blackwell – raise troubling questions about the security of electronic voting and the integrity of the 2004 presidential election results.
The flow chart shows how voting information was transferred from Ohio to SmarTech Inc., a Chattanooga Tennessee IT company known for its close association with the Republican Party, before the 2004 election results were displayed online.
Information technology expert Stephen Spoonamore believes this architecture could have made possible a KingPin or “Man in the Middle” (MIM) attack — a well-defined criminal methodology in which a computer is inserted into the network of a bank or credit card processor to intercept and modify transactions before they reach a central computer.
In an affidavit filed in September, Spoonamore asserted that “any time all information is directed to a single computer for consolidation, it is possible… that single computer will exploit the information for some purpose. … In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga before sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM.”
Not everyone agrees. RAW STORY also sent the schematics to computer science professor David L. Dill, a longtime critic of electronic voting machines. In an email message, Dill said he’s skeptical that an attack of the sort described by Spoonamore could have been carried out undetected.
“It seems that the major concern is whether routing election results through a third-party server would allow that third party to change the reported election results,” Dill wrote. “These diagrams haven’t answered my basic question about that idea. The individual counties know the counts that they transmitted to the state. If those results were altered by the state or a middleman, I would think that many people in many counties would know the actual numbers and would raise an alarm.”
Spoonamore has now filed a fresh affidavit (pdf), in regard to a case involving alleged Ohio vote tampering, which asserts that the schematics support a “Man in the Middle” attack having been implemented in Ohio in 2004. Ohio provided the crucial Electoral College votes to secure President George W. Bush’s reelection.
“The computer system at SmartTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmartTech computers,” Spoonamore wrote in the affadavit.
“Overall, my analysis of the two Architectures provided is the following,” he added. “They are very simple systems. They are designed for ease of use during the one of two times a year they are needed for an election. They are not designed with any security or monitoring systems for negative actions including MIM or KingPin attacks. These systems as designed would not be sufficient for any banking function, credit card function, or even or many corporate email systems needing a high degree of confidence. They are systems which will work easily, but are based on a belief all users and the system itself will be trusted not to be hacked.”
He continued, “There are obviously many parties willing, with motivation, and able to hack an election for a desired outcome.”
Dill told Raw Story the schematics are inconclusive and that he continues to have questions after reading Spoonamore’s latest affadavit, although he cautioned that he himself is not an expert in Spoonamore’s specialty of network security.
“Basically, the whole thing seems highly speculative,” Dill said. “It’s important to distinguish ‘possible’ from ‘probable’ here. I don’t even know if this is possible. More details about how the tabulators worked in those particular counties, who was managing them, how the results were uploaded, whether they were all the same kind, etc. would help establish that.”
“As to ‘probable’ — I don’t think that’s been established at all, unless one starts with the presumption that the election was stolen and works backwards from there,” he added. “I don’t think Spoonamore has made the case that SmartTech and Triad ‘.. reversed the outcome of the 2004 Ohio Presidential Race.’ I don’t know that it DIDN’T happen, but, at this point, I think we need to demand better evidence.”
“Neither I nor Spoonamore have any special knowledge on exit polls or Ohio voting patterns in judicial races,” Dill continued. “I’d urge you to take a close look at what skeptical political scientists have written. It’s been a long time, but I was left with the impression that proof was lacking.”
RAW STORY has posted the schematics here for 2004 and for 2006 see below.
The Connally Anomaly
Spoonamore notes that on election night in 2004, he observed what he calls the “Connally anomaly,” in which eight Ohio counties that had been reporting a consistent ratio of Kerry votes to Bush votes suddenly changed at about 11 pm and began reporting results much more favorable to Bush. Election tallies in these counties, plus a few others, also showed the unlikely result of tens of thousands of voters choosing an extremely liberal judicial candidate but not voting for Kerry.
Spoonamore immediately suspected that a Man in the Middle attack had occurred but had no idea how it could have been carried out. It was not until November 2006 that the alternative media group ePluribus Media discovered that the real-time election results streamed by the office of Ohio’s Secretary of State at election.sos.state.oh.us had been hosted on SmarTech’s servers in Tennessee.
“Since early this decade, top Internet ‘gurus’ in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio’s live election night results,” researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.
By then, SmarTech had become embroiled in the White House email scandal, during which it was discovered that accounts at rnc.com, gwb43.com, and other Republican Party domains which were hosted by SmarTech had been used by White House staff,, instead of their official government email accounts, to avoid leaving a public record of their communications. When subpoenaed by Congress, the White House said the emails had been accidentally deleted.
Dill further noted after examining the schematics, “The 11/02/04 diagram has several computer icons in the upper left for EN Results entry of various types. I don’t know how this works, but given that counties are using different software to prepare their totals, I suspect the data is entered by hand into web forms or that spreadsheets are uploaded. Such an entry method would not easily lend itself to corrupting the original data. … Even if data can be changed at the county servers, many pollworkers and possibly others know the results that were reported from their precincts, and someone would probably notice if the numbers reported by the county or state differed from those.”
Dill said it would be helpful to have more information regarding the computers used and how they were connected.
“It would be a great idea to get some more definitive information about how the computers were connected and run in those counties,” he wrote. “Messing with disks might help cover up evidence after the fact. But the first thing that had to happen was that county-level results had to be changed in such a way that no one could compare the precinct results with the announced totals.”
Spoonamore said tampering could have been accomplished without broad knowledge.
Some have said “that local County Elections officials had been instructed to fax final results to confirm them, but this action would not have mattered if the local elections boards computers were already under the control of the KingPin,” he wrote. He said the ultimate results faxed to the Secretary of State from Ohio counties could have been inserted by SmarTech, providing “a smokescreen” that would “mask the already hacked results and provide an illusion the tabulators were not reporting results over the Internet.”
Source: Raw Story
In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has been attacking ACORN, a widely respected voter registration organization, claiming ACORN knowingly participated in “voter fraud.” In reality, this is just another calculated attempt by the McCain campaign and the RNC to suppress new and marginalized voters.
Help stop the lies: http://acorn.org/lies
The famous CSPAN video below captures Republicans joking about keep Obama voters from the polls.
Tom Davis on Voter Suppression: CSPAN 10/10/08
We can’t afford to slip up in the final days. Volunteer this weekend and into Election Day, November 4th, 2008. http://www.barackobama.com/
Before going to the polls, make sure to visit http://www.VoteForChange.com/ to get all the information you need to vote successfully on November 4th, 2008.
(CNN) – The Virginia State Board of Elections is putting the word out: November 4 is Election Day for everyone in the state, regardless of political party.
The state agency issued a “Rumor Buster” press release this week with the correct date for voting in next week’s election because a fake flyer has been circulating with false information.
The flier said incorrectly that Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters should vote November 4 and that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents should vote November 5. The flyer claims that the separate dates for voting by party were enacted by the Virginia legislature to ease the strain on the polls during high turnout that is expected.
What are the Russians learning from US elections?
Hmm…good question ~ Republicans.
Americans seem to have a very short memory for politics but I implore you to not forget the face of Republicanism today–not to forget the Bush/Cheney years.
Some of us have known since the coupe of the 2000 election by anti American Republican party operatives, what many are just now beginning to realize.
Republican fiscal, social and foreign policies are failures and the Republican base is an embarrassment to America… and to humanity.
For Republicans to win in the public sphere they must propagandize, cheat, steal and promote fear and racism. The McCain campaign of 2008 has been a dismal failure. They will soon begin their full court press to commit election fraud. They must, they are an unmitigated failure.
Get ready for the long fight ahead.
It is deeply ironic that Republican operatives are working so hard to tarnish the most dynamic voter participation in our country in decades—apparently to justify and camouflage their most organized attempt yet to deny Americans the right to vote. The right wing in our country is responding to the massive registration of new voters with a despicable, massive assault on voter participation.
The AFL-CIO strongly condemns the coordinated national effort by the Republican Party and allied political operatives to suppress voter turnout and deny ballots to newly registered voters, particularly young people, the poor and people of color.
The assault is taking many forms. By smearing voter registration groups such as ACORN with false charges of voter fraud, the Republican Party hopes to discourage new voters and divert attention from the issues that are motivating so many—the disastrous economic policies of the past eight years.
In state after state, Republican tactics are designed to create confusion and long lines at the polls to discourage and unnecessarily alarm voters.
In Ohio, where 800,000 new voters have registered this year, the Republican Party is filing lawsuit after lawsuit to purge from the rolls people whose information doesn’t match other public records—records that are widely acknowledged to be flawed.
In September, Florida’s Republican Secretary of State told election officials to reject registrations that do not pass a computer match process that is foiled by typos and other minor errors. In just three weeks, 75 percent of matching problems were found to be the result of administrative errors; others are still being checked.
Also in September, Wisconsin’s Attorney General, who co-chairs the state McCain campaign, filed suit against the state election board, seeking to challenge the registration, by his count, of tens of thousands of voters.
Just last week, the Pennsylvania Republican Party filed a lawsuit to force newly registered voters in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas to vote under challenge and cast provisional ballots that would not be counted Election Day.
Registrars in several states have been denying registration to students who give dorm room addresses. In Maryland, a registrar circulated a memo saying students registering to vote could lose financial aid and tax dependent status.
And in at least one state, the GOP stated it would challenge mortgage foreclosure victims’ right to vote when they appeared at the polls on Election Day.
What we are seeing now is just the first wave of voter suppression. We expect it will grow to include false information distributed in communities where Republican support is weak, intimidation and challenges of voters at the polls, lawsuits seeking to throw out voting results and a longer term escalation of the campaign for more voter suppression laws.
It is up to all of us to speak out and soundly reject this travesty. The AFL-CIO and other groups, including the NAACP, ACLU, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and the League of Women Voters, are responding with our biggest voter protection program ever. Some 1,400 lawyers have joined the AFL-CIO network of labor lawyers to travel into battleground states at their own expense to staff legal command centers and support the thousands of poll monitors who will assist people who have problems voting. In nine states, the AFL-CIO is educating voters about their rights, working with election officials about election administration and recruiting and training volunteer poll monitors and workers. We are referring voters to the toll-free voting rights hotline operated by the Election Protection coalition, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, to check their registration and report problems. The AFL-CIO also is airing radio ads in targeted communities giving voters tips on how to protect their vote.
With vigilance and a major effort by a broad array of organizations, we are determined to make it easy, not hard, for every citizen to vote. We call on the McCain-Palin campaign to do more to stop the suppression of votes by any means, as well as stopping hateful smears and disinformation. And we urge the media to join the effort to make this a free and fair election by increasing careful reporting and editorial comment on voter suppression before, during and after the elections—and to help give voters confidence that their rights will be protected.
Source: The Hill
By AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
Could we see people going to prison for voter fraud in this election?
If the question is – will this election be stolen – by you know who ?? Then I predict not this time – there would be too much voter fraud to undertake – and secondly there will be a team of lawyers around the polling places – to make sure people have any questions answered, but more to make sure that their right to vote is upheld.
That still doesn’t protect against the dirty tricks that are now coming to light – like the purging of voter registrations, one can only hope that they don’t mistakenly purge the wrong list – say full of Republican voters!
Trust the Republicans to cook up something – but with all the dirty tricks they have played in this election and nothing has worked – shouldn’t there be alarm bells telling them – to stay away from this one – the negative and dishonest tactics are not going to work – this time – better to play it straight!
You might want to view this next video – it shows Republicans openly joking about preventing new voters from getting to the polls
Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia was asked whether the Republican Party had any strategy for trying “to keep those new voters who might be voting for Obama from in fact continuing on down the ballot.”
See much more about voting machine problems here
Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama and John McCain have a litigation game plan to accompany their election strategy.
Both candidates have armies of volunteers to ring doorbells and get voters to the polls. They are also forming squadrons of lawyers who are filing challenges and preparing in case Election Day doesn’t settle the contest for the White House.
Legal battles unfolding in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin provide fresh evidence of the potential fights to come over ballot access in an election marked by unprecedented spending to increase the number of voters in strategically important states.
The millions of dollars that have been poured into registration drives have yielded millions of new voters across the country. Those same efforts have now generated heated battles in both parties with cries of voter fraud and intimidation that may threaten the integrity of the election.
Election officials, meanwhile, are braced for huge turnout and the problems that could create with long lines, malfunctioning machines and challenges to voters.
Already, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed Ohio Democrats a victory, dissolving a court order obtained by Republicans to force state officials to release the list of 200,000 new voters whose names or addresses don’t match government databases.
Democrats accused Republicans of trying to improperly disqualify voters.
In Florida, Democratic lawyer Charles H. Lichtman has assembled almost 5,000 lawyers to monitor precincts, assist voters turned away at the polls and litigate any disputes that can’t be resolved out of court.
“On Election Day, I will be managing the largest law firm in the country, albeit for one day,” said Lichtman, 53, a Fort Lauderdale corporate lawyer and veteran of the five-week recount after the 2000 election when Florida eventually delivered the presidency to George W. Bush.
Obama’s lawyers also have pressed allegations that Michigan Republicans planned to use mortgage-foreclosure lists to challenge voters. Indiana labor unions allied with Democratic presidential nominee Obama, an Illinois senator, are battling a Republican chairman over early voting in the state’s second- largest county.
Much of the partisan disagreement is over enforcing a 2002 law enacted by Congress to help states prevent a Florida-type recount by requiring election officials to set up database checks to purge voters.
Ohio’s Republican Party obtained a court order directing Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s secretary of state, to give county election officials the lists of new voters whose names didn’t match drivers’ licenses or Social Security records.
In her successful Supreme Court petition, Brunner called the order a recipe for “disruption” and “chaos” as the state prepares for a presidential vote that polls of Ohio voters predict will produce another razor-thin margin. Database checks are not “a litmus test” for the right to vote, she said in a statement announcing the appeal.
Republicans contend the federal law requires record checks to counter fraudulent voter registration, which they say has been perpetrated by a nationwide network of community activists known as ACORN. The party’s presidential nominee, Arizona Senator McCain, has cried foul over the drive by ACORN — an acronym for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — to register 1.3 million voters this year.
This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for “Barack Obama” kept flipping to “John McCain”.
In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.
They also blamed voters for not being more careful.
“People make mistakes more than machines,” said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.
Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.
“I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican,” she said. “I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.
“I asked them for a printout of my votes,” Ketchum said. “But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.
“I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it,” said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.
Ketchum’s son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.
“I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead,” Oates said of her experience Thursday.
Homer Simpson goes to vote for Obama
Retired factory worker Calvin Thomas of Ripley said he experienced the same problem.
“When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor’s office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude.
“After I finished, my daughter voted. When she pushed Obama, it went to McCain. It happened to her the same way it happened to me,” Thomas said.
GOP Congressman Jokes About Pro-Obama Vote Suppression
Whether a ballot is suspicious or legit – the law says – it must be forwarded. The suspicious forms a flagged by Acorn – and placed in a separate pile.
And further a point which may not have been raised in this clip – the Obama campaign did not pay Acorn $800,000 – the funds were paid to another group which then subcontracted some of the work to Acorn.
Out of one million plus new voter registrations – the problematic forms amounted to less than 0.01%
A more detailed explanation can be seen on CSPAN.
More than just a weenie bit suspicious those comments and question –
As the McCain campaign and allied Republicans protest loudly over voter registration efforts by groups like ACORN, it is important to note the subtext of their remonstration.
The allegation of widespread “voter fraud” is a fraud itself — such activity is “actually less likely to occur than lightning striking a person, according to data compiled by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.”
Indeed, the current Fox News/talk radio hysterics are as much about distracting voters and enraging the conservative base as anything.
Sometimes those intentions aren’t even that well disguised. During an event at the National Press Club just last week, Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia was asked whether the Republican Party had any strategy for trying “to keep those new voters who might be voting for Obama from in fact continuing on down the ballot.” His seemingly tongue-in-cheek answer – “Well you’re talking about voter suppression and we would never do anything along that line” – actually engendered hearty laughs.
Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia was asked whether the Republican Party had any strategy for trying “to keep those new voters who might be voting for Obama from in fact continuing on down the ballot.”
It is, to some extent, difficult to determine how much Davis was trying to make light of the question as opposed to sarcastically riffing on GOP strategy. But his follow up line seems equally telling: “I think it’s fair to say we’re not going to spend any money educating them on what they need to do, but that’s what you do in these kind of elections.”
It is a perfectly fair take but one that seems at odds with the McCain’s stated position on the need to protect and help people vote.
What was not cleared up in this video – was that the Obama campaign paid a group called Citizen Services the $800,000 to register people to vote – who then subcontracted Acorn in a few States for around $80,000. You can see this here* when Bertha Lewis talks again about Acorn on CSPAN.
The trouble is that they have to submit every form regardless of whether or not they feel that the form was not filled out honestly. Their policy is to telephone or contact the voter at least 3 times to verify the registration.
When workers are paid to go out and get people registered – some people will sit home – or sit somewhere – and simply fraudulently fill out the forms. Acorn has taken action against people who have done just that – and if you’re working to get over 1M people registered – showing that there is a problem with 0.01% of these forms is not a bad feat – and many of these Acorn has flagged as fraudulent or suspicious themselves.
*CSPAN: Bertha Lewis, ACORN, interviewed by Alexander Burns, The Politico, & Chris Good, The Hill
The black guy can’t win. The black guy with the middle name “Hussein” can’t win. The black guy with the middle name “Hussein” who has “most liberal voting record” in the Senate just can’t win. So if and when the terrorist-loving, radical ideology-embracing, “he doesn’t see America like you and I see America” skinny black guy from Chicago wins the presidency, the only logical explanation is that he stole it.
So goes the perverted “logic” of the panicked right these days, as the entire right-wing noise machine roars up into another faux frenzy this week regarding alleged “voter fraud.”
This was, after all, supposed to be the age of the “permanent Republican majority.”
As McCain’s numbers having nose-dived in the last week, some Republicans have dived head-first into the realm of conspiracy theories in order to sow the seeds of speculation that Democrats are going to “steal” this election. This week has provided some news items which they are using as kinder for their tinfoil bonfire.
ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), is an organization which has been registering voters in low-income areas. Volunteers at some chapters (who are paid per registration) have been found guilty of submitting to ACORN fake voter registrations. That, obviously, is a crime.
Indeed, as this screencap from John McCain’s “Strategy Briefing” demonstrates, the entire McCain campaign was premised on the idea that voters do not think Obama is “one of them”:
ACORN is obligated by law to turn over all voter registration forms, even the fake ones, but it flags those it believes are suspicious (Mickey Mouse, John Q. Public, etc.) While the why of the situation remains unclear, ACORN’s Nevada office was raided this week in connection with a voter registration fraud probe.
Ben Smith at Politico, like many others across the blogosphere, puts the ACORN story into perspective:
The key distinction here is between voter fraud and voter registration fraud, one of which is truly dangerous, the other a petty crime.
The former would be, say, voting the cemeteries or stuffing the ballot boxes. This has happened occasionally in American history, though I can think of recent instances only in rare local races. Practically speaking, this can most easily be done by whoever is actually administering the election, which is why partisan observers carefully oversee the vote-counting process.
The latter is putting the names of fake voters on the rolls, something that happens primarily when organizations, like Acorn, pay contractors for new voter registrations. That can be a crime, and it messes up the voter files, but there’s virtually no evidence these imaginary people then vote in November. The current stories about Acorn don’t even allege a plan to affect the November vote.
When the reporter calls him out on the distinction between “voter registration fraud” and “voter fraud,” Graham palinizes his response:
Asked to identify non-existent people who have voted in the presidential election, Graham said: “Have you been following the ACORN investigation out there? They’re registering people who don’t exist.” He said there are multiple registrations going on. “One lady registered 11 times. I’m saying that the dynamic out here of voter fraud is something we’re concerned about.”
Republicans are pushing the irrational theory that Democrats are “cheating” their way to the White House because for them, the real reason for a possible Republican defeat would be irrational.
In this atmosphere, maybe having a “liberal” president who favors reasonable regulation and stringent oversight isn’t a bad thing after all.
This was, after all, supposed to be the age of the “permanent Republican majority.” America is a “conservative country” we’ve been told. Indeed, as this screencap from John McCain’s “Strategy Briefing” demonstrates, the entire McCain campaign was premised on the idea that voters do not think Obama is “one of them”:
But that screencap is from many months ago, before the full brunt of the failure of conservative policies has come to the foreground with the resounding “thud” of a stock market collapse. In this atmosphere, maybe having a “liberal” president who favors reasonable regulation and stringent oversight isn’t a bad thing after all. And maybe, when voters are worried about how to pay for health care, voting for the Republican who touts the ability of the “market” to deal with the problem doesn’t seem that appealing anymore.
And maybe, when voters are worried about how to pay for health care, voting for the Republican who touts the ability of the “market” to deal with the problem doesn’t seem that appealing anymore.
The middle class is being cheated. And they know–as much as Republicans would like for them to forget–which party has been in power for the last eight years. And as they flock to a candidate who promises them change from failed Republican policies, panicked Republicans flock to conspiracy theories.
Blaming a possible Democratic victory on “voter fraud” is much easier than acknowledging that a resounding Democratic victory would be a wholesale rejection of Republican governance. And it’s easier than admitting that voters–yes, Senator Graham, maybe even voters in Indiana and North Carolina–like what the liberal black guy from Chicago is saying about the middle class.
So let them wrap themselves in tin foil. Let them revel in nuttery now. They can use that tin foil to wipe their eyes if and when–as the polls suggest–they will be wallowing in defeat in November.
Source: Daily Kos
There’s evidence that the GOP is doing the same elsewhere: Montana GOP challenges voter eligibility
In an escalation of a dispute between the Democratic and Republican parties over voter suppression, a Michigan G.O.P. official, with the backing of the Michigan Republican Party, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Michigan Messenger blog. The suit arises from a September 10 story by the Messenger, titled “Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote”, which quoted the official, James Carabelli, about Republican plans to challenge the voting rights of citizens whose homes were in foreclosure. That story drew national attention and became the basis of a lawsuit brought by several Michigan citizens, the Michigan and national Democratic parties, and the Obama campaign, seeking an injunction against the use of foreclosure lists to disenfranchise voters. (Motions in that earlier lawsuit, one by the Democrats to obtain a preliminary injunction and one by the Republicans to dismiss the lawsuit altogether, are scheduled for October 20.)
The new defamation lawsuit, which according to reports has nominally been brought only by Carabelli in his personal capacity, actually appears to have been brought in collaboration with the state Republican Party. When I spoke this afternoon with Carabelli’s attorney, Matt Davis, he politely apologized for not being able to speak with me but said he had been instructed to direct all media inquiries to his “client” and gave me the contact information for Bill Nowling, communications director for the Michigan Republican Party. (My call to Mr. Nowling was not immediately returned.) Similarly, the TPM Muckraker describes Davis as evading the question of whether Carabelli himself, or the G.O.P., is paying his legal bills:
Matt Davis, the attorney for the plaintiff in the defamation suit filed against the Michigan Messenger was quite talkative about the particulars of the suit when TPMmuckraker called him this morning, but declined to say who was paying his legal fees.
“I don’t comment on my clients,” Davis said in answer to inquiries about who was employing him, but directed us to the spokesman for the Michigan Republican party for further questions.
Davis has represented Carabelli and the state party jointly in the past. On September 18, The American Lawyer’s Rachel Breitman reported that Davis had issued a letter on behalf of both Carabelli and the Michigan Republican Party demanding a retraction and threatening to sue the Messenger if one was not received within a week. The Messenger declined to retract its story and continues to assert that its reporter accurately recounted her conversation with Carabelli.
The threat of a defamation lawsuit, if not the lawsuit itself, was a fairly predictable countermeasure from the political and public relations perspectives. As noted above, Davis demanded a retraction and threatened suit back on September 18. On Sept. 20, based on national G.O.P. spokesmen’s harsh statements and predictions of an imminent retraction during a press conference call that morning, I predicted the possibility of such a lawsuit actually being filed to pressure the Messenger to recant its story:
Shorter RNC conference call: kill the Messenger. Watch for a possible defamation suit against the M.M. next week to help make the RNC’s predictions of a retraction come true.
The threatened lawsuit did not materialize the following week, possibly because, on Monday, September 22, the House Judiciary Committee announced plans to hold a hearing on voter enfranchisement issues, including the “lose your house, lose your vote” story. A retaliatory defamation lawsuit against the Messenger probably would have received extensive unfavorable publicity in that hearing, which occurred on Sept. 24. However, now that an emergency financial bill has been signed into law, Congress has adjourned to allow members can engage in election activities.
The defamation lawsuit against the Messenger faces an uphill battle, because the Supreme Court has ruled in several cases that the press has First Amendment protection against such suits unless there is strong evidence of actual intent to inappropriately injure the plaintiff — the so-called “absence of malice” rule. TPM Muckraker’s report that the parties already are battling over whether or not the Messenger is truly a nonprofit organization or is a partisan one suggests that the Republicans may try to prove that the Messenger is not a legitimate media outlet worthy of First Amendment protection. The Republicans also may be hoping that threats to the Messenger’s favorable tax status may pressure it to recant its story.
The escalation of combat over voters’ rights and public opinion is predictable in some ways, as both parties increase their efforts to manipulate the turnouts of their own and each other’s voters on Election Day. The new developments in Michigan, however, are somewhat surprising given yesterday’s decisions by both the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee to effectively concede the entire state to Democrats and refocus their resources elsewhere. In light of that development, the defamation suit against the Messenger may be an effort to counter negative publicity the “Lose Your House” story received in other states, especially nearby, battleground Ohio; a bargaining chip to pressure Democrats into agreeing to a mutual dismissal of both parties’ lawsuits; or a simple mistake in communication and timing, the defamation suit having been filed just one day before the G.O.P.’s withdrawal from Michigan was announced.