• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

woensdag 26 oktober 2016

Stealing Presidential Elections

How the 2004 Presidential ‘Election’ Was Stolen by George W. Bush

Eric Zuesse
In 2006, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. headlined at Rolling Stone “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?” and he presented an argument that it had been — by George W. Bush. Below is the argument that I had already prepared to the same effect but never (until now) sought to publish: 
Of course, Ohio was the critical state in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. Concerning specifically the theft of the Ohio election, such articles as www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/914“Stealing Votes in Columbus,” by Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D., on November 23rd, made manifestly clear just how much the U.S. major media were lying to say that the 2004 U.S. Presidential election was honest and fair. A detailed analysis was presented there of the politicized allocation by Republicans of voting machines in one Ohio city. Phillips found such things as: “Of the 60 precincts with the fewest voting machines per registered voter, only 5 were won by Bush, and 55 were won by Kerry.” In other words, people in Kerry precincts were shortchanged on voting machines; the votes were suppressed there, but not in Bush precincts. Was this supposed to be coincidence? Statistical studies had already been performed of some of 2004’s electoral anomalies and found that they almost certainly weren’tcoincidence. The U.S. major media simply ignored them anyway. In his summation at the end, Phillips said: “Thus I conclude that the withholding of voting machines from predominantly Democratic wards in the City of Columbus cost John Kerry upwards of 17,000 votes.” Other articles at the same freepress.org website provided first-person testimony as to how this politicized allocation of voting machines might very well have thrown the “election” to Bush. For example, www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/886 “Hearings on Ohio Voting Put 2004 Election in Doubt,” by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, includes such testimony as this from a voter in Columbus:
“What I saw was voter intimidation in the form of city employees that were sent in to stop illegal parking. Now, in Driving Park Rec Center there are less than 50 legal parking spots, and there were literally hundreds and hundreds of voters there, and I estimated at least 70 percent of the people were illegally parked in the grass around the perimeter, … and two city employees drove up in a city truck and said that they had been sent there to stop illegal parking, and they went so far as to harass at least a couple of voters that I saw. … I saw 15 people who left because the line was too long. The lines inside were anywhere from 2½ to 5 hours.” Frustrated Democratic election officials presented testimony at http://freepress.org/images/departments/4254PublicHearing “Public Hearing, New Faith Baptist Church … November 13, 2004.” One speaker was Joe Popich, Kerry/Edwards field organizer in Fairfield and Perry Counties. On November 4th, he had visited the Perry County Board of Elections to audit the count, and found “a total of 393 votes that should be attributed to that precinct. However, the Board of Elections is attributing 96 more votes to that precinct than what this log book reflects.”
Richard Hayes Phillips posted to the internet an “AFFIDAVIT December 10, 2004,” summarizing the evidence which his statistical analyses, thus far, of the vote-counts in Ohio, had provided indicating systematic fraud. The eighth item listed was as follows:
“8. There are still 92,672 uncounted votes in Ohio, exclusive of any uncounted provisional ballots. According to unofficial results provided by the Ohio Secretary of State, there were 5,574,476 ballots cast, and 5,481,804 votes counted, which leaves 92,672 regular ballots (1.66%) still uncounted. The official results, now certified, do not include these ballots, but differ from the unofficial results only in the addition of provisional ballots and some absentee ballots to the tally. In Montgomery and Hamilton counties, these uncounted votes come disproportionately from precincts that voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry. In Montgomery County there are 47 precincts, all of them in Dayton, where the percentage of uncounted ballots is 4% or more. Kerry won all 47 of these precincts, by a margin of 7 to 1 in the aggregate. County wide in Montgomery County, the percentage of uncounted ballots was 1.70%. In Hamilton County there are 26 precincts, 22 of them in Cincinnati, where the percentage of uncounted ballots is 8% or more. Kerry won all 26 of these precincts, by a margin of 10 to 1 in the aggregate. Altogether there are 86 precincts in Cincinnati where the percentage of uncounted ballots is 4% or more. Kerry won 85 of these precincts, by a margin of 5 to 1 in the aggregate. County wide in Hamilton County, the percentage of uncounted ballots was 2.34%. Although I have not yet had time to examine similar data for Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Akron, Youngstown, Canton, or elsewhere, it is possible that the same pattern will emerge in these cities as well. If these 92,672 uncounted votes were cast for Kerry by a 5 to 1 margin, this would reduce the statewide margin between the candidates by another 61,781 votes.”
The national news media ignored all of Dr. Phillips’s analyses and findings.
Ohio’s electors in the electoral college met on December 13th to vote George W. Bush into a second term.
A story that finally did receive some slight national coverage in the major media appeared just two days later, on December 15th, in The New York Times, where Tom Zeller Jr., headlined “Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry into Ohio Vote.” He reported that, “The ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, plans to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a county prosecutor in Ohio today to explore ‘inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering’ in at least one and perhaps several Ohio counties.” The key documents and more details of the story were simultaneously posted on the internet at www.truthout.org/docs_04/121604Z.shtml#1http://rawstory.com/exclusives/kerry_ohio_suit_1215.phphttp://web.archive.org/web/20080725103331/http://rawstory.com/exclusives/programmer_1215.phphttp://moritzlaw.osu/electionlaw/key-recounts.html, and a few other places. Most important was a sworn affidavit from Sherole Eaton, a Deputy Director of the Hocking County, Ohio, Board of Elections. She had filed it on December 13th in support of an ongoing lawsuit for an Ohio vote recount. Her affidavit is part of http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/docs/Yost/notice2.pdf. She described there how a technician from Triad Election Systems, which had written the software and manufactured the computers that counted the votes — they made the “tabulators” — for 41 of the state’s 88 counties, entered her office on December 10th, “to check out your tabulator.” She followed him to the tabulator, and, “He said that the battery in the computer was dead and that the stored information was gone. He said that he could put a patch on it and fix it.” She saw him disassemble the computer. He then advised her “how to post a ‘cheat sheet’ on the wall so that only the board members and staff would know about it and what the codes meant so the count would come out perfect and we wouldn’t have to do a full hand recount of the county.” 
Rep. Conyers on the 15th delivered to both the FBI special agent in charge in Ohio, and the Hocking County Prosecutor, a letter requesting an investigation into Eaton’s allegations. In this letter, posted at http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/docs/Yost/notice2.pdf, he noted that, “Triad is controlled by the Rapp family, and its founder Tod A. Rapp has been a constant contributor to Republican causes.” Congressman Conyers also alleged that, “Triad officials have been, or are in the process of” manipulating tabulators “in several other counties in Ohio.” This letter, furthermore, listed numerous Ohio and federal laws prohibiting what the Triad technician was alleged by Ms. Eaton to have done. 
The same day, December 15th, the Washington Post headlined “Several Factors Contributed to ‘Lost’ Voters in Ohio,” and offered the first-ever American major-media coverage of the rigging of the election in Ohio, including: “After the election, local political activists seeking a recount analyzed how Franklin County officials distributed voting machines. They found that 27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry.” The Republican Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell (who was also the co-chairman of the Bush/Cheney campaign in Ohio) had arranged for voting machines to be allocated throughout the state so as to produce short lines in Republican precincts and long lines in Democratic ones; and he introduced, in addition, other rules that similarly discouraged or disallowed far more votes in Democratic than in Republican districts. One Democrat on voting-day who had waited out her line for long enough a time to vote was here quoted as saying, “A lot of people left in the four hours I waited. … A lot of them were young black men who were saying over and over: ‘We knew this would happen.’” 
The best summary of the electoral irregularities in Ohio was provided on December 17th by Marshall Helmenberger of the Timberjay News, a weekly newspaper serving northern Minnesota. At www.timberjay.com/current.php?article=1365, he headlined “Election Lawsuit Gathering Steam in Mainstream Media,” and reported that until Congressman Conyers’s hearings on the electoral irregularities in Ohio, “Questions about the vote in Ohio and elsewhere have been rampant on the Internet ever since Nov. 2, but the mainstream media has been slow to pick up on this story — until this week.” He went on to note:
“The questions about Ohio have only been exacerbated by the reaction of that state’s Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who, like Katherine Harris in Florida four years ago, headed Bush’s re-election effort in Ohio. Blackwell has stonewalled Conyers’ investigation and has failed to respond to inquiries from Kerry campaign lawyers. Blackwell may have also violated Ohio law last week when he ordered that voting records in one Ohio county be locked down, preventing citizen investigators from examining them. Ohio law is explicit that such records are open to public inspection.”
The same day as that summary, December 17th, the Green Party, which had initiated and paid for the recount of votes in Ohio, issued a press release headlined “Ohio Election Officials Obstruct Recount,” and listed several ways in which, as they alleged, “Ohio election officials are violating both the spirit and the letter of the law governing the recount.” For example, “In the vast majority of counties, election officials have pre-selected precincts to be sampled, rather than choose them randomly as required by law.”
Two days later, www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/997 posted “The United States of Ukraine? Exit Polls Leave Little Doubt that in a Free and Fair Election John Kerry Would Have Won both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote.” This detailed statistical analysis, by Ron Baiman, from the University of Illinois, concluded, as did the November 11th study by Steven F. Freeman, that the vote-count variances from the exit polls were astronomically unlikely in any other scenario  than “election fraud and/or discriminatory voter suppression … that is contrary to what would have occurred in a free and fair election.”
Three days after this, on December 22nd, www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1015reported that Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell’s “office told the attorneys issuing the notice of deposition and subpoena that Blackwell will not testify under oath” about his actions.
On Christmas Eve, Werner Lange at www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1032 headlined about “Kerry Votes Switched to Bush and Ballots pre-Punched for Bush,” and also quoted testimony from a public hearing held on December 21st at the Warren-Trumbull Public Library in the Mahoning Valley. Among the irregularities noted were these:
“The unusually high number of Ohio votes discarded for double-punching remains unexplained. A possible reason was shared at this hearing by a voter from Cuyahoga County who stated that she inspected her paper ballot prior to voting and was shocked to notice that it was pre-punched for Bush.  She also noticed another ballot had the same tampering problem. A voter from Niles came to the polls and noticed someone else had signed their name into her signature box. A voter in Precinct D of Warren Township came to the polls and discovered that someone else had already voted in her name. John Williams of Niles stated that after the election officials in Mahoning County refused to give him a precinct breakdown of the vote. Russ Buckbee noted that there seems to have been a pattern of expunging inactive registered voters from inner-city precincts but not the suburbs. Several testifiers complained about long lines at the polls causing many voters to leave in frustration. Maureen Lauer-Gatta, who observed the vote recount in Trumbull County, wondered how many votes where lost due to a last-minute change of voting sites on Election Day itself. She said there were ‘several’ such voting site changes on November 2. Ariel Vegosan, who observed the vote recount in Mahoning County, noticed baskets full of votes not counted and wondered if there were ‘missing baskets of votes’ in Mahoning County. She called this to the attention of election officials who seemed unconcerned about this irregularity. … 
“In Westlake the general climate of the roving bands of partisan police officers backed by Republican public officials who were threatening Democratic supporters and poll workers, removing legally posted Democratic messages, and chasing Democratic supporters from the polling places with the threat of arrest, all of this amounted to a fraud. The process was also tainted at the poll with militant Bush supporters serving as the Board of Election Poll Judges. 
“Finally, note was taken at the hearing of the curious fact that exit polls showed Kerry with a 4.2% lead over Bush in Ohio, but the vote results gave Bush an alleged 2.5% victory over Kerry, a 6.7% final vote tally percentage shift toward Bush. The chances of this enormous shift being legitimate and the exit polls so wrong are infinitesimal. Another explanation is much more likely, plausible and real. It was clearly expressed well before this rigged election by the CEO of Diebold, Walden O’Dell, brother of the top executive at ES&S [another electronic voting-machine manufacturer]: ‘I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral vote to the President next year.’”
The same day, December 24th, The New York Times bannered on its front page “Voting Problems in Ohio Call for Overhaul.” This story described “problems,” definitely excluding anything that might indicate fraud. It closed by quoting a “spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party” as saying, “Irregularities that are normally overlooked have become the focal point of attention this year. I just can’t see those people walking away satisfied.” These non-Republicans who were complaining of the need for investigations of the election’s irregularities were being blamed by this Democrat, as if they were cranks, and as if the irregularities they reported were necessarily inconsequential or non-existent. The impression the mainstream U.S. press communicated was that this election had been a democratic, thoroughly honest, but somewhat chaotic, electoral process, which was simply overwhelmed by too many voters coming to the polls.
On Christmas day, Richard Hayes Phillips, at http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1037, headlined about “Another Third Rate Burglary,” hearkening back to Watergate. He had now noticed for the first time that a story that was reported in the Toledo Blade months earlier, on October 13th, might help explain the stunningly low Democratic turnout that Phillips previously noted to have occurred in Lucas County. This Blade story was headlined “Thieves Hit Democratic Party Offices; Computers Containing Sensitive Data Removed.” These thieves had shattered a window during the night, and they stole a computer that contained all the information for the county’s crucial Democratic get-out-the-vote operation. Registered Democrats had to be informed, for example, of such things as the location of their polling places, because the Republican officials were changing the locations of polling places in predominantly Democratic precincts. The lists and phone numbers of these voters were now gone. The thieves left untouched other computers, the petty cash box, and other valuables. The only discernable motive was to suppress this county’s Democratic vote, which they succeeded at doing, stunningly well, to judge by the extraordinarily low Democratic turnouts in these precincts.
Probably those thieves were paid by the Republican Party and therefore had no particular interest in stealing anything else. Their work was part of a nationwide operation. For example, on 1 July 2004, the AP headlined “Former GOP Consultant Pleads Guilty to Jamming Democratic Phones on Election Day,” and reported, “The former head of a Republican consulting group has pleaded guilty to jamming Democratic telephone lines in several New Hampshire cities on Election Day two years ago.” This man’s operatives had flooded Democratic Party phone lines. “The lines that were jammed were set up so voters could call for rides to the polls. Democrats say the jamming was an organized statewide effort that may even have affected the outcome of some local races.” In fact, it might have tipped the tight important race between Democratic “Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and GOP Rep. John E. Sununu, who won by fewer than 20,000 votes,” so that Sununu was now New Hampshire’s new Senator (just as his father — CNP’er John H. Sununu — had previously been the state’s Governor, prior to his becoming George H.W. Bush’s Chief of Staff in the White House). Furthermore, “Republicans acknowledged last year that they hired” this consultant “for telemarketing services in 2002.” Then, on 9 February 2005, the Washington Postheadlined “Former GOP Consultant Sentenced to Prison,” and reported that this consultant “was the first to be sentenced of three men charged after the revelation that Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in Manchester, Nashua, Rochester and Claremont were peppered with more than 800 computer-generated calls over a period of 90 minutes on the morning of Nov. 5, 2002. Firefighters in Manchester, who were offering rides to the polls independently of the two parties, were also targeted, prosecutors said.” The state Democratic chairman explained, “They were trying to make it difficult for seniors and people who were economically depressed to get to vote.” This operation had itself been organized on a national level, and involved people in Virginia, Idaho, and other states. “Jim Tobin of Bangor, Maine, who resigned in October as New England regional chairman of President Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, has been charged.” The man convicted on that particular day was Allen Raymond, and his lawyer was quoted: “‘This was not Allen Raymond’s idea,’ he said, according to AP. ‘Tobin called on Raymond to do this.’” Although the specific tactic used in this “dirty trick” was different than was employed in Lucas County Ohio, the objective was the same, and in both instances paid thugs were hired by the Republican Party, so as to prevent enough Democrats from voting, to throw the political race to the Republican candidate. In fact, on 16 December 2005, the AP reported that, “A jury yesterday convicted a former national Republican official … for his role in a phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats on Election Day 2002.” This official was Tobin. On 6 February 2006, John DiStaso of the Manchester Union-Leader headlined “Tobin Legal Defense May Total $2.5 million” and DiStasio reported that apparently this entire huge legal bill was being paid by the Republican National Committee in Washington DC. The following month, on March 23rd, DiStaso reported that, “In the days before and after the state Republican Party’s 2002 Election Day phone-jamming scheme, the man who now chairs the Republican National Committee was the White House director of political affairs. … Court records show Ken Mehlman’s office [that very office in the White House] received more than 75 telephone calls from now-convicted phone-jam conspirator James Tobin from Sept. 30 to Nov. 22 of that year.” Then, on April 10th, the AP headlined “Phone-Jamming Records Point to White House,” and reported that, “Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House.” A week later, on April 17th, Adam Cohen’s “Editorial Observer” column in The New York Times headlined “A Small-Time Crime With Hints of Big-Time Connections Lights Up the Net,” and summarized this case’s “eerie parallels” to the 1972 Watergate burglary case which brought down Richard Nixon. Among the factors Cohen discussed was “3. The Return of ‘follow the money.’ (As if it ever left.)New Hampshire Democrats pored over the filings of the New Hampshire Republican Party and found three contributions for $5,000 each, all shortly before the election. One was from Americans for a Republican Majority, Tom DeLay’s political action committee. The other two were from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, tribes that were clients of Jack Abramoff. Those checks add up almost exactly to the cost of the phone jamming.” On 17 May 2006, Tobin ended up being sentenced to prison for only 10 months, for “harassment by telephone.” But actually, he had stolen an election, for John E. Sununu, to the U.S. Senate. As the AP reported, on the day of Tobin’s sentencing, “Republican John Sununu defeated then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for the Senate that day in what had been considered a cliffhanger.” One of the reasons George W. Bush had cared so much about pulling off a victory for the young Sununu was that George H.W. Bush’s Chief of Staff had been “E.’s” father, John H. Sununu. It’s an aristocratic club up there, and it hits hard. 
On 7 July 2006, rawstory.com headlined “Man Indicted in Phone Jamming Case Will Argue Administration Approved Election Scheme,” and John Byrne reported that, “The fourth man indicted in a New Hampshire phone-jamming scheme … will argue at trial that the Bush Administration and the national Republican Party gave their approval to the plan, according to a motion filed by his attorney.” This defendant, Shaun Hansen, had been the owner of the company which placed the hang-up calls. His “Notice of Affirmative Defenses” stated “that the government, or an agent thereof, actually induced the offenses with which Mr. Hansen is charged, and which Mr. Hansen was not otherwise predisposed to commit.” Hansen alleged “‘derivative entrapment’ in which the government uses a private party as its agent.” He alleged that “he relied in good faith upon the advice of counsel” that these acts were legal, and he said “that he had been assured by Messrs. Allen Raymond [the President of GOP Marketplace] and Chris Cupit [the VP of GOP Marketplace] that these acts had been vetted by an attorney and were completely legal.” He referred to “a conference call in which Messrs. Raymond and Cupit and an unknown ‘attorney’ provided further assurances that the acts which they and their business were contracted to perform in November 2002 were completely legal.” So, allegedly, Tobin had used Raymond as a shield from legal liability, and Raymond had used Hansen as a shield. But both Tobin and Raymond received short prison sentences for their participation in a “conspiracy.” Hansen was now saying that he had been duped, and that he had not participated willingly in this conspiracy. www.talkingpointsmemo.com/phonejamming.php presents a “TPM NH Phone Jamming Timeline,” which details the evolution of this operation, starting with a request, in October 2002, by Charles McGee, the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, to the Party’s New England Regional Director James Tobin, “to hire a phone services company to jam Democratic phone banks on Election Day.” Since Tobin was also the Bush-Cheney New England Chairman, and since John E. Sununu was a close friend of both Bush and Cheney, it’s highly likely that Tobin communicated this request to the White House before acting upon it. Furthermore, Tobin was a major fundraiser for George W. Bush — a Bush “Ranger.” Perhaps if Tobin had testified against the President — or even against the President’s aides — Tobin would have received a stiffer sentence than just the ten months in prison and $10,000 fine he got. Tobin had faced up to 7 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, and so he was treated very leniently for what he had done. The judge who gave out that light sentence was a Republican: Steven McAuliffe, of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. He had been appointed to this court in 1992 by President George Herbert Walker Bush. The husband of Challenger-disaster astronaut Christa McAuliffe, he had earlier been appointed (in 1986) by John H. Sununu as a trustee of the University of New Hampshire. He owed his political career to the two families who benefited from Tobin’s crimes. In justifying the light sentence, this gangster judge said to Tobin, in court, “You’ve led an otherwise exemplary life” — as if that criminal sentence were for the man, and not for the crimes which had been committed. Furthermore, only friends, no enemies, of Tobin were brought into court to testify as to Tobin’s supposedly “exemplary character.” Of course, none of the Democratic voters whose participation in a supposed “democracy” was stolen from them by him, nor any of their Democratic candidates such as John E. Sununu’s opponent Jean Shaheen, testified about this tyrant-enabler’s “character.” (In fact, Tobin was actually on record as demanding that his victims must have no role in his trial. On 17 May 2005, the AP headlined, from Concord, “Former GOP Official Says Grand Jury Included Democrats,” and reported: “The grand jury ‘included purported victims of the alleged scheme — Democrats,’ said a motion filed by Tobin. … ‘The government must demonstrate that it properly screened the grand jury to prevent bias, and if it cannot or will not do so, the indictment must be dismissed,’ the motion said.” He demanded that only Republicans and independents be seated in judgment of his crimes. His “jury of peers” could include his fellow criminals, but none of his victims. This outrageous demand was dismissed. Such was this man the judge considered to be of “exemplary character.”) And Tobin’s supposed “prosecutor,” in Republican New Hampshire, requested only a one-year sentence for these crimes. The entire proceedings were rigged, and all that Tobin had to do in order to keep them rigged in his favor was to stay mum about the White House’s involvement. Shortly before Tobin’s brief sentence was set to begin, an all-Republican three-judge panel ordered the sentence suspended until Tobin’s appeals were completed; they ordered this, despite Judge McAuliffe’s having rejected those appeals as presenting no “substantial question of law or fact.” McAuliffe wasn’t enough of a gangster judge to suit this White House. Lower-class criminals, who commit crimes against only a single person instead of against millions and even against democracy, enjoy no such special favors, but Republicans grant such privileges to only their colleagues in crime. 
George W. Bush’s aristocratic thugs long operated mostly out of the limelight of America’s major “news” media, which, in fact, right after the 2004 “election,” prominently parroted Bush’s “electoral mandate,” rather than reporting at all on how he had stolen the 2004 election. Americans were fooled into thinking that a stolen “election” can occur only in places such as Ukraine.
But actually, there was good reason even on the day of the 2 November 2004 election, to suspect that the ‘election’ had actually been stolen in Ohio. International Data Group News Service headlined on November 3rd, “Group Tallies More than 1,100 E-Voting Glitches” and Grant Gross reported that, “U.S. voters calling in to a toll-free number had reported more than 1,100 separate incidents of problems with electronic voting machines and other voting technologies by late Tuesday during the nationwide election. In more than 30 reported cases, when voters reviewed their choices before finalizing them, an electronic voting machine indicated they had voted for a different candidate. E-voting backers called the number of reported problems minor in the context of almost 50 million U.S. voters projected to use e-voting machines on Tuesday. In a majority of cases where machines allegedly recorded a wrong vote, votes were taken away from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, or a Democratic candidate in another race, and given to Republican President George Bush or another Republican candidate, said Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).”
On 27 December 2004, as reported by Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the AP, “Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has requested a protective order to prevent him from being interviewed as part of an unusual court challenge of the presidential vote.” This action by Blackwell followed up his promise on the 22nd to refuse testifying under oath about the election. Also on the 27th, William Rivers Pitt, at www.truthout.org/docs_04/printer_122804V.shtml, headlined “Kerry Files Motion to Protect Ohio Vote Evidence,” and reported that, “This afternoon, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election.” The purpose of these legal actions was to increase the likelihood of honesty in a total recount of Ohio’s votes, in the event that such a hand-recount were to be authorized by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The following day, the Ohio hand recount of the votes in just a few sample precincts (which were supposed to have been randomly selected for these hand recounts, but weren’t) confirmed Bush’s “electoral victory.” As Albert Salvato noted in The New York Times on the 29th, a spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party said, of this hand recount, “that county elections officials sometimes ignored requests by recount observers to see rejected absentee and provisional ballots, and were not informed about procedures used to recount and reject ballots,” and, “that in one county, Clermont County, in southwest Ohio, numerous complaints were filed by Democrats and the two independent parties when access to recount procedures was ignored.” The important deception in this “news” report was its repeated fallacious implication that all of the millions of votes in Ohio were hand recounted. For example, it said: “The recount of Ohio’s 88 counties showed that Senator John Kerry gained 734 votes,” out of the 5.7 million votes that were recorded in Ohio. However, in fact, only approximately 3% of Ohio’s votes were hand recounted; and, because this was not a random recount as required, few of those machine-recounted votes had been wrongly recorded by these machines, and so there was no complete hand recount. In other words, the efforts by Triad Governmental Systems, and by the other Republicans, to avoid a complete hand recount of the vote in Ohio, were successful. For all intents and purposes, this “recount” of the entire state consisted of little more than running the ballots once again through the same possibly rigged voting machines that had previously produced Bush’s “Ohio victory.” Thus, there was no hand-count of the state’s 5.7 million votes. And, it’s important to note, no review was performed of the misallocation of voting machines, away from Democratic, and toward Republican, precincts, nor of the numerous other election-rigging activities. So, the “recount” that was performed was actually a show, like the old-time Soviet “show trials,” put on just to fool the faithful — which it did. However, the Libertarian and Green Parties, which had jointly financed the $113,600 official cost of the “recount,” were outraged that the state had ripped them off.

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