At least another Bush term bodes well for the prospect of engaging progressive politics. The win did not surprise CQ - we do our best not to underestimate the lengths to which dictators will go to ensure themselves another 20 years, much less 4, and well we know that half the USA is more or less both illiterate and Born Again. However the results did reignite our curiosity about the extent to which Diebold's electronic voting systems colored the result.
Some of the sources we expect to help sort out what occurred at the polls include Bev Harris of Blackbox who famously began her investigations into the duplicity afoot in evoting ages ago, as documented in this Wired article. Evoting Experts seem to be keeping close tabs on the situation. We also look forward to Votergate, a documentary about the fiasco due out soon, with a score by CQ idol and rock god Wayne Kramer of MC5. A New york attorney who spent a few days working on the election in Ohio, Ray Beckerman reported that he witnessed voters waiting
for as much as 10 hours, and their voting was concluded at about 3 am. The reason this occurred was that they had 1 voting station per 1000 voters, while the adjacent precinct had 1 voting station per 184. Both precincts were within the same county, and managed by the same county board of elections. The difference between them is that the privileged polling place was in a rural, solidly Republican, area, while the one with long lines was in the college town of Gambier, OH.
Touch screen voting machines in Youngstown, OH were registering "George W. Bush" when people pressed "John F. Kerry" ALL DAY LONG. This was reported immediately after the polls opened, and reported over and over again throughout the day, and yet the bogus machines were inexplicably kept in use THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
Clearly, Beckerman's precinct was anything but unique as far as vote skullduggery was concerned. As even the NY Times concedes, albeit cautiously:
An electronic voting machine in hotly contested Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally in a suburban Columbus precinct, even though there are just 800 voters there. The error was discovered in preliminary vote counts from Tuesday night, and local officials say it would have been caught in any case and corrected in the final count now under way. ... Preliminary counts show Mr. Bush won Ohio by about 137,000 votes out of roughly 5.5 million cast. ... But all problems so far fall into a class described by Doug Chapin, director of the Election Reform Information Project, as "no big and lots of littles," with no discernible effect on the outcome.
Progressive linesman Daily Kos is having a ball with more numbers that all too enigmatically did not compute. These from Florida:
7,355,296 (2004) - 5,963,657 (2000) = 1,392,639 new voters (99% precincts counted, no provisionals or absentees). So, we have 1.39 million new voters, and Kerry loses by 376,923 votes? Thus, he lost an overwhelming majoirty of them, or he lost an overwhelming majority of regular voters - much, much more than Gore lost.
We have 77,197 fewer third party votes, but Kerry loses the vast majority of these? Exit polling numbers show that Kerry had more Hispanic and Cuban support than Gore did, and Kerry lost? Most exit polls in Florida showed Kerry leading, yet he loses by a massive 5%? All this after an incredibly failed presidency? After looking at these numbers, I can come to only one conclusion. The Diebold machines were rigged. There is no way provisional or absentee ballot are going to make up the 376,923 votes - unless a LOT of people were challenged in the urban areas and had to fill out provisionals. These Florida numbers just don't make sense.
Thom Hartmann at Common Dreams is on top of the case as well and yesterday published a piece with more evidence of hacking in Florida.
In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry. In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush. The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.