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This just in to my email from my local Democratic Office. It looks as if there may be talk of a closer look by the party. But first we have to choose a new party leader. We are headless right now.

How can poll results be so wrong? There have been way too many miracles and oddities to overlook.......


By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
    The Free Press
    While debate still rages over Ohio's stolen presidential election of 2004, the impossible outcomes of key 2005 referendum issues may have put an electronic nail through American democracy.
    Once again, the Buckeye state has hosted an astonishing display of electronic manipulation that calls into question the sanctity of America's right to vote, and to have those votes counted in this crucial swing state.
    The controversy has been vastly enhanced due to the simultaneous installation of new electronic voting machines in nearly half the state's 88 counties, machines the General Accounting Office has now confirmed could be easily hacked by a very small number of people.
    Last year, the US presidency was decided here. This year, a bond issue and four hard-fought election reform propositions are in question.
    Issue One on Ohio's 2005 ballot was a controversial $2 billion "Third Frontier" proposition for state programs ostensibly meant to create jobs and promote high tech industry. Because some of the money may seem destined for stem cell research, Issue One was bitterly opposed by the Christian Right, which distributed leaflets against it.
    The Issue was pushed by a Taft Administration wallowing in corruption. Governor Bob Taft recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanors stemming from golf outings he took with Tom Noe, the infamous Toledo coin dealer who has taken $4 million or more from the state. Taft entrusted Noe with some $50 million in investments for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, from which some $12 million is now missing. Noe has been charged with federal money laundering violations on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign. Taft's public approval ratings in Ohio are currently around 15%.
    Despite public fears the bond issue could become a glorified GOP slush fund, Issue One was supported by organized labor. A poll run on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday, November 6, showed Issue One passing with 53% of the vote. Official tallies showed Issue One passing with 54% of the vote.
    The polling used by the Dispatch had wrapped up the Thursday before the Tuesday election. Its precision on Issue One was consistent with the Dispatch's historic polling abilities, which have been uncannily accurate for decades. This poll was based on 1872 registered Ohio voters, with a margin of error at plus/minus 2.5 percentage points and a 95% confidence interval. The Issue One outcome would appear to confirm the Dispatch polling operation as the state's gold standard.
    But Issues 2-5 are another story.
    The Dispatch's Sunday headline showed "3 issues on way to passage." The headline referred to Issues One, Two and Three. As mentioned, the poll was dead-on accurate for Issue One.
    Issues Two-Five were meant to reform Ohio's electoral process, which has been under intense fire since 2004. The issues were very heavily contested. They were backed by Reform Ohio Now, a well-funded bi-partisan statewide effort meant to bring some semblance of reliability back to the state's vote count. Many of the state's best-known moderate public figures from both sides of the aisle were prominent in the effort. Their effort came largely in response to the stolen 2004 presidential vote count that gave George W. Bush a second term and led to U.S. history's first Congressional challenge to the seating of a state's delegation to the Electoral College.
    Issue Two was designed to make it easier for Ohioans to vote early, by mail or in person. By election day, much of what it proposed was already put into law by the state legislature. Like Issue One, it was opposed by the Christian Right. But it had broad support from a wide range of Ohio citizen groups. In a conversation the day before the vote, Bill Todd, a primary official spokesperson for the opposition to Issues Two through Five, told attorney Cliff Arnebeck that he believed Issues Two and Three would pass.
    The November 6 Dispatch poll showed Issue Two passing by a vote of 59% to 33%, with about 8% undecided, an even broader margin than that predicted for Issue One.
    But on November 8, the official vote count showed Issue Two going down to defeat by the astonishing margin of 63.5% against, with just 36.5% in favor. To say the outcome is a virtual statistical impossibility is to understate the case. For the official vote count to square with the pre-vote Dispatch poll, support for the Issue had to drop more than 22 points, with virtually all the undecideds apparently going into the "no" column.
    The numbers on Issue Three are even less likely.
    Issue Three involved campaign finance reform. In a lame duck session at the end of 2004, Ohio's Republican legislature raised the limits for individual donations to $10,000 per candidate per person for anyone over the age of six. Thus a family of four could donate $40,000 to a single candidate. The law also opened the door for direct campaign donations from corporations, something banned by federal law since the administration of Theodore Roosevelt.
    The GOP measure sparked howls of public outrage. Though again opposed by the Christian Right, Issue Three drew an extremely broad range of support from moderate bi-partisan citizen groups and newspapers throughout the state. The Sunday Dispatch poll showed it winning in a landslide, with 61% in favor and just 25% opposed.
    Tuesday's official results showed Issue Three going down to defeat in perhaps the most astonishing reversal in Ohio history, claiming just 33% of the vote, with 67% opposed. For this to have happened, Issue Three's polled support had to drop 28 points, again with an apparent 100% opposition from the previously undecideds.
    The reversals on both Issues Two and Three were statistically staggering, to say the least.
    The outcomes on Issue Four and Five were slightly less dramatic. Issue Four meant to end gerrymandering by establishing a non-partisan commission to set Congressional and legislative districts. The Dispatch poll showed it with 31% support, 45% opposition, and 25% undecided. Issue Four's final margin of defeat was 30% in favor to 70% against, placing virtually all undecideds in the "no" column.
    Issue Five meant to take administration of Ohio's elections away from the Secretary of State, giving control to a nine-member non-partisan commission. Issue Five was prompted by Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's administration of the 2004 presidential vote, particularly in light of his role as co-chair of Ohio's Bush-Cheney campaign. The Dispatch poll showed a virtual toss-up, at 41% yes, 43% no and 16% undecided. The official result gave Issue Five just 30% of the vote, with allegedly 70% opposed.
    But the Sunday Dispatch also carried another headline: "44 counties will break in new voting machines." Forty-one of those counties "will be using new electronic touch screens from Diebold Election System," the Dispatch added.
    Diebold's controversial CEO Walden O'Dell, a major GOP donor, made national headlines in 2003 with a fundraising letter pledging to deliver Ohio's 2004 electoral votes to Bush.
    Every vote in Ohio 2004 was cast or counted on an electronic device. About 15% - some 800,000 votes - were cast on electronic touchscreen machines with no paper trail. The number was about seven times higher than Bush's official 118,775-vote margin of victory. Nearly all the rest of the votes were cast on punch cards or scantron ballots counted by opti-scan devices - some of them made by Diebold - then tallied at central computer stations in each of Ohio's 88 counties.
    According to a recent General Accounting Office report, all such technologies are easily hacked. Vote skimming and tipping are readily available to those who would manipulate the vote. Vote switching could be especially easy for those with access to networks by which many of the computers are linked. Such machines and networks, said the GAO, had widespread problems with "security and reliability." Among them were "weak security controls, system design flaws, inadequate security testing, incorrect system configuration, poor security management and vague or incomplete voting system standards, among other issues."
    With the 2005 expansion of paperless touch-screen machines into 41 more Ohio counties, this year's election was more vulnerable than ever to centralized manipulation. The outcomes on Issues 2-5 would indicate just that.
    The new touchscreen machines were brought in by Blackwell, who had vowed to take the state to an entirely e-based voting regime.
    As in 2004, there were instances of chaos. In inner city, heavily Democratic precincts in Montgomery County, the Dayton Daily News reported: "Vote count goes on all night: Errors, unfamiliarity with computerized voting at heart of problem." Among other things, 186 memory cards from the e-voting machines went missing, prompting election workers in some cases to search for them with flashlights before all were allegedly found.
    In Tom Noe's Lucas County, Election Director Jill Kelly explained that her staff could not complete the vote count for 13.5 hours because poll workers "were not adequately trained to run the new machines."
    But none of the on-the-ground glitches can begin to explain the impossible numbers surrounding the alleged defeat of Issues Two through Five. The Dispatch polling has long been a source of public pride for the powerful, conservative newspaper, which endorsed Bush in 2004.
    The Dispatch was somehow dead accurate on Issue One, and then staggeringly wrong on Issues Two through Five. Sadly, this impossible inconsistency between Ohio's most prestigious polling operation and these final official referendum vote counts have drawn virtually no public scrutiny.
    Though there were glitches, this year's voting lacked the massive irregularities and open manipulations that poisoned Ohio 2004. The only major difference would appear to be the new installation of touchscreen machines in those additional 41 counties.
    And thus the possible explanations for the staggering defeats of Issues Two through Five boil down to two: either the Dispatch polling - dead accurate for Issue One - was wildly wrong beyond all possible statistical margin of error for Issues 2-5, or the electronic machines on which Ohio and much of the nation conduct their elections were hacked by someone wanting to change the vote count.
    If the latter is true, it can and will be done again, and we can forget forever about the state that has been essential to the election of every Republican presidential candidate since Lincoln.
    And we can also, for all intents and purposes, forget about the future of American democracy.

    -    Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election and is Rigging 2008, available at


 and, with Steve Rosenfeld, of What Happened in Ohio, available from The New Press in spring, 2006.
ANOTHER NOTE: It was reported today that Governor Bob Taft now has amassed a lowly 7% approval rating. I think I'd quit if I knew that only 7% of the people of my state actually thought I was the governor.

Originally posted to JellyPuddin on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 08:50 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ugh (none)
    not another one of these stories.

    Sorry.. you can't just claim that Issue 1 was "spot on" when the polling would require a huge split towards No on the undecideds to make it accurate.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 11:51:44 AM PST

  •  Can someone tell me... (none)
    ... what's up with the resurgence of these diaries?
    •  ... what's up with the resurgence of these diaries (4.00)
      Because......I'm from Ohio and it's important that we in Ohio let Diebold and the GOP know that we know. So...if you don't care about the voting issue then go watch football. Otherwise read and watchout for your may not have the chice and vote you thought you did have.


      I miss the good ole day's of Bill Clinton...

      by JellyPuddin on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 11:58:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So (none)
        Are you going to vote in 2006?
        •  Well...Yeah!!!!!!!!! (none)
          I have too...don't I?

          I can understand what your saying. I've seen many diaries on other subjects that seemed to never quit.

          But we can't let up....just because we're tired of the issue. If thats the case...we should just give up everywhere on everything.

          We all get energized...especially if it's close to home. I'd like to think I can make a difference in 2006 and 2008. But if Diebold and Blackwell have their way it may not be so.

          So be patient please and allow us all to fight and win our battles even if they don't effect you locally and personally.

          I miss the good ole day's of Bill Clinton...

          by JellyPuddin on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 12:03:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good (none)
            I'm glad you're going to vote, despite what you think happened in 2004.  There are too many people saying "well, they won't count our votes, so why do we bother?"  You've got a good attitude, though.

            I don't agree with the fraud stuff, but different opinions are what make a blog interesting.

            We had irregularities in NM as well.  I don't know what happened with the federal investigation, though.

            •  Page, see (4.00)
              the results of the tests Ohio's secretary of state contracted for on the Diebold machinery and tabulating.
            •  Nothing will happen with Federal Investigations... (4.00)
              If we stop posting and stop discussing it. There is a list somewhere here on the DKOS of all the issue's. Be it voting problems, Downing Street memos and other stuff. If it stays archived and we all forget about it then they've truly gotten away with it all.

              New Mexico did have problems as I recall.

              Thanks for the post's....

              This post was meant for those who really do care about Ohio and it's problem. If you don't care then just grunt and move on.

              The best thing about the DKOS site is that you can do that. Or you can read and stay informed. And thats what I an many are trying to do.

              I miss the good ole day's of Bill Clinton...

              by JellyPuddin on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 12:35:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  See also a 2nd poll (none)
              by the Univ. of Akron noted at this post on an "Ohio 2005 vote" discussion posted at a PhysicsForum: [ Link here ].
      •  you are not credible (none)
        after your innacurate and hurtful comments blaming senior citizens for the 04 Bush election I wouldn't take anything you say as credible or meaningful. The blame game is stupid and pointless.  Just get out there and vote anyway.
        •  I happen to be one of those Senior Citizens...... (4.00)
 was a very credible statement! I had many friends and relatives, co-workers etc all of which were over 50 years old and all voting for Bush.
          If a person can't say the truth about whats happening then we may as well join the other side and either keep out mouths shut or lie with them.

          Politics are going to hurt somethimes. Because it effects both you and I. How hurt did you feel when Bush won in 2004? If you were like me and the 100's of volunteers that worked fr months and stood aroound in the freezing rain to see it happen then you'd know that I too was hurting. I don't plan on hurting the next time.

          I miss the good ole day's of Bill Clinton...

          by JellyPuddin on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 12:29:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not more of these conspiracies (4.00)
    Polling showed all the RON measures losing overwhelmingly. The voting machine threads get very tiresome.
    •  the first two measures on RON (none)
      had a strong chance for passage according to polls.

      "please don't lie to me my Govt. does enough of that" -Aaron Hayes.

      by dieharddemocrat on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 01:57:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (none)
        I would assume that they probably lost on cottails, the same way all of Arnold's propositions failed in California. If I recall one or two of them were ahead, but were swept away in the momentum that led to the entire repudiation of all the measures.
        •  You might want to actually read the diary (none)
          Before commenting.

          The stange polling vs. election results are all in there. Here is a complete list, courtesy of

          ISSUE 1 ($2 Billion State Bond initiative)
          PRE-POLLING: 53% Yes, 27% No, 20% Undecided
          FINAL RESULT: 54% Yes, 45% No

          ISSUE 2 (Allow easier absentee balloting)
          PRE-POLLING: 59% Yes, 33% No, 9% Undecided
          FINAL RESULT: 36% Yes, 63% No

          ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
          PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
          FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

          ISSUE 4 (Ind. Comm. to draw Congressional Districts)
          PRE-POLLING: 31% Yes, 45% No, 25% Undecided
          FINAL RESULT: 30% Yes, 69% No

          ISSUE 5 (Ind. Board instead of Sec. of State to oversee elections)
          PRE-POLLING: 41% Yes, 43% No, 16% Undecided
          FINAL RESULT: 29% Yes, 70% No

          Issue 1 was supported by the Republicans, all other issues were opposed by Republicans. Issue 1 passed, none of the others did. Note the huge differences especially in 2,3, and 5.

          Statistically such anomalies are pretty much impossible, especially considering the polling organization has a long history to work with. To quote Bob Fitrakis, Free Press editor, who has a Ph.D. in Political Science,

          Fact: The Dispatch has always used a mailed-in ballot poll. It was completed on Thursday Nov. 3, just prior to Election Day. The Dispatch poll is so accurate at least two academic studies have been published in Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ). The first paper documents that the Dispatch mail-in poll between 1980-1984 was far more accurate than telephone polling. The study showed the Dispatch error rate at only 1.6 percentage points versus phone error rates of 5%. A companion study published in POQ in 2000 dealt specifically with the question of statewide referenda. A quote from the study: "The average error for the Dispatch forecast of these referenda was 5.4 percentage points, compared to 7.2 percentage points for the telephone surveys."

          Now here is the official county by county breakdown for Issue 1 and Issue 2 and for the 2004 Presidential election

          And here is an official county by county breakdown of what voting machines are used:

          Comparing things, some anomalies occur, such as the fact that the counties where the vote was not so lopsided on Issue 2, which would allow easier absentee balloting (i.e. inside of 45-55) was either still punchcard or non-Diebold electronic:

          County  Issue 2  2004 Pres    2005 type
                   Y-N %    B-K %
          Athens   49-51   36-64     punchcard
          Cuyahoga 48-52   33-77     punchcard
          Franklin 45-55   45-55   Danaher electronic
          Lorain   43-57   44-56   Accuvote-TSX electronic
          Summit   49-51   43-57     punchcard

          These are the results closest to the pre-election polling, which was Y-59% N-33% U-9%

          The other 83 counties were all farther outside the polling expectations. It's very odd, to say the least.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

          by bewert on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 10:05:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What is so tiresome about wanting votes counted (none)
      Accurately? To want to keep screaming about this until we have verifiable voting? To want to make an issue when polling is so far off from results? This exact issue is what resulted in the Ukrainian election results to be overturned, with help from the US government, yet you call this issue "tiresome"? Tiresome?


      If you have no concern about it, then go away and leave it to us that would like to see reliable, verifiable voting machines.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 02:27:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely!!!!! That was what I was thinking..... (none)
        Not having done too many diaries (although I've started to get the hang of it enough to actually believe it could become dangerous on my behalf)...
        And I say (this) because I recently attempted to get a security clearance to visit a relative who works somewhere...let's say important in Washington DC...can't say anymore about that...but you can guess who may not want me setting foot under their roof..

        Geeze...went completely off track there for a moment...sorry

        My friggin VOTE matters just as much as everyone else's. And not knowing if it's being counted as I wanted it to be drives me friggin up the wall. And to those who brush this diary off as just another one of THOSE POSTS about election fraud has not been listening or reading the posts that they ae so tired of seeing.

        It's about a corporation ,Diebold, fixing elections and by-passing the democratic system in our country. They will not allow for any changes to be made or give out of code for independent verification that their equipment could be checked and tested immediately to make absolutely certain that a vote tally was not being manipulated. A machine can be made and used by all voters that is FAILSAFE....but no one is offering such a machine. Because it wouldn't do what the Diebold machine will do. Insure that the GOP will win the race in every circumstance. Thats it...period.

        I miss the good ole day's of Bill Clinton...

        by JellyPuddin on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 04:39:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  ..what do you do.. (none)
    ..the day after an election is stolen?

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