Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy In Vote Fraud Claims

Michael Connell

Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, right. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work with Karl Rove and others helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.

Other recent news includes claims by both major parties of irregularities in last week’s Wisconsin state senate recall elections. In a pattern familiar nationally, Democrats suspect vote hiding by a partisan GOP elections supervisor and Republicans allege illegal inducements by Democrats to encourage voting. Elsewhere, Fox News played up a report about how a county judge in Nevada called the community-organizing group ACORN “reprehensible” on Aug. 10 and ordered a $5,000 fine for the defunct group because it paid a bonus to workers who registered voters.

To cut through the confusion on such disputes, the non-partisan Justice Integrity Project provides below a research guide to important recent allegations and landmark research. It emphasizes books and research reports by critics since they face the burden of challenging conventional wisdom and are typically ignored.

Update: Harper's Magazine published in its November 2012 issue arguably the first major mainstream treatment of electronic election fraud in How to Rig an Election by Victoria Collier, leader of the reform organization Votescam. Also, she is the daughter and niece of two pioneering investigators of the problem, each deceased. Also, OpEdNews published her column, Calling Out the Left-Wing Election Rigging Denialists on Nov. 3. In it, the author responded to what she called "the damaging attempts by left-wing journalists to deny the possibility of right-wing electronic vote tampering -- or any e-vote tampering -- particularly in the 2012 election."

Also, many blog posts and a half dozen books were published on the issue during the fall of 2012, as well as a powerful video report on the Fox News television affiliate in Cincinnati. For details, visit the Justice Integrity Project news archive for November 2012, and for the previous month.

But our guide includes also commentaries by Fox News (whose analyst Rove is at left) and author John Fund. They Karl Rovehave been leaders in fostering public fears that election fraud largely involves ineligible, poor and largely Democratic voters who may distort results.

In general, the evidence shows that electronic voting fraud, voter suppression and similar dirty tricks by public officials pose a serious threat to the democratic process. But this research is difficult because officials control the information. Also, research into official wrongdoing tends to be sporadic, under-funded and so controversial as to be career-threatening for researchers. Major news organizations are reluctant to report even allegations of official fraud and other wrongdoing, especially in the most important elections. So, reporters and other researchers need courage and skill, as well as management support. Steven Freeman

Statistics professor Steven Freeman, right, and In These Times editor Joel Bleifuss devote an entire chapter to journalistic cover-up in their book, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? The book argues that exit polls and other clues prove massive election fraud flipping the election -- and that leading news organizations not only downplayed the evidence but suppressed much of it outright or misreported results.The paperback edition of New York University professor Mark Crispin Miller's book, Fooled Again, contains a 100-page Afterword summarizing how the mainstream media avoids the issue.

One prominent national reporter assigned to such matters privately explained to me recently the thinking of his editors: They want rock-solid proof of conspiracy before even mentioning claims of misconduct for fear of ruining public confidence in the campaign and elections process. Yet by that standard, readers would learn little about any public issue. The Washington Post’s 1970s Watergate investigation, for example, was a series of reports that incrementally moved the story forward. Similarly, our Project’s exposé of the Justice Department frame-up of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman had its roots in brief news reports in Alabama newspapers a decade ago that helped show the ethics lapses of the jurist who later became Siegelman's trial judge, helping the Bush DOJ convict the state's most prominent Democrat on corruption charges.

Fortunately, concerned citizens of varied political views have stepped forward to research the problem of electronic election fraud and organize grassroots groups fighting for honest elections. Ohio resident James J. Condit, Jr., for example, pioneered protests decades ago against electronic voting fraud. Condit, a conservative who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2010 as a Constitution Party candidate, illustrates also that popular anger on the issue can be non-partisan. 

Ohio’s 2004 Election
George W. BushThe big case in the field of electronic elections fraud involves Ohio returns in the 2004 Presidential race between incumbent Republican George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democrat.

Connell’s testimony on Nov. 3, 2008 was a pre-trial deposition in a suit by Ohio voters alleging an election fraud conspiracy led by Republicans running the state government and the election. Defendants in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case include then-Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, below right, Rove and other officials and contractors. Defendants deny impropriety in the Ohio voting, where Bush’s reported margin was 118,775 votes. This enabled him to win the state’s 20 electoral votes and the presidency by an electoral vote of 286 to 251.

Connell described a mind-boggling electronic system whereby Blackwell -- who counted the votes as Secretary of State but also chaired the Ohio Bush-Cheney campaign -- hired Connell's company, GovTech Solutions. GovTech then linked Ohio’s 2004 Presidential election returns on Election Day to the computers of the partisan GOP contractor called SmarTech in Tennessee. Connell denied any wrongdoing, or any feKenneth Blackwellar of retribution for his testimony. 

But Bob Fitrakis and Clifford Arnebeck, two of the most prominent attorneys for the plaintiffs, held a press conference in July 2008, three months before their deposition, to say that supporters of the suit had received multiple anonymous warnings that Connell would be killed if he proceeded with his deposition. They released a letter to then-Attorney Gen. Michael Mukasey, other authorities and the news media asking for protection for Connell. Fitrakis is a political science professor at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, OH, and an editor of The Free Press, a civil rights group. He has co-authored four books and many articles alleging that Connell’s work helped President Bush’s team steal the 2004 Presidential election. Arneback is legal affairs director of Common Cause branch in Ohio and national co-chair of the Alliance for Democracy. 

Clifford ArnebackThe attorneys later said Connell’s testimony on Nov. 3, 2008 turned out to be so valuable that he would be their star witness at trial along with Stephen Spoonamore another Republican IT consultant. Spoonamore is a former IT director for GOP senator and 2008 Presidential nominee John McCain. He has said the system Connell set up enabled massive fraud that decided the nation’s 2004 Presidential election. Connell, a longtime Republican activist, was suspected also of helping enable Bush-Cheney malfeasance in Florida in 2000. After elections created a Republican majority in Congress House Republicans awarded Connell contracts to set up the email system serving both Congress and various partisan Republican organizations. SmarTech, whose clients included the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004, ran a private system for the Bush White House that enabled its users to bypass a government-run system subject to more rigorous oversight by Congress, the courts or other watchdogs. It has been reported that Rove used the SmarTech system for about 95% of his emails.

Connell’s 2008 testimony has been the subject of much speculation in voting rights circles. An expert pilot, he dieCollege Park, MD Airport Wayne Madsen Photod at age 45 in a single-plane crash six weeks after his testimony. His Piper Saratoga plane took off from a Maryland airfield for a trip to Ohio. A preliminary federal NTSB investigation failed to determine a cause but found no signs of mischief.

Excerpted below are several of the most prominent commentaries on the likelihood of foul play in his death. One is by investigative reporter Wayne Madsen, who photographed the take-off airfield in College Park to show how easy it could have been for a saboteur to have slipped into the vicinity. Madsen, a former Navy investigator and NSA analyst, has written extensively about on how small planes used by political figures are vulnerable to sabotage, including ground-to-air interference difficult for official investigators later to detect. A similar view was voiced in a 2009 column by Rebecca Abrahams, Mike Connell's Family Copes With His Mysterious Death, Tipsters, Legal Options.

Blackwell has taken a lead in denouncing accusers as sore losers. Like other defendants, he has denied wrongdoing both in court papers and in other public statements. But few reporters dare ever press for details or other comments, and Rove does not even bother mentioning the Ohio claims in his 2010 memoir, Courage and Consequence.

Cyber Trail
Connell was a longtime GOP activist motivated in politics by his strong anti-abortion views. In his testimony, he described how he founded two IT consultancies to provide services to the Bush White House, where he worked closely with Rove. Connell's firms were New Media Communications, Inc. and GovTech. In 2000 and 2004, Connell’s New Media Communications helped on campaign IT strategy for the Bush-Cheney ticket and the Republican National Committee. Connell's other firm worked for a various government clients, including: the U.S. House of Representatives; the House Republican Conference; the House Intelligence Committee; the House Judiciary Committee; the House Ways & Means Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

Connell said he used GovTech for such official government work, and New Media for his partisan, pro-GOP political work. Also, Connell described in his testimony how SmarTech handled such sensitive matters as White House emails, which are supposed to be preserved as government records. Bush officials later said key emails were inadvertently lost when congressional investigators demanded the emails as part of the House Judiciary Committee 2007 investigation of the notorious Bush DOJ purge of nine prosecutors in 2006.

David IglesiasSeveral of those fired were Republicans who had resisted political pressure to bring what they regarded as unwarranted voting fraud cases against Democrats. Among them was New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Another was Todd Graves, U.S. attorney for the Kansas City-based western district of Missouri. Iglesias discusses voting fraud extensively in his 2008 memoir, In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration. Iglesias, right, had been appointed to his powerful regional post in the first year of the Bush presidency. He recalls in the book how his Bush colleagues at DOJ headquarters transformed DOJ’s Voting Litigation Section:

While the emphasis had formerly been on safeguarding the franchise for disadvantaged citizens of every description, the new emphasis was on using federal power to expunge from the rolls those who, for whatever reason, were judged not to belong there.

Iglesias noted that Graves, another 2001 Bush appointee, was replaced by Bradley Schlozman, “a DOJ attorney who had made a name for himself by digging up convenient voter fraud cases, real or imagined.” Schlozman had led the transformation of DOJ’s Voting Litigation Section. As part of the U.S. attorney purge, he replaced Graves in March 2006, in time to announce voting fraud indictments against ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Five days before the 2006 elections, just in time so that news reports would damage Democrats, Schlozman, below left, announced indictments against four former ACORN workers who earned $8 an hour to sign up voters in poor neighborhoods. The workers had been turned in by ACORN itself, and so it was an easy prosecution.

Bradley SchlozmanCongress cut off any federal funding for ACORN’s varied community programsin part because an embezzlement by its founder, and the organization dissolved in 2010. The Obama administration’s view of the U.S. attorney purge and the Schlozman decision-making transforming the DOJ's voting rights section has been, forthe most part, to avoid finger-pointing. Our Project has gone farther and called the DOJ's final report last summer a whitewash. We reported that the investigator was herself compromised by a court-finding of misconduct, and that she focused almost exclusively on the Iglesias firing. She failed to call key witnesses involving the other 92 U.S. attorneys offices, including those that the Bush administration described as "loyal Bushie" prosecutors empowered to remain in cases such as the Siegelman and ACORN prosecutions around the nation. The Obama response of closing ranks with Bush predecessors thus illustrates the president's “look forward not backward” policy he announced in January 2009 regarding suspected Bush administration wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Republicans and their media outlets have muddied the waters on election fraud issues by criticizing the DOJ for not taking stronger actions against two Philadelphia members of the New Black Panther Party (a Nation of Islam offshoot), one of whom is alleged to have menaced voters by carrying a police-type billy club outside a polling site in 2008. A party official says the two overdid their attempt to project an image of community strength in the face of what they regarded as potential official efforts to dampen turnout by black and poor voters.

But Christian Adams, one of Schlozman's sub ordinates at DOJ's voting rights section, attracted national news coverage by resigning from the Obama DOJ in protest because it dropped the case that holdover Bush employees had filed in January 2009 against the men and their party, whose leaders have made anti-white comments on various occasions. "Some have called the actions in Philadelphia an isolated incident, not worthy of federal attention," the former DOJ attorney wrote in a Washington Times column republished by Newsmax. "To the contrary, the Black Panthers in October 2008 announced a nationwide deployment for the election. We had indications that polling-place thugs were deployed elsewhere, not only in November 2008, but also during the Democratic primaries, where they targeted white Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters. In any event, the law clearly prohibits even isolated incidents of voter intimidation."

Looking Ahead

Stephen SpoonamanReaders here can judge how that situation compares with the fears of the Republican IT consultant Spoonamore regarding the 2004 elections. and the prospects that the same kind of problems still exist, with scant scrutiny by the news media. Fitrakis, the plaintiffs co-counsel, summarized in an article July 20 for the Free Press Spoonamore's testimony and significant new evidence. The evidence included the contract signed between then-Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell and Connell's company, plus a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State's election-night server layout system. In response to a question of whether SmarTech, a subsidiary of Airnet, had the capability to "input data" and thus alter the results of Ohio's 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: "Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not."

"Until now," Fitrakis wrote, "the architectural maps and contracts from the Ohio 2004 election were never made public, which may indicate that the entire system was designed for fraud. In a previous sworn affidavit to the court, Spoonamore swore: "The architecture further confirms how this election was stolen. The computer system and SmarTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmarTech computers."

"The transfer of the vote count to SmarTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee remains a mystery, Fitrakis says. "This would have only happened if there was a complete failure of the Ohio computer election system. Connell swore under oath that, "To the best of my knowledge, it was not a fail-over case scenario – or it was not a failover situation....Bob Magnan, a state IT specialist for the secretary of state during the 2004 election, agreed that there was no failover scenario. Magnan said he was unexpectedly sent home at 9 p.m. on election night and private contractors ran the system for Blackwell."

Craig Unger is the author of the 2004 best-seller House of Bush, House of Saud that provided core research for Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11, the world's top-grossing "documentary" of all-time. [The category of documentary is a term of art, sometimes controversial, because almost all filmmakers take at least some liberties with time sequences and other facts to dramatize their work.] Unger has been working for months on an investigative article about SmarTech and the 2004 election for Vanity Fair. But major publications do not always publish assignments, even by successful authors. Powerful interests made a major and almost-successful effort, for example, to suppress Fahrenheit.

Stay tuned as coverage of 2012 elections heats up. And keep your eye on the software -- if you can find it.

 

Contact the author Andrew Kreig. Additions or comments to the lists below are especially welcome
 
 
 
For Further Research
 
 
2015 Notable Developments

Justice Integrity Project, DC Experts Hail Historic Nigerian Elections As Success, But Note Challenges Ahead, Andrew Kreig, April 10, 2015. Nigeria’s first-ever transfer of power between parties via a presidential election marks a great success April 1, according experts at two conferences April 9 in Washington, DC.  “When power alternates between parties the likelihood of coups goes down and confidence in democracy goes up,” said American University Professor Carl LeVan, speaking at a forum organized by former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Sanders. “This will be good for competitive democracies and those other issues like security and corruption.”

The Brennan Center, America’s Voting Technology Crisis, Lawrence Norden and Christopher Famighetti, Sept. 15, 2015. Cross-posted on The Atlantic.  The 2016 campaign is already underway, with nearly two dozen candidates vying to be the next president. Americans may have no idea who they will vote for next year, but they are likely confident that when they show up at the polls, their votes will count. And for the vast majority, of course, they will. But with rapidly aging voting technology, the risk of machines failing is greater than it has been in many years. In a close election, the performance of that old equipment will come under a microscope. Fifteen years after a national election trauma in Florida that was caused in significant measure by obsolete voting equipment—including hanging chads and butterfly ballots—it may be hard for many Americans to believe that the U.S. could face such a crisis again. But unless the right precautions are taken today and in the coming months and years, there is a significant risk that the story on Election Day will be less about who won or lost, and more about how voting systems failed.

Brennan Center, America's Voting Technology Crisis: 2016 and Beyond, Sept. 17, 2015. The Brennan Center hosted a discussion about the challenges with today's voting machine technologies. Experts discussed current risks, changing technologies, and possible solutions and paths for reform.

OpEdNews, Brennan Center for Justice Panel, Press Club, 9/17: "America's Voting Technology Crisis,"  Marta Steele, Sept. 19, 2015. The Brennan Center's held a stimulating event, America's Voting Technology Crisis, at the National Press Club announcing a September 15 report published by the Center. Panelists: NPR correspondent and elections specialist Pam Fessler; Edgardo Cortes, Commissioner of Elections, Virginia Department of Elections; Neal Kelley (via Skype), Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California; and Doug Lewis, recently retired, long-time executive director of The Election Center, an umbrella organization that educates, trains, and brings together election officials from throughout the country.

BradCast via Pacifica syndicated radio stations, Hand-Counting Paper Ballots in Columbia County, NY, Brad Friedman, Oct. 3 and 4, 2015. On today's BradCast: Our interview with Virginia Martin and Jason Nastke, the Democratic and Republican Election Commissioners (respectively) of Columbia County, NY, where they refuse to certify results until every hand-marked paper ballot is publicly counted by hand after each election.

The two Commissioners joined me to respond to a recent Brennan Center study warning that the nation's voting computers and tabulators are aging and failing and should be replaced as soon as possible with new computer systems. I agree with the first part of their findings, not so much with the second part, both of which we discussed in a recent BradCast with Lawrence Norden, co-author of that well-reported study. Martin and Nastke don't seem to agree either, finding that hand-marked paper ballots, publicly hand-counted by human beings, remain the best way to assure that every voter's intent is accurately and transparently tallied. "In reality, computing is maybe 50 years old," the Republican Nastke tells me on today's program. "We use paper ballots and paper is hundreds, if not thousands of years old. Historical documents continue to exist to this day. So, what we know is that when a voter votes on a paper ballot that there is an absolute way for the voter's intent to be determined, and properly counted."

University of the District of Columbia Clarke School of Law, Video of Code Red: Computerized Election Fraud Panel, produced by Joe Libertelli, May 22, 2015 (video: 179 mins.). On May 20, 2015, the UDC Clarke School of Law hosted a book Jonathan Simon "Code Red"talk on CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century  by Jonathan Simon, a Boston-based attorney and co-founder and director of the Election Defense Alliance. The program was kicked off by Andrea Miller, Director of  People Demanding Action, who provided a brief history of politics and methods used to suppress votes and voters starting with slavery. She is shown at left in the photo. Simon spoke not only on the facts and history of computerized election fraud -- which he described as a "rolling coup" -- but also on the difficult challenge of maintaining optimism in the face of the massive inertia that he and other election integrity activists have faced.  He spoke of the clear need for a mass movement in protection of democracy against the forces of anti-democracy. After Simon's frank and sobering talk, Virginia Martin, Co-Election Commissioner of Columbia County, NY, described her own very positive experience, working with a Republican co-commissioner, to assure 100% hand-counted, completely transparent, observable audits of voted ballots since optical-scan voting machines were introduced in her county, providing a national model for optical-scan using jurisdictions nationwide. All three speakers then responded to numerous questions from the audience.  Of particular interest was the potential for the use of Ms. Martin's auditing technique nationally and the enormous potential to ally "traditional" groups working against voter suppression with the election integrity movement. Unfortunately, University of Pennsylvania professor and researcher Steve Freeman, author of Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count was unable to participate.

 
2013 Notable Developments

USA Today, House panel OKs ending Election Assistance Commission, Deborah Barfield Berry, June 5, 2013. Republicans moved a step forward Tuesday in their continuing effort to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which was created to help states run elections. A House committee approved legislation Tuesday to shut down the federal commission set up more than 10 years ago to help states improve their election systems. "This agency needs to go,'' said Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, who introduced the bill to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission. "This agency has outlived its usefulness and to continue to fund it is the definition of irresponsibility.''

The House Administration Committee approved the legislation by voice vote. This marks Harper's third attempt in four years to close the bipartisan independent commission, which he called a "bloated bureaucracy.'' It is not clear when the full House will vote on the measure. Harper said he's working to persuade a senator to introduce a companion measure in that chamber. The chairwoman of the Administration Committee, Republican Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, called the Election Assistance Commission "a prime example of waste shielded by bureaucracy." She said the agency no longer helps voters or election officials. "There's just no need for this agency to exist," she said. "We need to shut it down.''

Voting rights advocates counter that the commission is still needed, particularly since some states still experience long lines at polls and other problems on Election Day. "There's a great need for it,'' said Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP. "There's a need for those responsibilities that the EAC was given by statute ... We want to see the EAC strengthened so it can do what it was designed to do.'' Congress created the Election Assistance Commission in 2002 as part of the Help America Vote Act to help states improve their voting systems. The commission serves as a source of election-related information and data. Since 2004, it has provided states with technical advice in running elections and has disbursed more than $3.2 billion in federal funds to help them upgrade voting machines, train poll workers and buy new equipment. About $18 million remains.

Washington Post, Maryland’s proposed online ballot system called vulnerable to cyberattack, Aaron C. Davis, Feb. 23, 2013 A controversial change in Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s otherwise popular bill to expand early voting could lead to voter fraud and expose the state’s elections to cybersecurity threats, according to a voting group and election technology experts. The provision, sought for more than a year by Maryland’s State Board of Elections, would allow any Marylander to receive a password by e-mail to download and mark a ballot at home before mailing it back to elections officials. But the problem, critics warn, is that the e-mail system lacks basic protections and there would be no signature verification or other means to ensure that the person for whom the ballot is intended is actually the person who casts it. Experts have also warned that the proposed online ballot delivery system could be hacked on a massive scale because of a second and related vulnerability that still exists with the state’s new online voter registration system. Maryland residents can register to vote online with a driver’s license number. But in Maryland, that number is a formula of a resident’s name and birth date that can be found online.
 
2012 Campaign Season Updates

Harper's Magazine, How to Rig an Election, Victoria Collier, November 2012. We are now in the midst of yet another election season. And as November 6 approaches, only one thing is certain: American voters will have no ability to know with certainty who wins any given race, from dogcatcher to president. Nor will we know the true results of ballot initiatives and referenda affecting some of the most vital issues of our day, including fracking, abortion, gay marriage, GMO-food labeling, and electoral reform itself. Our faith-based elections are the result of a new Dark Age in American democracy, brought on, paradoxically, by techological progress

Harper's, Official Business: On Victoria Collier’s “How to Rig an Election,”  Editors, Nov. 5, 2012. In her story, Victoria Collier notes the nationwide shift toward electronic voting since the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2002. As many readers have told us, the case studies she unearths are essential reading, especially given Mitt Romney’s recent performance in battleground-state polls. That’s why, in advance of Tuesday’s election, we’re taking the unusual step of making a cover feature freely available. Republican attempts to claim the high ground on the issue of voter fraud this election season—on display in the party’s push to enact spurious voter-identification legislation in some states—have been richly ironic. The G.O.P. is, after all, the party that benefited from Bush v. Gore, from the Ohio debacle of 2004, and, as writer and election activist Victoria Collier points out in her November cover feature for Harper’s Magazine, from a rash of suspicious election results in recent years.

OpEdNews, Calling Out the Left-Wing Election Rigging Denialists, Victoria Collier, Nov. 3, 2012.  This article responds to the damaging attempts by left-wing journalists to deny the possibility of right-wing electronic vote tampering -- or any e-vote tampering -- particularly in the 2012 election. In the past week, Chuck Todd at MSNBC News has Tweeted that concerns about electronic voting machines are "conspiracy theory that belong in the same category as the Trump birther garbage." ThinkProgress, the left-wing advocacy and news site, posted an article with the same blanket "conspiracy theory" dismissal. And finally, Steven Rosenfeld wrote a similar opinion piece -- posted by Alternet (as "news" no less) and then picked up by Salon and Snopes -- to further "debunk" concerns about stolen elections. What are these journalists railing against? A flood of recent stories warning of the potential for massive computerized election fraud in the 2012 elections.

News 21, Comprehensive Database of U.S. Voter Fraud Uncovers No Evidence That Photo ID Is Needed, Natasha Khan and Corbin Carson, Aug. 12, 2012. A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent.  In an exhaustive public records search, News21 reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of fraudulent activity including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, casting an ineligible vote, voting twice, voter impersonation fraud and intimidation. Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters. “Voter fraud at the polls is an insignificant aspect of American elections,” said elections expert David Schultz, professor of public policy at Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minn.

Huffington Post, Longer Voting Lines For Minorities, Dan Froomkin, Nov. 7, 2012. Hours after President Barack Obama declared that the nation needs to fix the problem of long lines at the voting booth, a survey by Hart Research, commissioned by the AFL-CIO, found that minorities and Democrats were more likely to experience long wait times than others. Nearly a quarter of blacks -- 24 percent -- and Hispanics -- 22 percent -- reported waiting in line more than 30 minutes, compared to 9 percent of whites. Obama voters were nearly twice as likely as Romney voters to face long lines, at 16 percent to 9 percent.

Karl Rove

Buzzfeed, Karl Rove Freaks Out About Fox News Calling The Election For Obama, Dorsey Shaw. Nov. 6, 2012. “We've got to be careful about calling things when we have like 991 vote separating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote left to count.”

Associated Press / Houston Chronicle, Judge rejects lawsuit's Ohio voting software claim, Andrew Welch-Huggins, Nov. 6, 2012. A Green Party congressional candidate and elections activist provided "zero" evidence to support his claims that new voting machine software could cause ballots to be altered, a judge ruled Tuesday. Bob Fitrakis presented only theories and opinions that the software might cause voting night irregularities, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost said in a 10-page decision issued a few hours after a hearing. Fitrakis and his attorney had wanted the judge to order Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to stop using the software and break the state's contract with Omaha, Nebraska-based Elections Systems & Software.

Richard CharninRichard Charnin True Vote Model, Final 2012 Polls and Analysis, Richard Charnin (right), Nov. 6, 2012. In 2008, Obama won the recorded vote by 52.9%-45.6%. He won the unadjusted state exit poll weighted aggregate by 58-40.5%. The True Vote Model indicated that he won by 58.0-40.3%. The analysis indicates that Obama should do quite well in these battleground states – unless, of course, the elections are stolen.

OpEdNews, Interview Transcript: Greg Palast: The War Between the Billionaires, And Election Theft, Rob Kall, Nov. 6, 2012. Part one of a transcript of my interview with  one of the best investigative reporters in the world, Greg Palast, about his newest book, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits. And we got into something very interesting-- that there's a war between two kinds of billionaires-- The vampire squids and the Vultures. And yes, this affects the elections and the nine ways they are going to be stolen and corrupted.

Free Press, The e-voting lawsuit that could decide the election, Harvey Wasserman, The e-voting lawsuit that could decide the election, Nov. 5, 2012.  In Columbus, Ohio, 9:00am Election Day marks the opening of a federal adjudication that could decide who next occupies the White House. Heard by Judge Gregory Frost, the case is Robert Fitrakis vs. John Husted and Election Systems & Software. It revolves around an "experimental" software patch newly attached to the electronic voting systems in 39 Ohio counties. The patch is ostensibly meant to facilitate the transmission and analysis of the Ohio vote count as conducted on machines supplied by the E.S. & S. company.

Greg Palast Billionairres BookConsortium News, Democracy on the Ballot, Joe Lauria, Nov. 5, 2012. What’s left of American democracy is on the Nov. 6 ballot, with the Republicans hoping that a combination of voter suppression and attack ads bought by billionaires will secure the White House and Congress. Investigative reporter Greg Palast describes the strategy in a new book reviewed by Joe Lauria. With opinion polls heading into Tuesday’s election a dead heat, the decision could come down to a controversial counting of ballots in a replay of Florida 2000. That would put the focus on how Americans vote, a story that has so far been a subtext to this presidential race. The news media tend to concentrate on the horserace rather than the complicated issues surrounding how the winner will be determined. But the public is evidently interested. It has catapulted to bestseller status a humorous new book that probes the questionable techniques developed over the past 20 years to influence the outcome of national elections. The humor to be sure is black. Having taught statistics at Indiana University, author Greg Palast is well aware that a dry political science study of the subject would not have sold nearly 20,000 copies in its first four weeks. Illustrated with a 48-page centerfold of Ted Rall comics, and with an Introduction and a chapter by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories Press, 284 pps.) reached the top 10 on the New York Times list. Clearly outraged, Palast’s flippancy, however, risks taking the edge off the issue’s deadly seriousness.

ElectionProtectionAction.org, The Next Frontier In Election Fraud: A Beginner's Guide To MOVE Act Election Hacking, Jill Simpson and Jim March, Nov. 5, 2012. The federal MOVE Act of 2009[3] (Military Overseas Voting Empowerment) was supposed to improve ballot access for every sort of overseas and/or military-away-from-home voter. It had the unfortunate side-effect of opening up the single worst security hole in the US election process ever seen.  This is not hyperbole – the nature of the security deficit created allows a very small “attack team” (group of knowing election criminals) to alter election results across multiple jurisdictions (and even states) while acting from overseas, reducing the risk of being punished even if caught.

Jon HustedAtlantic, Ohio's Provisional Ballot Order: The Biggest Legal Story of the Weekend, Andrew Cohen, Nov. 4, 2012. A late voting directive from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, at left, begets an "emergency motion" about how to count provisional ballots.

Huffington Post, Florida Early Voting Fiasco: Voters Wait For Hours At Polls As Rick Scott Refuses To Budge, Amanda Terkel, Nov. 4, 2012. Once again, Florida and its problems at the polls are at the center of an election. Early voting is supposed to make it easier for people to carry out their constitutional right. Tuesdays are notoriously inconvenient to take off work, so many states have given voters the option of turning out on weekends or other weekdays in the run-up to Election Day. But in Florida this year, it has been a nightmare for voters, who have faced record wait times, long lines in the sun and a Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has refused to budge and extend early voting hours.

Institute for Political Economy / OpEdNews, U.S. Elections: Will the Dead Vote and Voting Machines be Hacked? Paul Craig Roberts, Nov. 3, 2012. The old ballot-box fraud was localized and limited in its reach. Electronic voting allows elections to be rigged on a statewide and national scale. Moreover, with electronic voting there are no missing ballot boxes to recover from the Louisiana bayous. Using proprietary corporate software, the vote count is what the software specifies. A country without a transparent vote is a country without democracy.

OpEd News, Will America's 2012 Election Be Stolen? Harvey Wasserman, Nov. 3, 2012. Media Advisory: Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein will speak at a noon press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC with voting integrity sleuths to warn against  danger to the public in the ownership and management of America's eletronic vote count Nov. 6.

Huffington Post, As Ohio Faces Vote-Rigging Lawsuit, Are Dems, Liberals, Election Officials Ready to Safeguard Votes? Art Levine, Nov. 2, 2012. There's mounting fall-out from reports, first broken by The Free Press, that a Mitt Romney-linked company owns the Hart Intercivic voting machines used in key counties in Colorado, Ohio and other states. The stories have stoked new fears about a "stolen" election. UPDATE: Those worries about a rigged election were given new urgency today as The Ohio-based Free Press editor-in-chief Robert Fitrakis, also a Green Party candidate for Congress, announced plans to file a lawsuit later today seeking an immediate injunction against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and the ES&S manufacturer to halt the use of secretly installed, unauthorized "experimental" software in 39 counties' tabulators in an alleged violation of state election law. His attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, has also referred the case to the Cincinnati FBI for a criminal investigation. Arnebeck says, "It's a flagrant violation of the law. Before you add new software, you need approval of a state board. They are installing an uncertified, suspect software patch that interfaces between the a county's vote tabulation equipment and state tabulators." He adds, "This is criminal conduct. If they're not doing something wrong, why are they covering it up?"

FreePress, FreePress.org confirms installation of 'experimental' patches to ES&S voting systems, end-run of Ohio standard, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Nov. 2, 2012. Investigation of the suspect procedures being used to effectively end-run Ohio's official protocols required to  certify changes to electronic voting machines continues apace, at FreePress.org. The new report updates earlier reporting that the secret installations had been carried out under supposedly exceptional allowances for experimental upgrades.

Free Press, Free Press confirms installation, secret justification of uncertified last minute election tabulation reporting software in Ohio, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Nov. 2, 2012. The Free Press has obtained internal memos from the senior staff of the Ohio Secretary of State's office confirming the installation of untested and uncertified election tabulation software. Yesterday, the Free Press reported that "experimental" software patches were installed on ES&S voting machines in 39 Ohio counties. (see Will "experimental" software patches affect the Ohio vote?).

Pima County (Arizona), Pima Co Election Wars Testimony of Mickey Duniho, You Tube uploaded by John R. Brakey, Nov. 1, 2012 (Video 45:06 min). Mickey Duniho, a local election official and a former NSA scientist, testified in election integrity hearing held in Tucson, Arizona. Duniho is one of thirteen plaintiffs suing Pima County to get them to comply with existing election laws. He provides an excellent overview.

Mother Jones, The Dog That Voted and Other Election Fraud Yarns: The GOP's 10-year campaign to gin up voter fraud hysteria—and bring back Jim Crow at the ballot box, Kevin Drum, July / August, 2012. What's the problem with cracking down on voter fraud? And why shouldn't voters be required to show photo ID? If you need ID to cash a check or buy a six-pack, why not to vote? The answer—surprising to many—is straightforward: Not everyone has, or can easily get, a photo ID. Among blacks, the young, and the poor—all of whom vote for Democrats at high rates—the rate was about 80 percent. Overall, 91 percent of registered Republicans had some form of photo ID, compared to only 83 percent of registered Democrats. Still, Republicans argue, anyone can obtain a photo ID with a modest amount of effort if they really want to vote. And isn't this small amount of inconvenience worth it in order to crack down on fraud? Sure — but first there needs to be some actual fraud to crack down on. And that turns out to be remarkably elusive. That's not to say that there's none at all. In a country of 300 million you'll find a bit of almost anything. But multiple studies taking different approaches have all come to the same conclusion: The rate of voter fraud in American elections is close to zero. In her 2010 book, The Myth of Voter Fraud, Lorraine Minnite tracked down every single case brought by the Justice Department between 1996 and 2005 and found that the number of defendants had increased by roughly 1,000 percent under Ashcroft. But that only represents an increase from about six defendants per year to 60, and only a fraction of those were ever convicted of anything. A New York Times investigation in 2007 concluded that only 86 people had been convicted of voter fraud during the previous five years. Many of those appear to have simply made mistakes on registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, and more than 30 of the rest were penny-ante vote-buying schemes in local races for judge or sheriff. The investigation found virtually no evidence of any organized efforts to skew elections at the federal level.

Worrall, Simon. Cybergate: Was The White House Stolen By Cyberfraud, Amazon Digital, 2012. Robert Kennedy Jr. calls it " more important than Watergate." In this gripping, investigative work, critically acclaimed author, Simon Worrall, follows the trail of evidence to show that the 2004 Ohio election, which put George Bush into the White House for the second time, may have been hacked. At the center of the drama is Karl Rove's, brilliant IT expert, Michael Connell, who died when his Piper Saratoga plane crashed mysteriously in 2010. Was Connell murdered to cover up the truth? Drawing on extensive, forensic evidence and candid testimonies, including an exclusive interview with Connell's widow, Worrall unravels the mystery of Connell's death. Previously unpublished, secret documents obtained by the author point towards a chilling, possible cause. The result is a dramatic, True Crime story underpinned by colorful characters and painstaking research, which takes the reader inside the shadowy world of electoral fraud. And with a Presidential election looming this year, Worrall's detailed exposure of the vulnerability of digital voting machines to abuse could not be more timely.

2011 This Column

Justice Integrity Project, Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy of Vote Fraud Claims, Andrew Kreig, Aug. 13, 2011. Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, right, as shown on a campaign website. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.

 

Books (in alphabetic order by author)

Ari Berman. Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.

Richard Charnin, Proving Election Fraud. AuthorHouse, 2010.

Richard Charnin, Maxtrix of Deceit. 2014.

James and Kenneth Collier, Votescam: The Stealing of America. CreateSpace, 2012 (Kindle edition free) (First published, 1992).

Clint Curtis, Just A Fly On The Wall. Clint Curtis Publishing, 2004.

Abbe Waldman DeLozier & Vickie Karp, HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America -- 11 Experts Expose the Truth, Truth Enterprises Publishing, 2006.

Steven Fereman book coverSteven F. Freeman and Joel Bleifuss, Foreword  by U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr., Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, Seven Stories Press, 2006.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, 2005.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman with Gerry Bellow. Corporate Vote Theft & the Future of American Democracy, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, 2013. Available here.

Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, eds. Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election? Essential Documents, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, 2005. Available here.

Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, eds. What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft And Fraud in the 2004 Election, New Press, 2006.

John Fund, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, Encounter, 2008.

Heather K. Gerkin. The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It. Princeton University, 2009.

Bev Harris with David Allen, Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century, Talion, 2004.
John Kerry

Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Free Press, 2006. Includes section describing Ohio Secretary of State W. Kenneth Blackwell's multiple roles in 2004 as elections administrator, Bush-Cheney Ohio campaign co-chairman and a prominent speaker to Christian Right audiences.

Paul S. Herrnson, Richard G. Niemi, Michael J. Hanmer, Benjamin B. Bederson, Frederick C. Conrad, and Michael W. Traugott, Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot, Brookings Institution, 2008.

Heather K. Gerken. The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It.  Princeton University, 2009.

Richard L. Hasen. The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown. Yale University, 2013. Richard Hasen is professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. He is co-author of a leading casebook on election law and from 2001 to 2010 served as founding co-editor of the quarterly peer-reviewed publication, Election Law Journal.

David Iglesias, In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration. Wiley, 2008.

Daniel Hays Lowenstein, Richard L. Hasen, Daniel P. Tokaji. Election Law: Cases And Materials (Fifth Edition). Carolina Academic Press, 2012.

Anita Miller, Ed., Intro. by Gore Vidal. What Went Wrong In Ohio. Academy Chicago, 2005.

Mark Crispin Miller, Fooled Again, Basic Books, 2005, paper book in 2007 with 100-page Afterword documenting lack of coverage by the mainstream media.

Mark Crispin Miller, ed., Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000 – 2008. IG Publishing, 2008. Essays and research articles by Larisa Alexandrovna, Michael Collins, Lance de Haven-Smith, Bob Fitrakis, Brad Friedman, David L. Griscom, James H. Gundlach, Jean Kaczmarek, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Paul Lehto, David W. Moore, Bruce O’Dell, Michael Richardson, Steven Rosenfeld, Jonathan Simon and Nancy Tobi.

Lorraine C. Minnite, The Myth of Voter Fraud, Cornell University, 2010.

Spencer Overton, Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression. Norton, 2006.

Marta SteeleGreg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Plume/Penguin, 2003. Reports 91,000 eligible Florida voters voided.

Greg Palast. Armed Madhouse. Dutton, 2006. Includes extensive treatment of election fraud.

Greg Palast with comics by Ted Rall. Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How To Steal An Election In 9 Easy Steps. Seven Stories, 2012.

Sheila Parks, While We Still Have Time: The Perils Of Electronic Voting Machines And Democracy's Solution: Publicly Observed, Secure Hand-Counted Paper Ballots (HCPB) Elections. CreateSpace, 2012.

Marta Steele, Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, 2000-2008, Columbus Institute, 2012. (Steele is shown at left)Marta Steele

 

Films & Television

50 Ways to Steal an Election: Part 4 of Interview with Stephen Spoonamore, Velvet Revolution video interview by Brett Kimberlin, Sept. 24, 2008.

Murder, Spies & Voting Lies (The Clint Curtis story) (2008) DVD, Brad Friedman (Actor), Clint Curtis (Actor), Patty Sharaf (Director)

Recount, 2008. Starring Kevin Spacey and Bob Balaban. Directed by Jay Roach. Film trailer video.

Recount Democracy
, 2002. Documentary directed by Danny Schechter.

 

Blogs and Articles

2012 (Updated)
NPC
 
National Press Club, ACLU and Heritage Foundation speakers clash over voter identification laws, Lorna Aldrich, Feb. 23, 2012. Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation clashed repeatedly over the effects of state laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at a Feb. 23 National Press Club Newsmakers news conference. Both speakers are portrayed at right in a photo by Noel St. John of the Press Club including also moderator Tejinder Singh. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 15 states now require voters to show photo IDs before voting. In 2012, 31 states have legislation pending that would add or strengthen voter-ID laws, according to the state legislatures conference.
 
Von Spakovsky opened by saying that the key principle of any election is to make sure who is voting by requiring identification and determining citizenship. “Those kinds of requirements also increase public confidence in our election process,” he said. Voter-identification requirements not only prevent fraud by individuals but also prevent double voting and voting in the names of dead people still on the rolls," Spakovsky said. Murphy responded that the statistics were flawed because they did not account for African-American migration to Georgia and Indiana. She added that the statistics could only count people who voted and could not address the number of people prevented from voting because of the laws. Minorities, low income people and rural people faced hardships acquiring photo IDs even in states that issue them for free, Murphy said. She reasoned that many people do not have a birth certificate or other required documentation to support issuance of a photo ID. They may not have the money, time off from jobs, or transportation to acquire the supporting documents, she added. “There are hundreds of polling places but there are not hundreds of places issuing photo IDs,” Murphy said.
 
2011
 
Washington Post, Virginia’s ballot-access laws turn tables on GOP, Ezra Klein, Dec. 29, 2011. Of the seven candidates still in serious contention for the Republican nomination for the presidency, only two of them — Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — will be appearing in the Virginia primary on March 6. Republicans are furious. Some of them blame the candidates who failed to qualify. But other Republicans — and most of the candidates — have turned their fire on Virginia. But it runs counter to the efforts Republicans have mounted in dozens of states to make it more difficult for ordinary Americans to participate in the 2012 election. Thirty-four states have introduced — and seven have passed — strict laws requiring photo IDs. It’s not just photo ID laws, of course. Thirteen states have introduced bills to end same-day and election-day voter registration. Nine states have introduced laws restricting early voting, and four more have introduced proposals to restrict absentee voting. Two states have reversed decisions allowing ex-convicts to vote, and 12 states have introduced laws requiring proof of citizenship. Nationally, House Republicans voted to do away with the Election Assistance Commission.

Daily Kos /OpEd News, Wisconsin wanders into poll tax territory, Chris Bowers, Sept. 10, 2011. A Wisconsin official has discouraged state workers from volunteering information about free IDs available under a controversial voter identification law that critics complain is designed to suppress votes, a memo leaked on Wednesday showed.The memo, provided to the press by Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach, was likely to fan concerns among critics of the Republican-backed law that it aimed to suppress votes of thousands of otherwise eligible Wisconsin voters. The 24th amendment to the Constitution made it illegal to deny or abridge a citizen's right to vote in federal elections due to their failure to pay a poll tax or any other kind of tax. Now that Wisconsin, along with several other states, requires official state identification in order to vote, those states are constitutionally required to provide citizens with a free version of the ID.

Rolling Stone, The GOP War on Voting, Ari Berman, Sept. 15, 2011. In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year.  As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots.

OpEd News, Hacking Our Elections With Big Money And Power, Michael Collins and Sheila Parks, Aug. 23, 2011. In 2004, Wally O'Dell, CEO and Chair of the Board of Diebold, said he would help deliver Ohio to Bush. And he did. Election fraud has been going on at least since 1970. Read the book Votescam, by the late great brothers, James and Kenneth Collier. The fraud of the electronic voting machines, coupled with the complicity of the corporate media and the politicians, are not glitches, errors, anomalies. To begin to solve this mess, we must immediately go to secure, hand-counted paper ballot elections. To see a video interview with James Collier go here.

BradBlog, 'There is No Way for Them to be Tampered With': Mississippi Election Clerk Gets Approval to Remove Paper Trail Printers from Diebold Touch-Screens, Brad Friedman, Aug. 18, 2011. Last week, e-voting system failures -- such as e-voting machines that wouldn't start up at all and votes that were counted twice -- led to chaos and uncertain results in Mississippi's state primaries, leading one official to declare days afterward, as they were all struggling to sort out results of several close elections: "At this point there is no election...Everyone is baffled." Against that backdrop then, the Jones County Board of Supervisors approved the removal of printers from the county’s voting machines at the request of Jones County Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin at Monday’s board meeting in Laurel.

Hans Von Spakovsky

Heritage Foundation, Voter Photo Identification: Protecting the Security of Elections, Hans von Spakovsky, July 13, 2011. Voter fraud may be a part of America’s history, but it does not have to be a part of America’s future. Six states — Georgia, Indiana, Texas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Kansas — have recently adopted laws requiring voters to produce a photograph identification card (voter ID) when they vote at their polling places on Election Day. Such voter ID laws are under attack from opponents armed with an array of claims—specious allegations and over-the-top tales of voter disenfranchisement — but courts continue to rule in favor of voter ID requirements. Therefore, states should continue to pursue voter ID laws. They have a valid and legitimate state interest not only in deterring and detecting voter fraud, but also in maintaining the confidence of their citizens in the security of U.S. elections.

Election Defense Alliance, What Happened in Wisconsin? We Don't Know and That's Not Good, Jonathan Simon Aug. 12, 2011. On Tuesday August 9th, a group of volunteers from around Wisconsin conducted Citizen Exit Polls in two of the six senate districts where recall elections took place. In every case there are sizeable disparities between the computer-tabulated votecount percentages and the percentages indicated by our exit polls respondents. And in every case the disparity is a “red shift,” the votecount percentages more favorable to the Republican candidate than are the exit poll percentages.

News from Underground, What do the numbers tell us re: Wisconsin recalls? That the Democrats may well have won ALL SIX, Richard Charnin, Aug. 12, 2011. In a pre-election post, I indicated that only election fraud could keep the Democrats from winning three of the six GOP recall elections. They won two. This post-election analysis indicates that they did much better than that. They may very well have won all six. The analysis is based on the Wisconsin Recall True Vote Model.

Fox News, Nevada Judge Calls ACORN 'Reprehensible,' Slaps Group With Maximum Fine for Voter Fraud, Eric Shawn, August 10, 2011. A Nevada judge on Wednesday imposed a fine of $5,000 on ACORN, the defunct grass-roots community organization. ACORN pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful compensation for registration of voters in its Las Vegas office during in the 2008 race by paying a bonus to workers to sign up 21 or more voters per shift. It is illegal in Nevada to pay bonuses to register voters.

Politicus, Recall Fraud: Wisconsin Democrats Accuse Republicans of Vote Tampering, Jason Easley, August 10, 2011. As Yogi Berra once said it’s déjà vu all over again as for Wisconsin Democrats as they allege that the Waukesha County clerk is once again tampering with votes to hand an election to the Republicans. Here is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate: “The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse. She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action.”

Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, Fraud Inundates Wisconsin Senate Recall, Media Trackers, Aug. 4, 2011. Imitating the infamous “smokes for votes” scandal of the 2000 election, a small leftwing Wisconsin front group has been caught handing out barbecue chicken dinners to those who vote early in the Wisconsin recall elections. During the 2000 campaign a wealthy liberal activist was caught passing out cigarettes to Milwaukee’s homeless in exchange for their vote in the all-important presidential election. Over a decade later, Wisconsin Jobs Now!, a small group sponsored by the union umbrella Citizen Action of Wisconsin, hosted “block parties” in northern Milwaukee and essentially paid citizens to vote.

Brad Blog, Matthew Vadum, Master of Misinformation, Subverts the Truth With More Democratic 'Voter Fraud' Lies, Brad Friedman, Aug. 1, 2011. Matthew Vadum will lie about anything he needs to in order to collect his wingnut welfare paychecks apparently. Vadum's latest misinformative article, as published by Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller and, predictably, echoed around the intellectually dishonest and incurious wingnut blogosphere last week, picks up where his recently published propaganda book about ACORN leaves off. That his silly book fails to detail even a single ballot box "stuffed" by ACORN is little surprise. There exists no actual evidence, after all, of any illegal vote ever having been cast by any voter who was improperly registered by an ACORN worker.cccc

OpEd News, Bob Fitrakis on New Evidence of 2004 Stolen Election in Ohio, Joan Brunwasser, right, July 28, 2011. My guest today is Bob Fitrakis, author, journalist, editor and publisher of The Free Press. Welcome back to OpEd News, Bob. We last Joan Brunwasserspoke back in April after you wrote a powerful piece called: "Ohio Republicans pass new Jim Crow 'voter ID' law to disenfranchise 900,000 voters." Things seem to be going from bad to worse. There are more revelations regarding the 2004 Ohio presidential election, which you've written about extensively over the years. For many of our readers, 2004 is the distant past. Can you walk us through it, Bob?  Why does it matter now, all these years later?

The electronic vote count apparatus that was put together to steal the 2004 election is still with us today. We still allow private partisan for-profit companies to control our software and hardware in the election process. In the new court filing in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville case, instead of us and others being dismissed as "conspiracy theorists," people can make up their own minds. They can look at the architectural map showing how J. Kenneth Blackwell, then-Ohio Secretary of State, allowed private contractors to outsource the Ohio 2004 presidential vote count on election night to a private company, SmarTech, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The court case was stalled after the tragic of Bush IT guru Michael Connell in December 2008, one month after we took his deposition about the outsourcing of the vote count in 2004. People have a chance to look at our brief and Connell's under oath deposition with this new filing.

Free Press, New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked, Bob Fitrakis, July 20, 2011. A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio's 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

U.S. News, Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Needs Fraud Investigation, Peter Roff, April, 2011. Partisans on both sides were ready to scream “fraud at polls” as the balloting wound down in Wisconsin in the recent state Supreme Court election. Something needs to be done. It’s time for a bipartisan effort to look at the entire election. As the Wall Street Journal's John Fund wrote recently, “An independent investigation is called for, if for no other reason than to clear the air and to recommend procedures to ensure such errors don't happen again. Just as many Wisconsin officials have ignored or downplayed evidence of vote fraud (see the Milwaukee Police Department's 2008 detailed investigation) so too have sloppy election procedures been allowed to fester in some counties.”

2010
 
Nieman Watchdog, New Questions Raised About Prosecutor Who Cleared Bush Officials in U.S. Attorney Firings, Andrew Kreig/Justice Integrity Project, July 25, 2010. Four days before Nora Dannehy was appointed to investigate the Bush administration’s U.S. attorney firing scandal, a team of lawyers she led was found to have illegally suppressed evidence in a major political corruption case. Andrew Kreig writes that this previously unreported fact calls her entire investigation into question as well as that of a similar investigation by her colleague John Durham of DOJ and CIA decision-making involving torture.

Andrew Breitbart's Big Governmenent, New Black Panther Party President Admits to Philadelphia Voter Intimidation; Holder’s Justice Department Still Silent, Larry O'Connor, July 9, 2010. (Video) The Justice Department has seen fit to drop voter intimidation charges against Malik Shabazz’ New Black Panther Party’s involvement in the now infamous events at a polling place in Philadelphia on November 4, 2008. In light of the recent testimony by former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, the story is gaining further attention and scrutiny.

Newsmax, Ex-DOJ Attorney: New Black Panther Cover-up, J. Christian Adams, June 27, 2010. On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs.

Maxim, The Mysterious Death of Bush's Cyber-Guru, Simon Worrall, Feb. 10, 2010. By any calculation, the Ohio 2004 election was a black day for American democracy. Lou Harris, known as the “father of modern political polling,” and a man not given to hyperbole, called it “as dirty an election as America has ever seen.” All the exit polls suggested Ohio would go to Kerry. But when the vote was counted George Bush had won by 132,685 votes, adding Ohio’s crucial 20 Electoral College votes to his tally. And putting him, not Kerry, into the White House. It has since been alleged that at several points on election night, the Ohio secretary of state’s official Web site, which was responsible for reporting the results, was being hosted by a server in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

2009
Brad Blog, Mike Connell's Family Copes With His Mysterious Death, Tipsters, Legal Options, Rebecca M. Abrahams, Nov. 9, 2009. On December 18, 2008, Bush IT expert Mike Connell, a highly skilled pilot, was killed in a sudden crash while flying his small aircraft from Washington DC to his Akron/Canton home airport. Former CIA operative John Perkins wrote about "jackals" in his book, Confessions of an Economic HitMan, and says while he doesn't have any inside knowledge about Connell's death, he would not be surprised if he was murdered. Perkins adds, plane crashes have always been a weapon of choice among Jackals. "It' so easy to cover it up. The evidence is destroyed and everybody knows airplanes are fragile anyway, small airplanes in particular."

Huffington Post, Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows; $300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge’s Private Company, Andrew Kreig, May 15, 2009. The Alabama federal judge who presided over the 2006 corruption trial of the state's former governor holds a grudge against the defendant for helping to expose the judge's own alleged corruption six years ago. Former Gov. Don Siegelman therefore deserves a new trial with an unbiased judge ─ not one whose privately owned company, Doss Aviation, has been enriched by the Bush administration's award of $300 million in contracts since 2006.

Cleveland Free Times, Point Of Impact: If There Was A Plot To Steal The 2004 Election, Michael Connell Knew About It. Is That Why He's Dead? James Renner, Jan. 21, 2009. Ken Stewart's Lodge is a dimly lit upscale restaurant and bar in Bath, a favorite haunt of local Republican bigwigs and businessmen. On the evening of December 19, 2008, a strange crowd filtered in: skinny guys with bashful smiles, pudgy dudes with pale skin, accompanied by the occasional female. An IT herd. These particular techies came from New Media Communications, the company that builds and services websites for America's most prominent conservatives, from Ken Blackwell to W. himself. Their boss had booked Ken Stewart's for their Christmas party. But the boss wasn't there yet. He was flying in from Washington, D.C. as his employees hit the bar.

AVweb, NTSB Releases Preliminary Report On Connell Crash, Glenn Pew, January 4, 2009. The NTSB has released its preliminary report on the Piper Turbo Saratoga crash on approach to Akron-Canton airport Dec. 19, 2008, that killed Michael Connell, Republican media consultant and chief IT consultant for Karl Rove. The crash ignited the minds of conspiracy theorists aware that Connell had been subpoenaed for expert testimony regarding alleged electronic voter fraud in 2004, and amid one report by a CBS affiliate that Connell had been warned his plane might be sabotaged.

Wayne Madsen Report, Connell's high-tech network active against Gore in 2000, Wayne Madsen, December 22-23, 2008 (Subscription required). WMR has learned from knowledgeable Republican Party sources that Mike Connell, the GOP's information technology maestro who was killed in a suspicious plane crash last Friday night while flying from the Washington, DC area back to Akron, Ohio, was involved in a high-tech operation targeting Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000.Michael Connell

Huffington Post, Key Witness in Rove Probes Killed, Michael Carmichael, December 21, 2008. Mike Connell's untimely death will haunt Karl Rove and the Republican Party. As the key witness in investigations into election fraud and the destruction of White House emails relevant to the improper firing of US attorneys, Mike Connell recently informed investigators that he had received death threats while Cliff Arnebeck, a principal in an Ohio election fraud investigation wrote a letter to US Attorney General Michael Mukasey charging that Karl Rove had threatened Connell.

Free Press, The suspicious, disturbing death of election rigger Michael Connell, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, Dec. 20, 2008. Michael Connell, the crucial techno-lynch pin in the theft of the 2004 election, and much more, is dead at the age of 45. His unnatural, suspicious death raises serious questions about the corruption of the American electoral process that now may never be answered. Connell died Friday, December 19 when his Piper Saratoga plane crashed near his northern Ohio home. He was flying himself home from the College Park, Maryland airport. An accomplished pilot, flying in unremarkable weather, his death cuts off a critical path to much of what may never be known about how the 2004 election was shifted from John Kerry to George W. Bush in the wee hours of November 2. His plane crashed between two houses in an upscale neighborhood, one vacant, just 2.5 miles from the Akron-Canton airport.

New York Times, Lawsuit Adds to Turmoil for Community Group, Stephanie Strom, Sept. 9, 2008. In the wake of an embezzlement scandal that rocked the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, two of its board members are seeking a court order to force it to hand over financial documents. They also are seeking to sever what they describe as continuing ties between Acorn and its founder, Wade Rathke, who resigned after it became public this summer that his brother had embezzled almost $1 million from the organization eight years ago. They contend that Mr. Rathke continues to direct the staff and expenditures.

Wayne MadsenWayne Madsen Report, GOP convention provides Big Brother services to delegates, Wayne Madsen, Sept. 5, 2008. (Subscription required). WMR has learned from a reliable source that the GOP convention organizers in St. Paul installed special microphones and cameras in the Xcel Energy Center in order to monitor who delegates were chatting with and listen in on their conversations. Similar technology, WMR is told, was used by the Republicans at the 2004 national convention in New York at Madison Square Garden. The eavesdropping on state delegations involved the use of powerful pan, zoom, and tilt camera technology and noise-canceling shotgun microphones, similar to those used sporting events by broadcasters. The cover for the eavesdropping equipment was that it was part of Internet coverage for the convention. Yesterday, The Washington Times reported on the presence of "Black Hat" squads on the convention floor in St. Paul that tracked Ron Paul supporters and other potential disruptors. Wearing black ballcaps with white stars, the squads were authorized to yank delegates' credentials and remove them from the convention floor.

New York Times, Lawsuit Adds to Turmoil for Community Group, Stephanie Strom, Sept. 9, 2008.  In the wake of an embezzlement scandal that rocked the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, two of its board members are seeking a court order to force it to hand over financial documents. They also are seeking to sever what they describe as continuing ties between Acorn and its founder, Wade Rathke, who resigned after it became public this summer that his brother had embezzled almost $1 million from the organization eight years ago. They contend that Mr. Rathke continues to direct the staff and expenditures.

Brad Blog, Rove Threatened GOP IT Guru If He Does Not 'Take the Fall' for Election Fraud in Ohio, Says Attorney, Brad Friedman, July 24, 2011. Letter Sent to Attorney General Mukasey Requesting 'Protection for Mr. Connell and His Family From This Reported Attempt to Intimidate a Witness' After Tip from 'Credible Source.'  OH AG Reportedly Asked to Provide Immunity Protection.

Brad Blog, Ohio Attorney Files to Lift Stay on '04 Election Case, Cites Allegations, Evidence of Massive Fraud by a Number of GOP Operatives, Steve Heller, July 17, 2008. Leading Data Security Expert Joins Press Conference, Case, Notes Fraudulent Patterns That Should Have Triggered Investigation. At a press conference this morning in Columbus, Ohio, Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case of King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell, announced that he is filing a motion to "lift the stay in the case [and] proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election."

2007

Washington Post, Ex-Prosecutor Says He Didn't Think Charges Would Affect Election, Dan Eggen, June 6, 2007. A former interim U.S. attorney appointed by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales defended his decision to bring a controversial indictment before last year's elections, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no idea Missouri Republicans would use the case as part of their campaign against Democrats. Bradley J. Schlozman, who temporarily replaced dismissed U.S. attorney Todd P. Graves of Kansas City, Mo., also said that career officials in the department's public integrity section approved the case, in which four former employees of a liberal-leaning group were charged with voter-registration fraud. "I did not think it was going to influence the election at all," Schlozman said. But Graves, who also testified yesterday, said he would have handled the case differently. "It would have been my understanding that you would not do that," Graves said. "It surprised me that they'd been filed that close to an election."

Boston Globe, Missouri attorney a focus in firings, Senate bypassed in appointment of Schlozman, Charlie Savage, May 6, 2007. Todd Graves brought just four misdemeanor voter fraud indictments during his five years as the US attorney for western Missouri -- even though some of his fellow Republicans in the closely divided state wanted stricter oversight of Democratic efforts to sign up new voters.

2006

Election Defense Alliance, Landslide Denied: Exit Polls vs. Vote Count 2006, Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’Dell, Nov. 16, 2006. There was an unprecedented level of concern approaching the 2006 Election (“E2006”) about the vulnerability of the vote counting process to manipulation. Unfortunately the evidence forces us to a very different and disturbing conclusion: there was gross vote count manipulation and it had a great impact on the results of E2006, significantly decreasing the magnitude of what would have been, accurately tabulated, a landslide of epic proportions. Because much of this manipulation appears to have been computer-based, and therefore invisible to the legions of at-the-poll observers, the public remains unaware of the far greater story: The electoral machinery and vote counting systems of the United States did not honestly and accurately translate the public will and certainly cannot be counted on to do so in the future.

KMBC-TV (Kansas City, ACORN Workers Indicted For Alleged Voter Fraud, Nov. 1, 2006. Four people have been indicted on charges of voter fraud in Kansas City, officials said Wednesday. Investigators said questionable registration forms for new voters were collected by a group that works to improve minority and low-income communities. ACORN officials in Kansas City said they turned in the four people who were indicted.  "We're very happy that they were indicted," said Claudie Harris with ACORN. Harris said ACORN workers are paid by the hour and not by the number of voter registration cards they turn in. ACORN officials said the four indicted have been fired.

Rolling Stone, Was the 2004 Election Stolen? by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., June 15, 2006.
Rolling Stone link no longer functional but article available here via Common Dreams. Exclusive documents. Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House. Despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations. A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states, was discovered shredding Democratic registrations. In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes, malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots. Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast. The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college.

2005
Tom.Paine.com, What Didn't Happen In Ohio, Russ Baker, May 5, 2005. Back in January, I wrote a piece for TomPaine.com questioning widely circulated claims that the election in Ohio had been stolen. I had done some poking around, anticipating that at least some of the frightening anecdotes filling our mail boxes and raging on talk radio would be borne out. They weren’t. In spot checks on a few popular fraud anecdotes, I found credible alternative explanations such as incompetence, structural problems, politicization of decision-making and other failings— but no evidence of deliberate fraud designed to hand the election to Bush.

Let’s Try Democracy, Media Whites Out Vote Fraud, David Swanson, Jan. 3, 2005. The Cleveland Federation of Labor is sending busloads of demonstrators to a rally in Columbus, Ohio, today to take part in a protest of election fraud in the 2004 presidential election. As detailed below, there is strong evidence of vote theft in Ohio. But to anyone who gets their news from a television or from most print media, these protesters are kidding themselves. Last week I received this email from the Columbus Dispatch, "You say the rally is to protest the fraud that took place in the election. Where did this fraud occur? Who did it? How did they do it? Thanx." Two months after the election, an editor at ground zero was (seriously or sarcastically) asking a stranger and an amateur to tell him from Washington where the fraud had occurred. I immediately sent him a reply. And I didn't hear anything further.

2004

Free Press, Startling New Revelations Highlight Rare Congressional Hearings on Ohio Vote, Bob Fitrakis, Steven Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, Dec. 13, 2004. Startling new revelations about Ohio's presidential vote have been uncovered as Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee join Rev. Jesse Jackson in Columbus, the state capital, on Monday, Dec. 13, to hold a rare field hearing into election malfeasance and manipulation in the 2004 vote. The Congressional delegation will include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, and others. Taken together, the revelations show Republicans – in state and county government, and in the Ohio Republican Party – were determined to undermine and suppress Democratic turnout by a wide variety of methods.

Brad Blog, Clint Curtis ‘Stuns’ Judiciary Committee Hearings in Ohio With ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Sworn Testimony; Publicly names Feeney in front of Committee as asking him to develop ‘vote-rigging’ software! Brad Friedman, Dec. 13, 2004. The Brad Blog has just received an exclusive first-hand account of Clint Curtis' sworn testimony (as reported earlier) to the Judiciary Committee Democrats holding hearings this morning in Columbus, Ohio on Election 2004 Voting Irregularities. The software programmer, whose sworn affidavit was first reported by The Brad Blog, named Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (a member of the Judiciary CommitteClint Curtise!) as having asked him to create "vote-rigging" software in a meeting at Yang Enterprises, Inc. prior to the 2000 elections! Feeney was, at the time of the alleged meeting, a Florida legislator and later became Speaker of the Florida House. He was also the running mate to Jeb Bush in his failed 1994 bid for Florida Governor.

YouTube, Computer Programmer Clint Curtis Testimony He Was Requested to Write Code to Rig U.S. Elections, Dec. 13, 2004. Former Yang lobbyist Clinton Eugene Curtis, a computer programmer from Florida, testified before a congressional panel that there are computer programs that can be used to secretly fix elections. He explains how he created a prototype for Florida. In September 2004, Curtis, right, self-published Just A Fly On The Wall, a book critical of the George W. Bush administration, Yang Enterprises, and Tom Feeney. In the edition of that book published before the 2004 election, Curtis focused on his earlier accusations against Yang, as well as accusations that Feeney used his influence with the Florida State government to Yang's benefit.

Chattanooga Times, Airnet Hosts GOP Internet Sites in 2004, Andy Sher, August 22, 2004. It's more than 700 miles from Madison Square Garden, but that won't stop Chattanooga from "hosting" next week's Republican National Convention in New York City. Chattanooga-based Smartech Corp. is serving as Web host for the convention, bringing the event to computer screens across the globe. The company will provide convention speeches, video-on-demand "streams" and live shots of events through powerful Web servers, most of which are at Smartech's headquarters in downtown Chattanooga.

2003

Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, Analysis of an Electronic Voting System: Technical Report TR-2003-19 (with Response to Diebold's Technical Analysis), Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, Aviel D. Rubin, Dan S. Wallach, July 23, 2003. Diebold posted an analysis of our report. Throughout their document, they refer to details of our paper as "allegations," and they attempt to argue away these allegations with logic that is often contrived. We have no personal ill-will toward Diebold as a company; our aim was to provide a technical analysis of the code that we had at our disposal. While our conclusions have upset those who stand to lose financially from these conclusions and those who are embarrassed by decisions they have made without the knowledge of the insecurity in the code, we firmly stand behind our findings.

 

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