KEY FACTS ABOUT ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS INTO ELECTION FRAUD AND VOTER SUPPRESSION IN OHIO

High-tech vote fraud: A law suit filed by Clifford Arnebeck (who has worked for many years with Common Cause) charges that at least 130,656 votes were removed from John Kerry’s tally and added to George Bush’s vote total via high-tech means. Is this really possible? Actually, it is easy. Cell phone technology can be used to alter votes in optical scan readers. A hacker could also dial in via modem to theWindows-based PC’s that tabulate votes from optical scan, punch card, and touchscreen voting systems. After connecting to the computer they could easily alter the candidate totals in the Microsoft Access database.

Warren County Lockdown May Have Enabled High-Tech Vote Fraud: According to Representative John Conyer’s letter to Kenneth Blackwell (12/2), on election night, Warren County locked down its administration building and barred reporters from observing the counting. When that decision was questioned, County officials claimed they were responding to a terrorist threat that ranked “10” on a scale of 1 to 10, and that this information was received from an FBI agent. Despite repeated requests, County officials have declined to name that agent, however, and the FBI has stated that they have no information about a terror threat in Warren County. The counties that are most strongly implicated in high-tech vote fraud, according to the Arnebeck lawsuit are Warren County and two contiguous counties: Butler and Clermont.

Mahoning County Touchscreen Voting Machine Problems: According to Representative John Conyer’s letter to Kenneth Blackwell (12/2), in Mahoning County, numerous voters reported that when they attempted to vote for John Kerry, the vote showed up as a vote for George Bush. This was reported by numerous voters and continued despite numerous attempts to correct their vote. Investigations in at least three different states are revealing that many touchscreen machines were set to default to George Bush. Hence, each voter wishing to vote for another candidate had to ‘override’ the default.

Punch Card Machines with High Error Rates are sent to Minority Precincts: According to Representative John Conyer’s letter to Kenneth Blackwell (12/2), post election canvassing revealed that many ballots in Cuyahoga County were cast without any valid selection for president. For example, two precincts in Montgomery County had an undervote rate of 25% each – accounting for nearly 16,000 voters who stood in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for president. This is in stark contrast to the 2% of undervoting county-wide. Disturbingly, predominantly Democratic precincts had 75% more undervotes than those that were predominantly Republican. An estimated 93,000 ballots were spoiled across Ohio. [Addendum: In Cuyahoga County over 150 precincts in which Kerry led Bush had more than 3% ballot spoilage, while fewer than 10 precincts in which Bush led Kerry had more than 3% ballot spoilage.]

Voter Registration Challenges: Statewide, about 35,000 new voters had their registration challenged by the Ohio State Republican Party. In Summit County, four elderly residents were asked by a member of the local Republican Party to complete and sign 976 registration challenges for people on a list generated by State Party. The names on the list were those of new registrants who had been sent registered mail by the Republican Party. Delivery was attempted only once and if the person was not home or refused the mail they were placed on a list indicating that they did not live at the address on their registration. This attempt at suppression caught many long-time residents of Summit County including a veteran and an immigrant (“I came to this country because this is a great country…“). The Summit County Board of Elections dismissed all 976 challenges after hearing the testimony of 5 people so accused apologizing profusely for having wasted their time by requiring them to report to the hearing. The four people who signed the challenges may be prosecuted.

Voter Misinformation About their Polling Place/Date: According to Representative John Conyer’s letter to Kenneth Blackwell (12/2) fraudulent flyers were circulated on official-looking letterhead telling voters the wrong place to vote, phone calls were placed incorrectly informing voters that their polling place had changed, “door-hangers” were left at homes informing African-American voters to go to the wrong precinct. Voters could cast a provisional ballot, which was counted only if they were in their home precinct. In Hamilton County, officials have carried this problematic and controversial directive to a ludicrous extreme: they are refusing to count provisional ballots cast at the correct polling place if they were cast at the wrong table in that polling place. African American voters received letters on stolen NAACP letterhead claiming that because of the expected high turnout, Republicans were asked to vote on Tuesday Nov. 2 and all other parties were being asked to vote on November 4.

Franklin County Machine Shortages: According to Representative John Conyer’s letter to Kenneth Blackwell (12/2), throughout predominately Democratic areas in Ohio on election day, there were reports of long lines caused by inadequate numbers of voting machines. Franklin County’s voting machine allocation report states that 2,741 voting machines were placed “By Close of Polls” on Election Day. The County’s records reveal that they had 2,866 “machines available” on Election Day. At least 125 machines remained unused, even though the Board of Election’s Director Matt Damschroder (former Executive Director of the Franklin County Republican Party) admitted on 11/19 that 77 machines malfunctioned during the day. In some precincts there were fewer voting machines on Election Day than there had been during the spring primary. Additionally, it appears that in a number of locations, polling places were moved from large locations, such as gyms, where voters could comfortably wait inside to vote to smaller locations where voters were required to wait in the rain. [Addendum: An analysis by Tim Lohrentz estimates that at least 22,000 Franklin County voters were disenfranchised due to the long lines and lack of voting machines, including over 15,000 voters from heavily Democratic (>60%) precincts. Of the 217 precincts where there were fewer voting machines in 2004 than in 2000, 184 (85%) were Democratic.]

Key Actors in the Ongoing Investigations in Ohio:

(1) Representative John Conyers and other Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee have thus far heard sworn testimony at two public meetings – one in Washington, D.C. and the other in Columbus, Ohio. They will hold another meeting in Ohio on January 3rd.

(2) The National Ballot Integrity Project has allied itself with Help American Recount to support the ongoing work. The National Ballot Integrity Project lists among its allies: MoveOn.Org, Democracy for America, Common Cause, Verified Voting Foundation, Black Box Voting, True Majority, Working Assets, Rock The Vote, People for the American Way, Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace, and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

(3) Attorney and Chairman of Legal Affairs Committee of Common Cause Ohio, Clifford Arnebeck, has filed lawsuits with the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn the election results. The suit, Moss v. Bush, has been filed on behalf of the citizens of Ohio. The citizen named in the suit, Reverend Bill Moss, is the Executive Vice President of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

 

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Official Documents:

Letter from Representative John Conyers to J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio Secretary of State.

Representative John Conyers statement during "What Went Wrong in Ohio" a forum held by the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee on 12/8/04.

'Moss v. Bush' the lawsuit filed by Attorney and Chairman of Legal Affairs Committee of Common Cause Ohio, Clifford Arnebeck to overturn the election results.

Academic Papers:

Stephen Freeman:
Exit Polls vs. Tabulated Votes

The United State of Ukraine:
If the exit polls were right
then John Kerry won both
the popular majority and the electoral college vote.

Michael Hout's Analysis
of E-Voting in Florida