Thursday, June 22, 2006

Rockford, IL paper supports investigation of 2004 election

The Rock River Times of Rockford, IL supports RFK's request to investigate the 2004 Presidential Election.
"As time went on after the election, according to Kennedy’s Rolling Stone magazine piece, more and more irregularities with that election surfaced.

For instance, nearly half the 6 million American voters living overseas never got ballots or got them too late to vote. That happened after the Pentagon closed down a high-tech Web site intended to process registrations from overseas voters. Then, it was learned that a consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee—Sproul & Associates—to register voters in six battleground states had been caught shredding Democratic registrations.

And Kennedy cites these other suspicious facts as well: in New Mexico, decided by 5,988 votes, malfunctioning voting machines did not properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots. The federal Election Reform Commission found that nationally as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting machines, about one for every 100 ballots cast.

Kennedy and other investigators found the most egregious malfeasance occurred in Ohio. That was the critical state that cinched Bush’s re-election and is the home state of the Diebold voting machine company, whose CEO, Wally O’Dell, swore he would deliver the state to Bush.

Ohio officials scrubbed tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls; did not process registration cards from Democratic voter drives; shorted Democratic precincts on voting machines, so voters there had to wait unreasonably long periods to vote; and officials also illegally prevented a recount that would have given Kerry the White House.

The most glaring aspect was that exit polls did not agree with vote totals. Those totals did not match voter registration rolls. One precinct in a church in Miami County, Ohio, had a turnout of 98 percent, an impossible amount for a rural county, and an inner-city polling place in Cleveland reported only a 7 percent turnout, another highly improbable total.

In Warren County, election officials cooked up a non-existent terrorist threat to keep the media from following the official vote count. The chief election official in Ohio is Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican and a member of Bush’s re-election committee in the Buckeye State. Blackwell is running for governor of Ohio today.

Some discrepancies will pop up in any national election, but this one was very unusual. Kennedy quotes Robert Pastor, director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University. “We didn’t have one election for president in 2004,” said Pastor. “We didn’t have 50 elections. We actually had 13,000 elections run by 13,000 independent, quasi-sovereign counties and municipalities.” The number is a reference to the widely varying patchwork of voting rules operated by city and county officials across the country.

Kennedy wrote that he found the major factor in the irregularities was that in nearly every case, the anomalies hurt Kerry and helped Bush."

The problems are't just in the past. The recent special Election in California's Congressional Distrist 50 to replace the felon "Duke" Cunningham used decertified diebold touchscreen voting machines. Is it any wonder that the Republican lobbyist edged out the Democrat in that election? Of course, they will run against each other again in November.

Any political division that is dominated by Republicans can be suspected of using crooked elections practices.

No comments: