First, some preliminaries. From a recent TIME article (‘How the Voters Won’, p. 27, Oct. 29), we learned that court interventions in a number of key states, including: Texas (Justice Dept blocking a strict voter ID law), Ohio (Appeals court ruled in Dems’ favor to extend early voting to Nov. 6), Pennsylvania (state judge blocked most stringent aspect of Voter ID law), and Florida (federal judge suspended filing restrictions implemented in May) have resulted in making voting easier.
With these impediments removed, especially in key states like Florida and Ohio, there’s much less risk of voter suppression and higher probability of a favorable electoral outcome for Obama. This is critical since Ohio with its 18 electoral votes likely stands as the last ‘firewall’ against Mitt Romney’s unfathomable surge (according to pollsters - though all I believe that means is he might win the popular vote but still lose the electoral). See also: ‘Why Ohio Will Decide the Presidential Election’ (TIME, Nov. 5, p. 23)
The problem is this: the Republicans with their own voter frauds having failed (see e .g. 'GOP is hit by Vote Fraud', Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29-30, p. A5) also see Ohio as the last firewall in preventing the re-election of Obama. Hence, they have assembled, through the work of both Karl Rove and Romney operatives, a clever ruse to possibly steal its electoral votes for Romney via electronic voting machines.(In their REAL voter fraud, the Reeps' had Nathan Sproul - former head of the AZ Repub Party and the state's Xtian Coalition - use a company called 'Strategic Allied Consulting' to actually register dead people in key battleground states like FL and COLO. - exactly what these degenerates accused ACORN of doing!)
Let me here reiterate something that ought to be axiomatic: voting itself is as useless as teeth on a hen unless the votes are faithfully counted! As one wit once said: "Democracy inheres NOT in voting, but rather in counting every last vote."
My point is that the use of black-box machines for which NO auditable paper trails are available (or for which fake ones can be generated) have the potential of totally hijacking the basis of a voter's will, and anyone who'd believe the outcome from such un-audited machines is valid, is probably a fool, damned fool and-or liar. That's as clear as I can put it.
What we do know, based on the 2004 presidential election, is this:
i) Some thirty million people cast votes via "black box" (e.g. NO auditable trail) computer touch screen machines in this election - many in the states Bush "won" .
ii) Numerous problems were reported with these machines - all the way back to the 2002 congressional elections (with one precinct in Miami-Dade unable to account for any votes cast there, all lost!)
iii) The Diebold CEO himself went on record as saying he would "deliver Ohio to Bush" (American Prospect, June 2003).
iv) A former Diebold Software engineer in a call to Link-TV on Sunday night before the Nov. 2, 2004 election, noted that he “ knew votes could be internally transferred" from one candidate to the other. He was barely in control of his voice and emotions, and warned that anyone watching ought to be aware of this - and the potential for theft. The moderators of the call-in program then repeated the warnings and referred viewers to a LINK web page.
Effectively, a pre-placed program card allowed and enabled voters for John Kerry to be machine-flipped to Bush. Since no paper records were available, the would be Kerry voters didn’t know any better.
v) There are no paper trails, obviously to ensure no evidence of "absence". (But recall Carl Sagan's words: "Evidence of absence is not absence of evidence." )
vi) Johns Hopkins University software and computer experts have shown how easily the machines' tabulations can be manipulated. This was part of a segment in the excellent documentary ‘So Goes the Nation’ on how the Ohio electoral votes were stolen in ’04.
Did the media pick up on any of this? No way!
As per a Mother Jones piece ('Recounting Ohio', November, 2005) regarding Ohio in 2004:
"This was not a fair election and deserves the scrutiny skeptics have brought to it. They shouldered a task the mainstream media and government should have assumed"
The final result? Even though the exit polls had Democrat John Kerry winning Ohio by 4.2 points, in the end George W. Bush emerged victorious. This is at odds with the quality assurance of all other democratic nations. Exit polling in fact has proven accurate to within 1% of the vote – the gold standard for detecting vote tampering in other countries such as Germany, which uses exclusively paper ballots. However, in the irrational U.S., when exit polls don’t match the vote count, there’s no investigation into tampering. Instead, exit polls are “adjusted” to conform to the ultimate “official” vote count, even though shifts in Ohio 2004 and elsewhere were virtually statistically impossible.
Can it occur again? Can Ohio 2004 morph into the stolen Ohio of 2012? You better believe it! This is despite many – including sites like ‘Alternet’ claiming the fear is unwarranted, and hey, why don’t we just relax and grab a cold one? All the problems since Ohio in 2004 have been fixed. (Yeppers, they’ve been ‘fixed’ all right, but not in the manner assumed!)
Recall at the time, eight years ago, the unusual computerized-machine techniques could be attributed to Kenneth Blackwell. As Ohio’s Secretary of State, he was putatively charged with overseeing the election in a fair and impartial manner. However, he also happened to be co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio, and, as such, was one of Rove’s chief lieutenants. As a result, many people believe Karl Rove stole Ohio to win the 2004 election.
This is also another reason the U.S. needs to cease its Banana Republic mode of election controls and operations! Under no circumstances should state elections be under the partisan control of any hacks, or puppets! They must be conducted, as they are in Barbados and other advanced democracies, by independent election boards.
But I digress.
While it’s true Rove has not exactly been keen on Mitt Romney this election cycle (as he was with George W. Bush in 2004) he still has an overriding desire to see the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. Plus, he’s still a party kingpin of sorts — a kingpin of the super PACs which are funding the political ads that that are flooding the airwaves in Ohio. Meanwhile, the Secretary of State of Ohio is now Jon A. Husted, a Republican who was a veteran of Rove’s 2004 campaign in that state. Hmmmmm…..echoes of the past, anyone?
Recall as I noted above, Husted’s efforts to curtail early voting in Dem districts was chucked by an Appeals court, and when he sought a Supreme Court reversal the court declined to hear it. That means he will be ready to use the ultimate trump card, electronic machine theft, as was deployed in 2004. Make no mistake, this game is on. Anyone who refuses to accept it is in denial or deluded.
Also, the apparatus and interests are there, understanding this could be a high stakes poker game (as percent differences between Romney & Obama possibly narrow over the next week) and Rove’s always made no bones about the fact that a narrow 1-2% election is easier to “manage” than one of 4-5 pts. differential.
Who are the operatives, what are the companies, and how will it play out?
Despite an almost total blackout from the corporate media, the Romney family has a personal ownership (through the investment firms Solamere and H.I.G. Capital) in Hart Intercivic, which owns, maintains, programs and will tabulate alleged votes on machines in the critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado.
Despite various official disclaimers, the election could be decided on Hart machines producing "vote counts" with little connection to how 18 million people actually voted. Alternet has made a big deal out of the claim that this is impossible, e.g.
“Any real deviation would not just be noticed; it would be quarantined and examined. If you’re planning to steal an election, leaving a paper trail is not how to do it.”
But as the software engineer pointed out (on LINK-TV) in 2004, even then prototype systems were available to produce a paper record non-conforming to the registered vote in the machine. The key is the program card inserted, and retrieved. If internally the machine ‘flips’ votes but generates a paper record that emerges as legit (to the voter) then how will that be “noticed”? It won’t be. (The paper bogus record would be generated at the end of the voter’s intended ballot, then flipped to the other candidate, in this case Romney, after. Most state ballots have multiple other aspects, issues, amendments etc., but it is the presidential candidate segment alone which is controlled by the program card, i.e. to ‘flip’ the choice if a voter if the program card displays a binary ‘no go’. So if ‘1’ is seen for Obama and ‘0’ for Romney and the machine program card detects a ‘1’ it does an instant flip to ‘0’ for the internal memory card. THAT is the ‘vote’ that is counted)
It’s inconceivable that the Romney chain ownership in Hart Intercivic will not influence how that machine counting goes, given the pressure of Romney’s billionaire backers to see Obama removed. Indeed, they would be passing stupid not to use any resources at their disposal, including not counting provisional ballots (or getting them ‘lost’ as occurred in ’04) and playing machine tricks to gain advantage to win the key state to make the path to 270 easiest.
Incredibly, though this story has gotten widespread circulation on the internet, it’s been ignored or dismissed by most of the corporate media and attacked by the Democratic Party. Given the negligence of the wussie Dems and Kerry in ’04 and how they refused to pursue the evidence staring them in the face – this is mind boggling. Especially since the presidency may be the final firewall against a GOP controlled government otherwise.
The absence of concern by the Dems also worries me, as it signals a possibly Vichy D-party as we beheld from 2005-06 prepared to cede any and everything to the Reeps – if they d0 gain control of the Senate, or even if they don’t. Thus, a 41 or 42 member Senate Dem presence to me, is obliged to obstruct every damned thing or policy Romney wants, the same way as the Reeps did to Obama. If these wusses aren’t prepared to go that route they aren’t worth an ounce of doggie lickspittle. To act in consort with Romney - to fulfill HIS agenda - when the Reeps refused any effort to cooperate with Obama to ensure his, is to be classified as a "Vichy Dem", not dissimilar to the French Vichy gov't that cooperated willingly with the Third Reich and Hitler.
Meanwhile, petitions at Moveon.org and elsewhere call for a Department of Justice investigation. Tens of thousands of citizens have signed on. But there is no legally binding way by which a professionally rigged electronic vote count can be overturned or even definitively discovered except through the use of unabridged but legally inconsequential exit polling.
Alternet’s supposedly rational stance also claimed:
“This is a guilt-by-association theory. Too many eyes are on every step of the voting process this year. It’s not 2004.”
But ‘too many eyes’ were also supposedly on the 2oo4 election and what good did that do?
To call this a “guilt by association theory” is to be too dumb, or too clever – by half. Take your pick. I say the consequences of not pursuing this now could well cost Obama the election and put us all in harm’s way in a nightmare Romney presidency that within one year sees: the launching of a war on Iran, the gutting of Social Security and Medicare (owing to the ‘costs’ of war) and the repeal of key regulations that will make life a hell for most Americans with salmonella and E. coli. infections commonplace as opposed to rare, and even the water supply laden with carcinogens.
The sensible response then is not the high and mighty dismissal Alternet prescribes but a hard-nosed and skeptical monitoring of everything that unfolds in the Buckeye state.
Lastly, how will you know we’ve been had, say ex post facto? Look at the exit polls! If they show an Obama victory by 4-5 pts but the “actual” votes give the state to Romney, BEWARE! We’ve been fucked again! Other sites readers may wish to consult on the aftermath of the Ohio 2004 debacle: