E-fraud or e-vote?

Stop the presses! Evidence is now arising that there is verifiable election fraud in a number of states!

Or, wait, don’t do that. The Republican-owned media has shown a distinct coldness of the shoulder to stories of election fraud this year, and for good reason. We are invading more cities in Iraq and we don’t need a long, drawn-out recount process like we had in 2000.

But we are getting one anyway. Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb has declared, "Due to widespread reports of irregularities in the Ohio voting process, we are compelled to demand a recount of the Ohio presidential vote." (See www.votecobb.org.)

The Ohio Democratic Party is suing Republican Secretary of State (and co-chair of the state Bush-for-Prez campaign) Kenneth Blackwell for not allowing equal representation for differing precincts according to the law codified in – that’s right – Bush v. Gore. (See http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/docs/Schering/intervenorcomplaint.pdf.)

Some rural Republican precincts had one voting station per 184 voters, while adjacent precincts (such as the one in Gambier, a college town) had one voting station per 1000. Even though these precincts were managed by the same county board of elections, only the progressive communities had lines that lasted up to 10 hours. According to the Supreme Court decision that decided the last election, this is illegal.

Ralph Nader is contesting the New Hampshire count for a number of reasons – it’s small, a recount is cheap, and it may illustrate the defectiveness of optical-scan voting machines.

"We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire," Nader said. "These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by five percent to 15 percent over what was expected."

Nader also chose New Hampshire because, thanks to a 1994 state law, its e-voting machines actually have a paper trail. The manual recount will determine if Bush’s surprising lead in some Democratic precincts was real or fraudulent.

Bush had a number of statistically improbable leads, according to the UC Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team. On Thursday morning they announced a statistical study that measures the accuracy of e-voting machines. It shows an "unexplained discrepancy between votes for Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional methods."

A discrepancy as large as the one recorded only has a 0.1 percent chance of occurring naturally. Optical-scan machines may be responsible for erroneously awarding 130,000-260,000 votes to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s brother.

And Kerry is playing it cool. Whether he conceded or not, Kerry still has a chance to emerge the victor after a recount. Or, it could be revealed that the Republicans (who are always the ones trying to keep votes from being counted) have stolen an indeterminate number of votes. But whether or not it can be proved that they stole enough to win doesn’t matter. If the above investigations can prove that they stole votes the election will be invalidated.

Kerry can claim victory as soon as enough evidence mounts to support his charge. He is counting on an energized base to accumulate that evidence, and carry on the fight. Come on, people, he’s counting on us.