We have a president who was selected rather than elected. He stole the presidency through family ties, arrogance
and intimidation, employing Republican operatives to exercise the tactics of voter fraud by disenfranchising
thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities.
~ Barbra Streisand(born: 1942-04-24 age: 71)
There was a great fuss after the last two presidential election when all manner of suspected voting fraud was
uncovered. There was not much could be done after the fact. The time to act is before an election, to make sure there
is a clean election. Before an election, people on both sides are in favour of a clean election. After an election,
the side the fraud helped works to block justice. The time is now to demand a paper ballot, or a voting machine with
a paper audit trail with open inspected software and no modem connections for last minute fiddles. OpenVotingSolutions.net are working on such open standards.
In Germany, exit polls are accurate to within a tenth of a percent. Germany uses a very clean paper ballot system
with meticulous checking. Voting fraud is so common in the USA that Americans don’t bat at eye when official
results differ from exit polls by 10%. They have come to accept this as normal.
In 2004 more than 80% of the vote was counted by three
private corporations Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia. They refused to open their software for inspection or to submit
to audit procedures. Had they wanted, they could have stolen the election and there would be no way to check up on
Diebold is owned by a Christian Reconstructionist family wants to overthrow the US constitution and replace it
with a Christian theocracy. What a peculiar group to trust with the core process of democracy, one dedicated to
Chuck Hagel was chairman of the board of AIS, the owner of ES&S, the voting machine that computerised
Nebraska’s vote. Hagel was the first Republican in 24 years to win a seat. He won all
demographic groups including blacks.
Republicans Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert (both skewered by other scandals) successfully fought against auditing of
voting machines. It is bit peculiar to put a candidate in charge of counting the vote. He is about the least
impartial person you could find.
Sequoia is partly owned by Saudi and Venezuelan investors. Saudi Arabia is the country that provided the
9/11 hijackers. Venezuela spawned Hugo Chavez, a major thorn in the American hide. Again,
odd people to entrust with picking your country’s next leaders.
Ohio elections officials convicted of tampering with
2004 presidential recount.
Robert F Kennedy’s essay in Rolling Stone about the evidence the Republicans stole the 2004 election with all manner of election fraud.
80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S. source
There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers. source
The chairman and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by
ES&S machines. source
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his
ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush’s vice-presidential candidates. sourcesource
ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes. source
Diebold’s new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no
way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
Diebold also makes ATM (Automated Teller Machine) s, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can
generate a paper trail. sourcesource
Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler
computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states. source
Jeff Dean, Diebold’s Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold’s central compiler
code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.
Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a
high degree of sophistication to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold’s claims
that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee named Baxter was able to do it!
30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
All — not some — but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor
of Bush or Republican candidates. sourcesource
The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President’s brother. source
Serious voting anomalies in Florida — again always favoring Bush — have been mathematically
demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation. sourcesourcesourcesourcesource
Evidence Bush Stole the 2004 Election
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
~ Wendell Phillips(born: 1811 died: 1884 at age: 73)
abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator, in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in
Bush stole the 2004 election, presidential, senate and house by using crooked voting
machines. Here is the evidence:
Officially, George W. Bush won November’s election by 2.5%, yet exit polls
showed Kerry winning by 3%. The odds of this happening are about one in a million. In other words, the Bush camp
Diebold settled a $1.6 millionlawsuit with
the state of California admitting their machines were fraud-friendly.
According to the Dayton Daily News,
two Montgomery County Ohio precincts had extraordinarily high numbers of ballots cast Nov. 2 with no presidential
vote counted, and the county’s overall rates of such undercounts were highest where Democratic hopeful John
Kerry did best.
CNN (Cable News Network) fudged the exit polls to cover up for Republican vote fraud.
The University of California’s Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical
study — the only method available to monitor the accuracy of e-voting — reporting irregularities
associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President
George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election.
Unlike democratic countries, where citizens count the ballots under scrutiny of members of all political
parties, in the United States employees of a highly-secretive Republican-leaning company, ES&S, managed every
aspect of the 2004 election.
Exit polls are normally bang on. They showed Kerry with a landslide, but the voting machines showed Bush won.
Exit Polls are almost never wrong. They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly
separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by substituting actual
observation for guesswork in judging the relative turnout of different parts of the state. According to ABC-TVs
exit polls, Kerry was slated to carry Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, all of which Bush
carried. The only swing state the network had going to Bush was West Virginia, which the president won by 10
points. ABC has been biased toward Bush all through the election. Why would they suddenly betray him at the last
The voting machines were designed to be fraud friendly. There was no paper trial, no open
source software, no sealing of software, no audits. The software could be changed at any time. The machines were
appallingly fraud-friendly. Republican jurisdictions purchased these openly-crooked machines in preference to
properly designed ones. It was like a casino buying a roulette wheel with a brake visibly mounted. It is like a
gambler buying crooked dice. It is prima facie evidence he intends to cheat. If catch him with crooked dice, it is
up to him to prove he was playing fairly, not the reverse. At the very least, it was criminal negligence to buy
machines so easy to tamper.
80% of voting machines are manufactured by two brothers. They are Christian Reconstructionists, a cult whose
avowed aim is the destruction of democracy and replacing it with a strictly literal biblical theocracy — e.g.
stoning adulterers to death.
The voting machines have been compromised dozens of times in demonstrations. One group even trained a
chimpanzee to do it. A real election in Georgia was stolen, and the fraud was detected, even before the federal
election. The video showing how easy it was to fudge the election the
central accumulating computer, running Windows, the most insecure operating system on the planet is no longer available.
of Diebold voting machines said that he would do anything to ensure a Bush victory — which
clearly included fudging the results.
According to the Charlotte Observer, a Diebold
employee was caught tampering with voting machines.
In 2000, pre election polls underestimated Gore’s strength by five points. In
2004 they overestimated Kerry’s strength by five points if you trust the voting
machine results. This underestimate is inconsistent both history and logic. The voters not covered by polls are
overwhelmingly Kerry voters.
We still have not seen a breakdown by paper ballot vs voting machine. If such figures are ever released you
will undoubtedly see a huge discrepancy with the voting machines preposterously high relative to the ballots. You
need to compare the distribution of paper ballot vs machines with historical differences for the two regions.
Bush prevailed only where there were such voting machines.
Republicans refused to post intermediate tallies during the day of voting machines. This allowed them to wait
to the last minute to decide the appropriate fudge factor to win without being too obvious. They could even decide
at the last minute not to cheat at all.
One third of the vote was counted by such machines. That third is meaningless since it was made up by the Bush
team and is large enough to totally swamp the rest of the vote.
The vote accumulating computers use the Windows OS (Operating System) which is notoriously easy to hack. Its
security system is made of Swiss cheese, an after thought Microsoft tacked on with bailing wire to a standalone
single-user system. Further, only one set of accumulating computers is used. Whomever has access to those computers
can easily substitute a phony set of results. There needs to be open access to the voting machines so any
authorised organisation can do its own tallies, as a cross-check. The military never use Windows for this reason.
They use Unix or Mac which is much more secure.
FOX news did a piece on how the voting machines are infallible, comparing them to ATM
machines. They knew this was a
complete lie. They covered for Bush. ATM machine have a paper trail, and a statement to check up on them. The bank has a
vested interest in making them accurate. The Republican owners of the voting machines had a vested interest in
When reporters asked Bush about Kerry’s landslide in the exit polls in Florida he gave a wicked little
smile and said he was not concerned.
Professor Stephen F. Freeman of the
University of Pennsylvania computes that the odds of the exit poll statistical anomalies occurring by chance are
250,000,000 to one. That’s 250 million to one. In other words, Bush cheated.
NBC news report of
voting fraud. It points out that in Diebold-counted counties that were heavily Democratic in registration, Bush won
overwhelmingly. Yet in counties not counted by Diebold, there was no such switchover.
If anyone such as the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) wiretapped any of the voting machines, likely they
will be able to prove tampering, unless the only tampering was done in advance or if there are witnesses who
recorded the precise timing of their votes.
According to the Washington Dispatch, election oddities occurred throughout Florida with some counties
registering a 400% increase in expected voter turnout among Republicans while
Democrats supposedly experienced a -60% decline in expected support in certain counties.
According to the Washington Dispatch, Palm Beach County logged 88,000 more votes
than voters. According to the official election results posted on the Palm Beach County election website,
542,835 ballots were cast for a presidential candidate while only 454,427 voters turned out for the election (including absentee).
In Baker County Florida, with
12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the
vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the
opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry. In
Dixie County Florida, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry,
but 4,433 voted for Bush.
In a precinct Gahanna, Franklin county Ohio, 4258 votes for Bush 260 for Kerry. Records show only 638 voters
cast ballots in that precinct.
Dr. Rebecca Mercuri explains voting machine fraud
Princeton professor Edward Felten
hacked a Diebold voting machine.
Cheney supporters are denouncing anyone who questions the election as kooks, conspiracy theorists and black
helicopter crowd. Yet they know ballot stuffing is as American as apple pie. They desperately do not want an
investigation. They know they cheated.
Blackboxvoting.org says Bush cheated. They have the biggest
freedom of information request in history in progress to prove it conclusively.
Diebold Fraud: Details of how
the design of the Diebold voting machines is done to make fraud deliberately easy. part II.
Fund the Recount
Never, never, never give up.
~ Winston Churchill(born: 1874-11-30 died: 1965-01-24 at age: 90)
blackboxvoting.org and Ralph Nader teamed up to set up a 527 special fund to
raise the $200,000 US needed to pay for a recount in Ohio. That could be enough to kick
Bush out of the White House.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.
~ Edmund Burke(born: 1729-01-12 died: 1797-07-09 at age: 68)
Immigrating To Canada
Muslims and gays particularly might want to consider leaving the USA while they still can. With the rise of fascism
in America, many people are looking to get out. Canada is the logical choice since there is no language barrier and
the culture is familiar. Toronto has a hellish climate, hot and humid in summer, and bitter cold in winter, however,
this may be quite tolerable to someone used to life on the east coast of North America. Alberta is a boom and bust
economy, now going through a boom, so it is easy to get a job in any trade. BC has the mildest climate. Its economy
is recovering but is not rolling. It is fairly easy for Americans to emigrate to Canada. Read the Self-Counsel Press books for details.
Book referral for Immigrating to Canada: Who Is Allowed? What Is Required? How to Do It
recommend book⇒Immigrating to Canada: Who Is Allowed? What Is Required? How to Do It
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
Book referral for Immigrating to Canada and Finding Employment: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Skilled Workers under the Latest Immigration Policy. A Step-by-Step Settlement & Job Search Guide — Revised Edition
recommend book⇒Immigrating to Canada and Finding Employment: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Skilled Workers under the Latest Immigration Policy. A Step-by-Step Settlement & Job Search Guide — Revised Edition
Online bookstores carrying Immigrating to Canada and Finding Employment: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Skilled Workers under the Latest Immigration Policy. A Step-by-Step Settlement & Job Search Guide — Revised Edition
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
Escaping the Draft
Canada is not a safe place any more for draft resistors. Bush forced Canada to sign a treaty allowing American
dragoons to come into Canada and kidnap anyone suspected of being American, and drag them back to the USA without the
intervention of Canadian courts. From there, they can even be tortured legally. Bush could also use this provision to
punish Canadians such as myself who have opposed him.
You might have some success ducking the dragoons if you pay off your credit cards so they have no record of your
address, and do everything you can to keep your name and address out of any computer databases, e. g. do not drive a
car. Don’t get a phone, or electric service in your name. You might also pick some obscure remote town to live
into make it not worth their while to come get you.
Changing the Law
I wrote the following before the extent of the outright fraud in the US presidential election had come to light. The
Harris fraud in removing black Democrats from the rolls and the rigged electronic voting machines dwarf the effects
of the butterfly ballots and Scalia’s legal fiddles. To skip to the chase, look at the links below that get into the fraud. The bulk of this essay is about the systemic inequity.
Because the 2000 presidential election was so close, it magnified many inequities in the
American election system. This essay discusses those inequities and suggests remedies.
When the USA was formed, it was created by the coalescing of thirteen separate countries. The founding fathers were
far more concerned about he equality and rights of these separate states than they were about the equality and rights
of the individual citizens. That concern survives to this day. Senate power is allocated equally to the various
states. This means a citizen is a small state such as Rhode Island has more voting power than a citizen in a large
state like California. You could assign senators by state population the way the house works, but then the senate
would keep expanding. Perhaps it would be better to give each senator as many votes in the senate as there are voters
in his state.
The founding fathers were also concerned that every region had a say in the running of the country. This means
that a citizen living in a sparsely populated part of the country such as Utah has more voting power in the House Of
Representatives than a citizen in a densely populated state like New Jersey.
The founding fathers did not believe in democracy as we know it today. They did not trust the mob to
govern. They wanted a republic where well-educated elected representatives made all the decisions. The masses should
never be permitted to directly make any decision. There were no national newspapers, no TV, and no Internet.
The average citizen did not even know the names of the candidates. So the founding fathers set up an indirect system
called the electoral college to elect the president. A group of impartial, non-party-affiliated, educated men, who
were familiar with the presidential candidates, made the selection. In the constitution, the electors are not even
required to vote for the candidate they are pledged to. 27 states have laws to bind them, but these laws may be
unconstitutional. The penalty is typically a $100 fine, and being kicked out of the
party. The constitution even made provision for a state legislature to select these electors in any way it saw fit.
Legally the state legislature need not even hold an election to choose the college of electors. This harks back to
the days when the states were nervously considering the possibility of union, and wanted to retain every possible
power to themselves. The state legislatures originally directly chose the electors for president, without holding an
Further, in most states there is a winner-take-all-the-electors rule, which leads occasionally to the strange
anomaly that the president chosen is the one with the fewest popular votes.
Modern Americans may consider these founding fathers’ notions in violation of the democratic principles of
all men are born equal and one man; one vote. However, as President Jimmy Carter pointed out,
these rules are almost impossible to change because they are burned into the constitution. They require 38 states to
agree before they can be changed. Small states and sparsely populated regions are not about to give up their
privileged positions, even if they recognise that privilege is unfair.
President Jimmy Carter said the most we can hope for is an abandonment of the winner-take-all-rule, because that
change does not require a constitutional amendment, and because it can be done a state at a time. If states
apportioned presidential electors in proportion to votes, most of the probability the anomaly of the winner in the
electoral college getting the fewest popular votes would disappear.
Abolish The Electoral College?
The arguments for abolishing the electoral college include:
A direct vote for president would make all votes of all Americans equal. It is the only scheme that would truly
implement the democratic principle of one man one vote.
A direct vote avoids the politically embarrassing situation of the loser of the popular vote winning the
It avoids the problem of the faithless elector, an electoral college member who breaks ranks and votes for a
candidate other than the one they were pledged to vote for.
Constitutional changes are not impossible. The constitution has changed to keep up with changing times. At the
time of the founding fathers, there were no political parties. Washington and others considered them evil. State
legislators nominated the presidential electors and the senators directly, without holding any election. Senators
were not elected by popular vote until 1913.
It is simpler and cleaner.
States are simply groupings of people. Why should people in a smaller grouping be more important, have more say
than people who belong to a larger grouping? What counts are people, not groupings. The whole idea of equality of
groupings is a bit of legerdemain to disguise the fact Group A has successfully fooled Group B into giving Group
A’s citizens more importance than the citizens of Group B. The notion of equality of states is bogus; people
are equal, not states!
The arguments for keeping the electoral college include:
It is too difficult to change. It would require 38 states to ratify the constitutional change. It would also
likely require concomitant changes to the constitution to give the federal government powers over how elections are
handled so that the same rules would apply in every state. It is politically impossible.
You would need overwhelming popular will to make the change. Right now support for it is evenly divided on
partisan lines because of the accident that the electoral college system favoured Bush in the last election. It
could just as easily go the other way in the next election.
It makes the votes of citizens of small states somewhat more important than votes of citizens of large states.
They need this edge because the economics campaigning and TV advertising favour spending only in large states.
It would bring into question the election rules of the senate, which treats all states, even ones 500 times larger than another absolutely equally with two senators per state. A senatorial vote
in a small state is 500 times more powerful than in a large state. The electoral
college is nowhere near this unequal.
It is not that broken. It is a fine tradition. It has only caused serious problems four times in history.
It simplifies vote counting. Each state is counted independently. If you had a very close federal election, you
would have to recount everywhere. On the other hand, the odds of a federal election differing by only a
1000 votes are much, much less likely than a state election differing by only
1000 votes, so nearly always the result would be clear on election night with a direct
You can address 90% of the inequity without abolishing the college. Just get rid
of the all or nothing rule, which would not require a constitutional change.
The American election is designed to make fraud easy, especially in absentee voting. Voters are sometimes, but not
always, required to show id. If you are a black voter, much more likely ID will be demanded. If you are black, much
more likely such ID will be declared invalid. Absentee voters are not even required to provide the number on the
voter ID card if they plan to vote Republican or Democratic, because those two parties are given the
list of voter id numbers to apply to absentee ballot requests that the parties print, mail out, and validate
before submitting them. In other words, those people voting Republican or Democratic by absentee ballot need
never show any id at all, ever! They can vote as many times as they want without even the risk of
showing up at the polling place.
The IDs are issued by a single canvassing officer in each county, without any uniform accounting scheme, or cross
checking of canvassing officer’s integrity. It is a simple matter to discover which voter IDs belong to voters
who rarely vote, and submit phony absentee ballot requests for them, using the computer tapes provided to the
Republican and Democratic parties. It is like giving the mint’s printing plates to the Republican and Democrat
Parties and telling them We trust you not to use them to print any money.
The solution is a proper voter id card, ideally a smart card with embedded digitally signed photo of the voter.
This makes it forge proof. You must always use this card to get an absentee ballot or to vote, no
exceptions. The voter id card should contain a digital fingerprint so that you can ensure no duplicates are issued.
The fingerprint itself exists only in the card. When you apply for a new card, that automatically invalidates any
previous card you were issued. The voter id card ensures you vote only once and in only one place.
Ballot Machinery Inequities
Here is what I consider my most persuasive argument that Republicans have used voting machines to
rig elections, not just that the machines are constructed to make it easy for anyone to do that. In Germany, where
elections are closely audited, using a clean paper ballot system similar to Canada’s, exit polls have been
within a tenth of a percent of the final ballot for two generations. However in the USA, in the 2002-11 senate election, between incumbent Democrat Max Cleland and Republican Saxby Chamblis just
prior to the election Cleland was ahead by 5 points in every poll. Yet the election result showed Chamblis ahead by 7
points. You just don’t get 12 point statistical errors. This was Georgia’s first all-electronic
Chuck Hagel was the first Republican to win the Nebraska senate seat in 24 years. He won
in every demographic group, even poor blacks. He won just after his company AIS/ES&S sold all the unauditable
voting machines to Nebraska.
There are a number of different voting schemes used in various parts of the country:
Electronic: e.g. touch screen.
The electronic systems are pretty well fool proof. They won’t let you accidentally vote for two candidates for
the same office, for example. It is still possible to accidentally forget to vote for a presidential candidate. You
could accidentally hit the wrong button, but even then you can recover. Perhaps you could be totally flustered by the
new technology and be frightened off voting altogether, or leave the booth without completing your ballot. Humans are
not involved in counting, so barring computer fraud, you get a 100% accurate count. On
the other hand, they can easily be programmed to give any result the voting machine company desires.
The optical systems are almost as foolproof as the electronic ones. You fill in your ballot with a pencil. Then
you poke it into a slot. If there is anything wrong with it, it spits back out at you, and gives you a chance to
correct the problem. There is still a chance you won’t understand what the problem is, or how to make the
correction and give up. If you don’t make the marks dark enough the machine will erroneously think you decided
not to vote, but it won’t warn you.
The paper ballot is fairly straightforward. The problems come in design. Butterfly ballots, multipage page ballots or folded ballots can confuse
voters. These have to be counted by hand, so the counts are never exact. Humans look at the marks, and have to use
subjective judgement to decide if they are dark enough, big enough, of the correct shape etc. etc. The conscious or
unconscious partisan bias of the counter can affect how ballots are tallied.
The punch card is the worst of the balloting schemes. One in five punch card votes were discarded in Broward
county in Florida. They permit both overvoting and undervoting without warning. They have the problems of hanging,
pregnant and dimpled chad. Tallying machines can’t register
anything but a completely clean hole. Holes may not be clean because of inexperienced voters, blunt styluses, old
equipment, full chad hoppers, improper insertion of the voting card in the machine, etc. In addition, the prepunched
chad can sometimes fall out with rough handling, turning a valid vote into an invalid overvote. This scheme
disenfranchises a sizeable chunk of the voters who are forced to use it. Hand counting only partly corrects the
problem. Hand counts are rarely done, or even when ordered can be stalled both legally, and by partisan counters, so
they are never completed. To give an idea of the magnitude of the problem, on average, country wide, 2% of voters fail to select a presidential candidate, mostly because they have no preference or
because they consider no candidate acceptable. With punch card balloting, this ranges from 5 to 20%. The difference
is presumably caused by the problems with using the punch card balloting equipment.
To make matters worse, this obsolete equipment does not toss ballots equitably. It is used mainly in the poorer
districts. This means use of this equipment is biased against the poor. Since the poor tend to vote Democratic, the
use of this equipment is biased against the Democratic party. In the rich districts, using modern voting equipment,
0% of the deliberate vote is thrown away. In the districts using the punch card voting
scheme, 3 to 18% of it is, routinely, without comment or
Some claim the problem lies with the voter. Unintelligent voters who cannot negotiate a successful punch card vote
don’t deserve to vote. This is improper on two counts. First, the franchise is not based on intelligence. The
interests of every man count equally whether he is a genius or an illiterate idiot. Secondly, this hurdle of punch
card balloting is placed only before the poor. To be fair, it should apply equally before the wealthy.
The use of obsolete punch card equipment should not be blamed on any political party. The problem is that new
voting machinery is a low priority in a cash-starved county, and it gets put off. In other countries, voting law and
voting equipment is a federal responsibility to ensure uniformity. In the USA, it is, according to the constitution,
a state and county responsibility.
Literacy and Language Bias
In an upper class household, every child learns to read English and how to vote. They know you can’t vote for
more than one candidate. They know you must use an X. In some parts of the USA 20%+ of people cannot read. Yet their
interests are still important. Similarly many new citizens have shaky English. They won’t easily understand the
written instructions they are given. They may come from countries without voting, or with quite different voting
rules. Nobody teaches them to vote.
How do you fix this? First you must teach children to vote in schools. They must have mock votes that are as close
to the real thing as possible. They need to understand overvotes, undervotes, and that there are rules for what
constitutes a valid ballot. Second you must provide instruction to adult voters prior to voting day in a variety of
languages. People should be able to view a video, and practice vote. Third, modern voting machines should prompt with
a wide choice of languages, both visually and with the spoken word to guide. Photos of the candidates should appear
on the ballots, along with party logos. You should not need to be able to read English or even be able to read to
People who do something as mindless as sort mail are given a day’s training. Why do we expect every citizen
to be able to use voting equipment correctly the first time, without instructional materials, without training,
without practice, without supervision? We would never dream of demanding such performance of casual labourers in the
Safe harbour is a cut off date. If the vote counting from a state is complete by then, it is guaranteed to count
federally. It cannot be challenged. Results as late as January 6 still count, but in theory, they could be
challenged. This sounds like a great idea. You can’t have the contest going on right up inauguration day. The
catch is in any contest, the status quo will favour one side. That side can simply stall and run out the clock until
the safe harbour date. They can win without really needing to actually win the most votes. All they have to do is
keep the election tied up in legal red tape. This was the basic strategy by which Bush won the election. In a future
election, the status quo could just as easily favour the Democrats, and they would be the ones running out the clock.
How do you make the contest more fair? You have to make recounts automatic. You have to specify the clear
conditions under which they are held or not held. You can’t have politicians making arbitrary partisan
decisions on whether recounts or hand counts are justified. Once started they have to be completed.
Since there is no motive to stall them, they will thus complete with dispatch. Canada managed to count, by hand, 17
million votes in four hours. Surely the USA could do as well when one side has no motive to stall the process.
Canada uses a simple paper ballot, uniform across the country. Note the black background discourages people from
putting their X in the wrong place, and the way the names and Xs align.
You have to make clear objective rules for manual ballot counting. Wherever possible you should use fool-proof
machine voting that cannot create an invalid ballot or produce an incorrect count. You ban punch
card balloting. This allows counts to be completed quickly without compromising the safe harbour date.
The Coup Provision
There is an obscure provision in the constitution that was originally intended to handle the case of a tie or some
hopelessly mired election when it was impossible to determine a clear winner. In that case the state legislature
could break the tie and decide the winner. However, some have claimed this provision could be used much more broadly.
If any legal contest, no matter how minor were not very quickly resolved after the election, then
the state legislature would have the right to select the electors, totally independently of the
election results. They have the legal right to completely reverse the election.
This has not been done for over a hundred years, but the option is still there, and Jeb Bush threatened to use
this provision had Al Gore prevailed in the courts and the counts. After it became clear the Federal Supreme Court
would rule for Bush, the speaker for the Florida legislature withdrew the threat, and tried to pretend they had never
made it, or ever intended to carry it through. Whether or not Feeney was truthful, this loophole should be closed.
Unfortunately, that would require a constitutional amendment, and such a change would require states giving up the
power to steal the presidential election if they ever wanted to. They are not about to give up any power, no matter
how corrupt, or how unlikely they think they would be to use it. I was rather astonished to find out that opinions on
the validity of this coup fell perfectly down party lines. All Democrats disapproved. All Republicans
approved. I strongly suspect, had the Florida legislature been Democratic, we would have seen the reverse pattern.
The next time this coup option happens it could equally likely tempt Democrats. Using the coup provision
may be constitutionally permissible, but so is shooting your dog or pooing on your lawn, but that does not
necessarily make it a great idea.
Third Party Candidates
The presence of third parties complicates the election. Sometimes when a right wing candidate runs such as Jesse
Ventura, Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan or George Wallace, it splits the right wing vote and incidentally helps the
Democratic party. Sometimes when a left wing candidate runs, such as Dr. Spock or Ralph Nader, it splits the left
wing vote and incidentally helps the Republicans. This can lead to the anomaly of a candidate being elected that the
majority of the population detest.
There are three main proposals to deal with this problem:
Run off elections
If the election is close, you have a run off election between the top two contenders. The main problem with this
is it takes extra voter time and money.
You can vote for as many candidates as you like. You vote for all the candidates you approve of. The candidate
with the most votes wins. This lets you vote for both for Pat Buchanan and George Bush, without diluting your
vote for Bush should Buchanan be out of contending. Your voting power is the same whether you use one, two or
three votes. You can use it to vote for all but the candidate you detest. Or you can use it to vote for just the
best candidate. You can vote for all candidates to let it be known you approve of all of them equally. You can
vote for no candidate to let it be know you think they are all turkeys. One advantage of this scheme is
overvotes and undervotes are just as meaningful as a vote for a single candidate. Even if a voter
does not understand the rules, his vote still counts.
You rank the candidates in order. The counting process gives more points for a first rank than a second rank. The
candidate with the most points wins. Rank voting: You rank the candidates in order. The counting process gives
more points for a first rank than a second rank. The candidate with the most points wins. It is more complicated
to vote and count. It pretty well requires automated equipment to count quickly. Vote theorists claim this
scheme, officially called Borda voting, makes the most people happiest with the result.
Australia uses a type of rank voting that works like this: You rank the candidates in order. The candidate
with fewest votes is knocked out, and any votes against that candidate are redistributed to those votes’
next most preferred candidate, until there is a clear winner ( >50% of the total vote). Australia became a
nation in 1900, after the American civil war. A great concern was to constitute the
commonwealth so as not to repeat some of the problems experienced by the US republic. Presumably, the new South
African constitution is better still.
If you are curious to further explore the problem of voting schemes to deal with more than two candidates, see
Discover Magazine November 2000 page 75 May the Best Man Lose where they
discuss the mathematics and paradoxes of various voting schemes. Two terms you need to understand when studying
voting are plurality and majority. A candidate wins the plurality of votes when he gets
more than any other candidate. A candidate wins the majority of the votes when he gets more than
50% of the votes. When there are only two candidates, they amount to the same thing.
What Do You Need to Recount?
If you add up a column of numbers, and you want to be sure you are right, you add them up again. If you get the same
answer you quit. You repeat until you get the same answer at least twice, though not necessarily twice in a row. Even
better, you talk somebody else into doing the checking addition for you.
In doing recounts, the same principle should apply, except that you don’t insist on perfectly matching
totals, just close enough so the error would not make any difference. If the difference between candidates is large,
you can stop before doing even one recount.
The punch card vote (or any vote for that matter) is made of three parts, the valid vote, the
undervote and the overvote. It turns out you have to look at all three to get a perfectly accurate
total. Electronic voting machines ensure it is impossible to create any overvotes, though they do permit undervote
A machine counts the valid vote. What the machine can’t deal with, it spits out as the undervote (machine saw
zero votes), and overvote (machine saw two or more votes). The buck stops there normally.
If you run the ballots through the machine twice and you get the same total, nobody disputes that number, so long
as different operators did the work, under scrutiny. In any recount, there is never a need to literally
count any ballots with your hands, even invalid ones. Contrary to common Republican belief, you only need separate
them into piles and let the machine count them.
If it turns out that the undervote might matter, the undervote then has to be examined manually and
categorised into piles:
valid ballot (by whatever rules are in play for dealing with dimples and hanging chad).
disputed ballot. Judges did not unanimously agree on how to handle it. Somebody else will have to decide what
to do with it.
Of course, only the valid ballots count. Blank ballots are considered invalid, contrary to a rumour put out by some
wily Republicans. Arguing over which pile a ballot belongs in: valid or invalid need be done only once, though the
counting should be done twice, with possible extra review of the disputed ballots.
You then may have to examine the overvote, which sometimes might matter. How could this be? The
voter has marked his ballot for more than one person, clearly an invalid ballot? n’est-ce que pas? However
ballots have a write-in slot at the bottom. If the person votes for his candidate and also writes
him in, that may or may not be considered a valid ballot. Rules could conceivably work either way. Machines can
separate out the potential write-in duplicates, and allow for hand adjudication. A machine can then count the pile of
ballots that were manually decided to be valid. By Florida’s clear intent of the voter rule, the
overvote did matter in that election, though it was never counted officially. Let us hope the unofficial
Miami Herald counts take the overvote into consideration.
News media report election results and exit polls even before the polls close in the western half of the country.
This may discourage westerners from voting, or may unduly influence the way people vote. Both supporters of the front
runner and runner up may be discouraged. In the last election we even saw this effect within the two time zones of
Florida. Happily, experiments have shown voter rarely change their votes based on such reports. However, they are
often discouraged from voting.
Canada tries to solve this problem by making reporting before all the polls close illegal. But with the Internet
and long distance telephone calls, it is impossible to keep poll results secret. I suspect the only fair way to
handle this is to have a uniform poll closing time across the country. This of course would delay the counting and
force people to stay up into the wee hours to learn the winner. Equivalent would be to close the polls early in the
east, but delay vote counting or delay announcing any results until the polls close in the west.
There is nothing much you can do about exit polls, but these are not that much different from polls reported on
the day before the election.
Another problem with the media is the trivialising of the election and politics. For example, after one of the
televised debates between Gore and Bush, an MSNBC reporter asked the audience, "Who do you think came across as
nicer? He did not ask, Who would you vote for? or Who do you think would
make the best leader?, or Who best demonstrated his competence to lead the country?" The question he
asked was almost as irrelevant as asking who had the nicer hair. Perhaps you can forgive the twit for asking about
the only question he could that would put Bush, his boss’s (Bill Gates') favourite, in a good light.
Platforms and issues are forgotten. Trivia, personality, mannerisms and sound bites take over. You could go
through an entire day of CNN coverage without learning a single fact about what sort of legislation either
candidate favours. In reporting Clinton, the media were ten thousand times more interested in his penis than his pen.
Not that the travels of the presidential penis were uninteresting, but they totally eclipsed what the president was
doing, both good and bad, that actually affected the welfare of the country.
Supreme Court Decisions
Because the laws were fuzzy, both the Florida and Federal Supreme courts became involved. In the USA, supreme court
judges are political appointees, and tend to be party hard liners. Justices Souter and Stevens were notable
In a fight like this everyone is hopelessly partisan. Almost no one can think clearly about what
is fair or proper. Partisan bias clouds all judgement, even that of supreme court judges. I am a Canadian,
theoretically disinterested, but with a pro Gore bias. I was impressed by the fairness of the lower level courts and
shocked at the naked partisanship of the higher courts, particularly the Federal Supreme court. Most outrageous was
Justice Scalia’s addendum to the stay to stop the counts which said in effect, "It does not matter if this
stay is fair to Gore, I have already decided Bush is going to win before I have heard the evidence."
Attorney Mark Levine has explained the embarrassing lack of logic in the Supreme Court Decision in this layman’s guide to it. Harvard professor Larry Tribe put it charitably,
This decision will be hard to teach..
What can you do about this? There is no appealing the Supreme Court’s actions. You legally have to accept
what they did, no matter how partisan. You could insist that new supreme court justices be confirmed with a
two thirds majority vote. That would encourage centrist judges who would not be wildly partisan. You could permit
recall of a supreme court judge with 60% vote, so that disgracefully partisan judges
could be more easily removed. You also want to pre-decide these issues clearly in law so you don’t need the
Supreme Court to make up law on the fly during elections.
Lack of Recusing
It is customary for a judge who has a conflict of interest to recuse himself, so as to avoid any possibility he might
allow self-interest to sway him.
What actually happened in this case?
Justice Clarence Thomas (a white conservative judge with black spray painted skin by Ron Popeil), had a wife,
Virginia Lamp Thomas who worked at the Heritage foundation, a leading conservative think tank in Washington D.C. she
had just been hired by George W. Bush to help recruit people in the impending administration.
Eugene Scalia, the son of Justice Antonin Scalia, was a lawyer with the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
— the very law firm representing Bush before the supreme court.
This conduct would be nothing of note in ordinary politics, but in the lofty realm of supreme court, this is
unprecedented foul play.
A Call To Action
Napoléon observed that God always seems to favour the biggest army. Were he alive today he might similarly
note that the electors seem to favour the candidate who spends the most money on TV ads.
The unfairness of lies perpetuated in TV ads vastly overshadow the inequities in the voting mechanism. The key to
fairness is to take the debate out of the hands of the spin doctors and media moguls, and put it back into the hands
of the people. Fortunately, the technology for doing that now exists: the Internet which includes email, the website,
the webring and the newsgroup.
It is important that voters learn where the candidates stand on all manner of issues. You can research that and
let it be known. What you find out may be something only of interest to a small segment of the population, e.g. their
position on whale hunting or salmon conservation. However, that can be a key issue, or an indicative issue that
actually persuades a voter. There is not much point in rabidly cheerleading your candidate or booing the opposition.
You won’t change anyone’s mind. The more neutrally you can present the information that you have
researched the more credibility you will have.
Here in Canada we have an institution called the all candidates’ meeting. It is something like the American
Town Meeting, but much more fun. All candidates are invited to attend. Audience members line up at
microphones to lambaste the politicians and ask them questions. The questions are not prescreened. The politicians
poke holes in each others’ replies. Groups of lesser candidates gang up on the front runners. They don’t
hypocritically play kissy face the way they do in America, The audience cheers and boos the responses, making a Jerry
Springer audience look tame. It is revealing to see a politician without the protective film created by his handlers
and spin doctors.
My Mom told me that when the newspaper gets a letter to the editor, or a politician gets a personal letter, they
assume there were at least twenty other people with the same idea, but too lazy to write. You have the strength of
twenty men when you get off your butt and write. With a website, your writing can reach the entire country, nay the
entire planet, inspiring a select audience everywhere.
Hall of Shame
hall of shame
Canvassing board changing the chad counting rules on
the fly more than once.
Attempting to count dimples, even though historically dimples had never been included as valid
Florida Legislature threatening to appoint Bush electors even if the courts determined Gore was the
Extreme efforts to block full and accurate vote counts.
K. Harris’ discretion in stopping the counts in progress that had been deliberately
stalled by Republicans. Though she had the legal right to do this, that was not the precedent.
Republican Sandra Goard, canvassing officer, allowing Republican friends into fix the
absentee ballots, knowing it was contrary to law, then lying about it under oath.
Justice Scalia saying the stay order to stop the vote count need not be fair to Gore because he had
already decided to give the election to Bush, before he had heard the arguments. By stopping the count, he
guaranteed the Republicans would successfully run out the clock to the optional safe harbour deadline of
Blaming the Republicans for the unfair punch card balloting when it was primarily purchased by
Democratic canvassing boards.
Blaming the Republicans for racism and bias against blacks when it was Democratic canvassing boards
responsible for the ancient punch card equipment that tossed their votes.
Blaming Democrats for throwing out military absentee ballots when it was K. Harris’s office who
send out the memo telling canvassing boards to do that.
Dissembling word play on the word counted, claiming all votes had been counted
even though the ballots had not been examined or included in any vote totals.
Blaming Gore for cherrypicking the recount counties when Bush had equal opportunity to request recounts
where it would be favourable to Bush. Bush blamed Gore for Bush’s own failure to act.
Claiming that blocking the recounts was a matter of principle.
Repeatedly accusing the Democrats of tampering with the ballots without evidence.
Karnak the Magnificent. Claiming that totally blank ballots were being counted for Gore, that the
process was done with ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) without examining the ballot, claiming the
process was done by looking at the other votes on the card to see if the voter tended to vote Democrat or
Republican and claiming that it was a totally arbitrary process that was completely subjective. This was
all shown to be bullshit when the Republican judge who was involved in the details of counting described in
great detail how the counts were done and testified that in counting nearly always the adjudications were
Claiming that by law all ballots rejected by a punch card tabulating machine are invalid ballots.
Attempting to block absentee ballots from counting after saying the principle that every vote should
count should be paramount.
Complaining that it was unfair to count only the counties where Gore had requested recounts, then
rejecting the Florida Supreme court ruling to count all counties.
Blaming the Democrats for the lack of a clear definition of a valid punch card ballot, when the fuzzy
legislation was written by the Republican state legislature.
The Federal Supreme Court put the Florida Supreme Court in a Catch 22 position. If the Florida court
formulated clear uniform rules on what constitutes a valid ballot, that would count as writing new law. If
they did not formulate such rules, that would violate equal protection. Heads I win, tails you lose.
Designing the Palm Beach butterfly ballot.
Media reporting a Gore win for Florida before the polls closed.
K. Harris’s office sent out a memo saying military absentee ballots without postmarks should not
be counted. This was erroneous. By both Federal and Florida law military ballots don’t need a
The affable speech conceding the election. Gore shot to 10 points higher than Bush in public opinion
Scalia’s second ruling. It was an absolutely masterful piece of legal legerdemain. It was
convoluted, but it successfully managed to pull off many goals, i.e.
It made sure the Florida legislature did not appoint electors, rather than taking the ones from the
winner of the count. That thorny constitutional issue had to be sidestepped at all costs, even if it
meant flagrantly giving the election to Bush.
It gave the election to Bush, no matter what the Florida Supreme court did.
It ensured future elections would have to be fought with fair, uniform rules. This ruling, that
theoretically only applies to Florida, should eventually enforce nationwide fairness.
It reaffirmed the powers of the Florida Supreme Court.
It settled the election instantly.
It enhanced the reputation of the Supreme Court. By having two Republican justices dissent, it gave
the impression that the court was less biased than had the vote been strictly partisan, without
compromising the result. The 5-4 split could have been a lucky fluke, or a deliberate
Teamsters Union, Jane Fonda.
Philip Morris Tobacco, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Bill Gates, air and water polluters, religious
Who Builds the Voting Machines?
It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people
who count the votes decide everything.
~ Josef Stalin(born: 1878-12-18 died: 1953-03-05 at age: 74)
Electronic voting machines are being peddled that are fraud-friendly. Even a first year computer science student
could cook an election with the total lack of audits and open source. There is no excuse for anything proprietary or
secret in a voting machine. That just invites fraud. Further, the voting machine companies are run by Bush supporters
and by Christian Reconstructionists, a peculiar sect that wants to replace the American democracy with a Christian
theocracy — rather odd people to be in the voting machine business.
For the first time in history, Florida exit polls differed widely from the official counted vote in the
2000 Presidential election. Exit polls had Gore far in the lead. No one then thought the
Bush family was crooked enough to steal an election that directly.
Fraud Friendly Diebold Voting Machines
It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people
who count the votes decide everything.
~ Josef Stalin(born: 1878-12-18 died: 1953-03-05 at age: 74)
Diebold voting machines are scandalously fraud-friendly. Diebold should know better. They make equipment for the
banking industry, so they know perfectly well how to make fraud difficult. Here are some of the techniques they use
to make fraud easy:
Keeping the software secret claiming it is proprietary, which is nonsense. There is only one legitimate way to
count votes. That makes it easy for Diebold or anyone else to hide fraud subroutines in the code. No one, not even
the election officials are allowed to examine the computer program inside each voting machine for evidence of
No paper audit trail.
No sealing mechanism to freeze the software inside each voting machine. It can be changed remotely at any
Only one set of computers accumulate and tally the vote. They can be easily hacked and compromised, or fiddled
with a hidden back door. Everyone who has ever had a virus on their computer knows how easy this is to do. It is
even easier with physical access. Anyone who wants to should be allowed to tally the vote with their
No inspection, audit or freezing of the software used in the Diebold accumulation computers.
Diebold has announced they will do everything possible to ensure a Bush win. At least they are
honest about their intent to commit fraud.
Diebold has already been caught fudging an election in Georgia.
Fraud software can add just the minimum number of votes to tip the balance. The very existence of near tie
elections is evidence of vote tampering. Statistically they should be rare.
A chimpanzee was trained to successfully subvert the Diebold accumulation computers. It is not that
Diebold machines must be stopped or the election is a fraud. It is an act of patriotism to destroy such a
It’s not the voting that’s democracy; it’s the counting.
~ Tom Stoppard(born: 1937-07-03 age: 76), playwright
There is a great temptation in formulating fairer rules, to try to weight them to favour your preferred candidate
under the conditions of the last election. This is short sighted. In the next election, your favoured candidate could
almost as likely be hurt by that bias. Unfair rules you enact now will eventually come back later to bite you.
Americans are strange. Republicans like to tease the Democrats for being reds or pinkos, yet Republicans refer to
states the Republicans control as red. States that vote Democratic are known as blue.
The party managers know where the public stands on a whole list of issues. Their funders just don’t support
them; the interests they represent don’t support them. So they project a different kind of image.
~ Noam Chomsky(born: 1928-12-07 age: 85)
Unfortunately, almost all the stories on voting machine fraud written between 2000 and
2004 have been withdrawn. I don’t know if this represents Orwellian malice or
naïve foolishness on the part of the media believing that voting machine fraud is no longer relevant. Obama is
crazy if he forgets that voting machine fraud elimination is the top priority to getting elected. Getting rid of
fraud-inviting machines takes a long hard slog. You can’t wait until the last minute.
It’s not the voting that’s democracy; it’s the counting.
~ Tom Stoppard(born: 1937-07-03 age: 76), playwright
Greg Palast’s movie Bush Family Fortunes
about how Bush wriggled out of serving in Viet Nam and how he stole the election. You can also get an autographed
DVD (Digital Video Disc) as a donation gift.
BBC Real Audio:
documentary shown in Britain that explains in detail how Bush stole the election. Surprise! you did not see any of
this on CNN. The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is the British equivalent of PBS (Public Broadcasting System)
America or CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) in
Thom Hartmann’s essay: If You
Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines. This is the essay that is taking the net by storm
and getting people riled about this extremely important issue.
Book referral for The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance Fraudsters
recommend book⇒The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance Fraudsters
Palast (a reporter with the BBC and London Observer) updates the muckraking tradition with some 21st-century targets: the IMF, World Bank and WTO, plus oil treaties, energy concerns and corporate evildoers of all creeds. Palast in the one who did the BBC videos on How Bush stole the election (using computers to remove black Democrats from the rolls), Bush blocked bin Laden family investigation and Enron scandal. Michael Moore recommends this book.
Online bookstores carrying The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance Fraudsters
Blackboxvoting.org baldly states Bush cheated in many
states. They have filed the largest freedom of information in history to prove the fraud. There really was a Kerry
Professor Rebecca Mercuri: academic work on
the ease of voting fraud with all electronic voting machines with no audit trail, cross checks or inspection.
Diebold Electronic Voting Machine Fraud: How
Diebold security laxity/fraud allowed the Republicans to steal an election in Georgia. Diebold lawyers shut down
the blackboxvoting site that broke the story, but it appears back up. Diebold was caught with a set of phony
election results called rob-georgia on their server.