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Was the 2004 Election Stolen? 1425

Posted by kdawson
from the disenfranchising-ohio dept.
jZnat writes, "In June Rolling Stone ran an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delving into the statistical improbability that Bush won the 2004 election based on massive amounts of evidence that support a Republican-sponsored election fraud across the country, particularly in Ohio. The GOP used a number of tactics in its fraudulent campaign including ballot-stuffing, denying newly registered voters (particularly in urban and minority precincts) their voting privileges via illegal mailings known as caging lists, inane voter registration requirements, preventing thousands of voters from receiving provisional ballots, under-providing Democrat-majority precincts with voting machines thus creating enormous queues of voters, faulty machines (particularly from Diebold) that skewed results in the GOP's favor, mostly unnoticed ballot-stuffing and fraud in rural areas, and a fixed recount that was paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties that essentially supported the initial fraudulent numbers." From the article: "'Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me."
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Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

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  • Re:Washington State (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dingDaShan (818817) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:49PM (#16126264)
    I don't see a Kennedy writing an article on the .ooo45 percentage point margin of victory for the Democrat winner of the Gubernatorial election in Washington... hmmm
  • Re:Washington State (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:56PM (#16126312)
    And the winning recount was paid for by the union that she forced most state employees to join
  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Interesting)

    by pallmall1 (882819) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:08PM (#16126373)
    Oh, yes. Everyone knows Republicans aren't allowed to have voter registration drives. Republicans cheat, see, because they picked a name that some other obscure voter registration organization had already picked. That proves Bush stole the election. [/puke off]

    The people here are lame and pathetic.
  • Re:BFD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NoOneInParticular (221808) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:12PM (#16126398)
    It is telling that you assume that the 2006 election will be very crooked a few months before it happens. Time maybe to do something about it? The 2004 election however went largely uncontested; for the good of the country? Much good it did.

    It is however very interesting that the US form of voting is so extremely sensitive to fraud and other irregularities. Nothing of this scale has, as far as I know, ever happened in any other country in the Western world. Are the American politicians that much more corrupt, or does the simple process of counting votes go beyond the capabilities of the American populace?

  • by iendedi (687301) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:18PM (#16126438) Journal
    There is one indusputable fact and that is that the statistical proabibility that the exit-polls could have contradicted the actual results by such a huge margin are vanishingly small (on the order of 1 in a million). And further, that specific contradictions have an even more impossible probability.

    You can trash this article all you want, but if you are a math-fearing geek (as you should be to have a slashdot membership card), then you simply cannot argue with the conclusion of this article. Being a republican or a democrat does not allow you to magically modify mathematical certainties. Personally, I am appalled at the number of people trashing this article because it is written by JFK Jr or published in the Rolling Stones. Use your geek sense! Geeks dont think like that... So who are you guys?
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:20PM (#16126454)
    You mention Hitler in your argument, you automatically lose. You mention Diebold in Ohio for 2004 and you also automatically lose.

    Diebold machines were only used in two counties in Ohio - Hardin and Lucas - and in both counties, these were optical scan machines. The total population of these two counties is less than 500,000, or about 1.5x the vote margin in the entire state. Couple that with the fact that Lucas County went heavily in favor of Kerry in that election, and we see that implicating Diebold in improprieties in Ohio's 2004 election is a load of crap. Most left-wing noisemakers have the good sense not to implicate Diebold directly, instead trying to make a tenuous connection to the former Diebold CEO's comments about winning the election for Bush, and letting suspicion and paranoia take care of the rest. But never let the truth stand in the way of political propaganda on Slashdot!

    Diebold machines were used in about half the state's counties in 2005, so if you want to rail about that, go right ahead.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoOneInParticular (221808) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:22PM (#16126467)
    What keeps on surprising me however, is that the US is the only Western country I know that has a problem with organizing the vote. It's not an issue of scale, as voting really distributes well. Given my knowledge of the US voting system and the system in place in countries where it does work, two main differences jump out that are true in other countries, but not in the US. Maybe fix these.

    Everyone registered as a citizen gets a voting ticket by regular mail well before the election. This ticket you need to bring to the voting office and can be checked against ID. No differences between states here

    There's one single voting system for the entire nation.

    Of course, this goes against the 'States' part of the 'United States', but then again, the reputation of the fairness of the US elections is currently seen as a bit lower than that of Uganda.

  • Re:Washington State (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:27PM (#16126491) Homepage
    THAT'S a stolen election.
    As a Washington state voter (an East sider at that!), I can tell you it wasn't a stolen election. It was a close election. There is a big difference.

    Wikipedia has a nice summary. [wikipedia.org]

    But, in short: The dems lost both the first count and the machine recount (which they were legally entitled to). They did, however win the hand recount (which they were also legally entitled to).

    The GOP's lawsuit contesting the election was dismissed by the Chelan County (a republican county) Court.

    What was really disgusting is the GOP made personal attacks against the democrats for asking for a recount when the GOP was winning by a narrow margin, but then immediately started acting like the dems when they lost. I think that the WA vote was handled as well as could be expected other than this hypocrisy.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:49PM (#16126606) Journal
    Do you deny that electronic voting and other new technologies make massive vote fraud easier than ever before. I know you, and I know you are a master of spin, so I'd like a yes or no, unqualified answer to that.

    I agree that fraud is a problem common to both parties. But historically, it has been worst in the party in power, because they have more power to cover it up. You can argue all you like about the president of Diebold's actual meaning, but the fact is that no one in his position should ever say anything like that, and a company who's president says things like that, and who's machines have been proven to be insecure, should never be allowed anywhere near an election. That's just common sense, and it applies to either side.

    Democrats were caught cheating long ago, there haven't been any democratic vote scandals on the same scale for years. If you ca refute this with evidence, I invite you to do so. This story does a good job of showing what the Republicans have done, if you are so sure the Demcrats have operated on the same scale, why don't you provide some references? Otherwise, it's just your opinion, isn't it?

    Do the Democrats still cheat? Sure. Do they do it as much as the Republicans? Probably not. Is that why they lost the election? Partly, but their snooze-o-rama candidate probably did far more to lose the election for them than their opponants ever could. As a democrat, I can admit that. Can you, as a Republican admit that perhaps this cheating isn't as bipartisan as you make it out to be? If not, pony up some references or we will all know how much your opinion is really worth.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:03PM (#16126680)
    Do you deny that electronic voting and other new technologies make massive vote fraud easier than ever before. I know you, and I know you are a master of spin, so I'd like a yes or no, unqualified answer to that.

    How am I a "master of spin"?

    But to answer, it's not that simple, and you know it. Without a permanent voter verified paper trail, OF COURSE e-voting and any new technologies that are missing that crucial piece make the potential for fraud easier - not just for Republicans, but for anyone who wants to do it (unless people believe the e-voting vendors are somehow rigging votes centrally).

    So, as it stands right now, "yes". But remember, these were Democratic and bipartisan initiatives that began to phase in and mandate electronic voting. No party benefits from the lack of a paper trail, since anyone of any stripe could potentially tamper with machines, and I fail to see why Republicans would be any more savvy or capable than anyone else at doing it.

    Democrats were caught cheating long ago, there haven't been any democratic vote scandals on the same scale for years. If you ca refute this with evidence, I invite you to do so. This story does a good job of showing what the Republicans have done, if you are so sure the Demcrats have operated on the same scale, why don't you provide some references? Otherwise, it's just your opinion, isn't it?

    I'm not a Republican operative or consultant (and didn't even vote for Bush), and I don't spend all my days and nights collecting references and examples of vote manipulation on either side. Since you've already acknowledged that everyone cheats, why are you still insistent on wanting the Republican cheating to be "worse". Elsewhere in this thread, someone acknowledged they both cheat, but the Democrats overvote and the Republicans deny voters their right to vote (paraphrasing what he said), again in an attempt to say, essentially, "they may both cheat, but the Republicans do it more/worse/etc." That's just ridiculous.

    And I'm sure it's not *identical* between both parties. But I think it's really anyone's "opinion" on who's worse. I personally think there are a lot more people collecting data, information, and anything else they can get their hands on to "prove" that the Republicans stole the elections, because they're the ones in power. It always happens like this: no matter who's in power, the other side always thinks they're up to something. Sometimes they may be. But since the Democrats didn't win either election, it's probably not a priority for the Robert Kennedys of the "other side" to go digging on what the Democrats did wrong, is it?

    Further, why has this story been trotted out on slashdot alone 3 times? What can we possibly learn new from the sure-to-be-divisive (or self-reinforcing) "debate" that is going to happen here?

    Do the Democrats still cheat? Sure. Do they do it as much as the Republicans? Probably not. Is that why they lost the election? Partly, but their snooze-o-rama candidate probably did far more to lose the election for them than their opponants ever could. As a democrat, I can admit that. Can you, as a Republican admit that perhaps this cheating isn't as bipartisan as you make it out to be? If not, pony up some references or we will all know how much your opinion is really worth.

    Where did you get the idea I was a Republican? Remember, I didn't vote for Bush in the last election.

    Agreed with regard to being a CEO of an e-voting vendor and even putting yourself in a position to say something remotely like that. It's stupid, and I'm dumbfounded that he'd even do that.
  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:03PM (#16126684)
    Republicans aren't allowed to have voter registration drives

    As a matter of fact, on federally funded public properties, they aren't. Neither are Democrats. That was covered in the article too, but apparently you can't be bothered to read that, since you're too busy lowering the Republican IQ.

    The people here are lame and pathetic.

    Next thing you know, you'll be claiming that some guy who opened a new store and called it "Wal-Mart" made an "honest mistake" because he picked the same name as some "obscure" chain of stores.

    The only thing lame and pathetic here is you, defending your party by casting them as idiots who just couldn't figure out how to operate that newfangled Google thingy. Of course, this is nothing new, you can search the web to find millions of people defending the Republicans by claiming that Clinton or the Democrats did whatever first. Well, if your lot just didn't get enough of Clinton, you should have voted Democratic!

    Oh, and assuming that they did screw up on their organization name, why were they sending out letters claiming they were non-partisan? Was that just an honest mistake too?
  • Re:Moo (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:05PM (#16126698)
    Hm... "Realise?" "Whinge?"

    Oh, goody, another non-American commenting on American politics.

    I'd hate to disillusion you, but, well, that's a lie. I'd love to. Most of America voted for Bush. Not an overwhelming majority, but a majority none the less. (A true majority at that: over 50% of all Americans vote Republican.)

    You remember the whining about the electoral college in 2000? Not being an American, you may not know the way the Presidential vote works. Each state has a certain number of electoral votes which are used to elect the president. People claim that Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the electoral vote, which is highly unlikely.

    Well, if Kerry had won Ohio, the exact same thing would have happened - Bush would have won the popular vote with a true majority, but Kerry would have won the electoral vote while less than 50% of all Americans actually supported him. That didn't happen, so the will of the people was upheld.

    Oh, and by the way, there were no mathematical impossibilities in that article. Improbabilities, maybe, but it's not impossible by any stretch.

    In any case, it's far more likely that the exit polling mechanism was flawed than the election was "stolen".

    Wake up, non-Americans! Most of America are the red states (states that generally vote Republican). The blue states are the minority.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:08PM (#16126710)
    Nothing was true, huh? Like making 100,000 on a 1,000 cattle futures investment (where can I get a deal like that!); egregiously firing the WH travel office staff w/o any justification whatever; supposedly lost law firm billing records miraculously showing up in the WH living quarters year later; Webster Hubble in jail; Craig Livingstone(!); a president lying in front of a grand jury about a stupid affair w/ an intern during the same timeframe as our embassies and barracks are bombed in the ME and Africa by the folks who would eventually take down the WTC; illegally obtaining FBI records of the majority of republican lawmakers to dig up embarrasing dirt (unreal, and you guys piss and moan about wiretapping a few arabs with terrorist ties. the fucking gall!). All of that is true and that's just off the top of my head, fuckhead. And I don't give a shit about Vince Foster, BTW. Maybe if your buddy Bill had been more concerned about national security as opposed to getting his cock sucked 3000 people wouldn't have died. Maybe if Al Fucking Gore hadn't contested the election the GWB administration would have been put together in the normal timeframe, and we'd have been a couple of months up on the disaster of a National Security policy that was handed down from the children in the Clinton WH. That's right, children. People who were not serious. And then you have Sandy Berger, stuffing classified docks in in his pants and socks. Shut up, asshole, your people are fetit pieces of shit.
  • Re:Washington State (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ksheff (2406) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:16PM (#16126752) Homepage

    Are you better off than you were in 2000, before President Bush?

    Yes.
  • LIARS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:24PM (#16126803) Homepage Journal
    Condoleeza Rice: "I do not remember any reports to us, a kind of strategic warning, that planes might be used as weapons." [responding to Kean]
    FACT: Condoleezza Rice was the top National Security official with President Bush at the July 2001 G-8 summit in Genoa. There, "U.S. officials were warned that Islamic terrorists might attempt to crash an airliner" into the summit, prompting officials to "close the airspace over Genoa and station antiaircraft guns at the city's airport." [Sources: Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01 [latimes.com]; White House release, 7/22/01 [whitehouse.gov]]

    Rhetoric? You cite Rice's reassurance that her gang won't postpone elections as reason to "cool the rhetoric"? Why wouldn't she lie, especially if it got people off our guard?
  • Thank you, sir. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ChePibe (882378) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:27PM (#16126819)
    <rant>

    THANK YOU.

    Geez...

    I lean to the right politically, but I would love - LOVE - to have an alternative party. The Democrats have largely set themselves as simple contrarians with one plank on their platform - "vote for us, we're not the Republican party!"

    Yes, I can see that. I saw that little "D" instead of the "R" which seems to be so dominant amongst elected officials these days.

    But why on earth should I vote for a party which wants to get into power before stating a platform?

    Economically speaking, the U.S. is doing quite well, so economics aren't much of the issue and elected officials have an often overstated effect on the economy as is. That's not much of a reason to vote for the Democrats. The present deficit level is high, to be sure, but that's not the sort of concern that really gets the voters out.

    Iraq's a bit of a mess, but the Democrats haven't really stated what they're going to do with it beyond "we shouldn't have gone in". Great, we shouldn't have gone in, that's lovely and all, but guess what, we're there now - what do we do? They won't say. They don't have a plan at all... granted, the Bush administration's own plans are not particularly well-defined, but they are committed to staying for some time, which isn't the road map I'd like to see but it's heading in the right direction. Democrats can't decide to stay, go... or do anything else. Give me your party's POSITION on the matter! Do you have a position? Oh, that's right, I forgot, your position is, "we're not Bush!"

    Then there's the "cultural issues". Democrats and their supporters alike can't seem to wrap their heads around this, but every time they lose an election they blame it on people who vote on "cultural issues". Perhaps if they learned that these cultural issues were really, truly important to many voters they could win votes, but noooo... instead, we hear the same mantra of, "stupid rednecks only care about x!" each election cycle. These stupid rednecks are voters, you know, and cultural issues are important to people, no matter how much the Democrats want to deny it. Responding to elections lost due to cultural issues by reaffirming your stance on these issues will NOT somehow magically bring people to your point of view.

    I'm not entirely pleased with the Republican party at the moment, and would love to see some new ideas pop up on the hill. But the U.S. lacks an opposition party, and only has a band of contrarians without ideas.

    It's like the Cola wars all over again, except instead of 'Coke' and 'Pepsi', I have 'Coke' and 'we're not Coke and we think Coke sucks!'

    Please, SELL me some ideas and I might BUY THEM!

    </rant>
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:46PM (#16126927)
    spun,

    While I appreciate that you're fairly sensible when you talk to me, you use half of your post to discredit what I'm saying based on things you think might be true about me instead of speaking to any of my points. I'm not saying vote fraud is a good thing. You don't really have to believe anything I say, but I'm genuine when I say it. It's pretty easy for people to find out who I am and what I do. I'm not astroturfing and I'm not trying to create disenfranchisement to swing future votes "to the right".

    Also, I'm not saying OR implying that it "cancels out". I'm just saying that the two elections since 1996, along with the rise of the internet since 1996, and the ability to exchange and collect information that comes along with it, combined with the increased use of machines that many people feel may lend themselves to tampering (whether or not they actually ARE tampered with), and given that the Republicans have been in power in the White House for the last two elections, creates an environment where people will certainly be digging for everything they can that might support that Republicans "stole" the election(s), and many, many people will read and spread only things that support and reinforce that view in themselves and others.

    You don't have to believe me when I said I didn't vote for Bush in 2004. But it's a point of information, and I find it ironic that you're doing the very thing I have a problem with, which is attributing even what *I'm* doing to a conspiracy theory of sorts, albeit a small one. I vote for candidates of many different political stripes, mostly Republicans and Democrats (as opposed to independents, libertarians, etc. - and even then, mostly non-Republicans in 2000 and 2004, as it happens). Different candidates at different levels of government often have different ideas and ideals, some of which are more or less applicable to politics and government at local, state, and federal levels.

    As far as US foreign policy is concerned, I definitely do espouse neoconservative positions, and indeed believe in many of those principles firmly. I also believe that the general neoconservative movement is missing a lot of pieces and ignores a lot of other critical factors. But aside from that, I legitimately believe that, e.g., Panislamic radicalism and continuing US/Western access to critical resources (in light of demands on the same from China and India, and even considering potential future alternative replacements) are the two greatest challenges of the next fifty years. Does not that not mean other things aren't important? Of course not. But I think those are two items of grave concern to the United States and Europe in particular.
  • by maxume (22995) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:46PM (#16126928)
    This earlier comment:

    http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=19680 0&cid=16126316 [slashdot.org]

    points here:

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/03/kenne dy/index.html [salon.com]

    In my experience, Salon.com tends to lean towards being an excellent publication. The linked article goes through a bunch of Kennedy's claims and casts them into doubt.
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:52PM (#16126958) Homepage
    In Australia its manatory to vote in National and State elections and Referendums.
    People who dont get fined.

    Our system is very streamlined. Walk in, check your name off a list and vote. The process takes a minute tops.

    If people dont care then they can part with some of their money.
    Making voting compulsory solves many problems and when done correctly makes the country happier.
    We are forced to pay attention to who we are voting for thus having a greater understanding about whats going on.
    We also dont get people saying that the Ballots were rigged.
  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by niktemadur (793971) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:07PM (#16127066)
    Maybe voting in at least presidental elections should be required to maintain your US citizenship.

    Or how about increasing voter turnout using the carrot instead of the rod:

    - Change Election Day from Tuesday to Saturday. Nowhere in the US Constitution does it say that elections must be held on Tuesday, and I'm sure many people agree it's not such a great day to do it.
    - Give preferential treatment to responsible citizens when applying for a passport, driver's licence, etc. All you have to do is show your ID that proves you have voted in a number of consecutive elections.
    - Discounts on the previous things for citizens who have voted in even more consecutive elections, while throwing in discounts for public transport when you show your special ID...hey, maybe even a parking fine amnesty!

    I think these would be pragmatic steps to increase voter turnout. However, with the way things are, the Powers That Be intend on keeping the number low, because if you change the status quo, lobbyists and the corporations they represent lose the upper hand. The current levels of contributions that lobbyists hand out are the difference between winning and losing an election, channeled towards the few undecided people who will vote in battleground states. Their influence is exactly as tremendous as american electoral apathy. They have this down to a science and all of Washington knows it. However, if you increase voter turnout, their contributions will be diluted, which is to say, their power will be diminished. They would no longer be able to make or break presidents! Or governors, or congressmen, etc.

    So I don't think any rods or carrots will appear in the foreseeable future.
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sholden (12227) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:12PM (#16127090) Homepage
    In Australia they issue you a small fine if you didn't get your named marked off at polling booth. You don't actually need to vote for anyone - you can put the blank ballot in the box and go home. And it's really easy to dispute the fine (speaking from experience) - if you have anything vaguely reasonable as an excuse you tell them and they drop it with no need to go to court or anything like with parking fines... There is no receipt and no way to prove you voted (other than the electoral commission checking their lists I guess).

    The informal voting rate isn't that large - about 5% of the votes cast are informal (there's a great tradition of Donkey voting though - being first on the ballot can give you an extra 1.4% or so, unless you're a woman strangely enough when it gives you nada - Robson rotation would fix that but they don't bother). And the turn out rate is 95%. So 90% of the registered voters (which is essentially everyone 18+ with a few slipping through the cracks - made up for by the dead people who manage to vote somehow) cast a valid vote.

    Compulsary voting gets rid of the "get out and vote" idiocy that clearly favours candidates with the resources to round people into buses... It also removes the ability to influence the outcome by preventing people from voting - or at least makes it very noticable if you try.

    Are you also going to fight against those who try and make people do other "civic duties" like jury duty?

    I suspect compulsary voting would interact badly with first past the post voting, and hence would be a bad thing for America - not that that's an issue - it goes completely against the concept of liberty the US has (though the last few years seem to have shown that liberty isn't so important to most americans but that's an unrelated issue).

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:28PM (#16127170) Homepage Journal
    Ignoring the question of whether the election was or wasn't stolen, I think it's fair to say that the last two elections in the USA have been very close, as has the latest one in Mexico. This leads to the interesting question: how valid is a system where the outcome goes against the wishes of up to half the voters?

    In a parliamentary democracy, what would happen is probably that the largest few parties would form a coalition that held a majority in parliament. They would be in power, but the parliament would still have a say. This way, there's a much closer representation of the various wishes of the voting public.

    "Democracy is the mistaken belief that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time." It's a nice quote, and especially applicable to systems in where there's only one winner (e.g. the winner-take-all system in the US).
  • Re:Moo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TrekkieGod (627867) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:07PM (#16127328) Homepage Journal
    In Australia they issue you a small fine if you didn't get your named marked off at polling booth. You don't actually need to vote for anyone - you can put the blank ballot in the box and go home.

    Well, there's nobody watching you vote, so people turned in blank ballots too. The more paranoid people would nullify them instead to prevent people that are counting the votes from checking the boxes themselves (I don't know if it's actually an issue, but it doesn't hurt to be paranoid). As for the fine, it's the same method in Brazil. After all, they're not going to just not allow you to renew your documents. If you don't have your receipt, you pay a fine, and all is well. Still, generally people don't want to pay a fine, so you get extremely high voting turnout, but I argue that doesn't mean the system is better.

    The informal voting rate isn't that large - about 5% of the votes cast are informal

    That may be true, but still doesn't solve the problem of people voting for people without doing their research. Name recognition is a huge boost for example. It's the reason why Arnold gets to be governor of California. There are a whole bunch of stupid reasons that causes people to make choices, and although many of those people would stay home, more of them show up if they're forced to show up. Now, if they want to show up and vote for their stupid reason, that's their right, but I see no reason in forcing the other people who don't care to go.

    there's a great tradition of Donkey voting though - being first on the ballot can give you an extra 1.4% or so, unless you're a woman strangely enough when it gives you nada - Robson rotation would fix that but they don't bother.

    That's pretty interesting. I had no idea you could get so much of an advantage by being first, even when you can turn in a blank ballot. I guess the problem would be even worse if you couldn't because the software forced you to choose someone. Of course, it would also be easier to implement a rotation, but somehow I'd think that they still wouldn't bother.

    Compulsary voting gets rid of the "get out and vote" idiocy that clearly favours candidates with the resources to round people into buses... It also removes the ability to influence the outcome by preventing people from voting - or at least makes it very noticable if you try.

    Those are good points. I guess there are some advantages to compulsary voting, but I still don't think it's worth it.

    Are you also going to fight against those who try and make people do other "civic duties" like jury duty?

    Yep. Although that's an easy fight, anyone who wants to can get out of jury duty in the US. There's an old joke, "the only people in the jury are the ones that are too stupid to get out of jury duty."

  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:21PM (#16127386)
    Don't give yourself a hernia setting up those strawmen, screechy.

    Dean sucked even worse than Kerry or Bush. Remember his plan to make all plug in an electronic ID card before accessing the Internet [com.com]? Of course you don't. Or you'll pretend that you don't, anyway.

    The fact is the Dems didn't field a single credible candidate. Not one.

    The only reason the election was as close as it was they were up against Bush.

    Good thing they weren't up against someone with the charisma of Reagan or it would've been a slaughter.

    On the other hand, maybe that level of defeat would've convinced the remaining sane Democrats to eject the consipiro-nuts from their party once and for all. Instead, they now have Deaniac running the show. Expect further humiliation at the polls.

  • Re:Washington State (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlbionTourgee (918996) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:30PM (#16127425)
    Hmmm. Sounds kind of like the Florida election in 2000, when the Supreme Court stepped in to stop the counting. Actually, in Washington, they counted the number of times required by law, then we had a big lawsuit which the losing Republican brought. He tried to prove fraud, and lost the lawsuit, too. Foul play, cried the Republicans, who had cried sour grapes at the Dems about Florida. At least, in Washington, the court didn't stop the counting! What the WA election really brings up is, the question, when is an election a tie? As in Florida 2000, and several other counts I can remember, the margin of victory was less than the expected error of counting as I see it. For example, if you have 3 million votes, and the difference between the candidates' votes is less than 100, to give a striking example, really, it's a tie. We can't count accurately enough to have a meaningful difference. Given the variety of polling places, ambiguities of votes, etc. etc., the margin of error is just too great, even if you don't consider potential fraud or other manipulation of the vote. I think we should declare such an election to be a tie, and do whatever is done by law when we have a tie. I for one can't see how it's fair to count down to the razor margin where anyone who thinks about it realizes the error is greater than the vote-difference. (Aside: On the federal level, I don't know what would be done given our screwy electoral vote system. Any sensible system would divide the electoral vote from the state proportionally to the popular vote, but we insist on winner-take-all, meaning that in a national election, a state like Wisconsin might get more campaign attention than California, because of a closer division of the vote. This is unfair. (To Wisconsin, because they probably would get about 10,000 political ads a day on radio, TV, and those horrible auto-calls with recorded messages.))
  • by espressojim (224775) <eris@NOsPam.tarogue.net> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:31PM (#16127428)
    I'm officially a 'brie eating cambridge, MA liberal'. Seriously, I live in Cambridge, MA (and I prefer St. Andre to regular brie. At least make it a triple cream, ok?)

    Yet, when I listen to Air america (or a right wing talk show), I hear the same basic tactics. There's 14 kinds of logical falacies, and neither side takes a reasonable approach. I've heard people on air america (Jennene Garafalo, shut the Fuck up!) who are just embarrasing.

    AA is fighting the right wing talk radio attitude with the same type of bullshit as the right wing, but they don't do it as well. They come off as just another group of idiots saying the exact opposite of the right wing, but don't sound a heck of a lot more reasonable.

    I'd love for them to use dispassonate arguments, site facts and statistics, and speak to the common man. Instead, they preach only to the converted.

    I'm a dem, but they just depress me.
  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by niktemadur (793971) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:19PM (#16127635)
    You don't actually need to vote for anyone - you can put the blank ballot in the box and go home.

    While commendable when the only good option is "None Of The Above" Down Under, there are other countries where this is extremely dangerous for the democratic process. Certain parties in many countries will find it irresistible to fill in the ballots in the process of sorting and counting the ballot. A case in point would be Mexico, where the vote consists of crossing the candidate's country with a black crayon, one ballot for each public office under contest, then each ballot goes into the appropriate urn (again, one for each public office).
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:35PM (#16127698) Homepage Journal
    I'm surprised that some citizen in good standing (No tickets, no misdemeanors, no felonies, makes good money, is well respected in their neighborhood,) hasn't legally issued a citizen's arrest against the President for Treason. Our citizen's arrest powers, from what I'm reading, are not limited to other citizens, they can go all the way up the chain if one has the backing and evidence to support it. We've already 'witnessed' the crimes, everyday on Television, and Rumsfeld last week came out with the excuse that we invaded Iraq, crying "Think of the oil prices!" Which tells me we did start a war over another nation's oil. These morons are confessing right in front of our faces and we're damned-near blind to it.
  • Re:Here in Illinois (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Obyron (615547) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:58PM (#16127787)
    We had Republican gubernatorial administrations for a quarter century until the most recent.

    This can actually be seen as further proof of cheating. No, seriously. Let me explain.

    I live in Kentucky. We consistently elect Republicans for the Senate and have voted Bush in both elections, and there is only one Democrat in our national delegation (who happens to be from my district). Yet if you look at the State Senate and the State House, they are both overwhelmingly Democrat and have been for years. In other words, Republicans tend to get the majority of votes here, yet the State congressional districts have been gerrymandered to the point that it's pretty pointless to run against a Democrat in a State race. The only time Republicans tend to stand a chance here is in popular vote elections, or local elections in the Republican enclaves in the extreme western and northern parts of the state. The Democratic party in this state is as dirty as you'll find. They just lack the charisma of Louisiana's Dirty Dems, and the overtness of Illinois Dems. :P

    State and local politics are so much more fun... PS: I'm a registered Democrat. Mod me +1 Ironic.
  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by niktemadur (793971) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:26AM (#16127885)
    Australia has good scrutiny making that unlikely.

    I agree wholeheartedly. In fact that's my point. It speaks volumes about a society in which one can show up and perform a non-vote as a form of protest. In fact, I would love to think that non-votes are also tabulated and presented statistically, for they are also a voice.

    If you're sufficiently paranoid you can just create an informal vote by putting 1s in all the boxes...
    That is a great idea. Let me tell you why I'm interested in this. I happen to live in Mexico, and I voted this past July. I know some people who did not vote, as an act of protest. I was angry at them at first, but I've come to respect their decision. However, what still bugs me is the futility of their non-gesture, lost, as Roy in Blade Runner says, like tears in the rain.

    Now, in Mexico we take it as a matter-of-fact that the government has for decades commited massive acts of electoral fraud. We hope this is changing, but the horrid electoral noise this year also makes us remember that we don't have the political maturity that Oz, Canada and many european countries have. But that's a story for another time.
    My point is that in all truthfullness, we have to work on the assumption that only a limited number of governments will refuse to exploit a blank ballot to their advantage.
  • by ChePibe (882378) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:56AM (#16127996)
    As always, thanks for the laughs.

    Most of your post is simply too absurd to bother with responding to, but I'll have some fun while I'm here:

    First, naom chomsky and Al Franken are influential political thinkers.. or maybe lies and lying liars didnt make it to the the top 10 best sellers list?

    So, I should read Ann Coulter as well? Great! She's influential! Stupid, but influential! She's on a top 10 list!

    By influential, I mean people that write things policy makers read and have some hope of being implemented: Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukuyama, Scott Sagan, John Mueller, Thomas Friedman, et al. People with doctorates in relevant fields, people who have worked on this. People who have done analysis or worked in the field. Not op/ed page dwellers that make a quick buck off of political rantings. Not linguistics professors who have made a living writing rants that find a home amongst Marxists.

    Finally.. that whole rant just pegged you as an extreme neofascist right wing nutter.

    Help, mommy, he's calling me names! Oooh... fascist. The left's favorite word! I'm so scared by it, ooooooh!

    Those publications you seem to sarcastically laud in your shameless frothing rant have been thoroughly debunked as extreme right, and it's been shown from first hand witnesses that anything opposed to the right wing agenda since '01 has been kept out of the main stream by zealous editors, corporate chiefs, etc because it would be "bad for america"...

    The Council on Foreign Relations [cfr.org] has been "debunked as extreme right"? Are you really so stupid as to say something like that? No, seriously, if you post in response, I'd like you to type exactly those words - "The CFR has been debunked as an extreme right organization". They'll make a great sig for me. Do you have any idea what you're talking about? I mean at all? Have you heard of these publications? Read them? Or is anything other than The Nation simply a right-wing rag? Who, precisely, has debunked these publications? Where is your evidence? Oh wait... you don't need any... BUSH SUCKS, FASCIST!

    Make Social Security insoluble. Great. Pardon me as I run for the ballot box...

    better than making it "nonexistant".. by the way making it actually worth something to people by reforming it and undoing bush's rediculous privatization does not necessarily mean making it insoluble.. it may however mean that corporate executives will have to get 3 solid gold hum-v's this year instead of 4.


    Yes, we should really stick with the present social security system, which is bound for failure in the next few decades, just to make sure no one gets "solid gold hum-v's" (which should be HMMWV, but hey, it's not like you're concerned with accuracy). Riiiiight...

    Social Security will, effectively, become "nonexistent" unless massive reforms are made. Personally, since you're so concerned about rights and freedoms (vis-a-vis your position on the PATRIOT act), if the government wants to invest money in a retirement account for me, I'd like the choice of where that money goes rather than trusting the government (something you obviously have issues with) to put it into a system which depends on birth rates the U.S. is highly unlikely to sustain in the long-term.

    Take a look at similar programs in countries whose present birth rate reflects what the U.S. birth rate will be in a few decades - here's a hint, it's not pretty. For someone who's supposedly so concerned about government intervention in our lives, working against a program that would allow people to exercise some freedom over how THEIR money is spent for THEIR retirement rather than just placing it all in a system that will not be able to provide for them in a few decades would seem to make sense. But your positions aren't based on personal consistency - simply arguing the contrary of what someone you don't like says.

    As to the rest... heh, thanks for the laughs. It was a boring boring BORING (as you seem to like to type it) repeat of the gibberish found throughout the left and about as enlightening as reading a Franken/Chomsky/Coulter/Limbaugh debate.
  • by Dr. Zowie (109983) <slashdot@defor e s t . o rg> on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:59AM (#16128004)
    I've heard this meme (that "the Democrats also steal a lot of elections") a lot lately but I have not seen anyone substantiate it. I don't recall anyone getting up in arms about the process of the Clinton elections, though certainly there were people upset that he won.

    Does anyone have anything other than innuendo on this talking point? It sounds a little too much like a Rove snowjob to me -- I hear the talking point a lot from different sources but never any deeply resourced, specific complaints such as RFK aired.

  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by letxa2000 (215841) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:36AM (#16128120)
    Accusing the Democrats of sour grapes seems within the realm of possibility but to suggest that even if this were all true just to ignore it undermines the very foundation of your democratic process. Like it or not (and I'm guessing not - as it is a clear and present threat to your obvious political alligence) free and fair voting for everyone matters in a democracy.


    The point is that that's pretty much the only thing Democrats have talked about since 2000. If there's a case, take it up in court. I suspect the lack of significant successful court cases (or even filings) is due to a lack of evidence which is very curious given the supposed magnitude of the fraud. But to make that just about the only thing Democrats talk about as they head into another election is just stupid. Sure, they can talk about it until the cows come home but it doesn't matter unless they make their accusations in court, not in the court of public opinion. Making this the only issue (well, and Iraq of course, but without really explaining what their alternative is) might get your loyal Democrats upset and get them to the polls, but you generally need substance to bring in the independents and maybe grab some conservatives, too. And that's how you win elections.

    Let me put it this way: You deal with past perceived transgressions in court. You secure the next election by giving the voters something of substance to vote in favor of. Hoping that voters will vote against someone or something will only get you so far, and that's pretty much the only thing Democrats have done since 2000--and they've continued to lose because of that. If they had presented a compelling platform that people could get excited about, and you add to that the general discontent with Bush and the war, they could've cleaned up in 2004 and sent Bush packing. They could have won by such a margin that fraud, even if true, wouldn't have made a difference.

    I'll be the first to recognize that elections are not always clean, and it happens both at the hands of Republicans and Democrats--to suggest otherwise is naive. But even if we assume the Republicans engaged in some fraud, the only reason it even mattered is because the Democrats were unable to open up a statistically significant margin. And considering all they had in their favor going into 2004, it should've been cake. They should've won by 10% and all the Republican fraud in the world wasn't going to be able to overcome that. If the Democrats had a platform, I think they would've accomplished it.

    It is my position that until we get a good, solid, open-source voting system with appropriate safeguards, there will always be some amount of fraud on both sides. That's just the ugly truth. I also think it is safe to assume that Republican fraud is generally counteracted by Democratic fraud in other places. I also believe that such fraud is always small-scale (nothing like what liberals suggest happened in Ohio) because anything large-scale would be impossible to cover up sufficiently to stand-up to legal scrutiny--so the fraud we face around the country is small-scale that could only have an impact on a race that is so close that it's in the statistical noise anyway. That doesn't excuse the fraud, but it does recognize that it's statistically irrelevant.

    I do not accept allegations of fraud in the magnitude of hundreds of thousands of votes. It's just not possible. In the case of Ohio, the election came down consistent with the multiple polls done in the days and week ahead of the election. There is no statistical evidence of fraud in Ohio--the election agreed with numerous pre-election polls as close as the day before the election. The odd-man out were the exit polls, not the election. If hundreds of thousands of votes were really manipulated, then all the pre-election polls would've had to have been wrong.

  • by dreddnott (555950) <dreddnott@yahoo.com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:28AM (#16128404) Homepage
    17% of the population voted Bush into office in 2000, 18% in 2004.

    This is taking into account total U.S. population, eligible voter turnout, and popular vote results.

    So think of it this way: there is less than a 20% chance that a person you meet walking down the street actually cast a ballot for our current president.
  • by Ender Ryan (79406) on Monday September 18, 2006 @08:45AM (#16129183) Journal
    PS: I'm a registered Democrat. Mod me +1 Ironic

    I think a better mod option for you would be "+1 Not a goddamn hypocrite." While your post would strike many people as ironic, and I suppose it is, it just strikes me as honest.

    *Sigh*

    I'm really sick of the Republicrats. However, I'm too politically center to support, say, the Libertarians or the Greens. If the Republicrats were at least *honest*, we'd be much better off, and could comfortably continue with our pathetic two party politics for some time to come. As it stands... IMNSHO, we're pretty much fucked.

  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <[gorkon] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday September 18, 2006 @10:55AM (#16130094)
    I only ask one thing....PROOF. Not ONE instance have I seen anyone able to prove what is in the article. In fact, the local news here did a story on this right after the election (oh and by the way, Kerry won our county.....Franklin County, OH) and the only thing that they did seem to find was there was not enough machines at the polling locations. That's it. Nothing more. IN fact, because of this situation, the board of elections kept most polls open longer then the regular closing time. If there were still people in lines at the posted closing time, they let them vote.

    This is just more democrats whining about not winning the election.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:12AM (#16130225)
    Hey all you political this and that (two party) cyber warriors.

    Electronic Election Fraud is a non-partisan issue!

    We are all *fucked* if this doesn't stop!

    It's already cost lives, rights, and trillions of dollars.

    bradblog.com (The #1 Real Journalistic News source on Electronic Voting.)
    blackboxvoting.org (The First Technical Front line in the war agaist your right to vote)

  • A criticism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by carpltunl (604615) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:21AM (#16130310) Journal
    I would have liked to see a comparison with the Presidential Election of 1960...
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:32AM (#16130399) Homepage
    "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"

    Yes. So was 2000. So, also, will 2008 be stolen.

    Get rid of those damned voting machines, now. If the Republicans didn't know for th most part that the voting machines were being manipulated, they know now, after so many studies have shown how to do it. Even if you think no one stole an election using those damned things before, they will be stolen now. They've step-by-step instructions. How can they possibly stop themselves? You think a little vote change is going to present moral problems to the party that gave us an Iraqi invasion, an executive who claims he has authority to cancel the constitution, 14,000 people kidnapped into secret prisons, that gave us Swift-boating and Ken Starr?

    Why just the Republicans? I've noodled it for years now (soapbox time) and I've narrowed it down to this: business morality. All seem to be profoundly religious, seem to anyway, and profess godly morality and all that. BUT. It's a party of businessmen, whereas Democrats tend to be a populist party. Businessmen, have you ever noticed, no matter their private morality, shut off the Ten Commandments as soon as they're on the clock? Lying, cheating, and stealing, even killing, is okay if you do it in the name of winning. This businessman's exemption to common ideas of morality is overwhelmingly present in the Republican party's situational ethics. Lying isn't just a necessity, it's practically a sport with them. There's so much BS pouring forth per second on Fox News that the heads are strangling, trying not to break out laughing in wonder at how much crap they can say without losing any professional credibilty.

    Unfortunately, business's preocupation with fibbing and ignoring reality to make short-term gains inevitably butts up with reality. Cognitive dissonance, big time. Even a country that watches "Lost" instead of the news -- and who can blame it, considering how "balanced" and useless the news is now -- is noticing that the buggers are lying to them.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:38AM (#16130451)
    For the 2004 presidential election, I voted in relatively affluent Madison, WI, on the west, suburban side of the city, about 2 blocks away from one of the wealthiest developments in Madison (High Point Estates). My wife and I waited about 45 minutes to vote when we went at 7:30am. The line was very long, and about 90% of the people in line were white and at LEAST middle class, with mostly upper middle class (and quite a few who would qualify as upper class or wealthy, given the area that is contained in this precinct).

    Madison is one of the most liberal, left-leaning cities in the country, and Dane county one of the most liberal/"progressive" counties. From a financial perspective, the city and county governments aren't hurting. I know some people will think I'm lying or making up the wait, but anyone who voted at the polling station on McKenna Road can easily verify this. The point? There can be lines anywhere, and there were...all over Dane county, but particularly in Madison.

    Does this mean there was a concerted effort to suppress the upper middle class white vote on the west side of Madison?
  • Oh, please. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by porkchop_d_clown (39923) <mwheinz&me,com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:30PM (#16131489) Homepage
    The "facts" listed in that article are all exaggerated, selective or distorted.

    I notice he didn't mention how the only actual convictions for interfering with the Ohio elections were Democrats charged with vandalizing Republican campaign sites and vehicles.

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