Deja Coup? 'Ohio is a done deal'

UPDATE 11/05/04: Check out these sites for on-going news or analysis of deja coup: Google News Search "election fraud", Black Box Voting, Verified Voting, Daily Kos, DonkeyRising, CJR Campaign Desk, Swing State Project, Political Animal, Atrios/Eschaton, Talkingpointsmemo, MyDD, Exit Poll and FL, OH anomalies, Democratic Underground Forums, Common Ground Common Sense (previously Kerry Forum).

On The O'Reilly Factor of October 28, 2004, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett seemed to have a sure bet as he anticipated results of the Ohio vote

BARTLETT: "...We're gonna spend a lot of time there in the next few days and I'm confident, President's confident, not only in our ground game but in our message there and I'm GUARANTEEING A VICTORY THERE ON TUESDAY [emphasis added - Ohio]."

O'REILLY (surprised): "You're 'guaranteeing' a victory? Is that what you said, Mr. Bartlett?"

BARTLETT: "Guaranteeing."


BARTLETT: Bank it.

What might lead the President's campaign to be so confident as to bank on a victory in Ohio?

Voting Machine Controversy by Julie Carr Smyth (excerpt)
Thursday, August 28, 2003 by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, accessible at Common Dreams.

COLUMBUS - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

The letter went out the day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three firms eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election.

Blackwell's announcement is still in limbo because of a court challenge over the fairness of the selection process by a disqualified bidder, Sequoia Voting Systems.

In his invitation letter, O'Dell asked guests to consider donating or raising up to $10,000 each for the federal account that the state GOP will use to help Bush and other federal candidates - money that legislative Democratic leaders charged could come back to benefit Blackwell.

They urged Blackwell to remove Diebold from the field of voting-machine companies eligible to sell to Ohio counties. ...

Hmmmm, I wonder? -- Nah! ...well maybe: Bev Harris of BlackboxVoting.org wants to know if we're insane for Voting without auditing? with an FOIA for 3000 locales on Nov 2.

Anything to do with word of Greg Palast finding a negative 25 thousand vote count in an Ohio county equipped with Diebold's machines?!

UPDATE: Greg Palast - Kerry Won, Here's the Facts.

November 04, 2004

I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad. But I don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called American democracy, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.

Most voters in Ohio thought they were voting for Kerry. CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state.

So what's going on here? Answer: the exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?" The voters don't know.

Here's why. Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. This was predictable and it was predicted. [See TomPaine.com, "An Election Spoiled Rotten," November 1.]


What now? Kerry won, so hold your victory party. But make sure the shades are down: it may be become illegal to demand a full vote count under PATRIOT Act III.

I used to write a column for the Guardian papers in London. Several friends have asked me if I will again leave the country. In light of the failure—a second time—to count all the votes, that won't be necessary. My country has left me.


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