The Stolen Elections of 2000, 2004 (and almost 2008)
Election Fraud in Ohio
The electronic voting machines played an even bigger role in the 2004 election [than in 2000], with 36 million votes being cast on the touch-screen systems owned by four private companies that use their own proprietary software. Three of those companies had close ties to the Republican Party. One of them, Diebold (including employees and their families) had contributed at least $300,000 to GOP candidates and party funds since 1998. The companys CEO, Walden ODell, had gone so far in a fund-raising e-mail as to promise to deliver Ohio to Bush in 04! With enemies like that, Kerry could have used a few friends demanding a return to paper ballots.
Ohio was where Bushs victory put him over the top in the electoral college. From 12:20 in the morning until around 2 AM, the flow of information in Ohio mysteriously stopped while the vote count switched dramatically to Bushs side. A comfortable 118,000-vote-plus official margin in Ohio then gave him a second term as president. But what really went down? Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines, and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency, [Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reported in Rolling Stone ]. Lou Harris, who basically invented modern political polling, said: Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen.
The fellow in charge of the vote-counting was Ohio secretary of state J. Kenneth Blackwell, who also happened to be the co-chair of Bushs reelection committee there. When Congressman John Conyers looked into what took place in Ohio, his report in January 2005 set forth massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. . . . caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. [In 2006] a well-known voting rights attorney named Cliff Anebeck set out to charge Blackwell and his cronies with election fraud, vote dilution, vote suppression, recount fraud and other violations. The judge in the case followed up with a court order that all ballot evidence relating to the 2004 election be preserved for another year (beyond the legally required 22 months, which was about to expire).
There were a lot of discussions after that between lawyer Cliff Arnebeck and government officials. They talked about a settlement, or a grand jury investigation, or Congress getting involved. Secretary of State Brunner wanted to focus on assuring the integrity of the next election, rather than be distracted by the past. So Arnebeck agreed to narrow things to taking the deposition of one man, Michael Connell, who was Karl Roves computer expert and lived in Akron, Ohio.