GAO confirms fallability of 2004 election
I know that the Bush supporters out there believe that their guy won fair and square. Hopefully, they also want our elections to be fair and secure.
So... with the knowledge that the election results will not be overturned, put partisanship aside for a moment and look at the facts. Look not at the results, but at the process. Is this really how we want our elections run in the United States of America?
Powerful Government Accounting Office report confirms key
2004 stolen election findings
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
October 26, 2005
As a legal noose appears to be tightening around the
Bush/Cheney/Rove inner circle, a shocking government report
shows the floor under the legitimacy of their alleged
election to the White House is crumbling.
The latest critical confirmation of key indicators that the
election of 2004 was stolen comes in an extremely powerful,
penetrating report from the General Accounting Office that
has gotten virtually no mainstream media coverage.
The government's lead investigative agency is known for its
general incorruptibility and its through, in-depth analysis.
Its concurrence with assertions widely dismissed as
"conspiracy theories" adds crucial new weight to the case
that Team Bush has no legitimate business being in the White
Nearly a year ago, senior Judiciary Committee Democrat John
Conyers (D-MI) asked the GAO to investigate electronic voting
machines as they were used during the November 2, 2004
presidential election. The request came amidst widespread
complaints in Ohio and elsewhere that often shocking
irregularities defined their performance.
According to CNN, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee received
"more than 57,000 complaints" following Bush's alleged
re-election. Many such concerns were memorialized under oath
in a series of sworn statements and affidavits in public
hearings and investigations conducted in Ohio by the Free
Press and other election protection organizations.
The non-partisan GAO report has now found that, "some of
[the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been
realized and have caused problems with recent elections,
resulting in the loss and miscount of votes."
The United States is the only major democracy that allows
private partisan corporations to secretly count and tabulate
the votes with proprietary non-transparent software. Rev.
Jesse Jackson, among others, has asserted that "public
elections must not be conducted on privately-owned machines."
The CEO of one of the most crucial suppliers of electronic
voting machines, Warren O'Dell of Diebold, pledged before the
2004 campaign to deliver Ohio and thus the presidency to
George W. Bush.
Bush's official margin of victory in Ohio was just 118,775
votes out of more than 5.6 million cast. Election protection
advocates argue that O'Dell's statement still stands as a
clear sign of an effort, apparently successful, to steal the
Among other things, the GAO confirms that:
1. Some electronic voting machines "did not encrypt cast
ballots or system audit logs, thus making it possible to
alter them without detection." In other words, the GAO now
confirms that electronic voting machines provided an open
door to flip an entire vote count. More than 800,000 votes
were cast in Ohio on electronic voting machines, some seven
times Bush's official margin of victory.
2. "It is easy to alter a file defining how a ballot appears,
making it possible for someone to vote for one candidate and
actually be recorded as voting for an entirely different
candidate." Numerous sworn statements and affidavits assert
that this did happen in Ohio 2004.
3. "Falsifying election results without leaving any evidence
of such an action by using altered memory cards" can easily
be done, according to the GAO.
4. The GAO also confirms that "access to the voting network
was easily compromised because not all digital recording
electronic voting systems (DREs) had supervisory functions
password-protected, so access to one machine provided access
to the whole network." This critical finding confirms that
rigging the 2004 vote did not require a "widespread
conspiracy" but rather the cooperation of a very small number
of operatives with the power to tap into the networked
machines and thus change large numbers of votes at will. With
800,000 votes cast on electronic machines in Ohio, flipping
the number needed to give Bush 118,775 could be easily done
by just one programmer.
5. Access "to the voting network was also compromised by
repeated use of the same user IDs combined with easily
guessed passwords," says the GAO. So even relatively amateur
hackers could have gained access to and altered the Ohio vote
6. "The locks protecting access to the system were easily
picked and keys were simple to copy," says the GAO, meaning,
again, getting into the system was an easy matter.
7. "One model was shown to have been networked in such a
rudimentary fashion that a power failure on one machine would
cause the entire network to fail," says the GAO,
re-emphasizing the fragility of the system on which the
Presidency of the United States was decided.
8. "GAO identified further problems with the security
protocols and background screening practices for vendor
personnel," confirming still more easy access to the system.
In essence, the GAO study makes it clear that no bank,
grocery store or mom & pop chop shop would dare operate its
business on a computer system as flimsy, fragile and easily
manipulated as the one on which the 2004 election turned.
The GAO findings are particularly damning when set in the
context of an election run in Ohio by a Secretary of State
simultaneously working as co-chair of the Bush-Cheney
campaign. Far from what election theft skeptics have long
asserted, the GAO findings confirm that the electronic
network on which 800,000 Ohio votes were cast was vulnerable
enough to allow a a tiny handful of operatives -- or less --
to turn the whole vote count using personal computers
operating on relatively simple software.
The GAO documentation flows alongside other crucial realities
surrounding the 2004 vote count. For example:
# The exit polls showed Kerry winning in Ohio, until an
unexplained last minute shift gave the election to Bush.
Similar definitive shifts also occurred in Iowa, Nevada and
New Mexico, a virtual statistical impossibility.
# A few weeks prior to the election, an unauthorized former
ES&S voting machine company employee, was caught on the
ballot-making machine in Auglaize County
# Election officials in Mahoning County now concede that at
least 18 machines visibly transferred votes for Kerry to
Bush. Voters who pushed Kerry's name saw Bush's name light
up, again and again, all day long. Officials claim the
problems were quickly solved, but sworn statements and
affidavits say otherwise. They confirm similar problems in
Franklin County (Columbus). Kerry's margins in both counties
were suspiciously low.
# A voting machine in Mahoning County recorded a negative 25
million votes for Kerry. The problem was allegedly fixed.
# In Gahanna Ward 1B, at a fundamentalist church, a so-called
"electronic transfer glitch" gave Bush nearly 4000 extra
votes when only 638 people voted at that polling place. The
tally was allegedly corrected, but remains infamous as the
"loaves and fishes" vote count.
# In Franklin County, dozens of voters swore under oath that
their vote for Kerry faded away on the without a paper
# In Miami County, at 1:43am after Election Day, with the
county's central tabulator reporting 100% of the vote -
19,000 more votes mysteriously arrived; 13,000 were for Bush
at the same percentage as prior to the additional votes, a
virtual statistical impossibility.
# In Cleveland, large, entirely implausible vote totals
turned up for obscure third party candidates in traditional
Democratic African-American wards. Vote counts in neighboring
wards showed virtually no votes for those candidates, with
90% going instead for Kerry.
# Prior to one of Blackwell's illegitimate "show recounts,"
technicians from Triad voting machine company showed up
unannounced at the Hocking County Board of Elections and
removed the computer hard drive.
# In response to official information requests, Shelby and
other counties admit to having discarded key records and
equipment before any recount could take place.
# In a conference call with Rev. Jackson, Attorney Cliff
Arnebeck, Attorney Bob Fitrakis and others, John Kerry
confirmed that he lost every precinct in New Mexico that had
a touchscreen voting machine. The losses had no correlation
with ethnicity, social class or traditional party
affiliation---only with the fact that touchscreen machines
# In a public letter, Rep. Conyers has stated that "by and
large, when it comes to a voting machine, the average voter
is getting a lemon - the Ford Pinto of voting technology. We
must demand better."
But the GAO report now confirms that electronic voting
machines as deployed in 2004 were in fact perfectly
engineered to allow a very small number of partisans with
minimal computer skills and equipment to shift enough votes
to put George W. Bush back in the White House.
Given the growing body of evidence, it appears increasingly
clear that's exactly what happened.