The percentage of uncounted votes in the allegedly
"fraud free" 2006 Ohio election is actually higher than the
fraud-ridden 2004 election, when the presidency was stolen here. A flawed
voting process that allowed voters to be illegally turned away throughout the
morning on Election Day may have cost the Dems at least two Congressional seats
and a state auditor's seat.
The evidence comes directly from the official website of GOP
Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell Blackwell
website. But researchers wishing to verify the number of uncounted ballots
from that web site should do so immediately, as Blackwell is known for quickly
deleting embarrassing evidence. In 2004, Blackwell deleted the evidence of
excessive uncounted votes after the final results were tallied.
Despite Democratic victories in five of six statewide
partisan offices, an analysis by the Free Press shows a statistically
implausible shift of votes away from the Democratic Party statewide candidates
on Election Day, contrasted with the results of the Columbus Dispatch's final
poll. The Dispatch poll predicted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted
Strickland winning with 67 percent of the vote. His actual percentage was 60
percent. The odds of this occurring are one in 604 million.
The final Columbus Dispatch poll wrapped up on Friday before
the Tuesday election. This poll was based on 1541 registered Ohio voters, with
a margin of error at plus/minus 2.2 percentage points and a 95 percent
confidence interval. The Dispatch noted "The survey's 7-point variance
from Democrat Ted Strickland's actual percentage total broke a string of five
straight gubernatorial elections in which the poll exactly matched the victor's
share of the vote."
The hotly disputed central Ohio congressional race between
incumbent Deborah Pryce, a close friend of George W. Bush, and challenger Mary
Jo Kilroy, a Democratic Franklin County Commissioner has not been officially
resolved as of today, November 14. The Franklin County Board of Elections has
postponed the official recount of this race until after the November 18 Ohio
State-Michigan football game. Another bitterly disputed congressional race, on
the outskirts of Cincinnati, also awaits a recount.
The major news leaking from the Blackwell web site is the
stunning percentage of uncounted votes still outstanding throughout the state.
When John Kerry conceded the day after the 2004 election, there were some
248,000 Ohio votes still uncounted, out of 5,722,443 officially cast. This was
an astonishing 4.3 percent of the votes.
George W. Bush's alleged margin of victory at the time was
about 136,000 votes, which dropped to about 118,000 after a fraudulent recount.
More than two years later, more than 100,000 votes from Ohio's 2004 election
remain uncounted, including 93,000 machine rejected ballots.
Today, in 2006, the percentage of the official total vote
that remains uncounted is actually higher than in 2004. According to
Blackwell's web site, there are 211,656 absentee and provisional ballots still
uncounted in 2006, out of 4,177,498 votes officially cast. This is 5.1 percent
of the total official vote.
The high percentage of provisional ballots is due mainly to
new strategies used by Blackwell and the GOP legislature to eliminate votes in
targeted areas. In Franklin County (Columbus), which is now heavily Democratic,
there were 14,462 provisional ballots---2.7 percent of total votes---cast in
2004. In 2006 the number soared to 20,679, a substantial jump constituting more
than 6 percent of all voters, in an election in which fewer total votes were
Provisional ballots are issued when poll workers challenge
citizens' rights to a regular ballot. The provisional ballot will allegedly be
counted later if proof of registration and proper residency are established.
But to this day, some 16,000 such provisional ballots from 2004 have never been
According to Blackwell's site, in 2006, there are 46,458
uncounted ballots in Franklin County alone. According to Matt Damschroder,
director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, some 19,524 are in Franklin
County, where Kilroy is a Commissioner. Another 900 or so Kilroy-Pryce votes
remain uncounted in the Madison and Union Counties.
The preliminary vote count finished election night gave
Pryce a margin of some 3,536 votes. But Kilroy has refused to concede.
In 2004, Blackwell listed 788 precincts in Franklin Country,
with 845,720 registered voters and some 533,575 votes cast, a 63.09 percent
After the 2004 vote, the GOP-controlled board of elections
purged some 170,000 Franklin County citizens from the registration rolls. The
GOP claimed the right to eliminate those who had not voted in the previous two
presidential election cycles. This is allowed by federal law but not mandated.
The impact has carried over to 2006.
For 2006, Blackwell has listed 834 precincts with 766,490
registered voters and 342,958 votes cast, an official 44.74 percent turnout. He
lists 46,458 absentee and provisional votes cast in Franklin County. But much
of the lower turnout and high provisional vote count may have to do with
partisan restrictions imposed by Blackwell and the GOP, aimed at stealing
elections precisely like the one between Pryce and Kilroy.
New voting requirements imposed by Ohio's HB 3, passed by
the GOP legislature just after the 2004 election, led to the
"flagging" of hundreds of thousands of voters in Ohio. Free Press
reporters have observed a "Stop Sign" icon next to the name of
between 20-40 percent of the voters in inner city and campus precincts in
The stop sign is outlined on page 50 of the Franklin County
Board of Elections "Precinct Elections Training Manual." It is tied
to a "60-day election notice" sent to voters, but being returned as
"undeliverable." Ballots cast by voters with stop signs next to their
names have been electronically recorded as provisional, according to the
Training Manual, and many are likely to go uncounted because the voters were in
the wrong precinct.
Traditionally, Ohioans have been able to cast a provisional
ballot in any precinct in their home county. But Blackwell issued a directive
in the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election ordering that citizens voting
in the wrong precinct would not have their votes counted at all.
Free Press observers, and statements called into the Free
Press, indicate that poll workers imposed large numbers of provisional ballots
on voters in Kilroy's strongholds at the Ohio State University campus and elsewhere
in Columbus. A single election observer with the Five Candidates Election
Observer Project 2006 reported that 1,000 complaints an hour were coming into
the Franklin County Board of Elections. So many were logged early in the day
that the phone lines set up for the precinct workers failed. The phones for the
public had to be diverted to answer the deluge of questions from pollworkers.
The Kilroy race thus may hinge on how many provisional
ballots were trashed at the polling stations or will be discarded during the
recount. Because the vast bulk of the uncounted ballots are in Kilroy's
strongholds, the she would normally be expected to pick up enough votes to
eradicate Pryce's current margin. On election night, Fox News initially
announced that Kilroy would win.
But Franklin County's Republican BOE Director Matt
Damschroder has postponed the recount until after Saturday's home game between
number one-ranked Ohio State and number two-ranked Michigan. Rioting has
traditionally broken out after this game, but the ballots are being stored at
the BOE downtown, far from Buckeye Stadium.
The stunning number of uncounted, absentee and provisional
ballots listed by Blackwell indicates that there may have been deeper problems
with the 2006 Ohio election than widely believed.
Another congressional race is being bitterly contested in
three counties outside Cincinnati that of themselves gave George W. Bush his
official margin of victory in 2004. In one of them, Warren County, an
unexplained Homeland Security alert was declared just as the polls closed, with
independent observers then banned from the vote count. This alert has yet to be
explained by the HSA or FBI. In a special 2005 election in this district,
dubious computer glitches and Scantron ballot problems resulted in a late night
surge that gave a narrow and much-doubted margin to the Republican, Jean
Schmidt, whose re-election by another narrow margin is now being angrily
questioned. How many other tight races in Ohio may have been swung by dubious
manipulations remains to be seen.
Though it's just a week since the votes were cast here,
reports of parallel irregularities pouring in from around the country indicate
that the Rove/Blackwell election theft machine was in high gear on November 7.
Thousands of grassroots volunteers who monitored procedures around the US
clearly made a difference.
But the full story of what really happened in Ohio 2006 and
elsewhere almost certainly won't be known until well after this year's college
originally appeared in The Free Press.
Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of WHAT
HAPPENED IN OHIO?, just published by the New Press. They are of counsel and
plaintiff in the King Lincoln lawsuit which helped unearth many of the
irregularities in the 2004 and 2005 election. Fitrakis was an independent
candidate for governor in Ohio 2006, endorsed by the Green Party. Wasserman's
SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, a.d.
2030, is available at www.solartopia.org.
Ron Baiman is a statistician and researcher at Loyola University. Read more of
their work at http://freepress.org.