Powerful Government Accounting Office report confirms key 2004 stolen election findings
By Bob Fitrakis
& Harvey Wasserman
Online Journal Guest Writers
Oct 28, 2005, 15:06
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 thorough, in-depth analyses. 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 House.
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 nonpartisan 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
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 White House.
Among other things, the GAO confirms that:
1. Some electronic voting machines "did not encrypt
cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without
being detected." 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 was possible to alter the files that define how
a ballot looks and works so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded
for a different candidate." Numerous sworn statements and affidavits
assert that this did happen in Ohio 2004.
3. "Vendors installed uncertified versions of voting
system software at the local level." 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. So
even relatively amateur hackers could have gained access to and altered the
Ohio vote tallies.
6. The locks protecting access to the system were easily
picked and keys were simple to copy, meaning, again, getting into the system
was an easy matter.
7. One DRE 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, 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:
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.
few weeks prior to the election, an unauthorized former ES&S voting
machine company employee, was caught on the ballot-making machine in
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.
voting machine in Mahoning County recorded a negative 25 million votes for
Kerry. The problem was allegedly fixed.
Gahanna Ward 1B, at a fundamentalist church, a so-called "electronic
transfer glitch" gave Bush nearly 4,000 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.
Franklin County, dozens of voters swore under oath that their vote for
Kerry faded away on the DRE without a paper trail.
Miami County, at 1:43am after Election Day, with the county's central
tabulator reporting 100 percent 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.
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 percent going instead for Kerry.
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.
response to official information requests, Shelby and other counties admit
to having discarded key records and equipment before any recount could
- 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 were used.
- 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.
Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA'S
2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, available via http://freepress.org and http://harveywasserman.com. Their WHAT
HAPPENED IN OHIO, with Steve Rosenfeld, will be published in spring 2006 by New
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