Voting Critics Don't Have the Numbers
Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004 at 7:45 AM
The critics of the November 2nd balloting can point to individual cases of machine malfunction and small improprieties, but they mostly use flimsy conjectures. No valid case has really been made that shows the election was stolen.
The Cleveland Indymedia newswire is flooded with postings that the 2004 Presidential election was stolen. Since it is the only Indymedia up and running in Ohio and since Ohio is "the heart of it all" in this election it is getting the full treatment by self-publishers on its Newswire.
However, many of the arguments being raised are very flimsy and conjectural. They compare the election totals to various "soft" data that don't really prove the point.
My personal favorite is the one that the large numbers of Ohio voters who didn't vote at all on the Presidential line are proof that Kerry votes were stolen. Me being one of the many people who had publicly declared that I refused to vote for a pro-war candidate I find this particularly demeaning. First I was disenfranchised by not having an anti-war candidate on the ballot, then disenfranchised again by the critics who say my refusal was not valid.
The huge numbers who voted "yes" on Issue One to ban gay marriage would seem to indicate that a conservative tide was running.
I believe that the fraud in this election lay in the idea that "you had a choice" when in fact there was no choice. You could be "for the war" or "for the war". You could pick Bush, or Bush-Lite.
The Anything But Bush (ABB) crowd now seems transformed into The Elections Were Stolen crowd.
"The Hit-and-Run Left - From ABB to CYA" by Michael Donnelly has described this as being like a hit and run driver who continues blindly onward without stopping to reflect on the damage they have done.
This weekend two good articles have appeared which deal with the way statistics are being misused. Both acknowledge there were irregularities, and both point out the flaws in the arguments being used to claim the election was stolen.
The first, on the Counterpunch website, is "Ohio's Provisional Ballots - The State of Play", by Jordan Green of Southern Exposure. In it he deals with the question of Provisional Ballots and what revisions would need to be made because of their tabulation in order to change the Ohio election result.
The second, from The New Standard, a left-leaning project of professional journalists with extremely strict journalistic standards is, "Amid Charges of Vote Suppression, Activists Look for Larger Fraud", by Jessica Azulay. It tries to be sympathetic to the critics, but demolishes many of the flimsy statistical conjectures.
The New Standard waited a long time, while making caveats, to evaluate the evidence of election fraud before releasing this article. I met Jessica Azulay this year at the Clamor Magazine conference where she led a workshop on Journalistic Ethical Standards so I am sure the article is thoroughly researched.
In my opinion, the "elections were stolen" crowd invested so much effort in the Kerry campaign, and mortgaged so many of their radical beliefs, that they just can't let go. They are still in denial that he could have lost, so they turn to the "stolen" argument.
[ My earlier post on the same topic, with the famous county maps of the red /blue counties from 2004 AND 2000, which are almost identical, has dropped off he front page. It is Elections Evidence to the Contrary
also two other of my posts:
Bush Loses Election by andy
Doomed to Repeat It - An Echo from 1914 by andy
Two other good posts by others which have dropped off the front page are
Elections are a Scam by Joe Licentia
US Presidential Elections: A View from the Left by James Petras ]
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