Is this the Election that will finally break the camel's back?
With so much going on, few have noticed the extraordinary outcome of
last Tuesday's election in Ohio where the crooked state that brung you -- by
hook and by crook -- a second term for George W. Bush may have turned in results
so staggeringly impossible, that perhaps even the Mainstream Corporate Media
(if only in Ohio?!) will have no choice but to look into it.
As usual, the Free Press' heroic Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are on the
case. Their article on what happened on ballot issues 1 through 5 last week
is A MUST
READ for anybody who still gives the slightest damn about whatever democracy
might be left in America.
I'll try to summarize here briefly. There were five initiatives on the ballot
last week. Issue 1 was a controversial proposition for $2 billion in new state
spending. The Christian Right was opposed (because some of the new funds might
go to stem cell research), but otherwise, the Republican Governor Taft's Administration
(he recently plead guilty to several counts of corruption) was pushing it hard
alongside progressives in the state.
The Columbus Dispatch's pre-election polling, which Fritrakis and Wasserman
describe as "uncannily accurate for decades", called the race correctly
within 1% of the final result. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 2.5%
with a 95% confidence interval. On Issue 1, the Dispatch poll was right on the
money. They predicted 53% in favor, the final result was 54% in favor.
But then came Issues 2 through 5 put forward by ReformOhioNow.org
-- a bi-partisan coalition pushing these four initiatives for Electoral Reform
in the Buckeye State largely in response to their shameful '04 Election performance
led by the extremely partisan Secretary of State (and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair)
J. Kenneth Blackwell.
On those four issues, which Blackwell and the Christian Right were against,
the final results were impossibly different -- and we mean impossibly! -- from
both the Dispatch's final polling before the election and all reasoned common-sense.
Take a look:
ISSUE 1 ($2 Billion State Bond initiative)
PRE-POLLING: 53% Yes, 27% No, 20% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 54% Yes, 45% No
ISSUE 2 (Allow easier absentee balloting)
PRE-POLLING: 59% Yes, 33% No, 9% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 36% Yes, 63% No
ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No
ISSUE 4 (Ind. Comm. to draw Congressional Districts)
PRE-POLLING: 31% Yes, 45% No, 25% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 30% Yes, 69% No
ISSUE 5 (Ind. Board instead of Sec. of State to oversee elections)
PRE-POLLING: 41% Yes, 43% No, 16% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 29% Yes, 70% No
Now, you tell us...What could possibly explain such unheard of differences
between the Dispatch's poll and the final results?
Now, we'll tell you...This was the year that Ohio, under the encouragement
and mandates of Blackwell, rolled out new Electronic Touch-Screen Voting Machines
in 44 of its 88 counties...41 of them employeeing the same Diebold Touch-Screen
Machines that California's Republican Sec. of State decertified in this state
when 20% of them failed this summer in the largest test of its kind ever held.
Those would be the very same Electronic Voting Machines which a recent
GAO Report (still unmentioned
by a single wire-service or mainstream American newspaper) confirmed to be easily
Will the absurdly skewed results from last Tuesday's Ohio Election finally
light a fire under the media -- either nationally or just in Ohio alone -- to
look into what the hell is going on here?! We remain hopeful...if not optimistic.
Press article is a must read, as mentioned, but we'll share their closing
thoughts here on the possible reasons for the wildly unexplained discrepancy
between the final polling and the final results which, as they posit, are due
to either a completely inexplicable breakdown of the Dispatch's historically
accurate polling methods wildly beyond the margin-of-error for all initiatives
except Issue 1...or...somebody hacked that vote count:
If the latter is true, it can and will be done again, and we can forget forever
about the state that has been essential to the election of every Republican
presidential candidate since Lincoln.
And we can also, for all intents and purposes, forget about the future of
Anybody in the Mainstream Media ready to give a damn yet?
Read from Looking Glass News
Has American Democracy died an electronic death in Ohio 2005's referenda