D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 4 E L E C T I O N A N A L Y S I S
by Alex Miller-Mignone
"To believe that Bush won the election, you must also believe:
- that Zogbys 5pm election day calls for Kerry winning Ohio and Florida were wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll)
- that Harris last-minute polling for Kerry was wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll)
- that incumbent rule #1undecided voters break for the challengerwas wrong
- that the 50% rulean incumbent doesnt do better than his final pollingwas wrong
- that the approval rating rulean incumbent with less than 50% approval will most likely lose the electionwas wrong
- that it was just a coincidence that the exit polls were correct where there was a paper trail and incorrect (+5% for Bush) where there was no paper trail
- that the surge in new young voters had no positive effect for Kerry
- that Kerry did worse than Gore against an opponent who lost the support of scores of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000
- that voting machines made by Republicans with no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven by thousands of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways, were not tampered with in this election."
In "2004: Another Stolen Election?" (August 2004 Daykeeper) and again in my predictions for the election in "Handicapping the Race" (October 2004 Daykeeper) I posited the suggestion that massive voter fraud was one possibility for this election. This suggestion was based in part on transit Neptunes square to the Election Day Sun, while itself conjunct a Black Hole, and in part on transit Mercurys position atop a Quasar and involved in a Galactic T-Square of volatile and unpredictable energies.
Evidence of pre-election chicanery involving voter registration was rife throughout the late summer and early autumn, with what BBC reporter Greg Palast terms "ethnic cleansing" of voter rolls, Republican-biased voter drives, and the trashing of Democrats voter registration paperwork. Palast estimates that due to these and other dirty tricks (you can find many of these enumerated in "Campaign Tidbits, Part 2", in Novembers Daykeeper), Kerry may have been potentially disenfranchised by as many as a million votes before the polls ever opened.
If that were all, it wouldnt have been worse than 2000, just on a vastly larger scale. But this time the Administration has progressed beyond mere tinkering with electoral processes, and plunged straight into the murky waters of voter fraud and ballot tampering.
Well examine the evidence for this shortly, but first a quick wrap-up of a few significant elements of the electorate.
One was voter turnout, which I had predicted to be significantly larger than recent elections, based on transit Mercurys Election Day rendezvous with the Quasar at 28 Scorpio. Quasars promote pervasive manifestation, and Mercury here suggested an engaged and participating electorate. This was amply borne out with nearly 119 million voters, up from 101 million in 2000 and the largest turnout since 1992. (Interestingly, 1992 was another Mercury/Quasar Election Day, with Mercury at 5 Sagittarius square the Quasar at 6 Pisces.)
Mercury with a Quasar also suggested an increased youth vote, and again, this proved correct. Almost 21 million Americans aged 18-30 voted in this election, a 51.6% turnout in their age group, an increase of 4.6 million from 2000 and the largest turnout since 18-year olds could first vote in 1972. Among these young voters, Kerry showed an astonishing ten-point lead, 54% to Bushs 44%.
But the big story of the day was voter fraud, the theft of the election, as indicated in potential by Neptune, planet of confusion, obfuscation, and deceit, atop a reality-warping Black Hole at its station degree of 12 Aquarius, and in tight square to the Election Day Sun at 10 Scorpio. I had predicted that such a combination boded ill for democracy in America, for the true will of the people to be heard and recorded. Black Hole contacts can promote far-out manifestations, a now-you-see-it, now-you-dont, up-is-down, black-is-white reversal which lends itself to manipulation and corruption from the Powers That Be.
Mercurys Election Day position also fed into the fraud potential of Neptune/Sun. The T-Square Mercury created from its seat on the 28 Scorpio Quasar further involved an opposition to the Maser at 28 Taurus and a square to Black Hole Hekate at 28 Aquarius. Mercury represents the actual vote, the voice of the electorate expressing itself. The Quasar here says that the voice will be heard, but the Maser opposition, and more particularly the Black Hole square, indicate a volatile, unpredictable atmosphere, filled with tension and unexpected outcomes.
The Black Hole square argues for a rigged election; the appearance as reality of that which is not reality is a Black Hole specialty. Mercurys Scorpio position implies potential for deception and trickery, which is made manifest by the Quasar, aggravated by the Maser, and projected into our reality from the parallel universe beyond the Black Hole. This galactic sleight of hand can hoodwink even the most skeptical observer, but the footprints of electoral fraud in 2004 are so obvious that only the most partisan of Bush supporters can fail to acknowledge them when they are enumerated.
Lets begin with the alarming discrepancy in the exit polls and the vote tallies.
Exit polls are among the most accurate of polls; in fact, they are so accurate, international monitoring agencies use them to determine the validity of elections in Third World countries. By that standard, Election 2004 in America failed the test miserably. There is still a margin of error, as in all polling, but with exit polls this typically is less than one percent. The reason for this is obviousunlike pre-election polling, where not all voters surveyed may actually show up at the polls, or may change their mind about their vote in the interim, exit polling is just thatit asks only those who have already voted, how they voted.
Exit polling late on Election Day showed a Kerry victory, with probably 3-4 percent nationwide, and a possible Electoral College sweep of 100 points or more. At this point, top Bush campaign advisor Karen Hughes sat Dubya down and informed him that he appeared to be losing in a landslide. Bush reacted stoically, and Karl Rove expressed his opinion that the polls would soon turn around.
Of course, the "reality" was almost the reverse, as actual vote tallies began to be returned, and Bush swept on to a 3.5 million vote advantage nationwide, though his electoral margin was nowhere near the 100 points predicted for Kerry.
On its face, not that odd, perhaps, but when we look under the surface at the state-by-state numbers, an interesting pattern emerges. In non-battleground states, or battleground states with paper voting or paper trails for e-voting, the exit polls were remarkably accurate, as usual. Maine, for example, with no e-voting, showed exit polls citing a Kerry win of 7.5%; Kerry took the state by 8% according to the actual tally, a difference of half a percent. New Hampshire, with e-votes but a paper trail for verification, showed Kerry winning by 3 percent in exit polling, and by 2.9% in the actual tally, a difference of .1% (not one percent, POINT one percent!). Consider also Utah, hardly a swing state, where exit polling showed a 70.8% Bush victory to Kerrys 26.5%; final tally - Bush 71.1%, Kerry 26.4%.
But in ten of 11 battleground states with e-voting and no paper trail back-up, Bushs final vote tallies exceeded the exit polling dramatically. Exit polls in Florida late Tuesday gave Kerry a narrow victory of 50% to Bushs 49%; the final tally showed a Bush sweep of 52% to 47%, a six-point swing for which there is no logical explanation other than fraud or tampering. Since the Republican Secretary of State, Glenda Hood, a Jeb Bush appointee, specifically refused to allow the adoption of e-vote machines with paper audit capacity within the state, there is no way to prove abuse of the system.
Similarly, even in battleground e-vote states which Bush lost, Kerrys margin of victory was much narrower than predicted by exit polling. The discrepancies between exit polls and the final tallies sort out as follows:
||Bush Vote Gain over Exit Poll
Dick Morris, one-time Clinton consultant who has a love/hate relationship with the family and now hosts a show on FOX News Channel, has stated, "To screw up one exit poll is unheard of. To miss six of them is incredible. It boggles the imagination how pollsters could be that incompetent and invites speculation that more than honest error was at play here."
Professor Steven F. Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania has done a statistical analysis of the exit polling discrepancies in the three key battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all of which were predicted for Kerry by Election Day polls, but only one of which he won by vote tally. He asserts, "The likelihood of any two of these statistical anomalies occurring together is on the order of one-in-a-million. The odds against all three occurring together are 250 million to one."
Lets look more closely at the specifics of Florida and Ohio, where there was much more suspicious activity than just skewed exit polling.
Florida was rife with reports of e-voting machines that registered a Bush vote when Kerry was selected. Machines in Broward County began to count backwards once their preset limits of 32,000 votes had been reached. It was "anomalies" like these that got what little mainstream news coverage there was of voting irregularities in the Sunshine State, but it was optical scan machines that did the real damage to the Kerry campaign.
Across Florida, in counties with optical scan voting, Bush racked up significantly larger margins of support than in counties with standard e-vote machines. Out of nearly 4 million votes in e-vote counties, Kerry and Bush fairly evenly split the independent vote, with Kerry picking up 26.5% more votes than his traditional Democratic base provided, and Bush garnering 28.6% more than his Republican base had to offer.
But in the optical scan counties, with approximately three and one-half million votes, Kerry only picked up 1% more than his base numbers would suggest, while Bush received a whopping 45.8% more than his base. Geographic demographics do not account for this discrepancy; both types of voting are scattered throughout the state, not just, for example, in the conservative-leaning panhandle counties. The decisive factor in how folks in Florida voted appears to be what machines they used.
The above analysis refers to cast votes: lets talk about registered voters. It is extremely difficult for a candidate in any race to receive more votes than the number of persons registered to his party, due to the high percentage of no-shows at the polls. Even independents and cross-over voters do not make up the difference from stay-at-home party members who fail to vote. Yet Bush pulled off this amazing feat in 47 out of 67 counties in Florida.
In 15 of those counties, Bushs vote was more than double the number of registered Republicans; in four counties, it was triple that number. In Baker County, with 69.3% registered Democrats and 24.3% registered Republicans, the vote tally was almost completely reversed, voters going 21% for Kerry and 77% for Bush. Franklin County, with 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58% for Bush; in Holmes County, with 72.7% registered Democrats, 77.25% voted Bush. This, in a state bitterly polarized, with one of the largest Democratic Get-Out-the-Vote efforts nationwide, and voters still fuming from the 2000 debacle. All these counties, by the way, have optical scan machines.
Not only that, but the Sunshine State managed to report more votes than voters! 13 counties reported higher figures than the number of registered voters in them, a truly impressive turnout exceeding 100%! Palm Beach County alone reported 88,000 more votes than voters.
Ohio was even worse.
Again, more votes than voters. In Cuyahoga County, 93,000 more votes than registered voters. Thats one highly impressive get-out-the-vote effort! Fairview Park, with 13,342 registered voters, cast 18,472 votes. Ward 1B in Gahanna, a Republican stronghold, generously donated 4,258 votes to the Bush war effort, with only 638 citizens reporting to the polls. Vote early and often.
The Dirty Tricks Department was in full swing in Ohio as well, and quite creatively. For one thing, inner city voters, likely Kerry voters, were suppressed through a useful tactic of failing to supply sufficient numbers of voting machines at those precincts. Waits of up to two hours were common, and up to nine hours in the most egregious cases. In areas where voter response was up by as much as 50%, voting machines had been cut back by a third. Precincts which usually had five machines had only three.
Further gumming the wheels of democracy were the Republican poll watchers, folks who stalked the polling places to "challenge" voters they thought were contemplating fraud, a process which had a side benefit of further holding up the line and increasing the wait. Thousands of poor and minority inner city voters left in frustration, as they do not have the luxury of waiting several hours to vote, with commitments to jobs or child care, or conditions of age or infirmity which prevented them from participating in the worlds oldest democracy.
Additionally, in the days before the election, thousands of inner city voters received fraudulent calls from bogus election officials, directing them to "new" polling sites. Due to a new provision enforced by Republican Secretary of State for Ohio, Kenneth Blackwell, which states that all ballots must be cast at the proper ward, these voters would not be able to cast even provisional ballots when they showed up to the wrong polling place. On Election Day, downtown Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati were blanketed with leaflets informing voters that due to the unusually high volume of expected turnout, there was a last-minute change in voting procedure: Republicans were to vote on Tuesday, and Democrats on Wednesday.
Suspicious activity regarding ballot tampering emerged as well. In Cincinnati, Stefan Skirtz, a Kerry poll manager, watched in amazement as the ballot boxes of 40 inner city precincts were delivered to an unofficial rendezvous site, turned over to another team with no official sign-off or receipt, then loaded into a pick-up truck sporting a large Bush/Ceney04 bumper sticker in the back window, which drove off into the night.
In Warren County the elections officers perused the ballots under a lock-down situation. Reporters and campaign workers were kept two floors away while the counting was done. Pat South, President of the Warren County Commissioners, later stated this unusual step was taken because of terrorist threats. Apparently three weeks before the election, Homeland Security officials had warned that the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio rated a "high 8 to low 9" on a scale of 1-10 for security risk of terrorist attack. Pretty heavy stuff, but unfortunately for Ms. South, Homeland Security denies they said any such thing. In the final tally, Bush picked up 12,000 more votes than his 2000 numbers for the county.
Thanks to a filing by Third Party candidates for the Greens and Libertarians, there will be a statewide recount in Ohio, and we may get a clearer picture of voter intent then. Thanks to Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, that recount will not begin until AFTER the vote is certified on December 6. When Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris rolled the Gore campaign in 2000, she was rewarded with a seat in the House of Representatives in 2002. Word has it that Mr. Blackwell has his eye on the Ohio governorship; stay tuned.
Could the election have been stolen?
Undoubtedly. Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, a citizens advocacy watchdog group which has filed the largest Freedom of Information Act request in history, in response to the nationwide allegations of vote fraud in this election, demonstrated on national TV just how simple this was to do.
Appearing on CNBCs "Topic A with Tina Brown" (ironically guest-hosted by Howard Dean that evening), Ms. Harris explained that although the voting machines run on proprietary code which even election officials cannot examine, and which is encrypted for security, the central tabulating machines which total all the votes state-wide are just regular PCs. As such, anyone can simply open the vote tallies with a simple spreadsheet program, alter the data, and reload it into the machine. No trace, no record. Ms. Harris quickly performed this maneuver, and then informed a gaping Howard Dean, "We just edited an election, and it took us 90 seconds."
Such chicanery is not even necessary if the original machines are rigged by the manufacturer. It would be quite simple to write a section of code which gives, for example, every other Kerry vote to Bush, and which then deletes itself on November 3 and replaces itself with an innocuous code in case of later investigation. All without anyone but the programmer being any the wiser.
That the Bush camp manipulated, tweaked, and outright stole this election is obvious when the facts are examined. What to do about it is less obvious. At a minimum, voting standards have to be set and enforced nationwide, with sufficient checks and balances to prevent fraud and theft, before 2008, or Democrats will never win another election.
Ironically, in late November the Bush administration contested the results of a presidential election in the fledgling democracy of the Ukraine. Their rationale for this intrusion into foreign politics? The exit polling and the final vote tally didnt match up.
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at Alixilamirorim@aol.com.