Ohio Vote Theft, Now and Forever

Submitted by Sarah Gonzales on November 19, 2005 - 2:17pm. ::

by Margaret Kimberley
November 17 2005
The Black Commentator
(forwarded by Pokey Anderson)

On Election Day in Ohio, four ballot provisions that would have brought greater integrity to the elections process went down to defeat at the polls. Not only were all four defeated, but polls predicted that all four would either win, or be decidedly by thin margins.

Reform Ohio Now had initiated the four proposals. The proposals would have changed rules on campaign finance, established a legislative redistricting commission, allowed the option of voting by mail, and put electoral issues in the hands of an independent commission, beyond the reach of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

Polling conducted by the Republican newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, has a history of accurately predicting Ohio election results. Is it possible that the Dispatch pollsters suddenly lost their touch? Anything is possible, but the decisive loss of all four proposals by unexpected margins is highly improbable.

In November 2004 Republicans used a combination of schemes to insure victory in Ohio for George W. Bush. Some of the chicanery was decidedly low tech and simple. Black voting precincts didn’t receive all of the voting machines they needed. More than 60 machines sat in storage while thousands of Ohioans waited on lines for hours to cast their ballots. Inevitably, some could not spend an entire day attempting to vote.

If the Dispatch polls were wrong, they were very wrong indeed. If the outcome is to be believed, every voter who was previously undecided on the ballot proposals had to vote no and many of those expressing support had to have changed their minds. Undecided voters usually remain undecided, skipping candidates and provisions that they find confusing or just not worthy of their attention. We are asked to believe that Ohio voters behaved unlike voters anywhere in the country.

It is more logical to assume that the electronic voting machines now in use in half of the state’s counties were hacked to insure victory for the status quo. If that possibility is rejected, then we reject everything that has taken place since the November 2000 vote theft brought the Bush administration into being.

Americans, even progressives, are loath to acknowledge the corruption in their political system. Even many Democrats eschewed the possibility that Ohio was stolen from John Kerry in 2004. Of course it didn't help that Kerry punked out and refused to make Bush look bad, even if the effort hadn't resulted in victory.

Ohio in 2005 may be even sadder than it was in 2004. If there was a fix, it is in for good.  If electoral reform can be defeated with electronic vote hacking, then there is no hope for change without a fight.

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