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Since 11/2, there have been various stages of dealing with what happened.  Anger, denial, claims of fraud, etc., etc.  Blaming Kerry for "quitting."  More recently, talk has shifted to procedural issues like how to fix the voting system (didn't we DO this four years ago?  Apparently not.)

What has become clear to me, reading between the lines and ignoring a lot of shit (sorry) is that THIS ELECTION IS NOT OVER.  Floating around in various threads is the notion that several states are still counting votes (Ohio and New Mexico principally, but also Iowa and Nevada).

I made a comment here this morning about the 155,000 provisional ballots in Ohio, and the critical importance of the requested recount, so as to get to the 93,000 undervotes.

Folks, it's not over.  I don't think the Kerry folks think it's over either.  If I'm right, and if it comes out the way I think it might, it will be the greatest stealth campaign in the history of the world, quite frankly.

Let's pull it together.  Right now, it's 286-252 in favor of Bush.  Ohio has not even begun to count the provisional ballots.  There are 155,000 or so.  Ohio has a history of provisional ballots, based on state law.  In 2000, 90% of the ballots counted, and of those I understand that 90% were for Gore.  Applying that standard to the 155,000 would give Kerry 125,550 additional votes, and Bush 13,950.  That would narrow the margin from 132,000 (the 136,000 figure includes the now-infamous Gahanna 4,000 vote error in Franklin County) down to about 24,600.  Originally, this was why Kerry conceded; he just couldn't get it done on the provisional ballots alone.

Ahh, but now there's a new development.  A recount (or an "audit," as one diary called it).  Fine.  Whatever, call it what you want.  But Kerry couldn't ask for it, because he'd be called a sore loser, Al Gore with a Brahmin accent.  The lawyers are there, they're sniffing around, they're ready to deal with the shenanigans.  But (here's the great part) it's not Kerry's recount.  The media is treating the Cobb/Badnarik recount request as a joke, but it's not.  If the recount is held, the first thing elections officials have to do is dust off the 93,000 undervotes on punch cards (dear God, not again).  And yes, Ohio has a uniform state standard:  0 or 1 corners attached, vote counts.  2 or 3, no dice.  So the recount won't be shut down -- and Blackwell can't change the rules.  God, I love Bush v. Gore (never thought I'd write those words).

Again, look at the history.  Traditionally, 90% count, and the split is about 4-1 for Democrats -- undervotes are almost exclusively from poor and/or minority areas.  Take 93,000, 90% is 83,700.  80% of that is 66,960 for Kerry, with 16,740 for Bush.  That 24,600 vote Bush lead after the provisionals now goes to  . . . . fanfare, please . . . . ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 44th President of the United States, John Kerry, by a 25,660 vote margin in Ohio.

Now the margins could change, most likely on the undervotes.  Let's say Kerry only gets 70%, rather than 80, of the undervotes.  He still wins, this time by about 9,000 votes.

Obviously, it would help if we could turn around New Mexico, Iowa and/or Nevada as well, to create a cushion for legal challenges and to create more legitimacy to this process.

OHIO HAS NOT EVEN BEGUN THIS PROCESS OF COUNTING PROVISIONAL BALLOTS, OR THE RECOUNT THAT HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY COBB AND BADNARIK.

Since 11/2, Blackwell has been trying to make rule changes, like the one where he tried to say that if you left your birthday off the provisional ballot, it didn't count.  Sorry, Ken, there's a prior rule about that, and it says that the absence of the birthday is not enough to disqualify a provisional ballot.  Privately, I suspect they are absolutely freaking out, because Bush v. Gore limits their ability to pull post-election shenanigans like changing the rules.

I think that one of the reasons that Bush has been accepting a lot of Cabinet resignations now, rather than in January, is to create an inevitability in the minds of the public and the media that this is a done deal.  No one in the media is dealing with the analysis I set forth herein, which is not my own analysis, but simply a mathematical exercise gleaned from what little public information is out there.  The media went home on 11/3, and other than a few smirking
"conspiracy" stories since, has not really addressed the final counting of votes in Ohio or elsewhere.  Bush's lead in New Mexico has been cut from 14,000 to less than 6,000, and they're still counting.

Repeat after me:  it ain't over til they count the votes.  Which means it ain't over.  Will Kerry win?  No idea.  Can he win?  Yes.

Update [2004-11-14 17:33:59 by jsmdlawyer]: A couple of good questions have been raised. I will try to answer. My understanding is that the 93,000 figure is undervotes, not spoiled ballots, which includes overvotes. If someone has information to the contrary, please let me know. I also understand that Ohio law is very unfavorable to overvotes.

Second, my math doesn't include the usual "errors" and "mistakes" that get made, almost invariably in favor of the Republican. Who'da thunk it? Or "machine errors" in Cuyahoga and Franklin Counties (I believe there are potentially a lot of votes in Franklin, because the turnout numbers seem very off in several precincts in Columbus, including where I worked on Election Day, and I've heard similar questions raised in Cleveland as well). So I don't think that my analysis is anything approaching a best case scenario, but a reasonable middle ground.

Bottom line: is this a 100-1 shot? NO WAY. Is it a slam dunk for our guy? Similarly, absolutely not. If I had to lay odds right now, I'd say it's 50-50. If that sounds chickenshit, sorry; but I bet it's better odds than you thought when you woke up today. ;-)

Update [2004-11-14 23:15:43 by jsmdlawyer]: OK, based on some comments (not the love notes, but some other ones), another math exercise is in order.

I assumed 90% of the provisionals and 90% of the undervotes would count. A number of posts (not the trolls, just the pessimists -- nothing wrong with that, just not who I am) said I was too optimistic. OK, fair enough -- let's try a different math problem.

Let's say only 70% of the provisionals count -- a bit higher than the 2/3 being reported in Cleveland -- but let's go with it. 70% of 155,000 is 108,500. Let's assume 90% are for Kerry (there's no reason to question that right now -- they are what they are, after all). That would mean 97,650 votes for Kerry and 10,850 votes for Bush, a lead for Kerry of 86,800. Subtracting that from Bush's current lead of 132,000 yields a Bush lead of 45,200.

Now we move on to the undervotes. If 90% is too high for the number to be counted (unlike provos, there is a standard and a history to go with it), let's use 80% instead, to be conservative (no pun intended). 80% of 93,000 is 74,400. Use the same percentage (80%) for Kerry (again, no reason to change here -- the ballots are what they are). 59,520 votes for Kerry, 14,880 for Bush, a net of 44,640. So now the lead for Bush is 560 votes -- gee, isn't that really close to 537? And remember, we haven't even touched the other aspects of a recount (some overvotes may count, not as many as we'd like, and who knows what may be under those voting machine rocks when they get turned over in the recount). WE ARE STILL IN THE GAME.

If you think I'm wrong, please tell me. Don't shout at me, don't insult me; tell me, show me. I'm an optimist, I can't help it, it's who I am. You pessimists out there, poke holes in my balloon. A few have tried, and I've tried to respond. It's your move. Have at it. I'm ready for ya.

Update [2004-11-15 10:50:28 by jsmdlawyer]: Last update. In comments, ineedalife, after calling me a "rube," then said my calculations were "naive." So just for him, here's a worst-case scenario.

Only 70% of the provisionals get counted. That's 108,500 votes. Kerry gets 85% rather than 90%. That's 92,225 for Kerry and 16,275 for Bush. Lead for Bush is now 56,050.

On the undervotes, only 70% get counted, and they break for Kerry 70-30 rather than 80-20. Of the 93,000 undervotes, that's 45,570 for Kerry and 19,530 for Bush, knocking the lead down by another 26,040 votes.

The lead is now 30,010 votes, with the recount still to go. Overvotes. Machine errors. Shenanigii (love that word). Absentees (at least some, from what I can tell). The margin will narrow further, maybe completely.

OK, so Bush wins by 5,000 votes. Or 10,000. Does that make you feel worse than you do now, or better? And remember, this is clearly the WORST CASE; it could easily get a lot better. Take that mandate and shove up Dick Cheney's ass. Fuck mandate, it's more like 2000 Redux. I feel better. Don't you?

Originally posted to jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 11:49 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks (4.00)
    People are jaded by rampant criminality and so discount reality. Thanks for putting it up there.

    <"Do not seek the treasure!" >

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 11:48:55 AM PST

  •  Important (none)
    #1.  The current count DOES NOT include the 4000 mistaken Bush votes.

    Otherwise I completely agree with you

    •  Are you sure? (4.00)
      I recall seeing 136,000 as the vote margin on the day after the election, and the Gahanna vote problem wasn't officially caught for over a week after the election.  My understanding is that they're not going to do piecemeal corrections of the votes, but are simply waiting until all the votes are counted.

      "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

      by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 11:59:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're both wrong (3.66)
        The error was discovered within 48 hours after the election. But, because the count that's been reported is "officially unofficial," the change won't be reflected in the reported count until the counties report their official canvasses. The 136,000 includes the extra Bush votes.
      •  Hi.... (4.00)
        .....downthread, I had something happen that I find amusing....I received my first troll ratings, ever, on dKos -- and given who did it, I must tell you that it is an honor.

        That said, the reason for my post was to indicate that 'gracchi' has a way of expanding the size of diaries; whether of any value, I'll let you and others be the judge by looking at the nature of responses elicted from others in the two diaries referenced below.

        You may also find an interesting 'co-variant' or two.

        In any event, we know how hard the task is to achieve a simple, essential goal in our efforts to preserve our franchise -- count the votes accurately and securely, now.

        Thank you for an excellent diary.

        •  Whoever he is. . . . (4.00)
          ...he's one contentious son of a gun.  I've only visited the Democratic Underground website a few times, but I noticed that he does the very same thing over at DU (with same screen name).  He seems as passionate about discrediting any argument suggesting vote tampering as the most strident among us are about demonstrating that tampering might have occurred.

          That is surprising, when you think about it.  Most people who are sick and tired of all the "fraud" diaries pop in on those diaries and offer their thoughts or disgust, then let the diary take its course.  They don't state over and over in the diary things like "this has already been debunked, there's nothing here", etc.  Gracchi seems to ride those diaries out from beginning to end like he's on a mission, repeating the same arguments over and over.  

          If he was getting troll-rated at dKos to the point of losing trusted user status, he probably re-upped his mojo nicely by posting his (recommended) diary about upcoming senate races. Sort of like many video games, where you can usually do certain things to bump up your "power" rating when it's lagging.  

          And if you're reading this, Gracchi, I haven't concluded that you're a troll or rated you as such -- just making an observation.  Like you, I have only been a registered user for a very, very short time, so I let others do troll ratings.  But sometimes it's hard to understand your posts any other way.

          "Now watch this drive."

          by tompaine2004 on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 05:04:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you... (none)
            ....and, all I was attempting to do, was to indicated to fellow Kossacks a 'pattern' that seemed odd. Even when attacked, I didn't respond or 'troll rate' because it would only feed the pattern [a pattern that includes some remarkable co-variance, as well].

            Peace.

    •  It also excludes absentee ballots (none)
      We don't even know how many of these there are. If we assume that they'll be split evenly between the candidates, they won't make any difference, but we don't know that for sure either.

      The Kerry campaign was encouraging people to vote absentee, to get votes "banked" in advance and to avoid the long lines on election day. But many absentee ballots come from the military, which have traditionally favored Bush (and probably still do, though not as strongly as last time round). Then again, there are absentee ballots from other Americans abroad, which are likely to favor Kerry.

      As the diary says, it's not over!

      •  Military absentee ballots (none)
        Are a much bigger factor in states with no state income tax, like FL and TX, since if you're in the military (especially if overseas), you have a lot of latitude in choosing where your residence for tax purposes.  (Ohio has a state income tax, one of the highest in the country.)

        And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased, And the epitaph drear: "A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East." --K

        by RT on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 09:06:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Most excellent; instead of fantasizing about... (4.00)
    ....2006, and beyond, you are focusing on what matters, now.

    This election is most certainly not over.

    And, getting to the bottom of what happened, before claiming it's over -- before 'looking forward to 2006' -- is the greatest service each and every Citizen of our Democracy franchise can contribute.

    "It's about America" [the one on life support and in need of immediate, heroic treatment -- not wishful thinking about the future]

    •  A-M-E-N (4.00)
      Fucking Amen! (This from an atheist...)
      This is THE watershed issue, because it seems clear, I think, that if transparent election results are not achieved this time, it will be clear for all to see that the US political system is no longer self-correcting. That realization in turn relieves all of us, right and left, from all previous allegiance to 'the process', which in turn opens the path to organized civil disobedience on the one hand, and overt repression on the other. There is an avalanche waiting to go off here, and it's hard to tell where it would stop, once it gets going. Either nationally or internationally.
      It's quite understandable then that it is really much more convenient to blog about 2006 strategies and delightful issues like that. So wonderfully safe too. And well-funded careers beckon for proven castrati within the 'permanent minority party'.
      •  Oh, were it in my power (4.00)
        to give you a "5" I would have. I've been feeling for a year that I've been screaming into the wilderness about this issue. And realistically, once you think about it, there IS NO OTHER ISSUE!!! If we're (Democrats, society, whoever) seriously going to allow partisan activists to control our elections, then shit, welcome to the Matrix because we're all just props in a play to make it look real.

        Totalitarianism, with a faux veneer of democracy.

        And to think I used to look forward to the 21st Century.

        The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing.

        by Thumb on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 05:45:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Amen. (none)
      i.e. double the Amen
    •  Every Damn Time (4.00)
      I hear people asking "Well, who do you like for 2008?" this keeps popping into my head.

      "The time has come," the Walrus said,
      "To talk of many things:
      Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax-
      Of cabbages-and kings-
      And why the sea is boiling hot-
      And whether pigs have wings."

      Now, why is that?

      You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

      by mattman on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 02:39:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks....... (4.00)
        ....that's a good one, indeed.

        I've often thought, as I've read history about what it would be like to live at an 'inflection point' in a Nation or civilization. Prior to 2000, I thought that 'vietnam,' 'watergate,' 'the cold war,' perhaps were the significant inflection points in my life as an American citizen.

        But, I gotta tell you, the one we're living, here and now, is likely to be the biggest one in the history of our still fledgling Democracy.

        We can either wonder about winged pigs or we can organize, call a 'halt' to systemic disenfranchisement, now, and, then, in a legal and fair/verifiable election, put a boot into the butt of those snatching our Democracy and our heritage.

        I've made my choice.

        •  SWIM DOWN!!!!! (4.00)
          Remember the scene in Finding Nemo where Nemo tells the fish to "swim down!  swim down!"  And all the fish push as hard as they can and they swim down and down and make the fishing boat, with all the fishermen who are trying to reel them in, tip over, and break the winch-like arm holding the net?  And the fish break free?

          This is the thing to remember:  everyone work together to push as hard as you can to resist this steamrolling over Democracy; to fight what they would have you think is the inevitability of being trapped in this net!  

          SWIM DOWN!

          •  just keep swimming... (4.00)
            just keep swimming
            just keep swimming
            just keep swimming swimming swimming
            what do we do
            we swim
            swim
            swim

            hee..sorry...got it stuck in my head :)

            The only Bush I trust is my own - I want my freaking democracy back!

            by mytribe on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:03:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Finally -- another optimist!!!!!!!!!! (4.00)
              Just keep swimming, baby -- good one.  The next thing we need to figure out is how to effectively swim together to make this happen on the PR front -- that's the biggest variable at this point.  Be ready -- as I told MarineLiberal, saddle 'em up and be ready to ride at dawn.  We're gonna need every gun we can find.

              "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

              by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:56:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for your commitment and sage... (none)
                ....development of this Diary.

                As to PR, I think we can keep it simple.
                ------------------------------

                Hi there Mr and Ms Citizen -- did you vote?

                If you did, then you know how you voted. [If you didn't shame, shame -- but we'll let you vote real soon now].

                Do you have any way to know that how you voted is the way your vote was counted?

                How can you be sure?

                Here are the reasons neither you or I or anyone can be sure. 1, 2, 3, 4, .....

                Perhaps it's time that we vote and know who and how our vote is being recorded.

                What do you think?

                No, let's not put it off 'til next time.

                Let's get it right, now.

                Let's do what our Democracy deserves, let's remind the world that 'We Are The People'; We Are In Charge of Our Government.'

                On with it.

                ------------------
                Thanks.

          •  Precisely, they ALL swam in one... (none)
            ....effective direction, down.

            Thus, if we can gather the great forces of our networked community of citizens dedicated to saving the franchise of our democracy and 'swim' in one direction -- force a national audit of all ballots and a national dragnet of all forms of access to central tabulating centers, we will do what must be done, expose the facts to the fullest extent possible.

            It's not about 'who won'; it's about the simple fact that we have no basis on which to know anything until we have the facts -- votes accurately counted.

            All we need to remember is We Are Our Democracy, We Determine Our Government. It is Now Time for US to make it stick.

            Thank you

    •  Another 4 for ya, but with a caveat (none)
      Let's keep in mind what Bill Clinton said when asked if his book tour would take away from Kerry's campaign (and I paraphrase): That's insulting to the voters. It's like saying they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

      We can examine elections past, work toward election reform, AND work toward fixing the party concurrently. We are many (the election proved that beyond a reasonable doubt if nothing else), we are technically savvy, and we are motivated.

      Let's fight on all fronts, each to his or her own interests and strengths. Maybe that we haven't been doing so is the problem.

      "An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry." -T.S. Eliot

      by segmentis on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 12:13:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have only urged the current focus... (4.00)
        ....because of the catastrophic nature of the present situation and I do not consider that dramatic, hyperbole, or otherwise exaggerated.

        I am delighted if others wish to work on other topics, all I'm urging they consider is that between now and 13 Dec 2004 what we might need most is a totally focused effort on counting the vote, accurately; and, on uncovering any solid evidence of compromise, particularly at the crux -- the central tabulating systems.

        It is a suggestion tempered by the severity of the crisis and not meant as an insult to those who multi-task effectively.

        I appreciate your comments and have returned the kind gesture with a 4! for you!

        Peace.

        "It's about America" [the one on life support and in need of immediate, heroic treatment]

        •  Admiring your Zen (none)
          I wish I could suppress my belligerence as well as you do o Zen Master...
          (Hihi).
        •  Wholeheartedly agreed (none)
          Examining and with any luck fixing this recent fiasco of an election is critical, and you're absolutely correct about the time constraints. I just don't want to see any crucial tasks swept under the carpet at the expense of others, which, I'm aware, is exactly the point you were endeavoring to make.

          Another 4 just to close the mutual admiration circle. :)

          "The meek shall inherit the earth, except for a very thin layer at the surface." -Robert Grudin

          by segmentis on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:15:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sure, (none)
    But Blackwell's doing everything he can to trash as many provisional ballots as possible (changing the rules about which ballots to accept mid-stream, as I recall).  Hopefully, the lawyers who are in OH are on things like that.  Blackwell needs to be watched very closely as this all unfolds.  

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

    by Categorically Imperative on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:05:26 PM PST

    •  Right-- though traditionally provisionals (4.00)
      go 90% democratic, what we need to keep in mind is Blackwell's avowed and proven intent to refuse or trash as many of them as possible.  He is absolutely committed to screwing with the provisional ballots, which includes his bucking tradition and the best interests of Democracy in Ohio.
      •  But in order to do that (4.00)
        he must do it based on the rules as they exist PRIOR TO THE ELECTION.  He cannot create new rules in order to trash the provisional ballots.  Oh how I love Bush v. Gore!!!!  Delicious irony.  Love it, love it, love it.  Fuck the Supreme Court, I'd love to see their faces if their dumbass precedent gets shoved up their asses this time.  So far, from what I hear, that's EXACTLY what's happening, and why they're panicking as a result.

        BTW, Rebecca, I admit that I'm breaking my rule -- I used Ohio in a diary, although not in the title.

        "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

        by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:38:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pardon me for being inappropriate, (4.00)
          but I think I love you.

          Ok, that's over the top, but you're saying with some authority what I deeply believe to be true.  Overturning the election would be fantastic.  But holding their lying, cheating feet to the fire and making them sweat is excellent in its own right.

          " I went to war for George W. Bush; I came home to vote for John Kerry." - Sam Poulton

          by whometense on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:24:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow (4.00)
            I didn't know the power of the keyboard had such an emotional impact.  Maybe I should try that more often . . . .    :-D

            As to your substantive point, I will be shocked if there isn't some seriously panicked sweating in Bushland this week.  If they're not worried, they're stupid, and I've never thought they were stupid.  I'd put the odds of that at about 95%, and the election being swung in Ohio at about 50-50 right now.

            "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

            by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 04:11:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (4.00)
            It would be so nice to have the victory, but the irony of having them hoisted on their George Peppard is way too delicious.

            Progressive values are human values. We are all in this together.

            by NYBri on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 04:20:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Will not? Cannot? Would not? (none)
          "He cannot create new rules in order to trash the provisional ballots."

          ---He is not permitted to, but will that stop him from trying to create new rules?  All he's got to risk is that no-one will catch him out on it.  Who would make him resign, should he be "caught" attempting, illegally, to change the rules?  In this Republican state machine, no-one.  Blackwell knows he can operate with a certain degree of impunity, and I wouldn't put it past him to try anything so as to fuck with the results.

          Notice how I didn't say the "O" word!

          •  Lawyers to the Rescue!!! (none)
            Come on, Rebecca.  You know the drill.  Blackwell makes a ridiculous interpretation of the law, like, say, you need to have your birthday on your provisional ballot, when the rule in 2000 was clearly to the contrary, as I understand it.  He backed down on this one last week.

            But let's say he didn't.  And at the appropriate time, Kerry goes to court and says to a judge, "hey, that Blackwell dude changed the rules."

            There is no chance that this type of effort by Blackwell will fly.  Bush v. Gore is absolutely clear on this, as is federal law -- you can't change the rules after the game has started.  It will not be allowed.

            And, since someone made a basketball analogy, I'll do football.  We're in the fourth quarter.  There's 9 minutes left.  We have all our timeouts.  We're down by 9, 23-14.  We need two scores, and we have the ball.  But it was 23-0 at the half; we have the momentum.  And two of their key defensive players are out with injuries (all right, I'm winging it here).

            Will we win?  Iffy; but the momentum is with us.  Can we win (the point of this diary)?  No question, yes.  What will happen?  Stay tuned.

            "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

            by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 07:03:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're a lawyer, and you know (none)
              better than I what lawyers can do in these situations to ride in to the rescue.  

              I'm an academic, and there's a part of me that is trained to remain skeptical.  So that part of me- a little part-- is skeptical, even as I am moved by your conviction, because Blackwell is an evil SOB.  

              But Jonathan, God love you, I'll trust you on this-- you are a man with tremendous power and passion emanating from your voice and words in this diary.  You know in your bones that we have the momentum, and you are making so many of us feel that too.

            •  Hate to mention this... (none)
              But as I understand it Bush v. Gore was stating to be a one shot deal, not applicable to any other future situation.
              •  Good point (none)
                except that the lower courts aren't interpreting it that way.  Cases decided by the Supreme Court are precedent and their logic, at least, is what informs the decision of lower courts who have to wrestle with these issues.

                And, IIRC, the only part of the opinion that "today only" language applied to is the equal protection analysis, which is not what I'm arguing here.  What I'm saying is that there's a 19th century federal law that says that the rules in effect on the day of the election are the rules for that election -- period.  And the Supreme Court referenced that statute in Bush v. Gore.  And now they get to eat their words, literally.

                "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

                by jsmdlawyer on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 07:58:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  He's tossing out some, but not most (none)
        According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (registration or BugMeNot requried), they've checked about 6,000 of the 25,000 provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County (the one with the most voters and the heaviest Dem margins). Of those, they've decided to keep about two thirds:

        http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/110034202128630.xml

        It also says that in one other they're keeping about 90%.

    •  Here's the deal (none)
      Ohio has always had a restrictive interpretation of provisionall ballots (i.e., they can only be counted if they come from the correct precinct -- unlike some 15 other states, where they can be counted as long as they're in the right COUNTY).

      Many Ohio provisionals will not be counted because they come out of precinct.

      This is why the "90% of provisionals were counted in 2000" has NO BEARING on the 2004 race. Provisionals were hardly used in 2000 (around 1000, compared to around 150,000 this year) and there were lots of new voters who clearly voted out of precinct.

      2/3 is to be expected, or even less. NOT 90%.

      Please, please remember this.

      •  This is right and why i'm not as optimistic (none)
        Even though the law said votes had to come in the proper precinct, my understanding is that in the past that law has been very loosely applied, and if a properly registered voter ccast a ballot, but in the wrong precinct, they have been counting them in the past, but they will not be allowed to this election. Being in the wrong precinct is why many provisional ballots are handed out in the first place, so many more will be thrown out than usual.

        I do wish I had the faith of many of you here, though, and will be as happy as anyone if you're proven right....

  •  Absentee ballots (none)
    Do you know about the absentee ballots? Whether they've already been counted or are still to be counted?
    CV is that absentee ballots, esp with military would be a wash, but I don't know.
    •  Yeah, but this time (4.00)
      the civil overseas absentee ballots will generally be influenced by fair media coverage in the countries they are coming from, in contrast to US media coverage.
      I'm just saying that I expect the civil overseas ballots to favor Kerry heavily.
      I don't know how the overseas military vote will look like. Guesses?

      "A smoker would have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response," Judge Francis L. Young, 1988.

      by cwkraus4clark on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:46:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess it would depend on where one (none)
        was stationed. I'll be a lot of the kids in Iraq aren't so happy, but those in Germany may be very happy.
        I want to know what the military results are. I hope we find out.
      •  As an overseas civilian voter (4.00)
        I can assure you that we voted in HUGE numbers this month and that we were massively in favor of getting rid of Bush (regardless of how we felt individually about Kerry).

        Most of us had never experienced anti-American hositlity until the past two years.  Now it is endemic, even in NATO countries.

        You bet we voted.  It's nice to think those who sent ballots to Ohio could determine the result.

        The willow knows what the storm does not: that the power to endure harm outlives the power to inflict it.

        by LondonYank on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 03:29:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  there are pending lawsuits..... (3.88)
    picked up from blog.democrat.com:

    "From Dan Hoffheimer:
    Monday, Nov. 8

    The Kerry-Edwards campaign and the Democratic Party in Ohio are involved in several pending lawsuits that are likely to go on, at least until we are certain that the provisional ballots are properly counted. John Kerry wants to see that all Ohioans' proper ballots are counted, even if it does not change the outcome of the election. I am personally committed to meeting his expection and spent all of today on this issue and will likely be working on this close to fulltime for the foreseeable future. This includes the class actions that we already have pending. There is nothing to prevent other interested parties from filing their own lawsuits. I have told this to the press, so you may share this email with your friends as you may wish.

    Daniel J. Hoffheimer
    State Legal Counsel
    OHIO Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc."

  •  On going. (3.40)
    This is from an interview on CNN, in the spring of 2001. How many questionable elections will it take before it finally sinks in? It's a flawed system.

    Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday the United States does not have an acceptable democratic system because voting systems vary so much among the country's 4,000 counties.

    "There's no way really for us to have any uniformity, no way to guarantee that voters' decisions will be counted accurately and there is no way to educate, in advance, a system of voters, say in a particular area like around Atlanta, because we probably have got 10 different ways to vote in this immediate television coverage (area)," Carter said.

    He spoke to CNN from the Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, which was hosting the first public hearing by the National Commission on Federal Election Reform. Carter, a Democrat, and former President Gerald Ford, a Republican, are honorary co-chairs of the politically balanced panel.

  •  FOUR MORE YEARS (none)
    I hope they do a serious review to ensure that these regular voting problems are gone for good and we can hold free and fair elections from the next time to forever.

    For this time, I'm glad Bush won and even if fraud is proven and Kerry should have won, I hope it comes out too late to make any changes to the status quo. I need Bush as President for 4 more years.

    The Republicans have a majority in the Senate and Congress. The last thing I want to see is a Democratic President Kerry wasting his 4 (to 8) years as President trying to clear Bush's mess vis-à-vis the so-called war, school system, health, economy, job losses, national debt, world respect, etc. with the Republican majority in both houses doing their best to ensure that he fails.

    That would lead to a failed Democratic government to be followed naturally by a Republican government reelection. Same old story - Clinton built, Bush destroyed and now Kerry would rebuild to hand it back to the God's chosen people to destroy again? Thanks but no thanks.

    I pray that our troops come home safe and soon and the killing of innocent Iraqis can stop. Nobody, except Osama and his gang, needs to die.

    •  I see your point... (4.00)
      ...but do we really want to give GWB four more years to destroy everything he touches if we can help it?  The people should (yeah, I know...) understand the mess Kerry will inherit if he manages to win the election.
      •  He's right that a (4.00)
        Bush presidency is better for us as Democrats in the long run, but worse for the country, short and long term.  Forced to choose between party and country, I'll take country every time.

        "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

        by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:29:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tin Foil Hat land (none)
          Anyone who actually thinks that there will be a fair election after 2 more years of Bush + Rethugs in Congress is seriously on the DLC koolaid.  Four years and we really hopeless.
      •  The next four years is going to be bad (4.00)
        But bush's "New vision" will change america forever and for the worse from Every political perspective.

        The new economic plan is to finalise the permanent elimination of taxes on the upper class. No taxes on dividends. No taxes on capital gains. No inheritance tax. Slice that anyway you wish it means that the 5%  who own 95% of america (those arent exagerated numbers) will now own a larger and larger share of it and that share will grow faster.

        Add these facts in. The US currently owes 4.5 trillion dollars as of this moment. We are obligated to pay out another 51 TRILLION. Bush's rape of social security adds 2 trillion to either number. Our deficit is currently hovering around 400 billion a year. That is 400 billion each year added onto the debt of 4.5 trillion. Plus interest. Remember that each year a substantial chunk of our budget goes solely to pay interest on the debt. We are outsourcing our economic power aka Manufacturing and High tech industries (programming, soon the last of our engineering disciplines etc) and you have a nation that will in a few decades at most consist in effect of an upper upper class and the poor. A permanent aristocratic plutocracy.

        Here's the bad news.
        We have no way of coming up with that money other than, when the crisis hits, a crisis worse than the depression because unlike the depression we cannot borrow our way out, the only way out will be stunningly high taxes during a time of massive unemployment, inflation, and high interest rates.
        In other words the wealthy sit it out while the rest of america lines up at soup kitchens.

        And who's fault is this? Bush's? The country club republicans always wanted what is happening and is about to happen. Democrats stopped them by appealing to the working class. That's over now.  We abandoned the working class and poor in order to appeal to the upper middle and upper class, along with most of the rest of the democratic base.

        The fault is ours. For allowing our party to be hijacked by the right.

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:40:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  last i checked and read from the SCLM (none)
          we have gone beyond $7 trillion.

          "A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People." - Thomas Jefferson, The DoI, 1776

          by lostinbrasil on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 01:19:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I got that number (none)
            from an economist trying to get the message out that all is not peachy. Of course some of his ideas to solve the problem were, like most economists, simply dumb and very classist. But his analysis was spot on.

            The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

            by cdreid on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 02:41:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bush (none)
        I think we are safe there.

        Bush and the Neocons are the problem and are the people intent on destroying everything for personal gain but the Republican party itself is not. Some really powerful Republicans are as pissed off with Bush as we are but decided to put partisan issues ahead of everything to retain Republican control of the government. Now that they have what they wanted, they will take Bush to task. Remember they are Americans first and Republicans second.

        I really think Bush will be forced to put on his work clothes and start cleaning up his mess. The force will come from within his party as much as from ours.

        I hope and pray I am right.

        •  Yes (none)
          I think there is reason to expect this to happen, or that at least they will try...
          •  Which Republicans? (4.00)
            McCain, Swarzenegger, and Giuliani can hardly call themselves moderates after granting unconditional support to this extremist administration.  And, in Giuliani's case, doing Bush's dirty work for him.

            I can't really forgive them for allowing Bush & Co. to have 4 more years.  

            Do you really expect them to turn on him now?

            •  Arnold (none)
              Schwarzenagger's putting up billboards in CA to pursuade the public to change the Constitution in hopes of becoming the first foreign born president since the country began... he needed to support Bush...

              You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do....Anne Lamott

              •  Give me a picture. (none)
                I personally don't want an actor (yes I mean Reagan too) or puppet in the Whitehouse. I am initially not in favor of this ammendment Bu$hco will probaly want to remove the two term restriction with that one.

                We observe, you decide. Kerry/Edwards 04 (just a little late)

                by Tomtech on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 07:53:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I'm afraid that's wishful thinking (4.00)
          The old guard conservatives have lost control of their party.  Four more years of G.W. Bush, now unfettered by the need to please anyone outside of his decidely un-Christlike religiod Right base, will be disastrous for this nation.  Others here have mentioned the Supreme Court and the effects any likely Bush appointments will have on us for at least a generation.  

          SCOTUS appointments aside, there are even more heinous dangers in another four years.  Yesterday in kos, hopesprings posted an excellent diary that contained Bill Moyers' recent editorial in the Sojourner magazine.  I apologize for the length of these excerpts, but if you or anyone truly believes that we can survive the next four years of a Bush administration even relatively unscathed, I think it's important for you to consider some of Moyers' thoughts (highlights mine):

          ... But the class war was declared a generation ago, in a powerful polemic by a wealthy right-winger, William Simon, who was soon to be Secretary of the Treasury. By the end of the '70s, corporate America had begun a stealthy assault on the rest of our society and the principles of our democracy. Looking backward, it all seems so clear that we wonder how we could have ignored the warning signs at the time.

          What has been happening to the middle and working classes is not the result of Adam Smith's invisible hand but the direct consequence of corporate activism, intellectual collusion, the rise of a religious orthodoxy that has made an idol of wealth and power, and a host of political decisions favoring the powerful monied interests who were determined to get back the privileges they had lost with the Depression and the New Deal. They set out to trash the social contract; to cut workforces and their wages; to scour the globe in search of cheap labor; and to shred the social safety net that was supposed to protect people from hardships beyond their control. Business Week put it bluntly: "Some people will obviously have to do with less....It will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that big business can have more."

          To create the intellectual framework for this revolution in public policy, they funded conservative think tanks - the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute - that churned out study after study advocating their agenda.

          To put political muscle behind these ideas, they created a formidable political machine. Thomas Edsall of The Washington Post, one of the few journalists to cover the issues of class, wrote: "During the 1970s, business refined its ability to act as a class, submerging competitive instincts in favor of joint, cooperative action in the legislative area." Big business political action committees flooded the political arena with a deluge of dollars. And they built alliances with the Religious Right - Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition - who happily contrived a cultural war as a smokescreen to hide the economic plunder of the very people who were enlisted as foot soldiers in the war.

          And they won. Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in America and the savviest investor of them all, put it this way: "If there was a class war, my class won." Well, there was, Mr. Buffett, and as a recent headline in The Washington Post proclaimed: `Business Wins With Bush."

          Look at the spoils of victory: Over the past three years, they've pushed through $2 trillion dollars in tax cuts. More than half of the benefits are going to the wealthiest 1 percent. You could call it trickle-down economics, except that the only thing that trickled down was a sea of red ink in our state and local governments, forcing them to cut services and raise taxes on middle class working America.

          Now the Congressional Budget Office forecasts deficits totaling $2.75 trillion over the next 10 years. These deficits have been part of their strategy. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan tried to warn us, when he predicted that President Reagan's real strategy was to force the government to cut domestic social programs by fostering federal deficits of historic dimensions. President Reagan's own budget director, David Stockman, admitted as much. Now the leading right-wing political strategist, Grover Norquist, says the goal is to "starve the beast" - with trillions of dollars in deficits resulting from trillions of dollars in tax cuts, until the U.S. government is so anemic and anorexic it can be drowned in the bathtub.

          Take note: The corporate conservatives and their allies in the political and Religious Right are achieving a vast transformation of American life that only they understand because they are its advocates, its architects, and its beneficiaries. In creating the greatest economic inequality in the advanced world, they have saddled our nation, our states, and our cities and counties with structural deficits that will last until our children's children are ready for retirement; and they are systematically stripping government of all its functions except rewarding the rich and waging war.

          And, yes, they are proud of what they have done to our economy and our society. If instead of producing a news magazine I was writing for Saturday Night Live, I couldn't have made up the things that this crew in Washington have been saying. The president's chief economic adviser says shipping technical and professional jobs overseas is good for the economy. The president's Council of Economic Advisers reports that hamburger chefs in fast food restaurants can be considered manufacturing workers. The president's labor secretary says it doesn't matter if job growth has stalled because "the stock market is the ultimate arbiter." And the president's Federal Reserve chair says that the tax cuts may force cutbacks in Social Security - but hey, we should make the tax cuts permanent anyway.

          You just can't make this stuff up. You have to hear it to believe it. This may be the first class war in history where the victims will die laughing.

          But what they are doing to middle class and working Americans and the poor - and to the workings of American democracy - is no laughing matter. It calls for righteous indignation and action. Otherwise our democracy will degenerate into a shell of itself in which the privileged and the powerful sustain their own way of life at the expense of others and the United States becomes another Latin America with a small crust of the rich at the top governing a nation of serfs.


          The full text is available at Sojourner or the excellent diary Bill Moyers Eloquent Views... posted here earlier this weekend.

          I admit to giving in at times to my own snarky attitude that follows your line of logic:  "Let 'em screw things up so badly that maybe finally people will realize how bad they really are" and "They made their bed, now let 'em lie in it, hah hah!" kind of thinking.  But my problem with that is, it's our bed, too.

          It is true, what you say, that in the (unlikely) event Kerry emerges as the winner of this tainted election, he will face an uphill struggle and, no doubt, many of his efforts will be unsuccessful in the face of unfriendly opposition from both houses of congress.  But the alternative -- a government seemingly bent on self-destruction led by a man who sees himself as a messenger of a vengeful God -- seems, to me, to be far worse.

    •  You're forgetting the importance of the SCOTUS... (4.00)
      nomination(s)... debatably the most important event expected in the next Pres. term... I don't want their "permanent" majority installed this term... besides someone must clean up these irresponsible Republicans' messes right?

      "If you can't answer a man's argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names." - Elbert Hubbard

      by lobezno on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:29:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  4 more years (4.00)
      In the NYT (I think?) shortly after the election, one of the columnists wrote something to this effect:

      I wish nothing but misfortune for my political enemies, but draw the line if that means wishing misfortune on my country.

      While I anticipate wretched things happening under a second Bush presidency, and while I'm glad the blame will be placed firmly on his shoulders, the cost (hundreds of thousands of lives in Iraq, possibly a total devaluation of the dollar, etc.) is too high to wish for more disaster.

    •  if recounts (4.00)
      can overturn the presidential race, why can't more recounts in close races overturn some senate races too, like Castor vs Martinez in Florida, Bunning vs Mongiardo in Kentucky. There were most probably shenanigi in those elections too. If something glaring comes up in the prez recount in O. and NH, Pandora's box is then open for business.
    •  I almost agree, except for this nagging dread (4.00)
      of what America will look like four years from now.  I would love to see these bastards try to pass the buck from here on out onto Clinton or the Democrats for the mess they have made.  Yet as that would give me great pleasure, the prospect of Bush appointing more conservative justices to the Supreme Court, rewriting our Constitution and conducting National Prayer services from the White House is far more frightening.  We are already facing a horrible mess created by Bush and these lilly livered Republican partisan hacks, but I would rather see an ineffective President Kerry spending these next four years halting the downward spiral into oblivion.  We can still work hard in the interim to change the makeup of the House and Senate for his productive second term!  Obviously this is not the optimum situation, but four more years of Republican party (radicals) controlling the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of our government is unimaginable!  I'd prefer four years of stagnant, ineffective government over the total dismantling of our Democracy by these radical religious ignorant fundamentalists.
    •  I fail to agree (none)
      with your point.  Bush is only going to dig us in deeper and deeper. Plus there is the Supreme Court issue that is going to happen.  Changing the direction of the Court is devastating and will have major long-term impacts.

      With Kerry, even though there is a Republican held House and Senate, the players would eventually had been forced to play together nicely, to some degree...Now all we have to succumb to is a right-wing so-called mandate, with more war, more unanswered spending and taxcuts, more unanswered problems in healthcare and social security, and who knwo what the hell with the Supreme Court..

      Fight at every cost....

    •  Four More Years.... (none)
      Unfortunately....I am not sure we can SURVIVE four more years of Bush.
    •  asdf (none)
      In most cases, I would agree with you completely as all your points are good ones.

      The one thing that this president can do that would change the history of the US for years to come is the nominations to the Supreme Court.

      If it wasnt for that, I would say let Bush sleep in the bed he made.

      =\

  •  BTW (4.00)
    Thanks to jsmdlawyer for the excellent diary! Gives me hope. In AR, they use optical scanners, what are the odds for flaws? Anyone?
    •  Look at New Hampshire (none)
      The recount Ralph Nader has requested in New Hampshire is supposed to be the test case for widespread election fraud due to computerised counting and totaling equiptment. If actual fraud or major errors (assume >3%)I hope there will be the greatest grass roots movement in the history of this  country for recounts nationwide. If they were gonna try to inflate the nationwide totals the best place to do it is in strong blue states. Who will think anyone would complain of Kerrry winning by 4% instead of 9%.

      We observe, you decide. Kerry/Edwards 04 (just a little late)

      by Tomtech on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 05:19:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ssshhhhh.... (4.00)
    Don't let the rat out of the bag till the trap is sprung... I apologize for the mixed metaphors but that is what came to mind...

     I think that your dead on about this, in that Kerry and co.  realized early on that nothing was to be gained and everything could be lost if the pundits could paint the Kerry as a sore loser... an additional reason to wait and lay low is that if there is evidence of fraud on the part of the Repubs it would take time to gather and process said evidence... Remember, Kerry was a prosecutor... and I would call him anything but impulsive...

    Recommended...

    PS; I never thought that Kerry would go down without a fight... i.e.; He will pursue all avenues as quietly as possible and if he finds something then he'll respond with righteous indignation --as he should-- and Bush then becomes the wanna' be that is prematurely grabbing the reigns of power...

    "If you can't answer a man's argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names." - Elbert Hubbard

    by lobezno on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:20:34 PM PST

    •  The Closer (4.00)
      Sure, no one thought he would "close" long after Election Day, but I'll take it if it happens.  The looks on the Pubs' faces will be reward enough for me.
      •  Yeah, (none)
        I'm trying to imagine how this would make them shit their pants.  There's no way to spin it without being total hypocrites, but when has that ever stopped them before?  Oh, the irony of it all!

        I'm crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath...

        "As I get older, the only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance."

        by frsbdg on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 06:12:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Credit where credit is due though (4.00)
      The Greens and the Libertarians are our allies in this.  They are getting the ball rolling for Kerry.

      Let's not completely steal their thunder.  Much can be gained by letting them fight the first battle in the media.  Let the Republicans beat up on the "little guys" and expose themselves as the vote suppressors that they are.  When the Dems throw their weight behind the smaller parties, we'll have a strong "Coalition of the Willing."

      Take a pill or talk

      by apotropaic on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:57:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OKAY, BUT (4.00)
      I think the stealth approach can backfire.

      Let's presume the best-for-the-country outcome...that:

    • Kerry wins Ohio + Florida + New Mexico on recounts (enough EV margin to define the result as "not close".
    • The recount switches 1.8 MM votes so Kerry has now won the popular vote, too.
    • Enough votes are turned that affect the Carson and Castor Senate races.
    • Enough votes are turned that affect about 3-12 House races.
    • That this all happens before Inauguration in late January.

      If this happens (fingers crossed) after militant Repubs and the millions of others who foolishly wasted their votes on the Bush Junior Team have had six+ weeks to internalize their presumed "victory", and in this fairly rosy scenario, they are 48% of the electorate, how are they going to bring themselves to step aside without us calling out whatever National Guard are still stateside?

      I think it requires laying groundwork for the changeover now, planting the awareness now that a changeover might have to happen. I've done change management for a living -- it's hard to buffer the viloence of people's emotions even when it's somehing as trivial as what version of Windows they are going to have to use on their computers at work.

      The last time we removed from office a criminal president, it took 15 months from the beginning of the awareness to a majority of the country being ready to see him go. His defenders tenaciously protected him, argued for him, while the evidence passed "incontrovertable" about seven months before his support finally thinned out to the pure wingnuts. I'm not sure Nixon is a perfect analogy for Bush Junior, and that was long enough ago that we've changed as a culture, and certainly we don't have the mainstream media ethics we had then. The longer the argument takes to become engaged, the more rigid & unchangable the situation becomes.

      I'm not sure the stealth approach isn't the best one for immediate success, but if the better outcome happens from the audits and recounts (and that means jail time or one-way tix to Guantanamo for the fraud perps), the stealth approach makes it harder to govern.

  •  Check this out (4.00)
    from the July 19 NY Times.

     

    Mindful of the election problems in Florida four years ago, aides to Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, say his campaign is putting together a far more intricate set of legal safeguards than any presidential candidate before him to monitor the election.

    Aides to Mr. Kerry say the campaign is taking the unusual step of setting up a nationwide legal network under its own umbrella, rather than relying, as in the past, on lawyers associated with state Democratic parties. The aides said they were recruiting people based on their skills as litigators and election lawyers, rather than rewarding political connections or big donors.

    Lawyers for the campaign are gathering intelligence and preparing litigation over the ballot machines being used and the rules concerning how voters will be registered or their votes disqualified. In some cases, the lawyers are compiling dossiers on the people involved and their track records on enforcing voting rights. The disputed 2000 presidential election remains a fresh wound for Democrats, and Mr. Kerry has been referring to it on the stump while assuring his audiences that he will not let this year's election be a repeat of the 2000 vote...
    ...Lawyers for nonpartisan advocacy groups conducting voter registration drives are also working behind the scenes and in court to ensure that their new registrants make it onto the rolls and that their ballots are counted.

    But it is the campaign of Mr. Kerry that appears to be doing the most to apply lessons from the Florida recount and that is adopting the more fiercely partisan posture in the early going.

    Its plans include setting up SWAT teams of specially trained lawyers, spokesmen and political experts to swoop into any state where a recount could be needed...
    ...This time, Kerry aides say, they are recruiting not only specialists in election law who work in small law firms or alone, but also litigators at large firms in every state who have the resources and office space to support a long-term, large-scale and pro bono recount operation.

    "We don't want a situation where we wake up the next day and are scrambling to think of what our legal team looks like," Mr. Elias said.

    The Kerry campaign has already enlisted lead lawyers in all 50 states, and those lawyers are recruiting lawyers at the county and the precinct level.

    "It's our intention to have lawyers in one fashion or another covering all of Iowa's 99 counties," said Brent Appel, the Kerry lawyer in Des Moines.

    Kerry aides say the campaign has set up a national steering committee with task forces tackling different issues: one on ballot machines, another on voter education, and a third on absentee, early, and military voting, to name a few...

    " I went to war for George W. Bush; I came home to vote for John Kerry." - Sam Poulton

    by whometense on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:49:13 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  The most important thing (3.95)
    is to count the votes before anointing a winner.  Why is that so hard in this country?

    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

    by jsmdlawyer on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:31:29 PM PST

  •  They're still counting Guv votes in WA, too (none)
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%20Blogging%20the%20V ote

    Of course, the AP is a little snide in describing bloggers and the race

    SEATTLE -- Washington's super-close governor's race may be hell on the candidates, but it's a special sort of heaven for political bloggers.

    They are glued to their computers, wearing out the "refresh" button on the Secretary of State's web site, creating color-coded spreadsheets to predict the outcome, and generally obsessing over every twist and turn in the ballot count.

    And they're having a blast.

  •  It isn't Just about Ohio as this diary makes clear (none)
    But don't forget they could counter with a recount of Wisconsin.

    I have more to say about this here:

    Repeating Gore's Mistake?

    It isn't over, but we need to be prepared to go well beyond Ohio.  I think my diary points out a few issues that I haven't seen on the board much or at all, so if you could reccomend it as well as this one we can get the board talking about the "Audits" again.

    Thanks.

  •  Hope springs eternal (4.00)
    Just when I thought it was safe to hunker down for the next four years!  Hope you spit three times and/or threw salt over your shoulder when  you posted this.  (See hilarious article from the Guardian:  
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1342798,00.html )

    I do believe in miracles.  Just yesterday my rep friend told me she is for abortion, doesn't give a fig who marries who, and is very thankful for the ACLU.  Will wonders never cease?  

  •  I can't wait for the movie to come out (3.83)
    This is so fucking suspenseful, I can't stand it.  The media blackout makes it all the more intolerable since we have no clue what's going on.  It's like one of those race-the-clock-against-all-odds plots, where just when it looks like the antagonist is winning, the hero pulls it out in the nick on time!  
    And we would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you pesky bloggers!

    A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still - Hudibras

    by intrados on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 12:49:57 PM PST

  •  Let's not get ahead of ourselves. (none)
    Let's just see what the audits show us.

    Keep in mind that in 2000, the republicans pulled out all the tricks the could to get the counts stopped, and succeeded. I know we're in a better situation with Ohio because there are provisions in place (and Blackwell therefore has less discretion), but who knows what technicalities or ridiculous arguments they may be able to fall back on.

  •  The Cobb Campaign needs a little more money (4.00)
    http://www.votecobb.org/

    It's close so it's worth it to add a little more to it. Time is tight.

  •  I'm wondering (none)
    what the Republican response to this is going to be. If there's any chance that Kerry might pull ahead -- whether from provisionals + undervotes, or from other Gahanna-like errors uncovered during the recount -- the Republicans are going to...well, what will they do? I'm guessing the fight will be Fallujaesque.

    If it starts to get close, they are going to go NUTS. It's scary to think about.

  •  CA still has 1.2 million ballots to process (3.66)
    -- absentees, provisionals, and "damaged" ballots -- as of Friday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m., accounting to the link below.

    this latest info on "unprocessed ballots" in CA is available in a .pdf found in the "Absentee ballot status" tab, at this link:

    http://vote2004.ss.ca.gov/index.html

  •  I'd love to believe but.. (none)
    Why is this getting zero media coverage? It seems like if something was there the media would be all over it.

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere"

    by Morbo on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 01:01:06 PM PST

  •  no matter how long it takes (3.80)
    we need to count every vote.  we need to spend at least the same effort that was spent on scott peterson, in terms of media coverage.  our democracy should be a little more important.
  •  This Election Is Not Over (none)
    The Greens really need to do something like this. The fact that Nader gave the election to Bush in 2000 has really set them back.
  •  Thanks (3.83)
    I have been in agreement with the theory of avoiding a "Sore Loserman" label and the need to get an official recount to get to the "spoiled" ballots since the concession came and I thought, "Why?".

    It was always my belief that there was a stealth issue about this from the moment that Edwards started the speech with "every vote will be counted" to Kerry's sending his lawyers to Ohio (who amongst us thinks they weren't there all along?). My other concern is that by our concern and getting the ball rolling, we may have messed up a greater plan. Oh well, no importance -- Count the damn votes!

    I've also posted the same sentiments as yours on several diaries and threads. Your gift was to combine all of it and clearly summarize this issue, so THANKS!.

    Could you imagine the egg on everyone's face should this become a reality? Delicious!

  •  Cobb is still short about $30k so... (3.75)
    I just sent another $50. I am so disgusted with the DNC & Kerry not financing a recount I could spit. I may just vote Green in 2008 (in CA I can afford to make a statement).
  •  Are the spoiled ballots (none)
    all undervotes though in Ohio?  I thought Palast said they were a mix of undervotes and overvotes.

    Also, didn't it turn out that the undervotes in Florida did not break heavily for Gore in 2000, at least by nothing like a four to one margin?

    Just looking for clarification.

    By the idea of community...we are all enriched and ennobled. -- Michael Dukakis

    by tlaura on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 01:27:52 PM PST

  •  sounds promising, what can we do? (none)
    over the last week i've been doing very little, partly because i was dog-tired from the election and partly because i thought there was nothing to do.

    now i'm recharged and ready to raise hell again.  my question is, is there something that can be done to help out in ohio?  or do we just twiddle our thumbs?

    .. a letter to the editor a day keeps Bush away

    by kosaddict on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 01:45:14 PM PST

  •  My letter to the Times (4.00)
    The Times ran an infuriating article Friday on bloggers and rumors of election fraud.

    Posted below is my letter (unpublished, of course, since you have to have a special dispensation from the pope to get a letter published by them)

    In response to Tom Zeller's article on conspiracy theories about the 2004 vote.

    Bloggers, according to Zeller, have engaged in wild, unsupported speculation about discrepancies in the vote.  Perhaps the speculation serves to fill the void left by a passive and toothless press that refuses to investigate serious problems and oddities in the vote.  

    There have been almost no serious articles in the press answering questions about long lines which disproportionately affected poor and minority voters.  Or why all of the verfiable errors across the country seemed to benefit President Bush.  Or why, against all statistical odds and against common sense, the vote tallies for the president across the country show substantial gains over exit polling that has been proven reliable in many previous elections both here and abroad.  

    Perhaps when the mainstream press provides logical and serious answers to these issues, the wild speculation on the Internet will end.

  •  Boy what a naive rube (3.75)
    They have been throwing out the provisional ballots at a 30% clip. For some reason Cayuhoga Co. has a REPUBLICAN election board chair. He is on record gloating about how on the first day of screening the provisionals they threw out about 700 of the first 2,000 they looked at. So the 90% of 90% figure you gave is way over the top. It may be that way in reality, but do you think these thugs will let a little thing like the truth get in the way? They only have to maintain the status quo until Dec. 7th. Then even if the recount shows Kerry up by 100,000 there is absolutely nothing that can be done. Lawsuits can only change things for next time. Blackwell has already pointed out that nothing happened to Katherine Harris, she went on to Congress.

    I adopted two precints for the Green-Libertarian recount. I hope the Democrats step in with lawyers and money to help with the blizzard of legal challenges that come their way. But I have no illusions as to Kerry getting Ohio's electors. I just hope the recount uncovers enough embarassing crap to bring about real election reform in Ohio.

    The one dim little tiny weeny beeny hope I have is that the thugs were arrogant enough to just add numbers to the tally's in counties like Warren. They must be in basements and garages now punching  thousands of ballots and forging names in precint books so the recount doesn't blow up in their faces.

  •  Election 2004 - Suprise Ending! (4.00)
  •  Final Push for Recount Fundraising Drive (none)
    Please stop by and recommend this diary
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/14/165722/70
    to keep the Fundraising Drive for Cobb/Badmarik's
    OHIO recount alive in the Kos Rcommended diary list

    $28,443 to go!!!!

  •  framing the target (4.00)
    Although clearly the doubts are starting to gain credence in the mainstream press, the Times editorial continues to brand one side as conspiracy theorists while Republicans are seen as guilty only of "outrageous behavior."    We have voting systems makers openly swearing allegiance to Bush. We have state elections officials co-chairing Bush campaigns and excluding neutral observers from vote counts. We have votes disappearing or being altered in ways that benefit only Bush.
    What's theoretical about it? It's a conspiracy!
    Let's admit to clear-sighted behavior, and frame the other side for what they are: liars, cheats, and frauds.

    The Republican Party will never lose another presidential election as long as we allow their corporate buddies to "count" our votes in secret.

    by earthtokosmos on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 02:28:59 PM PST

  •  I Hear The Faint Horn of Battle (4.00)
    This devildog has been on a slight hiatus, recovering from the insepid "Bush virus" that laid me low on 3 Nov 2004 (felt symptoms coming on around 2330 hrs., 2 Nov 2004). I'm hearing so much scuttlebutt...is there really a chance we can pull this out? Is there really a chance that the Kerry campaign is maneuvering covertly behind the scenes, more intelligently and stealthily than the Gore campaign did four years ago? Tell me it's so, tell a Democratic warrior that it is so! Remember there is nothing in the Constitution about "concessions", it's all about the votes. Well, regardless (whether we pull this thing out or not), the Democratic Party will still need to do some SERIOUS soul-searching and "refit" (Marine terminology) for the upcoming battles against the GOP that await us on the horizon, battles that will determine the future of our country. Semper Fi
  •  We must be careful how the issue is framed (3.75)
    While I most certainly agree that this election is not neccessarily over, we must be very careful about how we framed the issue. The Kerry campaign has done a masterful job of it so far, unfortunately, we in blogosphere have not.

    Especially after 2000, we have a very limited amount of moral authority on this issue. Every American believes that elections should be fair but the masses don't have much patience for this. Bush won the popular vote by about 3%, they will not accept and be interested in rampant suggestions about fraud in meaningless states. For examples, crying fraud in North Carolina or Georgia or any other such state actually damages our cause.

    Further, we need to stop talking about 'fraud' and instead talk about voting irregularities. There is a huge difference between the two. One implies evil on the part of authorities (which the populace is not likely to embrace) the other suggests a technological error (which they will accept). It is obvious how this story has been portrayed in the media, from the Times editorial to the Salon.com opinion piece every single report has been negative.

    We have built a powerful and respected political culture on the internet. Should we continue to use our current methods of inflamatory language and dangerous accusations we will lose all that we have worked so hard to gain.

  •  stop your dreaming (1.28)
    there is zero chance that this election will be overturned, although i fully want to see the recount done. even if a recount showed kerry somehow winning ohio it would be to late and the right wing wouldn`t allow it to be overturned.
    we are better off having bush serve another undeserved term.face reality the results will stay the same!!!!!!!!!!
  •  It's fucking over, go home people (1.92)
    Okay, that might be an overstatement.  But, really, I'm not even sure Kerry deserves to win at this point.

    Before you all flame the hell out of me, I would like to point out that I have been a vociferous critic of our election systems since 2000.  At the end of September, I posted this heated diary entry about how Kerry was dropping the ball on  preventing electoral fraud.  I mostly collected flames and new recipes.

    Now people want Kerry to pull out a stealth win, weeks after the election happened? Folks, this is not how our system is supposed to work.  You don't wait until everything collapses and then try and pick up the pieces.  Kerry and the Dems should have been all over most of this stuff months, if not years, ago.

    Do I think Bush is a miserable president?  Of course.  Would I like to see Kerry in the White House?  Sure.

    But, there is something wrong about sitting on your fat ass for four years, ignoring the problems that were crying out for attention, and then, at the last moment, demanding that "every count be voted".  Dude, if you wanted every fucking vote to be counted, you should have written the guarantees into the HAVA bill when you had the chance.  Instead, Democrats - our miserable party - voted to give states the money to buy these crappy machines that everyone is bitching about now.

    Well, guess what?  I no longer care.  That's right, I don't give a shit.  The current crop of Democrats have shown themselves incapable of preserving democracy.  I don't trust them any more than I trust the Republicans.  They are by and large incompetent and unqualified to hold office.

    If you get a smoking gun tape of Karl Rove confessing to a hack job, give me a call.  Until then, give it up.

  •  We're awake & it's not f*% over (4.00)
    My goodness this post has gotten some heated responses!

    jsmd is talking about laws that ARE ALREADY ON THE BOOKS.  Just because an election hasn't happened like this before, doesn't mean this possibility comes from the realms of Neverland.

    Don't get your hackles up -- it is possible, and some of us are hopeful.

    Nunc pede libero puisanda tellus... (Now is the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot...)

    by a2jean on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:05:46 PM PST

  •  From ohiodems.org (none)
    93,000 punch cards were cast, but a vote for president was not counted.

    The votes were not counted either because the voter voted for more than one candidate or did not vote for a presidential candidate. These ballots will be reexamined if there is a recount.

  •  wiki (none)
    We've got a wiki page on dkosopedia named 2004 Ohio Irregularities, where you can find the latest info, and add your own if it's out of date.

    I'm surprised to hear that 90% of spoiled ballots count.

    Also, didn't I hear that in Cuyahoga, they're only getting about 2/3 of the provisionals counted valid, when it's more like 90% elsewhere?

    New! dKos Local - sign up to meet up with local kossians.

    by tunesmith on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:22:20 PM PST

  •  What about the 93,000 extra votes in Cuyahoga? (none)

      Recall that Keith Olbermann reported that In Cuyahoga County, that is greater Cleveland, the official records of 29 different voting precincts show more votes than registered voters to a total of 93,000 extra votes in that county alone.  

      Okay, so how is this remedied?

      Do we subtract 93,000 votes from Bush's margin and bring it down from 136,000 to 43,000?

       (This, before we even consider the 93,000 punch card ballots and the provisional ballots)

      How do these Bush-inflated tallies get remedied
    when you have Ken "Katherine" Blackwell in charge?

     

  •  Word to the clueless (2.00)
    Historical precedent of 90% provisional ballot acceptance occurred because Republicans did not contest those ballots because it did not matter.

    There is no way in hell you will see those numbers this time around.  Why? Because Republicans will contest every single one of those provisional ballots.  Even if the ratio of Dem to GOP was 10:1, you'll never see anywhere close to 100,000 votes for Kerry  (not because he didn't get them, but because they'll never be allowed).  This is particularly true with Ohio's proper precinct voting requirement.

    As for the auditing, I'll admit that there, God knows what can happen.

    To clarify my post from above, which may have been a bit overy hostile, I'm still pissed at the Democrats for letting it get to this.  This is not good for the country.  And Democrats deserve a fair amount of blame for not only tolerating these problems but participating in making problems worse.

  •  Get this through your heads (2.57)
    For 4 years we have been "hopeful."  There is no rescue from this catastrophe.  Because there are now people in power, with the police powers to attend to those powers, that Bush will win.  Despite all odds, they have achieved their goal.

    You are recount all you want -- even find enough votes and fraud to come very close to winning.  The media, and the power of the establishment will not let it happen.

    I have truly given up.  Start at the very local levels.  And we have to become a separate voice.  The problem is, as always, how to be heard.

    Kerry running a stealth campaign?  Yea right.  I believed in him once.  But right now, I see no boat turning into the bank.  But a man running back to the good ole boys club.  And watch, he will not voice an opinion as to the purge of the CIA, he will not demand the release of all secret reports, he will immediately put forth legislation to clean up voter intimidation and make it a federal crime to place calls the night before election telling people wrong things about election day.

    Disspirited does not come close to how I feel.  And bad news just seems to keep coming.  It will a long dark winter of despair.

  •  Have I missed the explanation (4.00)
    for WHY the precinct in Ohio lied about Homeland Security and FBI telling them that they were in danger of some kind of terrorist action?
  •  Cobb & Badnarik (none)
    I am encouraged by this diary - And although the election tapped out my budget, I'm going to scrape up a bit for the above.  
    The diary's premise is reasonable - let's give it a try.  
  •  Colorado ? (none)
    Was moving fast towards Kerry...

    What's theoretical about it ??!?

    by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 04:03:31 PM PST

  •  Counting Votes Not "Bad for the Country" (4.00)
    Things are getting a little dark and dreary on this thread.  We need to lighten up a little: yes, the country has slid in a terrible direction the last four years.  Unfortunately, a lot of people got a little cracked after the Al Qaida 2001 attacks and tolerated the rise of a panoply of quasi-fascistic policies and discourses.  

    But let's not give up the ship.  We need to keep fighting for our values. . . compassion, responsibility, social justice.  We need to keep trying to hold America to the shining standard of democracy, accountability, and yes, truth.  

    It's embarassing to see blowhards coming on here trumpeting the argument that counting votes is "bad for the country".  No way.  Anything and everything that leads toward a purer and more full manifestation of democracy is not only good for the country, it is quite simply vital and necessary for the future of reason, transparency, morality and truth in America.  Those are not just Democratic values, but democratic values as well.  Shame on those who would suggest otherwise and attempt to cast aspersions on those of us who call to count the votes.  

    The closer the examination of the Ohio election, the better chance there is for future reforms.  Many respected analysts both in the media and academia have expressed the common concern that these results seem suspicious and suggestive of the possibility of manipulation.  We'd never know if there were fraud if we didn't look more closely.  We may not find out even by looking, if the (hypothetical) fraud were clever enough.  But a careful examination and its attendant publicity has two important results.  One, we get a more complete, accurate and democratic count of the vote.  Are people on here really AGAINST that??  And two, we cast a strong light on the dirty cracks in the system, cracks that we can continue to fight to fill in, to eliminate as many as we can in the years ahead.  

    What is bad for the country is to follow the Bush v. Gore Republican logic, deny democratic processes, take the lazy way out, take a stand to disenfranchise legitimate votes and worse, leave the system the way it is and go home.  There's nothing American, brave, or proud in any of that.  

  •  For those outside the US (none)
    http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=4300

    Seems like some people are watching outside of the US. Also, googled "Ohio Votes" yet or "Voter Fraud" recently?

  •  Florida Panel Approves Election Results (none)
    Florida Panel Approves Election Results

    Yahoo - 21 minutes ago - AP

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - It was a wish come true Sunday for Florida's elections officials: no cameras, few questions and a clear decision.

    Unlike four years ago, when scores of television satellite trucks and hundreds of reporters camped outside the Capitol, the state canvassing board quietly certified the results of the Nov. 2 general election, in which President Bush (news - web sites) captured the state's 27 electoral votes by a comfortable margin.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&ncid=703&e=5&u=/ap/20041115/ap_o n_el_pr/florida_election

    What's theoretical about it ??!?

    by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 04:29:22 PM PST

  •  Let's not lose sight of (none)
    the fact that the optical scan counts in general are completely skewed towards Bush.  So even if the provisionals and undervotes don't provide enough to push him over the top, there may be sufficient change when these are recounted.

    The Kerry campaign already has millions set aside specifically for cost of post-election litigation and recounts, etc.  Lawsuits have been filed and people are watching.  

    The Dems' constant pronouncements that this will not change the election are probably a backlash against our constant declaration of "fraud! theft!" which renders all of it sort of tin foil hat blathering that the media can discard.

    Fraud or no, we have no way of doing anything about it with that asshole in the WH.  First things first is to throw the bum out.  All the investigations in the world yield nothing with the right in charge of everything.  

    JK wins and shrub will have a fight on his hands to do anything for the next few weeks, like recess appointment of Satan to the Supreme Court, the dems knowing they've got the guy in January.

    The biggest obstacle is:  can we have an answer in time?  Will we be able to stop the electorals from being confirmed?  (Cheney's in charge of that process).  Do we have time and the ability to get the media on board with this, drag the electorate along, etc.?  

    Had Kerry refused to concede and made a big stink out of this, all would be lost by now, the vote counting stopped, the court battles raging, and the dems looking like whiny little brats.

    However, if the votes show up now, will he be able to attract the proper respect to the totals?  Perhaps he's hoping the numbers will be there without the notorious "recount".  What if they're not, but they're close?  At that point does he destroy his career if he doesn't press on with it, or if he DOES?

    I'm not ready to give up.  

    If he is, though, if his concession was genuine and he's moved on and he's not interested in any of this, then he is not the man I voted for, I got him pegged wrong.  And if that's true that's tough to take.

     

  •  Nice daydreams (4.00)
    This is one of those posts that gives me one of those 94 four foot shots at the buzzer feeling.  Will it go in? Well, probabaly not.  I dont know how a lawyer could look at this and say there are 50-50 odds it could happen.  (Put it like this, be happy you went to law school and instead arent setting the lines in Vegas.)

    That said, if you have the ball, you might as well shoot it, no matter how far you are from the basket.  It certainly is worth a shot.  

  •  The recount request wasn't forced yet.. or was it? (none)
    Note that a request for the recount didn't have to be filed until 5 days after the certification. Here's the link. So the recount request wasn't force by a deadline, rather it must have been forced by inside knowledge that Kerry wasn't getting the votes in the provisionals to force an automatic recount (which occurs when the vote differential is less than 1/2 per cent of the total vote count, or about 27,500 votes). (since $10/precent for 11,300 precents can be raised in 48 hrs, you wouldn't ask people to pay so far in advance for something that wasn't 100% sure, no?).

    So, I interpret the 24,600 vote differential after provisionals to be already overly optomistic. They must know already that that's not going to happen.

  •  Anybody notice (none)
    how eerily hard Bush's face looks these days?
    It seemed like possibly the way he's losing the war, but
    maybe it's the face of someone very guilty and very
    afraid.
  •  Help ? Is my table correct ? (none)
    Numbers are correct but I tried to put in gray the votes not decided yet. It does look like we may not even need recount...

    http://www.texasturkey.us/backup/Nov2/pres_xls.htm

    What's theoretical about it ??!?

    by lawnorder on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 05:31:28 PM PST

  •  Election Day voter suppression (4.00)
    There is a good article on the public hearing in Ohio sponsored by the Public Election Commission in yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer at
    http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news/1100428444286470.xml?nohio
  •  Provisional ballots won't break... (none)
    ... for Kerry as much as they did last time.  Reason is that in 2000 the rule was if you cast the ballot in the correct county it was counted.  In 2004 the rule was you had to be in the correct precinct.  So all those folks who showed up, had their names in the book, and were challenged arbitrarly by the Rethugs - those votes will count.  If you show up and your name isn't in the book, odds are you just went to the wrong precinct, and odds are your vote would have counted in 2000 but not in 2004.  Blackwell wasn't dumb.

    Now there is still grounds for appeal of the last suit over this issue to the Supreme Court - all that was done IIRC was that Stevens refused to issue a stay.  Also there is a possible appeal to the full circuit - a 3-judge panel heard it and I think that you can appeal from the 3-judge panel to a 9-judge hearing at the circuit level but IANAL.

    I would expect Kerry to only gain about 30-40% from the provisionals that Gore gained.  That's not going to be enough.  But I think that if we end up in a situtation where the ballots being counted the 2000 way leads to a Kerry victory then there will at least be a lawsuit and a supreme court having to award the election to Bush again which would really screw with his "mandate" perception.

    But what we really need and this is totally random, is for Bush to start messing with the press and doing things like not allowing unfavorable press access to the daily white house briefings and stuff, same as he's purging the career folks out of the CIA.  That's the only way that the media would turn on Bush - right now he's their sugar daddy with deregulation and whatnot - remember the right-wing corporate media is, well, corporate.  

    -Fred

    Organizing my thoughts about how to win from 2005 forward - http://fredsfred.blogspot.com

    by FredFred on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 06:48:52 PM PST

  •  questions (none)
    Where did you get the figures that 90% of the absentee ballots went to Gore last time, and that 90% of the undervotes project to go Democratic?

    And does this count the overseas military ballots? I heard those would probably favor Bush.

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 07:02:05 PM PST

  •  This has long since past silly (none)
    There are not enough provisional ballots to make the difference.

    We have lost.

    We have long since entered Vince Foster land on this stuff - and it is undermining any ability we have to make the case for election reform.  Frankly - this blog is approaching the left verion of Michael Savage.

    So troll me to hell - I have been here since September of 2002.  Perhaps it is time for me to leave

    There are issues with the election - they relate to voter supression.  Serious stuff that should be the basis of outrage.

    Instead we have this fraud non-sense.

    Do you know how asinine the country thinks we are at this point?

  •  And another thing (none)
    As a Redskins fan, I don't believe they were wrong for the first time ever in their "prediction". Heck, they even saw 2000 coming and called it correctly.
  •  I like the math (none)
    I always wanted this to poetically come down to a 537 vote victory. There is one thing I didn't see in your post. During a recount there is actually a recount of the already counted ballots, re-run through the machine as well. Not only the provisionals and the manual recount of 93K spoiled/under/over. Right?

    Sometimes (especially when people are watching and software magically counts properly) the counts change just from the ones that were legitimate votes the first time. This is providing someone has actually checked that the machines will count properly.

    In fact, in our beloved BvG, the "equal protection" stuff was negated in the eventual re-count (not real, but media's) because when the press counted they used only votes where the intent was absolutely discernable.

  •  The Incredible Shrinking Ohio Provisional Ballot (4.00)
    Update:Provisional Ballots Disqualified for Stringent Date of Birth Requirement - After the Vote. Changing the rules after the game? Why?

    I was confused by the different reports regarding the Ohio Provisional Ballot estimates. I decided to scratch my curious itch. The following is a compendium of Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's incredible shrinking ballot numbers. I believe he missed his calling as an Illusionist (insert splayed hands crossing face here), OR it took the GOP some hours to get Kenneth "on message?..." At any rate, the "disappearing ballot trick" seems to have made any possibility of a mandatory recount VANISH, or maybe ALL these press sources should vanish instead?:

    Date: 11/01/04 Blackwell Statement: "200,000"
    Washington Times - Ralph Z Hallow
    Quote: Kenneth Blackwell, "If both parties achieve the same level of turnout, it could be razor thin and we'd have as many as 200,000 provisional ballots."

    Date: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
    WKYC/NBC - quoting Blackwell

    Date: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
    CNN All Politics
    Quote: "Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell issued orders for counties by 2 p.m. Wednesday to report total numbers of provisional ballots. Counting of those ballots will not begin until Thursday, according to Blackwell's directive. He initially said the counting of provisional and absentee ballots would not begin for 11 days."

    UpDate: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Posts: "155,428"
    Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's Website
    captured 11/09/04)

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000 cast"
    CTV.ca News Staff
    Quote: "Blackwell said there could have been as many as 175,000 provisional ballots cast, but only 135,149 had been tallied with the precinct count at 99 percent."

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
    Toledo Blade - James Drew quotes Kenneth Blackwell

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
    Washington Monthly - Kevin Drum quotes Kenneth Blackwell

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "175,000"
    Cincinnati Enquirer - Staff Writer Gregory Korte

    Date:11/03/2004 Recount in Striking Distance
    daily KOS
    Quote: "if 175,000 - statewide recount position"

    Resource: Section 3515.011 of the Revised OHIO Election Code
    Ohio Election Law states Automatic Recount at .25% Margin

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "155,337"
    Houston Chronicle Kim Cobb & Gebe Martinez

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "155,000"
    LA Times / Associated Press

    Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "150,000"
    LA Times - Sam Howe Verhovek & Henry Weinstein
    Quote: "some elections officials put the number at more than 200,000"

    Date: 11/07/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "155,000"
    NY Times - Adam Liptak

    Date: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Posts: "135,149"
    Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's Website

    Background Blackwell...
    1.) Blackwell tries to reject registration forms on anything less than 80lb paper stock.
    2.) Blackwell told local election officials in a memo that provisional ballots cast by voters at the wrong precincts should not be counted, or even opened.
    Read More(on an empty stomach).

    http://www.conspiracyfact.blogspot.com

    by a lynn on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 08:57:54 PM PST

  •  Thank you, JS (none)
    Just wanted to say that.  You put a lot of time and effort in your diaries, and this one especially.  We see so many figures flying around, it's easy to get dizzy.  Keep it up!

    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

    by Revel on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 09:03:51 PM PST

  •  Stranger things have happened, and (none)
    usually they're a bigger bummer than I could have imagined--like the whole Bush nightmare for the past years and so it's hard now to imagine the reverse--

    but, we've got to accept the possibility--sometimes good things also happen.

    'tis possible.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 09:35:34 PM PST

  •  God, I hope you're right (none)
    It would feel like a miracle, but it's about time for one.
  •  Is there actually a federal statute? (none)
    Regarding voter and/or election fraud?  Or does every state have its own legislation, even for federal races?  I'd like to know exactly what, if anything needs to be found to prove fraud.  

    The general assumption seems to be that all the obvious examples of voter suppression, i.e., the numerous intimidating challenges, the long lines due to under-machined heavily democratic precincts, the concentrated effort to confuse and misdirect voters, don't quite make it - they may be 'tampering,' sure, but not outright fraud.  (And why is 'tampering' shrugged off, I'd like to know??)

    Yet the assumption that we need to prove something as concrete as computer hacking - wonderfully satisfying as that would be - seems to require relatively recently drafted laws.  Do you or anyone else know if there is an actual statute we should know about?

  •  Do we even still want Kerry to win? (none)
    Once again the networks prematurely called the election before some states were done counting, so now Bush is seen as legitimate.  Worse, he won the popular vote.  

    I think the Bush presidency is a disaster, but at the same time a lot of the damage has been done.  He'll still do more damage, no doubt, but Kerry won't be able to fix everything even if he is elected.  

    The truth is we we needed Kerry to win the popular vote and we needed to take back Congress to repudiate this whole administration and get a mandate (a real one) for change.  Instead we got defeated, or at the very best case a slim victory where Kerry has no mandate and would be seen as illegitimate (Bush was illegitimate too, but thanks to 9/11 everyone has forgotten).  

    I guess if it came down to me making the call, I'd say put Kerry in there despite his lack of mandate.  But, I'd expect him to not serve out more than a single term.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 09:40:31 PM PST

  •  Did you figure these in (or out?) as well? (3.50)
    http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1003&mod e=thread&order=0&thold=0

    The Free Press, in its November 7 article "None dare call it voter suppression or fraud," pointed to possible voting anomalies in Miami County, Ohio where nearly 19,000 new ballots appear to have been added after 100% of the precincts had reported. The additional votes were at virtually the exact same ratio as earlier Bush votes, 65.8% for earlier votes and 65.77% for the latter. Kerry's vote percentage was identical, despite the nearly 19,000 new votes at 33.92%.

    Roger Kearney of Rhombus Technologies, Ltd. told the Free Press, "The report you saw the following morning at 9 a.m. was probably either the 60 or 80 percent report." Kearney's company is the reporting company for vote results for Miami County; he claims that the problem was not with his reporting and that the additional 19,000 votes came before 100% of the precincts were in.

    As for the statistical anomaly that showed virtually identical ratios after the final 20-40% of the vote came in, Kearney offered no explanation and said he merely reports the results given to him.

  •  more data (none)
    In Lucas County (Toledo), 3124 of 6435 provisional ballots were deemed to be valid.
    (Toledo Blade)

    In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), 2/3 are being deemed valid.  (Cleveland P-D)

    In Summit County (Akron), 9/10 are being deemed valid.  (Cleveland P-D)

  •  Rove in cuffs (3.80)
    The scene that keeps my little heart just a-pumpin'  is the MSM outside the White House lawn ready to get their first pictures of big Karl being led out in handcuffs. Will it happen? Don't know. Everyone knows it SHOULD happen. And I think that's energy fueling the case for fraud. "Voting irregularities?" Dismissed as "glitches," "politics." Shoot, Mabel, someday we should do something about that. The election law, by contrast, has real teeth. You prove fraud, and people go to jail.

    My take is Kerry always knew he was up against the  Machine. His campaign's flaws amount to his not knowing how to unplug it. He (we) damned near did. I'm not convinced any Dem could have done better. But every blog on the light side has been stuck on his question: how do we unplug this goddamned Machine? Is it language? Culture? A southern governor? Just fuck 'em? No, join 'em? A needed infrastructure? A polished message? A polished messenger? A better GOTV? Some combination of all of the above - and more, no doubt.

    Remember watching "The Firm?" Near the end, the FBI agent asked Cruise's character: "How'd you come up with mail fraud?" "It isn't sexy, but it's got teeth."

    Should Kerry have done more years ago about making our elections clean? Probably. Should the Dems have? Absolutely. The only real solution, though, is federalizing the process: registration, ballots, machines, counting. That was never going to happen with the Machine in power.

    So here we are. What's our chance? Not to show voting irregularities. It's to show fraud: opportunity, motive, and means. Why? Because the perps get photoed, printed, cuffed and jailed. And as the perps go to jail, the Machine gets unplugged. This is Watergate, but much, much bigger. NOBODY -- not Dobson, Nowak, Limbaugh, Hannity, the wingnut fundamentalists -- NOBODY will tolerate proven voter fraud. And the Machine gets exposed. The extension cord between the Machine and its base shortcircuits. The bubble of denial bursts. The Red States come out of their daze, not all the way out, probably, but enough to get a word in.

    So, if you were Kerry, what would be your strategy? Cobb and Badnerik ask for a recount. The MSM laugh. What could THEY possibly gain from a recount? Another 100 votes? Don't be silly. We knew those third parties were loons. Hah! The shit does not hit the fan. The players take their places. A little media attention gathers. The game goes forward, the ballots get counted, the media attention gathers some steam. And one of two things happens: enough votes show that Kerry wins (truly possible), or fraud becomes obvious (truly possible). Either way, the Machine goes: POP!        

    If I were Kerry, and I was as concerned for the country as my own career, that's the way I'd play it. C and B, God bless 'em, are proxies. And they get, deservedly, a Standing O from a grateful nation.

    It's a scene that keeps my little heart just a-pumpin'.

  •  Oy, I'm not a pessimist! (none)
    I'm an optimist by nature, but I don't think this has anything to so with our natural outlook, one way or the other.  I would like nothing more than for Bush to get booted out of the White House.  I just think the odds are very, very slim.

    Where there irregularities and voter suppression and other dirty tricks?  You bet your ass there were.  This is nothing new.  It's been happening in this country since the first election, and probably always will happen.  But I think what we've got here is just grasping at straws.  Part of this is because I don't want to get my hopes up and have them dashed again.  I'd slip into a depression for weeks, or possibly go on a murderous rampage.

    However, if I am wrong, I'm big enough to admit it when the time comes. If it turns out that you're right, I'll buy you a steak dinner and give you a big kiss.  Tongue, no tongue-your choice.

    And if anyone can point me to something substantial that doesn't depend on our guys getting 90% of everthing, or some real evidence of widespread fraud, I'll join you in shouting it from the rooftops.

    Until then, keep fighting the good fight.  I love a Dem who's up for a good fight.  I may not agree with you on the chances of a successful outcome, but I damn well like your gumption!

    "I don't want to bring politics into this, I'm just here for the drugs." Nancy Reagan, at a "Just Say No" event, 1985

    by Jack109 on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 10:40:51 PM PST

  •  KERRY REALLY DID WIN! more statisical PROOF! (none)
    Here is a question from the infamous National Pool Exit Poll which had Kerry winning by about 4% on election day until it was "corrected" to reflect the "actual" vote tally:

    Did you vote in the presidential election in 2000?

                                   KERRY BUSH NADER  

     No, I did not vote             19     15     -1  

     Yes, for Al Gore               68      7     -1  

     Yes, for George W. Bush     8     77     -1  

     Yes, for another candidate  5      1      -1  

    Notice that both Kerry and Bush took about 9% of the other party's 2000 vote. A wash. But look at the "Did Not Vote" and the "Another Candidate" columns.  Kerry got a clear majority of the "Did Not Vote" voters and nearly all of the "Another Candidate", mostly Nader, voters.

    Hmmm.

    If we believe that the 2004 vote breakdown is correct (about 48.1% Kerry to 51.0% Bush) these numbers would imply that about 36.3% of 2004 voters voted for Gore and 43.1% for Bush.  The 2000 vote was Gore 48.4% and Bush 47.9%.  How could a 0.5% surplus of votes in 2000 turn into a 6.8% deficit in 2004 from the exact same Gore voters? What happened to the missing 7.3%?  Did the Gore voters just die or were they just too apathetic to vote this year?

    This implies that of the 118.0M Kerry & Bush voters, about 42.8M voted for Gore and 50.9M voted Bush.  The actual tally in 2000 was 51.0M Gore to 50.5M Bush.  Why did 8.2M Gore voters not bother to vote in 2004 and yet every 2000 Bush voter voted in 2004? (dead or alive, plus an extra 0.4M phantoms)

    Sounds awfully mysterious to me.....

    So what is the real tally?  Instead of weighing the Poll to the 2004 results, try to weigh it to the 2000 election:

    Let's assume for argument that the number of overall Kerry+Bush voters is correct, 118M, and that the overall number of Gore+Bush voters re-voting in 2004 is 93.7M as calculated above. Then about 92.3% of the Gore+Bush voters voted again in 2004. Let's also assume that both sides re-voted at the same 92.3%.

    Let's redo the numbers: The 51.0M Gore votes reduces to 47.1M in 2004, 42.7M for Kerry and 4.4M for Bush. The 50.5M Bush votes reduces to 46.6M, 4.4M for Kerry and 42.2M for Bush.  If 42.7M + 4.4M votes equals 76% of Kerry's total votes, then his total should be about 62M.  If 4.4M + 42.2M equals 84% of Bush's votes, then his total should be about 56M.

    62M Kerry to 56M Bush (52%-47%) Woohoo!

    ---

    Now if we instead take the Kerry vote as the constant rather than the Total vote, then the vote works out to 57.3M Kerry to 51.8M Bush.  So either some 4.7M Kerry votes could have magically switched to Bush or maybe Bush just created an extra 9 million votes!  

    Dick Morris says (or used to say) that exit polls have a consistent history of extreme accuracy. So how did the Rove manage to turn a 6M vote loss into a 3M vote victory?

    I think we are on to the biggest scandal in US history. I can't wait to see the "Boy Genius" behind bars and the Chimpster booted out in disgrace!

    The clues are all in the Stats.  Also check out the Exit Polls on the last-minute undecideds in FL & OH.  They DID overwhelmingly favor Kerry.

  •  90% and 80%? (none)
    Do you have any link of any kind saying that 90% of provisional ballots have gone to Kerry in any other state?  Or that 80% of undervotes go to demcorats?  THis number is the basis of your entire post and as far as I can tell you are basing it on urban legend that has become fact here on Dkos.
  •  appreciate the work (none)
    I'm more of a pessimist than you, but I appreciate seeing your effort in working out the details and math in one place.

    And who can resist a diary with "...Exciting New Math Calculations!" in the title?

  •  Why (none)
    does everyone forget about the absentee ballots? They will be counted at the same time as the provisionals. And the Sec of State Ohio can't even say how many there are.
  •  What about the OVERvotes (none)
    Remember, had Gore chosen to focus on the overvotes, he would have won handily:

    http://slate.msn.com/?id=2058530

  •  Consent of the governed (4.00)
    Government derives its authority in principle from the consent of the governed. We give our consent with our vote. Whatever the outcome, all the votes need to be counted, especially where there is any possibility, slim to significant, that the results could shift.

    More is at stake than deficits, privatizing social security and the SupCt for the next generation--the US is occupying Iraq, and people there are dying for choices our government is making, all in our name. America and the world need to know whether our country has truly consented to the current foreign policy and what may be coming. Count all the votes.

  •  well... (none)
    I just think that its interesting your "worst case scenario" is likely to come out far more pro-kerry than what is actually going to happen.  We will have an imaginary dollar on it, but I really don't think the actual numbers are going to come in nearly so beneficial to Kerry as your worst case scenario.  I think its more likely that just 60% of provisionals get counted and they go to Kerry 66-33.  That 50% of the undervotes get counted and they also go 66-33 for Kerry.  You and I can't think of any possible reason to not vote in the presidential election, but in every election no matter what method of counting is used, a portion of people simply do not select a president.  Frankly I think my numbers are a little generous for Kerry compared to what will actually be counted, but I really think your "worst case scenaio" is off base.  But fortunately we will see very soon and this guessing won't be necessary.

    But don't let my comments say that I think poorly of what you have done here.  THere was a needed discussion on this issue and you did a great job.  I just think you are basing your guesses on what you want to have happen rather than what is likely.

  •  Please let it be so!!! (none)
    Four more years of Bushco is more than I can take.
  •  real numbers (none)
    are apparently now avaiable; see this diary:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/15/10150/018

    And it looks more like 50% or less of the provisionals are being counted in Toledo.

  •  more realistic numbers (none)
    First, note that I am 100% in favor of an Ohio audit.  It is essential.

    Here are some slightly more realistic numbers, I think.

    Of 155,000 provisionals, assume 50% get counted and of those 50%, 80% go for Kerry and 20% for Bush.  That creates 62,000 votes for Kerry and 15,500 votes for Bush; for a net benefit to Kerry of 46,500 votes.

    Of 93,000 undervotes, assume 80% get counted and of those 80% go for Kerry.  That creates 59,520 votes for Kerry and 14,880 votes for Bush; a net benefit to Kerry of 44,640 votes.

    Total net benefit is:  91,140, which is subtracted from the current margin of (aprox.) 132,000; meaning he still has a deficit of 40,860.

    It seems like a lot to make up in errors, etc.

    But -- the recount must happen because we may very well find some big-ticket, across-the-state problems that make up the tens of thousands of votes and, anywa,

    democracy means to count every vote.  So let's count every vote.

  •  Apparently (none)
    Kerry is winning the military vote, even in Austin Texas . . . So that could also be a factor here

    But he has clearly taken the stance that it's time to move on.

    There is likely to be some change when they do a hand count of the paper ballots because as we know, the optical scan counts are screwed up.

    The only way to know is when the counting is done.

  •  keep it up (none)
    Forget the trolls and the pessimists... This is NOT OVER!  Do I really think it will change any of the election 'results'? NO. Is that the point of this exercise- NO- the point is to find the 'fraud, under/overvotes, polling inconsistancies' and so on.  There were MAJOR problems with this election and I, for one, believe they require a second look at the results.  Why?
    SO WE NEVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN.

    Another proud member of the Reality-Based Community

    by saint on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 09:17:51 AM PST

  •  This diary (none)

    Next stop: Virginia 2005

    by DCDemocrat on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 11:47:08 AM PST

  •  Hey, jsmd? (none)
    Could you go please go over here

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/15/13552/626

    and see if you can answer some of these questions on Ohio election law for them? I don't know anything about it, but I know you's a lawyer, so, wouldja? If you've read anything about Ohio election law that is? :)

    Thanks,
    PS

  •  The source of 93,000 votes ? (none)
    93,136 EXTRA Votes Found In ONE Ohio County

    http://uniformityville_horror.blogspot.com/2004/11/93136-extra-votes-found-in-one-ohio.html

    93,136 EXTRA Votes Found In ONE Ohio County
    From Teed Rockwell - Philosophy Department - Sonoma State University
    11-19-4

    You may have seen the associated press story about the precinct in Cuyahoga county that had less than 1,000 voters, and gave Bush almost 4,000 extra votes. But that turns out to be only the tip of a very ugly iceberg. The evidence discovered by some remarkably careful sleuthing would convince any reasonable court to invalidate the entire Ohio election.

    In last Tuesday's election, 29 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, reported votes cast IN EXCESS of the number of registered voters - at least 93,136 extra votes total. And the numbers are right there on the official Cuyahoga County
    Board of Elections website:

    The Republicans are so BUSTED.
    http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/BOE/results/c...esults1.htm#top


    The BAD news
    An error in the calculations
    It seems that the author hasn't taken into account the abbreviations used at the County Board of Elections site that was referred to.. for example  that Bay  Village has 13,710 registered voters, but 18,663 ballots were cast. According to the information at the CBE site it appears that the words "Bay Village" have been abbreviated.

    REGISTERED VOTERS - BAY VILLAGE 13710
    REGISTERED VOTERS - BYVL WD1 3602
    REGISTERED VOTERS - BYVL WD2 3381
    REGISTERED VOTERS - BYVL WD3 3122
    REGISTERED VOTERS - BYVL WD4 3605

    When totaled, the Bay Village registered voters..  more than exceed the number of ballots cast. (27,420 registered voters)


    The GOOD News
    I redid the calculations using official ohio numbers for each precint and the total of "suspicious" overvotes is around 55,000 votes

    Those 55,000 votes can be explained by voters voting away from their precinct, BUT we all know that was one of the main reasons voters were turned away... Something smells here!

    See it here
    http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/index.php?showtopic=5720&st=0&p=52695&#entry52695

    Excel table here
    http://www.texasturkey.us/backup/Nov2/cuyahog.xls

    U.S.S Fundie Empire - (die)Boldly going where no one has gone before... in the last 500 years

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:36:41 PM PST

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