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I have said several times on DKos that I saw fraud on election day. I have been asked by a fellow poster--a courteous skeptic--to tell that story.

This is the story of what happened to me on Election Day, Nov. 2, 2004, in Clay County, FL.

Understanding some of what happened requires a bit of background information. At the time of the election, I had been living in Clay County for just over a year.
Orange Park, where I was, is just south of Jacksonville, FL, which, for those who don't know, is in the far northeastern corner of the state. It is very close to Georgia, and for those who think Florida is not the South, well, you should visit there and reconsider your position. Clay is the most Republican county in the state, as far as election performance goes. Nevertheless, it was still easier to live there than in Duval County (Jacksonville), for me at least, because there was a lot less overt hostility toward people of different views. Some of the old rural idea that you let your neighbors alone still pertained. (If I were African-American or Latina, this might not have held true. I don't know.)

More below the fold...

It is important that I hadn't been living there for long. If I'd lived there for twenty years, this might have been a very different story.

I had lived in Duval County, home of the 27,000 thrown-away votes from primarily black precincts, in 2000, and had been part of an attempt to organize against that locally once it happened. So, naturally, in 2004 I was raring to go be a poll watcher. But I also felt it was less likely that there would be fraud where I was, because, I reasoned, why would John Ellis Bush need to steal votes from the most Republican county in his state? Around the time of early voting, word came back from some Democrats who had lived a long time in the county (there were some, and they really kept their heads down) that they did not trust the Supervisor of Elections. But again, I thought, why would the governor need to rig this county? And I'd met her, and she seemed fine to me.

So I trained for poll watching feeling proud of the work I was going to do, but also not anticipating any crisis where I was. After all, it wasn't Dade County (Miami) or Palm Beach. I thought we were flying under the radar. The county mostly used optical scan machines, and the word was that we were to stay with the paper ballots at all costs. This ended up being important.

I was paired with my friend Kate, who is diabetic, and only has sight in one eye. Her sight was good enough for the detailed work of watching polls, but not good enough for night driving--another detail that ended up mattering a lot. She watched for the party, and I watched for our Congressional candidate, Dave Bruderly. There was a woman watching for the Republican party at the table with us, who was perfectly polite and seemed bemused by the amount of actual work we were doing--because we weren't just there to watch for "irregularities." We were checking off "our" voters as they came in, and phoning back to HQ to let our workers know who hadn't yet voted, so that they could call them and offer them rides to the polls. This meant that we had to listen for people's names, but I preferred not to hover behind the poll workers with a clipboard marking things off--I felt it might seem a bit off-putting to the voters. So we sat behind at a table and kept our ears pricked.

The clerk of the precinct was one of the most honorable men I had ever seen, if his handling of his duties was any indication. He had "former military" written all over him, and was probably navy, because the bulk of the military in that county was. He worked so hard trying to get people their voting rights, which was not always easy, because Florida's laws are very picky about where you vote, and people were getting bad information somewhere. Some people came to us having already been to two or three precincts; some had been sent to the wrong county to vote; some did not speak English as a native language and were first-time voters and had to deal with what seemed, as time wore on, to be a constant run-around. The clerk got on the phone, tried to see if people could vote with us, and, if not, did his best to find out where they actually needed to be. He spent a lot of time, and treated everyone with respect. A good man. That night, I saw the "W" on his car, and thought: "George Bush doesn't deserve him."

Everything was fine until the early afternoon, when a man in his late twenties or early thirties came in. He had a name tag on, like ours, but it was turned facing his chest. One of my first mistakes of many was not demanding that he turn it around. But he sat down at our table, and his rather obnoxious attitude, as well as some actions he took, made me assume that he was my opposite number--a poll watcher for a Republican candidate, probably Cliff Stearns, our incumbent Congressman.

One of the first things he did was procure an electric pencil sharpener and some pencils, and start sharpening them at the table, making it impossible for us to hear names. Second mistake:  I should have called him on this. But I thought, this is too trivial for me to make a fuss here and now; I'm on hostile territory and I should save my fussing for something serious--if it comes up. So I merely got up and stood behind the poll workers. After a while, he finished with the pencils. The next obnoxious thing he did was make comments about my friend as she walked across the room. Being diabetic, she was also overweight, and he felt the need to comment on this. This really cheesed me, and I guess he saw that, because he stopped, and a few minutes later, said "I've got to go call my boss." He took out his cell phone and stepped outside.

After a few minutes, he came back and sat down. A few minutes after that, the phone in the church kitchen began to ring. This was the only phone--the only landline--at the polling place. After a few rings, he said, "I'll get it," and walked into the kitchen. I heard him pick up the phone and talk, but couldn't hear what was said. He hung up and came back to the table. A little after 3:00 p.m., the kitchen phone began to ring again. The guy said "I'll get it" again, and went into the kitchen. I heard the phone cut off in mid-ring, but didn't hear his voice. After a minute, he came back to the table.

No one that I saw went into the kitchen alone after that point.

At 7:00 p.m., when the polls closed, the kitchen phone did not work. The poll workers were unable to modem their results in to the Supervisor of Elections.

They began discussing what to do. I was shocked to see the man who had been in the kitchen with the phone bending over the open voting machine. It was only then that I found out that he was--at least purportedly--a voting machine technician rather than a poll watcher.

An argument ensued between the technician and the clerk of the precinct. The tech wanted to take the memory card from the machine immediately, take it down to the Supervisor of Elections' office, and get the information off of it. The clerk said, "That might be right from a technical standpoint, but it's not right from an Election Boards standpoint." (I don't know the law in other states, but in Florida, no one other than the clerk of the precinct is supposed to be alone with that data until it reaches the SOE.) The clerk would not allow him to take the card. Both the clerk and the tech got on their cell phones to the Supervisor of Elections' office, trying to get authorization for their positions. Meanwhile, I got on the phone to HQ trying to find out what to do, because we had not prepared for a situation such as this--our default mode was, stay with the paper ballots, but the situation seemed very fishy, and I didn't like the idea of letting the guy just walk away with the card. I left Kate to monitor the situation while I called.

According to Kate, the clerk had trouble getting through to someone of sufficient authority to give him an answer--or, at least, the technician reached someone much more quickly than he did. The tech apparently got to the SOE herself. He handed the cell phone to the clerk. Apparently, the SOE ordered him to release the card to the tech. I'm aware that neither I nor Kate could testify to what was said on the other ends of those conversations, but the results make the contents of the conversations seem pretty certain. (Also, if anyone wants Kate's first-hand account of these events, I could probably get it for you, depending on how good her sight currently is, and whether she's able to type it out again.)

When I got back in, having reached someone at HQ who was going to get in touch with our Vice-Chair and get back to me, the tech and a poll worker were wrapping the memory card in bubble wrap. The tech put the card under his arm and turned toward the door. I ran to the clerk and said, "Is he taking the memory card?" The clerk pressed his lips together, closed his eyes, and nodded.

I burst out the door after him. I couldn't get in touch with HQ in time to get directions. I was left to my own initiative, and blew it good. Because I knew we were not supposed to leave the paper votes, and I knew the paper votes were going to be leaving the polling place shortly, and Kate, being night-blind, could not drive after them as we were supposed to. Only I could do that, and I couldn't both do that and drive after the tech who was walking away with the memory card.

As I ran after him, unsure what to do, many things ran quickly through my mind.

I could go to the press.  No, the local press was owned by a neoconservative from Georgia, sort of a mini-Rupert Murdoch. No help there.

The Supervisor of Elections was obviously out of the question. No help there.

I could go to the cops. This would have been the best bet. Except that it was an evangelical Republican county in the South, the cops were mostly Republicans, and I was working for the Democrats. The only thing that would have made going to the cops work--possibly--is if I had been a long-term resident. If I'd had a personal connection with one or more people at the Sheriff's office. Then I might have had a chance of getting them to listen to my side. But as it was, I was a liberal girl associated with the Democratic party, and I'd lived in the county for only a year. In a county where Democrats hide their party affiliation, and no Democrat had run for local office in ten years.

No help there.

He was walking away, and he was smirking.

I realized that the only way to stop him was physically.

Everything slowed down. Every emotion I was feeling went away. I realized that, although I'd never been in a fight in my life, I could stop him. All I had to do was take him by surprise, and not care what happened to me. I saw clearly exactly what I had to do. With no emotion at all. Except that I realized I wanted to do it.

Realizing that might have been the most horrible thing to happen to me on election night. But I didn't feel that then. I didn't feel anything, except an almost physical `pull' toward the guy, toward doing what I could clearly see would stop him. I fought the pull, even though I didn't know what the right thing to do was. There was no right thing to do. Seriously injure, maybe kill a guy--not right. Stand and watch him carry away the votes I'd sworn to protect--not right.

I thought, "He's carrying my country away under his arm. Aren't we supposed to defend the Republic?" But I fought against the pull. And won. I guess. I guess it was a victory.

I didn't realize Kate had burst out the door right behind me. She had seen the look on my face, and knew what it meant, and had come out to stop me if necessary. But it wasn't necessary.

It's hard to write this. There's a `black hole' feeling that comes back over me. Cold beyond cold.  Like falling down a well into icy water and not being able to get purchase to get out. Sometimes I think a piece of me froze back there and never thawed.

My Vice-Chair called me back. I told her the guy was gone. She said, get his name. I went back inside, and asked the clerk, "Do you know that guy's name?"

He bristled. "I know who he works for. I know who I was talking to on the phone." I said, "I'm sorry, but I'm here to witness any irregularities." He said, "The irregularity is that the phone didn't work." He wouldn't give me his name.

I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, but his response seemed very much that of a military man:  he stood up for what he thought was right, until his superior ordered him to do something else; he obeyed that order, letting me know--non-verbally--that he thought it was wrong. But he would not admit in words that something was wrong. Not once his superior had given him an order. Not to a subordinate, or to someone outside the chain of command, and as a poll watcher in his precinct, I was--in an odd way--both.

We followed the paper ballots to the supervisor of elections' office. We wrote down our reports of what we saw. (Later I found out that our incompetent DEC chair threw them out, along with all the other paperwork from the election. Including voter file information that we had spent weeks assembling by knocking on doors.)At that point, I still had hope. I thought, Florida's probably screwed, but the rest of the country will bail us out. I still believed we would win.

I went home and spent a long time in the shower.

I never knew--in my gut, not my head--that I was capable of killing someone till that night.

Later, when I found out the election wasn't going well, it was like being swallowed in a black hole. That feeling was familiar to me from 2000. But this time it was worse. As the three of us in my household clung to each other on my bed, the word that kept repeating in my head was "Gethsemane."

As an academic, I know what constitutes proof. I know that this story doesn't. If it did, I would be telling it to a judge or a U.N. observer or the Carter Center or someone official, not putting it on DKos. But I also know what constitutes enough evidence to warrant investigation. And this qualifies.

As someone who values logic, I see no reason--have never seen any reason--why John Ellis Bush, who appoints the Secretary of State that oversees FL elections, who can appoint Supervisors of Elections and remove them, who therefore is capable of fixing the vote in Florida, who we know rigged the vote for his brother four years before, would just decide to stop fixing the vote and let his brother take his chances. And allow the people of Florida a free choice.

As a human being who sat in that precinct and saw these events, I have no doubt whatsoever that fraud happened in that precinct in that county, and that the Supervisor of Elections was either willingly complicit in it or getting her arm twisted until she cooperated. That is my opinion, based on the evidence, and it is firm. It is not an accusation, because an accusation requires proof, and to get proof, an investigation of these events was needed. It never happened.

Originally posted to Nobby on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:13 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am stunned by your story. (none)
    Is this story true?

    What was the outcome in terms of Dem votes, Repub votes, and so forth?  Do you have any comparitive counts?  Dems showing up, dem votes recorded, etc?

    •  I don't have the kind of info (4.00)
      That's really needed--I was too small a worker bee. I mean, you know, I was the grunt who knocks on doors.

      I only know that we got, in recorded votes, about 3,000 more votes than Kerry asked us for. Just under 19,000 for Kerry from that county. Which is really good, because the county is over 2/3 Republican. Who knows how many we actually got.

      Maybe that's why they stole from that county--maybe we were doing too good a job.

      I probably should have investigated this stuff myself. But my DEC split in half after the election, and I followed the Vice-Chair and others into a grassroots organization, which unfortunately wouldn't have authority to ask the Supervisor of Elections for information. Even if somehow they could, I don't think info from her would be trustworthy.

      And, truth be told, I went into a kind of despair about FL politics afterwards. I kept trying to imagine a way out of the Jeb box--how to get him out of there when he counts the votes? Or, rather, since we have term limits, how to keep his chosen successor out when Jeb's counting the votes?

      I decided I needed to get out of FL, find a place of strength and fight from there. I came to MD, and am still trying to figure out what hill, metaphorically speaking, I want to stand on, where my allies are, and how to fight.

        •  oops, above is for 2000, here's 2004 (4.00)
          Couldn't find the County stats though, maybe it's there somewhere... Link

          "What noble cause did they die for, Mr. President?"

          by BlueInARedState on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:33:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks (4.00)
            I found the 2000 data interesting, though.

            It's funny, my home county was on the first page, because it starts with A--Alachua, the only blue county in north Florida, where I grew up. I love Gainesville.

          •  I see the data on how many voted for Bush/Kerry (4.00)
            And percentages. But the data we really need, I guess, is how that compares to number of Dems/Repubs who showed up. Exit polls would help too--how people said they voted. But nobody was doing that, at least not in my precinct.

            A precinct by precinct breakdown would be great too. I wonder if the Florida Democratic Party--at the state level--could ask for such data?

            They'd probably be lied to, though. Just like in Duval County in 2000, when the head of the DEC there asked on Election Night how many votes were being thrown away, and was told by the Duval SOE--two or three hundred.

            Actually it was 27,000. With a paper trail, you can tell that--I wonder what happened to the paper votes in that optical scan machine in Clay, 2004?

            •  How did the numbers compare to 2002 (4.00)
              In particular, the 2002 Gov's race.

              What I saw in Tampa was three things:
              *Huge turnout in the African-American Community
              *Huge turnout in the White community (my wife waited 3 hours to vote in Tampa)
              *Many more bumper stickers for Bush in '04 versus '00

              I thought we were going to win Florida - and I wrote a diary about it here:
              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              I was shocked we lost the state by five.  

              I do not believe fraud (ie stealing votes) occured in Florida.  The number of people required to carry out a conspiracy would have been too large to make it feasible.  In retrospect the rise in Bush activity is more obvious.  In Tampa before the election there were far more Bush than Kerry bumper stickers.

              Was there voter supression? There were surely attempts at it.  But the Kerry people faught them off effectively.  Bush backed off using the felons list as he had in 2000, in part because the party here made an issue of it.  Here though, I also carry disappointment.  The lawsuit that forced Florida to disclose the list early was brought by the ACLU on behalf of the Greens.  The Democratic Party was not a party in that suit.

              I voted in the most heavily african american precinct in Tampa - and there were three Kerry lawyers there watching the count.  They were agressive - as I personally witnessed.

              What bothered me in the end, though, is the bill of goods the state was sold on the machines.  The wait to vote in '04 was far greater then in '00 for a simple reason: they are expensive.  Whatever one thought of the push pins, it was very easy to set-up a new voting station.

              But the PC's were expensive, and the result of their use was extended wait times.  Of course, it is the poor who don't have the time to wait.

              •  This meme must die (4.00)
                The number of people required to carry out a conspiracy would have been too large to make it feasible.

                Why does this incorrect meme refuse to die?

                How many insiders are really needed? It's already been proven that one person can alter a single memory card and that one memory card, once uploaded, will without trace alter the total tabulation.

                But for arguments sake lets say it takes a dozen people. No, let's say it takes a hundred. How many people are sold, 110%, into the Cult of Bush? How difficult would it be for Rove to find 100 vetted, quazi-freeper, ex-college Republican, evangelical, Roger Stone wannabees doing "God's work" who would give their right nut to be a part of a conspiracy to guarentee Republican political control and at the same time insure themselves a lucrative future as a "made man" in the "family?"

                So how many of these people would be needed before  it becomes "unfeasible" to steal an election.

                The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing. And Diebold tells us who won.

                by Thumb on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:26:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  wow - did you say (4.00)
              that you were working in duval in 2000?

              where this happenned?

              Mike Langton, chairman of the northeast
              Florida region for the Gore campaign, spent
              hours with Stafford, a white Republican. "I
              asked John Stafford how many under- and
              overvotes there were, and he said, `Oh, just
              a few,'" recalls Langton. Then, shortly after
              the deadline to ask for a recount had passed,
              Stafford revealed that the number of overvotes
              was actually 21,000

              that vanity fair article was an astoundingly good peice of reporting.

              bless you for still walking around. Being through this twice is like surviving multiple deaths, or multiple rapes....

              -6.13,-6.33 America's Security is not for sale

              by biscobosco on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:13:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  interesting - compare say senate w (none)
            presidential races and note purported "ticket-splitting"  
            pres splits bush 62,078 vs kerry 18,971 or 76% vs 23% but the senate is
            martinez (r) 58,131 vs Castor 20,831 or 72% vs 26%.

            hark! hark! the Clark!!

            by Errol on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:06:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Compare that (none)
              to the vote splitting on the 00 President and Senate races.  Nelson ran about 3 points ahead of Bush statewide.  That is about the same margin that Castor ran ahead of Kerry by:  Kerry lost by 5 and she lost by 1.
              •  I couldn't find senate race broken down (none)
                by county in the '00 data - i didn't look past that link though, because this computer is slow.  but clay county in '00 had 41,736 for Bush and 14,632 Gore. (before recount, which changed  about 10 votes) that means  Kerry got  4,339 more votes than Gore, but Bush picked up 20.342   twenty thousand!!!??? a total of 24 thousand new voters? or were there thousands of spoiled ballots in '00? WTF??

                hark! hark! the Clark!!

                by Errol on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:30:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Welcome to MD! (4.00)
        I lived in Florida -- Palm Beach to be exact -- for twenty years, and then I moved here in 1998. And although it costs twice as much to live here, I feel at home among liberals. I lament every hour about what it happening 12 miles down the road, but at the same time, of all the places in the country to live, Montgomery Couny MD is probably the best one can do when one is progressive.

        Having said that, this state uses Diebold in every precinct and Erlich has no confidence in the machines, and there's not enough time to change the system. Which makes me want to pull my hair out.

        But welcome anyway!

        "I did NOT have sex with that lobbyist!"

        by donailin on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:04:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is more we can do (none)
          I live in Montgomery County too and here is a diary posted the other day:

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          I plan on contacting my rep and writing, calling as much as possible.  I have passed on this info to colleagues and family members as well.

          "The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart." Dorothy Day -6.25 -5.85

          by pmob5977 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:13:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  hello, guys (4.00)
            I also live in Montgomery County--Silver Spring.

            Maybe we should have a coffee.

            •  silver spring here too (4.00)
              Leisure World Starbucks?

               I'm there twenty times a week anyway. :-)

              My email is in my profile.

              As an aside, Nobby, your diary prompted me to look up the entries at DU on November 3 2004. That is the the night I will never forget as long as I live. It is up there with 911. It's the night I learned how they stole the election. Thread after thread after link after link of number crunching, poll analyzing data that demonstrated how improbable it was that Kerry could win according to exit polls and lose according to the tally -- but only in the swing states.

              I spent 6 hours sitting at the computer in shock and awe and then depression. It is the night I realized that the future of my children was compromised. It's the night I realized that we were closer to fascism than I ever could have imagined. It is the night I literally realized that I was fool to believe that Bush/Rove would lie about the war, loot the national treasure, but run a clean election? Can anyone honestly believe after all we've seen in the past five years that this group of thugs would commit every crime in the book and yet take their chances on fair and honest elections?

              Only a FOOL would believe that.

              But take heart, Nobby. Everyone is slowly awakening.We will pay dearly, but the truth will out.

              "I did NOT have sex with that lobbyist!"

              by donailin on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:19:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Liz Bobo's got your back (none)
          My MD rep, Liz Bobo, has sponsored a bill to use Opti-Scan in the next election.  Support her effort to get a simpler, safer system in place by November.

          Here's the details.

          Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken

          by captainlaser on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:28:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  hey, good for her (4.00)
            although the fraud I witnessed involved an optical scan machine, it's still better than Diebold.

            With Diebold fraud, I'd probably never have known there was fraud and would have no story to tell.

          •  The Opti-Scan Machines only work IF (4.00)
            they keep the paper ballots.  There were a lot of counties that were directed to destroy the paper ballots withing 24 hours of the elections.  So make sure the paper trail is preserved for a good long time or Opti-Scan is about as useful.
            •  If counties were directed to destroy the ballots (none)
              A crime was committed. In federal elections, the law requires keeping the records, especially the ballots, for 22 months.
              •  No it is a county / state question. (4.00)
                There is no law preventing them from destroying the paper ballots if they recognize the electronic record as the official record.

                Read this story.  The paper ballots even in this precinct were tossed:

                We followed the paper ballots to the supervisor of elections' office. We wrote down our reports of what we saw. (Later I found out that our incompetent DEC chair threw them out, along with all the other paperwork from the election. Including voter file information that we had spent weeks assembling by knocking on doors.)

                That is what I call the Opti-Scan SCAM - people think their ballot is backed up on paper, but the paper ballots are destroyed because the law is written to recognize the electronic count not the paper original and thus they aren't obligated to keep the paper record.

                •  our DEC chair (none)
                  didn't destroy the ballots--couldn't have if he wanted to, and I doubt he would have wanted to--he's incompetent and about as useful in political work as a speed bump is useful to a truck, but he's not a ballot-shredder.

                  He destroyed the reports we made and all the paperwork the DEC had from that election.

                  The SOE was the one who would have had control of the paper ballots. What she did, I have no idea, but I bet the ballots are gone.

                •  I see that (none)
                  the grammar of my sentence made it easy to misunderstand.

                  the referent of "threw them all out" was our reports, not the ballots.

                •  this is a really good point (none)
                  the paper ballots are destroyed because the law is written to recognize the electronic count not the paper original

                  I encourage everyone who cares to support:
                  paper ballots as ballot of record

                  that is my beef with the verifiedvoting.org folks. from what little I know of them, they are a reputable organization. but they support "paper audit trail" not paper ballot.  

                  -6.13,-6.33 America's Security is not for sale

                  by biscobosco on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 02:32:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The smoking phone!!? (4.00)
        There's an obvious way to substantiate the possibility of irregularities.   Just subpoena the phone company's records for the landline at the polling place and see what numbers (and who they're registered to) were called by or called to the polling place during the time period in question on election day.  This info should still be available.  Might tirn up something VERY interesting.   I hope some appropriate organization with a legal staff gets in touch with Nobby to follow up on this.
      •  I can feel your (4.00)
         anguish over this incident, especially when you describe how you fought against the primal urge to do harm to the person stealing your country.

        I can also understand why you fealt the need to resist that instinctive reaction:  What you suspected of occurring doesn't happen in our country..we aren't the third world for Gods' sake!

        But now you, and the rest of us know that it can and does.

        Sometimes you don't get the luxury of picking the ground on which you fight, not when the fight has come to you.  When that happens all you can do is fight with the ferocity and fervor of one defending your child; since this nation, this republic is all of our child.

        The next election is the last stand people, we can not have another one that is hinky, and odds are pretty good that it might be.  So be prepared, we all may need to exercise the last sovereign right of a free people.

        •  Perhaps numbers (4.00)
          would insure that this type of thing does not happen without consequences.
          What are our legal rights? Are we restricted from staying on the outskirts of polling places?
          Would a few Democrats, notified by cell phone of this type of irregularity, be legally able to stop or slow a thug like the one you describe?
          In this Republican neck of the woods, GOPers have been handling ballots and not allowing Democratic observers into the proceedings.
          That's been happening for many years.
          •  or..... (none)
            get his name or get a picture of his license plate.
            •  no...no.. (none)
              that presumes that anything will come of it after the elections are a done deal...

              better to just break the guys knees and call for back up.

              Elections are like bells.. they can not be unrung

              Alright, maybe not break the knees per se, but do not let them leave without one of our guys riding along to make sure nothing hinky is going on.

          •  numbers are not (none)
            enough, as you can't proove anything after the ballots are counted!

            All you are left with is a whole lot of people wandering around the internet shellshocked and being labeled tinhat wearers when they speak out.

            It is better to be prepared to do what the people of Ukraine were capable of and perhaps we are no longer; risk our necks, our very lives if need be to redeem the republic.

            That is really where the numbers will matter.

      •  You've found a boatload of allies (4.00)
        right here.  The revolution starts here, Nobby, with you and me and the other righteously outraged progressives and patriots.
      •  Regarding Election Fraud (none)
        Nobby

        I read your post regarding election tampering.  This administration is sinister. I want to share what happened to me under direction of the FBI in Atlanta, Georgia.  Perhaps these red states are notorious for violation civil and human rights!

        Deborah Lloyd
        Seattle, Washington
        404-354-0172 (cell)
        deb98126@yahoo.com

        ILLEGAL HOSPITALIZATION AND DETAINMENT OF AN INNOCENT CITIZEN BY THE FBI IN SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA

        By Deborah Lloyd
         February 25, 2006

        There has been much media coverage of the outsourcing of human rights violations by the Bush administration.  Most of this is regarding alleged "secret CIA prisons" in Romania, Poland and several Middle-Eastern countries.  In addition, coverage has included the abuses of private security contractors in Iraq, many of which are owned and operated by former Special Forces military veterans and others in the United States defense community.  However, based on my personal experience, I assert that the outsourcing of human rights violations is happening in the United States, using publicly traded companies.  One of these companies is Peachford Behavioral Healthcare System of Sandy Springs, Georgia.  A psychiatric hospital, it is owned and operated by Universal Health Services of Pennsylvania, one of the third largest hospital management companies in the United States.

        As many are aware, the Soviet Union used psychiatric hospitalization to detain political dissenters. A few years ago, there were rumors that Senator Bill Frist wanted the American Psychiatry Association to classify "political paranoia" of the Republican Party as a mental illness.  At this point in time, this is conjecture.  However, many independent journalists have deduced that the purpose of George Bush's New Freedom Initiative is to screen the entire population for mental illness (Bush Wants to Be Your Shrink, Retrieved February 26, 2006 from http://www.interventionmag.com).  Based on my personal experience, I contend that another connection between the Bush Administration and the private mental healthcare industry is to illegally hospitalize, detain and thus discredit citizens who are either victims of FBI human rights violations or have witnessed illegal FBI activities.

        I want to recount what happened to me in the hope that if anyone else has had a similar experience, they will come forward.  Also, I am seeking support from any human rights attorneys or activists who may be able to advise me as to how to pursue justice.  I know you may read the following account and decide that compared to the  human rights violations, suffering and genocide of people all over the world, my experience was minor.  I wasn't beaten or physically tortured.  I wasn't deported and my family wasn't murdered.  I have read accounts of human rights atrocities that occur around the world, and I admit, I have read them with horror, yet remained inactive in the human rights struggle.  I realize that in some ways, this is complicity.  However, I must come forward. I have been suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress over what happened.  I don't eat or sleep well.  Quite simply, I cannot go on like this! Here is the true account of events that led to my kidnapping, forcible hospitalization, forced sedation, and psychological torture under direction of the FBI in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

        HOSPITALIZATION

        On August 4, 2004, under direction of the FBI, I was kidnapped and forcibly hospitalized at Peachford Behavioral Hospital in Atlanta.  FBI agents had contacted an attending physician, Dr. A. and several other staff at the hospital prior to my hospitalization. I observed the stressful, worrisome looks from the Dr. and staff. When I came onto the unit, one nurse commented "I'm sick of this!"  This leads me to believe that my hospitalization was not the first of this kind.   I had been under FBI surveillance for several months   prior to this. I imagine agents told hospital staff I was there to be watched and were under suspicion of terrorism.  This was untrue.  The FBI had watched me for several months and they knew I wasn't involved in anything. Rather, my kidnapping and hospitalization was part of a cover-up by the FBI because of my knowledge of their activities.    Several unfortunate events preceded my hospitalization and are as follows.

        RELOCATION

        In August of 2003, I had the misfortune of moving into an apartment complex in Georgia where there is a large, affluent Jewish population, Sandy Springs.  I have nothing against Jewish people, but wish I never moved there for several reasons.  In 1997, there was a women's health clinic bombing at the Northside Family Services clinic, just down the street from the apartment complex I would move into. In response to this and events of 9-11, the Georgia General Assembly passed a senate bill, "The Terrorism Prevention Act of 2003" that increased funding for law enforcement and intelligence officers in "high-risk" areas of the state.  Apparently the Sandy Springs area was high risk because of the prior bombing, and its large Jewish community.  

        On August 1, 2003 I had the misfortune of moving into an apartment that was right next door to a group of undercover FBI agents, as I would later discover.  We shared a common wall in my bedroom and for the most part, they were quiet, however I heard them on several occasions, but it would be almost a year before I realized what was going on in my apartment building.

        My bad luck continued because across the hall from me was a Pakistani man named Farzan. Farzan was a good man who never hurt anyone. I befriended Farzan and in April of 2004 he was forced to leave the country out of fear. Later, I found out that those agents were using Farzan for his language skills to bait potential terrorists to the apartment building using the internet.  Farzan gave me several hints as to what was happening and later I would witness the results of his baiting with my own eyes! For these reasons, and other events, my phone was tapped, family and friends were enlisted to ask questions about "my Pakistan friend", and surveillance equipment was installed in my apartment.  

        One can blame themselves for calamity and ask why they didn't see it coming. I wish I had been more alert as to what was happening around me, but when you are simply living your life and struggling, applying to nursing school and seeking employment at the same time, you are not always focused on your surroundings.  I wish I had noticed that several people on my floor were moving out of the apartment building in a short period of time.  I wish I had paid more attention to the helicopter that hovered above my building periodically.  I rationalized it because I lived near a high drug-trafficking area on a main thoroughfare in Sandy Springs. And I wish I had paid more attention to the comments I could hear from the agents next door. For example, in February of 2004, my neighbor Farzan asked me to help him respond to a letter from a potential employer in Pakistan.  He wanted to ensure his English was grammatically correct. As I walked across the hall, I heard a female agent say "no, don't do it".  She further commented "he better not get her involved in this." Her comments didn't make sense at that time; I didn't know they were FBI. Anyway, the letter was from a hospital administrator in Pakistan regarding a position Farzan was applying for. The letter was all in Standard English, the only difference was of course the administrator's name was distinctly Pakistani.  It was straight forward and business-like and it was not at all suspicious.  

        I now know that the agents wanted to isolate Farzan so nobody would know what they were forcing him to do, thus the comment from the female agent, "he better not get her involved in this." For some reason he reached out to me, and eventually after his hints I came to understand what was going on.  Farzan didn't want to return to Pakistan, he had lived in the states for over ten years and most of his family was in Atlanta. He was forced to go. I know he took a position  in a major city  in Pakistan, perhaps Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. I fear for him and am unsure if he is still alive, as it has been over a year since I last emailed him.  During his ordeal I would come to recognize the look of fear and death etched upon his face, because months later, I would experience the same thing.

        SURVEILLANCE

        I believe the surveillance started around April or May of 2004.  In early April, about a week before my neighbor Farzan moved back to Pakistan, we were having drinks at his apartment.  He told me he had invited someone who lived in the building and went by the name "Brit."  I had never seen Brit before.  When Brit came up to join us, I noticed that at times he would make comments quietly about Farzan and me.  I looked to see if he had a cell phone ear piece and he didn't.  After Brit left that evening, Farzan said to me "do you want to know who he really is, Deborah?"  To which I replied "who is he?"  Then Farzan just laughed and quietly commented, "why did I get her involved in this, now they will probably kill her!"  His comments didn't make sense, so I ignored them, as I knew Farzan had seemed sad and depressed lately.

        In early May, 2004 two men of ambiguous ethnicity moved into Farzan's old apartment, across the hall from me.  I saw them once, the night I knocked on their door to introduce myself.  They barely opened the door, but I caught a glimpse of one of them and heard the other in the back.  They had olive skin.  I introduced myself as their neighbor but the one said "no English."  These men were very quiet and I rarely saw them.  Shortly after that, eventually, I would notice several other men of ambiguous ethnicity, always following me on the bus and on the MARTA train.  These men appeared scraggly.  One in particular would always leave the apartment complex at the same time as me, however walking in the opposite direction.  After I would board the bus, I noticed that he would be on the bus to.  However it would be a few months before I realized what was happening.  In addition to these men, eventually I would notice other people,some white and some black, frequently the same people, on the bus, train at the mall etc.  These people looked like everyday normal people with the exception of the woman who wore a navy blue business suit, she looked like an agent.  I also noticed that some transit workers on the bus and at the train station would frequently stare at me.  In addition, I would frequently run into the man who identified himself as Brit, in public places. I thought it was coincidence. One day as I was walking home from the grocery store, I noticed Brit about 30 feet in front of me with a camera on a tripod on the sidewalk, pointed at me.  I approached him and asked him what he was photographing.  He claimed to be taking pictures of the duck pond on the grounds of the apartment complex across the street from my building.  
        Eventually, after I realized I was under surveillance and made the connections, I realized that the men who lived across the hall from me and had been baited there, thought I was their contact in Atlanta and therefore had me followed.  Since they were under surveillance by the FBI, I was as well!

        During May, June and July of 2004 I noticed that whenever I talked on the phone to two specific friends, a guy I was dating, and a relative, I would faintly hear another voice.  When I asked my friends and family member if someone else was on the phone, they denied it or said they were talking to someone else in their presence. Also, these friends would frequently ask about my "Pakistani neighbor" who I had previously mentioned to them.  I had never mentioned Farzan to my relative; however this family member asked me on several occasions if I had "met any new interesting foreign people."  Unfortunately, none of these friends and family members will come forward and admit they were contacted by FBI, out of fear I imagine. Frequently, when I was in my bedroom near the common wall I shared with the agents, I would hear them make comments about me.  I didn't understand what was going on, so I ignored them.  

        During these months I also noticed my personal letters always had tape on the back of them and looked as if they had been previously opened.  In particular, one package I received from FED EX was a mess. It had been ripped open and messily taped up.  I also noticed that mail delivery occurred very late in the day.  One day when I was walking by the apartment business office in the morning, I noticed one of the leasing agents going through a huge amount of mail.  The postal carrier was just standing in the office waiting.  The leasing agent gave me this suspicious look.  On that particular day, even though the mail carrier was at the complex that morning, we didn't receive our mail until late afternoon.

        During this time, I had been employed at a nearby dental office.  Around the end of June I noticed staff was acting strangely toward me, frequently whispering or saying things under their breath about me.  It was stressful.  My last day was a few days before July 4, 2004.  The owner of the office building made a comment to my employer, "why did she bring this here?"  I had no idea what he was referring to at that time.  I left the job because of the stressful, inhospitable environment.

        During the month of July, 2004.  I started to notice this gold Chevy suburban with black windows would drive by when I got off the bus, or I would sometimes see it at the train station.  I also noticed a gold Chevy suburban with black windows in my apartment complex parking lot, but I never took down the license plate number.

        One day in July, 2004 I was on the train.  I heard a woman sitting behind me comment, "wake up, you're being followed, and you know it!  Don't turn around and look at me!"  I turned around, she looked like a teenager.  At the next stop, she walked towards the exit and I said "Oh, look it's a kid trying to mess with me!"  Then while she was standing near the exit doors, she said "yeah, I did but she thinks I'm a kid."  I didn't see a cell phone ear piece, so I thought she was some mentally disturbed teenager.  Later, I would realize I had seen this young looking woman before in the laundry room at the apartment complex.  When I walked in I said hello, and she turned her head and looked at me out of the corner of her eye suspiciously.  She seemed paranoid to me.

        On July 26, 2004, I sent an international email to Farzan asking how he was doing and if he had made to Pakistan OK.

        On August 1, 2004, exactly one year after I had moved to Sandy Springs, I was talking to a "friend" on my cell phone, Henry.  He had been previously contacted.  I heard a few other voices on the phone and asked him who else he was talking to.  He claimed it was someone else in his presence.  I started telling Henry about all these strange occurrences.  I told him I was also noticing funny things happening to my TV. A couple times I was watching and all of a sudden, this black rectangular box would appear in the middle of the screen, blocking part of the picture. I recounted how sometimes the volume on the TV would increase independently when I would leave the room and I would always have to turn it down.  Henry then said "wakeup, you stupid bitch, they're watching you!"  I asked him to repeat it, but he wouldn't.

        FORCED HOSPITALIZATION

        On the morning of August 2, 2004, exactly one day after I realized I was under surveillance, I sat in the bedroom of my apartment and told the agents I wasn't involved in anything, that I didn't know what my former neighbor Farzan was involved in etc.  I heard a female agent with a familiar voice say "she better not give us away." At that time, I didn't know that was a reference to the two foreign men who had moved in across the hall from me.  I told the agents where I was going to go that day.  I also said, "I'll move when I'm good and damn ready, because I didn't do anything."  I didn't know that they were there for the men across the hall; I thought they were there for me.
        That day I was followed around town by agents in a sick game of cat and mouse.  I didn't know where to go or who to turn to for help.  I called a cousin who is a police officer and was previously contacted by them.  He offered to get a ticket for me to leave town that day, I wish I had but I didn't realize how serious it was.  And even if I left, they still would have followed me. Regardless, I still wish I had called my family in Washington and told them to get me out of there that day!

        At the end of the day, on August 2, 2004, after being followed by the agents all day, I came back to the apartment to regroup and figure out what to do.  I opened all the blinds and turned on all the lights so the people in the condos across the yard from me could see into my apartment. I left my apartment after dark unsure of where to go. I boarded a bus, unsure of where to go.  At a stoplight, I looked out the bus window at the gas station nearby and saw the same gold Chevy Suburban with black windows, only this time the driver was pumping gas.  He looked directly at me, with this sadistic look on his face.  I got off the bus in a neighborhood thinking I would ask someone for help.  A white car pulled up out of nowhere, did a u-turn, rolled the window down and the driver stared at me.  It was dark and I couldn't see him well, but I looked at the white of his eyes and begged him not to kill me!  I heard him say "I can't do it", and he drove off. The FBI sent someone to kill me and it was by the grace of God that he couldn't!

        That night I came back to my apartment again and turned on all my lights so the neighbors in the condo building across the yard could see me. I thought the FBI was just there for me and since they didn't kill me earlier, I thought maybe I would be OK until the morning.  I heard a female agent next door comment "I can't believe she thinks all of this is just for her." While in my bedroom, I commented that I wasn't involved in any terrorism and I also made an insulting remark about John Ashcroft.  I heard a male agent say, "Is she crazy?  Doesn't she know that they're listening?"  Another male agent said "I'm sick of this, why are we keeping her alive?  We killed that other guy!"  A female agent responded "that guy was telling people and she hasn't done anything.  Anyway he said not to."  I'm certain the "guy" the female agent was referring to was a young Caucasian male who lived down the hall from me with a friend.  They lived there before those foreign men who had been baited to the apartment moved in.  One day I came home and saw this Caucasian guy standing in the hallway near the agents' apartment listening quietly.  At that time, I believe he was unemployed because I came home for lunch often and always saw him.  At that time I didn't know that FBI was in that apartment, but apparently he did.  After that I never saw him again and his friend moved out.  I am certain that they killed him!  I don't condone publicizing the location of undercover agents either, but I don't agree it should be punishable by death.  They could have charged him with something and made him leave the state.  In reference to "he" the agent referred to, I can only speculate.  I imagine with all the warrantless surveillance going on that many people who like to call themselves leaders of the world, even though they have never lived in the real world, like to listen and watch intelligence surveillance as if it were entertainment!

        The next morning, August 3, 2004 I left the apartment with no intention of returning.  To make a long story short, I got involved in a sensitive FBI operation.  The agents didn't know what to do with me so they had Atlanta Police pick me up in a public place for "disturbing the peace," handcuff me and transport me to Grady hospital.  At Grady I was forcibly sedated with narcotics, prevented from contacting family and put in locked  observation with psych patients, several agents posing as healthcare workers, many of whom I had seen before in public places , and men who apparently were terrorism suspects as I had seen them following me before on the bus and train.  The agents watched my response when I was put in the same room with one of these terrorism suspects, and then someone commented that "she recognizes him from the train and not anywhere else." I was forcibly sedated and watched closely.  I lost track of time, but I believe I was detained for at least twelve hours.

        I cannot believe that after investigating me, breaking into my apartment and reading my personal letters, checking my bank records, calling family and friends, and watching me for three months without a warrant (I checked using FOIA, also I have an acquaintance who is a career agent and he said there are no warrants on me or Farzan) the FBI still couldn't figure out that I was not involved with any terrorists.  I don't understand an intelligence agency that has such a culture of paranoia that they cannot critically analyze someone and determine their innocence.  

        The agents decided to transfer me from Grady to Peachford on August 4, 2004.  I resisted further sedation.  In the hallway I pleaded with a nurse to help me and told her the FBI was going to kill me.  She took my paperwork from the cabulance driver and told a co-worker to copy it so they could give it to the press.  Near the elevators there was an Atlanta police officer, I begged him to help me, told him where I was from and my name. One of the agents intervened and asked the officer to escort me to the cabulance and said "if she tries to run, could you kill her, it's a matter of national security?"  The officer said no.  Then the agent asked a security guard the same question, adding "it's going to be a lot worse if "they" get a hold of her."  I am assuming "they" was a reference to the terrorism suspects they let follow me around town to determine if I was involved with them.  The guard and the driver took me to the cabulance and I was transferred to Peachford August 4, 2004.

        On my first day of hospitalization at Peachford, the social worker who brought my admissions paperwork to me commented, under her breath, not to sign the voluntary admissions papers.  I did it out of fear for my life.  Prior to that I had never been hospitalized on a psych unit.  I sat in that hospital for one month and was not allowed to leave except under supervision.  Several agents were at the hospital.  One agent or informant , the man who called himself "Brit" communicated with me by phone almost daily.  He told me they would let me know when I could leave!  Every day in there was a struggle.  I heard patients comment that I was going to be killed.  In addition to forced injection of narcotics, I was also forced to take the oral anti-psychotic meds, Zyprexa and Risperidone, and who knows what else.  I was so afraid that they would eventually give me an overdose.  I complied out of fear for my life.

        On the second night my roommate came toward me in the middle of the night with a pillow in an attempt to suffocate me.  I saw her because they left the lights on in my room. I think she was either an agent or agents directed her to do that so I would repeat that my roommate was trying to kill me and thus appear psychotic.   On my third night there, a certain healthcare worker (or perhaps he was an agent) spoke to several patients, one was in the room across from me and her name was Penny. That night, practically the entire unit went to the cafeteria for dinner except for Penny, my roommate and two other women.  The medication I was given made me extremely drowsy.  I was in the TV room on the unit and was drifting out of consciousness, at one point I woke and saw these four remaining women were in the TV room with me watching me closely.  I saw the employee give them a signal and several of them came toward me as if to harm me.  I got up and left the room.  I tried to stay alert because my life was in danger.  I think I wasn't killed because other people were suspicious of my hospitalization.

        During this ordeal there was one man who gave me hope, Dr. B.  On my second day there, he came into my room and asked if "I felt safe there."  I imagine someone told him about my forced hospitalization.  After one forced injection, they put a false lab report on my chart indicating I was HIV positive.  I know because I heard comments from nurses and other staff who actually thought that one of my injections was HIV.   Dr. A and Dr. B saw this, and were horrified. Dr. B tried to get me out of the hospital that day, coming on to the unit saying that we were leaving the hospital so "I could get my meds."  Shortly after this he called the press as I heard a nurse at the nurse's station make a comment after a series of phone calls stating that "the press is already calling." I know they didn't actually infect me with HIV; it was a form of psychological torture.  Also, I think they knew that Dr. B would stand up and they wanted to discredit him.  After this, staff came to me and suggested that I "switch doctors" and compose a letter indicating why I was switching.  I wrote a letter requesting a new doctor and complaining about Dr. B out of fear they would kill me and him.

        MAKING CONNECTIONS  

        I was threatened, humiliated by staff, dehumanized and demeaned. I was forcibly kidnapped, detained, and sedated under the direction of the FBI with the complicity of Atlanta PD, Grady Hospital and Universal Health Services, the owners of Peachford hospital. My human rights were grossly violated.  Complicit in this violation is Universal Health Services, a billion dollar company that donates to the Republican Party and has a ceo, Alan B. Miller, who donated to the campaign of George W. Bush(open secrets.org has the information on campaign contributions).  I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I believe it is no accident that agents had me taken to Peachford.

        I tried to research Universal Health Services (UHS) and find pertinent information, other than official company statistics.  The only thing I found was confounding. A name came up along with Universal Health Services, the name of Charles G. Curie, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 2001 as administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is a director of the New Freedom Initiative, which I referred to at the beginning of this article. Charles G. Curie and Universal Health Services are both linked to a website named asherhealth.com

        (Charles G. Curie, MA, ACSW ... for ... http://health.yahoo.com/ Universal Health Services Home Page welcome to the Universal Health Services Home Page. ...
        asherhealth.com/sep/home-health-services.php - 18 k-)

        When I accessed asherhealth.com I couldn't find any information about Curie, UHS or the owners of Asher health. If anyone out there can access this information, it would be greatly appreciated.

        The only other possible connection between Curie and UHS is that Curie use to be deputy secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for the Department of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania, the headquarters location of Universal Health Services.  Curie was appointed by then Governor Tom Ridge(progressivegovernment.org/appointee_data4.)    Before his service there, Curie was the director of risk management services for Henry S. Lehr Inc., an insurance company in Bethlehem, PA.  Curie served as director until 2001.  Henry S. Lehr was bought by the big insurance intermediary, Brown & Brown in 2001 (www.bbinsurance.com/pages/annual2003/pdfs/BRO_2003AR.pd).  Brown & Brown has many health and human services clients, although this information is confidential.  Many of their clients are behavioral healthcare clinics and hospitals (http://www.bbinslv.com/...).  If any one out there has additional information, please share it.

        Like I said, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but the implications of this are extremely disturbing!  Whenever a billion dollar corporation like Universal Health Services conspires with the government to kidnap and imprison innocent citizens you have a defacto corporate-controlled police state, not at all unlike former Communist countries of the Eastern bloc.  When intelligence agents, acting under direction of their leaders, murder and attempt to murder innocent civilians because they cannot conduct surveillance inconspicuously, you are living in a despot controlled police state.  Whenever innocent civilians can be conscripted to get involved in intelligence operations, under threat, you are living in a lawless, corrupt government.

        After they released me from Peachford on August 31, 2004 I returned to Washington State and tried to adapt to "normal" life again, but I couldn't.  Shortly after arriving home, I was accepted to Kennesaw State University School of Nursing.  I returned to Georgia in January of 2005 for two reasons, to go back to school and pursue a lawsuit.  Shortly after I arrived in Kennesaw, my phones were tapped again and my personal letters that I received by mail always arrived with scotch tape on them, having been previously opened.  I realized this was occurring because they were still operating from the apartment complex and had two choices: either kill me or contain me.  At that point they couldn't kill me because too many people knew, so they choose containment.  I endured, but still tried to pursue a lawsuit, despite the grueling pace of nursing school and the constant surveillance.  

        In March of 2005 I sent a letter to Professor Johan Van der Vyver of Emory University School of Law, with no return address.  I don't know how the FBI found out; perhaps they tap the phones of academicians involved in human rights.  Anyway shortly after I sent the letter, an FBI agent came to my job posing as a patient.  I was working part-time for a dentist in Kennesaw.  On March 23, 2005 this agent came to my office.  When I took him back to the treatment room he pretty much told me they were going "to kill" me, because "I knew too much" and my only alternative was to "work for us."  I subsequently left work, went to my dorm on campus, packed what I could and went to Hartsfield airport. I had to stay at the airport overnight because I missed the last flight to Seattle.  There were agents at the airport watching me, I saw and heard several of them.

        When I arrived in Seattle on March 24, 2005, my brother picked me up at the airport and we were followed.  My brother left me at his house and returned to work.  Unfortunately, he does not believe what happened to me.  I left the house out of fear and was followed by agents.  They followed me around downtown Seattle and made threats.  They would often make comments in a crowd and then add "don't turn around and look at me" whenever I did they were stoic and I couldn't discern who made the comment.  This really happened! I feared for my life and went to Harborview Medical Center and told them I was having a nervous breakdown.  This is exactly what they wanted.  Being hospitalized is a way to discredit a person. Since I left Atlanta, I have been hospitalized twice for exhaustion and severe depression.  I never had severe depression before this happened.  My doctors at Harborview were contacted by agents and it was dictated to them that my hospitalization was to be made believable, and they were to chart that I had a "psychotic episode", since there is no such thing as  adult onset schizophrenia when one is in their thirties.  One of my doctors, Dr. C at Harborview was forced to wear a wire during our consultations because I could hear the agent.

        My forced hospitalization in Atlanta occurred for several reasons.   I knew the agents were operating out of the apartment complex I used to live in, I knew they used my neighbor, Farzan to bait potential terrorists to the apartment complex, and the agents were unsure of exactly how much I heard.  To this day they do not know that I actually heard them say "why are we keeping her alive, we killed that other guy?"  

        I know that what I experienced probably doesn't compare to what innocent people of middle-eastern descent are experiencing.  I'm sure you have heard of the cases of mistaken identity based on similar last names resulting in the detainment and physical torture of innocent people.  And I know that there are terrorists, right here in this country who want to maim and kill innocent people, especially Jewish people.  But I question the current administration's policy of actually baiting them to densely populated Jewish communities to contain them. And I question the legality and human rights violations of an intelligence agency that kidnaps, tortures, threatens, murders and attempts to murder  innocent civilians because the FBI cannot conduct surveillance inconspicuously.

        I am still alive today because I used my voice to speak up, and people listened.  Throughout this ordeal there were people who helped me.  I don't believe all FBI agents are corrupt.  There was a particular female FBI agent who I could hear next door to me.  She defended me throughout this ordeal and I know I am alive today in part because of her efforts!  There are many people out there who witnessed what happened to me and helped me.  I know that eventually my doctor called the press.

        I have not given up on this country yet.  My ancestors came here as slaves, lost their lives in the genocide of slavery, fought in wars for this country, endured unlawful imprisonment, fire bombings, apartheid and the daily indignancy of racism for this country, and they voluntarily sacrificed their lives on motel balconies in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968 for this country. Out of respect for all the sacrifices that my people have made, and many others, to help this country evolve into a democratic society of equality and justice, I will not back down and accept human rights violations!

        I have written letters to my former doctors, staff and others who witnessed what happened to me with hope they will be emboldened to come forward.  If anyone out there has a similar story, please come forward. And if any human rights attorneys and/or activists know of ways to help me pursue justice please contact me.  We are living in a police state; George Orwell's 1984 is right here, right now! Unfortunately, I am just now becoming active in the human rights struggle, after my human rights were violated.  When this starts happening to more people, then perhaps there will be a true, mass revolution!

        Deborah Lloyd
        deb98126@yahoo.com

        •  Holy God.. (none)
          has any press covered this?

          "objective truth is not the same as the consensus reality"--djheru

          by rhetoricus on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:33:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Come on (none)
            If her story is true, do you honestly think that in the country we live in today any press is going to cover her?

            What, do you actuallly still believe we have a free and independent media in this country?

            •  Press coverage (none)
              Sperm donor,

              I agree, it's a long shot that any mainstream press will cover this, unless people who witnessed what happened to me come forward.  I still have to try to pursue justice.  When this happens to some one you have two choices: try to forget (impossible) or try to fight.  I am fighting with the resources I have: the independent media and blogs.  I'm open to suggestions.

              deborah

          •  Oddities (none)
            Well two things look odd with this.  First it seems this is some odd cross post/cut and paste from http://www.phillyimc.org/....  The second is that this person seems to have only posted today and the almost exact same cut and paste to two completely unrelated articles.

            From looking at the site info it appears it was published at a local independant news site.  But the address listed for the owner company, 4401 pine, if I remember correctly from living there years ago, is a residential address.  So I cant really see the paper having the resources to fact check this extrememly well either.

            •  Oddities (none)
              Zandrox,

              my account is published on several independent media sites:

              http://www.indybay.org/...

              I'm trying to draw the attention of an investigative journalist and a human right's attorney.  I know people may read my account and say compared to other human right's violations, mine wasn't that bad.  But  it was still a violation and will be seared onto my memory for life.  I have to at least try to pursue justice, I can't just accept this.

              Deborah

          •  Has any press covered this? (none)
            rhetoricus,

            no, and yes it's true.

            Deborah

      •  Bush increased vote by eyepopping 48% in Clay (4.00)
        Clay County
        62078 Bush 2004  48% increase
        41745 Bush 2000

        18971 Kerry 29% increase
        14630 Gore

        Florida statewide votes
        Bush 3.964M 2004 36% increase
             2.909M 2000

        Kerry/Gore 3.583M 2004 23% increase
                   2.907M 2000

        So Clay county was one of Bush's biggest boosters whether there was true fraud or not it's hard to tell.  But we clearly need methods on our side to catch cheating RED-HANDED. Because mark my words, if Democrats win the majority in November the Republicans will say we cheated and WILL produce evidence(true or not) and smear it all over FOX, CNN, MSNBC etc.  The Republicans WILL NOT surrender power so easily.

      •  Welcome to the redneck South (none)
        Where those that have the power have been rigging things in their favor FOR GENERATIONS, and only troublesome "liberals" and "uppity niggers" who question such things or stand up to them are the problem.

        And all the little dumb, white rednecks on the bottom of the pile, who's minds have been atrophied by shitty education and authoritarian systems of control play along and enforce the system.

        After almost 13 years of living in the deep South, I'm convinced that what you witnessed is just standard operating procedure, from the top (I mean the Governor's office) all the way down.

        Do you see what the civil rights workers were getting into when they came down to those types of places during the 1960s?  This is the kind of system they were resisting.

        As I've said before, Lincoln should have let these motherfuckers secede.  As it is, their continued inclusion in the Union has dragged the rest of the country down as they weild an influence in national politics that is disproportionate to their actual numbers, their economic strength, and their levels of enlightment.

    •  just out of curiousity (none)
      and i am totally stunned myself

      why wait until now to talk about this
      (or did i miss that in your diary?)

      •  I was debating on another diary (4.00)
        about whether or not there was vote fraud in 2004 in FL--and someone over there was both skeptical and yet nice enough to ask me to tell him (?) my story rather than just blowing me off.

        It's pretty unpleasant to tell this story, as well, especially writing down all the details. I've told abbreviated versions of it verbally to a fair number of people, though, and emailed an account to one woman in the Pacific NW--I think in Washington St.--back when Gregoire was having trouble with her election. I was worried, b/c it seemed clear to me that having secured FL, and probably secured Ohio, and with New Mexico well underway, they were moving on to Washington as their next target. So I wrote it up and sent it to her.

        I've now saved a copy in Word so I don't ever have to write it up again. If it's needed, I'll have it.

        •  i mentioned in a comment at the bottom (4.00)
          you should really email brad friedman over at bradblog.com.  he has been following diebold VERY closely and has assembled the scariest file documenting their illicit activities...

          i'm not a conspiracy theorist but i believe with a high degree of confidence that diebold indeed delivered 2004 to GW.  and the fact that this has not been taken up by 60 Minutes yet is maddening.

          we really need to start a letter writing campaign to break this open.

          •  of course, I should point out (4.00)
            that though I believe firmly that Diebold is the devil, this was not a Diebold incident--the machine was an optical scan, with a paper trail. That's why, I guess, a more manual kind of election fraud was needed--an actual guy there to obtain the memory card and physically take it away.

            And then there's the voter purges, intimidation, misinformation, etc--and the registering new immigrant voters on forms with "Republican" already marked, which Jeb et al got caught doing in either '03 or '04--I think '04.

            Vote's being subjected to a multi-pronged attack. Which figures, because they know they've lost the hearts and minds of the people.

            •  oh - good point (4.00)
              i think i suspected that, given there WAS a paper trail (and just filed under vote-manipulation - diebold seems to be carrying that torch).

              in any event, still makes me suspicious.

            •  diebold does optiscan also (4.00)
              :)
              there are optiscan hacks out there also.

              I used to promote optiscan. I still think its better than dre because you are guaranteed paper trail. but without multiple audit processes its a farce.

              Anyway. Thanks for writing this diary. It was extremely therapeutic for me to read.

              theft. no recourse. It reminds me how much I want to prevent infighting from making anyone forget how terrible the theft of votes is. No matter what form it takes.

              Its like stealing hope.

              -6.13,-6.33 America's Security is not for sale

              by biscobosco on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:27:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, GOP tried to suppress my vote in 2004 (4.00)
              through fraud. the bush campaign called on election day, and left a message on our machine stating falsely that our voting place was miles away in the next town.

              They had called a few days earlier asking for our votes, and my wife had told them all about hell freezing over. So when they called back on election day, they definitely were not engaged in a legitimate GOTV effort. Besides, it's virtually impossible that GOTV workers would tell people the wrong polling place by accident, given the way these lists are printed out by precinct. So it was fraud.

              I called the County Clerk of Elections (Lehigh County, PA) that evening to complain about the practice, and she said that she had received lots of identical complaints. But she said she couldn't register a formal complaint without more evidence than hearsay. I said I had the call on tape, so she asked me to send her a transcript....which I mailed to her the next day. She never replied.

              Election officials know that the GOP engage in systematic attempts to defraud non-Republicans of their votes. They just can't be bothered to take them on. So it's become part of the electoral landscape.

          •  I will still (4.00)
            send this to him, though.
            •  blockbuster letter from TruevoteMD (none)
              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   Linda Shade                
              MARCH 1, 2006                                                                                          301-270-6150/301-257-3847 cell

              Annapolis, Maryland. The controversy over whether Maryland's 20,000 TS voting units are vulnerable to the 'Hursti hack' entered a new chapter today.

              In a letter dated 10/28/06 (page 3), the Maryland's State Board of Elections has now admitted to Governor Ehrlich and other state leadership that the hackable code is on the TS machines: "The [AccuBasic] code and the touchscreen and optical scan memory cards on which it resides are the same as those used in Maryland's current Diebold systems."  The fact that Maryland's voting systems can be hacked is itself a violation of state election law.

              Further, California's independent review of that state's Diebold equipment confirms that Maryland's system is hackable, out of compliance with federal standards and should be de-certified for use.  Detailed analysis below.

              ###

              California Diebold Report Confirms that Maryland's Voting System is Not Compliant with Federal Standards

              Independent Security Analysis discovers hackable code / dangerous vulnerabilities & recommends not using Diebold voting systems for statewide elections...go to
              http://www.ss.ca.gov/...   for more.

  •  Wow, what a story (4.00)
    Thank you.  I have a terrible feeling there were hundreds of episodes like yours that day.  How were the 2004 results compared with 2000 in your district?  

    Fox News--As fair as a Florida Election, as balanced as Ann Coulter when she forgets her medicine.

    by Dizzy on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:26:45 PM PST

    •  I was in a different district (4.00)
      In 2000, and, unfortunately, it was in Duval County, where all those votes got thrown away. So I don't think either number is reliable--and anyway, it would be apples and oranges to compare precincts from those two counties. Clay is significantly more whitebread Republican than Duval.

      I wish, I really wish, I had some hard numbers for you guys.

      I wish, I really wish, I had reacted with fight instead of going, to quote Watership Down, "tharn." As in, deer in headlights.

      Then I would have investigated, and maybe found something out--who knows?

      This may sound weak--but the next day, as the four of us went around town like someone had died--it really was like that, you had to find ways to get yourself through the next ten minutes--I just wanted John Kerry there.

      •  wait a minute (4.00)
        where was the whole election protection operation in Florida?? There were HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of lawyers there! I was in New Mexico working voter protection and we had an AIRPLANE PILOT STANDING BY for chrissakes. We had pollwatchers with satellite phones so that we wouldn't have to depend on land lines. We had people standing by, ready to write up depositions, fully connected to Washington DC, ready to deal with any emergency. We had the Governor's staff. We had Senators' staff. We had international election monitors. Everybody across the state had numbers to call if they saw anything out of the ordinary. There was no reason anybody would have to wonder what to do. People were giving and writing up depositions for days afterwards.

        You didn't call anybody like that? I KNOW they were there in Florida. People where I was were talking to them on the phone.  

        "Why can't you and the idea of separation of powers just hug it out, bitch?" Wonkette

        by Hollywood Liberal on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:02:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We were in a ruby-red county (4.00)
          We had very little in the way of resources. We had one lawyer, and I think--if memory serves--
          we were sharing her with another county.

          She's fine, she's good. But it was quicker and more efficient for me to call my Vice-chair.

          Not efficient enough.

          Resources just aren't allocated in a big way to really red areas. Just like they aren't allocated in a big way to sapphire-blue areas. Campaigns focus money and people on the purple places.

          Though I'm guessing that when it comes to election protection, probably the sapphire-blue areas got some help, b/c obviously you'd want to secure those votes.

          That's another good reason for vote fraud committers to focus on the really red areas. They know the campaigns can't afford to spend resources there.

          •  Nobby... (4.00)
            You must tell this story to the current DEC chair in Duval.  (Who was not the Dual Chair in 2004, which is one reason by the Clay county precincts were left to basically twist in the wind, is my strong speculation, but that's another story...)

            I really urge you to contact the DEC Chair Person in Duval, personally.  (To preserve your anonymity, don't email or call...the NSA listening program, you know.  Just maybe show up at Duval HQ, would be my recommendation.)  

            I'm sending this link (to your diary here) to her.  She is very pro-active about precinct watching (she did it on election night in Duval 2004), and motivated to help with training sessions to get ready for 2006.    She'll be waiting for you to show up, after my notice, if she hasn't seen this diary already.   Trust me on this.

            I think you are incredibly courageous to come forward with this witness now.    Even though you have not a shred of proof but your own testimony, this is a very brave thing to do, considering where you still live.   Blessings upon your house.   You are a Paul Revere patriot.  

            (I used the Paul Revere metaphor often during the desperate days we were trying to raise our voices against the invasion of Iraq.  And subsequent...I was so delighted when I got to the 2004 DNCC in Boston to find so many icons and logos of the Convention using the same imagery.  Indeed.)  

            •  Thank you sockpuppet. I appreciate that, deeply. (4.00)
              But I don't live in Florida anymore, actually.
              I'm in blue MD, so it's not quite as brave as all that (smile).

              I wish I could ride from Lexington to Concord. D'you suppose Senator Kerry would lend me a horse? (smile)

              As far as anonymity--I don't really know; seems like the NSA could crack my "Nobby" pseudonym fairly easily--but maybe not. I just assume they can find out stuff. Seems better than assuming they couldn't.

              And I heard that Duval County DEC had been taken over by a much better person, who basically ambushed the former chair--a guy that I have a lot, a lot, of irritation towards for one thing and another, but especially for his lack of action in 2000, the marginalizing of those of us who protested...

              So, anyway, I'd have to fly or drive down to Jax. Do you think a face-to-face meeting with her is crucial? If she feels a need for that, let me know; maybe I could work out a trip down.

              •  Not in FL anymore (4.00)
                That's a relief to know.  Yikes.  

                Well, my email is valid (even if it doesn't seem like it; I had some bad spam action from here last year after a post or two I made, so I'm only using throwaways now...).   If you want to be in touch further with FL, then email me and we'll see what transpires from there.  

                (My email is pretty secure, but try not to email me from where you are...maybe use a library machine or an internet cafe.   I'm not kidding, dear.   Be careful, please.  Assume you do have anonymity so far, rather than that you don't.  And try to protect it from there, is my recommendation.  (Security/privacy are my areas of expertise, btw.))

                But Ms. Duval DEC ChairPerson does need to read your story, definitely.  She's a pretty sharp legal-eagle type, too, if I understand correctly.    Perhaps she or her resources can do something with the testimony you have.  Maybe, maybe not.  Probably not, but forewarned is forearmed.  Good for you.

        •  and, well, I didn't see any senatorial staff (4.00)
          or international observers or anything like that in NE Florida. Maybe someone from Duval could shed some light on this--if anywhere got that sort of attention, I'd expect it to be Duval, Palm Beach, or Broward counties, where the most extensive and famous fraud happened in 2000.

          Nobody would have thought of focusing on Clay County.

          Maybe that whole apparatus was somewhere in Florida, but I knew of one lawyer. I could have called her. Didn't seem much better than calling HQ, though, especially since she was covering more than one area. At least I knew that the Clay HQ would be there to take my call and was within a short distance of me.

        •  wonder if the difference (4.00)
          btw your experience and mine has anything to do with the fact that New Mexico has/had a Democratic governor? as opposed to having John Ellis Bush.
        •  I was one of 'em. (4.00)

           . . . in Bay County.  But my polling place was a 75% African-American area and run by same.  So, with the "heads-up" that we were going to be there in force, the GOP didn't dare.  Just too many witnesses who were "loaded for bear" if the Brownshirts tried anything (at least overtly) nasty.  Had a run-in with a couple of rednecks on a couple of different occasions (they basically accused me of siding with the neegroes against my own race;  not quite that open about their resentment of a white, liberal -- I'm actually more of a "Populist" -- lawyer on the lookout for any Right Wingnut shennanigans, but definitely particularly, redneckily, hostile towards me).

            Then BBQ and watching the results come in with the good people of the Bay County Democratic Party -- and then so, so sad . . .

           BenGoshi
          _________________

           BenGoshi
          _
          __________________

          We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

          by BenGoshi on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:52:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  most of the lawyers (none)
          were in Blue areas, because we were more concerned about suppression of votes in Blue areas than the idea that they might pad votes in Red areas.

          and it makes sense that, given all the increased attention to Blue areas in 2004, that they would come up with a new scheme concentrating on Red areas, where there was a smaller likelihood of Blue-friendly poll watchers and/or lawyers.

          then they float the meme that wingnuts turned out in greater numbers to "stop gay marriage" and that explains the extra 3-5% of non-existent voters in red counties.

          bingo.  they "win" Florida and Ohio and God knows where else they were trying it.

          It breaks my heart to believe the worst about these people but it fits with their entire philosophy of politics.

          Think about it for a moment.  Look at everything else we know for sure that RoveCo, the Cheney Administration and their cronies have done.  Do you really think this would be out of character for them?  People who have shown time and time again that the rule of law means nothing to them?  You really think they would draw the line at manipulating election results?  With Bush's popularity in the tank they'll be desperate to hold on to House and Senate seats in '06 and could try anything.

          I think it's good this diary is being posted now because NOW is the time for everyone here to get involved with politics at the local level for 2006:

          • Learn the election law in your state.

          • Then volunteer to be a poll watcher.

          • Most important of all, get involved in Howard's 50-state strategy:  even if you live in a red state or in a red area of a blue state, help local-level Dems get as organized as possible.

          • Repeat:  help Dems get organized in a red part of your state so that Dem poll watchers in '06 will be EVERYWHERE.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:56:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  New Mexico (none)
          And here's what happened in New Mexico, even as you were watching, with sat phones and airplane pilots at hand:

          From VoteTrustUSA.org:

          Detailed analysis of the certified election data from the New Mexico General Election in 2004 revealed alarming irregularities that focused nationwide attention on the state. New Mexico has led the nation in presidential undervote rate for several election cycles (2.87% in 2004), and research revealed that 82% of the undervotes occurred on paperless electronic voting machines. At the same time, the presence of 2,087 presidential "phantom votes" (situations in which more votes were counted than ballots cast) revealed a chaotic and under-resourced certification process.

          Luckily New Mexico activists have stayed on top of this, filed lawsuits - and just recently gotten new legislation passed.

          But my point is that even with wired, networked poll watchers there, votes were lost - if not stolen.

  •  Remember this (4.00)
    because for at least the next two elections we will need to make plans to document these types of events. That may involve video camera people being stationed outside the legal distance with cell phones to observers inside. Other effective means of documentation will occur to others.

    Eternal Vigilance!

    Please encourage all to vote by absentee ballot

    by Killer on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:40:20 PM PST

  •  I'm sorry... (4.00)
    The story makes my gut churn.   It hurts to know that people will so brazenly go against the will of half a nation in order to get their way.  It saddens me to see the disrespect given to the nation's people and our constitution.

    This republic isn't perfect, but it is worth fighting for.

    I don't know how I would have reacted if I were in your shoes that night.  I tend to think I would have acted in almost the same manner.  My love for this country only extends as far as the people and ideals it embodies.  When either is truly lost, I will have that deep void.

    (-10.00, -9.54) Volunteer for John Laesch for Congress (IL-14)

    by Jared Lash on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:41:32 PM PST

  •  thanks for your account (4.00)
    and thanks for posting it at a time when more people are listening. Your question - why would they need to fix the vote count? to ensure a popular vote for Bush, who left to his own devices probably would not have picked up many votes between 2000 and 04.

    hark! hark! the Clark!!

    by Errol on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:48:51 PM PST

    •  why? (4.00)
      to pad the vote. They padded it in many red states.

      "I did NOT have sex with that lobbyist!"

      by donailin on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:53:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, now I'm thinking (4.00)
      Jeb probably padded the vote in all the red counties--that's so much less visible.

      Because I notice that Alachua and Broward and the other Dem. counties, if the vote totals are right, seemed to go pretty overwhelmingly for Kerry.

      I'm pretty damned sure there was no fraud in my home county of Alachua, at least at the SOE level, because the SOE has been in county politics a long time, and I've never seen or heard anything bad about her--and my mom was one of the county employees helping to count the vote there, and she reported nothing amiss.

      •  pad the vote to make it look like (4.00)
        Bush got over 50% of the popular vote - makes it less likely the electoral vote will be contested (Ohio), easier to call people who point out the problems "tinfoil wearers" and overall, leads people to conclude that a  majority (or greater majority, depending on your view) supported the repub ticket. don't believe, never will.
        think of all the articles and diaries that contain the phrase "a majority of americans voted for bush" - that has not been proven imo, but people believe it

        hark! hark! the Clark!!

        by Errol on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:12:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  because winning the popular vote (4.00)
      was Rove's No. 1 goal after losing it in 2000. Running up the red state scores with fraud was the way to do it.

      I have to admit, this story confirms my own suspicions that most of the 2004 fraud took place in GOP strongholds vs. openly suppressing minority votes in Dem-strong precincts.

      Consider the final vote margin in 2004:

      Bush: 62,027,466 (50.73%)
      Kerry: 59,027,612 (48.28%)

      You'd need to change 1.5 million Kerry votes to Bush votes to ensure a popular victory.

      There are approximately 185,000 voting precincts in the United States.

      Let's say a little less than half of those are GOP-friendly or dominant. That's 90,000.

      On average, each precinct would only have to switch 17 votes to give Bush a popular vote victory.

      Or look at it this way: there are 800,000 voting machines in the United States. Say half of those are in GOP-friendly havens: 400,000.

      You'd only need to switch, on average, 4 votes per voting machine. That's well under the threshold of being noticed.

      •  Nice math but it ignores one important point... (none)
        IF you tried to accomplish such a massive scheme the number of people required to switch so few votes but in so many places in such a short time would be so big it wouldn't go unnoticed.

        Someone would have slipped up and spilled the beans.

        The more people in on the scheme, the harder it is to keep it secret.

        "To BushCo, the truth is but a lie undiscovered."

        by Siberian on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:04:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well... (4.00)
          it can be seen, as long as it's trivialized in the right places.

          I mean, I saw it, or part of it, and lots of people saw lots of stuff and filed reports--about 100,000, wasn't it?--but if the DOJ is run by your guys and most of the media is either complicit or cowed, well, who cares whether some of it's seen?

        •  points taken (4.00)
          but two rebuttals. :-)

          (1) The averages could have been just that, averages. Imagine if you had hyper-red precincts where 100 or 200 votes could be switched without notice. That would eliminate the need for as many precincts to be corrupted. Moreover, I don't think such a project would need to be centralized. Enough dittoheads would know to take it upon themselves to fix things.

          (2) It would only take one or two people per state hacking the machines to produce the same number tipping. So that's what, maybe fifty or so people nationwide who'd have to be in on it?

  •  Why would they not steal elections? (4.00)
    They've been doing it for years and never suffered for it.

    Florida Dems better be on their toes this year, or the US Senate will be disgraced by Katharine Harris.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:50:07 PM PST

  •  I kept thinking as I read this (4.00)
    of the tightly organized Bush 2004 machine.  The top down nature.  The need to know relationships.  I thought of West Virginia where I worked so hard and we lost so bad.  Someday, history will tell the story, and we will know that we were subjected to two stolen terms.

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:58:17 PM PST

    •  And even if 2004 wasn't stolen... (4.00)
      history will record the sort of campaign he ran.  There is a reason I call him George Wallace Bush, after all.  Pandering on the gay marriage issue and playing to the worst human nature -- FDR told us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, Dubaiya echoed Geena Davis and told us to "be afraid, be very afraid."  

      There's also his close relationship to a genuine traitor and ratf*cker named Karl Rove.  I'd hoped that I wouldn't see a presidential candidate go lower than Bush Sr. (Willie Horton, "Bill Clinton was a guest of the KGB in 1970"), but Junior managed to do it in 2000 with his campaign's dirty tricks against McCain and in 2004 with the Swiftboat Liars, almost certainly coordinated by Rove.  Years from now, our grandchildren will look at tapes of the 2004 debates and wonder why the hell anybody with an IQ over 50 would've voted for Bush.

       

      "We will not walk in fear, one of another." -- Edward R. Murrow

      by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:54:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but interesting that after all that (4.00)
        an accurate count would probably show even then he didn't win - neither a majority nationwide nor electoral votes

        hark! hark! the Clark!!

        by Errol on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:14:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  and even if 2004 wasnt stolen (none)
        2000 was - just read the vanity fair article - and nobby says its even worse - in 2000 in duval county 27k votes were not counted in a predominantly due to optiscan counting "mistake" which was "revealed" the day after

        To me thats the elephant in the room no one talks about anymore.

        It is provable that bushco prevented enough valid votes in 2000 from being counted to steal the election. and people still question if they stole votes in 2004?  

        Highly, highly unlikely. its obvious that they did some of the same tactics. Enough to change the election? who knows? we may never know.

        as Nobby's diary shows - even sadder than suspected murder is never finding the missing body. never knowing for sure. having all records destroyed and the possibility of knowing the truth removed.

        -6.13,-6.33 America's Security is not for sale

        by biscobosco on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 02:47:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hope two. (4.00)
      Rather than, say, sixteen.

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:08:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this story (4.00)
    made me ill. I teared up.

    I've resisted the "They Stole It!" calls. Now I'm not so sure. I'm really not.

    even if noone else believes you, Nobby, I do. and in terms of karma, that has to count for something.

    •  thank you for your openness (4.00)
      and being willing to consider an alternate view.

      I have felt so alone. I was afraid that, posting this, I'd get a barrage of hateful comments. Because, after all, it's not proof.

      It's just really good indications that some serious shit was going down.

      •  While it's not legal proof, (4.00)
        I have absolutely no reason to doubt you.  I did a page for my site titled "Stolen!" about the 2004 election, and the amount of anecdotal and "circumstantial" evidence that this election was ripped off is incredible.

        I'm going to be a pollwatcher in 2006.  I have a bad knee, so I'll be leaning on a cane (gotta buy one first).  Last time our polls in our area were, as far as I know, dead quiet, but if I find myself in your position -- being the callous, bloody-minded, non-pacifist that I am -- some fat bastard's going down with a cane upside his head.  I respect your decision; you had your friend as well as the paper votes to keep tabs on.  Everyone's in a different position.  You shouldn't feel badly about your decision.

        Any lawyers in the SE NC area, keep me in mind.  I may need you.

      •  That's right, it's NOT proof (none)
        It's not proof of anything.

        And the fact that you did NOTHING afterwards to ensure that this information was forwarded to those in charge is reprehensible.

        And the fact that you attempt to use as an excuse that you no longer live in Florida doesn't hold water.

        And the fact that you did not/could not readily identify the place where you watched the polls is not believeable.

        The fact that you felt like there was NO press you could go to with this story, and NO cops you could inform, and NO election officials that you could tell, and NO Democratic Party officials that you could INFORM THAT EVENING is beyond belief. Why would the Supervisor of Elections be OUT OF BOUNDS to talk with about an election issue? That makes NO sense.

        And THEN you claim that he was walking away from you, and he was smirking. Except if HE were walking away from you, you could not see his face.

        You supposedly thought at THAT point in time that he's "carrying away your country"? Yet you did not ask him to stay until YOU had confirmation, YOURSELF, that this was what the SOE wanted to happen? C'mon. That's just NOT believeable. I am sorry so many people bought into your story, but it's JUST not believeable.

        You could have gotten his name. Asked for ID. Requested he stay. You did not have to kill him in order to do these things.

        You did not.

        And THEN, you did not even follow up with this. Yet we are supposed to believe that 'something froze inside of you that day, and has still not thawed', yet you did not follow up? C'mon. Really.

        There was NO reason to kill this man, yet YOU assert that YOU considered that possibility that night. You only had to make sure that someone important knew about this, and then followed up with it.

        Ludicrous.

        You assert that SOMETHING WAS wrong with this person taking this memory card with him in your diary, yet THEN try to claim that you realize that it is NOT even close to being proof. If YOU KNOW it's not proof, then you should NEVER say stuff such as the Poll Supervisor KNEW something was wrong. There's NO proof that ANYTHING was wrong with what happened. You say we KNOW that Jeb Bush rigged the election in 2000. But we DON'T know that. Yet again, YOU assert something that is NOT known.

        You say you KNOW that fraud happened that night, then try to soften that baseless assertion by saying that you cannot prove it, and that's it's simply YOUR opinion. Well, an educated opinion on THIS subject would be that you do NOT know that ANY sinister happened, NOT that you KNOW that fraud happened. There's not ANYWHERE close to enough proof for YOU to say that there was fraud. YOU had the paper ballots, right? ONLY if you could point out differences between what the paper ballots results were and what the memory card showed could you prove that, and you cannot.

        Now, 16 months later, you are bringing it up here, rather than pursuing it where it should have been pursued, and making excuses for why you will not pursue it today. I know that someone ASKED you for details about this event, but when you did so, and people here challenged you to follow thru, you refused. When they made suggestions about you talking to the local elections officials, you say that you no longer live in that place, like THAT would somehow stop you. You neglect to verify that you will contact ANYONE with this info. You act like the fact that YOU don't know exact times means something. It means nothing. NOTHING. The issue is, if there IS an issue, that someone removed the memory card, rather than sending the info ON the memory card via a modem connection. You do NOT know that the memory card data was not simply downloaded at election headquarters. And THAT might be the SOP if the telephone lines go down.

        It would be incredibly easy to tell the Democratic Party head in that county the polling place - a street name, a precinct, a general idea of where it was would be ALL that was required. Your excuse that someone threw away the documents that were provided indicates that you KNOW that they were thrown away. If you were ASKING about the status of the investigation, and you were told that they were thrown away, any normal person would have simply retyped them then and there, and delivered them to the proper authorities.

        This story just does NOT hold water when examined in any kind of critical fashion.

        It WASN'T YOUR job to investigate ANYTHING, and that is simply a strawman argument that you are using. YOU failed to notify the proper authorities. It's NOT your job to subpeona telephone records either - it would be people who have to investigate possible fraud - and they would have HAD to write a report, IF YOU had reported it.

        I don't believe that you did not have a PHONE number to call that could have given you immediate information in your poll training. And if you did not, then you should have followed up. Your claim today that someone threw out your affidavit is laughable.

        Then in later posts, you say that you saw stuff. If you SAW stuff then you HAVE proof. If you only think you saw stuff, then you do NOT know. Either you saw stuff, and can accurately say that it was fraud, or you did NOT, and you CANNOT say that it was fraud. Yet in some places you SAY that you KNOW there was fraud, and in other places you admit you know nothing.

        You say the SOE was "either out to get "me," as in anyone working for Kerry/the Dems, or else her arm was being twisted."

        HOW do you KNOW anything wrong was DONE?

        A guy took the memory card. YOU still had the paper ballots. HOW do you KNOW that you could NOT have gotten them to compare the two? You don't, because you never tried. You simply assert today that you KNOW that fraud happened. You have no proof, but somehow you know it happened.

        ...but not your own facts.

        by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:51:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hello Ayn Rand (4.00)
          You do KNOW the meaning of KNOW don't YOU?

          Don't be a fuckhead! HTH k thnx

          by kraant on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:00:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We all write comments from time-to-time (4.00)
          that lack civility and grace.  I guess is was your turn.

          Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

          by DCDemocrat on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:49:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This person's story doesn't hold water (none)
            And I am not afraid to say it.

            A fair examination of the story shows too many discrepencies and contradictions.

            Including the most offensive ones to me, where she claims that she KNOWS that she has no proof, yet over and over again asserts that she KNOWS fraud happened.

            This is the same issue that Kos has with conspiracy theories over election fraud from other sources.

            The fact that a memory card was taken from a voting machine does NOT mean that election fraud happened, does it? Of course it does not. Yet she says she has formed an opinion that fraud did happen because the memory card was taken from the machine by a guy who she thinks, with no proof, conspired to disable the landline phone. Yes, I know that, as far as THIS diarist knows, he was the last person to use the phone. And she says that the last time SHE heard him answer the phone, she claims that she heard it stop ringing mid-ring, yet she heard no talking. Not only are those 'facts' not proof that he did anything to the phone, but if she remembers details like that, those are the relevant details, yet she tries to say that there is no point in going to authorities about this because she doesn't remember the exact times that things happened. The court could subpeona the telephone's records to find out exactly what time those phone calls were made. She somehow believes that it would be upon her shoulders to get the telephone records!

            I do not think it helps the cause of election reform to make baseless allegations of fraud when there is no proof. I think it hurts the cause of election reform. There's no proof of any fraud. None.

            It's fine to be suspicious of the circumstances. There's a difference though, between being suspicious and making the statements that she did, where she says that based upon her suspicions she is convinced that fraud happened. Making that kind of leap based upon the evidence available is the exact kind of behavior that I believe, and apparently Kos believes too, hurts the cause of election reform.

            ...but not your own facts.

            by slouise217 on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 08:53:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Each of us is entitled to her or his opinion (4.00)
              and each of us is entitlted to be treated with respect.  We can disagree without being disagreeable.

              Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

              by DCDemocrat on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 09:09:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think I made myself fairly clear. (4.00)
              As an academic, I know that this is not proof. I do not have proof in my hand. I've admitted this from the beginning.

              Conclusive proof is not the only kind of knowledge that exists. You don't have to have conclusive proof to know that something is happening, you have to have conclusive proof to prove that something is happening.

              Those who were not there that night do not know as I do that fraud was happening, nor would I expect them to say so. Because they didn't witness the events. I know.

              That firm knowledge can't be transferred to people who weren't there because I do not have proof. What can be transferred to others is evidence that indicates that something bad was happening, something that should have been investigated.

              •  YOU said that you KNOW that fraud happened (none)
                And it was THOSE comments that I objected to.

                But the fact remains that YOUR story doesn't hold water.

                There are too many holes in it.

                And everyone IS entitled to their own opinion.

                But those people that craft their opinions upon shifting sands should have that pointed out.

                And that's what I did.

                You have NO basis for saying that you KNOW fraud happened, yet you do say exactly that. And if you KNEW that fraud happened, you sure didn't act that way 16 months ago.

                Saying that your only option to prevent fraud from happening was jumping on and perhaps even killing this man is ludicrous.

                Saying that you cannot remember times, and therefore it's too late to report this to the authorities, when you can remember the IMPORTANT facts, is not believeable.

                Saying that YOU don't know how to subpeona telephone records, when there would be NO expectation for YOU to do the investigation, and you should have NO expectation that you would HAVE TO do the investigation, is NOT believeable.

                Saying that since you don't live in Florida any more, you don't think you can participate in any investigation is silliness in the extreme.

                You say in response to the first post on the thread that you do not even know details about the vote totals. If you do NOT know them, HOW can you possibly know that the vote totals on the memory card that eventually got turned in for your precinct differed at ALL from the paper ballots that you secured? But even though you say you don't know details, you say

                "...they stole from that county." Not 'I think they might have stolen from that county', but a flat-out assertion that they DID steal from that county. You say that you should have investigated it yourself, but of course you, as a small worker bee, should NOT have investigated it yourself. It was YOUR job to report your suspicions. That's all.

                Later in the diary you say

                "...although the fraud I witnessed..." But you did NOT see fraud. You say behavior that YOU THINK INDICATED fraud. You did not see fraud, yet you clain you did. It's THESE comments that I have trouble with, and it's THESE kinda comments that hurt efforts for election reform. Making assertions that fraud DID happen without proof is detrimental. And that is what YOU did throughout this diary and in your comments in this diary.

                You say that you found out that the report you filed got thrown away. Yet you do NOT say that when you discovered this, you REFILED the paperwork. That's what someone who really thought they had something would have done.

                The likelihood is that you THOUGHT some fraud might have happened. Your allegation WAS looked into, and discovered to be without merit - the simple fact that someone TOOK a memory card does NOT mean that fraud happened, yet YOU assert that it does. That's your WHOLE case - that you think that this person disabled the phone lines (what if someone else had TRIED to use the phone in the church AFTER he disabled it mid-afternoon? that's a pretty poor plan on HIS part!) and then he took advantage of the downed phone line to take the memory card. But what if reality is that, since the phone line was down, the proper procedure WAS for him to hand-carry the memory card to election headquarters? And what if he didn't do ANYTHING to the memory card - after all, you have NO proof that anything was done to change the results on that memory card over what was secured by you on the paper ballots.

                It is the unsubstantiated allegations that you make, with liberal doses of assertions of fact - that you know that fraud happened - that I object to.

                It IS possible that fraud did happen. But your exposition of the evidence here leaves a lot to be desired.

                ...but not your own facts.

                by slouise217 on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 09:03:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  It may not be evidentiary proof (4.00)
              But would we all agree that the situation cries out for further investigation?
        •  I could not call for a comparison (none)
          of the paper vote to the electronic record--
          or if I could, I never knew it.
          I thought--well, maybe this is stupid--but I thought Kerry or at least someone with authority in the party structure had to do that.
          And when he decided not to challenge, it never occurred to me that I could challenge.
          If he had challenged the election, I would have done every bit of work I could on a local level.
          But without that, how could I force local or state government to compare the tallies?
          That's an honest question, by the way--if I could have, I'm deeply sorry I didn't.
  •  We're frogs (4.00)
    sitting in the pot, and the water's getting warmer every election.

    I thought, "He's carrying my country away under his arm. Aren't we supposed to defend the Republic?"

    Your story leaves me both stunned and shrugging my shoudlers.  How can this be happening?  And yet, we've been pointing this out for so long, why are any of us surprised?

    Thank you for your true patriotism, both in volunteering at the polls that day and in showing so much heart in your response & write up.

    Come hear the voices crying in the wilderness at StreetProphets.com

    by mrsdbrown1 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:20:27 PM PST

    •  You're welcome (4.00)
      Now I'm tearing up. Because I have felt rather guilty at what I felt was my poor performance that day.

      though I'm pretty sure I've been blaming myself just to avoid the sense of complete powerlessness.

      You're welcome. I love my country. I would serve her if I could. I keep trying, and it doesn't seem to work.

    •  Abramoff's client Diebold --> Ohio Ney 's HAVA (4.00)
      from:
      Mark Crispin Miller's site:

      http://www.markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/

      Input: Abramoff money --> Output: Election fraud

      *Mother-of-all-election-fraud:

      In 2002 House Administration Chair Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio was a prime sponsor of the (sic) "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA). In fact, HAVA was actually written in Bob Ney's office. HAVA, under the guise of resolving the 2000 election fraud issues, was actually written to promote the distribution of computerized voting systems across the nation. The bill was designed to send $3.8 billion taxpayer dollars straight into the pockets of corporations like Diebold, whose voting equipment has now been unequivacolly proven to provide an open door to election rigging. Diebold, one of the prime lobbyists for HAVA, was at the time a client of Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff's firm.

      many blue, yellow and green dogs are a majority.

      by Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:55:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reading all this brought me to tears. (4.00)
    I mean, yes, I knew sort of abstractly that this sort of thing is happening in our country but reading this account brought it to reality. My god, what the hell has happened to this country? I am so ashamed.
    •  don't be ashamed (4.00)
      you didn't do it.
      •  And you didn't do anything wrong. (4.00)
        Your survival instinct kicked in, to be quite frank. You didn't go tharn, IMHO.  You started thinking it through.

        Decking the guy and taking back the voting card would have solved nothing, because the operative's superiors would have gotten involved and the memory card stolen anyway.  The bastard knew the fix was in, from the top down.

        And as has been already said, you would have been under immediate physical threat.  It was obvious that you were expected to simply stay quiet, to be there as pro forma only.  The moment you raised your head, Jeb Bush's surrogates would have cut it off.

        Perhaps literally.  There is no length that these people will not go to, IMHO.

        Because you didn't martyr yourself for the cause and become simply another anonymous statistic, you are here, and if the worm every does turn on this corruption, it'll be people like you as witnesses documenting the atrocities.  Sometimes living to fight another day really is the best course of action.

        •  y'know, funny thing is (none)
          It didn't occur to me I was in physical danger. I probably would have been though--at least in the sense of being dumped in jail, with the cops fed some story that would encourage them to treat me badly.

          And I'd probably still be in jail.
          And, worst of all, my story would have been fed into the spin machine:  Horrible Terrorist Liberal Tries to Hijack Vote From Patriotic Servant of the GOP, etc. etc.

          But there's no way to feel right about standing there and letting him walk away. Even if I bludgeon myself less about it. You just can't feel right about something like that.

          •  Agreed. (none)
            The whole situation stunk to high heaven.  And there were things that could have been done afterward.  

            A possibility that I've heard (not sure if it has come up) is to do a little cloak and dagger of your own.  Use a spy camera -- there are actually tiny little film cameras and certainly tiny cell phone cameras -- and take a few quiet pictures.  Getting a picture of the turd walking away with the memory stick as a 'shot from the hip' is a bit risky, but it's not illegal, if he DOES see you, it forces his hand -- especially if the picture is taken on public property -- and if it includes his face, it can be anonymously delivered straight to the media.  Even if the local media is hostile, there's national media that may not be.

      •  It is my fault. It's all of our faults. (4.00)
        For being complacent and scared. And I am still complacent and scared. I admit it. If I had any balls I'd be doing exactly what the insurgents in Iraq are doing and I don't mean to say that I advocate violence, but when even the electoral process is corrupt, I don't know if there is another solution aside from a true popular revolt... but it won't happen because none of us are brave enough to do it, including me. I hope someone is though.
        •  As individuals, few of us (none)
          are brave enough.  As a group, we have the courage and desperation necessary to do what is necessary.
        •  probably other options we could try first (4.00)
          and probably should.
          Before violence, I mean.

          A massive, truly massive protest, on this issue, has never happened. In fact, I don't know of a rally about this since the "trust the people" rallies in 2000.

          By the way--I don't know if it's just being scared. I mean, I'm scared shitless even at the thought of a peaceful rally, b/c I have a pretty good idea of the kind of power Bush is. I've read about guys like him in history books, and I've heard about guys like him in the news from other countries, and damn it, he's here now.

          So I don't know if it's just b/c America is scared.

          I think most Americans have a very profound aversion to domestic political uprising. They really, really, really want the law to work. They really, really, really want to solve things through the rule of law.

          In other countries, there probably would have been widespread rioting after 2000. That's just not what Americans are like. Bad or good? I think it's probably both.

          I think we need more than the kind of rally that's become customary, where we show up, wave our signs, and go home. But the option of peaceful protest has not been exhausted. And, in fact, there's probably other, more strategic, focused options that haven't even been tried.

          Who could make a difference on this issue--who's in a position to do so--who we'd have a chance of swaying?

          My sense is, much as I'd like a massive DC protest, that it would be much more effective to tackle this at the state level, where it's happening. And a more decentralized effort is probably better. I don't know, though--open to suggestions.

          •  I think it'll take more than that now. (4.00)
            The largest protests ever were in 2003, opposing the impending Iraq war, and we know how that turned out. It's going to take something new to wake up the media. As far as massive DC protests, I think that'd only work if we went there and then didn't leave--rotating people in and out as time permits. And if that doesn't work, well, how many people can they really arrest and hold at once?

            I agree with you that we really want the law to work, but I think it's clear now that it doesn't, and it's also clear why--it doesn't work, from the top down. I don't want anarchy or civil war, but sadly I doubt the media and indeed many Americans as well would really pay attention otherwise.

            Apparently enforcing Constitutional rights isn't as big a story as "missing white woman". Hey, maybe we could shame the press back into reporting the news and investigating again: get a bunch of pretty and/or wealthy white women to run away without telling anyone as a protest, and they could leave notes to be found or notify the press later or something. I bet that'd get more TV coverage. :P

    •  My reaction (4.00)
      was more of the hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-the-neck variety. But to each his own.

      Scary. Damn scary. Having grown up in the rural south, it is a scenario that I have no trouble evisioning; but when one actually bears witness to such a thing, it is a genuinely chilling experience. The possibility of physical harm, social ostracism, legal railroading, or worse is always in the background, casting a haunting shadow across the beacon of truth.

      I know. Been there. Saw that. Didn't dare buy a t-shirt.

      •  well, yes (4.00)
        especially the ostracism.

        as I wrote above, I wasn't thinking about the possibility of physical danger, but there was some--because I'm sure the cops would have been told something pretty terrible about me.

        but, you know, the pain I was in pretty much took most of my attention. Until I went into that cold, feeling-less place.

  •  Thanks so much (4.00)
    Thank you for writing this.  I think, clearly, if this happened in one precinct it probably happened in many more.  How sad that the elections upon which our entire democracy rest are so unsecured and unorganized that the voting results can simply be hijacked like this.  I agree with the comment above saying that we need to have people ready with video cameras next time (in nine months) to document these and show the public.
  •  I knew it was bad (4.00)
    but this just confirms it.  Thanks for sharing your story.

    "What noble cause did they die for, Mr. President?"

    by BlueInARedState on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:24:50 PM PST

  •  We all need (4.00)
    to learn the law backwards and forwards, double & triple-cover each other, bring all sorts of recording devices, and have lawyers on site at every polling station.  If that doesn't work, we'll need extreme means.  

    "... Just so long as I'm the dictator." - GWB, 12/18/00

    by Bob Love on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:24:55 PM PST

    •  Hmm (4.00)
      If that doesn't work, we'll need extreme means.

      ...armed revolution??

      •  Armed revolution (4.00)
        would be against the law.  For the moment.

        "... Just so long as I'm the dictator." - GWB, 12/18/00

        by Bob Love on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:40:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes (4.00)
        you have to go beyond the law to save the society that the laws protect.  When the leadership of a society ignores the law, and uses the law to cover its own illegal acts, then the law is of little use.

        I am desperately afraid that it's going to take armed insurrection to turn this country back around -- and even if that happens, God forbid the necessity, we won't go back to a decent, democratic, pluralistic form of government, but "forward" into something perhaps even more frightening.

        Nevertheless, I refuse to stand by and watch as this country becomes a corporate version of Stalin's USSR.  We will do what we have to do.  If and when that becomes a necessity, then God help us all.

        •  Ahem, people (4.00)
          There is a simpler way to deal with this.  I don't think we need to turn to muskets yet.I think we all need to go to our own counties and find out what voting machines were purchased with HAVA funds. If you are not happy with what you find out, make a MAJOR stink in the local papers.  I have always found I can exert more pressure on people locally thn I can regionally or nationally.  My hometown paper runs letters AND I know reporters, and I know people at every TV station.  In Upstate NY, if a cow dies, it's news.

          During 2004,I was a lawyer monitoring the Michigan vote; they told me they had too many lawyers in Florida.  I live in NY, and although I lawyer there on Election Day, I turned that over to someone else because I knew there were other states needing help.

          After I got back, I went down to the BOE in my city to find out what the County was buying with the HAVA funds.  Before HAVA, we had the old lever machines, which no one could repair, because there were no more parts.

          As it turned out, New York State law for voting systems requires a full face ballot, certification of the system at the federal and state levels, a voter verifiable paper audit trail and the paper from the audit trail in a court ordered recanvass of votes is the ballot.

          The County was strapped for funds,and therefore, we are getting an electronic system, but with a paper audit trail. Since we are getting the paper audit trail, I am satisfied. However, the first time we use them is going to be absolute chaos. Our poll watchers are in their 60's and 70's; plugging them in will be a major hassle (no need to plug in those lever ballots.)I am also told by my Commissioner that the machines are all independent; no servers involved.  No way to hack them, right? If I am wrong on any of this, let me know ASAP.

          As for vote stealing, it is as old as Cain and Able. In some places, dead people are better voters than the living. When I was a kid, the true vote count was done in an Irish bar, before the Dem results landed at the BOE. The guys didn't change the results, though; they simply watched returns and waited for an opportune moment to call their returns in. Or so my Dad would tell me. Course, he also promised me a pony.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:40:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What county are you in, what brand of machines? (none)
            Mary Julia:

            I'm in NY too, in NYC, and I haven't heard that the state election law here protects us as well as you think it does - in fact I didn't think that the new regulations for the new machines have even been formally adopted yet -

            what brand of machine did your county buy, what is the name of the model?

            Here's the latest report, from The New York Times on what's happening with NY State voting machines.

            Re the provisions you mention - what happens if the court doesn't order a recanvass of votes?  How would you go about getting the paper ballots to count over the machine tabulations then?

            And no, the voting machines are not online and networked to a central server while people are voting on them - but how are the votes they record then transmitted to the central tabulator?  That's the more important question, and of course there are ways to hack them - by inserting memory cards that have been tampered with for instance.
            Though simple malfunctions may be a worse threat to the integrity of the vote than any hacker.   And in these days of wireless communications capabilities, it hardly matters if they are networked to a server.  The Commissioner is playing games with you I fear, trying to reassure you with meaningless jargon.

        •  I agree that Bush's abandonment of law (4.00)
          and election fraud make it difficult, maybe impossible, to resolve stuff through the law. At least until and unless we are able to take enough control of the electoral process to regain at least one house of Congress.

          I just think Americans, in general, really prefer to do it through the law, which accounts for the reluctance to take other kinds of action.

          We may someday need--god forbid, as you said--to have some kind of armed uprising, which would essentially become a civil war pretty quickly. Because my guess is that the military would split down the middle.

          (Sometimes I can't believe that I'm saying what I'm saying. Was it only seven years ago that we were a Republic?)

          It is one of the primary goals of my life to prevent that from becoming a necessity. To take the Republic back without--well, I can't say without bloodshed, there's been so much already. Without civil war. And without one of the next two generations having to undergo civil war. Because, my feeling is, that if we don't take it back within the next ten years, at most, it will be our children or their children who take it back, and it will have to be through violence.
          That's just my feeling--not based on anything, and it could be total BS.

          I want to secure the blessings of liberty for myself and my posterity (not that I have any literal posterity) without having to wage war for it.

          My people should not have to pay that price, just because they are too trusting.

  •  Please tell the Carter Center. (4.00)
    Please tell anybody else that monitors elections as well; they would be interested in hearing your story. The local ACLU might be good as well.
  •  When I read that (4.00)
    Karl Rove was confidantly predicting wins for republicans in the mid-term, I felt cold.  Has he already got it wrapped up?

    If not for the cat,
    And the scarcity of cheese
    I could be content.
    --Jack Prelutsky

    by Reepicheep on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:37:17 PM PST

    •  I can't believe (4.00)
      the party isn't doing something about this behind the scenes.

      they can't be that stupid. all this "nothing to see here, folks, no fraud to speak of" is just PR for them, right?

      they have to be doing something.

      else how would we have won in 2005?

      didn't Kerry say something about that in his "how the year went" email a while back--that we had lawyers on the ground to make sure no fraud happened in '05?

      I'm grasping at straws here. Whatever they're doing, if they're doing anything, I hope it's good and I hope they make it quick.

      But maybe they aren't doing anything--could we organize in time to effectively do something?

      We would need an awful lot of people on the ground.

    •  I don't know. (4.00)
      It seems, though, that if any funny stuff will happen, it will happen where we're not looking and where we don't expect.  

      So let's think about that.

      Above, DCDemocrat mentions the hierarchical relationships & "need to know" basis of information in the Bush/Cheney camp.  I guess under those circumstances, well, some real Machiavellian tactics can be implemented, while we could have a whole squadron of evil geniuses who can't get anyone to listen to them even if we wanted..

      Jack Abramoff: Directed $3M in donations to both parties. Charged his clients $100M in fees and funnelled it all to the GOP.

      by daria g on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:16:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  moe matters (none)
        Even if Kerry really won last time it was pretty close.  Any hyothetical vote fraud that took place in 2004 was within the margin of error (moe) This time, with Bush's approval at 34% and headed lower, the amount of fraud that would be necessary for a ReThug win is so large that there'll be no way (I hope) people would stand for it.   The scene would be set for a Ukraine-type "Red, white and Blue Revolution."  
  •  Important diary-thank you-highly recommended (4.00)
    •  you're welcome (4.00)
      and thanks for the recommendation
      •  Thank You (4.00)
        and good work. I totally understand where you're coming from. I knew your story was real, because we all had that sense that Florida was going to make the difference that year. Statistically and demographically, it really should have.

        I spent a good part of the day sign waving along with an 82 year old black grandfather of 4 in Lowtey, Florida. Bradford County. (ditto on the "South" comment.) We had Kerry and Bruderly signs. I had done african-american outreach that whole election. I can't even tell you how many middle-aged ladies and unemployed young men we signed up. Every one of them was pissed off about 2000. And frankly the generosity they showed in accepting a successfull white man from Massachussettes was surprising.

        Sorry about Dave. He's a good man. I fought hard for him. I probably know you.

        (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

        by Florida Democrat on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:42:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bang. (4.00)

    I don't know the law in other states, but in Florida, no one other than the clerk of the precinct is supposed to be alone with that data until it reaches the SOE.

    There ya go, folks.  Nobby, I understand what you mean when you say you can't "prove" this, and I certainly appreciate your straightforwardness about that.  Your story is very well told, and heartbreaking.

    But look at the part of her diary I just quoted.  End of story.  Fraud.

    Living in Ohio, I have some appreciation for the frustrations of election fraud.  (Conyers Report, anyone?)  

    Thank you very much.  And thank you for your patriotism.

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:44:44 PM PST

  •  i urge you to take this story (4.00)
    to bradblog.com

    brad friedman has been following the diebold issue closer than anyone else.  he would probably be interested.

  •  What an excellent diary! (none)
    Thank you for recording this, I know it must have been very hard to go back down that memory lane, thanks again.
  •  This is why... (4.00)
    all the talk about Iraq, Plame, domestic spying, Dubai and Cheney are irrelevant.   Without a paper trail, we will continue to lose elections.
  •  In PA (4.00)
    I volunteered for the first time in my life for the Kerry campaign.  One of the things that I did for them was to call the county election offices (about 60 of them) and find out what criteria they were using to register voters, among other things.  I was shocked at the inconsistency.  Counties were rejecting registrations that didn't have a party marked off, even though that conflicted with the law.  Remember, PA has a Democratic governor.  A state law had recently been enacted to computerize the process of registration and it was failing miserably.  What I had off the record was that the contract had been given out, let's say, not based on merit.

    I think Nobby's point is key - we need people who have personal relationships on a local level, even in heavily Republican counties.  I've had some experience living with people in the Bible belt, and found myself adjusting how I spoke to people in the more rural counties.  But nothing beats that local connection for being able to get priceless information informally.

    (So how was the Kerry campaign run in PA?  Pretty well, as far as I could tell, and we pulled the state for Kerry.  But in September 2004, their wish list included a VCR.  For what purpose?  So the media office could watch tapes of news coverage.  In September.  The media office.  In the state headquarters for the Kerry campaign.  In a crucial state.  Only my friends could appreciate the irony of their using mine (a free gift from opening a bank account), since at the time I was a luddite with no television or computer of my own.)

  •  It was Stalin (4.00)
    who said, "It does'nt matter who votes;it only matters who counts the votes".

    Every one of our poll watchers must be equipped with knowlege of the law, a camera, and a cell phone.

    Most of all, we need to fight hard to take machines out of voting, and stick purely with

    PAPER BALLOTS

    collected in transparent boxes

    HAND COUNTED

    by citizen volunteers screened for honesty

    IN PUBLIC

    in full view of the citizenry, on video, and supervised by non-partisan officials, not the rethug candidate's campaign co-chair.

    This matters so much more than fundraising or slick campaigning. None of that is worth a shit when the count is rigged.

    Thank you for sharing this story, Nobby. This is what matters in democracy.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:01:57 PM PST

  •  Send your story to Greg Palast (4.00)
    He was the reporter who discovered and made a detailed acount of the fraud in Florida during the 2000 elections. Then there's Michael Moore who also was watching for fraud in 2004, although he concentrated in Ohio... probably assuming that they would steal the Florida election very easily. I lived through the same thing... I was in S. Florida, working the polling places. There was not a single Republican in any of the precints. They knew ahead of time they had won! I have never seen anything like it! Nobody from the GOP anywhere it was really freaky!
  •  The Electoral College has got to go. (4.00)
    Once the EC is gone, and it becomes impossible to "win Florida" or "win Texas", the job of vote-stealing will become exponentially harder.

    The EC could be removed with a constitutional amendment. Why aren't we fighting for this?

    -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:10:14 PM PST

    •  good idea, very good idea (4.00)
      and we should be fighting for election day to be a national holiday too.

      if we really press for that hard, how can they justify not doing it?

      •  I hope you are spreading your story (4.00)
        to anyone who will listen.

        It seems to have come up from time to time (the EC amendment thing)-- I see DiFi pushed for it a couple years ago, which makes me wonder if maybe I'm wrong and it wouldn't be so good.

        But it's hard to get an organized push when you always have to start by explaining to people what the EC is.

        (Shortly after the 2000 election, I was teaching an adult ESL class in Anchorage. I set out to explain to them what had happened in Florida. After about half an hour of maps and sums and red and blue markers, I finally said: "Look, the governor of Florida is George Bush's brother, and..."

        Instant comprehension. "Ah! That is how we are deciding elections in my country, too!"

        It was a depressing moment.)

        -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

        by SensibleShoes on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:42:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes! National Holiday for Voting. (4.00)
        I completely and totally agree with this. There were so many stories about people leaving the lines after hours waiting in Ohio because they had to go to work.
  •  Wow (4.00)
    That's just all kinds of ridiculous.

    I hope you all will forgive me for bolding what comes next, but I want to make sure Nobby sees this:

    PLEASE POST THIS AGAIN CLOSER TO THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. IT WILL SERVE AS A GOOD REMINDER TO ALL OF US.

    Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

    by wiscmass on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:11:36 PM PST

    •  I will, but (4.00)
      if we're going to make a difference, probably need to organize now.

      should we organize at the grassroots level? it will take a truly phenomenal number of people and the logistics would be pretty incredible to tackle. But maybe we should tackle them.

      Damnit, this is what a party infrastructure is supposed to be for.

      Could we do it through DFA?

  •  Yes, you could have called the cops (4.00)
    Next time, call them.

    Next time, take the phone number of the national call center that will record complaints of election irregularities - I forget the name right now, but I can look it up.

    Call the ACLU, the Florida branch as well as the national office.  Tell them you are going to send them a sworn written notarized statement of what you saw on Election Day.

    Is there any kind of Voter Assistance Commission in Florida - any kind of local or state commission that is supposed to hear complaints of voting irregularities on Election Day?

    Write an op ed and submit it to the largest nearby paper.  Write a letter to In These Times, or to TomPaine.com, telling them that you want to write an article about what you experienced.

    Write to the Florida League of Women Voters.

    Write to most sympathetic Florida legislator you can think of.  Write to Rep. Conyers as the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, who prepared the Conyers report on Ohio.
    Write to Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis, who are working on a new book (is it only about Ohio?  I'm not sure).

    Write to Bev Harris at Black Box Voting.  Write to Greg Palast at www.gregpalast.com.  

    Write to Verified Voting.org.  Write to the National Voting Rights Institute, nvri.org.

    Write to the Florida professor who wrote a book on what when wrong in 2000 - it was just published in fall 2005.  Maybe he's writing on on 2004!  The Battle for Florida by Lance DeHaven Smith - Florida State University I think.  It was diaried here.

    When you get tired of writing, think of how you felt that night, when you ran after the "tech."

    In 2006 and in 2008 - we should all do what you did and  be poll watchers or poll workers.  Your example is inspiring.

    And thank you for writing to us!

     

    •  You're rignt. (4.00)
      I should.
      And now that you say that, it's hard for me to understand why I didn't. I guess I felt, what with 100,000 or more reports of "irregularities," all being basically ignored or trivialized, what was my report, especially since I didn't have proof in my hand?
    •  I signed up to be a poll clerk (4.00)
      yesterday at my town's Dem caucus. The town needs need equal numbers of D's and R's. Anyone can sign up [at least in this state]. Doesn't mean they'll call you but we have to start somewhere.

      My quick 2004 story: At the end of the voting day, I talked with 2 volunteer lawyers at at polling place that drew a lot of college students, mostly from other states.  They expected many problems.

      Turns out the college had done a great job of working with election officials ahead of time so very few students got challenged.

      But the lawyers had intervened on behalf of over 100 other voters, mostly young people with new addresses or no permanent address, and recent immigrants. All were legal voters under our laws, but were consistently turned away even after the lawyers had explained the law over and over to the clerks.

      So even in a state with very liberal voting laws 100 voters would have been turned away if not for these volunteers. Out of 3,000 voters at that precinct, that's 3% - more than Bush's purported margin.

      Fraud or not, there are plenty of reasons for all of us to get involved at the polls and use the resources/ideas listed in the comment above.

      Nobby, thanks for posting this.  Stories like yours made me go do something concrete yesterday.

      •  Exactly - doing the math: (none)
        Young people, recent immigrants = likely Kerry voters.

        Make it hard for people in those categories to vote, and you've secured your Bush margin of victory, without doing anything "illegal."  

  •  Mentioned this on this site (4.00)
    once before, might bear mentioning again.

    I knew the election was stolen at 7:00 pm on election night. Was at a video taping for German television in a Georgetown bar. Was seated next to this horrid repiglican talk-radio bitch (and I use the term advisedly) who was also a repig party official of some sort. We were watching the returns come in, predicting victory for Kerry at that point. My friend and I were happy about it and being pretty smug with each other. She turned to us and told us how many votes bush would "win" Ohio by, then stalked off. And she was not from Ohio. Thought that it was real fucking weird. But her "prediction," of course, wasn't proven "accurate" until several days later.

    and again, nothing even remotely actionable here. just enough to let you know that you've been hosed.

    "The future will be a struggle between huge competing systems of psychopathology." - J. G. Ballard

    by RabidNation on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:17:41 PM PST

  •  WHAT FUCKING COUNTRY DO WE LIVE IN? (4.00)
    I expect this type of over site from burgeoning deomocracies, but in the United States of America?  

    I'm shocked that we've come to this to free and fair election!

    Give me my pen and ballot and fuck any other method!

    •  yeah. (4.00)
      I want pen and paper too.
      •  Great diary, Nobby! Thanks for your courage (none)
        and your efforts!  Keep up the fight--they can't win forever, unless we let them!!!!!
        •  Thanks, Phil--I will keep fighting (4.00)
          I keep watching the "Helm's Deep" sequence of The Two Towers.

          In 2002, I felt like one of the hobbits on Weathertop, with five wraiths coming at me, and me a little guy with a little sword who'd never even used a sword before, going, "Well, great, what am I supposed to do now? Well, I could try to attack them and die, or run and get caught and die, or get between them and Frodo and die..."

          Now I feel like I'm at Helm's Deep. That is in fact an improvement. But I hope we don't take that many losses.

          They did win there, though.

  •  Rove "crunched the numbers" (4.00)
    on election day.  

    http://www.pbs.org/...

    Sure he did.


    CHAPTER ONE
    Election Day 2004
    For hours, exit polls were indicating that John F. Kerry was the likely new president. But Karl Rove knew otherwise. He had his own numbers, and they dramatically contradicted the exit polls.

    Gee, wonder where Rove got those numbers?

    "Nordic, one of the most obnoxious people at Daily Kos." -- DHinMI

    by Nordic on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:35:16 PM PST

    •  Pity (none)
      Rove didn't share his numbers with Karen Hughes, who told the president that it looked dreadful around 7 pm EST.  He just smiled, looked "sanguine" and said "We'll see..."

      I never really worried about the E/M exit polls... but why did both the Bush and Kerry internals point to a Kerry win?  Odd, to say the least.

  •  Thank you Nobby for posting this. (4.00)
    I was living in Florida during the 2000 election. I remember watching the news on election day around noon and local reports were that people were starting to gather in protest in Palm Beach County at around 10:00 am because it was already apparent that something was terribly wrong. That night or the next Wolfie said on CNN that Katherine Harris had been working for the Bush campaign in Florida -- which really was news to me (and probably a lot of other Floridians too.) The next night -- now I know you are going to find this hard to believe, but I swear to you it is true -- Wolfie retracted the story about Harris. Said the information was in error. I swear to you this is true. I've never forgotten it, and it wasn't until I moved out of Florida and talked to others about the election that I began to realize that a lot of the news about what was going on in Florida was kept in Florida (or so it seemed) and I often wonder if that Wolfie retraction was just FOR Florida to keep the rioters down...

    Thank you Nobby. Thank you.

  •  I voted by optical scan in St. Johns county (4.00)
    I can totally relate to the attitudes of so many in N. FL. I did jury duty for the county in 2004 and the TV's in the common areas of the courthouse were all tuned into Faux News Network. It seems like we're fighting a losing battle. I admire your efforts to make a difference, thanks!
  •  thanks for standing up Nobby (4.00)
    i was poll watching in a small church outside of hastings, in st john's (another red cty) we managed to get our county goal, and i started having hopes of a kerry win, until i got home and started looking at the precinct problems in duval, and s fl. When i got to the ohio stories of 6 hour waits, i knew the drill.
    WE need paper ballots...We need vote counts done publicly with video of each ballot (Just like they use in casinos and surveil in large stores) Let WalMart subsidize the counting of votes. Let them use their "loss prevention" equipment to prevent the loss of Democracy. Let High school students earn civics credit by becoming a part of the process. Let THEM supervise the vote count along with reps from each party. It would be a start. No more secret counting for this secretive administration.

    Bush/Cheney04 Because it takes 8 years to Destroy the Country Download GeckosAgainstBS song

    by demnomore on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:10:09 PM PST

  •  Want proof of the complicity of government (3.25)
    In the hijacking of America?  Both sides are in on it, Republicans and Democrats, and they are aligned with the corporate and financial elite and are working to strip away personal freedoms and to establish more firm control on this country.
    Go to Academy of Achievement

    I attended this weekend retreat in 1996.  I have a book from past recipients of the organization's "Golden Plate" award (we were in tuxes eating off of real golden plates in a banquet like you saw on Farenheit 9/11).  I have a book from the event chronicling past years' recipients.  I'll list some.
    Jimmy Carter, Barry Diller, Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Charles Kuralt, Gen. Schwarzkopf, Bill Sessions, Lesley Stahl, James Wolfensohn, Rumsfield, Ross Perot, Sen. Inouye, Jerry Lewis, Milton Friedman, Marriner S. Eccles, Steven Spielberg, Ray Kroc (McDonalds), Sen. Howard Baker, Jack Valenti, Casper Weinberger, Sandra Day O'Connor, Frank Perdue, Tom Clancy, Michael Milken, Rupert Murdoch, Dr. Thomas Frist, J.W. Marriot, Colin Powell, Sen. Barry Goldwater, Gen. Scowcroft, Walter Haas (head of Levi Strauss), Ralph Lauren, Charles Schwab, George Lucas, etc.

    Yes, the democratic leadership is in on what the Bush administration is doing.  Yes, the media conglomerates are in on it.  I put up names from my book by year of induction here:

    Academy of Achievement listing by year

    If you say you love the Constitution, and are upset by what is happening, you owe it to yourself and your country to go through the list and decide for yourself what is really happening.

    Other later inductees (from website)
    2002
    President Bill Clinton
    Hamid Karzai - president of Afghanistan
    Ehud Barak
    Sam Donaldson
    Chris Matthews
    Mike Wallace
    Senator George Mitchell
    General Wesley Clark
    Mikhail Gorbechav
    Bono

    2003
    Justice Scalia
    Coretta Scott King
    Desmond Tutu
    Shimon Perez
    Ray Charles
    Senator Ted Stevens (Alaska)
    Senator Bill Frist
    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Senator John McCain
    Senator Trent Lott
    Frmr Senator Tom Daschle
    Vice President Dick Cheney & Lynne Cheney
    Chairman of Joint Chiefs of staff, Richard Myers
    Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

    2004
    King Abdulla II of Jordan
    Maureen Dowd
    Norman Mailer
    Rep. John Lewis

    2005
    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
    Tim Russert
    Katie Couric
    NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
    Former CIA Director George Tenet
    frmr presidential advisor David Gergen
    Larry Page (co-founder of Google)

    If your heart is troubled with the moral and spiritual decline and hijacking of America, check out the page

    by PubPolSanford on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:13:38 PM PST

  •  Tell the Voting Rights Project (none)
    Anyone who has a story like this should tell it to the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

    For contact information and further details about the Voting Rights Project, follow this link

    I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

    by homeland observer on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:33:52 PM PST

  •  Not military necessarily (none)
    but someone with a conscience who has been told by his pol boss to do something he doesn't agree with.

    I had the joy of spinning 18 months in Jacksonville--my husband was stationed there for a school, and I stayed behind when he deployed to the Gulf.  Youare right. It is VERY much Southern, unlike middle and south FL. I live in the Burbs of Atlanta, and it's not very different--the biblethumpersa e a bit mroe "out" here, but otherwise the mentality is the same.

    The library I worked their reference desk in Dunn Avenue.  We had a Christian school nearby---I dont' think I every got asked as often for info on Satanism in the 2 years I worked in Brooklyn Public Library--as I did in my first six months. It is Evangelical Hell.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:36:32 PM PST

  •  Young Turks had on their show ... (none)
    Leon County Election supervisor who decertified the Diebold machines after they were hacked.  There was quite a wide ranging discussion about the issues we face regarding verified voting....it'll hopefully be archived for consumption later.

    It curled what is left of the hair on my head.

    John Locke: "All just power is derived from the consent of the governed."

    by billlaurelMD on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:38:26 PM PST

    •  And he's feeling the heat (none)
      I posted a dairy a little while ago about Ion Sancho, he's currently being raked over the coals by some members of our local County Commission. Apparently, no manufacturer of voting machines will sell to Leon County, in fact ES&S pulled out of a contract just days before a DOJ deadline and now our county could lose nearly a half mil in grant money from the feds. Sigh. Having your vote counted should not be a partisan issue and yet instead of standing up for voting rights the republicans on our commission have decided to play this to their political advantage. Truly despicable, and they call themselves patriots, grrrrr.
      •  this SHOULD be a campaign issue! (none)
        Why do the Republicans have such a problem with documentation of the vote, paper trails, random audit of say 5-10% of the precincts, and other reforms?  Why do they politicize our right to vote and try to make it harder for people who they suspect won't vote their way to vote?  I (and many others of us) could go on and on about this.

        In MD, we have some serious issues.  THere've been some diaries about it;  Gov. Ehrlich (R) says that we have a broken system in so many words, then the election commissioner in MD says we can't fix the problem 'til after 2006.  Bills to fix the problem are stuck in committee, and so on.

        AAARGH!

        John Locke: "All just power is derived from the consent of the governed."

        by billlaurelMD on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 02:32:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If you really don't want to sleep well tonight.... (4.00)
    I'm not sure I want to post this, because it just scared the bejeebers out of me when I came across it a few weeks ago, following various links while investigating Michael Ruppert's book on Peak Oil, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. Personally, I can't stomach horror flicks, but they seem so popular, soooooooooooooo, for those of you that really don't want to sleep well tonight, I give you one extreme prognostication, from October 2004, of what we may be confronting:

    if Bush retains control of the White House, we can expect a neocon fascist dictatorship or martial law emergency regime in 2005 or 2006, possibly as the result of synthetic terrorism. The neocons are in a desperate flight forward mentality which seeks to avoid the penal consequences of what they have already done with Valerie Plame, the Niger yellowcake forgeries, the Israeli mole scandal, and the Chalabi betrayal of state secrets. The neocon preference is for early war with Iran. War with Russia and China cannot be excluded somewhat further down the road. Bush 41 invaded Somalia even after being defeated at the polls, and this should remind us that the war and synthetic terrorism dangers will remain high even if Bush is defeated at the polls. This option can be portrayed graphically as follows:

    2004-2040
    2004 Bush vote fraud of 2004
    2005  Neocon fascist dictatorship; martial law; Wolfowitz as Homeland Protector
    2006 Terry McAuliffe Pluto-Democrats, until outlawed in 2006
    2007 None: elections suspended, opposition jailed or assassinated
    2008 Wars with Iran, Russia, China; fighting on US territory after 2011; civil war

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

    So, we may all have to let a piece of us freeze, deep down in a psychological black hole we probably hoped we would never find ourselves in.

    On the other hand, the forecaster is already wrong about 2005 and Wolfowitz, so maybe it's just my worst nightmare that I'm sharing here, and nothing more.

    Is private credit the friend and patron of industry? -- The Federalist Papers, No. 15, Alexander Hamilton

    by NBBooks on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:39:14 PM PST

    •  scary future predictions... (none)
      The godfather of scary future predictions recently has got to be John Titor. Of course a lot of people wrote him off completely due to his time travel story, which is entirely understandable, but when it comes to the world of future predictions, I'm willing to listen to anyone, and more so if they later turn out to be right. Whatever your opinions on him, it certainly makes for interesting reading, especially if you like science fiction and/or rampant geopolitical speculation. In his case, some of the things he predicted apparently haven't come true, (a possibility that he predicted :)) and thus some of his die-hard supporters are pissed (scroll down for the e-mailed comments in the right column).

      However, the interesting part about John Titor's predictions has to do with what he apparently got right, and when he made them. Notably:

      "Are you really surprised to find out that Iraq has nukes now or is that just BS to whip everyone up into accepting the next war?" -- 2/25/2001, ATS archive
  •  We "know" they stole (4.00)
    2000 & 2004 but since there's no "proof" many people seem to believe that the lack of proof means that the election was honest when in fact it means only that there was no proof.

    I've believed since Nov 3 2004 that we were finished in 2006 & 2008 unless something drastic was done to ensure votes were counted correctly. It's now been over 5 years of people "knowing" that two elections were stolen and nothing of substance has happened.

    The thinking of many is that we'll just beat them with enough votes so that they can't steal enough to win. That's wishful thinking and defies rational thinking.

    We're seeing the stage being set to steal California's votes. Who knows what else is out there.

    I've been predicting for a long time that 2006 will be another disappointment but a lot of people will say "it was too soon. we'll get them in 2008".

    If I'm wrong I'm saying right here I will come on dKos and post a diary admitting I'm wrong and that I will donate $2000 to dKos.

    God, I hope I'm wrong.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:48:08 PM PST

  •  The truth will out eventually, in the meantime, (4.00)
    kick the ass of a touch screen voting machine. DFA is working on this issue. So is Grassroots West. We had a coup recently here in California. CA Sec. of State Kevin Shelley was fighting Diebold & ES&S, trying to stop the e-machines. Then the SF Chronicle paper went after him. Daily headlines for months, on how Shelley supposedly misused funds, harrassed his staff etc. It didn't help that Shelley was an abrasive type who didn't get support from the rest of the Dem party, but he resigned. Then they put a Republican in who pretended he'd put in paper trails, now we have nothing but touch screens for our elections this year even though almost everyone doesn't want them. Last election, around 50% voted absantee ballot, it will probably be around 80% this time. That's what the CA Dem Party is urging people to do. Not a pretty picture, but it's reality, we have to face it & fight it. As far as Conspiracy is concerned, take Ruppert's site with a grain of salt. He seems to get about 50% of what he says wrong. And that Academy of Acheivement thing sounds silly. There's lots of awards and foundations that have no conspiracy to them. Let's keep our heads and try to wrap our minds around this mind-boggling situation as rationally as we can.
  •  I am firmly convinced (4.00)
    that this sort of thing went on at almost every polling place. We had a Republican "observer" try to shuffle through our ballots (paper, mail-in ones here in Oregon) on the first day they started counting them. Our county workers (bless them) immediately stopped him and made all the "observers" stay in a taped off area.

    I believe the "observer" was really an advance scout who checked out if our polling place had a weak organization. Otherwise why would someone even try to cheat at a dinky little precinct in a predominately blue state? They wanted to steal every single vote they could. Predictions said Bush would lose. They needed to up the percentage of votes everywhere so the big picture wouldn't look as suspicious.

    One nation, under surveillance, no liberty, nor justice for us

    by SisTwo on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:58:25 PM PST

  •  This is why I'm supporting Allan Lichtman (none)
    Allan Lichtman is a voting rights expert who has testified as an expert witness in 70 voting rights cases. Now he's running for US Senate here in Maryland. He knows from his own experience that the events you've described are all too common. He has been fighting these abuses for thirty years and now he wants to take the fight to Washington.

    A Compassionate Conservative is someone who will visit you in the hospital after shooting you in the face.

    by Theo McCarthy on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:59:03 PM PST

  •  Bob Fitrakis just published a book on this (none)
    How the GOP stole America's 2004 election and is rigging 2008 (co-authored with Harvey Wasserman).

    Fitrakis is currently running for Governor in Ohio.  If he gets on the ballot, he's be a strong defender of our rights during the next election.

  •  Let me get this straight -- I don't get something (none)
    I don't quite understand.

    First off, I am, as someone else calls themselves here...Blue in a Red State...Mississippi. I DO believe the election was predetermined by people in high places.

    But, something doesn't make sense in your story. Here in my county (and most in MS) we vote by paper ballots that are counted by optical scanners. Our polls are heavily monitered as we are still under DOJ mandates. So far it sounds a lot like your situation.

    But the optical scanner is not at the polls. There is no computer, no machine, no card at the polling places,

    When the polls close, the locked box is taken by poll workers, Dem and Rep, to the SOE site. Then under the supervision of the election officials and party representatives, the boxes from all the precincts are opened. Then the paper ballots are feed into the scanner and counted.

    It seems it would be very expensive to have scanners at the polling places. And at the risk of sounding like I am really a troll...it just doesn't make sense to me.

    Please tell me where I'm going wrong. I would love to nail those that hijacked the elections and lead us into the mendastic state we find ourselves today. But, our facts have got to right on.

    •  When I voted in Alabama (4.00)
      There were 2 optical scanners at our polling place (for the regular election, we had seperate machines for the smaller council races)and we brought our ballot right to the machine and it was scanned in front of us, so perhaps it is a state to state thing....
      •  A county-by-county thing (4.00)
        In many states the voting method is set at the county level.  Like in Ohio.  

        It's one of the weaknesses of the system, that many states do not have uniform voting methods.  

        In fact the League of Women Voters of Ohio have an important lawsuit going forward over exactly this issue, to quote from the complaint "the voting system in Ohio  . . . denies the meaningful and equal exercise of the right to vote by using non-uniform standards, processes and rules . . . "

        We need a lawsuit like this in every single state of the Union!

    •  well-- (none)
      all I know is that the voting machine was there.
      Not being a technician.
      I saw it get opened up. I saw the two men arguing over the memory card. I saw the card get wrapped up in bubblewrap and carried off.

      I can't really speak to why it was different where I was from where you are.

      I wish I could be more help. All I know is what I saw.

      Believe me, I want to get the facts as right as I can. It bothers me that I can't remember exact times. I wish I had the reports we wrote that night, that were subsequently thrown away.

    •  In California (none)
      Before the Sequoia machines this past election we had optical scanners. We marked the ballot with a black pen and then fed the ballot into the scanner machine. This was all right at the polling place.

      I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

      by willers on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:08:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  much of Florida used precinct-based op scan/QUERY (none)
      as opposed to central count -- i.e., the scanners are indeed at the precincts.

      A handy place to check stuff like this (although it isn't perfect) is
      http://verifiedvoting.org/...

      I think it would be awfully hard to steal a typical election by multiplying this ambiguous story by... hundreds? thousands? But who knows?

      QUERY: I went to http://www.clayelections.com/ , clicked on Maps and More, established that Orange Park is the NE corner of Clay right by Jacksonville, and it appears that it would be the precincts beginning with 2, 200 through 220.  Using the precinct map (this link might work: http://www.icwmaps.com:8080/...), it looks as if the only two polling places presently in churches are pct 202 (New Covenant Ministries on Madeira Dr -- don't even know if that is a church) and 218 (First Christian Church on Moody Ave). Of course the places might've moved since 2004, I may have missed one, etc. Nobby, does one of those look right to you?

      •  Nope--but thanks for looking (none)
        I remember the street. Maybe it's no longer a polling place. I'm getting a bit paranoid and wondering if I should post the street here.

        The hell of this situation is that I can't tell when paranoia is crazy.

        •  Hey Nobby, I'm back (none)
          Just got swept up in the vote stuff and couldn't answer, so go to your last message about Linda Lamone!
        •  Be careful, Nobby (4.00)
          Of giving any info here in public that specifically identifies you, is my recommendation.   I was concerned that someone would zero in on exactly which precinct you were monitoring.  Not that there were that many in Clay County that night, to begin with.  

          Please be careful.   Your diary has become very high profile.  Don't be paranoid, just good healthy common sense, okay?

          •  Too late. (none)
            I've already said where I'm from, where I was working in '04, where I was living in '04, and what organizations I was working with. Also where (in a general sense) my mom lives. I really regret that one, but I doubt that a diary like mine, with no actual proof behind it and no big name attached to it to get it more media attention, will prompt much beyond a contemptuous response from the opposition. I hope not, anyway.
            •  I think you're right (none)
              We're often considered "small potatoes" here on dKos.  As long as we're just mouthing off and not taking any effective action, in the view of some "sectors".    

              Your witness is a valuable contribution.  Rest on your laurels about this, and take care.

          •  though they might well (none)
            try to cover tracks at the particular precinct.
            I had that thought as well.
            But I don't think they'd feel the need to come after me or my loved ones. Not cost-effective.
        •  no need to go out on a limb (none)
          If any precinct in Orange Grove was massively worked over, the numbers most likely will look pretty damn strange. (If every precinct was subtly worked over, that might be hard to spot.) I'm not sure where to get precinct numbers for Clay County -- they don't seem to be on the web site -- but it is a finite problem.
          •  umm, I mean Orange Park (none)
            Yeesh, I am not the multitasker I used to be.

            I don't think you should worry -- as you wrote in the OP, you don't really have proof of much. I just keep looking for clues that might point to the pattern that other people say they see, and I don't.

  •  One of the things I noticed (4.00)
       During the 2004 election is that if the Republicans wanted to fix the election, they would get their greatest boost not from depressing figures in Democratic precincts, but by inflating numbers in heavily Republican precincts.  For one thing, nobody would notice in a cursory review of voting behavior: if a very "red" precinct becomes even redder (or if a 90% R precinct remains at 90%, but produces 2,000 more votes) it doesn't ring any alarm bells.  For another, in those precincts Democrats are obviously going to be less well organized, if they have any poll-watchers at all.
        Fully contesting an election doesn't just mean organizing campaign materials, stops and speeches: it also means a massive grassroots organization of poll monitoring, and both legal and relational training on how to resist bullying that can lead to illegal handling of election materials.  Poll workers and party volunteers should attend seminars and conferences where this kind of thing is gamed through, so they know most of the tricks and how to respond to them.
  •  Fixing the vote in red counties (none)
    would seem to me to be the best way to go about stealing an election. Pushing up the popular vote by adding a few thousand here, a few thousand there, in places few would look for fraud, having presupposed the outcome.

    It's pretty ballsy to try to steal votes in Democratic enclaves, though I don't put it past them. On the other hand, disenfranchising Democrats or otherwise rigging the results in Republican strongholds... that seems not too unlikely.

    When looking for voter irregularities, I would look in the strongly conservative areas, and make sure the numbers have't been padded there.

    "Brothers, sisters, we don't need this fascist groove thing."

    by BobzCat on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:35:32 PM PST

  •  Another great resource for reporting and fighting (none)
    voter fraud is the National Voting Rights Institute:

    http://www.nvri.org/...

  •  Don't know whether to cry (none)
    ...or throw up... or cry and then throw up... or throw up and then cry...

    I'm in California. We just got the fucking Diebold machines shoved down our throats. This past election my county, for the first time ever, got Sequoia touch screens. I don't think they were played with because of how the results turned out, but if this Diebold thing really actually gets finalized, signed, sealed, delivered... we're fucked.

    When the elections are rigged, it's all over.

    I'm literally holding back tears right now. Tears of rage. Tears of loss. Tears, most of all, of despair.

    What can we do? What can one person do any more?

    I'm not Sheehan. I'm not King. I'm a WAHM in the middle of nowhere with no voice and an emotionally troubled 9 y/o son who depends on me despirately. I can't camp out in front of someone's house for weeks. I can't get arrested or worse. My family needs me too much.

    What the fuck can I possibly do.

    Letters, phone calls, emails... it's all pointless. They do what the fuck they want, even ignoring their own advisors who point out how illegal and immoral and filled with mistakes these kinds of things are. They choose not to hear... not to listen... not to hold hearings... they shut it all down.

    Democracy... true democracy as created by the Founders... is dead. And the neo-cons dance on its grave every day.

    America is fucked.

    Fucked. Fucked. Fucked.

    And there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

    I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

    by willers on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:48:27 PM PST

    •  I fight this despair a fair amount of the time (4.00)
      First off--
      Listen. I am unmarried and I have no kids.
      That doesn't mean I am going to be reckless with my safety or life--I value both.
      But it means you should leave some of the more labor-intensive stuff to people like me. And not feel bad about it.

      Secondly--
      I do often fight despair--that makes sense; despair is one of the primary weapons of the enemy. They rain despair down on our heads regularly. So that's the enemy, or the face of the enemy in our lives.

      But the truth is we have not yet begun to fight. There has not been a widespread concerted grassroots organizing effort around this issue. As far as I know.

      I have some ideas of things we could do--but I do need to get to bed sometime tonight.

      One question I'd like to leave with you all--do you think organizing a large, concerted effort on an issue like this can be done effectively online?

      If so, we should probably get to it. If not, we should figure out a way to do organizing IRL--either in a centralized national gathering, or, probably better, in many meetings, at a state or county level.

      But for you, willers, I'd say--do not require too much of yourself. Do what you can, when you can. Stay connected to the rest of us. And though this probably sounds fru-fru and white-light-New Agey, find what nourishes your spirit and get yourself some. Because the despair you're feeling means that you're depleted. Probably from standing up under the barrage of psychological warfare, the pressure of watching the stuff they're doing and listening to what's being said and what's being silenced. It can make you ill, because there's a poisonous quality to it.

      And remember:  we have not yet even begun to plumb the depths of our ingenuity. We have been trying to make the system do its job, and we have been mostly unsuccessful. That doesn't mean we should abandon people like Deb Bowen, but it does mean that we need to "think outside the box" when it comes to taking action. And there are ways to think outside the box that do not involve armed insurrection. God willing, we'll never have to go there.

      Finally--the Republic is not dead. I still have a pulse. And so do you.

    •  Ummm, you're wrong (4.00)
      There are a few things you can do.

      1. Join the local Democratic Party.

      2. Begin preparations for seeking affidavits from everyone willing to give one on election day that votes Dem. The bastards pull vote fraud in a precinct, hopefully you get more affidavits then the number of votes registered to Dems, and we are off to the races.

      3. Organize others to do 1 and 2.  You can make calls from your house.

      4. Write letters to editors. Probably 80 percent of your fellow citizens at this point have no idea their right to vote is being abrogated. We -- you and I -- have to bring that down to 30 percent and lower.

      5. Pray. Prayer helps. It really does. If you don't believe in a Supreme Being, a Great Geometer of the Universe, a Divine Architect, then, ummm, get a cat to talk to. I don't think you want to unload this kind of stuff on your kid. Oh, and read the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence from 1717. Their arguments about religion back then were so much more, ummm, intellectually stimulating, shall we say.

      Is private credit the friend and patron of industry? -- The Federalist Papers, No. 15, Alexander Hamilton

      by NBBooks on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:42:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doing as much as I can already (4.00)
        Going against my better judgement and worrying my husband because of the potential time commitment, I am gathering signatures to get on the ballot to represent my district for my county's Dem Central Committee. They meet an hour's drive away over terrible mountain roads. This is the only party meeting in my county.

        I also write letters to the editor, sign every petition I can, call/email my representatives, inform my friends and family on issues, work magic, and a hundred other things.

        But after reading this diary last night, I still feel like we're fucked and it's all pointless.

        But if I don't do these things, and I have no hope, I'm afraid of what I will do. I tend to suffer from depression, severe at times, and have had unfortunate thoughts. It took me about 6 months to start shaking the depression that started November 2004.

        So I continue, because I must. I fight, or I die. And I have a family to consider.

        I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

        by willers on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 08:29:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kossacks, awake! (4.00)
    Fair elections are all  that matter any more.  Without them, the 'fighting Dems' are just a sad joke.  Has anyone looked closely at the last minute surge that gave our Congress Mean Jean instead of Paul Hackett...? and we were all so proud that he came so close.

    Losers! That's all we'll ever be unless, until, we waken the sleeping giant, and nationalize the issue of fair elections.

  •  For all the good it will do (4.00)
    I just sent this to MacPherson via the Sec of State webform:

    -----------------
    I am horrified and shocked that you are trying to push through the Diebold "voting" machines. Your own committee gave overwhelming evidence that they are not to be trusted, the citizens of California do not want these machines, yet you are trying to certify them. Knowing your background and who is advising you, this appears to be not only clear conflict of interest, but possibly illegal as well since these machines are NOT federally certified.

    You know the Diebold machines are easily hacked. Something is seriously wrong with this entire deal, and you know exactly what. We Californians know too, and we are not going to let this one go.

    DIEBOLD MUST GO. We will not stand for this. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founders are spinning in their graves.
    ------------

    I have to try doing something, no matter how feeble. I have to try. It staves off the utter despair for a little while longer.

    Note to self: don't read political websites just before bed.

    I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

    by willers on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:23:24 PM PST

  •  From Red Santa Rosa County in FL (4.00)
    I can tell you from my precinct in Santa Rosa County, just outside Pensacola in northwest Florida which is overwhelmingly red the optical scan machines are used at the polling places but the paper ballots are not fed back through them unless there is a race with less than 2% difference between the candidates.  By taking the optical scan counter you could change the vote count or make paper ballots dissapear without anyone knowing or being able to prove it if the SOE was in on it.  
  •  I Live in Clay! (none)
    Hey there!
    I didn't think anyone else from Clay County posted on Kos. I'm so glad that this story finally got out. You may remember I helped out Jeff and the grassroots crew a little with Dean and whatnot.

    Drop me a line, I'd like to know what's going on and if there's been any luck moving that monolithic DEC.

    bradfordstephens@gmail.com

  •  I felt the same way during the 2000 recount (4.00)
    Nobby, I truly feel your pain.  I was at the canvassing board meetings representing the DEC in our county during the 2000 election aftermath.  I was sick for months afterwards and I don't think my faith in our system will ever be restored.  I saw the Bush/Cheney attorneys swoop in and fight tooth & nail to have every illegal un-postmarked, unsigned absentee ballot counted and even ballots that were post marked as late as 9 days past the Nov. 7th cut off and they were counted!  I had my digital camera with me to document it and made photos of them. These were mostly military overseas ballots and the Bush lawyers demanded they be counted while in South Florida they had their lawyers fighting in Dem counties to throw out as many absentee ballots as they could because they knew these ballots were largely jewish democratic votes.  We had no Gore lawyers, just two laypeople from the local DEC.  And the three member canvassing board was all republican.  
  •  Hey Bradford! (none)
    Do you know Mike Langston from Jax?  
  •  Sorry, but you did the wrong thing (none)
    When you chose non violence.

    Defend our country dammit!  Be a MAN!

  •  The machines in question were ES&S (4.00)
    I think you'll find this link useful. VerifiedVoting did a huge amount of work putting together a county-by-county map of the voting systems used in each county in 2004.

    Voting machine map

    ES&S makes a couple different kinds of optical scans. This one, the Optech 3P Eagle, is shared with Sequoia Voting Systems. They are being phased out. They read different inks somewhat selectively, making them fairly inaccurate and also, enabling a simple and cheap attack vector of simply putting the wrong kinds of pens into the voting booths.

    Nobby wrote a great report, and it brings out a number of issues.

    A couple points:

    1. Don't assume that the only race someone wants to tamper with is the presidential. When you follow the money trail, you find that the two most susceptible races are County Supervisor (controls land use and development decisions, lots of cash flowing through this position) and Sheriff (controls contraband, also a target for developer bribes because the sheriff signs off on the traffic study for land use). Also vulnerable: Supervisor of Elections.

    2. Don't assume that because law enforcement or county politics runs against you politically that you should not file a report. Even if you think that nothing will be done, these reports can be used strategically. For one thing, the reports you file become public records. In politically unfriendly territory, one important task for citizens to undertake is to seed information into the public record.

    You never know when someone will file a public records request revealing all the information you've seeded in. You can trigger this. Lawyers may find these. And also, filing reports, when done properly, can invoke fiduciary duty on public officials. If they know of a problem and fail to act it can cost them politically -- if not now, sometimes later, when a political foe digs the stuff out of the public record.

    Also, some people in both parties are honest.

    3) Now you see why one of the evidence-gathering initiatives to protect Election 2006 is what we're calling the "Candid America" project -- bring your camcorder in 2006. You cannot videotape during the voting, but you can videotape after the polls close. If what Nobby witnessed been captured on videotape, evidence would exist, and such evidence can produce change.

    Tips on using your camcorder to protect elections

    Arizona activists were accused of spitting and otherwise inappropriate behavior at a recent demonstration about voting. They tell us those accusations are not true, and in fact they were pushed around. We urged them to bring a video camera from now on. One of these activists, John Brakey, brought his video camera to a meeting -- ya never know what you're gonna get -- on Bradblog, here is the footage he got when an elections official rushed at him:
    Pima County elections official tries to intimidate observer

    The story recounted by Nobby is a good one for many reasons, but this story also will help protect Election 2006 if you take it to heart.

    Your camcorder: Like an American Express card and a box of chocolates all rolled into one: Don't leave home without it 'cause you never know what you're gonna get.

    Each time you see a story like this, remind yourself: Wow. What if we had video footage of this?

    Evidence = videotapes, documents and tape recordings.

    A camcorder caught Cuyahoga County Ohio officials breaking the law on the 2004 recount. Two people have been indicted and the people who ordered it are now busy negotiating their butts off.

    A camcorder caught the Broward County Elections Board browbeating a citizen who was trying to watch the L&A test (video of that is posted on our Web site -- just click the picture of the video camera at top left for a whole bunch of videos)

    Nobby's report was for Election 2004. Don't expect Election 2006 to be any better -- but  this time, let's get more evidence of the kind that will stand up in a court of law.

    Videotapes. Public records requests.

    •  it's very important (4.00)
      to file complaints even if you feel that nothing will be done in response to them.

      file complaints at the local, countywide, and statewide level and send documentation of your complaints to Blue-friendly media in case your paperwork gets "lost" by red-friendly local officials.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 05:00:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Memory cards with Alzheimer's. (4.00)
    In case anybody missed this article:

    The Harri Hursti hack and its importance to our nation

    Memory cards are easily hacked and they get fed into the central tabulator.

    Therefore nobody should ever have unsupervised access to a memory card.

    Here in San Diego I took the Registrar of Voters to court and he swore in his deposition that the Hursti hack would be impossible here because nobody has that much access to the memory cards and he can vouch for his staff.

    But the precinct inspectors take the optical scan machines home with them a week to ten days before the election. The memory cards are protected by a plastic seal that is easily broken and can be repaired with glue. The only person to ever look at it again would be the same precinct inspector who had tampered with it. And the precinct inspectors are not vetted.

    Not surprisingly, the judge believed the Registrar and I lost. But even when you have evidence that will stand up in court, it can be appealed to the Supreme Court -- the Supreme Court that has so little regard for the democratic process that it stopped the Florida vote recount in 2000 and is now stacked with Bush cronies.

    As I see it, the purpose of evidence is to raise the outrage level in hopes that someday we can take back our country from the corporations now running it. Corporations are not persons, they cannot vote, and they must not be permitted any participation whatsoever in the political process.

    I think this diary really sums up the problem. If we see somebody stealing an election or violating election laws, how do we stop them? Kill them? They know we won't. But they'll kill us without hesitation if we protest or cause trouble or know too much. That's the difference between us and them, the difference between decent honest citizens, and fascist/corporatist thugs.

  •  Nobby, thank you. (4.00)
    Thank You for the story and your efforts.  If I may, I'd like to encourage you to call the news media right away if you felt this affected.  I know that much of the tv media was out that day staked-out and ready to pounce on anything controversial.  There is pleanty of competition in the tv news media in Jacksonville (which covers Clay Co., but mostly Duval) to at least hear your story.  They still might be interested in some pretext.

    Here in Duval County we had at least one democrat lawyer/pre-law at every polling station watching for irregularities.  That same thing should happen every November thoughout the state.  I myself canvased an area in Jax's Northside with two other dems.  We must have knocked on 1,000 doors talking to people urging them to get out and vote.  It was highly rewarding even though we did not win.  It felt so much better to try hard and thus lose then to have not tried at all.

    Which brings me to another point, there is no way any Kossack should be sitting on the couch watching CNN waiting for poll results Tuesday night.  Every Kossack that reads this should do something - anything to help elect progressive candidates in their precincts either by licking envelopes, folding brochures, or knocking on doors like I did.  You can't think of something then call the local dem office, or orginize your own speakers soapbox in the town square.

    The South.  Oh boy, should I go there?  We have our share of closet/sheepish/lazy democrats down here.  But we also have strong willed, active groups around Jacksonville.  Wage Peace is a active outfit that spotlights progressive and peaceful events.  There are I think 3 small DFA groups here from Jax to St. Augustine.  Not to mention there are more registered democrats in North Florida then registered republicans by almost 3-2.  The problem is preception.  Democrats are not very visible or outspoken down here.  They lack a defining voice.  It resembles the nation.  The fact is John Kerry was not a great candidate and for simple minded folk whose memory retension is shotty at best it wasn't enough to change leadership.

    As sadly as that chapter concluded I think we need bold voices with concrete ideals like Howard Dean and Russ Feingold have to spawn more activism in local politics encouraging word of mouth, actions, and reactions focused on spreading positivity about progressive candidates.  Keep talking to family, friends, and co-workers the more they see it effects their lives the more they will pay attention to it.  That time of wanting to do more has ended.  The time to stand up and demand more of ourselves has come.  Do something.

    Peace,

    •  Have you volunteered (none)
      at your Duval chapter of the DEC?  They can really use the help down there.  I visited the office a year ago (I'm not in FL), just after the new DEC Chair had taken over after the  Nov 2004 fiasco election results.   The Duval DEC had no money, and their computer systems were ancient (I mean, like, 15 years, ancient), and they didn't even have the money for some flyers they needed to get out that day (I paid for the copies out of my pocket).

      Fast-forward to today, now they have all new computer systems, with security in place (my input, although they used local experts), growing $$funds to work with,  and new new "can-do" spirit growing in Dem NOFLa/Jax, under Madam ChairPerson's new leadership.  

      So, with your obvious energy and enthusiasm, have you contacted the Duval DEC to see what else help they need?

      I am totally convinced that none of us are going anywhere with our Democrat political agenda if we don't bring The South along with us.   You are very astute in your assessment about that, too.

      Thanks for bein' a Dem trooper in Duval/FL!!  It can't be easy...

  •  I Don't Care (4.00)
    Why?

    1. We showed our stupidity to the rest of the world by being such a closely split country in the first place.  It shouldn't have been theirs to steal after 4 years of that idiot in the WH a two of their lying cohorts in Congress.  It shouldn't have been close, it was.  It was, because...

    2. Democrats have proven themselves time and again to be wimps.  They wouldn't use the word liar because they didn't have legal proof.  They wouldn't use the word cheat because they didn't have legal proof.  They wouldn't use the words idiot, moron, bumbling, incompetent, and unqualified because it wouldn't be nice.

    and

    3) It's W's mess, let that bastard clean it up.  Of course, that was last year's attitude.  Now, I'm thinking that the situation will be so bad that we will have another Jimmy Carter Dem who will inherit such a shitty situation there is no way out except for another corrupt GOP regime.  RR's truly going to be born again.  The big difference is that no one is looking to us on the international stage for leadership anymore.

  •  So glad you put this diary up -- (4.00)
    In reading Zinn's People's History, there is a lot of material from the writings of working class people, union people, people unfairly arrested, etc.  From their mouths.  I hope history looks at blogs when they write of this shameful time - these stories must be witnessed.

    Is anyone else worried about revisionist historians.  One of the reasons they must lose 2006 - we must write the history - the people, not the elites.

    The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

    by xanthe on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:07:01 AM PST

  •  N.E. Florida (4.00)
    Not really Florida at all...S.E. Georgia.  I live in St. Johns County and plan to make sure there is a Dem Lawyer at every precinct.  I travel to Clay County regularly and understand what you may have encountered.  Green Cove Springs should be renamed Bubbaville, Fl.  We need to organize on the grassroots level NOW! in every county in every state, however small or red...and be there in numbers on election day.  Doesn't hurt to visit the Supervisor of Elections Offices between now and then (and often!) to let them know we'll be watching for irregularities. Thanks for your diary.  It was a much needed wake-up call.
  •  Unbelievable (none)
    I was a poll watcher in my precinct here in Montana in 2004, and people would have been arrested or shot for what you witnessed there in Florida.

    I was on the afternoon shift, which included the first part of picking up the paper ballots. An official from the county elections office came by to pick them up escorted by two county deputies, and we all witnessed the sealing of the metal boxes the ballots were transported in. It was a completely clean, above-board operation.

    Sounds like the the old South hasn't changed much.

  •  I live in Orange Park too. (none)
    It is amazing to see another Democrat from Clay County outside of our CAN meetings. I was just wondering which church you were working in. Was it the Presbyterian one on Blanding? Thats where my mom worked on election day. Just curious.
    •  I was in CAN (none)
      before I moved to Maryland.
      We almost certainly know each other.
      I've gotten paranoid about saying what street the church was on in this venue, b/c I may actually pursue getting the phone company's records, if I can find a legal way to do that.

      One thing that's coming up for me as people critique my diary--not that you are--is that I don't (and didn't) really know my legal rights and options. Not only did (and do) I have a distressing tendency to just fulfill my role and assume that those in authority over me will fulfill theirs, I really don't have any idea if I could have made a legal challenge. Nor did I have any notion that I had to file a report beyond what I gave to my DEC. Or that that would have been a good idea. Of course, I didn't think that the DEC chair would throw all the paperwork out, either. That's back to the assumptions about those in authority over you doing their jobs...

  •  Thank you for this diary... (4.00)
    While I wish that you had told your story sooner, it is good to be reminded that the 2000 election was clearly stolen and the 2004 election was possibly (probably ?) stolen.  Given W's margin in FL, I accept the probability that he carried this state.  Given the MUCH narrower margin (87k votes) in the Senate race, I'm much more willing to accept claims about fraud there.

    I wish that election fraud issues were taken more seriously by the operators of this site.  I also wish that they were taken more seriously by Dems and their supporters.  I love Al Franken, but I think writing a book entitled "The Truth" while studiously ignoring this issue is a grave mistake.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:53:15 AM PST

  •  We need to just assume.. (none)
    These guys will use every trick in the book to steal these elections.

    And then figure out what we are going to do. Or the democracy is permanently lost.

    A paper trail helps, but only if the count is contested.

    Mail-in ballots, like Oregon uses, might be safest, as long as they are not marked by party in any way, and as long as someone on our side is watchdogging the ballots 24/7.

    "objective truth is not the same as the consensus reality"--djheru

    by rhetoricus on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:07:31 AM PST

  •  PS (none)
    When the phone was handed to the clerk, or to you, how do you know, really, who was on the other end?

    "objective truth is not the same as the consensus reality"--djheru

    by rhetoricus on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:09:23 AM PST

    •  I don't (none)
      As I said.
      But the clerk was adamant about not allowing the memory card out of the precinct, until the phone was handed to him.
      I guess it could have been the local head of the Republican party, or somebody like that.
      But my read of the clerk was that he was a lawful man, dedicated to voting rights.
      I think it would have taken the SOE to make him hand over the card. She had the legal authority to do so.
  •  You Don't Need Solid Proof (4.00)
    You don't need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this election was rigged.  Rather, you just need to raise the question in people's minds.

    Publicize this event as much as possible, including within the country where it occurred.  Before you do so, talk to other Florida clerks and ask them what appropriate policy is.  Find out from them how irregular and wrong this was.  Then attempt to contact the military man clerk.  Tell him you have real concerns about that transaction, and want to hear his perspective on it.  

    Then publicize it -- the goal being not to prove that something hinky happened, but to protect trust in the system.  Your theme is:  The system should be transparent and trustworthy, this act was not.  Start by outlining what the system is supposed to entail -- you'll need help from the clerks with writing this part.  The checks and cross checks system that they have in place is very thorough.  Then discuss how this act completely destroyed the clerk's careful system.  Your theme is -- I don't know whether vote tampering was involved here, but this destroys public confidence in the system.  If you're not tampering with the votes, why work outside of the checks and balances?

    This issue crosses party lines; I think you'll find support in unlikely places.  

    Go to the public, go to the media, go to the courts, and go to the state legislature.  These are your tools for checking an out of bounds executive.  You may not win, but you'll make them consider the question.  And if nothing else, it will make them more receptive to reform in the future.  
     

  •  All I can do is sigh. (4.00)
    How can we be sure this doesn't happen again?
    What infrastructure can we put in place - a central clearing house for vooting irregularities?
    Kerry promised to fight any anomolies in voting in 2004 and he folded like a house of cards.
    It won't matter how many people we get out fotr the next election.
    It only matters who counts the votes. And from everything I've seen, it's not only going to be as bad as 04, it will be worse.
    Citizens need to count the votes - a bipartisan, equal number from both parties. Every polling station should use paper - even if there is a computer, there shouldbe a paper trail. If there are any problems, then the paper MUST match the computer.
    How do we do this?
    Our Republic is at stake!
  •  I Live in Clay County (none)
    I live in Clay and have for the past 10 years.  I just don't understand why they would take any chances in this county by messing with the voting process.  It isn't like they are in any danger of losing here.  We are apparently the token Dems at our polling place, and I've noticed the strained look on the poll workers faces when I give them my voter registration card (it is to laugh).

    The comment upthread about Bubbaville, FL is right on.  Between the white suburbanites that would kill themselves rather than live in more racially diverse communities, and the country-ass hillbillies, this is an interesting place to live.

    Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tzu

    by FLDemJax on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 08:21:26 AM PST

    •  Doesn't matter (none)
      It's not how it affects the local elections, it's how the vote total affected the National candidate.
      they didn't care about your local rep or whatever. but giving as many votes to Bush, or taking them away from Kerry was important.
      First they took Florida in 20009, then Ohio in 2004. Which will it be in 2008? California? Had to be some reason Arnie got in - and now they have certified the voting machines there? With Florida, Ohio and Calif, they won't need much else.
      And the dems will just sit back and accept that "we lost."
      Sigh.
    •  I thought the same thing (none)
      but padding the vote in red counties is the easiest way to rig the popular vote, as somebody upthread said.

      And it is awfully weird that Bush experienced an upsurge of 20,000 votes between 2000 and 2004 in Clay County--did the county grow that many more registered voters in four years? I guess it's possible.

      •  amazed and mad (none)
        Nobby, I just read your whole experience at the voting in Fla.  Just floored!
         You have got to get this info to Avi Rubin. He's the professor at Hopkins who is the specialist in computers and voting. (web site on google) I've been trying to email him about problems with the opti-scan we are trying to get here,but Linda Shade from TruevoteMD said he's out of the country.  If you google to the Marc Steiner Show last week, Avi mentions how best to get a verifiable vote, but I didn't get a chance to ask him how we get around the problems of the memory card or hackability of the scanners or the tabulation headquarters. Marc kept it at a rather simplistic level.
           At least you could send Linda this experience you had to help those at Truevote know what can happen! Linda@truevotemd.org
      •  Come To Clay County Now (none)
        I've lived here through the whole thing.  This county has grown 10's of thousands of new residents, all middle income, almost all white, and running as fast as they can from Jacksonville proper.  There are 7 churches within walking distance of my house, and I live in the sticks, not Orange Park, where the church density is even higher.  Interesting that there is not one synagogue in this county, and a riot almost broke out when the Hindu Community Center opened a few years back.

        Gated communities out the wazoo.  It isn't hard to figure out how they grew so many repug votes here.

        Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tzu

        by FLDemJax on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 02:23:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmmm. (none)
          possibly, yes.
          But an increase of 20,000 people at the polls is rather remarkable. Just because people move into an area doesn't mean they go vote--anyone who's done GOTV knows how much it can take to get people to the polls. And in my canvassing, which was not just to Democrats, I didn't notice any intense political fervor, though I guess maybe people just save it for when they're in church.

          Could it be legit? Yes.
          Is it? well....let's just say it's one more thing that bears investigation.

          that is a hell of an increase.

          •  No Argument (none)
            But, these folks are rabid.  They try to outdo each other on the number of W stickers and support the troop ribbons they have on their car.  Sometimes, this place is a little scary too.

            In all fairness a lot of the rabid conservative flavor of the area is because a lot of it is military.  Many of these folks drink the koolaid because it is expected of them.

            Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tzu

            by FLDemJax on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 03:57:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Census says the county pop grew 16.7% (none)
        from 2000 to 2004. Registration grew about 22.6% over the same years (not quite the same months). Not nutty.

        Votes is votes -- in percentage terms, big steals in very red and/or very blue counties are likely to blend in. If less attention is being paid to the very red counties, they would become that much more attractive, I should think.

        •  This Makes Sense (none)
          I have no idea if the vote counting here in Clay was honest or not, and that by itself is the thing that sucks.  Having no confidence in the election process means our elected officials have failed.

          There are also rational explanations for the changes in voting patterns here, so we just can't take this as vote fraud on the face of it.

          Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tzu

          by FLDemJax on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 05:50:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hog Wash (none)
    I grew up in Orange Park (Clay County), and I have a couple of points I like to make.  First of all, I would not classify O.P. as an "evangelical Republican county in the South."  You make it sound like Fred Phelps country here.  As a vocal liberal and a practising Agnostic, I never felt like I was in some sort of bizarro county.

    Here are the 2004 Clay County registration and vote totals respectively.

    REP---     DEM---  INT---  NOP---  Total
    56,524    26,257    2,078  14,974  100,438

    Bush    Kerry
    61881    18905

    If we take into account the "Dixie-Crat" vote this might be accurate.  Don't get me wrong!  I "know" in my gut the election was stolen in both 2000 and 2004; and the complicit media refuses to cover the story.  And I believe that the best places to pad the vote totals are in Republican dominant counties like Clay.  I don't think, however, that your diary shines very much light on this story at all.

    That you did not call the police is unconscionable.  Having roomed with a Clay County police officer for a couple of years, I can tell you from experience that he is a very honorable man.  And quite frankly, I think your excuse for not calling them is bullshit.

    The next time you or anyone else decides to present a story as possible election fraud please have evidence.  Instead of presenting evidence you have given what I can only describve as a sample from your creative writing class at FCCJ [just reread the part where you go to confront him to see what I mean].  In the process you have managed to disparage all of Clay County and it's police force.

    BTW - In Clay County, and if I'm not mistaken, all counties in Florida, the Supervisor of Elections is an elected official.  They are not  not appointed by Jeb Bush.

    •  Jeb removed a south florida SOE before (none)
      the election and replaced her with an appointee.
      At least, that's the story I read in 2004.
      I know that SOEs are elected officials, but apparently the governor has the authority to remove and replace them.
      As far as Clay County goes, it is the most republican-performing county in FL, electorally speaking. And it is heavily right-wing Christian.
      That does not mean that the people there are nuts. I never said that--in fact, if you'll read my diary carefully, you'll see that I was more comfortable living there than in Duval, because although people were right-wing evangelicals, most of them, they still had some civility.
      I never, ever said that the police were bad men, or corrupt; I said they would not have listened to me. I had lived in the county for a year. They didn't know me. I was working for the Democratic party, and would have brought them a story of Republican vote fraud. They could be perfectly good men and good citizens and think I was full of shit. As apparently you do.
      Yes, I should have called them anyway, and gone through the motions. But that's all it would have been. Not because the police there are bad men--look at the clerk of the precinct. He was a very good man. Was he willing to cross party lines to stand up against actions he was obviously unhappy with? No. And he had watched these events unfold right in front of him. Why would the cops, who weren't even there while this shit happened, believe me? Seriously? What credibility would I have had with them?

      You may not believe this, but Americans in general resist stories of vote fraud and election fraud. It's too horrible. No one wants to believe it. If it's your party that's being accused of it, you want to believe it even less. For instance, posting here, I assumed that most would not believe me. I thought my diary would probably get lost very quickly. I only did it because I felt my credibility on another thread depended on it--I'd said that I had an eyewitness account of vote fraud, and someone courteously either called me on my claim or gave me the opportunity to say more, depending on your point of view. At that point, my credibility on this site depended on my saying something.

    •  I thought this account was a cut above many (none)
      It stuck to facts -- albeit some of them subjective -- and tried to avoid overgeneralizing from them. That's better than a lot of people manage on a lot of different issues.

      And if people don't tell their stories, how are we supposed to know what evidence to look for?

      Now, it does bug me that some folks are going to argue that this story fits right in with everything they've been saying about the 2004 election, which is unlikely to be true. But that is not the fault of the teller IMHO.

  •  welcome (none)
    welcome to the real america.

    Thank you for the story. I would be willing to bet my life there are stories eerily close to that is many key demographic spots in 2000 and 2004.

     Ballot box stuffing is nothingnes, electionic voting just makes it that much easier.

     I am sure many however will try to poo poo your story or somehow poke holes in it, in order for them to dismiss the the FACT that elections are NEVER clean. I guess it's the only way they can sleep at night.
    But I guess I can hardly blame them, the way this country's governement continues to use, abuse, lie, cheat,steal and above all CONTROL it's citizens is beyond sickening.

  •  Florida needs a revolution! (none)
    If you live down here in Miami Dade County, the local DFAM group http://www.grassrootsmiami.com and the local democratic party http://www.miamidadedemocrats.com are busting their asses to get election reforms done.

    Everyone needs to hold down their own county and their own district and collectively we'll take back our voting integrity and our districts.

    Currently in the FLorida legistature there is an innitiative to create non-partisan voter guides: http://myfloridahouse.gov/...



    Write to your legistator and ask them to support that cause, its a stepping-stone toward educating the public and improving turnout.


    This voter fraud needs to stop and we Floridian's have the tools, we just need to get organized and fast!


  •  fraud, sure, but does it matter? (none)
    This is a terrible and sad story you tell.  I'm afraid, though, that even if it were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true, the impact would be minimal.  There are two issues here - 1) whether fraud occurred (surely), and 2) whether it was different in kind and scope from your run-of-the mill-election-fraud frauds.  A sorry state, I know.  But it is the 2nd issue that is the important one here.  Election fraud can always be dismissed as just individual zealots/minor officials acting on their own, and would be by the media and non-minor officials. Plausible deniability. Or, a low-level whistle-blower who was in on it would simply not be believed (see: Diebold tampering cases). But this is really about a much different kind of fraud - literally, stealing an election rather than some votes.  The argument would be, "Rogue Election Official!" [see Lynndie England, et. al., e.g.], or, "Well Democrats do this stuff to." And they probably do.  The only real evidence that would turn the tide is, in my humble view, a real live confession by a senior official that there was a conspiracy.  Otherwise, its like Kennedy and Nixon...sorry to be so depressing, but I think without proving a concerted pattern, the anecdotal account is too easily dismissed.
    •  No, this sort of story is a big deal (none)
      The statistical analysis is a bunch of hogwash, from a media standpoint. Everyone knows that statistics can say anything.

      But if official pollworkers see something like this and protest, that's a potentially big deal.

      It sounds as of the original diarist did the best she knew how to do under bad circumstances.

      In the future:

      • Obviously, the diarist or whoever reads this diaries would get everyone's names. Does the poll watcher have any official right to ask for anyone's picture ID????

      • What would the law be for election officials who wanted to audio tape or video tape either openly or secretly in this situation? If taping is legal, I think Democratic poll watchers should try to tape everything that they're allowed to tape.

      • I think it would be cool if Daily Kos and Armando would work with someone try to set up some kind of emergency legal advice team just for official pollworkers in this sort of situation, so that people get competent advice even if their local or state Democratic organization is terrible. Example: maybe Armando could arrange to patch someone  like this straight through to Dean's legal advisor.

      • Democratic pollworkers in a state should get together and call election reporters from all the papers, including the ones that seem to be conservative, and ask them, "If we see cases of really, really terrible fraud, is there any way we can call you directly on your cell phone to tell you about that?" One challenge: reporters at little papers, especially, will be desperate just to get the basic facts of the election in.

      • Try to arrange from some famous, popular Democrat or Democratic organization or think tank  in each state to release a statement detailizing allegations of suspected irregulaties by, ideally, about 7 p.m. on election night (or whenever the polls close). Reason: a lot of reporters will be a lot more comfortable quoting allegations from sources that they always quote than about quoting angry poll workers who call out of the blue.

      • Even if you're a poll worker in a town that appears to have a conservative paper, don't assume as an absolute given that it will be hostile toward allegations of election fraud.  First, because, face it, many people here are pretty paranoid about the media and would classify The Nation as a wingnut newspaper. Second, because the Bush Rovies are making a lot of enemies even among normal conservative Republicans. Third, because election fraud is really not a partisan issue. In theory, wingnuts ought to be angry about election fraud that hurts Republican candidates as we should be about election fraud that hurts wingnut candidates. And, finally, because it's very hard to know how management interacts with the news reporters. At the Wall Street Journal, for example, the editorial page is very conservative, but, at least in the past, the reporters have been a bunch of Daily Kos types.

      • Similarly: even if you think the sheriff is a wingnut, it wouldn't hurt to try calling the cops. At least the cops might make a police report, and it's always possible that the sheriff is in some kind of undeclared internal war with the people in charge of the election fraud. Or that the sheriff is simply a wingnut, not a Bush Rovies, and sincerely believes in upholding election laws.
  •  Increase of Bush voters higher in GOP counties? (none)

    If the hypothesis is that fraud was staged in GOP counties by padding the vote there, there should be a significantly higher turnout rate of Bush voters in the counties where the fraud took place compared to Democratic counties where there was no fraud. It might be interesting to look at Bush 2000 votes against Bush 2004 votes and see whether he got more votes in all counties or just in counties that were controlled by the GOP.

    Pipe dreams are not an exit strategy.

    by TrainWreck on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:09:02 PM PST

    •  I'll rephrase that a bit (none)
      Turnout was way up in Florida in 2004 over 2000, so not only did Bush get more votes than in 2000 in most places, but Kerry got more than Gore. (In Clay County, Bush got about 20K more, Kerry got about 4K more, which boosted Bush's share from 73% to 76%.)

      Overall, at the county level, turnout (% of registered voters) wasn't significantly associated with Democratic percentage margin in either election. There are different ways of posing that question, but I doubt any will yield eye-popping results at the county level. Dunno.

      •  Did Bush voters increase more in GOP counties? (none)

        By percentage? If fraud by vote padding was in red counties, then the Bush % increase should be higher in red counties.

        Pipe dreams are not an exit strategy.

        by TrainWreck on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 03:56:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  umm, measured how? (none)
          If you mean percentage margin, then the premise may be wrong. Going from 200:200 to 220:200 is actually a larger change in percentage than going from 350:50 to 400:50, although the latter is more significant.

          If you mean the ratio Bush04 votes / Bush00 votes, then it doesn't look to be significantly correlated with Bush 2000 proportion -- i.e., Bush doesn't seem to increase more in counties where he was already strong. However, the percentage change in Kerry vs. Gore votes is significantly correlated with Bush 2000 proportion. That "effect" weakens to insignificance (using simple OLS, which one probably shouldn't) if one excludes counties with fewer than 10,000 votes, and goes flatline if one excludes counties under 25,000 votes. I don't think it means much.

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