By Jonathan Simon (about the author)
- 2002 : Computerized voting was gaining a foothold in the wake of the Help America Vote Act, Mitch McConnell's brainchild. The VNS (network) exit polls were withheld from the public (on the pretext of a system glitch), masking glaring disparities in at least several key contests, including the Georgia Senate (Cleland--13% swing from tracking polls) and Governor (Barnes), where unverifiable paperless DREs (touchscreens) had just been deployed, and where software "patches" were inserted by Diebold shortly before the election in 22,000 DREs. (see "Diebold and Max Cleland's "Loss' in Georgia," by Robert F. Kennedy, in Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, Mark C. Miller, Ed.; ig Publishing, Brooklyn NY 2008).
- 2004 : Computerized voting was predominant, with DREs and Optical Scan (Opscan) equipment counting more than 80% of the votes nationally. Ohio votes were "processed," as noted above, in Tennessee. Exit polls showed Kerry the victor in Ohio. Votecounts were red-shifted, relative to exit polls, in 11 of the 12 "battleground" states. The networks and pollsters thereupon hastened to discredit their own polls, though they had been accurate enough for decades to permit early calls of even the tightest contests. It was put forward that Bush voters were more reluctant to respond to the exit polls, though careful analysis revealed that the highest level of exit poll response was in Bush strongholds and the hypothesis didn't fit the data. Strangely there was no evidence of "reluctant Bush responder" dynamics in noncompetitive states. And the pollsters, in making the reluctant Bush responder excuse, conveniently forgot that they had weighted their polls to party ID in such a way as to neutralize any such response bias. Keith Olbermann bravely and briefly covered the uproar, then went on a long vacation and dropped it cold. (See Freeman, S. and Bleifuss, J. Was the 2004 presidential election stolen? Exit polls, election fraud, and the official count, Seven Stories Press, New York 2006)
- 2005 : Ohio again. Election reform ballot proposition, leading by 28% in Cleveland Plain Dealer tracking poll on the eve of the election, was defeated by 25% when the votes were counted, an overnight net swing of 53%; in the three other ballot propositions, the Plain Dealer poll was spot-on.
- 2006 : Now the real "fun" begins, because the capacity to manipulate has proliferated at the same time that our forensic tools have become more refined. The result is a measure of covert manipulation that was, or should have been, truly staggering (see http://electiondefensealliance.org/files/LandslideDenied_v.9_071507.pdf ; also reprinted in Loser Take All). There was a national red shift in the elections for the House of a total of 3 million votes, relative to exit polls (there was a comparable red shift relative to tracking polls and a comparable red shift in competitive Senate races). Of critical importance, this analysis could not be debunked on the basis of alleged exit poll sampling bias, because the sample was shown to be to the right, not the left, of the actual electorate. This analysis has never been challenged. No attempt has been made to refute it. It has simply been ignored. Additional analysis revealed a "targeting" pattern, in which the more competitive a contest the more likely it was to be red shifted, a pattern pathognomonic of rigging (see http://electiondefensealliance.org/files/FingerprintsOfElectionTheft.pdf ).
- 2008 : An Obama victory, Democratic sweep. Sound the All Clear, for why would the suspected manipulators rig to lose? They didn't. They rigged to win. Once again, there was a massive red shift, even greater than in 2004 and 2006 (see Charnin R., Proving Election Fraud: Phantom Voters, Uncounted Votes, and the National Exit Poll, AuthorHouse, Bloomington IN, 2010). But, in both the 2006 and 2008 elections, unexpected 11th-hour events (in 2006 the Foley and related scandals, in 2008 the collapse of Lehmann Brothers and the subsequent market crash) dramatically altered the electoral dynamics (in 2006, for instance, the Democratic margin in the Cook Generic Congressional Ballot jumped from 9% in the first week of October to 26% the week of the election, a Republican freefall of epic proportions; a similar fate overcame McCain in the wake of the economy's collapse). These political sea changes swamped a red shift that turned out to be under-calibrated, and they came too late to permit recalibration and redeployment of tainted memory cards and malicious code. The devil is in the details but all these red flags were again ignored, trampled in the Obama victory parade.
- 2010 : The Coakley-Brown special election here in Massachusetts was a shocking result that put the Tea Party on the map, took away the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority, and set expectations for a major move to the right in November. There were no exit polls, no spot checks, no audits, not a single check on the OpScan counts, not a single memory card examined for malicious code. A 100% pure, unadulterated, faith-based election. An election that could have been stolen with virtually zero risk and enormous reward. And guess what? In the 70 jurisdictions where ballots were hand-counted, Coakley won (see http://electiondefensealliance.org/files/BelieveIt_OrNot_100904.pdf ). In fact, statewide, there was an 8% disparity between hand count to computer count jurisdictions, a red shift in line with that measured in 2004, 2006, and 2008, and enough to reverse the outcome and avoid a recount. Well perhaps those hand count jurisdictions were more Democratic (they weren't, they were more Republican); perhaps they were in Coakley's part of the state (they weren't; in fact, in her only other statewide race, a noncompetitive race, she did better in the OpScan than the handcount jurisdictions). In fact we examined and ruled out every benign explanation for the huge and outcome-determinative disparity.