Dale Tavris -- World News Trust
July 15, 2018
Election Fraud in the United States 2004 to Present -- Part V
Disallowed and Corrupted Vote Recounts in Presidential Elections
Hand recounts of paper ballots are critically important because (when available) they are by far the best way to investigate suspected election fraud due to manipulation of the electronically produced vote count, and to determine the true vote count.
Indeed, one could say in most instances that hand recounts of paper ballots are the only way to prove election fraud and to determine the true vote count.
Yet, in the United States hand recounts of paper ballots have proven to be extremely difficult to obtain except when the margin of victory is extremely thin. Sometimes they are impossible to perform because no paper trail of the vote is available. When available, they usually cost a great deal of money, which may prove impossible to raise.
The election winner generally uses every legal measure available to block them. Ordinary U.S. citizens have no legal standing to even request them. Only the losing candidates for the office have legal standing to request them, and losing Democratic candidates have rarely requested recounts because of great pressure not to request them (unless the victory margin is razor thin).
Except for some elections with very thin victory margins, whenever hand recounts have actually been performed in high profile elections they have been corrupted to the point where they are worthless. Let’s consider some prominent examples:
Grossly corrupted Ohio recount, Presidential election of 2004
The losing Democratic candidate in the 2004 Presidential election, John Kerry, would not request a recount of the highly suspect election in Ohio – the state that gave George W. Bush his Electoral College victory -- despite a massive red shift that suggested that Kerry had won Ohio, as well as much other evidence of election irregularities that favored Bush. Therefore, it was up to other losing candidates to request a recount. Green Party candidates David Cobb (Green Party), Michael Badnarik (Libertarian Party), and Ralph Nader (write-in candidate) requested an Ohio recount and went about raising the required $110,000 to pay for it. Eventually, the recount request was approved.
Recount in Hocking County, Ohio
Sherole Eaton, the deputy director of elections for Hocking County, described a visit by a Triad (the corporation whose machines produced the initial machine count of the vote in Hocking County) field representative in an affidavit she provided to U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan):
"… He advised Lisa and I on how to post a “cheat sheet” [Eaton’s words] on the wall so that only the board members and staff would know about it … so the count would come out perfect and we wouldn’t have to do a full hand recount of the county.... The realization that this company and staff would do anything to dishonor or disrupt the voting is distressing to me and hard to believe."
Conyers Consequently wrote a letter to the Triad president:
"The purpose of the Ohio recount law is to randomly check vote counts to see if they match machine counts. By attempting to ascertain the precinct to be recounted in advance, and then informing the election officials…. [how] to make sure it matches the machine count is an invitation to completely ignore the purpose of the recount law."
Douglass W. Jones, an election computer expert at the University of Iowa, wrote an affidavit of his own on the issue:
"I have reviewed the affidavit of Sherole L. Eaton … as well as the letter of Congressman John Conyers. In light of the information, and given my expertise and research on voting technology issues and the integrity of ballot counting systems, it is my professional opinion that the incident in Hocking County, Ohio, threatens the overall integrity of the recount of the Presidential election in Ohio."
One should hope that Sherole Eaton would have been recognized as a hero for her courageous efforts. Instead, she was fired from her job, with no hint of the scandal emanating from our national news media, and no corrective action taken.
Recount and criminal convictions in Cuyahoga County Ohio
Cuyahoga County (containing Cleveland) was of particular concern, as there was much evidence suggesting that that county’s officially reported vote totals were wrong. One good way to find out if votes were deleted by the Cuyahoga County central tabulator would be to compare the individual precinct totals, as reported by precincts prior to being sent to the Cuyahoga County central tabulator (pre-tabulator results), with the official results reported after the central tabulator added up the votes in all the precincts (post-tabulator results).
I tried numerous times to obtain the pre-tabulator results from Michael Vu, the Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. He promised them to me several times, but he never delivered on his promises. Consequently, I collaborated on this issue with a computer science professional, Ron (last name withheld), who worked for Ray Beckerman’s Ohio Project. Ron’s initial audit of 15 precincts identified an apparent vote undercount of 163 votes that resulted in a net loss to the Kerry/Edwards ticket of 140 votes. Ron tried to proceed with a more thorough audit of the Cuyahoga County vote, but he ran into numerous technical problems, and he was never able to complete it.
There was also a “recount” of a 3 percent “random sample” of the Cuyahoga County votes. However, we now know that that recount appears to have been rigged. Three elections workers faced criminal charges for that, and at least two of them were convicted. As reported by The Free Press:
Three criminal prosecutions in Ohio's biggest county have opened with strong indications that the cover-up of the theft of the 2004 presidential election is starting to unravel.... According to the AP, County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter opened the Cuyahoga trial by charging that "the evidence will show that this recount was rigged...."
Jacqueline Maiden, the county election board's third-ranking employee, faces six counts of misconduct involving ballot review. Rosie Grier, the board's ballot department manager, and Kathleen Dreamer, an assistant manager, are also charged…. Cleveland, which usually gives Democrats an extremely heavy margin, was crucial to Bush's alleged victory of roughly 118,000 votes out of 5.5 million counted.... Official turnout and vote counts varied wildly and improbably from precinct to precinct.... Several predominantly black precincts, where voters went more than 80 percent for Kerry, reported turnouts of 30 percent or less. In one ward, only a 7 percent turnout was reported, while surrounding precincts were nearly ten times as high…
In the Cuyahoga case, the poll workers are charged with circumventing state recount laws that require a random sampling of at least three percent of the votes cast in a given precinct, to be recounted by hand and by machine. The prosecution charges that the workers instead hand-picked sample precincts to recount that they knew did not have questionable results. Once they were able to match those recounts with official results, they could then do the rest of the recount by machine, in effect rendering the entire process meaningless. "This was a very hush operation," said prosecutor Baxter.
Botched recount effort in the rest of Ohio
From start to finish, every effort was made to prevent full county recounts, so that when it all ended, only one county in the whole state had been recounted. In order to avoid full county recounts, numerous violations of Ohio law were perpetrated, including: At least 17 counties where the precincts to be recounted were chosen by Ohio election officials rather than by a randomization process; at least six counties where tampering with the tabulating machines by voting machine company technicians was confirmed, including the above mentioned case in Hocking County, and; at least six counties for which, even when it turned out that the vote totals from the recount didn’t match the official count, election officials still refused to do the required recount.
And to top it all off, when workers attempted to examine records during the recount in order to identify discrepancies, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell issued a surprise order stating that the public voting records were now private rather than public, and disallowed access to them -- contrary to Ohio law. Then, when Congressman John Conyers’ U.S. House Judiciary Democratic Staff attempted to question Blackwell about this and numerous other violations of Ohio law, Blackwell repeatedly refused to answer any questions of the Committee, as described in the Committee's landmark report"Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio?" Blackwell was officially charged with administering the election that gave Bush a second term while simultaneously serving as the Ohio co-chair of Bush's re-election campaign -- a blatant conflict of interest.
Additional evidence of a corrupted recount comes from the observations of an election observer representing the Green Party of Ohio at the recount, who noted:
"Anomalies were found. Almost all of the witnesses that I spoke with felt that the ballots were not in random order, that they had been previously sorted. There would be long runs of votes for only one candidate and then long runs for another, which seemed statistically improbable to most. From what they were able to get through, witnesses found that signature counts were very much different from the official recorded number of ballots."
Corrupted election audit in the 2016 Democratic primary, Chicago Illinois
In the 2016 Illinois Democratic Primary, there was an exit poll discrepancy of 4.1 percent, with Clinton winning the official count by a margin of 2.3 percent, while Sanders won the exit poll by a margin of 1.7 percent.
Subsequently, a routine random audit of election results in Chicago was performed according to state law. A group of citizens who watched this auditing process later testified that the results of hand-counted votes from voting machines were changed to match the machines’ electronic counts, by adding Clinton votes and subtracting Sanders votes. For example, in one instance, 21 Sanders votes were erased and 49 Clinton votes were added to the hand count so that it matched the machine count.
This testimony is a clear indication of not only electronic manipulation of the vote in Illinois (which obviously could explain the red shift, depending on how extensive it was), but of a cover-up to hide the electronic manipulation with fake audits.
Our national news media ignored this scandalous issue. The reaction of the Chicago Board of Elections to this scandal is detailed by Doug Johnson Hatlem:
Jim Allen, Communications Director for the Chicago Board of Elections, acknowledges that “the numbers didn’t match” ... however, insists that this is simply a “perception issue” and that absolutely no election fraud took place....
Chicago Board of Elections Legal Counsel James Scanlon says [that the audit] “cannot be used to change the results of the election. It’s only a means of testing the voting equipment.”
Multiple times BoE members suggest that citizens testifying aren’t really credible to talk about an audit because they aren’t professional auditors.
And lastly, Hatlem notes that the Chicago BoE certified the election results just prior to hearing the citizens group objections to them.
2016 Presidential election: Attempts to get recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan
As in 2004, the losing Democratic candidate in the 2016 general election would not request recounts in any state, despite the presence of red shifts in 5 states (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Florida) that suggested that a recount may likely have changed the results of the election. Consequently, the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, was persuaded by election integrity activists to attempt the job.
As detailed by Jonathan Simon, in “Code Red: Computerized Elections and the War on American Democracy,” Stein raised more than $7.3 million from more than 161,000 small donors and requested recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Trump campaign and/or its surrogates filed lawsuits to block these requests.
Wisconsin, following Stein’s raising of $7.3 million, raised the price of a recount there from $1 million to $3.5 million, thus rendering it impossible for Stein to request recounts in North Carolina or Florida. Responding to Trump’s legal challenges in the remaining states drained Stein’s money in those states.
A Republican Wisconsin judge ruled that individual Wisconsin counties could make their own decisions on whether to do hand recounts of paper ballots or to do “recounts” by simply re-running the same machines that produced the initial vote count. Numerous counties availed themselves of that second option. The end result was that only about half of Wisconsin’s ballots were recounted by hand.
It must be assumed that the machine recounts were virtually worthless. If the machines had been programmed for fraud at the time that the initial votes had been tabulated on Election Day, there would be no good reason to assume that that programming would have changed in meantime. Recounts in counties that allowed hand counting of paper ballots might have been fair, but that wouldn’t have meant much regarding the recount for the whole state. If some counties had been programmed for fraud and others hadn’t been, it is entirely possible, or even likely that those counties that had been programmed for fraud would be precisely the ones that refused to do a hand recount of paper ballots.
In Michigan, a recount was ordered to begin on Dec. 6, but the Michigan Court of Appeals (acting in response to a Trump lawsuit) ordered that the recount cease shortly after it had begun because Stein had no legal standing in the issue, having no chance to win (though Michigan state law makes no distinction on which losing candidates may request a recount). Several legal battles on the issue continued, and the end result was that no meaningful recount results were produced in Michigan before the recount was stopped.
Pennsylvania courts interpreted Pennsylvania law to specify that at least three voter petitions in every one of Pennsylvania’s 9,000 precincts were required to be filed before a recount could be started. That plus a requirement of a $1 million bond stymied Stein’s recount request in Pennsylvania. A recount was never even begun there.
Concluding remarks on requests for thorough and valid Presidential election recounts
Since 2004, thousands, tens of thousands, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of articles have been written on whether or not high-profile elections in the United States have been stolen -- on both sides of the issue. That’s a terrible shame because if less than 1 percent of that effort had been directed towards actually doing full and valid recounts of some of the most controversial elections, the matter could have been long resolved by now, and maybe we’d even have our democracy back. Even if such a recount had been done in a single state, a great deal of light could have been shone on the subject.
The reason why no such recount has been done is to some extent obvious and not hard to understand: We have some very powerful interests in our country whose wealth and power could be seriously jeopardized by such a recount, if not result in criminal prosecutions. Those interests have gone to great lengths to block them, not least by helping to make the discussion of electronic manipulation of our elections a taboo subject in our country.
Those who have the most interest in blocking recounts are those who participated in the election fraud that produced the need for the recount. If they couldn’t block the recount they would have to do everything in their power (which would probably be considerable) to make sure that the recount isn’t done properly.
Whistleblowers with the courage to object to election fraud and bring it to public attention, like Sherole Eaton, Stephen Spoonamore, Clint Curtis, Jill Stein, and the public citizens who brought the sham audit in Chicago to public attention, are few and far between. Perhaps most election workers find it much easier and safer to merely do what they’re told by their supervisors and by voting machine representatives, to whom our government has largely delegated control of elections in our country.
Perhaps great pressure is put on election workers to fall in line when the stakes are especially high. How many of them could afford to lose their jobs, as did Sherole Eaton? Moving up higher in the food chain, how many high-level politicians would jeopardize their political careers to make a big deal about investigating potential electronic election fraud? Apparently not many.
Dale Tavris has worked as a public health physician/epidemiologist for 40 years, with state departments of public health, the U.S. Air Force, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Food and Drug Administration. In that capacity, he has authored 39 publications in peer-reviewed medical or public health journals.
Since 2004 he has been actively involved in the national election reform movement, serving in a volunteer capacity with the Election Defense Alliance for a few years as their data coordinator.
He has written dozens of online articles about election fraud. In 2007 he co-authored a journal article on election fraud: “Fingerprints of Election Theft: Were Competitive Contests Targeted.”
Tavris has written and published three books, including two of a political nature: “The Unfulfilled Promise of the American Dream: The Widening Gap between the Reality of the United States and its Highest Ideals,” 2011; and “Democracy Undone: Unequal Representation, the Threat to our Election System, and the Impending Demise of American Democracy,” 2012.