Updated December 12, 2004

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Third parties raising funds for vote recount


By Ken Hoop


If it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, why did John Kerry sing like a canary election night? Or has he quietly told Jesse Jackson he was off-key and wants a chance to sing a different tune? Jackson blitzed Ohio from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29 with the demand that this last bastion of Democratic hope to salvage the presidency recount the results and examine sundry evidences of vote fraud.

In so doing, Jackson complemented the already ongoing move on the part of the Green Party and the Libertarian Party for such a recount—a gambit that cost forces working with Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik some $160,000.

Dissident Greens and Libertarians second-guessed the strategy, but restive Ohio voters hint that even if the victory is not overthrown, the reputation of the two-party system could be severely damaged. All of which serves the interests of a multi-party America giving its citizens for once a true choice in the near future.

While Green central committee official Rich Steven son suspects provisional ballots were discarded in thousands, Libertarian chairman John Butler asserts that provisional balloting itself “opens the door to fraud.” Butler says he is motivated by the ultimate goal of forcing the duopoly to liberalize ballot access laws.

But both agree the Democratic hierarchy just might allow discrepancies to be swept under the rug of “one Skull and Bonesman conceding to another. What can be expected from a system where 85 percent of the electorate assert independence from two party loyalties but only Republicans and Democrats work at election boards?” asks Stevenson.

Anomalies abound in Ohio.

Reports of shortages of voting machines in Democratic districts purposely curtailed by a corrupt GOP. Long waiting lines leading to droves of voters throwing in the towel in such precincts. And in Warren County, there was a “lockout” on election night where only GOP workers were left in control, due to a claimed “terrorist threat”—since repudiated by the FBI.

Exit polls showing a clear Kerry victory were examined by national expert, professor Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania whose 11-page treatise is at a loss to explain the discrepancies but does refute those proffered by the established GOP mavens.

In Hamilton County, where Cincinnati is located, Democratic chairman Tim Burke represents the donkey hierarchy in his cautious response. He admits many, mainly urban Kerry volunteers, are distressed and suspicious of the outcome.

The rhymin’ reverend, however, was less circumspect.

“We can live with losing an election,” said Jackson. “We can’t live with fraud and stealing.”

Jackson demands that Bush-Cheney campaign chairman and Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell step aside from his erstwhile duties to oversee the recount. Blackwell is the fox guarding the chicken house, Jesse averred.

“Experts must be given full access to electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail,” said Jackson.

Researcher Bob Fitrakis, on the news web site opednews.com, reports: “Kerry’s margins in 37 of 88 Ohio counties are suspiciously low when compared to those gained by Judge Ellen Connally, an unsuccessful Democratic Supreme Court candidate.”

These calculations focus on standardized countywide ratios between bottom-of-the-ticket tallies won by Connally vs. those won by Kerry in heavily Republican rural counties.

According to a wide range of experts, there appears to be a “systematic removal of Kerry votes by hackers, who then overlooked the Connally votes.”

“Could a vastly underfunded African-American female candidate at the bottom of the ticket outpoll Kerry in Butler County?” Fitrakis asks.

And why, other analysts ask, did George W. Bush receive 4,258 votes in the Franklin County precinct of Gahanna—where only 628 people voted?

Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Burke, who was faced with these and other anomalies, was asked if he helped the Greens and Libertarians with their price tag of $160,000 for the recount.

“We don’t have that kind of money,” Burke replied. “But we do support it.”

Skull and Bonesman Kerry hasn’t retracted his concession at press time.

The unruffleable Burke was also queried about Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell’s pre-election boast that “we’ll do anything to ensure a Bush victory in Ohio.”

Diebold is a leading supplier of voting machines.

In perhaps the quintessential understatement of election 2004, Burke commented, “With all the paranoia out there, it was sure a stupid thing to say.”

The paranoia has developed with no help from corporate-owned local media. As alternative reporter Katie Lynn, of denver.org, remarks: “It is inconceivable that our local newspapers front-page election fraud in Ukraine while ignoring [domestic] reports of malfunctioning voting machines, fraudulent election results, inconsistent numbers of voter registrations vs. vote totals in Ohio, along with credible university studies showing statistical impossibilities in election results.”


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