“Many votes were counted for the wrong candidate or ballot option, and a significant portion of the cross-voting resulted in Kerry votes tallied as Bush votes” alleges an article by James Q Jacobs on his site at http://jqjacobs.net/politics/ohio.html .
Jacobs, a self described anthropologist and archeologist, analyzed the ballots in predominantly Democratic Cuyahoga county and suggests that the ballots were purposely designed so that errors that voters might make by voting in the wrong precinct resulted in extra votes for Bush. Jacobs concludes that these errors resulted in a 3.35% reduction in Kerry’s vote count and a corresponding 3.35% increase in Bush’s tally, a 6.7% swing that if true, would have cost Kerry Ohio and the Presidency.
To those not familiar with voting in Ohio, the above idea of getting a ballot for one precinct and casting it in another may not sound plausible, but as I wrote in my December 14, 2004 article below, “Ohio Recount: County Election Board Chair Disputes comments from spokesperson for Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell”, polling places were set up where one location served multiple precincts. As Jacobs correctly points out, enough of these precincts had a different order for Presidential candidates to cause a significant amount of ballots placed in the “wrong box” to affect the election. Since this was in Democratic Cuyahoga county where Kerry received nearly 2/3rds of the vote, the problem would be twice as likely to hurt Kerry as Bush.
Jacobs drives home his point with actual analysis of ballots in locations that served multiple precincts and rigorous application of statistical analysis. His statistics predict when placement of candidates on ballots cause accidental “cross-voting” and thus increases tallies for Bush or third party candidates and the vote tallies bear them out. Where ballots in one location have either Kerry or Badnarik in the same location depending on precinct, you see a 5 times increase in Badnarik’s vote over his average support in surrounding precincts.
Many of us have doubted the accuracy of the 2004 Presidential Election tally in Ohio. My previous articles have listed reasons why we were suspicious but I could never find a “smoking gun”. As sure as I was that there was malfeasance in the election, and despite me and many other people unearthing more and more suspicious actions, events and tallies, I was beginning to doubt that any proof the likes of which would stand up to the legal system’s rules of evidence would be found. The evidence unearthed by Jacobs is hard to ignore and may constitute the smoking gun for which many of us have been searching.
Having ballots with changed orders of Presidential candidates in multiple precincts that vote at the same location is hard to explain. Remember, we are talking about people for whom conducting elections is their profession. One would expect any elections professional would recognize the potential problems with this scenario and avoid them. Cuyahoga County, like other counties in Ohio and probably around the country is served by a single team led by a single person. It strains the limits of believability to assert that there was not an intent behind changing the order of Presidential candidates in ballots in the county, let alone at locations where multiple precincts voted and thus could introduce the error asserted by Jacobs.
I’ll let James Q Jacobs have the last word in this article. Here are three paragraphs from the Conclusions portion of his study:Many individual ballots resulted in a vote-switch, a two-vote margin difference from the intended result. Switched-votes cast for Kerry and counted for Bush had twice the impact as their actual occurence, by each subtracting one from Kerry and adding one to Bush. Bush and Kerry votes also went uncounted as non-votes or were miscounted as minor candidate votes. A high percentage of all Cuyahoga County votes were cast at locations with multiple ballot orders. The manner in which precincts and ballot orders were combined increased the probability of a Kerry cross-vote being recorded as a Bush vote. Quantitative analyses of candidate votes and of non-vote percentages evidence the cross-voting and the patterns of cross-voting and vote-switching. Sorting locations and precincts to their specific cross-voting probability subsets reveals intended voting patterns and the degree of cross-voting. The combinations of ballot orders and precincts at polling locations enables quantitative analysis of cross-voting and vote-switching. The complexity of the election's organization—the great number of combinations of ballot orders and locations—also makes the task of determining the number of cross-votes laborious and complex. While that process is not concluded herein, the procedures so far taken in this study define the process. This process may be more easily applied to other Ohio counties with less-complex balloting.
Any official inquiry into the 2004 irregularities needs to be independent of political interests. The fact that the irregularities discussed herein are known, and yet no official inquiry into the election has occurred, illustrates the broader failure of the current election process to respond to problems or to hold officials accountable for their actions. Polling places should never have been arranged such as in Ohio, with multiple ballot orders and separate casting and counting devices. Measures are required to prevent the possibility of similar future flawed election designs. To this end, control of elections should be removed from competing political interests and actors to politically-independent processes, with at the least, independent and political oversight of elections.
My Prior articles on problems with the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Will Kerry be elected President by the Electoral College in eight days? 12/2004
Strange and suspicious behavior regarding the election and recounts from Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell 12/12/04
Ohio Secretary of State's Office Responds 12/13/04
http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2004/Dec/EEN41bdf9f1ad056.html Ohio Recount: County Election Board Chair Disputes comments from spokesperson for Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell 12/14/04http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2004/Dec/EEN41bf5ef4d50b2.html Ohio Recount: Interview with Chair of Franklin County's Board of Elections 12/20/04 http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2004/Dec/EEN41c754d14d6d9.html The Ohio Recount: The Stealth Recount 12/20/04http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2004/Dec/EEN41c7071285fd1.html Ohio Recount: Ohio Recount has ended, Kerry finishes 300 votes closer to Bush 12/28/04http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2004/Dec/EEN41d1c25fa94dd.html Ohio Recount: The Recount That Wasn't, a Chance to Reassure Voters Missed. 1/4/05 http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2005/Jan/EEN41daafcecb050.html Election 2004: Congressional Democrats to Force Debate on Ohio Results 1/6/05http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2005/Jan/EEN41dd80d56b63c.html Ohio Election and Recount: Congress/Legal Experts weigh in on Ohio Election & Lawsuits 1/7/05http://www.elitestv.com/pub/2005/Jan/EEN41defee5accf6.html
Election 2004 and RFK Jr – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Questions Whether 2004 Ohio Prez Vote Stolen 6/1/2006 http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_steven_l_060601_election_2004_and_rf.htm
Ohio Elections Officials Convicted of Tampering with 2004 Presidential Recount
January 25, 2007http://www.opednews.com/articles/2/opedne_steven_l_070125_ohio_elections_offic.htm