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Long-shot candidates do startlingly well in Tulare County


By Mark Crispin Miller

October, 2003   OpEdNews.Com  My friend in South Carolina writes:

I ran a number crunch of CA counties that use Diebold
machines to cast/count votes and found some weird
figures that show a skim of votes from top candidates
to people who were unlikely to affect the outcome. I
did my hand calculator work on the California election
results (from the secretary of state's site) when 96%
of precincts had reported. The website showed:

Counties using Diebold Touchscreens:
Alemeda, Plumas

Counties using Diebold Optiscan:
Fresno, Humboldt, Kern, Lassen, Marin, Placer, San
Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Trinity,

There were a total of 1,403,375 votes cast in these
counties combined. The CA total was 7,842,630 at this
stage of the count. Thus 17.89% of all the state votes
were cast/counted on Diebold equipment.

I had earlier noticed some lower order candidates
(ones who couldn't affect the result) were getting
unusually large numbers of votes in Tulare county. I
decided to test to see if the these and other 'fringe'
candidates might be used to receive skimmed votes in
other Diebold counties.

I added all the votes cast/counted on Diebold
equipment for each candidate and expressed it as a
percentage of their total votes cast state wide. The
following table lists: Candidate name, votes counted
for them in Diebold counties, CA state total votes
counted for that candidate and what percentage of that
candidate's total votes were counted in Diebold

It looks like, as one might expect, at the top of the
list as if there is a slight variance from an even
state wide distribution. However many 'lower ticket'
candidates have vote totals that ONLY correlate with
the use of Diebold equipment! I have included some
names chosen at random from the result list that show
that not all lower order candidates were used to
receive skimmed votes. Note that Diebold's counties
are spread geographically over the whole of

I have checked background on the skewed result
candidates and they are not residents of the counties
where they got very high percentage results. In one
case, Palmieri, the candidate was surprised to hear
about Tulare county (I emailed him) and had not been
there nor had family or friends there. In fact, his
platform was "Don't vote for me." He described this
vote pattern as "strange."

State total 7,842,630.
Cast in Diebold counties 1,403,375

17.89% of the total votes cast.

Schwarzenegger 581,145 3,552,787 16.36%

Bustamante 447,008 2,379,740 18.78%

McLintock 186,923 979,234 19.08%

Camejo 39,199 207,270 18.9%

Huffington 7,498 42,131 17.79%

Ueberoth 3365 21378 15.74%

Flynt 2384 15010 15.88%

Coleman 1869 12443 15.02%

Simon 1351 7648 17.66%

Palmieri 2542 3717 68.3%

Louie 598 3198 18.7%

Kunzman 1957 2133 91.75%

Roscoe 325 1941 16.7%

Sprague 1026 1576 65.10%

Macaluso 592 1504 39.36%

Price 477 1011 47.18%

Quinn 220 433 50.8%

Martorana 165 420 39.28%

Gosse 60 419 14.3%

Based on the very unlikely distribution of votes for
some candidates (a meteor hit my car twice this week
sort of odds) a hand count of the affected counties to
compare with the machine reported count should be
done. This would show that the machines had been
tampered with to alter the results. As we already
know, it is not possible to audit touchscreen machines
because Diebold refuse to allow printing of a ballot
to be placed in a box as a back up for use in just
such an apparent tampering with votes.

For those who are unsure of figures:

California is huge and has a population similar to
many European nations. Lower order candidates had
little or no ability to spread any sort of message to
parts of the state beyond their own home and/or where
they have previously lived. One would expect some of
the 'fringe' candidates to do well in their home
county and then to have a very even distribution
across the rest of the state. That is not the case. In
Diebold counties (those who use machines made by
Diebold, a corporation that supports George Bush) the
results are skewed towards low scoring candidates by
unbelievably large amounts.

The probability of scoring twice the expected average
county % could charitably be construed as the upper
limit of the possible. Some candidates exceed that
figure in Diebold counties by a four or five fold
margin. If you have done statistics, you know that is
so far beyond what might be expected that you would
reject it as defective data. If it happened to one
candidate in this election, I would be surprised but
might accept it. There are a large number of
candidates who have this same systematic pattern of
receiving skimmed votes.

The California recall shows Diebold trying to affect
the election outcome by moving votes from high ranked
candidates to low ranked candidates.

By doing this, Diebold keep the total number of votes
cast constant but rob some candidate of their votes.
Before anyone makes this a partisan issue - it could
be a Republican victim next time.

Mark Crispin Miller mcm7@MAIL.nyu.edu  is a professor of media studies at New York University. His books include Boxed In: The Culture of TV, The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder,
and, forthcoming from Norton in April, 2004, Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order. He is also the author and performer of Are You with Me? A Show that Doesn't Beat around the Bush, a one-man show now at the New York Theater Workshop. www.markcrispinmiller.org

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