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Ohio Recount Rigging Case Goes to Court

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the counting-down-the-hits dept.

The Courts 224

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the trial of the three election workers accused of rigging the 2004 presidential election recount in Cuyahoga County is finally underway. As you may recall, this was the case where poll workers 'randomly' selected the precincts to recount by first eliminating from consideration precincts where the number of ballots handed out on Election Day failed to match the number of ballots cast and, then opening the ballot boxes in private and pre-counting until they found cases which would match up. What is interesting here is that they have already admitted doing this and that it was clearly counter to the letter and the spirit of the law, but still insist it wasn't really 'wrong,' presumably since they only did it to avoid having to go to the bother of a full recount as required by law.

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224 comments

Hypocrisy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694534)

When a Republican wins a close election, it was stolen.

When a Dem wins a close election, it's the will of the people.

See Governor, Washington state. How many selective recounts did it take until the Dem won?

Re:Hypocrisy (4, Insightful)

greenhollow (63021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694564)

More clearly:
When the party in power in the state or county wins it is the will of the people.

When the other party wins, it was stolen.

Re:Hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

janeowit (909913) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694826)

Less clearly:
When the party you affiliate yourself with wins, it is the will of the people.

When the other party wins, it was stolen.

Re:Hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

jonadab (583620) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695234)

> When the party in power in the state or county wins it is the
> will of the people.

I don't think there's any question about the outcome in this case. From TFA:

# Candidates for president from the Green and Libertarian parties requested
# the Ohio recount. State laws and regulations specify how a recount works.

In other words, the Democrats, who lost by a narrow margin, did not request the recount. If there'd been any real question about the outcome, they would have done so. So that's not what's at stake.

What *is* at stake is that we CANNOT have election officials violating election laws and getting away with it. They acted to avoid a painful and expensive recount process that would not change anything, but they did not have the authority to do that, and we cannot let them off with a stern lecture and a slap on the wrist, because if we do, it'll happen again, and again, and again, and at some point it'll happen when it matters. I hope the courts rake them over the coals but *good*. Make an example out of them: we will not tolerate election law violations.

The 2004 election isn't what's at stake here. The 2008 and 2012 and 2016 elections, and every one that follows, are what's at stake.

Re:Hypocrisy (5, Interesting)

wpegden (931091) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695770)

In other words, the Democrats, who lost by a narrow margin, did not request the recount. If there'd been any real question about the outcome, they would have done so. So that's not what's at stake.
I'm not sure about this. In this particular case, you may well be right that there was no real question about the outcome---however, I don't think that necessarily follows from the fact that Democrats didn't challenge the votes. Sure, I agree that in cases where the vote counts are very close, the losing major party will often challenge the vote, hoping that a few incidental errors will be corrected in their favor. On the other hand, I think a losing major party will rarely, if ever, launch a concerted challenge over a bigger issue in voting: for example, challenging the idea evoting (as it is now) or broader voting procedures, even if they potentially stand to gain from doing so in that particular election. Both big parties stand to benefit from the "brave new world" of e-voting and Diebold, etc., and I think they realize that. Neither is willing to launch any sort of crusade to destroy it. Only the political outsiders (greens, libs, socialists, whoever) are in the position where the voting establishment will never work for their benefit, and so they are the only ones who really want to challenge it.

Re:Hypocrisy (5, Informative)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694580)

The initial count showed her trailing Rossi by 261 votes Recount #1 diminished that lead to only 42 votes. Recount #2 gave her a 10-vote lead. Enter the courts, tossing in some ballots, tossing out others. The final results had Christine Gregoire ahead by 130 votes

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695696)

But that was the law - first count was close enough to call a recount, second recount happened because the first was close also - and she happened to win that one.

Good thing too - Rossi actually quoted as saying Alcohol and Cigarette taxes hurt families. (don't think too hard about that one).

Re:Hypocrisy (2, Informative)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695828)

Good thing too - Rossi actually quoted as saying Alcohol and Cigarette taxes hurt families. (don't think too hard about that one).
I was discussing cigarette taxes with a friend of mine who does research in addictions, and I stated my position that cigarette taxes are good. She made the point that cigarette taxes are very regressive. They hit the poor who are addicted much harder than the middle class or wealthy. There will be some who might stop smoking because of them, but the hardcore addicted will continue to smoke because the can't stop, and it higher taxes will take a significant toll on them and their families. It essentially makes a bad situation worse for poor families.

Don't dismiss the idea out of hand that sin taxes hurt (poor) families. I think a good argument can be made for it.

Re:Hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694596)

LOL recounts.

Republicans "asked county auditors statewide to reconsider ballots that were rejected on Election Day." [msn.com] Because apparently when Democrats can't punch out a hole right, they're stupid idiots, but when Republicans can't fill out a ballot, their voice deserves to be heard.

If you're going to point fingers and call hypocrisy, stand on less shaky ground next time. It also helps when you're not trying to defend people that explicitly broke the law.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694632)

"Because apparently when Democrats can't punch out a hole right, they're stupid idiots, but when Republicans can't fill out a ballot, their voice deserves to be heard."

Hey, are you calling those Palm Beach County butterfly ballot Buchanan voters stupid?

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Insightful)

PhilipMarlowe9000 (1035214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694692)

I'm shocked-- the Republican party quite possibly did something illegal and unethical. I mean, it's not like they lied about an entire war, or kept a child molester from prosecution, or took bribes, or had drunken stripper parties in the Watergate with lobbyists!

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694758)

I mean, it's not like they lied about an entire war [wikipedia.org], or kept a child molester from prosecution, [michellemalkin.com] or took bribes, [cnn.com] or had drunken stripper parties in the Watergate with lobbyists! [wikipedia.org]

Yeah, I would have figured it was the other party.

Nicely done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17694958)

I always get a kick out of how blindly everyone around here thrashes conservatives and praises liberals. I'm a liberal myself, but I don't pretend for one second that the liberal politicians or groups are any "better" or "worse" than their conservative counterparts; even independents have their problems.

Re:Nicely done. (2, Insightful)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695134)

I always get a kick out of how blindly everyone around here thrashes conservatives and praises liberals. I'm a liberal myself, but I don't pretend for one second that the liberal politicians or groups are any "better" or "worse" than their conservative counterparts; even independents have their problems.

Yes they are all corrupt or unethical in some manner.

The difference as I see it is republicans screw over the entire US population and selective populations of other countries that happen to have something they want, while Democrats just screw interns.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

PhilipMarlowe9000 (1035214) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695248)

The events you mentioned took place over a span of 40 years. Furthermore, they were done by a number of different people in different times with different political climates. The Republicans did those things in the span of year. Overachieving is great, but let's be sensible here. I don't claim that the Democrats are saints, but the Republicans completely discredited themselves in twelve months. That's why we have a democratic Congress.

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695264)

You started out strong, but lost all credibility when you linked to Michelle Malkin...

You forgot .. (1)

willtsmith (466546) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695150)


You forgot the issuance of press credentials and the subsequent destruction of visitation records for a certain male prostitute.

[url]http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/8/123054 /5928[/url]

One has to wonder exactly who he was "interviewing" after hours?

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695324)

I'm shocked-- the Republican party quite possibly did something illegal and unethical.

FTA: "In Cuyahoga, a Democratic stronghold where about 600,000 ballots were cast, the recount did not have much effect on the results. Kerry gained 17 votes and Bush lost six." Oh ... my ... God, Kerry actually gained votes and Bush lost them! This is most certainly the work of those evil Republicans!

FTA: "Kerger said he believes there are two reasons, generally, why an elections board would precount before a recount. The first is to change the results of the vote, which he does not believe happened. The second, he speculated, was that 'the workers were so tired and didn't want to hassle with doing a hand recount.'" If this whole process was biased, it was biased in favor of the Dems.

My advice: RTFA. There was no fraud. The election workers were just too lazy to do their jobs properly. I'm guessing they must have been liberals because it's obvious you were too lazy to read the article before blaming Republicans, but that's just a guess.

I mean, it's not like they lied about an entire war, or kept a child molester from prosecution, or took bribes, or had drunken stripper parties in the Watergate with lobbyists!

Well, I think the other AC handled that one quite well.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694718)

"If you're going to point fingers and call hypocrisy, stand on less shaky ground next time."

As a general rule, why should someone do this? When it comes to politics these days (always?) it seems you would be on fairly safe ground whenever you pointed your finger and called hypocrisy. Safe as to being right that is, not safe as to not being one while doing the pointing.

"It also helps when you're not trying to defend people that explicitly broke the law."

Now this statement is true in general, I am not up on the particulars in this instance to know of it applies here.

Feel free to take this whole post with a grain of salt. (Dash?)

all the best,

drew

Re:Hypocrisy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694802)

Read the rest of the paragraph and take off the blue-colored glasses. The Republicans asked for the same consideration of ballots for which the signatures had been rejected by a computer in their strongholds that the Dems GOT in theirs.

The Dems essentially got to manufacture additional votes in their strongholds while leaving the rest of the state unchanged...Precisely what they tried to do in Florida with less success six years earlier.

Re:Hypocrisy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695024)

Pity you're such a lying kike. Stop lying and join the real world.

You are the hypocrite (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694678)

"Nyah nyah nyah, Democrats this... Republicans that..."

It isn't about who won the election. It's about them violating the law and compromising the electoral process that they swore to uphold.

But I know that in the bottom-feeding Republican mind, it's all about tit-for-tat.

Re:Hypocrisy (0, Flamebait)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694764)

It's only hypocrisy if the GOP isn't genuinely a good deal more ruthless than the Dems. I'd argue that point with you, but unless your head is jammed permanently up your butt I suspect you already know it's true.

Re:Hypocrisy (4, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694986)

In reference to your assertion of cranial-rectal immersion, the Republicants (spelling error mine) happened to have the power, and thus the ability to be ruthless with it, which they undeniably did. As for the Democrats, it's difficult to abuse power that you don't have. But now that the Democrats have the power, they are already [com.com] moving [senate.gov] to abuse [broadcastnewsroom.com] it.

In other words, don't be a shill for a particular party. They both suck and neither cares about your rights.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695860)

Can't say I disagree with a word you said. I lament our two (one and a half?) party system almost every day, and if the Dems win the trifecta in 2008, I'll be on their case on a daily basis as well.

But that being said, I still don't think they hold a candle to the Repugnicans (I prefer that mispelling) when it comes to ruthlessness, corruption, and contempt for constitutional limits. They will at least pay lip service to the notion of a public interest, and while they'll surely have their own scandals w.r.t. lobbyists and such, I doubt that they'll set up the same kind of brazen one-stop-shopping monopoly on corruption that the GOP did with their K Street Project.

And don't even get me started about who's benefitting from our middle east entanglements and who's not, and how that might affect their willingness to (ever) get off the Gravy Train...

Washington State (5, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694834)

Dino Rossi asked a judge to review the election. The (Republican) judge in (conservative) Chelan County heard the evidence and ruled that the (Republican) Secretary of State had followed the law. Rossi did not appeal, accusing the (fractured) state Supreme Court of bias.

The biggest problem with that election was outrageous sloppiness in (Democratic) King County. It looks more like sloppiness than fraud, given that the problem is that they misplaced and didn't count thousands of ballots that were likely to have favored Gregoire. The Secretary of State excoriated them for that and other screwups. (They also tried to cover up a spectacular failure to keep a record of how many absentee ballots came in).

For more about King County, see blackboxvoting.com.

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Flamebait)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695214)

Are anyone aside from Republicans saying that? Their credibility just so happens to be pretty shot... Oh, and also, they have a lot to gain by making that fatuous argument.

Perhaps the Democrats aren't child molesting, war mongering election thieves? Perhaps they aren't election thieves at all? Of course, this sort of thing is hard for a Republican to understand. Nonetheless, it's a point that you may want to consider.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Interesting)

enharmonix (988983) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695384)

When a Republican wins a close election, it was stolen.

When a Dem wins a close election, it's the will of the people.

See Governor, Washington state. How many selective recounts did it take until the Dem won?

Starting Score: 0 points
Moderation 0
50% Insightful
30% Flamebait
20% Troll
Extra 'Insightful' Modifier 0 (Edit)
Total Score: 0

Heh. I do believe I find the moderation on this post more interesting than the actual flamewar that it inspired. I almost wish we had meta-meta-moderation so I could see how this plays out...

5 year olds REJOICE! (0, Troll)

kelarius (947816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694544)

So apperently the way this works is that if I do something wrong to basically avoid doing more work later, I'm supposed to get off the hook? If they aren't convicted mare sure to keep this news away from small children everywhere or there will be alot of angry parents!

Re:5 year olds REJOICE! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695280)

The excuse doesn't hold water. If the election were fair, statistically it would be very unlikely for the selected boxes to require the recount. And these workers are all paid for their time. (Btw, they are on paid leave as I write this.) The only reason that really makes sense is these poll workers were involved in or had knowledge of the rigging of the election proper (and not just the small recount). And because of this, they knew it was immensely important to rig the small recount in hopes of covering up.

This should disturb anyone who read the article:

There were allegations in several counties of similar presorting of ballots for the recounts that state law says are to be random.

And this:

They just were doing it the way they were always doing it," [defense attorney Roger] Synenberg said.

Btw, isn't Ohio where a politician just got sent to prison for 30 months for defrauding the public trust?

Away with them (4, Insightful)

forand (530402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694554)

I can only hope that their excuse of "it was too hard to keep our democracy" falls on deaf ears and they are punished for their actions. That said I don't even know how this could be considered a reasonable argument since they had to count the boxes twice if I understand thing correctly.

Counting twice, but fewer boxes (4, Informative)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695076)

That said I don't even know how this could be considered a reasonable argument since they had to count the boxes twice if I understand thing correctly.

The law says they have to manually recount a randomly selected 3%, and if that comes out close enough they can do the rest of the recount by running it through the machine again. Otherwise they would have had to manually recount them all.

So they did a quick search for precincts that might match (e.g., skip the ones where the total number of votes was way off or that otherwise looked fishy), counted some of them until the had 3% that would pass muster, and that became their "random sample" for the public recount.

What is amazing is that they (&, IIRC, the voting machine tech that helped them) admitted this to the people doing the recount.

--MarkusQ

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694584)

... and not CNN. I suppose if we had a respectable voter turn out, then big media might think we would find election fraud newsworthy. I guess the president just isn't as important as "American Idol".

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694668)

I guess the president just isn't as important as "American Idol".

Didn't more people vote on the last American Idol than on the last presidential election?

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

janeowit (909913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694792)

No. The American Idol winner got more votes than the president did in the last election.
It's a subtle, less depressing difference. American Idol viewers can votes as many times as they want.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

E10Reads (732984) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694864)

But what's the breakdown in thee age groups of AI voters? How many are under 18? Also, you don't have to leave your house to vote on AI. Some people don't have to do more than send a text message (depending on their wireless phone provider).

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695876)

AI voters

Please wake me up when it becomes sentient ...

In 2007 IdolNet beomes self aware and launches the attack that will end 3 billion lives [worldofwarcraft.com] in an instant of fire ...

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (5, Funny)

nutrock69 (446385) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694946)

American Idol viewers can votes as many times as they want.
Yeah, but people in cemetaries can't vote for an American Idol the same way they can for a President.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

caseydk (203763) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695070)


Yes, but for American Idol, you can vote multiple times. In elections, you can only do that in Chicago.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695046)

Didn't more people vote on the last American Idol than on the last presidential election?

No fewer people voted many, many, more times, over the entire season. It hardly translates into a good match against a real political poll.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694676)

Did you RTFA?

Prosecutors do not allege vote fraud or that the mishandling of the recount affected the outcome of the presidential election.

That's why it's not a big deal. But it doesn't stop you or the editors from making a mountain out of a molehill.

Sure, no big deal (4, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695362)

Did you RTFA?

Prosecutors do not allege vote fraud or that the mishandling of the recount affected the outcome of the presidential election.

That's why it's not a big deal. But it doesn't stop you or the editors from making a mountain out of a molehill.

Sure, sure, just like it's no big deal if somebody opens fire in a shopping mall, so long as they don't hit anybody. Or like the way it's OK to swipe people's credit cards, as long as you don't buy anything with them.

--MarkusQ

Re:Sure, no big deal (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695690)

"The evidence will show that this recount was rigged, maybe not for political reasons, but rigged nonetheless," Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=28 06718 [go.com]

The potential problems caused by a thorough investigation into the ramifications of our broken election system might be a bit more than the prosecution wants to take on. That doesn't mean the election system isn't seriously flawed. My OP point was that we need to take off the blinders and deal with the flaws, and that means first admitting that we have a problem.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695416)

Yes, they are going WAY out of their way to avoid indicating that this set of wrong-doings don't lead to a much larger conspiracy. Yet even on the surface, it clearly leads to a much larger conspircy.

I'm hopeful that it doesn't stop just there and that this will lead to some much larger indictments and convictions.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695662)

Did you RTFA?
Of course we didn't RTFA -- are you new here?

But really, no one's making "a mountain out of a molehill" -- that's why it's not on one of the CNN/NBC/??C newsboys programs, heck it didn't even make the drudge report!

Simply put, there are 2 articles, one with the title "Prosecutor says presidential recount rigged in Ohio county"
the other,"Workers accused of fudging '04 recount Prosecutor says Cuyahoga skirted rules".

50% accuracy is PDG for internet news!

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (5, Informative)

Gregg M (2076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695928)

Did you RTFA? Prosecutors do not allege vote fraud or that the mishandling of the recount affected the outcome of the presidential election.

That's why it's not a big deal. But it doesn't stop you or the editors from making a mountain out of a molehill.

Did you RTFA? They said they didn't think it would change the out come of the election, because they weren't able to do a full recount. The recount they did was rigged. They said they were only following standard procedure. If that's not going to effect the outcome I don't know what is. The flawed recount still gave Kerry more votes. If this was done in every county in Ohio it could have swung the election.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (2, Informative)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695008)

... and not CNN. I suppose if we had a respectable voter turn out, then big media might think we would find election fraud newsworthy. I guess the president just isn't as important as "American Idol".

ABC News [go.com] also has the story, along with a picture of the defendents. I can't put my finger on it, but they don't appear to be stereotypical Bush operatives.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695048)

"I can't put my finger on it, but they don't appear to be stereotypical Bush operatives."

I thought it was stereotypical Bush operatives who rejected science and went by appearances and by gut feelings that they can't put a finger on.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695858)

I don't care if they are smoking weed and wearing big tie-dye peace sign t-shirts with Kerry '04 tatood on their foreheads. Election fraud is election fraud. If they are guilty let them be proven so.

Re:The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting... (1)

corngrower (738661) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695934)

Of course CNN is not reporting on it. They failed to cover the large raids for illegal immigrants on the packing plants of a major U.S. meatpacker last month, instead reporting on an elderly couple that died in an automobile accident in North Carolina. If you're getting your news only from CNN, you'll get an EXTREMELY BIASED view of american news.

2 Months is a Long Time (5, Interesting)

Quilted Porcupine (995935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694598)

On when they would do a full hand-count, if needed: "Our plan was to regroup after Christmas and just work through it." That quote strikes me as awfully suspicious itself. If the election results were in dispute, waiting a couple months to actually start counting all the ballots by hand seems incredibly lax, at best.

Uhhh (5, Funny)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694608)

What is interesting here is that they have already admitted doing this and that it was clearly counter to the letter and the spirit of the law, but still insist it wasn't really 'wrong,' presumably since they only did it to avoid having to go to the bother of a full recount as required by law.

Laziness is a great excuse for election fraud.

Re:Uhhh (2, Interesting)

Socguy (933973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694684)

The biggest problem in a case like this is the time it takes to respond. In the time it's going to take this to wind its way through the legal system, multiple elections are going to have come and gone. If the goal really was to commit election fraud, their candidate would have been in office for (potentially) multiple terms before anything is done - assuming that anything would be done anyway!

Re:Uhhh (2, Interesting)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694720)

If the goal really was to commit election fraud, their candidate would have been in office for (potentially) multiple terms before anything is done - assuming that anything would be done anyway!

Hypothetical: We find out that John Kerry actually won Ohio... so BushCo. gets evicted and Kerry gets to be President for two weeks before Hillary gets sworn in.

What does he do?

(think of this as a very unscientific poll)

Re:Uhhh (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694778)

Hypothetical: We find out that John Kerry actually won Ohio... so BushCo. gets evicted and Kerry gets to be President for two weeks before Hillary gets sworn in.

What does he do?

He pays Madonna a million bucks to sit on his...

Oh wait! Wrong poll question.

Re:Uhhh (1)

Socguy (933973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694806)

A good point, I assume this is why the ballots are distroyed soon after both sides accept the result. On the other hand, surely their must be something that can be done, otherwise, there is very little deterent against this kind of behaviour.

Probably pardons them (0, Flamebait)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695410)

Hypothetical: We find out that John Kerry actually won Ohio... so BushCo. gets evicted and Kerry gets to be President for two weeks before Hillary gets sworn in.

What does he do?

Knowing Kerry, he'd probably pardon them for the various charges of election rigging, domestic wiretaps, ware crimes and other violations of international law, missing Iraq reconstruction funds, etc., etc. and then announce the next day that he hadn't meant to pardon them, but it was too late now and we should just move on.

--MarkusQ

Oh, the irony (1)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695584)

Oh, the irony. My remarks about Kerry were not intended as a troll.

It was a botched attempt at a joke.

**sigh** I suppose I deserve it.

--MarkusQ

Re:Uhhh (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694704)

Laziness is a great excuse for election fraud.
Think of it as an affirmative defense.
Otherwise, the only excuse is maliciousness...
And admitting to that would really aggravate the charges against them

I wonder if they found that Bush didn't win.... (0, Troll)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694714)

Would it be enough for the Dems to recall him?

Re:I wonder if they found that Bush didn't win.... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694856)

> Would it be enough for the Dems to recall him?

The courts would never let something like that happen, no matter how glaring the discrepancies.

Court systems aren't about justice or fairness, they're about orderliness and predictability. They would find it necessary to sweep such a grand problem under the rug.

Re:I wonder if they found that Bush didn't win.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695016)

Would it be enough for the Dems to recall him?
No, once the vote is certified by the state (of Ohio, in this case), it cannot be recalled by Democrats, Republicans, CEOs, Unions, Fascists, the NRA, or anyone else.

Of course, a substantial voting fraud fiasco could convince a president to step down. But it seems very unlikely that this particular irregularity will directly impact the current president's position. However, it is likely to impact how elections are regulated in Ohio. As it should.

Re:I wonder if they found that Bush didn't win.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695366)

Of course, a substantial voting fraud fiasco could convince a president to step down.

The Decider does not listen to any man, God himself gave him that position. We must impeach*.

*-not just for blowjobs any longer

A Republican in Cuyahoga County?? (3, Funny)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17694734)

Please... you have a better chance of finding a do-do bird in Cuyahoga County. These workers were just too lazy to do their job.

Re:A Republican in Cuyahoga County?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17694896)

Please... you have a better chance of finding a do-do bird in Cuyahoga County. These workers were just too lazy to do their job.

Are you suggesting the home district of Dennis J. Kucinich is Democratic? Sir, I shall have to ask you to step outside.

Or I would, but the river caught fire. Again.

Re:A Republican in Cuyahoga County?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17694988)

during the '04 campaign they had Chaney and the other guy had a debate at csu they had to ship republicans up from Columbus cheer and shit i ate there pizza until the chick at the table noticed my bush Chaney shirt had fuck across the top in black marker

Actually ... (2, Insightful)

willtsmith (466546) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695064)


Actually, it's just the opposite. Lazy folks don't do preparation work and end up with even MORE work later. No, these folks were VERY dilligent VERY early making darn sure that they could eliminate any scent of voting irregularities.

A lazy Republican operative would have let someone choose precincts at random, counted just the three and then found out that they then had to recount every single ballot.

That's what started all this. (1)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695562)

A Republican in Cuyahoga County??

Please... you have a better chance of finding a do-do bird in Cuyahoga County.

You aren't the only one to have that reaction. The fact that such a large proportion of them apparently voted for Bush started some people [jqjacobs.net] wondering if the votes had been counted correctly.

Thus the 3rd party call for a recount, which the poll workers botched.

It's the very fact that the county is so heavily Democratic that got people wondering in the first place.

--MarkusQ

oblig (4, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694816)

Trying is the first step towards failure.

-- Homer Simpson

Re:oblig (1)

Quilted Porcupine (995935) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694948)

Alternatively: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. -- Still Homer

More applicable quotes from Homer (and Oscar) (1)

skymt (968075) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695390)

"Victory passes back and forth between men." -- Homer "The will of Zeus was accomplished." -- Homer

Obsession with Ohio (3, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694866)

While it's good to scrutinize problems with our electoral system, I think there's too much of an obsession with Ohio. It wasn't the narrowest race, nor was it the one with the most irregularities, but it's where all the hindsight gets focused. It's easy to see why... Ohio was the state that came closest to swinging the election the other way, and thus becomes the center of all the "OMG Bush stoled teh election AGAIN!" rhetoric. However, this emphasis exclusively on Ohio (and Florida in the previous election) overlooks the issues everywhere else. It effectively says, who cares if there were problems in Michigan (or wherever), Kerry won that state so let's not worry about the election there. Electoral problems should be scrutinized and fixed based on their severity and merits, not how well they play into some "what if the other guy had won?" scenario.

Re:Obsession with Ohio (4, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694996)

>I think there's too much of an obsession with Ohio

Ohio was the state that the chairman of Diebold said would be delivered to the president.

Re:Obsession with Ohio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695364)

Operating from memory here, but I believe what he said (while speaking in his capacity as a private citizen participating in politics) was something
like "I'm committing to delivering Ohio's electoral votes to George W. Bush."

Re:Obsession with Ohio (5, Informative)

skymt (968075) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695456)

I was skeptical, so I did a web search. This Boing Boing post [boingboing.net] has links to coverage from CNN and CBS. I guess he really said it.

Here's the exact quote (from Wally O'Dell, Diebold CEO and former Republican fundraiser):

I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president.

Re:Obsession with Ohio (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695098)

It wasn't the narrowest race, nor was it the one with the most irregularities
Would you care to elaborate on that? It sounds as if egregious fraud may have occured - thus, the trial.

Electoral problems should be scrutinized and fixed based on their severity and merits, not how well they play into some "what if the other guy had won?" scenario.
Pardon me, but I voted for Kerry because I wanted to see him win. If these people had a hand in throwing the election, I want them in jail.

Re:Obsession with Ohio (2, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695358)

Pardon me, but I voted for Kerry because I wanted to see him win. If these people had a hand in throwing the election, I want them in jail.

Yea, and I voted for Badnarik because he was the only candidate left after eliminating all the obvious douchebags on the ballot. That doesn't mean I'd be OK with people committing election fraud if it had favored him - the whole concept of voting becomes utterly worthless (even more than it already is) if people can mess with the votes and get away with it.

Re:Obsession with Ohio (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695376)

Sure, I can elaborate on that.

On the first claim, that other races were narrower, I refer you to Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and New Hampshire.

As for the most irregularities, there were, sadly, problems all over the country. Long lines in urban areas, lost absentee ballots, a nasty tire-slashing incident perpetrated by workers for one of the campaigns, voting machine problems, provisional ballots that were tossed that should have been counted, ones that should have been tossed but were counted (I recall hearing of people being allowed to vote who may have been ineligible to vote or casting votes in multiple precincts, though I don't recall details since it's been a while), and so on.

My point is, rather than the myopic fixation on Ohio, we should be looking at things that went wrong in the electoral process anywhere in the country and addressing them. Yet, it seems that a greatly disproportionate emphasis is placed on what happened in a single state.

I 100% agree (2, Informative)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695302)

Electoral problems should be scrutinized and fixed based on their severity and merits, not how well they play into some "what if the other guy had won?" scenario.

I agree 100%. As I have said many times, I wouldn't be all that interested in having Kerry as President, though I don't like Bush either. But if we're going to have an election between two worthless shills I'd still insist on having an honest election between them.

Further, we should be (and, thankfully, some of us are) looking at the recent midterms as well. Cases like the guy that got no votes (even though he voted for himself), the close House race where 18000 votes went missing [pcworld.com], and so on need to be investigated. Further, we should be paying a lot more attention to things like Rahm Emanuel's involvement in the timing of the Foley scandal, which constitute election rigging of a different sort.

And finally, we need to keep clear that this isn't a partisan issue. I am a registered Republican, but I want nothing to do with cheaters on "my side." This is actually a pretty common reaction at the grass roots level -- for instance, left leaning sites [firedoglake.com] are as annoyed at Rahm as the right leaning sites [gopbloggers.org].

Even in hyper-partisan times, the red team and the blue team (again, almost exclusively at the grass roots) have common ground in wanting a fair system.

--MarkusQ

Re:Obsession with Ohio (1, Troll)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695454)

I see you're new to Slashdot. Here's how it works:

      Republican elected == FRAUD
      Democrat elected == FAIR ELECTION

Cuyahoga County is run entirely by Democratic machine politics. But here at Slashdot, we ignore any facts that conflict with our preconceived notions. Hope that was helpful to you.

Re:Obsession with Ohio (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695734)

Electoral problems should be scrutinized and fixed based on their severity and merits, not how well they play into some "what if the other guy had won?" scenario.

But surely the effect on the outcome of the election is the best measure of "severity". If I wave a pointed stick around in a crowded room and kill someone, that is more severe than someone firing an RPG into an empty field.

Both acts, mind you, are serious crimes, but of two crimes commited with the same intent, the one that has the worst outcome is the more serious of the two.

OK (5, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694922)

Does this mean we'll be seeing criminal charges against others who subvert the voting process, say by shipping machines with different software than they submitted for certification, or trying to obstruct voting on election day?

Re:OK (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695174)

I hope you aren't implying that until every single person who may or may not have been involved in election fraud is arraigned, it would be improper to single anyone out for arraignment.

Because that would be extremely retarded.

Treason? (4, Interesting)

rhakka (224319) | more than 6 years ago | (#17694956)

Am I the only person that thinks that willfully subverting the electoral process, on which every thing in our country's governance hinges, should be tried as NOTHING LESS than treason?

I don't care if you're running for dog catcher... the democratic process should be defended with the most uncompromising principles possible, should it not?

Agreed ... (1)

willtsmith (466546) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695104)


To a Democratic society, elections are our most sacred ritual. Desecrating elections should be one of our highest crimes. We should treat those who murder democracy at least as harshly as those who murder people. I'd say a proof solid election fraud case should be a 10-20 years in prison. A further insult would be putting these individuals' jailhouse photos on the election training materials so that everyone KNOWS what happens to those who subvert democracy.

Re:Treason? (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695298)

Absolutely, I just don't get this. It is treason, and when I used to work in defense, they continually reminded us that treason is punishable by the death penalty. Maybe we should remind elections people of this from time to time.

Seconded (0)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695480)

Agreed. If these people broke the law they should spend the rest of their lives in jail. They took away a fundamental freedom of the people of their county. As a result their freedom should be taken away.

Re:Treason? (2, Insightful)

skymt (968075) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695672)

It seems very possible that in the minds of those committing vote fraud, their actions are patriotic. Republicans are Republicans and Democrats are Democrats because each believes their party has the best plan for America.

Let's imagine a (hopefully) rather extreme example. It's 2016 and America has suffered several tragic terror attacks, including one just a few months before the election. The Republicans play off the natural xenophobia the attacks have developed by announcing a plan to reject at the border all immigrants and visitors from Muslim Countries, and even those who have recently visited such "terrorist territories." Illegal immigrants from these countries would receive the death penalty with only a token trial. The Democrats believe this plan would cause much more harm than good, and fight it. The polls are close, but the Republicans have a slight edge.

What would a Democratic election official do in this situation? Commit vote fraud and damage one part of American freedom, or do nothing and allow the Republicans to damage another?

There's nothing like that in current American politics, but we're in no way lacking in charged political issues. Would a Democrat commit vote fraud to stop the Iraq war sooner and save the lives of a few troops? Would a Republican commit vote fraud to get a pro-life candidate into office and save the lives of a few babies?

Please note that I am neither approving vote fraud or condemning Republicans (I try to be party neutral, but someone had to take the fall to make my example work). I'm just trying to work out the motivations of those who do defraud the voters.

Ahem! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695088)

--Diebold

Those are DEMOCRATS on trial (2, Informative)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 6 years ago | (#17695182)

Aren't they?

Plus, it's a heavily Democratic county.

Re:Those are DEMOCRATS on trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695408)

Aren't they?

All three are women, and two of them are Black.

So there just isn't enough information to guess.

So how many precincts were eliminated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17695188)

So they precounted a selection likely to match and eliminated ones that where the count was wrong in order to avoid a recount.

So how many precincts did they have to eliminate to get their 34 'matching' precincts and who supplied the counting machines for those precincts that didn't match?
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