Wednesday, November 24, 2004

U.S. Investigating Claims of Election Fraud

Yahoo! is reporting that "Secretary of State Colin Powell said... the United States does not consider legitimate the results of elections in Ukraine, which the opposition says was marred by fraud." Hmm. Yeah, I suppose if you want a country to look into voting fraud or peculiarities, it's the United States.

In related news, Congress' investigative agency (the Government Accountability Office), responding to complaints from around the country, has begun to look into the recent presidential election here in the U.S., including the handling of provisional ballots and malfunctions of voting machines. Here's the link. What kind of complaints? Read on:

Election officials in two Ohio counties have discovered possible cases of people voting twice in the presidential election, and a third county found about 2,600 ballots were double-counted.

In Columbus, Ohio, an electronic voting system gave President Bush nearly 4,000 extra votes.

An electronic count of a South Florida gambling ballot initiative failed to record thousands of votes.

In Guilford County, North Carolina, vote totals were so large that the tabulation computer didn't count some votes, and a recount awarded an additional 22,000 votes to Democrat John Kerry.

In San Francisco, a glitch in voting machine software left votes uncounted.

In Youngstown, Ohio, voters who tried to cast ballots for Kerry on electronic machines saw their votes recorded for President Bush instead.

In Sarpy County, Nebraska, a computer problem added thousands of votes to the county total. It was not clear which presidential candidate benefited from the error in the overwhelmingly Republican state.

Some employees of Arizona-based Sproul and Associates (hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in Nevada) said they were told to register only Republicans and accused the group of tearing up Democratic registration forms. In Washoe County, the group failed to turn in some registration forms, leaving people who thought they were eligible to vote off the registration rolls. Link

And lest we forget that we can barely get local elections right, the San Diego mayoral elections featured disqualified ballots for a write-in candidate; apparently just writing in the candidate's name was not considered a vote unless the accompanying oval was also filled in; these are votes that were obviously destined for the write-in candidate, but will not be counted, thus awarding the election to the incumbent. We covered it last week.
So we know what we're talking about when it comes to election problems.

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