Category Archives: Voter fraud

Obama vote changing machines to be examined by FBI, Maryland state delegate Kathryn Afzali, Touchscreen machines suspect in other states, 100 percent Obama votes suspect

Obama vote changing machines to be examined by FBI, Maryland state delegate Kathryn Afzali, Touchscreen machines suspect in other states, 100 percent Obama votes suspect

“An additional 2,735 were cast by people who elections officials believe were not registered in Ohio”…The Columbus Dispatch Nov. 21, 2012

“If the voter turnout in Ohio matches the 2008 level of 67 percent, some 5,226,000 votes would be cast. Under that scenario, 250,000 provisional ballots would amount to 4.8 percent of the entire vote — well over the current difference between the two candidates, according to RealClearPolitics poll average.”…NewsMax Nov. 1, 2012

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

From WND November 26, 2012.

“FBI ASKED TO PROBE OBAMA ‘VOTE-CHANGING’ MACHINES”

“A state lawmaker in Maryland has asked the FBI to impound two voting machines used in the 2012 election to determine whether there was a malfunction or something nefarious going on.

“I just feel it is my duty to try to get to the bottom of this,” state Delegate Kathryn Afzali told WND today.“We’re not making any accusations. The Board of Elections are good people. They have checks and balances … but we want to make sure everything is fair.”

She said a number of people contacted her after the Nov. 6 election to report that they pressed a touch-screen button for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, but the vote registered for Barack Obama.

WND has reported a number of first-hand accounts of similar anomalies during the election. One touch-screen technician reported that voters in another state were getting error messages on their touch-screens when they tried to vote for Romney.

Also, suspiciously, a number of precincts reported a 100-percent vote for Obama, and some even reported beyond 100 percent.

“My request [to the FBI] is … I want them to take these machines. Let an FBI computer expert analyze them,” she said.

She said that among those who contacted her with concerns were two  officials, including a state lawmaker who personally experienced a vote machine changing his vote three times to the party whose agenda he opposed.

The lawmaker told her that his computer background left him confident that the problem was beyond a technical glitch, and he insisted that the election judge take the machine out of service and lock it up.

Another concern was raised by Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild. who said it’s critical that the machines be analyzed properly to determine what happened.

“We need to freeze them in their current state, not wipe out data,” he said.

He said his constituent reported the same scenario as has been reported: hitting the touch-screen button for Romney but finding that that it registered for Obama.

Rothschild said it’s a major problem that has to be addressed in order for Americans to continue trusting their election system.

He said the constituent noticed the vote changes on the summary screen.

“It showed Obama as being selected,” Rothschild told WND, even though his constituent reported voting for the GOP ticket.

“After talking with a few other people, this concern seems to be increasing,” Rothschild told WND. “There are just two possible answers. Either he made a mistake, or something caused that machine to switch the vote.”

He said given that his constituent has experience with computers, the contention that he didn’t know how to use the machine seems a stretch.

“I know how easy it would be to introduce a single spurious line of code,” Rothschild told WND, noting a programmer could easily instruct the machine to change the vote periodically, so a routine test wouldn’t reveal any problems.

He said he was told the county had no jurisdiction over the issue and that it would be up to the state, which is why he discussed the concerns with Afzali.

“It’s very scary,” Rothschild told WND. “It creates a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.”

That, in turn, he said, results in people feeling desperate about their failure to impact government.

“If American people feel they cannot trust their voting system, there’s the possibility of more desperate action,” he said. “There are a number of possibilities [for reaction] in nullifications, secession, including throwing off such governments.

“If people think their voting processes do not work, [if] they conclude they are not being afforded constitutional protections, they may conclude their only option is to throw off such government,” he said.

He said the forensics of voting machine examination would be very important, but a good investigatory review could provide a lot of answers.

“We have all seen little pieces of the problem,” he said.

But to determine what is a problem, he said some sort of overview perspective would be needed.

Not only do authorities need to do a review, future elections need to be done so that every voter is given a printed copy of his or her own vote. The copies could be compiled by clerks to provide a point of reference if questions arise, he said.

Afzali told WND that because she’s on the state elections committee, a number of people came directly to her with their complaints.

She said the two machines that were identified now are locked up with all the other equipment, but she’s asked the FBI step in and take custody of them.

WND previously reported in U.S. Rep. Allen West’s re-election fight in Florida, a surge of thousands of votes went to his opponent late in the evening.

“If we do not have integrity in our election process then we don’ t have the exceptionalism as a constitutional republic, we don’t have a rule of law,” West said.

WND also reported a forensic profiler whose previous cases have included the Natalie Holloway disappearance and the O.J. Simpson double-murder case said Obama is confessing to stealing the 2012 president election.

“Obama appears to unconsciously confess on multiple occasions that in his secret fury he stole the 2012 presidential election – continuing his attacks on our nation,” Andrew G. Hodges, M.D., told WND in an assessment of Obama.”

Read more:

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/fbi-asked-to-probe-obama-vote-changing-machines/

Ohio 2012 election audit, November 20, 2012, Post election audit procedures, Secretary of State Directive 2012-56, Absentee military ballots?

Ohio 2012 election audit, November 20, 2012, Post election audit procedures, Secretary of State Directive 2012-56, Absentee military ballots?

“An additional 2,735 were cast by people who elections officials believe were not registered in Ohio”…The Columbus Dispatch Nov. 21, 2012

“If the voter turnout in Ohio matches the 2008 level of 67 percent, some 5,226,000 votes would be cast. Under that scenario, 250,000 provisional ballots would amount to 4.8 percent of the entire vote — well over the current difference between the two candidates, according to RealClearPolitics poll average.”…NewsMax Nov. 1, 2012

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

Ohio Secretary of State Directive 2012-56, 2012 post election audits.

DIRECTIVE 2012-56
November 20, 2012
To: All County Boards of Elections
Directors, Deputy Directors, and Board Members
Re: Post-Election Audits
SUMMARY
In 2009, the previous administration entered into a settlement agreement in the case of League of Women Voters, et al. v. Brunner [formerly Blackwell], N.D. Ohio No. 3:05-cv-7309. As explained in Advisory 2009-09, the League of Women Voters settlement agreement requires that county boards of elections conduct post-election audits of all ballots cast following general elections in even-numbered years and following presidential primary elections.
POST-ELECTION AUDIT PROCEDURES

A. Timeline

Each board of elections must conduct a post-election audit beginning no sooner than six days after the official certification of election results by the board of elections, unless there is an automatic recount (declared by the Board or, in the case of a multi-county district election, declared by the Secretary of State) or the board of elections has received a valid application for a recount. If a recount is conducted, the post-election audit shall begin immediately after the Board certifies the results of the recount. A board of elections must not conduct the audit before the Board’s certification of its official canvass of the election.
The Board must complete the post-election audit between the seventh day after the Board declares its official certification and the 28th day after the Secretary of State declares the official certification in a statewide election.

B. Observers

The post-election audit must be open to the public and to duly appointed observers. Each board of elections must give public notice of the time and place of the post-election audit in the same manner that the Board notifies the public of a board of elections meeting.

1. Throughout the audit, ballots may be handled only by boards of elections members, directors, deputy directors, or other designated employees of the Board. No other person, including an observer, may handle a ballot under any circumstances.

2. Any entity having appointed observers pursuant to R.C. 3505.21 or 3505.32(B) (referred to herein as “statutory observers”) may appoint observers to the post-election audit no later than five days after the Board gives notice of the date and time of the post-election audit in accordance with this directive. Substitutes may be appointed if notice of substitution is made in writing and filed with the board of elections at least one day before the post-election audit begins.

3. The general public may observe the post-election audit and, to the extent practicable, must be given the same access as statutory observers, subject to the limitations in B4. Observers are permitted to observe the selection process and to observe the count.

4. Depending on the number of individuals who may be appointed or desire to observe the post-election audit and the available resources of the Board (i.e., physical space, number of counting stations, etc.), the Board may limit the number of observers. However, statutory observers must be allowed to participate regardless of Board resources. If the Board must limit the number of observers, at least two members of the general public, randomly selected from those expressing an interest to observe must also be allowed to observe the audit. As a general rule, Boards must do their best to accommodate the
general public to the extent practicable.

5. Representatives of the media are permitted to attend any portion of the post-election audit.

C. Preparations for the Post-Election Audit

1. After Election Day, the Secretary of State will randomly select at least one other statewide contest to be included in the post-election audit in addition to the “top of the ticket” contest (e.g., President). Further, in addition to any contest selected by the Secretary of State, the board of elections must randomly select at least one other contest (candidate contest or question/issue contest), preferably from the universe of all countywide contests, unless circumstances (i.e., no, or only one, countywide contest) necessitate the selection of some other contest. The Board shall exclude any contest in which the number of candidates for that contest (including eligible write-in candidates)
does not exceed the number of candidates to be elected or nominated in that contest.

2. At the time the Board meets to certify the official results of the election (or within ten days of certification, if the Board has already met to certify the official results, the Board should determine whether it will conduct its post-election audit by precinct, by polling place, or by individual voting machine
1 (herein collectively referred to as “units to be  audited”); the date and location that the selection of units to be audited will take place; and the date and place that the audit will commence. It is preferable to audit the smallest unit available to the Board. A Board should conduct a post-election audit by polling
place only if, on Election Day, the voting machines in a multiple-precinct polling place were not precinct-specific (i.e., a voter could cast his or her ballot on any voting machine in the multiple-precinct polling place without regard to the precinct in which the voter was registered to vote).

3. On the date the Board selects the units to be audited, the Board must randomly select a sufficient number of units to be audited until the number of votes cast (machine public count) on all selected units to be audited equals at least 5% of the total number of votes cast for the county (countywide voter turnout).

a. If the Board is auditing by precinct, and the randomly selected precinct’s public count is greater than or equal to 5%, the Board must randomly select an additional precinct to be audited.

b. If the Board is auditing by polling place, and the public count from the selected polling place is greater than or equal to 5%, the Board must randomly select an additional polling place to be audited.
Note: While it is reasonable for the Board to organize its materials and ballots
between the date the selection is made and the date the audit begins (i.e., it
may take time to sort through comingled absentee ballots to segregate those
from the selected precincts, etc.), the Board should both allow observers to be
present during these preparations and should take great care to prevent a preaudit from inadvertently taking place, either in fact or in perception, before the actual audit.

4. In General:

a. When determining the public count, the Board must include all relevant categories of ballots, including regular ballots (VVPAT and/or optical scan paper ballots), counted provisional ballots (whether cast in person before, or on, Election Day), and counted absentee ballots of all types for the precinct or polling place. The Board is permitted to open sealed VVPAT canisters for the purpose of conducting the post-election audit, even if there is not a recount in the precinct.

b. If absentee ballots are accumulated and reported as a single precinct, then the Board must conduct the audit using defined batches of absentee ballots equaling 5% of all absentee ballots cast. If the ballots are not already kept as defined batches, the Board must first batch the ballots into batches of 50 and then randomly select batches equaling 5% of all absentee ballots cast.

c. Selection of units to be audited must be random (meaning that each possible unit to be audited has the same chance of being selected). The Board need not follow any particular method to ensure random selection of units to be audited. The casting of differently colored multi-sided die (with each die representing a different numeral in the precinct number) or drawing numbered slips of paper from a transparent container are both acceptable methods.

d. A board of elections may choose to audit a universe greater than 5%. For contests where the margin is above the statutory threshold for an automatic recount but is close, selecting a greater percentage of ballots to be audited is advisable.

e. Elections records generally are public records and must be available for public inspection, including to observers during a post-election audit. Records that may be of interest to observers, and that should be available for inspection, include documents that show the number of ballots ordered and received by the Board; the number of ballots that were voted, remade, spoiled, and uncounted; the number of absentee and provisional ballots issued, returned, validated, and invalidated; poll worker and board reconciliation sheets; and chain of custody logs.

D. Conducting the Post-Election Audit

This Directive requires the use of either a simple, percentage-based post-election audit or a “risk-limiting audit.” Risk-limiting audits are recommended. For more information about risk-limiting audits, go to http://cuyahogaelectionaudits.com/audit/post-election/risklimiting.
2 If you have questions about risk-limiting audits, please contact Matt Damschroder or Matt Masterson in the Elections Division.

1. The post-election audit must be conducted by teams of elections officials equally divided among the state’s two major political parties (e.g., 2, 4, 6, etc.).

2. A post-election audit team of at least two election officials must compare the total number of votes cast in the contests being audited to the number of voters listed in the poll book, poll list or signature poll book. If more votes appear for a particular contest in a precinct (including precincts contained in multi-precinct polling locations) than the number of marked names in the poll book, poll list or signature poll book (indicating which electors voted, including absentee and provisional voters), such discrepancy must be documented.

3. Ballots must be checked to verify that each contest has been properly identified on the ballot. Observers and members of the public may observe the inspection of the ballots but may not handle ballots.
Note: “Ballot” refers to both:

• A paper ballot that is optically scanned and counted at the precinct polling
place or centrally tabulated, and
• The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) produced by any Direct
Recording Electronic (DRE) touch screen voting machine.

4. For each contest to be audited, the Board must physically examine and hand count the ballots for each randomly selected unit to be audited and must hand count the votes cast on the ballots. The Board then must compare the hand count to the recorded electronic summary of the votes contained in the official certification of the votes for that contest in that precinct or polling location. The Board must make a record of the comparison for each precinct (including precincts contained in a polling location if conducting the audit by polling place) included in the post-election audit. The Board shall document this process using the audit reporting work book.
Note: If any comparison of the hand count and official certification tally as noted above results in a difference between the hand count and the official certified tally, the Board must determine if a mistake occurred in the hand count. If the Board determines that no hand-counting mistake occurred, the hand count of the ballots shall be taken to be the accurate count. The Board shall provide written notification to the Secretary of State of any such discrepancy.

5. At the conclusion of the post-election audit, the Board must calculate the individual accuracy rate of each contest included in the audit by taking the sum of any discrepancies for each contest audited and dividing it by the sum of all ballots audited for that contest, then subtracting the resulting number from 100 to return the accuracy rate as a percentage.

Note: The Board should use the absolute value of each discrepancy so that offsetting discrepancies (a one vote gain and a one vote loss) do not net out as zero discrepancies.

6. A county is required to escalate the audit if its accuracy rate is less than 99.5% in a contest with a certified margin that is at least 1% (calculated as a percentage of ballots cast on which the contest appeared), or less than 99.8% in a contest with a certified margin that is smaller than 1%. Escalation entails drawing a second random sample of at least 5% of votes cast, selected from units that were not audited in the original sample, and auditing the ballots (using the same procedures) with respect to any such contest. If, after the second round of auditing, the accuracy rate from the two samples is below 99.5%, the county shall investigate the cause of the discrepancy and report its findings to
the Secretary of State’s Office within the same time for completing the post election audit. In such cases, the Secretary of State’s Office may require a 100% hand-count.

E. Reporting Results after the Post-Election Audit is Complete

If the post-election audit results in change of vote totals reported in the official canvass, the Board shall amend its certification of the official results of the affected contest and submit it to the Secretary of State within the time limits set forth in this directive, in the same manner required for making of the original official declaration of the result of such election, pursuant to R.C. 3505.32(A).
After a board of elections has completed its post-election audit, the Board must file the following with the Secretary of State’s Office:

1. All final results from the audit using the audit reporting work book; and
2. If vote totals in the randomly selected contest change, a certified amended abstract that shows both:

a. The votes cast in each precinct in the county in which the contest was submitted to electors, and
b. The votes of the precincts in which the ballots were audited as shown by the audit documents.

Boards must transmit their post-election audit results no later than five days after completion of the post-election audit to Kathy Malott at the Secretary of State’s Office:

• via fax: (614) 485-7590 (include a cover sheet), or
• via email: kmalott@ohiosecretaryofstate.gov (subject: Post-Election Audit)

If you have any questions regarding this Directive, please contact the Secretary of State election’s attorney assigned to your county at (614) 466-2585.

Sincerely,
Jon Husted

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/elections/directives/2012/Dir2012-56.pdf

Citizen Wells: I am conducting my own audit. The vast numbers of provisional ballots generated by sending out so many absentee ballots and by  registered voter status confusion are  a concern. Possibly of more concern is the drop in military absentee votes.

Franklin County Ohio reveals Ohio voting problems, Tens of thousands of ballots in question, Provisional ballots, 2735 cast by non Ohio citizens, Audit OH votes

Franklin County Ohio reveals Ohio voting problems, Tens of thousands of ballots in question, Provisional ballots, 2735 cast by non Ohio citizens, Audit OH votes

“An additional 2,735 were cast by people who elections officials believe were not registered in Ohio”…The Columbus Dispatch Nov. 21, 2012

“If the voter turnout in Ohio matches the 2008 level of 67 percent, some 5,226,000 votes would be cast. Under that scenario, 250,000 provisional ballots would amount to 4.8 percent of the entire vote — well over the current difference between the two candidates, according to RealClearPolitics poll average.”…NewsMax Nov. 1, 2012

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

There are 2 state elections that should be, without a doubt, audited. Florida and Ohio.

Franklin County Ohio, containing Columbus, was one of the counties in Ohio that went for Obama by a large margin.

Obama 325,654     60.1%

Romney 207,941  39.1%

If Franklin County is any indication, the elections in Ohio cannot be trusted.

From The Columbus Dispatch November 21, 2012.

“New Albany schools await provisional ballot count”

“New Albany schools officials must continue to wait to find out whether their combined bond issue and tax levy passed.

Yesterday, the Franklin County Board of Elections told workers to begin opening and scanning most of the 29,751 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election, but they can’t be counted until the board decides what to do with the rest of the ballots.

Work began yesterday on 20,545 ballots that election officials believe were cast correctly. They are awaiting a response from other county boards to determine whether 2,438 more ballots, which were cast by voters registered elsewhere in Ohio, are valid.

An additional 2,735 were cast by people who elections officials believe were not registered in Ohio, and 1,849 were cast by people voting in both the wrong precinct and polling location. Other categories of provisional votes are also under review, election officials said.

The board will meet again today to make a determination on the remaining ballots, and the actual vote count can begin. But the Thanksgiving holiday means it will be at least Monday before the board has an unofficial tally.

The final, official count of votes is to be complete on Tuesday.

At issue is the 87-vote margin of victory — not counting provisional ballots — held by the New Albany schools in its $45 million bond issue and 4.24-mill operating levy.

A Dispatch analysis found that 666 voters cast provisional ballots at sites where the tax request was on the ballot. It’s possible that not all of those ballots were from school-district voters, however, because they include votes from polling sites with voters who also live outside the district.

If even half the provisional ballots are from district voters and deemed valid, it could swing the decision or trigger a recount. Ohio law requires a recount when the margin is less than half a percentage point.

Elections Board members also struggled to decide what to do about 44 people who signed a poll book on Election Day, signifying they were cleared to vote on a machine, but who also cast provisional ballots.

Election workers told the board that the people might have gotten as far as signing their names before telling a poll worker about a recent address or name change, and were then asked to vote provisionally. There’s no way to determine whether they both cast an electronic ballot and filled out a provisional ballot, however.

The board voted to ask the secretary of state’s office for guidance in the matter, as no one on staff could remember a similar situation.

Board members will consider the matter again at today’s meeting.”

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/21/new-albany-schools-await-provisional-ballot-count.html

Ohio races undecided, Absentee and provisional ballots create nightmare, To count or not to count that is the question, Military votes counted?

Ohio races undecided, Absentee and provisional ballots create nightmare, To count or not to count that is the question, Military votes counted?

“Late last night Congressman West maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes. In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos. Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly we will pursue all legal means necessary.”…Allen West campaign

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

Ballots are still being counted across the country. Fraud and poor procedures have occurred in Florida and elsewhere. Does anyone have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the elections? I do not.

Massive numbers of mail in or absentee ballots have been or could have been sent. As of Monday, November 19, 2012, over 1.5 million ballots in California had not been processed. 580,071 mail in, 923,768 provisional and 56,293 other.

Due to a court ruling delay, Ohio just began counting provisional ballots, apparently a large number of ballots created by the confusion of mailing so many absentee ballots.

From the Royalton Post November 20, 2012.

“Ohio House District 7 race awaiting provisional ballots count”

“As famed New York Yankee Yogi Berra once said, “It’ ain’t over until it’s over.” And the Ohio House District 7 race between Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Matt Patten (D-Strongsville) is far from over.

The Nov. 6 election results had Dovilla winning the election with 50.3 percent (27,091 votes) to Patten’s 49.7 percent (26,786 votes), a difference of only 305 votes.

There are 1,930 provisional ballots to be counted, however. The breakdown of these as yet to be counted votes looks like this: Berea – 356; North Royalton – 488; Olmsted Falls – 146; Olmsted Township – 242 and Strongsville – 698.

Provisional ballots were to have begun to be counted on Nov. 16 or 10 days after Election Day. Final results were to have been released on Nov. 27 at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections certification meeting.

The Board of Elections, as of this writing, was still in the process of determining which provisional ballots are valid.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive to local election officials on Nov. 2 that gave them new instructions to reject certain provisional ballots from voters who did not properly fill out the portion of the ballot application that asks for a form of identification.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley issued a scathing 17-page ruling stating the directive issued on Nov. 2 was “a flagrant violation of a state elections law” that could disenfranchise voters.

Provisional ballots are given to voters whose eligibility is in question at the polls. Voters have up to 10 days after the election to prove their eligibility in order to ensure that their vote is counted.

Throughout his ruling, Marbley criticized the provisional ballot application Husted designed for the presidential election. Marbley questioned whether the poor drafting was “by design or accident.”

Marbley said the form illegally shifted the responsibility for recording identification information on the provisional ballot application from the poll worker to the voter. He also said the form makes it difficult for election officials to determine if erroneous applications are the fault of the poll worker or the voter.

Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the Secretary of State would appeal the ruling “because it allows potentially fraudulent votes to be counted. By eliminating the ID requirement on provisional ballots, the ruling is contrary to Ohio law and undermines the integrity of the election.”

Pending any further legal actions, the Board of Elections was to meet on Nov. 20 (past The Post Newspapers deadline) to determine the validity and invalidity of all provisional ballots and review any provisional ballots recommended by the Board of Elections staff for review.

Following the Nov. 20 meeting Board meeting, all provisional voter envelopes were to be opened and the ballots reviewed to ensure the voter cast a ballot in the correct precinct.

In addition to the provisional ballots, there are 175 vote by mail ballots in District 7 that have not been counted. This takes the total of uncounted ballots over to the 2,105 mark when added to the provisionals.

During the 10 days following Election Day, the Board of Elections could receive vote by mail ballots that could be accepted and counted if the return envelopes were postmarked by Nov. 5.

“You would need about 58 percent of everything remaining to flip this in the other direction,” Dovilla said. “He’ll (Patten) pick up a few hundred and I’ll pick up a few hundred I would guess. I think the margin will remain the same. We’re cautiously optimistic that the verdict will hold.”

There is a chance that determination of final numbers could be delayed into December. Even after all the provisional votes are counted, there could very well be an automatic recount of the votes if the difference between the votes cast for the two candidates is equal to or less than one quarter of one percent of the total votes in the race. Either candidate can request a recount if the difference is equal to or less than one half of one percent.

“This is wide open. I’m sure that both of us agree it would be nice to have this done with,” Patten said. “You have to put your life on hold because you just don’t know. I think he and I are both learning more than we ever wanted to about provisionals.””

http://www.thepostnewspapers.com/north_royalton/local_news/article_471b10f8-c38b-5c50-8217-3114132a0744.html

From NewsMax November 1, 2012.

“Ohio Voting Count ‘Nightmare’ Looms”

“With the presidential election expected to hinge on Ohio, the state’s former secretary of state, GOP stalwart Kenneth Blackwell, is warning that a little-known change in the Buckeye State’s absentee-ballot process could lead to a “nightmare scenario.”

And that scenario could force the entire country to wait 10 days after the election to find out who will be the next president of the United States. It’s a complicated situation, to say the least, but one that could have a far-reaching impact on the Nov. 6 election process.

For the first time in the key swing state’s history, Blackwell says, virtually all Ohio voters this year were mailed an application for an absentee ballot. In previous elections, most Ohio voters had to request an application for an absentee ballot to receive one.

The concern is that thousands of Ohio voters may complete the absentee-ballot application and receive an absentee ballot, but not bother to complete and mail in the ballot.

Anyone who is sent an absentee ballot — including those who do not complete it and mail it in — and later shows up at the polls on Election Day to cast their ballot in person will be instructed to instead complete a provisional ballot.

And under Ohio election law, provisional ballots cannot be opened until 10 days after an election.

“I would just say that this is a potential nightmare-in-waiting,” says Blackwell.

Blackwell believes that could result in an unprecedented number of provisional ballots being filed – some 250,000 or more. Such a large number of ballots being held, presumably under armed guard, for 10 days until they can be opened, would bring to mind the historic 2000 post-election battle in Florida. That recount was marked by ballot disputes — and inevitably, lawsuits.

“You’re talking about craziness for 10 days,” Blackwell tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “They won’t even be opened to be counted for 10 days.”
According to a report by Barry M. Horstman of the Cincinnati Enquirer, absentee-ballot applications were mailed to 6.9 million of Ohio’s 7.8 million registered voters.

As of Oct. 26, Ohio election officials had mailed out 1.3 absentee ballots. Of those absentee ballots, 950,000 had been completed and mailed back in.
That leaves some 350,000 absentee ballots that had been requested and sent to voters, but had not yet been received.

Ohio voters who requested an absentee ballot, but did not complete it and mail it back in, will not be allowed to vote normally.

Explains Blackwell: “So they go to the polls and say, ‘I want my ballot.’ And [poll workers] say, ‘Oh, we see you applied for an absentee ballot.’ The voter says, ‘Oh, I changed my mind.’ And they say, ‘That’s well and good, but we have to guarantee that you don’t vote twice. You have to fill out a provisional ballot.’”

Provisional ballots are used whenever someone shows up at the polls whose eligibility to vote cannot be immediately verified. Their name may not show up on the voter rolls, for example.

Rather than turn them away, state election officials typically have those individuals indicate their voting preference with a provisional ballot. Once their eligibility to vote has been established, the vote can be counted.

The use of provisional ballots is intended to prevent any voter from casting one ballot by mail, and then a second ballot at the polling place.

Ohio’s current secretary of state, Republican Jon Husted, pushed for the absentee-ballot applications to go out to all voters, according to Blackwell.
In previous Ohio elections, a few counties would automatically send out absentee-ballot applications to all their residents, while the vast majority of counties would not. Husted sought to make the absentee ballot process uniform across Ohio’s 88 counties.

In a news release, Husted said the new system would “help reduce the chance of long lines at the polls during the presidential election, and voters in smaller counties will have the same conveniences as voters in larger counties.”

No one can say how many absentee ballots will remain outstanding as of Election Day. Ohio voters have until Nov. 3 to request an absentee ballot. Election officials will accept and count absentee ballots as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 5, the day before the election.

Ordinarily, the number of provisional ballots outstanding in Ohio probably would be inconsequential. In 2008, according to the Enquirer, only about 70,000 were actually cast.

But uncertainly over perhaps a quarter-million votes would be a serious concern in Ohio, given the historically close margins of victory there.

Democrat Jimmy Carter carried Ohio by only about 11,000 votes over incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford in 1976. In 2004, GOP President George W. Bush carried the state by 118,775 votes over Democratic Sen. John Kerry, in a controversial finish that occurred during Blackwell’s tenure as secretary of state.

As of Wednesday, the RealClearPolitics average of polls in Ohio showed President Barack Obama leading GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney by 2.4 percent. That site, and many others, rate the contest as a toss-up.

No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio. The Obama campaign has rested its re-election hopes on a firewall strategy that hinges on winning Ohio’s 18 Electoral College votes. Doing so would greatly complicate Romney’s path to garnering the 270 Electoral College votes needed to capture the presidency.

If the voter turnout in Ohio matches the 2008 level of 67 percent, some 5,226,000 votes would be cast. Under that scenario, 250,000 provisional ballots would amount to 4.8 percent of the entire vote — well over the current difference between the two candidates, according to RealClearPolitics poll average.

Other than Horstman’s report in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio’s provisional ballot issue has largely flown under the radar of the national political press.

Blackwell tells Newsmax that given the uncertainty over how voters may respond to the widespread, unsolicited invitation to obtain an absentee ballot, the potential for a 10-day delay “is a major concern in terms of the management of a process that is perceived as being free, fair, and as unsuspenseful as possible.”

Hamilton County Board of Elections director Amy Searcy echoes Blackwell’s concern. She told the Enquirer that a 10-day lag while the entire nation waited for Ohio to declare who won its election “would be called my nightmare scenario.”

Matt McClellan, press secretary for the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, tells Newsmax it will be late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning before a final tally is available of how many absentee provisional ballots have been cast.
He confirmed that 2012 marks the first election year in which virtually all registered voters in Ohio were sent absentee ballot applications.

He said the department has not made any projections on how that change might impact absentee and provisional ballot voting trends. However, he emphasized that the vote-counting process in Ohio will be reliable, secure, and in accord with the state’s election laws.

“I disagree with the Enquirer story,” said McClellan. “There is not a nightmare scenario for Ohio.

“If the margin is too close, and we’re just not able to tell definitely at that point, that doesn’t mean anything bad has happened in Ohio. It means the process is proceeding as is required under law. So, will we have outstanding absentees and provisional ballots? Yes. We don’t know how many yet; we won’t know until Election Day.”

McClellan emphasized that every legal ballot will be counted.

Blackwell agrees there is no way to know yet how many provisional ballots Ohio will ultimately have to count, or if the nation might have a 10-day cliffhanger before the winner of the presidential election is known.

But he adds, “It is not an unreasonable scenario to plan against, given that this is the first time in the history of the state that every registered voter got mailed – unrequested – an absentee ballot [application].””

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/ohio-provisional-ballots-delay/2012/11/01/id/462413

I am still concerned about our overseas military personnel being disenfranchised. I will continue to evaluate vote counts, especially those from military absentee ballots.

2012 election extremely close, Citizen Wells analysis, Congressional races too close to call, Florida must have recount, Low turnout fraud or both help Obama

2012 election extremely close, Citizen Wells analysis, Congressional races too close to call, Florida must have recount, Low turnout fraud or both help Obama

“Late last night Congressman West maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes. In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos. Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly we will pursue all legal means necessary.”…Allen West campaign

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

The 2012 elections were hardly a mandate for Barack Obama. Even if the elections counts were fair, and I do not believe that they were, the presidential election was closer than most people realize. Here are the results, based on recent counts, by county.

The preponderance of the geographical area of the US went for Romney. Obama dominated in  many large cities and in  areas with large black and hispanic populations. A good example is Cuyahoga County Ohio. Obama won by 420,953 to 184,475 for Romney. Obama won Ohio by 103,481 votes.

To show you just how close this election was at the presidential level, here are 4 states with the vote spreads and electoral votes. In each state, if the number of people shown had voted for Romney instead of Obama or if Obama got the votes instead of Romney due to voter fraud or voting machine irregularities, the result would have been a Romney win.

State            Vote difference   One half         Electoral votes

Florida              73,189                36,595                       29

Virginia           115,910               57,955                       13

Ohio                  103,481               51,741                       18

Nevada               66,379               33,190                        6

Totals                                             179,481                      66

You read it correctly. Approximately 179, 481 votes could have made the difference in the election.

Do I believe that voter fraud occurred. Yes. The question is how much. We know for a fact that there were numerous machine malfunctions, errors in counts and ballots that were not counted. One of my biggest concerns is absentee ballots being processed and counted. I have been looking over NC reports and they do not make sense.

Our biggest chance for rectifying election results is in congressional races such as Allen West in Florida. The latest news indicates he may have to seek remedy in the FL Supreme Court.

Another extremely close race is in NC District 7 between Democrat Mike McIntyre who currently leads Republican  David Rouzer by 655 votes. I have concerns about voting machine problems in that district as well as absentee ballots from soldiers who live in the area. The following comment was placed here on October 24 in response to the article about touch screen voting machines defaulting to Obama:

“Same thing happened to me in fayetteville”

This is not over. The states have certification periods and various remedies for challenging election results. Let’s make sure that we at least keep the congressional races as clean as possible and in a case like Florida, based on all of the issues that have arisen, that the entire state do a recount.

Allen West early ballot recount ordered by St. Lucie County Canvassing Board, November 16, 2012, Series of tabulation errors, Board declined absentee ballot recount

Allen West early ballot recount ordered by St. Lucie County Canvassing Board, November 16, 2012, Series of tabulation errors, Board declined absentee ballot recount

“Late last night Congressman West maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes. In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos. Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly we will pursue all legal means necessary.”…Allen West campaign

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

From News 7 November 16, 2012.

“Early ballot recount ordered in Allen West race”

“A county canvassing board on Friday ordered a recount of early-voting ballots in the race between U.S. Rep. Allen West and Democrat Patrick Murphy, hours after a judge declined to do the same.

The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board voted 2-to-1 late Friday in favor of the move in the 18th Congressional District contest, in which Murphy is the unofficial victor. A series of tabulation errors by the county has raised suspicion among West’s campaign and its supporters and appeared to motivate the board’s favorable vote.

It was a victory for West, delivered just after a defeat for the Republican congressman and conservative firebrand in the courtroom. But whether it will change the result in the race, in which Murphy has a lead of 1,907 votes, remained to be seen.

“There really wasn’t any basis in the law for the decision they made,” said Murphy attorney Sean Domnick. “It really doesn’t change anything. He is the representative for District 18 and he will continue to be.”

The canvassing board declined to order a recount of absentee ballots, which West’s campaign had sought. The recount — technically being referred to as a retabulation — was set for Saturday.

Earlier Friday, St. Lucie Circuit Judge Dan Vaughn sided with attorneys for Murphy, as well as those representing the county supervisor of elections and canvassing board. He agreed with arguments that he had no authority to order a recount and that West’s campaign could contest the election if they are unsatisfied with its results.

Murphy has a 50.3 percent share of the ballots, a margin of six-tenths of a percentage point that is just above the half-percentage point threshold to order a full recount. The Democrat is the winner in the eyes of the state and was in Washington this week attending House orientation.

“Their objective is not to ensure a fair and accurate accounting of all votes but simply to ensure that Mr. Murphy can continue pretending to be a congressman,” said West campaign manager Tim Edson.

West’s attorneys allege all kinds of possible malfeasance at the polls, including discrepancies between the number of people signed in at precincts and the ultimate number of votes counted. Should Murphy still hold the vote lead after the recount, it was unclear if West might offer a concession.

Counties must file certified election results with the state by noon Sunday. West can formally contest the election after that.

The race was one of the country’s most expensive House contests and one of the most closely watched.

West, 51, is a first-term tea party favorite who has made a string of headline-grabbing statements, from calling scores of congressional Democrats communists to saying President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and others should “get the hell out of the United States.” Murphy, 29, is a political newcomer who portrayed West as an extremist who has done little else in Washington than stoke partisan fires.”

http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/politics/21009081704635/

Thanks to commenter Ladyhawke.

Allen West St. Lucie County courtroom hearing Friday, November 16, 2012, Full recount requested, Gertrude Walker Supervisor of Elections irregularities statement

Allen West St. Lucie County courtroom hearing Friday, November 16, 2012, Full recount requested, Gertrude Walker Supervisor of Elections irregularities statement

“Late last night Congressman West maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes. In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos. Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly we will pursue all legal means necessary.”…Allen West campaign

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes”…Joseph Stalin

From the Examiner November 15, 2012.

“Allen West – Patrick Murphy duel continues in court Friday”

“With no love lost in Florida’s District 18 Congressional race, Allen West’s lawyers will duel with Patrick Murphy’s lawyers in a St. Lucie County courtroom tomorrow fighting a recount of votes cast in the general election on November 6, 2012. What is most in contention is many early ballots were being fed into tabulating machines twice by St. Lucie Supervisor of Elections staff. A partial recount of 16,275 ballots was conducted last week which netted West a closer margin toward victory to the stated victory of Murphy. Murphy went to Washington, D.C. this week to participate in his orientation to be the next U.S. Representative for District 18. District 18 spans St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach County.

West lawyers are expected to argue for a full recount of votes cast in the District 18 race by the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections because of irregularities found in different precincts. There would be 37,379 St. Lucie County ballots that would need to be recounted on or before Sunday because that is when the election results are slated to be certified to the state election’s office.

Gertrude Walker, St. Lucie County’s Supervisor of Elections, made a statement on her website regarding the irregularities, “Turnout percentages will show over 100% due to a two page ballot. the tabulation system (GEMS) provides voter turnout as equal to the total cards cast in the election divided by the number of registered voters. also note that some voters chose not to return by mail the second card containing the amendments.”

West’s legal team was in Palm Beach County court last week trying to lock up the ballots and machines used in he District 18 race in case a recount is needed, however Circuit Judge Crow shot down the argument. The main reason was that Crow felt if any action was going to be necessary, West’s hearing was occurring too soon.

Both campaign teams continue to email supporters almost daily requesting more money for an expected legal battle between the two candidates.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/allen-west-patrick-murphy-duel-continues-court-friday