U.S. election irregularities in 2004

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Problems nationwide

  • Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad never received their ballots—received them too late to vote[1] —after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations. [2]
  • Consulting firm Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states [3], was discovered shredding Democratic registrations. [4]
  • In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes [5], malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.[6]
  • Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment—roughly one for every 100 cast. [7]
  • Exit polls in thirty states weren't just off the mark—they deviated to an extent that cannot be accounted for by their margin of error. In all but four states, the discrepancy favored President George W. Bush. [8] [9]

Particular to Ohio

"The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count." [10]

  • In Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004. [11]
  • In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots [12]—troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. [13]
  • "People waiting in line for twelve hours to cast their ballots, people not being allowed to vote because they were in the wrong precinct—it was an outrage. In Ohio, you had a secretary of state who was determined to guarantee a Republican outcome. I'm terribly disheartened," said Senator Christopher Dodd, who helped craft reforms in 2002 that were supposed to prevent such electoral abuses. [14] In the battle for Ohio, Republicans had a distinct advantage: The man in charge of the counting was Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of President Bush's re-election committee, and principal electoral system adviser for Bush during the 2000 recount in Florida, where he witnessed firsthand the success of his counterpart Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state who co-chaired Bush's campaign there.

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles




Particular to Florida

Particular to North Carolina

Particular to Texas Redistricting

External resources