November 16, 2005

Important Action Memo From Victoria Lovegren

Important Action Memo from Victoria Lovegren:

If you haven't made up your mind about electronic voting, or if you haven't yet contacted Cuyahoga County Commissioners to tell them you don't want privatized elections, the following story should help.

Ohio: Alarming Comparisons of Pre-Election Polls and Official Results for Reform Ohio Now Initiatives
by Warren Stewart, Director of Legislative Issues and Policy VoteTrustUSA

In their article "Has American Democracy Died an Electronic Death in Ohio 2005's Referenda Defeats?", Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman point out alarming statistical anomalies in last Tuesday's official results on five statewide ballot initiatives. One of the initiatives was a proposition for state programs to create jobs and promote high tech industry, while the other four were election reform measures referred to collectively as Reform Ohio Now (RON).

Fitrakis and Wasserman note that while the historically reliable pre-election poll conducted by the Columbus Dispatch was typically accurate in predicting the official results for the first ballot initiative it was radically off in predicting easy victories for three of the four RON initiatives. The paper's last poll published on Sunday, November 6, the Dispatch showed Issue One passing with 53% of the vote and the initiative passed in the official tallies with 54% of the vote.

For the Reform Ohio Now initiatives it was another matter. The Dispatch poll showed Issue Two, which called for no excuse absentee voting, passing by a vote of 59% to 33%, with about 8% undecided, an even broader margin than that predicted for Issue One. But on November 8, the official vote count, Issue Two went down to defeat by the astonishing margin of 63.5% against, with just 36.5% in favor.

Similarly Issue Three, which dealt with campaign finance reform, was predicted by the Dispatch to win in a landslide, with 61% in favor and just 25% opposed. But on Tuesday, Issue Three lost in perhaps the most astonishing reversal in Ohio history, claiming just 33% of the vote, with 67% opposed. The other two reform initiatives on the ballots suffered similar reversals. Significantly, almost half the state's counties were using touch screen voting machines for the first time. Read the Entire Article

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is hell-bent on purchasing over 6000 Diebold touch-screen voting machines. And this kind of information just might help us stop them.

Our scrutiny, phone calls, faxes, emails may have caused the County Commissioners to postpone their vote on purchasing additional machines. We expected a vote this week, but we've heard that it won't happen this week, and there are rumors that it won't happen until after the May '06 primaries.

Our vigilance and persistence is working! Please continue to contact the commissioners as well as the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections' director, Michael Vu (216-443-3200). We simply cannot let Cuyahoga fall to electronic voting machines. Just look at what happened to the Reform Ohio Now initiatives!

Please go to to find out more about why we're fighting so hard and what you can do about it!

Thanks so much,

Victoria Lovegren and Adele Eisner

P.S. Thanks so much to those of you who have been contacting the commissioners--it's working!

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