Marc Baber is a fantastic guy associated with the great Oregon-based voters rights group, Truth in Voting. Mark and TIV have been in the forefront from Day One in the battle to challenge and investigate the 2004 Ohio election. Here is an important reminder from Marc:
According to Fox News, "the exit polls this election (2006) were still skewed 6-8% in favor of the Democrats" (They think backwards at Fox, of course).
The only attempt to explain the "skew" in 2004 was known as the rBr theory ("Reluctant Bush Responder"). According to the theory, Republicans avoid participating in exit polls in greater numbers than Democrats. But statistical analysis of the data in 2004 showed that in more heavily Republican precincts where you'd expect higher rates of non-participation (if rBr were true) and, therefore, more highly skewed exit polls-- the opposite occurred, indicating that rBr doesn't fit the observed patterns.
The 2004 raw exit poll data was never released for full analysis and we'll see even less of the data for 2006.
The most likely explanation is that our entire vote counting system favored Republicans by 6-8% in this election and that the exit polls are correct while the official results are corrupt.
The only reason the Democrats did so well in 2006 is that Democrats actually won by margins of 6-8% greater than the official results showed.
I ran through the list of close races where Republicans won and there was only one race (Tennessee Ford(D) vs. Corker(R)) on the Senate side, however in the House, at least 15 races were within 6%, meaning that the Dems probably should have won an additional 15 seats or so in the House if the Republicans hadn't rigged the system this year, assuming that the error is in the official results (not the exit polls) and that the bias was a fairly uniform 6% nationwide. These are, of course, very rough estimates. And alarming too.
So, the Democratic victory was no mere "Thumping" as Bush described it. We smited them. We devastated them. We completely overwhelmed, stomped, creamed, killed, slaughtered and trounced them. We beat them so bad, they couldn't even win by cheating.
Yes, indeedy, we sure did. Oh, yeah. Big time.
But, make no mistake, they're still cheating. There were at least 30-40 different cheating tactics used in 2004 and they weren't just invented in 2004-- no organization can build such a smoothly operating racket overnight. What we're up against has a measure of business-as-usual to it, developed over decades of corrupt "worst practices" that may take another decade or two to expose and stop.
But stop it we must. As it turns out, in 2006, "within stealing distance" meant about 6-8%. In 2008, it will probably be a higher number. If we don't level the playing field in the next two years, we may never get another chance. It shouldn't be too much to ask of our new Democratic Congress to enact verifiable elections with paper ballots, since 92% of Americans want that. Just imagine how bad Bush would look vetoing paper ballots. Imagine how bad Congress people would look if they didn't vote yes in an attempt to override the veto with a 2/3 majority. I hope you'll contact your Representatives in Congress and let them know that you expect nothing less.
Thanks for everything you DID to get us this far! Celebrate our victories, but don't let up!
* A "paper trail" is necessary but not sufficient to ensure verifiable elections and I am strongly in favor of a system of paper ballots, handled in a multi-partisan-observed unbroken chain of custody and counted by redundant "dumb" optical scanners. (I know, "optical scanners" is a hot button among Election Reform people who typically favor hand-counting, but please read my full paper to understand why redundant "dumb" optical scanners would be safe and practical).
The system I propose and presented at We Count 2006 is detailed in the paper I delivered, "A Practical Election System with Integrity" online at http://www.marcbaber.com/ElectionReform.htm (click on the "PDF" link).
My hope is to get endorsements of this system from a coalition of Election Reform groups and launch a new election business to facilitate elections carried out in the fashion I've described.
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