- In 1932 when Louisiana senator Huey “Kingfish” Long arranged to rig the vote on a number of amendments to his state’s constitution that would be advantageous to his financial interests. Their eventual finding of a massive conspiracy led to the indictment of 513 New Orleans election officials.
- In 1915, the Supreme Court ruled that vote suppression could be federally prosecuted. In Terre Haute, Indiana, more than a hundred men had already been indicted for conspiring to fix the 1914 elections for mayor, sheriff, and circuit judge. The incumbent sheriff and judge went to jail for five years, and Mayor Donn M. Roberts spent six years in Leavenworth.
- Chuck Hagel, an unknown millionaire who ran for one of Nebraska’s U.S. Senate seats in 1996 and won surprisingly. Shortly before the election, Hagel had been chairman of the company whose computerized voting machines would soon count his own votes: Election Systems & Software (then called American Information Systems), which developed and marketed the voting-machine company for the elections.
- The debacle of the 2000 presidential election, whose fate hung absurdly on “hanging chads”—the little pieces of punched-out ballot so contentiously examined during the month long recount. A faulty computer memory card triggered this fiasco. Al Gore (after a manual recount) had actually more votes then George W. Bush, but it was too late!
- In 2002, the GOP regained control of the Senate with such victories. In Georgia, for example, Diebold’s voting machines reported the defeat of Democratic senator Max Cleland. Early polls had given the highly popular Cleland a solid lead over his Republican opponent, Saxby Chambliss, a favorite of the Christian right, the NRA, and George W. Bush (who made several campaign appearances on his behalf). As Election Day drew near, the contest narrowed.
- In 2003, Diebold, then one of the primary manufacturers of voting machines, had left the 40,000 files that made up its Global Election Management System (GEMS) on a publicly accessible website, entirely unprotected. Bev Harris downloaded the files, and programmers worldwide pounced, probing the code for weaknesses. The wall of secrecy, said Harris, began to crumble. GEMS turned out to be a vote rigger’s dream. According to Harris’ analysis, it could be hacked, remotely or on-site, using any off-the-shelf version of Microsoft Access, and password protection was missing for supervisor functions. Not only could multiple users gain access to the system after only one had logged in, but unencrypted audit logs allowed any trace of vote rigging to be wiped from the record and to use of cheap, easily replicated keys; the same kind used on jukeboxes and hotel minibars—to open the machines themselves.
- Diebold became the most infamous name in the industry in 2003, when its CEO, Walden O’Dell, a top fund-raiser for George W. Bush, made a jaw-dropping public promise to “deliver” Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush. The following year, California banned Diebold’s touchscreen system, and Secretary of State Kevin Shelley blasted the company as “fraudulent,” “despicable,” and “deceitful.” O’Dell stepped down in 2005, right before the filing of a class-action suit that accused Diebold of fraud, insider trading, and slipshod quality control.
- In 2004, John Kerry lost the presidency in Ohio. In this key swing state, election monitors were besieged by complaints of GOP-orchestrated voter suppression, intimidation, and fraud. Myriad voting-machine anomalies were reported, including “glitches” that flipped votes from Kerry to Bush. Late on Election Day, John Kerry showed an insurmountable lead in exit polling, and many considered his victory all but certified. Yet the final vote tallies in thirty states deviated widely from exit polls, with discrepancies favoring George W. Bush in all but nine. The greatest disparities were concentrated in battleground states—particularly Ohio. In one Ohio precinct, exit polls indicated that Kerry should have received 67 percent of the vote, but the certified tally gave him only 38 percent.
- In a 2007 Dan Rather exposé, “The Trouble with Touch Screens,” seven whistleblowers at Sequoia charged that company executives had forced them to use inferior paper stock for ballots during the 2000 election. What’s more, said the whistleblowers, they had been instructed to misalign the chads on punch cards destined for the Democratic stronghold of Palm Beach County.
- In Wisconsin in 2010, the new Tea Party governor-elect, Scott Walker, unveiled a violently corporatist agenda destined for legal challenge—ensuring that the 2011 race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court would be of crucial importance. The election was ultimately decided by Waukesha county clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who “discovered” 14,300 votes on her computer late on Election Night. This windfall handed the victory to the conservative incumbent, Justice David Prosser, for whom Nickolaus had worked for seven years. Prosser later joined the court’s majority in upholding Walker’s union-busting legislation, stripping workers of their collective-bargaining rights in the birthplace of the Progressive movement.
- There is the South Carolina’s 2010 race for U.S. Senate, which Republican Jim DeMint won with 78 percent of the vote. What is mysterious is not the ultimate outcome, but the Democratic primary that preceded it, which tossed up a fairly fortuitous opponent for DeMint: Alvin Greene, an unemployed thirty-two-year-old accused sex offender living in his father’s basement. Greene, often described as “incoherent,” ran no campaign: no website, no appearances at Democratic events, not even a yard sign. Yet he miraculously beat his opponent in the Democratic primary, former judge and four-term state legislator Vic Rawl, by an 18 percent margin. Voters and campaign workers reported that the ES&S touchscreen machines “flipped” votes to Greene all day long. Meanwhile, the absentee ballots—which were counted by hand—told a different story. In half of the state’s forty-six counties, there was a 10 percent disparity between absentee ballots and those counted by machine; in Lancaster County, Rawl won 84 percent of the absentee vote.
- As recently as September 2011, a team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory hacked into one of Diebold’s old Accuvote touchscreen systems. Their report asserted that anyone with $26 in parts and an eighth-grade science education would be able to manipulate the outcome of an election.
- In his 2011 paper “To the American Media: Time to Face the Reality of Election Rigging,” Jonathan Simon accuses the press of maintaining a Mafia-style omertà on the subject. “The gruesome truth,” he writes, “is that American elections can be rigged, and are being rigged, because the American media treats election rigging as something that—all evidence notwithstanding—could never happen here.”
Signs of tampering of votes during elections
Polls suppose to be one of the means for American voters to see or to get an indication when the final votes are being rigged or not. Logic dictates that if candidate A had a clear minority, and suddenly wins the elections with a landslide, something is very wrong. Wouldn’t American voters eventually note the constant disparity between poll numbers and election outcomes, and cry foul? They might—except that polling numbers, too, are being quietly shifted, and here we have serious problems.
Exit-poll data is provided by the National Election Pool, a corporate-media consortium consisting of the three major television networks plus CNN, Fox News, and the Associated Press. The NEP relies in turn on two companies, Edison Research and Mitofsky International, to conduct and analyze the actual polling. However, few Americans realize that the final exit polls on Election Day are adjusted by the pollsters—in other words, weighted according to the computerized-voting-machine totals! And that means voting fraud.