Sunday, November 07, 2004


A slender reed (updated 11/08/04)

There is an article by Thom Hartman "Evidence Mounts That The Vote May Have Been Hacked" that raises suspicions about the Florida vote in counties that use optical scanners—
In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.

In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.

More visual analysis of the results can be seen at http://us, and Note the trend line – the only variable that determines a swing toward Bush was the use of optical scan machines.

Buzzflash has linked to this article and a reader also called my attention to it, so I suppose I should comment.

I'm as eager to see these criminals get caught as anyone, but what's being suggested here is a very slim reed. I don't know Baker County. But I'm a bit familiar with Dixie County, and I don't find the voting statistics remarkable at all. There really is something in the water. I guess that makes me a supporter of the "Dixiecrat" theory—

One possible explanation for this is the "Dixiecrat" theory, that in Florida white voters (particularly the rural ones) have been registered as Democrats for years, but voting Republican since Reagan. Looking at the 2000 statistics, also available on Dopp's site, there are similar anomalies, although the trends are not as strong as in 2004. But some suggest the 2000 election may have been questionable in Florida, too.

One of the people involved in Dopp's analysis noted that it may be possible to determine the validity of the "rural Democrat" theory by comparing Florida's white rural counties to those of Pennsylvania, another swing state but one that went for Kerry, as the exit polls there predicted. Interestingly, the Pennsylvania analysis, available at, doesn't show the same kind of swings as does Florida, lending credence to the possibility of problems in Florida.

Comparing rural Pennsylvania with rural Florida is ludicrous on its face. No wonder we lost the election. Whatever it is we're growing out there, they sure ain't Amish.

Hartman posits that the vote manipulation would have been done not at the individual voting machine but at the central tabulator. He reviews a demonstration by Bev Harris showing how easily the vote count may be changed in a Windows-based system.

I agree that the place to rig the vote would be in the tabulation software, and that Windows-based systems are easily altered, generally speaking. But the thing about optical scan machines is that there is a paper ballot. Could they really be that stupid? In certain counties, maybe. But on the other hand, I don't see how they could be that smart.

Hartman offers one further "anomaly"—

.... A professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, noted that in Florida the vote to raise the minimum wage was approved by 72%, although Kerry got 48%. "The correlation between voting for the minimum wage increase and voting for Kerry isn't likely to be perfect," he noted, "but one would normally expect that the gap - of 1.5 million votes - to be far smaller than it was."

Does the good professor not understand that many of the people voting for Bush are poor people? When you pool together the poor people and the liberals you can get quite a decisive vote. We ought to try it more often.

Meanwhile, Bev Harris at is attempting to make countrywide Freedom-of-Information-Act requests and is asserting that there was fraud in this election.

Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence -- red flags, exit polls -- but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the most massive Freedom of Information action in history.

Harris is meaner than a junkyard dog when it comes to vote shenanigans, and she needs money and volunteers. So you may want to check out her project.

A reader has pointed out in the comments that the total number of votes exceeds the registered voters as quoted for Dixie County. I hadn't noticed that, partly because that was not the point that Hartman was making. But the quoted text was cut and pasted, so I have gone back to the Hartman site to check. It now appears as—
In Dixie County, with 9,676 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.

This corresponds with the voter registration as given by the Florida Dept. of State (FDS), which reports a turnout of 6,472 (66.9%) [link under "County Reporting"]. The FDS indicates that the database was last updated today at 1:46 pm EST and is a final report. The turnout exceeds the recorded vote by 80 votes, which should represent the "wastage."

Dixie County demographics

According to Wikipedia,

As of the census of 2000, there are 13,827 people, 5,205 households, and 3,659 families residing in the county.... The racial makeup of the county is 88.80% White, 8.98% Black or African American....

There are 5,205 households out of which 27.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.90% are married couples living together, 10.60% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% are non-families. 23.90% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.60% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 2.87.

In the county the population is spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 17.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 41 years. For every 100 females there are 113.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 117.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $26,082, and the median income for a family is $31,157. Males have a median income of $26,694 versus $17,863 for females. The per capita income for the county is $13,559. 19.10% of the population and 14.50% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 23.90% are under the age of 18 and 16.10% are 65 or older.

Related posts:
The USA Today post-debate poll:
What did it measure and what does it have to do with the Song of Roland?

Fear and loathing in Florida

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