Coalescing Evidence of Massive Voter Registration Fraud in Ohio 2004

By Dale Tavris
EDA Co-Coordinator for Election Data Analysis

More and more evidence continues to accumulate that Voter registration fraud was responsible for a great deal if not the total Bush vote margin in the 2004 Presidential election. The latest evidence comes from Mark Crispin Miller, as documented in his recent book, “Fooled Again – How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them)”. Added to previously existing evidence, the evidence presented by Miller makes it all but incontrovertible that massive voter registration fraud was a major factor in Kerry’s “loss” of Ohio:

Discrepancies between NY Times reports and official voter registration figures

I initially suspected that there was something very wrong with voter registration in Ohio, and especially in Cleveland, when I discovered a HUGE discrepancy between reports by the New York Times of massive new voter registration in Democratic areas of Ohio (ten times that of Republican areas) and official voter registration figures. I posted a DU article entitled “New York Times Reporters Probably Hold Key to Proving Kerry Victory in Ohio”, in which one of my main points was that the Times reporters identified 230,000 new voters registered in heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County in 2004, compared to official Secretary of State figures indicating only 119,000 newly registered voters in Cuyahoga County. I suggested at the time that a major reason for the discrepancy of 111,000 voters was either illegal purging of voters or fraudulent manipulation of the official figures to hide the fact that votes in heavily Democratic areas were electronically deleted on Election Day, or a combination of those things. Along these lines, I later posted another DU article, entitled “What Happened in Cleveland – a Plausible Scenario for a Stolen Election”, where I estimated that if the discrepancy between the official figures and the newspaper reports was due to voter registration fraud, that could have cost Kerry about 46 thousand net votes in Cleveland.

Confirmation by Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition

Having failed to get the NY Times or its reporters to respond to my enquiries, I managed to get a large degree of confirmation from Norman Robbins, leader of the Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition. According to his figures, as communicated to me by e-mail, there were160,894 new voter registrations received by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in 2004 (compared to 31,903 new voter registrations in 2000). This was about 42,000 more registered voters than the 119 thousand increase in registered voters between March and November of 2004 indicated by the official figures (though Normans’ number of newly registered voters in Cuyahoga County is somewhat less than that identified by the New York Times.) The discrepancy between Robbins’ figures and the official figures could be due to purging of newly registered voters, or failure to process the new voter registrations, which Robbins describes in his report.

Illegal purging of registered voters

Confirmation of the probable reason for the above noted discrepancies came from research by Victoria Lovegren, who posted a report at Ohio Vigilance which indicates the purging, apparently illegal, of 165,224 voters from Cuyahoga County alone, for no other rationale than that they hadn't voted recently. Dr. Lovegren notes in her report that this practice violates the National Voting Rights Act. This matter is still being investigated. We don't know at this time precisely when these purges occurred, though it was some time between the 2002 and 2004 November elections. Perhaps the most troublesome aspect of these reports is that the purging appears to have been done discriminately, that is, with no specific criteria for who would be purged.

Dr. Lovegren's report also notes numerous other issues of serious concern, including the following:
Registration applications beingn rejected for trivial reasons.
Insufficient staff to deal with all then applications for voter registration.
Requests for absentee ballots notn responded to.
Hundreds of long time voters missing from the votern roles
Jammed phone lines on Election Day, so that voter inquiries couldn’tn be answered
The public was not allowed to watch the provisional ballotn verification process.
Numerous voters did not receive provisional ballotsn as required by law.
Numerous dirty tricks aimed at disenfranchisingn Democratic voters.

What effect did this have on the ground? – Evidence from Mark Crispin Miller’s Book

A question that is often asked of me when I talk about voter registration fraud in Ohio is what effect the purging of Democratic voters would be likely to have on the election results. There are two lines of doubt that have been expressed to me on this question. One is the question of whether newly registered voters would be as likely to vote as would long time voters. This question is answered in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) report on the 2004 Ohio election. According to Section VI, Figure 12 of that report, new voter registration was correlated with voter turnout, meaning that in general, newly registered voters were more likely to vote in the Ohio 2004 election than were previously registered voters.

The other line of doubt is the question of whether people who are purged actually are prevented from voting. I am asked, “Couldn’t these people re-register after they found out that they were purged? I would answer this question by saying that maybe they could re-register if they know they were purged – but an unknown number of these voters didn’t know until Election Day. But I didn’t have much of a sense of how frequently the purging would actually prevent voters from voting until I read Professor Miller’s book.

In that book, Miller recounts his conversations with Denise Shull, a poll checker in Summit County. During the course of her work on Election Day, Shull noted that approximately 10% to 20% of registered Democratic voters on her list were not on the official list of registered voters. Furthermore – and this is very important – these voters were described as ardent Democrats, as long time voters in the area, AND most of them were not voting. A possible reason for their not voting is suggested by an encounter that Shull had with one of these voters as the voter (or more precisely, non-voter) was leaving the polls. This voter was simply told that she couldn’t vote and was given a phone number to call. And even more disturbing, Shull noted three of her fellow Democratic volunteers who described to her very much the same phenomenon occurring at the polling places where they worked that day.

What Shull describes not only provides confirmation that legally registered voters were purged from the voter rolls prior to the 2004 election, but indicates that most of these voters ended up not voting. What effect would this have had on the net vote count?

As I noted above, I calculated that with some modest targeting of Democratic voters, the purging of voters in Cleveland alone would have resulted in a net loss to Kerry of about 46 thousand votes. Targeting of Democratic voters in Cleveland could have been done relatively easily, since Cleveland is heavily Democratic (voted 83% for Kerry, 16% for Bush in 2004), and many precincts in Cleveland voted more than 90% for Kerry. In order to target Democratic voters in Cleveland, one would merely have had to pick out those precincts with a history of voting 90% or more for Gore in the last election.

But what about Summit County, the county where Denise Shull and other Democratic volunteers described on-the-ground evidence of voter registration purging, and where only 57% of voters voted for Kerry. Voter purging in Summit County would have been much less efficient than voter purging in Cuyahoga County, because any voter purging that occurred would have included a large proportion of Republicans as well as Democrats. Unless ….

How could voter purging be made more efficient in counties with large percentages of Republican voters?

Miller’s book also describes a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in Akron, Summit County, in the summer of 2004. The only thing stolen was two computers with Democratic campaign-related information on them. A similar break-in occurred three months later in Lucas County, and was described by the Toledo Blade. One can guess that with voter information obtained from these computers, the targeting of Democratic voters in these two counties could have been made a lot more efficient than it could have been without that information.


So, we now have:

1) A discrepancy of more than a hundred thousand between New York Times (and other newspapers) reports of a massive increase in new voter registration and official Secretary of State figures in Cuyahoga County alone.

2) Partial confirmation of the above from the Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition, which shows a similar (though lesser) discrepancy

3) An explanation for the above discrepancies from the identification of the apparently illegal and targeted purging of 165,000 Cuyahoga County voters.

4) On the ground confirmation of voter purging of an unknown but probably huge number of voters, from Mark Crispin Miller’s new book.

5) Also from professor Miller’s new book, a probable explanation for how Democratic voters were targeted for the voter purging (via the theft of computers containing Democratic voter registration information).

6) From point number 1 above I calculated a net loss to Kerry of about 46,000 votes. But that calculation is based on the discrepancy between official figures and the newspaper reports of 111,000, not the 165,000 purged Cuyahoga County voters identified by Dr. Lovegren. AND, it doesn’t assume the ability to specifically target Democratic voters. With specific targeting of Democratic voters, that number could be much larger. AND, that’s just for Cuyahoga County.

7) The discrepancy between the official figures and the newspaper reports involves much more than Cuyahoga County. And the evidence in Professor Miller’s book also involves counties other than Cuyahoga. When other voter registration fraud from other counties (for which we don’t have specific numbers) is added to that from Cuyahoga County, who can tell how many votes John Kerry lost in Ohio?

8) Just about the only thing missing at this point is for someone from Diebold (who handled much of the voter registration in Ohio, including Cuyahoga Co.) to tell us how this was done. Isn’t anyone from the mainstream media interested in this?