Skip to comments.Michigan: The Mood (Pollwatcher accounts of vote fraud in Detroit)
Posted on 11/04/2004 11:58:22 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat
Republicans in Michigan are breathing a sigh of relief today - and not only because President Bush won a second term, despite narrowly losing Michigan.
In Detroit, mostly white Republican poll watchers dispatched to monitor mostly-black city vote counting encountered uncomfortable, racially charged situations. Poll watchers overseeing absentee vote-counting at Cobo Center, for example, reported widespread fraud in the counting of ballots. The incident raised the specter of a politically dicey GOP lawsuit, a move now less urgent given Bush's national victory.
"Craziest thing I've ever seen," said one poll watcher. "They had 100 tables and just five poll watchers trying to monitor them. Every table had a pile of empty ballots. If the machine rejected a ballot, the workers would just take a fresh ballot, fill it in the way they thought the voter wanted (Detroit voted heavily for Kerry), and then put THAT ballot through the machine." The poll watcher also reported unsigned ballots being counted in the machines, a violation of absentee procedures.
Alarmed by this open fraud, the party brought in more poll watchers only to be confronted, according to a Detroit Free Press account, by a Kerry campaign lawyer "who arrived and began yelling at the 20-30 GOP lawyers." Policemen were called to restore order to the proceedings after which the additional Republican poll watchers were all escorted off the premises.
The Cobo vote fraud was the most serious incident in an evening that included a judge ruling for Republicans when poll watchers were cast out of other polling places. Democratic voters, in turn, complained that "they felt intimidated by a stranger watching them and wanting to check identification" according the Free Press account. All in all, an unsettling evening here in Southeast Michigan.
It is imperative for the sake of our country that this not be allowed to stand.
Yeah, it's funny how one has that intimidated feeling when someone else is watching them commit voter fraud.
minus the fraud in Detroit, Bush wins Mi...
make no mistake, with real numbers this was a landslide.
Yeah, it's hell when you are on the wrong side of the law .. always wondering who's watching you.
Quite nice of them to do that.
minus the fraud in Milwaukee and Madison, Bush won Wisconsin
This story could have been written in 2000. The exact same thing happened.
Did anyone hear any follow up to the story of the freeper seeing the chartered buses taking the Kerry Edwards people from Manhatten to Philly? I'm very curious what was going on there.
agreed: we need to get some indictments, convictions, and imprisonments this time around. this fraud crap must be squashed.
Only the U.S. Attorneys' offices are in a political position to prosecute vote fraud. Hopefully Ashcroft will direct such offices to make it a priority before he resigns. That will remove the onus from the new AG.
Thank you. I say the same thing on every thread .
Us Michiganders would LOVE them to dig into that mess in Detroit. I think it should be done.
These people should be arrested and prosecuted.
I was a poll watcher here in Minnesota (the state we still have to fix) :) I was thankfully in a location that went smoothly. I was still called names by the voters, had 2 election judges who wouldn't speak to me, but I knew this was something I was doing for the party & the President. It was an experience! What a happy day!
Video covering the custody of each ballot from receipt to counting is the only way to go. Would I check off a box on my 1040 to pay for it? Yes.
after the absentee military ballots are counted he still will.
he is only 11,000 votes behind and those absentees will run 70% for bush, more than enough. GW gets wisconsin.
DemoncRATS tried awfully hard to cheat their way in 2000. This time the pubbies put up a large fight nationwide demanding accurate accountability that we've probably seen the most accurate presidential election in history, not fully accurate by far, but the most accurate.
I think it may be why John Kerry backed down so quickly, the democrats couldn't afford a great deal of scrutiny.I really wish the republicans would pursue this.
Bush had something like a 5 point lead with over 65% of precincts reporting in Mi.
We may have only two years if we don't fix it.
Why 2 years?
When I vote, I'm perfectly happy to show ID and expect others to do the same.
I thought they only counted the absentee ballots if needed.
Sign up to be a RAT poll watcher.
The poll workers were very good.
There were 5 democrat watchers and attorneys, all white. They were so gracious that they loaned me their cell phones to call in vote totals.
It couldn't have been more collegial. We were all shocked!
One of the attorneys said they were told to expect ugly antics. LOL - I told her I was told to expect the same. I joked, "You were expecting eeeeeevil republicans, and you got me instead!"
LOL, when my shift was over, they were sorry to see me go. 3 of them told me they hoped the next watcher was as nice as I.
We all agreed that it's a shame politics at a national level couldn't be as compatible.
Business as ususual there! Nothing new for them. The only thing new was that someone was hip to what was going on. Guess they did not like that!
This imformation needs to be told.
Justice demands that voting corruption (Philadelphia, Detroit etc.) be dealt with swiftly.
I'm amazed! These "intimidated voters" ALWAYS "vote" in heavily Democrat precincts. /sarcasm
Our votes were stolen from us!
This is SOP for Detroit. Has been since 1967 at least and maybe even before. Repubs have to get their hands around the process because this kind of stuff disenfranchises legitimate voters.
Any remade punchcard should be witnessed and approved by someone non-partisan.
Kicking the fraud will give us anoth 4 senators in two years. IF Republicans have the will to do it.
Local TV in Pittsburgh had film of people working the polls objecting to one lonesome white guy at a black polling place. We were assured that it was intimidating for him to be there "looking over their shoulders." This was probably the very first time they ever had to put up with anything like this and it looks like it showed in the returns too or else there wasn't much interest in this election in the city!
Without the voter fraud, the US is a lot more "red" that the maps show. If we wipe out voter fraud, the Democrats will be absolutely powerless. Voter fraud and tight voter restrictions should be #1 on the agenda. Enact that, and it's all over and after one or two more election cycles we can enact anything we want.
Without the fraud, we would have won Pennsylvania. In 2000 too!
I was thinking if you subtract the fraud, it was closer to a 70 - 75% win.
Why 2 years?
Gov. Granholm, is up for re-election then. Since she is a Dem and a beneficiary of this stuff, she is unlikely to do much, despite her formerly serving as the Michigan Attorney General. The current AG is Mike Cox, the first Republican to hold that office since Eisenhower was in the White House (or maybe still on Normandy). Cox ought to move before the 2006 elections to clean this up, but he'll have to be VERY CAREFUL so he doesn't give the demagogues on the issue a racial component to use against him and all the Republicans.
You know how it is, anytime a Republican tries to see that the voting rules are followed, he gets accused of trying to disenfranchise minorities...
In neither case should the ballot be "remade". Voter error, first of all, is the voter's fault; the voter was instructed on how to create a legal vote, and failed.
As for machine error, it is known in advance that these machines have some error rate. We consider this error rate acceptable, and voters are willing to live with that risk of error, otherwise we wouldn't have collectively decided to use the machines in the first place. (If we are unwilling to live with that error rate we ought to switch technologies; I suggest hand-marked and hand-counted paper ballots.)
In close elections (i.e. Florida 2000) it may or may not be necessary to hand-count the ballots which were rejected due to machine error (not the ones rejected due to voter error however). But this wouldn't involve "re-making" ballots either; it would involve counting (or deciding they are non-votes e.g. if the chad is merely dimpled) the existing rejected ballots. In that case, a hanging chad for Kerry, with no other President chad missing, goes for Kerry, sure. But this would be done by hand, by the election board. Also, since machine-error rate is likely to be randomly distributed to voters for either candidate, *fully* recounting rejected ballots is usually not called for. Only if some *partial* hand recount (or "canvass") shows a huge bias one way or the other, or if the race is extremely tight, can it make sense (depending on the state's election laws).
I just can't think of any justifiable reason to ever "re-make" a ballot under normal conditions.
I tried to show my id, the poll worker would not even touch it, much less look at it.
The problem is that after a big win like this we all become complacent and forget until 2008....We need to be all over this and encourage our legislators to do something so this doesn't happen again..For one thing, we should outlaw those outside groups coming and registering people. I went to S or State and it wasn't hard at all...But I didn't show ID when voting and could have gone to another county and voted on a provisional ballot. Right? And in a close race, I would have had 2 votes...Maybe I'm wrong, they would have cross checked unless I used a non voters name...Endless fraud...
I worked at the precincts and verified the ballot boxes at city hall for over ten years in Michigan. You can get absentee ballots wrinkled in the mail, torn, etc. Things can happen. It was maybe three or four per thousand - but it is re-made per the instructions from the city clerk.
"This story could have been written in 2000. The exact same thing happened."
Do we have capable, energetic lawyers willing to learn from this and get something done to prevent this in the future?
Seriously, though, all you had to do was provide a name and make sure you knew your address. When I began to vote, years and years ago, many times I was not only asked for an ID, but perhaps a way to "prove it" by having a gas, electric, phone bill, or some other means. (Showing your checkbook with your name/address on checks was not good enough). Also (and I can't remember how they checked this) you couldn't register unless you were resident at your current address for at least 6 months, and then, when you went to register, you again had to provide "proof" of your residence, such as the bills that I mentioned above. Times have changed, but I believe this is one thing they should bring back.
We had no problem, whatsoever, of showing our IDs to prove who we were.
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