'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida by Thom Hartmann:
Bev Harris of www.blackboxvoting.org, the erstwhile investigator of electronic voting machines, along with people from Florida Fair Elections, showed up at Florida's Volusia County Elections Office on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 16, 2004, and asked to see, under a public records request, each of the poll tapes for the 100+ optical scanners in the precincts in that county. The elections workers - having been notified in advance of her request - handed her a set of printouts, oddly dated November 15 and lacking signatures.This is, by the way, the same county that on election night in 2000 suddenly flipped for Bush when thousands of votes simply disappeared off the boards - votes that had already been recorded and broadcast. It was explained away at the time as a "computer glitch" - that is, the machines had accidentally recorded some 16,000 votes for Gore that he didn't really get, and someone had to "correct" it. With no further explanation, we were simply expected to dismiss the removal of a significant number of votes before our eyes.
Bev pointed out that the printouts given her were not the original poll tapes and had no signatures, and thus were not what she'd requested. Obligingly, they told her that the originals were held in another location, the Elections Office's Warehouse, and that since it was the end of the day they should meet Bev the following morning to show them to her.
Bev showed up bright and early the morning of Wednesday the 17th - well before the scheduled meeting - and discovered three of the elections officials in the Elections Warehouse standing over a table covered with what looked like poll tapes. When they saw Bev and her friends, Bev told me in a telephone interview less than an hour later, "They immediately shoved us out and slammed the door."
In a way, that was a blessing, because it led to the stinking evidence.
"On the porch was a garbage bag," Bev said, "and so I looked in it and, and lo and behold, there were public record tapes."
The outcome of that debate was that they all went from the Elections Warehouse back to the Elections Office, to compare the original, November 2 dated and signed poll tapes with the November 15 printouts the Elections Office had submitted to the Secretary of State. A camera crew from www.votergate.tv met them there, as well.
And then things got even odder.
"We were sitting there comparing the real [signed, original] tapes with the [later printout] ones that were given us," Bev said, "and finding things missing and finding things not matching, when one of the elections employees took a bin full of things that looked like garbage - that looked like polling tapes, actually - and passed by and disappeared out the back of the building."
This provoked investigator Ellen Brodsky to walk outside and check the garbage of the Elections Office itself. Sure enough - more original, signed poll tapes, freshly trashed.
But the Ollie North action in two locations on two days was only half of the surprise that awaited Bev and her associates. When they compared the discarded, signed, original tapes with the recent printouts submitted to the state and used to tabulate the Florida election winners, Harris says a disturbing pattern emerged.
"The difference was hundreds of votes in each of the different places we examined," said Bev, "and most of those were in minority areas."
When I asked Bev if the errors they were finding in precinct after precinct were random, as one would expect from technical, clerical, or computer errors, she became uncomfortable.
"You have to understand that we are non-partisan," she said. "We're not trying to change the outcome of an election, just to find out if there was any voting fraud."
That said, Bev added: "The pattern was very clear. The anomalies favored George W. Bush. Every single time."
Now we learn that Volusia County turned over forged tapes from the optical-scan machines in response to a Freedom of Information request, and that these forgeries had "errors" that favored George Bush in every case. That's what's known as evidence. It's proof that further investigation is needed and that there is real reason to doubt whether George Bush received the number of votes he is alleged to have won in Florida - possibly even whether he won the state. Anyone who doubts it is being silly.