Votergate 2004: We Don’t Need Paper to Prove Fraud, But We Do Need Money and Leadership, NOW.
Since last Tuesday there has been a justifiable uproar about the major differences between the exit polls in Ohio and Florida and the actual results. Democrats and Republicans, who both saw the same exit polls that showed an electoral landslide in favor of Kerry, have confirmed this. Investigative reporter Bob Parry confirmed from his sources that the Bush campaign was convinced they were going to lose. George H. W. Bush also confirmed this in an interview with The Today Show. So why have the exit polls been so wrong in the last two elections? It is clear that there must have been manipulation in the voting machines. While there’s been a lot of talk of problems with not having paper trails, computer fraud is uncovered most of the time without paper trails.
As a former C.P.A and auditor, I have used statistical sampling throughout my career with great confidence. With electronic record keeping, it’s easy to create a program to falsify the books. But there are ways to uncover that. Auditors have developed statistical ways to cut right through corruption in companies. You don’t even need a paper trail. These statistical approaches can be used with almost 100% accuracy to uncover fraud.
With the votergate 2004 it’s a numbers game just like it is with corporate accounting, even easier. All you’re talking about is one number– total votes for each candidate.
There’s a huge difference between polling what WILL happen and polling something that has already happened. The reliability of polling something that has already happened is highly reliable vs. predictive polls, like Gallup or Zogby, which is very risky. The reliability can be, not plus or minus 4 percent as we see with predictive poplls, but rather a much more reliable plus or minus one half or one tenth of one percent with exit polls, because those are based on asking people who already voted. I would even say that if the exit polling were done in the key precincts of Florida and Ohio, which it was, then these results should be practically “bullet proof.”
It is important that people know how accurate random sampling of historical events can be in order for them to understand how unlikely it is that the exit polls were wrong. So if you want to fight the battle correctly, you must get more statisticians and forensic accountants involved as well as the lawyers. These statisticians can show with great credibility the probability of manipulation within the computer programs used for counting the ballots. They do this kind of work all the time to uncover fraud based upon computer manipulation in commercial and corporate activities. And these types of expert analyses are admissible in a court of law.
The problem with all of this is determining who is going to fund such an investigation. Where will the money come from?
Perhaps the Kerry/Edwards campaign fund has some surplus that can be used. It is possible that the DNC has some excess funds. How about the 527s and PACs who spent millions on ineffective political ads, coming up with a few million? In addition, who is going to lead the process of getting this done? This kind of an effort requires solidarity along with an organized coordinated effort. It’s easy to come up with the forensic and technical people to get this done, but we need a strong leader and solidarity. Leadership and funding– these are the two real challenges that must be dealt with in the coming days.
We have a Watergate story here that could give the media a post election explosive news story that could make the 2000 Florida vote debacle look like small potatoes. We need to get the media to see that votergate 2004 is huge news and we need to quickly fund the investigation and get Democratic leaders behind it.
Sheldon Drobny is CPA and Venture Capitalist and co-founder of Air America Radio; email at [email protected]