GAO report upholds Ohio vote fraud claims
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor Print this page
As if the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby wasn’t
enough to give the White House some heavy concerns, a
report from the Government Accounting Office takes a
big bite out of the Bush clique’s pretense of
This powerful and probing report takes a hard look at
the election of 2004 and supports the contention that
the election was stolen. The report has received
almost no coverage in the national media.
The GAO is the government’s lead investigative agency,
and is known for rock-solid integrity and its
penetrating and thorough analysis. The agency’s
agreement with what have been brushed aside as
“conspiracy theories” adds even more weight to the
conclusion that the Bush regime has no business in the
White House whatever.
Almost a year ago, Rep. John Conyers, senior Democrat
on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the GAO to
investigate the use of electronic voting machines in
the Nov. 2, 2004, presidential election. That request
was made as a flood of protests from Ohio and
elsewhere deluged Washington with claims that shocking
irregularities were common in that vote and were
linked to the machines.
CNN said the Judiciary Committee got more than 57,000
complaints after Bush’s claimed re-election. Many were
made under oath in a series of statements and
affidavits in public hearings and investigations
carried out in Ohio by the Free Press and other groups
seeking to maintain transparent elections.
Online Journal.com reported that the GAO report stated
that “some of [the] concerns about electronic voting
machines have been realized and have caused problems
with recent elections, resulting in the loss and
miscount of votes.”
This is the only democratic nation that permits
private partisan companies to count and tabulate the
vote in secret, using privately-held software. The
public is excluded from the process. Rev. Jesse
Jackson and others have declared that “public
elections must not be conducted on privately-owned
machines.” The makers of nearly all electronic voting
machines are owned by conservative Republicans.
The chief executive of Diebold, one of the major
suppliers of electronic voting machines, Warren
“Wally” O’Dell, went on record in the 2004 campaign
vowing to deliver Ohio and the presidency to George W.
In Ohio, Bush won by only 118,775 votes out of more
than 5.6 million cast. Honest election advocates
contend that O’Dell’s statement to hand Ohio’s vote to
Bush still stands as a clear indictment of an
apparently successful effort to steal the White House.
Some of the GAO’s findings are: 1. Some electronic
voting machines “did not encrypt cast ballots or
system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both
without being detected.” In short, the machines;
provided a way to manipulate the outcome of the
election. In Ohio, more than 800,000 votes were cast
on electronic voting machines, some registered seven
times Bush’s official margin of victory.
2: the report further stated that: “it was possible to
alter the files that define how a ballot looks and
works, so that the votes for one candidate could be
recorded for a different candidate.” Very many sworn
statements and affidavits claim that did happen in
Ohio in 2004.
Next, the report says, “Vendors installed uncertified
versions of voting system software at the local
level.” The GAO found that falsifying election results
without leaving evidence of doing so by using altered
memory cards could easily be done.
The GAO additionally found that access to the voting
network was very easy to compromise because not all
electronic voting systems had supervisory functions
protected by password. That meant access to one
machine gave access to the whole network. That
critical finding showed that rigging the election did
not take a “widespread conspiracy” but simply the
cooperation of a small number of operators with the
power to tap into the networked machines. They could
thus alter the vote totals at will. It therefore was
no big task for a single programmer to flip vote
numbers to give Bush the 118,775 votes.
Another factor in the Ohio election was that access to
the voting network was also compromised by repeated
use of the same user ID, coupled with easy-to-guess
passwords. Even amateur hackers could have gotten into
the network and changed the vote.
System locks were easily picked, and keys were easy to
copy, so gaining access to the system was a snap.
One digital machine model was shown to have been
networked in such a rudimentary manner that if one
machine experienced a power failure, the entire
network would go down. That is too fragile a system to
decide the presidency of the United States.
Problems obviously exist with security protocols and
screening methods for vendor personnel.
The GAO study clearly shows that no responsible
business would operate with a computer system as
flimsy, fragile and easily manipulated as the one used
in the 2004 election.
These findings are even more damning when we
understand the election in Ohio was run by a secretary
of state who also was co-chairman of Bush’s Ohio
campaign. Far from the conclusion of anti-fraud
skeptics, the GAO’s findings confirm that the network,
which handled 800,000 Ohio votes, was vulnerable
enough to permit a handful of purposeful operatives to
turn the entire election by means of personal
computers using comparatively simple software.
One Ohio campaign operative, Tom Noe, a coin dealer,
was indicted Oct. 27 for illegally funneling $45,400
to Bush by writing checks to others, who then wrote
checks to Bush’s re-election campaign, allegedly
dodging the $2,000 limit on contributions by an
“It’s one of the most blatant and excessive finance
schemes we have encountered,” said Noel Hillman,
section chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s
public integrity section, as quoted in the Kansas City
In the 2000 election, Florida was the key; in the 2004
election, Ohio was the key.
From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue