Greg Palasts assertions that Kerry took Ohio (and New Mexico) have taken off on the blogospher and news programs. He has been a guest on Like It Ism with Gil Noble and has had his assertions repeated by many other writers. I have gone on record that I think that his assertion is simply a guess and we won't know the truth until or unless all the votes are counted. Anything else is mere speculation.
The Black Commentator ran a think piece that asseted, like many others that the exit polls were right and that their divergence from the official outcome is a sign of tampering. Let's address this:
1) When Douglas Wilder was running for governor of Virginia in 1989, Exit polls had Wilder up by 10%. He actually won by 1%.
2) When David Dinkins was running for Mayor of NYC against Guiliani, exit polls had him ahead by 8 points. In the end Dinkins won by 1%. another.
I could do like Greg palast and say that exit polls can be wrong by a stunning 900-800% . I could say that exit polls can be wrong by 8x-9x the actual outcome. It would stirr up all kinds of emotions but wouldn't address the real issue. Exit polls can be wrong. No exit poll can force people to actully participate or tell the truth. Thus those who repeatedly claim exit polls to be infallible also have bridges to sell.
Let's go back to the "missing votes." As indicated before Greg Palast and other say there are some 240,000 missing votes, 90,000+ of these would be spoiled ballots. that is they had hanging chads, dimples, multiple votes, or some other "Problem." ther remaining 154,000 were provisional ballots. here's what has been said about these:
Unofficial Ohio presidential results provided by the Secretary of State’s Office show 155,428 provisional ballots cast. Blackwell was all over the national news telling everyone who would listen that these ballots were randomly distributed and not disproportionately for Kerry. As former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani raved on national TV demanding Kerry’s concession, a basic analysis of the provisional ballots suggested that they were disproportionately for Kerry.
Historically, provisional ballots are far more likely to be cast by poor and minority voters, who live in the urban centers and move more often. Ohio has 88 counties, the vast majority of them rural. Kerry won 15 counties in Ohio, virtually all large urban centers. In those counties, 85,096 provisional ballots remain uncounted. Past elections point to the fact that these provisional ballots are hardly ever cast in the affluent, primarily Republican municipalities, but are overwhelmingly from the central city. Also, an additional 17,038 provisional ballots are from Hamilton County and Wood County. Bush won Hamilton with 53% of the vote and Wood County with 53.5%. Traditionally, the provisional ballots in Hamilton County come from Cincinnati and its poor central city areas. These are areas where John Kerry won handily on Election Day.
Thus, 102,134 of the provisional ballots, nearly two-thirds (65.7%) in all probability come from solidly pro-Kerry areas and are most likely cast by pro-Kerry supporters such as African Americans and the poor. These fit the same socio-economic demographics and racial profiles of voters targeted by the GOP for challenges in Ohio.
Palast also points to the 92,672 so-called “spoiled” ballots in Ohio that have yet to be counted, and may never be tallied. The most famous spoiled ballots were the 2000 Florida punch cards that could not be machine read, but when looked at manually the voter’s intent could be determined. Expert statisticians who investigated spoilage in the 2000 election in Florida found that 54% of these discarded ballots were cast by blacks. In Ohio, most of the spoiled votes were lost through punch card ballots in 2004.
The above was written by Bob Fitrakis of Columbus State Community College.
Let's take a look at some things here: Ohio has 88 counties or which Kerry won 15. It is claimed that these are all "large urban centers." Let's look at the 2000 census figures:
So here's the black population of areas with predominant (50% or more) black populations.
Bedford Heights city, Cuyahoga County: 67.4% black : 7666.75
Cleveland city, Cuyahoga County: 51% Black: 243685
East Cleveland city, Cuyahoga County 93.4% black :25420
Forest Park city, Hamilton County: 56.3% black: 10957.669
Fort McKinley CDP, Montgomery County: 53.2% black: 2122.148
Golf Manor village, Hamilton County: 63% black: 2519.37
Highland Hills village, Cuyahoga County: 65.1% black: 1053.318
Lincoln Heights village, Hamilton County: 98% black: 4030.74
Maplewood Park CDP, Trumbull County; 58.3% Black:187.143
North Randall village, Cuyahoga County: 71.7% black: 649.602
Oakwood village, Cuyahoga County: 56.2% black: 2060.854
Silverton city, Hamilton County: 50.3% black: 2604.534
Trotwood city, Montgomery County: 58.3% black :15985.86
Urbancrest village, Franklin County: 57.9% black: 502
Warrensville Heights city, Cuyahoga County: 90.4% black: 13658.536
Wilberforce CDP, Greene County: 84.2% black: 1329.518
Woodlawn village, Hamilton County: 68.4% black:1926.144
Woodmere village, Cuyahoga County 49.6% black (more blacks than whites by 10%) :410.688
Youngstown city:43.8% black (I've been there and it's a pretty big city for Ohio):35927
Only Cleveland has a huge black population and only 3 other counties have black populations that are over 10,000.
Let's also look at where the provisional ballots were cast (http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/results/index.html ):
Provisional Ballots cast by county (Percent of Total):
Cuyahoga: 24788 (16%)
Hamilton county: 14386:(9%)
Wood: 2655 (1.73%)
Trumbull: 2700 (1.7%)
Greene 2127 (1.3%)
Franklin: 14446 (9%)
lets look at this table showing the total votes cast by county, the number of provisional ballots and the proportion of the black population for these counties:
|County Name||Total Precinct||Total Registe||Total Votes||Percentage o||Provisional B||% Black Population (2000)||Projected Black vote Turnout based on Population and votes cast||Predicted White Vote|
Onto Part II