Election 2004 Questions
Robert Koehler writes:
Robert C. Koehler | Common Wonders: Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don't want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut.... So let's not ask that question. Let's simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush....
We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don't make sense.... And we might, no, we must, ask... about those exit polls, which... last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a "shy Republican" factor as the explanation.... And the numbers are still haywire. A few days ago, Terry Neal wrote in the Washington Post about Bush's inexplicably low approval rating in the latest Gallup poll, 45 percent, vs. a 49 percent disapproval rating. This is, by a huge margin, the worst rating at this point in a president's second term ever recorded by Gallup, dating back to Truman.... Bush mustered low approval ratings immediately before the election, surged on Election Day, then saw his ratings plunge immediately afterward.