Big City Vote Counting

Obama’s “Lost” Votes No Surprise

Obama got a respectable 40% of the votes in New York. Were there more?
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“If you want to call it significant undercounting, I guess that’s a euphemism for fraud.” Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City, commenting on 80 election districts with zero votes for Obama.

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News

Washington, DC

“… a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.”

Sam Roberts, New York Times Feb. 16, 2008

The reports of voting problems in New York City should come as no surprise. Anyone who has examined the diminished state of urban elections administration and reporting in the modern political era knows that the urban centers have shoddy voting equipment, curious results rarely questioned or investigated, and lackluster administration.

In 2004, a stunning event occurred, one so stunning it was never reported by the mainstream media. According to the media consortium’s national exit poll, President George W. Bush won the election through a huge increase in his “big city” votes (big cities are defined as 500,000 or greater population). (See Election 2004: The Urban Legend and Notes from the Underground: Why the 2004 Election Matters More than Ever).

Let’s take a look at the questions about results in New York and the other big cities in the 2004 election and how those questions were apparent to the mainstream media but deliberately ignored. This will provide an obvious clue about what’s behind the 80 election districts absent Obama votes and other urban election “irregularities” as they show up around the country in 2008.

Haven’t You Heard, Bush Won 2004 in the Big Cities?

According to the final 2004 exit poll from the media consortium (AP, CNN, and the four major networks), there was a 66% increase in big city turnout compared to a 16% average increase nationwide. Bush made huge vote gains compared to the 2000 exit poll. He didn’t win any big cities, but without these gains he would have lost the election. His share of big city minority votes was similar to what it had been in 2000: Minorities showed a strong loyalty to the Democrats. But how about that 80% increase in turnout for big city white voters? Right away we know that there’s something wrong with the exit poll.

The exit polls showed that Bush increased his vote share in big cities by 53% over his 2000 performance. He also racked up a healthy gain in the smaller cities (50,000 to 500,000), breaking even with Kerry, where Gore had whipped him 57% to 40% in that category in 2000.

Charles Cook led the upper tier analysts by proclaiming that Bush and Rove ran “the best planned, best executed presidential campaign ever.” Cook was dead wrong when he asserted that the Republican gains in big cities came through defections from traditional Democratic voters – blacks, Latinos, and Jewish voters. That simply didn’t happen.

We were also told that 2004 was a red versus blue election. The media consortium that specified and sponsored the polling and analysis somehow failed to report massive reductions in the Bush rural vote totals (two million less in 2004) revealed by their own polling. They also failed to mention the major reduction of the rural segment, which fell from 23% of the electorate in 2000 to 16% in 2004 (Figure 1). Rural whites sat this one out, but nobody bothered to tell us that.

But we’re in for a surprise. While rural whites stayed home in record numbers, according to the exit poll, four million new white voters were conjured up in the big cities.

“I see white people!”

The graph to the right shows us how Bush supposedly grabbed those big city vote gains according to the final exit polls of 2000 and 2004. Gore beat Bush among big city white voters 54% to 40% in 2000. But in 2004, white ghosts arose from their slumber and rushed to the polls to give Bush the votes he needed. From 5.0 million in 2000, the number of white voters swelled to 9.0 million in 2004, giving Bush a 39% share for 2004 compared to just 26% in 2000. It was a miracle.

The national exit poll finding of four million net new big city white voters resulted in major gains for Bush. In the media consortium’s national exit poll scenario, the big city turnout wave and the resulting millions of white ghosts, easily compensated for the two million fewer votes Bush got in his Red state stronghold, the rural voting segment. This information is all in the datasets used to formulate the final exit polls for 2000 and 2004.

The false basis for the claimed 66% increase in big city turnout by the media consortium was revealed and discussed in June and again in September 2007. Official big city vote totals (the “vote count” as opposed to the estimated vote based on the exit polls) showed only a 17% increase in turnout, based on 13 big city vote totals representing 60% of the big city population (see “Chart 1” and “References”).

Here’s how the media consortium explained their 66% increase in big city turnout. No comment. No correction. Not a word. They don’t care because they don’t have to. The big cities are treated like a political version of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown”: a place where we hide our deepest secrets knowing few will look and fewer will report their findings.

Selective reporting erases real news thus tidying up history so the truly important questions are never asked and answered. This axiom takes on extra meaning when reporting might focus on highly questionable behavior by the owners of the media organizations that do the reporting.

Why would New York City be any different?

New York City 2004 – Part of the Bush Urban Legend

The national exit poll is the narrative for our national elections. It is used by nearly every major media organizations to explain, who voted, why they voted the way they did, and where they voted. We now know that the 2004 national exit poll is deeply flawed in its measure of big city voting.

What about the official big city vote totals? These are the votes reported by election officials. Let’s look at New York City.

Based on official reported totals, Bush votes increased in all five boroughs in 2004 compared to 2000. Turnout for the presidential vote was up only 12%, 260,000 votes, in New York City, but Bush got almost all of that with a 47% increase over 2000. He went from 399,000 in 2000 to 588,000 in 2004 (Leip’s Atlas of US Presidential Elections).

One of the nation’s poorest areas, the Bronx, was so pleased with Bush that voters emerged to give him a 40% increase. Brooklyn also showed its appreciation. Maybe it was those new big city white voters the exit poll “found.” Heavily Democratic Queens had new votes in excess for the president. Ultra-liberal Manhattan, the site of 911, felt generous and gave Bush 17% more votes in 2004 than in 2000. We must believe that four years had allowed some New Yorkers to know and love the president with these increased margins.

How did that happen? Did Bush do something special to appeal to New Yorkers?

Was he campaigning hard in the Big Apple?

How often had he visited New York after the convention?

One piece of evidence not often mentioned speaks to the absurdity of Bush’s improved performance in 2004. Zogby International announced poll findings on Aug. 30, 2007:

“(Utica, NY) – On the eve of a Republican National Convention invoking 9/11 symbols, sound bytes and imagery, half (49.3%) of New York City residents … say that some of our leaders “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act.”

There’s a very good argument that many of the 50% would go out and vote just to send a message. There’s no argument at all that a single one of that 50% would ever vote for Bush under any circumstances. Nevertheless, his he received 47% more votes in 2004 than in 2000.

Bush got an extra 190,000 votes in New York City in 2004. Why? How?
(Reported vote totals, NYC, 2004 Leip’s Atlas of US Presidential Elections)

How could these gains happen? Can we believe this took place in a city with a tradition ranging from indifference to hostility to national Republicans at a time when nearly half of the population believed that “some of our leaders” knew about 911 in advance but just let it happen?

These results make no more sense than the big city numbers in the media sponsored exit polls.

Did the pundits, officials, and politicians forget the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who protested the mere presence of Republicans at their national convention in New York in 2004?

Did they fail to notice a major increase in vote totals by a disliked president in hostile territory while that same candidate was suffering major vote losses in his rural base?

Boss Tweed, legendary vote villain, convicted felon, and political bossof New York City in the 19th century Library of Congress (Nast, No. 14)

Elections as Staged Melodramas

The political parties and media refuse to admit to the failed 2004 exit polls findings. The media and politicians also failed to notice the unbelievable increase in New York City votes for Bush in 2004. We can anticipate that the national media will now ignore what New York Times reporter Roberts found and that they will miss one likely explanation: that this tip-of-the-iceberg event points to election fraud.

In the Times story on Feb. 16, the executive director of the New York’s Board of Elections attributed the problem to human error. A lawyer for Obama suggested poor ballot design as a probable culprit.

Four days later, the New York State Board of Elections concluded, “People will be people.” They might have added “to err is human.” The board restored 1,000 or so votes to Obama. However, they failed to explain how people doing data entry could mistake numbers totaling a thousand for zero 80 times.

On the same day, Feb. 20, New York Mayor Bloomberg said, “If you want to call it significant undercounting, I guess that’s a euphemism for fraud.”

This is not the type of investigation that clears the air. After all, the very group that is under automatic suspicion when votes disappear can’t really be expected to do anything other than clear itself by blaming the lowest level of the organization. A competent and objective outside agency would have been the logical choice to investigate. As one editorial stated clearly:

These sorts of discrepancies are precisely what cause voters to lose faith that their votes matter, and end up depressing turnout on Election Day. A vigorous investigation by the governor or attorney general is needed to demand accountability. The board of elections is currently operated as a relic, serving the interests of party leaders.

New York Observer editorial, Feb. 19, 2008

A Pattern of Contempt for Voters

When the national exit poll run by major media organizations contrives a 66% increase in big city turnout as the only way to prop up a much-questioned Bush victory, it looks like something was very wrong with the outcome of that election.

When a computer, a touch screen voting machine, makes the same error 14,000 times in one direction to the detriment of only one candidate, as happened in Florida’s 13th congressional district in 2006, it looks like the machines were programmed that way.

When 80 election districts in a heavily Democratic urban center produce no votes for a popular, high-visibility candidate, it looks like election fraud. But we mere citizens are not allowed hear a discussion of that issue nor do we get a serious investigation.

The Democratic-controlled 110th Congress fumbled, and then shut down the investigation into the obvious problems and a likely stolen election in Florida’s 13th congressional district. We now have more of the same in New York City, with the suspects clearing themselves absent outside interference. The implication that this is just the tip of the iceberg is a speculation that the inside crowd will never utter.

We pretend to vote, they pretend to get elected, and the last thing you get to do in this democracy is demand that those in office provide reasonable proof that they were elected in the first place. The answer to that question would be telling.


Note: Many thanks to Web researcher anaxarchos for his unpublished exit poll analysis, which is the basis of the exit poll commentary. Thanks also to Jill Hayroot for her editorial assistance.

For more information on manipulation in the 2004 Election see:

Election 2004: The Urban Legend
Notes from the Underground: Why the 2004 Election Matters More than Ever

This article may be reproduced in whole or part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article in “Scoop” Independent News.


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