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Incompetence or Fraud: I Was Disenfranchised in the NYS Primary!

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posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 05:58 AM
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I was disenfranchised in the NYS Primary, through no fault of my own. I've been registered since 2000. I've lived the same place my whole life. My vote was simply not counted. I'm not implying that the machines were tampered with in some way, because I know my poll workers and I asked them the tally at the end of the night; there were about 315 votes, with Obama slightly ahead.

I had no idea that, somewhere between my local poll workers, and whoever totals up all of the votes, my vote was stolen. I had to read about it in the New York Times.



Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.
...
That anomaly was not unique. In fact, 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[.]
Unoffici al Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote


I live in the 70th district.

Even worse, I suspected something was up. Like many Americans, after 2000 and 2004, I became very interested in the actual voting process. I was a poll worker on 9/11, primarily because I wanted to get an insider's view. (I didn't, because the polls were closed before noon that day.) One thing I was able to glean from my experience was that the majority of poll workers are extremely incompetent. They don't take the classes, and when they do, they don't pay attention, or take them seriously. They're uninformed, so much so that when I asked why Mike Gravel was still on the ticket, they didn't even know he was running. While that may serve to curb electioneering, their ignorance makes the process much more complicated than it should be, and leaves the entire system vulnerable to fraud. When people don't know the rules, they don't understand why they're important and need to be followed.

For example, my boyfriend was unable to vote in Brooklyn... where he was born, has resided all his life, has voted in every primary and election since 2003. The poll worker told him that he wasn't registered. She didn't give him an absentee ballot, or an affidavit (to cast a vote which would then be contingent on his registration issue being worked out)-- she gave him a Voter's Registration form, and I know, because I kept it. He left, because he had to go to work. His mom went to vote at the same poll later that day, and the same poll worker, when pressed, claimed that she had given him an absentee ballot. She's a liar. She may not have known any better, but the end result is that Obama lost a vote.

Now, look what the NYT has to say about Brooklyn. FYI: my bf lives in the 55th Assembly District.



The 53rd Assembly District, in Brooklyn, is represented by the borough’s Democratic chairman, Assemblyman Vito P. Lopez, another Clinton supporter. He said the party faithful have produced lopsided margins of as much as 160 to 4 and that on Primary Day he fielded election captains in every district to galvanize Hispanic voters for Mrs. Clinton.

“We ran it the old-fashioned way,” he said. Still, he said, the 118 to 0 vote “has to be a mistake.”

At the Archive, a cafe and video store on the border of Bushwick and East Williamsburg, the manager, Brad Lee, agreed. “There were Obama posters in everyone’s windows,” he said. “There was even Obama graffiti."
...

On Feb. 5, Mrs. Clinton carried 61 of the state’s 62 counties but won Brooklyn by a margin of less than 2 percent... delegates are awarded proportionately on the basis of the primary vote in each Congressional district...
Unoffici al Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote


The Board of Elections, apparently, has no more information than I just gave you.



The Board of Elections has acknowledged that errors in reporting the election day tallies made it appear that Obama had received not a single vote in 55 election districts, when in reality his votes had simply not been counted, said Valerie Vazquez-Rivera, a spokeswoman for the board. In another 27 districts, Obama actually received no votes, she said.
New York City Still Counting Votes


Our esteemed Mayor Bloomberg agrees with me, in that it was, indeed, incompetence on the part of the Board of Elections, via their workers. He goes on to imply that their incompetence may have some nefarious roots.




"What they do is they hire on the basis of politics, and obviously the people that they have aren't as competent as you would like, because the results that they reported just defies credibility," said Bloomberg. "The probability of Obama in some of those districts getting zero votes is zero. Let's get serious here."


Could the poll workers be feigning incompentence as a cover for politically- motivated fraud? One could test the theory: let's say it was plain, old stupidity that caused grown people to all of a sudden forget how to count, or how to write numbers in boxes. If that were true, the same mistake would have been made across the board, right? Hillary Clinton should have lost a district or two, right?



No election districts reported that Clinton received no votes.
New York City Still Counting Votes


Hmmm.


So... that's fraud, right? That, plus the fact that in all these places where Obama supposedly didn't receive a single vote, Hillary supporters run the local party apparatus, leads me to believe that it is.



City election officials responded that the primary's official results won't be certified until Feburary 26th, adding that they're launching an internal probe because of media reports, including the Times story.
Mayor Slams City Board Of Elections For Voting "Fraud"



I don't know if primary results are normally certified so long after the election, so I can't say if they're trying to cover their butts in that respect, but I wonder who has oversight of the internal probe.

There's a larger point to all of this, of course: delegates. Have the delegates been awarded already? CNN thinks so, since they have NY's results posted: Clinton- 179, Obama- 94. I wonder if they'll be re-allocated.

I'll be at Congressman Rangel's office today, on an unrelated matter. I'll ask, but the fact that I even have to be involved in this is really ridiculous. Don't people get paid, with my tax dollars, whose job it is to make sure poll workers are trained properly and know how to count the votes? And why are the poll workers political hacks? What is going on?

Is no one guarding our democracy?




posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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Flagged and starred..


This has been going on in many different forms for quite a while. Diebold, Washington state had illegal vote in a governor race, etc.

This must stop! I think what you said, HH, regarding the voter attenuation and subsequent recognition of the process and its' various intricacies, is spot on. People today are so innundated with their personal concerns that they just don't take a look at what actually goes on for society to function as it does. It's a shame....to have Britany and her personal life be a name that is more commonly reacted to then the candidates for the 'leadership' of our collective reality.

What say you, ATS'rs?



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 11:05 AM
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Incompetence or voter fraud. Given that the Democratic party is largely run by Clinton supporters/adherents, I'm inclined to believe the latter, rather than the former...but then I'm biased against the Clintonistas.

Given the calibre of polling place workers in my experience...incompetence is certainly not out of the question, either.

Well...hmm.

Four sentences and I've gone in a complete circle...naah, I'll go with the evil Clintonistas. It's much more Machiavellian.



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 04:44 PM
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I don't think it's possible for Obama to get 0 votes in some districts. That has to be wrong. When I lived in Chicago, vote tampering was common. In 1968, the voting machines "broke" in several precincts and when they were finally "fixed" lo and behold the Republican candidate, who was far behind before the malfunction, was suddenly far ahead. It looks like New York is not much different.



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 09:47 PM
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if the government cant fix a pothole in less than 6 months, how do they count the millions of votes correctly in just about 2 hours after the poles close?
as monty python says... 'go on , pull the other one!"



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by Spectre0o0
 


They can't, and that's the problem. If they aren't sure of the results, why would they disseminate them to the media? To cause all of this confusion? The more I find out, the less sense it makes.



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 11:17 PM
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Related Above Politics podcast: here



posted on Feb, 23 2008 @ 07:20 AM
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Here's an update from Voting Matters. It looks like it was due to fraud clerical error.



Update: 2/21/08 — Well it looks like the canvass is complete and Obama has gained a total of 1,073 votes while Clinton’s vote total increased by 416 and other Democratic candidates lost 767 votes. The reason for the change? — clerical error! For details read the entire Newsday article at www.newsday.com...–miscountedvotes0220feb20,0,4200259.story

votingmatters.wordpress.com...


Unfortunately, the link is broken so I was unable to read the updated story.

Funny thing is, if it was fraud: all they would have had to do was to give Obama a couple dozen votes, and it probably would not have raised suspicion. They would have gotten away with it.



posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by jsobecky
 


I addressed that angle in the podcast. If it were human error, that error would have worked both ways, right? It didn't.



No election districts reported that Clinton received no votes.
New York City Still Counting Votes



posted on Feb, 28 2008 @ 11:42 PM
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UPDATE

I am happy to report that the vote has finally been certified, and these are the official results for my Assembly District (70):



Assembly District 70
EMERGENCY 83
ABSENTEE/MILITARY 248
FEDERAL 24
AFFIDAVIT 833
HILLARY CLINTON 9,124
BILL RICHARDSON 19
JOE BIDEN 7
JOHN EDWARDS 93
BARACK OBAMA 13,738
DENNIS J KUCINICH 42
Total Votes 23,023

Statement and Return Report for Certification
Presidential Primary Election - 02/05/2008
New York County
Democratic Party



Instead of zero votes, Barack got almost 14,000 votes, close to 4,000 more votes than Hillary. One would assume that this new information would affect the delegate count, right? Nope.

Remember the CNN delegate counts I linked to in the OP? (Clinton- 179; Obama- 94) Well, CNN changed them to Clinton- 180; Obama- 94.

I get that my little district shouldn't influence the count so radically, but Obama goes from zero votes to almost 14,000, and doesn't get a delegate out of it? How did Hillary manage to gain a delegate? If anybody knows, please share.



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 07:21 PM
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And after all the issues with Ron Paul this surprises you? A vote for anybody but RP is a wasted vote anyways.



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 03:15 PM
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I am of the opinion that it is possible that the clerical error was intentional. Why report it, though?

Maybe to give kind of a first impression and to gauge public response. The vote count changed, but the shock of the initial announcement is likely not. The impression may have gone on to influence the decision and perception of voters else where.

It is a subtle ploy if intentional.



posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 12:58 AM
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MemoryShock, that's an interesting theory.

Let's see... why report it? Well, if it were a Camp Hillary scheme, one would expect them to do the dirt (steal votes, or 'mis-tabulate' them, or whatever), and then tout the fact that they won NY, especially the black areas... but they wouldn't want to let it be known (that they vote tampered), right?

So, who let the cat out of the bag?

My money's on Bloomberg. He's the only elected official on record as calling it fraud, and, he already kinda implied that the only way he would run is if Hillary got the Dem nomination.



posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:00 PM
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reply to post by HarlemHottie
 


Glad we could bring your story to the whole ATS family and I hope I was not too hard on you.



posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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Reply to HarlemHottie:

Still puzzled on that one. I tend to think that these issues are more generalized and non-specific to the parties and candidates involved. Not good at all if they do get caught. So I'm thinking that the pot was stirred intentionally, specifically in the fashion it occurred and the location.

A predominant Black region would definitely react to the report that was released; that Obama didn't recieve any votes.

And that is what happened. I can't really seem to get anywhere when I try to go for specifics though...


Either way, I'm not pleased that so many people seem to react nonchalantly to the fact that people's votes are being represented and potentially not taken seriously.

Politics is boring as a circus/entertainment. If the people really don't have a say, then what is the point?

Irks me to no end....

Edit to add the "Reply To" reference.

[edit on 3-3-2008 by MemoryShock]



posted on Mar, 14 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock
Politics is boring as a circus/entertainment. If the people really don't have a say, then what is the point?


Well, then. I have good news. Martin and I have booked HH to come back to The Above Politics Show, so that she can reach millions with her unfolding story. Go here for more details.

CNN and Fox News may not be brave enough to tackle this, but Martin and I are ready to "Deny Apathy."



posted on Mar, 20 2008 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by Justin_Case
 


In advance of the interview later today, here's an update with some reading material.



UPDATE

In an attempt to explain the initial "discrepancies," on March 11, the NYC Board of Elections (BOE) released a statement explaining how the votes are collected and tabulated, and sharing the results of their internal investigation.

Collection and Tabulation



After the polls close on election night, more than 30,000 poll workers transcribe the number of votes for each candidate from the face of the voting machines onto Return of Canvass forms. These poll workers, who receive a very small compensation in return for working a 17 hour day and who are essentially volunteers for the agency, then hand the Return of Canvass sheets to the NYPD Officer assigned to that polling location. The candidates and/or members of their respective campaigns are permitted by law to assign poll watchers to observe and record the preliminary results (See NYS Election Law, Section 9-126).

Once collected, the NYPD Officer delivers the Return of Canvass sheets to his or her police precinct to be transcribed into its computer system by civilian employees of the NYPD. The computer records are then transmitted to the Associated Press and a copy of each Return of Canvass form is delivered to its office at 55 Washington Street in Brooklyn. The Associated Press then shares the preliminary results with its colleagues in the news media. These preliminary results, however, do not include thousands of absentee and affidavit ballots (See NYS Election Law, Section 9-102).


Internal Investigation



The Board’s investigation revealed that there were 35 instances of inspector error where the results were written incorrectly on the Return of Canvass sheets, 20 instances of NYPD error entering the data to its computer system, and 27 instances where the reported results were correct.


Statement in the Preliminary Nature of Election Night Tallies

I had no idea that the NYPD had such a role in counting the votes. Even if they're just preliminary results. According to the process they've outlined, the poll workers shut down the machines, copy the numbers, and hand the package to a police officer. That police officer then takes the package to their particular precinct, where some "civilian employees of the NYPD" enters the numbers into "its computer system". The results are, I guess, emailed to the AP, which is when the media gets them; the hard copies are delivered to "its office at 55 Washington Street in Brooklyn".

This whole chain of ownership raises so many questions:

1) Pollworkers: in the statement itself, the BOE basically disavows any responsibility for the incompetence of the pollworkers since they "receive a very small compensation ($200/day) in return for working a 17 hour day," etc. Excuses for the quality of their employees, albeit temporary.

2) Individual NYPD officer: a regular employee of the NYPD, which has already endorsed McCain.

3) "Civilian employees of the NYPD": who are these people? Are they temp workers, hired specifically for this task? Or, are they regular employees who have been chosen for this task? If so, how are they chosen?

4) "its computer system": whose computer system? I assume they meant the NYPD's. What?!

5) "its office at 55 Washington Street in Brooklyn": whose office? The NYPD's? The BOE's? The AP's?

6) Is this the process for collecting/tabulating our votes in the general election?

Too many unanswered questions. I don't even know where to start.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 06:20 PM
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Doesn't surprise me one bit, with the way Ron Paul got treated by the media and his own party and all. But I'm pretty sure that Obama got jipped this one. Not that I honestly care about the primaries all that much, or Obama or Clinton for that matter, but I do care for integrity in our elections. Something we seem to be missing, and have been for who knows how long.






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