Podcast of
Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back” this week:
Bob and guest Cliff Arnebeck
Discussing the new court filing revealing how the 2004 election was stolen and the apparatus is still in place right column, look for 07/27 date
Based on
“New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked” article on

Fight Back August 12, 2010 Diebold, Recorded August 12, 2010
Dr. Robert Fitrakis PHD JD and Connie Gadell-Newton JD
Diebold voting machines in the news, Columbus City Council secret meetings.

Bob Fitrakis
March 25, 2009

Ohio election officials purged more than a million voters between the 2004 and 2008 elections. The number is three times that of voters purged between the 2000 and 2004 elections in that key swing state.

The Free Press Election Protection Project requested data from Boards of Elections in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. A detailed analysis of the records reveals shocking and unprecedented purges. The total number of people whose names were removed from the voting rolls is a stunning 1.25 million.

The Ohio data shows enormous disparities in the number of people purged in different categories from county to county. These results suggest obvious violations of equal protection and due process. The documents demonstrate that the voting rights of a million Ohioans were destroyed based on the arbitrary whims of local election officials. Purging appears to be subject to widely diverse interpretations of state and federal laws by different Ohio Board of Elections officials.

Despite being the only organization in Ohio to conduct a statewide study of voter purges, Free Press staffers were not invited to present the results at the second statewide Ohio Election Conference convened by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in March 2009.

One of the study’s most troubling findings was that Hamilton County knocked 37,465 reported felons off the voting list. The next largest number came from Franklin County, which is larger than Hamilton County, with 2,174. Hamilton County became infamous in the 2004 election for wrongly telling former felons that they weren’t eligible to vote unless a judge signed off. Ohio uses the “in/out” rule in regards to felons: those in prison cannot vote; those out of prison can vote, even if on probation or in a halfway house.

Hamilton County’s felon purge constituted 80% of all Ohio’s total. In the past, some counties mistakenly purged people only indicted, but not convicted of felonies. After a Free Press investigation, Franklin County admitted to this practice prior to the 2004 election.

Those suffering a “mental incident” can be purged as well, especially in Fayette County. Out of 307 voters stripped of their voting rights because of psychological problems, 283 were from Fayette County – more than 92% of the state’s reported total.

Altogether, 220,000 voters were purged due to death or moving. There were 137,550 voters who moved from one county to another and were justifiably eliminated as they were merged into their new county’s voting roll. Another 93,178 voters deleted due to death, leaving more than a million eliminated for other or unknown reasons.

The largest single purge category, with 228,799 voters, was “failure to vote.” In Franklin County, home of Columbus, led the way with 116,000 purged voters – 51% of the total eliminated for not voting.

“Failure to vote” may have a different definition depending on which Ohio county you ask. Some counties purge if a voter fails to vote in federal elections for eight years straight. Other counties purge after failure to vote in federal elections every four years.

Only 47 Ohio counties offered specifics on the reasons for purging. Other counties simply reported a non-categorized total number of purges in response to the Free Press records request. The Republican stronghold of Warren County purged more than 52,000 people without explanation and Democratic Lucas County, home of Toledo, purged more than 24,000 for unknown causes. Many of Ohio’s counties refused to comply with the Free Press’ records request until after the election, and some complied only after legal pressure from the Secretary of State’s office.

Ohio does not have a uniform system for keeping track of purged voters. Shelby County and the historically corrupt Mahoning County refused to comply with Ohio’s public records law and provided no records. Sandusky County, despite assurances from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office that there is a statewide computer database linked to all counties, informed the Free Press that they only had paper records available for inspection on site and were incapable of transmitting electronic data.

One of the difficulties discussed at the March Election Conference is that there’s no statewide system for coding purges, making it unclear which counties remove people for death, felony conviction, failing to vote, or failing to respond to a notice from the Board of Elections.

Statewide Free Press Election Protection Project coordinator Connie Gadell-Newton noted in her preliminary assessment, “…even though a whopping 1.25 million records were removed, this doesn’t mean that 1.25 million people were disenfranchised or that 1.25 million individual people were removed from the voting rolls, since some voters may have been removed more than once if they moved from county to county multiple times.”

Initial studies indicate that 80% of purged voters who moved had moved within the county. Historically, Ohio voters who moved within the same county could cast their ballot at the county Board of Elections. In the run up to the 2008 election, 66,115 voters who moved within county were purged. Franklin County boasts 38% of the total. Fulton and Henry counties had only one each.

In 2008, the Republican Party and the Obama campaign waged a battle wherein voters were purged at the request of the Republican Party and later re-registered by the Obama campaign.

The records indicate that many voters were removed for failure to respond to a mailed notice, even though they continued to reside in the same county and some at the same voter registration address.

Verification of voter address has emerged as the key issue, not only in purge issues, but in uncounted provisional ballots. Ohio had 181,000 provisional voters, a staggeringly high number compared to only 7,000 provisional voters in Missouri and 5,000 in Virginia. These statistics come from Brunner’s first Election Summit in December 2008. In Ohio, 10% of all people voting on Election Day were forced to vote provisionally.

At the March Election Conference, Franklin County Board of Elections Deputy Director Matt Damschroder, a Republican, advocated using state and federal records to establish new addresses for Ohio voters.

Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice Lawrence Norden noted another problem with voters’ addresses. He pointed out that 36% of Ohio’s uncounted provisional ballots were the result of voters being in the wrong precinct, but often at the right polling place.

Tom McCabe, Director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, reported that 81% of provisional votes were counted in Mahoning County. He pointed out that the number would have been 90% had the pre-Ken Blackwell rules been in effect in Ohio. Prior to Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s supervision of Ohio’s 2004 presidential election, Ohio voters in the wrong precinct still had their votes counted from the county level to the presidential level.

McCabe also decried the fact that there is no consistent statewide standard for counting provisional ballots in Ohio. In his county, a voter who was able to produce a library card with a current address was allowed to vote, although that type of ID is not officially accepted in Ohio guidelines.

In a promising development, a handful of Ohio counties noted that they did not purge voter records from their computer systems, but merely moved questionable voter names into an “inactive” status. Some “flagged” certain voters if there were concerns about their eligibility. On another positive note, Coshocton County notified the Free Press that it is a “no purge” county.

Prior to the 2004 election, most purges were concentrated in the Democratic havens of Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo. Public records show that in Cleveland, 24.93% of all voters were dumped from the voting rolls.

The pattern continued prior to the 2008 election, with an additional 211,000 Franklin County voters removed. Most were concentrated in the Democratically-controlled capital city of Columbus.

Just prior to the 2008 presidential election, the Free Press called attention to the Ohio Republican Party’s attempt to purge 600,000 long-time registered voters, and 200,000 newly-registered voters. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s intervention prevented the 800,000 purges by directing that Ohio voters had both the right to notification and hearing before being stripped of their voting rights. If the GOP had succeeded in eliminating the 800,000 overwhelmingly Democratic voters, John McCain may have carried Ohio by 50,000 votes, instead of losing by more than 200,000 votes.

A Jim Crow system of county-by-county partisan purges remains in effect in Ohio. The Buckeye State does not recognize voting as a fundamental human right. Voting is considered a universal and unalienable right in most other democracies. In Ohio, there’s no statewide system mandating all voters be treated equally before they lose their most basic and sacred right. In Ohio, often called the most Southern of Northern states, there is also no system in place that even requires giving a reason for disenfranchising a voter. No wonder the number of purged voters tripled last year.

Bob Fitrakis has a Ph.D. in political science and was an election observer in the Ohio 2004 general election, Ohio’s 2008 primary and 2008 general elections. He was the director of the Free Press Election Protection Project. This article was originally published by

by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
October 1, 2008

Ohio 2008 has opened with a surge of first-time voters and the subpoena of a shadowy Bush electronic operative who may have helped steal the White House, a subpoena that may be followed by one for Karl Rove.

The presidency could again be decided here by how well what’s left of the American democratic process can be protected. So election activists are asking concerned citizens everywhere to become registration volunteers, poll workers and judges, Video the Vote observers and to conduct post-election hearings with legal standing.

In-person balloting began Tuesday, September 30, as new Ohio voters registered and voted simultaneously. Thousands crammed into county facilities throughout the state. Set to continue until October 6, the innovation came by accident in an otherwise repressive piece of legislation foisted on the state by Republican legislators after the theft of the 2004 election.

The GOP has since sued to stop this simultaneous register-and-vote process, but lost 4-3 in the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court. Thousands of new Buckeye voters have now surged into election centers, and may do so through October 6.

Election officials predict as many as a third of Ohio voters—around 2 million—will vote absentee this year. But the GOP now appears to be mailing to Democratic voters fake absentee ballots with bogus return addresses and features that could result in their being discarded. The Republicans are also using caging techniques, such as fake mailings, to eliminate likely Democratic voters from the registration rolls.

Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has tried to make paper ballots available at every polling station for those who don’t trust electronic touchscreen machines. But GOP legislators intervened, claiming “cost problems,” and Brunner so far has limited availability to just a quarter of the potential demand. Pro-democracy activists are suing to make them universally available.

While that fight proceeds, Attorneys Bob Fitrakis and Cliff Arnebeck have subpoenaed IT specialist Michael Connell, a shadowy operative who managed the Bush-Cheney 2000 web site. Connell has a checkered history in highly partisan behind-the scenes information manipulation (

In 2004, Connell was paid with state funds by GOP Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell to shunt the Ohio vote count was shunted to the same basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which housed the servers for the Republican National Committee. In the wee morning hours of election day, vote counts mysteriously shifted from John Kerry to give George W. Bush his second term in the White House.

Connell has since been fingered by Stephen Spoonamore, a McCain supporter and GOP computer operative who has charged that Connell may have manipulated the Ohio 2004 vote count. As a Repubican insider, Spoonamore’s sworn testimony is being given legal credence by Federal Judge Algernon Marbley, who certified the subpoena against Connell.

Connell and the GOP are certain to continue fighting demands for public testimony. But as the case escalates, it becomes increasingly likely that Connell’s close associate, former White House advisor Karl Rove, could also be subpoenaed as part of the on-going King-Lincoln-Bronzeville civil rights lawsuit.

The final outcome of the case is not likely to be settled until long after the 2008 election. Amidst what is likely to be the largest voter turnout in US history, election protection activists are recruiting and training thousands of democracy advocates to register new voters and to check the registrations of those who may be knocked off the rolls without their knowledge. More than 300,000 Ohio voters were disenfranchised in the run-up to 2004, and at least 170,000 have since been eliminated in Franklin County alone. Many citizens who believe they are registered may not be.

Democracy advocates are also asking citizens throughout the nation to serve as poll workers, poll judges and Video-the-Vote observers, and to organize post-election pubic hearings. With thousands of new voters already surging to the polls, with millions of absentee ballots beginning to pour in, and with an energized electorate expected to overwhelm the precincts on November 4, the difference between what happened in 2004 and who next enters the White House will likely be determined by how well the 2008 electoral process can be protected.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored four books on election protection, including AS GOES OHIO, now at, where they are publisher and senior editor. They are zattorney and plaintiff in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit.

Original link;


by Bob Fitrakis

Ohio Secretary of State recently released a report that seeks to safeguard Ohio’s 2008 presidential election. A tall task after the open theft of the 2004 election by her predecessor.

The Brunner report as usual is a mixed bag. She’s responding to the Everest Study of electronic voting machines which showed the Ohio election system vulnerable to fraud and error. She was in a showdown with the Republican-controlled Statehouse who refused to give her the
$64 million she wanted primarily for precinct-based Optiscan machines.
In the game of chicken, Brunner was afraid to decertify the machines because she feared the Republicans wouldn’t give her the money to replace them.

Some of her recommendations seem to come directly from the consent decree that I authored in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville case pending in the State of Ohio. The case charges former Secretary of State Blackwell with manipulating the 2004 election as the agent of the Bush-Cheney Re-election Campaign, but also included 50 proposals for election reform to ensure free and fair elections in Ohio.

To her credit, she’s attempting to improve the county voter registration databases as well as fixing and promoting the polling sites. These were both problems in the inner cities in 2004. She’s also promoting more use of absentee ballots and early voting and is now requiring security plans from each county, particularly in regards to ballot access including the memory cards. This concern for chain of custody issues is long overdue. She’ll also be requiring an audit and has the ability to order every county to do a post election audit. I’m hoping she has the courage to demand a true random post-election audit.

So she’s moving in the right direction. But the result will depend upon how the final directives look.