A call to investigate the 2004 election
By Steven F. Freeman and Joel Bleifuss | June 26, 2006
WE’VE ALL heard the story. Nov. 2, 2004, was shaping up as a day of
celebration for Democrats. The exit polls were predicting a victory
for Senator John Kerry. Many Americans, including most political
observers, sat down to watch the evening television coverage
convinced that Kerry would be the next president.
But the counts that were being reported on TV bore little resemblance
to the exit poll projections. In key state after state, tallies
differed significantly from the projections. In every case, that
shift favored President George W. Bush. Nationwide, exit polls
projected a 51 to 48 percent Kerry victory, the mirror image of
Bush’s 51 to 48 percent win. But the exit poll discrepancy is not the
only cause for concern.
In Ohio, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio co-chairman
of the 2004 Bush/Cheney Campaign, borrowed a chapter from Secretary
of State Katharine Harris’s Florida 2000 playbook. Like Harris, he
used the power of his office to affect turnout and thwart voters in
heavily Democratic areas. Vote suppression and electoral
irregularities in Ohio have been documented, first in January 2005 by
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, and in June 2005 by the
Democratic National Committee, which found, in the words of DNC
Chairman Howard Dean: “More than a quarter of all Ohio voters
reported problems with their voting experience.”
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