The two consecutive elections that resulted in George W. Bush being sworn in as President of the United States were rife with allegations of voter fraud. Although some of the specific allegations differed between the 2000 and 2004 elections, some common allegations of election fraud were raised consistently in both elections.
Improper Counting of Votes
Tied in with voting machine functionality, in both the 2000 and 2004 elections, allegations were made that mischief resulted in improper counting of votes, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The majority of the allegations in this regard pointed towards the Republican ticket and its supporters as being responsible for misconduct associated with improper vote counting.
In no part of the country was this more pronounced than in certain Florida counties during the 2000 election campaign. Palm Beach and Dade counties drew particular scrutiny for irregularities associated with both vote tallies and the processes employed to count and then recount votes, according to Florida Secretary of State’s Office.
Of course, as discussed elsewhere in this article. all of this became a moot point because of the manner in which the Supreme Court suspended an effort to recount votes legitimately in different Florida counties, as enumerated in the opinion of the Court in Bush v. Gore.
Allegations of voter suppression existed in both the 2000 and 2004 election cycles. However, perhaps in no other locate did voter suppression allegations so permeate a race than in the Ohio presidential election campaign of 2004, according to Real Clear Politics and other independent organizations that monitored the election.
An array of contentions were made regarding efforts of supporters of the GOP ticket to block access to the ballot box of groups of people thought to be likely democratic voters. For example, allegations examined by the GAO included contentions that black voters physically were prevented from accessing Ohio polling places in 2004.
Inappropriate Registration Roll Purges
An example of inappropriate voter registration roll purges occurred in Florida where over 100,000 residents of the state were removed as registered voters based on an ill-founded contention that they were felons. In fact, only a fraction of this total number proved to be convicted felons and not eligible to vote, according to the GAO report.
Voting Machine Functionality
Following the 2004 election, and after two election cycles in which serious concerns were made about the reliability and security of certain electronic voting machines, the GAO launched an investigation.
In the final report, the GAO cited three areas for concern. First, problems did exist in regard to the accuracy of certain electronic voting machines, particularly in regard to recounts. Second, the security of some of the electronic voting machines was suspect, leading to the prospect that tampering could have occurred in some limited instances in both the 2000 and 2004 elections. Finally, the GAO raised concerns about the close ties certain executives of companies that manufactured voting machines maintained with either the Republican party or elements of the conservative movement.
A substantial argument exists that Al Gore in fact won not only the popular but also the electoral vote in 2000. The contention is that had the United States Supreme Court not halted the counting of ballots in certain disputed Florida counties, in which the difference between the candidates was a handful of votes, the outcome of the total tally in the Sunshine State would have shifted from Bush to Gore, according to Real Clear Politics and the Florida Secretary of State’s Office.
If the Florida popular vote shifted to Gore, the movement of the electoral votes from that state into his column would have made him the winner of the election and the President of the United States. In the end, the argument that demonstrable voter fraud in Florida in 2000 altered the outcome of the election is compelling.
The contentions regarding voter fraud focused primarily on Ohio in the 2004 race. Again, a situation existed that if the Ohio electoral votes shifted, in this case from the Bush to the Kerry column, a different outcome in the presidential race would have occurred. The Electoral College results in 2004 were 286 for Bush and 252 for Kerry; the movement of the Ohio block of votes would have resulted in the election of Kerry. Allegations of recount irregularities combined with accusations of unlawful voter suppression lend some credence to the contention that inappropriate or fraudulent conduct may have played a role in tipping the final tally in favor of Bush, according to Real Clear Politics and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
This article was written by Samuel Bennett, a freelance writer who concentrates his work on law, politics, current events, finance and other related matters. Fraud is a very complex issue; be sure to contact a firm with significant experience with this issue if you need assistance in the future.
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