Thursday, February 10, 2005

More voter irregularities in Milwaukee than in Mosul

As reporting surfaces on the mild voter irregularities in the newest democracy on earth, it's official: Milwaukee had more irregularities than Mosul, Baghdad, Fallujah and Basra - combined.
A review of Milwaukee polling-place logbooks by the Journal Sentinel shows vote-to-voter discrepancies at dozens of wards, meaning gaps found earlier run deeper than a problem with post-election recordkeeping cited by officials.

On election day, each voter given a ballot is assigned a number that corresponds to the person's place in line. At the end of the day, this number - which should match the ballots cast - is recorded in the logbooks. This functions as a safeguard against any future adjustments to the books or ballots.

But the newspaper's review found 24 cases where there is a discrepancy of at least 5%, with more ballots than voters listed in a ward. Logbooks for another 20 wards showed no entry for the last voter counted.

A probe started after the Journal Sentinel reported that more than 1,200 votes in the Nov. 2 election came from invalid addresses and that a 7,000 vote gap existed citywide between the number of ballots counted and the people listed in a computer database as having voted.

In the case of Ward 297, the logbook showed 590 more voters than votes, and in Ward 314, the books showed a difference of 507 votes. Both wards voted at Jericho Baptist Church, 1923 N. 12th St., on the city's north side.

Poll workers there appear to have added votes from the two wards together. In any case, it is discrepancies in the other direction - more votes than voters - that are most troubling.

Citywide, for instance, there were 277,535 votes cast in the election, yet only 269,212 people recorded in the computer as voting, a gap of about 8,300.
George Bush lost Wisconsin by less than 12,000 votes. Despite all the voting antics, the you-know-who's are opposing the common-sense measure of requiring ID to vote, as it would make it very difficult for their imported voters to cast ballots.

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