About Those 80,000 Votes
Kennedy's blowing it out his hindquarters. He says
:And that doesn?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.(15)
Blockbuster allegation, that is sourced to the same article, page 4:VIII. Rural Counties
Despite the well-documented effort that prevented hundreds of thousands of voters in urban and minority precincts from casting ballots, the worst theft in Ohio may have quietly taken place in rural counties. An examination of election data suggests widespread fraud -- and even good old-fashioned stuffing of ballot boxes -- in twelve sparsely populated counties scattered across southern and western Ohio: Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Darke, Highland, Mercer, Miami, Putnam, Shelby, Van Wert and Warren. (See The Twelve Suspect Counties) One key indicator of fraud is to look at counties where the presidential vote departs radically from other races on the ballot. By this measure, John Kerry's numbers were suspiciously low in each of the twelve counties -- and George Bush's were unusually high.
Cut to the chase:If Kerry had maintained his statewide margin over Connally in the twelve suspect counties, as he almost assuredly would have done in a clean election, he would have bested her by 81,260 ballots. That's a swing of 162,520 votes from Kerry to Bush -- more than enough to alter the outcome. (183)
Let's take a look at the 12 "suspect" counties. First, in 2000, those counties voted for Bush by a large margin. Ignoring the third party candidates, Bush got 67.4% of the vote while Gore only managed 32.6%. In 2004, Bush upped that to 69.5% to Kerry's 30.5%. Very suspicious indeed. But looking at the big picture, what would it take to swing 80,000 votes to Kerry in those twelve "suspect" counties?
And that's where Kennedy's claim is exposed for the nonsense that it is. You see, these really are rural counties so the idea of shaking an 80,000 vote swing out of them is contrived. Bush got 382,000 votes in those counties, so we reduce that to 302,000. And we up Kerry's 168,000 to 248,000. So Bush got 54.9% in those twelve counties, as compared to his 67.4% the prior election a 12.5 percentage point decline in Bush's share of the major party vote in those twelve counties between 2000 and 2004. How does that stack up with the rest of Ohio? Well, actually Bush didn't lose 12.5 percentage points compared to 2000 in any other county. His worst performance was about a 5 percentage point drop.