Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Partial Recount Confirmed

Marc Ambinder

AMES -- Mary Tiffany, an Iowa Republican Party official, confirms that at least one voting machine malfunctioned and that tabulators recounted at least 1500 ballots.

The state party rented optical scan machines from Diebold, a company at the center of several recent voting controversies. Recently, the state of California de-certified Diebold machines for the 2008 election.

Yesterday, Iowans who support Ron Paul failed to get a judge to require a voter-verified paper ballot be used in today's straw poll. Separately, the state party told the Paul campaign that a full paper recount would cost $184,000.

Already, some Paul supporters are whispering about a challenge.


I think the results are pretty far fetched and it is worth a challenge. I really hope the Ron Paul campaign does not let them walk all over them. This needed to be addressed BEFORE the straw poll and it wasn't. I was called the wacko, weirdo, or the person hurting the campaign.

Here we are now after the poll, where the winners are announced all over TV and radio and TV interviews are being set up as I type. Instead of being proud of the results I would guess that every single Ron Paul supporter, in the back of their minds, are questioning the results. In my opinion, we are in a worse position challenging this after than we would have if we challenged it before hand.

This should be a learning experience for everyone involved.

Straw Poll Results

1. Mitt Romney 4,516 31.6%
2. Mike Huckabee 2,587 18.1%
3. Sam Brownback 2,192 15.3%
4. Tom Tancredo 1,960 13.7%
5. Ron Paul 1,305 9.1%
6. Tommy Thompson 1,039 7.3%
7. Fred Thompson 203 1.4%
8. Rudy Giuliani 183 1.3%
9. Duncan Hunter 174 1.2%
10. John McCain 101 0.7%
11. John Cox 41 0.3%

Oh, and there were major voting machine problems. Thank you, Diebold!

Straw Poll Voting Machine Failures

Marc Ambinder

AMES -- The announcement of tonight's straw poll results has been delayed due to what one informed source says was a voting machine malfunction. About 4,500 ballots had to be re-run.

The results were delayed due to a voting machine failure. Oh gee! Isn't this what we were trying to tell people BEFORE the straw poll? These machines are not reliable. No one wanted to listen, but maybe they will now. Paper ballots put in clear boxes is the MOST reliable method out there.

Since we know what the unofficial results are the large number of votes that needed to be re-run is quite significant. That is 32% of the votes and let's not forget Romney only got 4516 votes... Therefore, 4500 votes is quite significant no matter how you look at it.

Amazing Speech on C-Span

I don't know what made me think to turn on C-Span's live broadcast from the Iowa Straw poll, but when I did it was the one and only, Ron Paul.

He sounded amazing. He was firm, strong, and his voice was thunderous!

The speech literally brought tears to my eyes and the enthusiasm in the room was spectacular. It makes me wish I was there right now to help my fellow Ron Paul supporters. After that victorious speech Ron Paul just gave, if that doesn't persuade you to vote for him, I doubt anything would.

If you want to watch live, see this link. And click on whatever format suits you.

Ron Paul, "Go tell the Romney people to do the right thing!"

In this article on The New York Time's blog called "The Caucus", Ron Paul tells his supporters who are not from Iowa to help persuade as many people as possible today.

He also had something to say to the Romney crew.

If you’re an Iowan, please go vote!” he said. And if not? “Go tell the Romney people to do the right thing!”

This made me smile! Ron Paul is great with words and this is a great one liner that I hope the entire Romney campaign hears this including his Leadership team member, Mary Mosiman. At least it lets them know we are watching.

Judge okays use of machines for straw poll

A federal judge shot down a request from a group of Iowans who distrust computerized voting machines and wanted ballots at today’s Republican straw poll to be stored in clear plastic containers then hand counted.

U.S. District Judge James Gritzner of Des Moines denied their request Friday for a temporary restraining order and an injunction against the straw poll’s use of the Diebold machines. The judge said there are no previous legal rulings that an unofficial straw poll offered by a private political entity is a public election that would be entitled to Constitutional protections.

The group of voting machine watchdogs oppose the Iowa Republican Party’s Presidential Straw Poll’s use of Diebold Election Systems machines. California elections officials decertified Diebold machines last week after a “top to bottom” security review found fundamental weaknesses. The California machines can still be used in that state, but new security measures are in place.

The machines at the straw poll are owned by Story County; 71 counties in Iowa use Diebold machines.

The watchdog group thinks the machines leave voting “ripe for fraud or machine failure – or even sabotage,” according to a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

The plaintiffs included five Iowans: Jennifer Maki of Dubuque, Pam Wagner of Homestead, Troy Reha of Des Moines, Ginger Corbett of Maquoketa and Roger Leahy of Fairfield. Three other plaintiffs, James Condit Jr. of Ohio, founder of Citizens for a Fair Vote Count; Robert L. Schulz of New York, leader of an organization called We the People; and Walter Reddy of Connecticut purchased the $35 tickets to the event but are not qualified to vote in the straw poll.

The complaint was filed against Story County election commissioner Mary Mosiman, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Ray Hoffman, the state of Iowa, Story County, and State Auditor David Vaudt. Voting will take place on the Iowa State University campus and be overseen by Mosiman’s office, with assistance from the state auditor’s office.
Mosiman on Friday expressed confidence in Story County’s machines, saying testing shows they’re counting the votes correctly.

“This is a very secure process and we wouldn’t want a machine that wasn’t functioning properly,” she said. (emphasis mine)
--End Article--

Let's not forget that Mary Mosiman is on Romney's Leadership Team.

I wonder who she wants to win? According to this article on, it is interesting that she is one of several people who have full access to the machines.

"The Global Election Management System (GEMS) computer is used to prepare ballots and voting equipment programs, and to compile and report election results. The GEMS shall not be used for any other function. The GEMS computer is not and shall not be linked to the Story County network or to the Internet. Access to the GEMS computer is limited to the Story County Auditor, Assistant Auditor, Deputy Auditors, and designated election staff member(s)."

Well I think someone is going to be shamed today and it's going to be Ron Paul and his supporters. Action should have been taken earlier to correct this potential disaster.

Iowa Straw Poll Is Here

Well today is the day. It's everything we have been waiting for these past few months! The voting in the Iowa Straw poll will open at 10am and continue until 6pm. Ron Paul needs to show he has a large amount of real offline support or it will hurt him significantly. I can see the headlines now if Ron Paul finishes poorly...That's why this straw poll is so important and I think in some ways it is more important to this campaign than the others.

There will be tons of media anxiously awaiting for the events of the day and of course the final voting results. According to this website, there were 600 journalists from more than 250 news media organizations on hand at the 1999 straw poll. That's why we need a good showing. All eyes are on Ron Paul! I certainly hope Ron Paul's campaign can pull this off for the future of our country.

I have butterflies in my stomach because of the latest developments with the conflict of interest. However, I am trying to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt. All we want is a fair vote and if Ron Paul gets 5th in a honest, fraud free vote, then so be it! However, if he gets last place and there is evidence of fraud, I will be extremely upset. I may have to change my focus from Ron Paul to the voter fraud because Ron Paul will NEVER get the nomination if these electronic machines are in place.

If I were supporting another candidate, I would still be as concerned as I am right now. This has nothing to do with what candidate I am cheering on the sidelines. It has everything to do with the idea that if our elections are fraudulent then our country is already gone. If we cannot elect leaders of our choosing, then we live in a dictatorship. Simple as that!

Today I will be watching the news and first hand accounts from people on the ground in Iowa.

For those of you interested in the official schedule, you can view that here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Romney Leadership Team Member Overseeing Straw Poll

I could certainly write volumes about this, but I think the facts paint the picture themselves.

The Iowa GOP is facing possible suit over their use of the same Diebold machines that were just de-certified. Story here.

They are claiming of course, that there is nothing to worry about since the voting procedure will be conducted with the assistance and oversight of the Story County Auditor's Office. Story here.

If we look here we see the Story County Auditor is Mary Mosiman.

Mary Mosiman also happens to be on Mitt Romney's "Romney for President Leadership Team".

So there you have it, the Story County Auditor who will take part in overseeing the voting on the questionable machines is part of a team dedicated to "help Governor Romney share his vision for America".

That's a blatant conflict of interest and this is something we cannot ignore.

PS. It's also worth noting that according to this article, Romney's Commonwealth PAC gave State Auditor David A. Vaudt $1,000 in 2004.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Iowa GOP Extorting Ron Paul Campaign


Director of communications for the Ron Paul Campaign, Jesse Benton, stated today that the Iowa GOP would charge the Paul camp $184,000 if they wanted to verify a paper count of the coming Iowa straw poll. Today, on the Dale Williams radio show, Mr. Benton said there will be a manual electronic count of the Iowa poll results. What Mr. Benton did not explain, as exposed in a previous National Expositor Article, “it is commonly known that this manual count” with Diebold machines “would only consist of spot checks of the voting machines for device calibration purposes. This does not constitute a verifiable check of the accuracy from either an engineering or statistical perspective.”


Click here to Listen to the --- Interview


In what amounts to extortion, the Iowa GOP is telling the Ron Paul campaign they must pay an excessive amount of money to manually verify the results in this weeks’ poll. Both Florida and California have recently decertified the same electronic Diebold voting machines that will be used in Iowa. The validity of the upcoming Iowa straw poll should not rest on one campaign but is the responsibility of the Iowa GOP.

You must let the Iowa GOP know that you disapprove of the use of decertified Diebold electronic voting machines and nothing short of a verifiable manual paper ballot would be acceptable for the Iowa straw poll this week.

This is a call to action, anyone who wants a verifiable election must call the Iowa GOP and demand a back up paper count. Iowa Republican Party - (515) 282-8105

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ron Paul Odds Slashed From 15 to 1 to 8 to 1

Following this weekend's Republican debate in Iowa and some extensive mainstream coverage and sound bytes., 2008 US Presidential candidate Ron Paul's odds to become the next Commander-in-Chief have been slashed further from 15 to 1 to 8 to 1.

The Presidential betting odds for most candidates have barely moved in recent weeks at and Ron Paul's odds have remained steadfast at 15 to 1 for the past two months after heavy action forced the online bookmaker to slash his odds from 100 to 1.

There are usually very little fluctuations this early in the campaign as most of the betting takes place the few months leading up to Election Day while in 2004, several million dollars were bet on Election Day alone. is heavily referenced by for its political betting odds menu. is the largest North American-facing sports betting website in terms of overall volume of customers.

2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul sat down with's Kira Wissman for a few moments Friday night following his speech at a rally in Mars, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh. The time spent was brief since Paul had to rush out on his way to Iowa the next morning.

Paul was very adamant regarding Internet gambling prohibition and Internet prohibition across the board.

Dr. Paul is co-sponsoring with Barney Frank (a Democrat). He said that Congressman Frank had approached him about co-sponsoring the bill to legalize online gambling and he had agreed.

“I believe strongly that the internet should not be regulated by the federal government and believes even more strongly that people should be free to engage in the activities they wish, as long as they are willing to take responsibility for their actions.”

I also asked about the likelihood of such a bill passing. He agreed its chances were remote because of the stigma attached to the internet.

“The majority of people in Washington were afraid to support the internet for fear it would label them ‘pro-porn’ or ‘pro-gambling’.”

Paul voted against anti-Internet gambling and poker legislation attached to an unrelated port security bill last October (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, also known as UIGEA).

Heavy fluctuations in betting odds is typically caused by the amounts of money coming in (public betting action). For sporting events, news related to injuries and weather could play a role in line changes without relying first on public response (betting volume on a particular side).

At press time, Ron Paul's payout potential sat at $800 for every $100 bet. Amazingly, he was listed with the same odds (8 to 1) as Mitt Romney, who is widely considered to be among the front runners in the Republican party.

John McCain's odds remained at 5 to 1. Rudy Giuliani remained at 3 to 1 odds.

"The old taunt reflects a deep economic principle: Talk is cheap, but if someone is willing to risk money, it means they're serious," writes Tim Harford of, a general-interest publication offering analysis and commentary about politics. "Put the principle into action and you realize that electoral forecasters should pay as much attention to the betting odds as to the opinion polls.

"When money is on the line, informed people, perhaps including insiders, have an incentive to turn their knowledge into cash by making big bets. In the process they make the odds more accurate. And of course, there are several reasons to lie to pollsters, but no reasons to make a money-losing bet."

Iowa Straw Poll Voting Machines in Question


National Expositor Exclusive – Yesterday, Ernest Hancock, candidate for Arizona secretary of state spoke with Mary Tiffany, communications director for the Iowa state Republican Party. During the conversation, Tiffany confirmed that there will be no manual recount for the Iowa straw poll that occurs on Saturday. [Emphasis mine]This weeks Iowa straw poll is to take place using the same Diebold electronic voting machines that have come into question in recent days. In an article in the Washington Post, Debra Bowen, California’s Secretary of State made the decision to withdraw approval of future use of the Diebold systems. “All of the voting systems studied had serious design flaws that have led directly to specific vulnerabilities, which attackers could exploit to affect election outcomes," Bowen explained.

Computerworld, this week reported that Florida’s Secretary of State, Kurt Browning also withdrew approval of the same Diebold voting systems. “In a letter sent to Diebold Election Systems President David Byrd on Tuesday, Browning said that vulnerabilities cited in the report must be fixed by Aug. 17 or the vender’s certification would be denied.”

Both Florida and California in one week have decertified Diebold’s electronic voting machines. This should send a clear message to Iowa’s GOP that anything other than paper ballots would be unacceptable in this weeks straw poll. The Republican party of Iowa may claim that they will be doing manual checking of the Diebold systems, however, it is commonly known that this manual count would only consist of spot checks of the voting machines for device calibration purposes. This does not constitute a verifiable check of accuracy from either an engineering or statistical perspective.

Based on the same evidence that has forced California and Florida to decertify electronic Diebold voting machines it is not only reasonable to request a manual count of the votes in Iowa, but highly advisable. Anything short of a verifiable paper count will be unethical.

Iowa Republican Party - (515) 282-8105

Please be polite but firm in your stance that there needs to be at least a manual recount of the vote at the Iowa Straw Poll. This could be the end of Ron Paul's campaign!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Why I Have Been Slacking...

Since I can barely make posts once a week on Ron Paul, I just wanted to give a brief explanation why. My intent was to make this one of the biggest blogs on Ron Paul on the internet. Unfortunately due to my worsening health, I am just unable to dedicate as much time as I need to do this.

I am in stage 5 (out of 7) of adrenal fatigue and it's caused a lot of trouble for me. I can barely get out of bed some days now and I certainly can't think clearly enough to make posts. Some days are better than others, so when I can I try to post. One of the worst symptoms is this overwhelming frustration I feel every day.

That's my deal. I am making a blog about my problems, so I can vent my frustrations. You can visit it at this link

Ron Paul: "The Internet Should Not be Regulated"

This is an article by Kira Wissman. I remember seeing her at the rally and am very glad to see this article is positive.

While heading down the Pennsylvania Turnpike on my way to the Ron Paul Rally in Mars, PA, I was thinking about what to expect. “Maybe 100 or so people filling a small banquet room” – that’s what I was expecting. I pulled into the parking lot at the Four Points Sheraton, and quickly realized how wrong I was. The parking lot was jammed. I took one of the last spots in the lot, and I was 45 minutes early! The cars in the lot resembled something you would see at a Jimmy Buffett concert – many were painted with various slogans all supporting Ron Paul for president.

There were thousands of people streaming into the event. As I walked into the lobby of the hotel, I was greeted by volunteers handing out posters, t-shirts and bumper stickers. I made my way to the conference room where the rally was to be held and found a seat relatively close to the front. I was sitting near a group of people from Ohio who had driven a long way to see Dr. Paul speak. There were groups from Philadelphia encouraging the crowd with cheers and chants. The entire room was alive with excitement and anticipation.

Shortly after 8pm, Dr. Paul’s press secretary, Jesse Benton took the stage and introduced Dr. Paul with a short speech and a video clip that showcased the campaign thus far. Soon after, Dr. Paul took the stage and began a speech that lasted nearly an hour and a half. He covered many topics – all of which supported a basic theme – one’s individual freedom. To full story