Thursday, June 01, 2006

Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?

"Yes," concludes Robert Kennedy, Jr. in the new issue of Rolling Stone.

Give a read to the article and make up your own mind.

Voting, as Thomas Paine said, ''is the right upon which all other rights depend.'' Unless we ensure that right, everything else we hold dear is in jeopardy.


"No," replies Farhad Manjoo at Salon, in a thoughtful response to Kennedy's article, raising what appear to be strong points undercutting many of the key statistics and claims cited by Kennedy.

Steve Gilliard has further criticism.

The Editors have more.

I think the conclusions are fair and well-documented that there were voter suppression efforts in Ohio and elsewhere and that reform and oversight are necessary to keep voting easy and reliable. Kennedy's overreach (relying on the polling data and questionable evidence Manjoo refutes) is the conclusion that the suppression and the logistical problems in Ohio changed the election result. Manjoo does seem to glide a bit easily past the implications of the firmer conclusions.

Second update:

Kennedy has now responded to Majoo's response, and Manjoo has replied to Kennedy again.

Here's Tristero's take:
Bottom line: I'll anger a lot of you, but based on the information in Kennedy's first article, Manjoo's response and this new article, I believe it is a seriously open question as to what actually happened in Ohio in 2004. Without further, extensive investigation honest people will disagree on whether it was stolen or whether Bush would have won anyway. If the latter, it seems it would have been a squeaker.

What is beyond dispute either by Kennedy or Manjoo are two points. First, what happened in Ohio (if not elsewhere) stinks to high heaven. Agreed. Second, if America is still a democracy, then election [re]form is what the president of the United States should be using his bully pulpit to advocate, not ways to use the Constitution to empower gay bashing. Agreed.

More from the Editors.

The Mystery Pollster weighs in (Part I).


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