Ever since I heard about Bush's 3.5 million lead over Kerry in the popular vote, I was suspicious: I thought, No way. It just didn't make sense. It still doesn't. Perhaps this is just paranoia, I don't know, but it has been bugging me ... more importantly, I think there is some reason behind it, too. Case-in-point: the Diebold Corporation. It provided Ohio, the state in which it is based, with the unaccountable* machines for the 2004 elections, Ohio being a state known to be extremely divided (according to polls taken until November 2); thus, the third most valuable swing state behind Pennsylvania and Florida. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Diebold, Walden O'Dell, is a registered Republican and was a strong contributor to the President's campaign, organizing fundraisers and, in one instance, had wrote a letter to Bush in which he assured him that he would "deliver Ohio's votes" to him, according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as cited in the 'progressive' webzine Common Dreams. From the record as it stands now, in Ohio President-Elect Bush received 2,783,655 votes versus Senator Kerry's 2,653,005 (50.96% to 48.57%, respectively).
*Unaccountable for the reason that the electronic voting machines that Diebold made for the state of Ohio, such as the ones employed elsewhere (such as in the entire state of Maryland), had no paper backup whatsoever ... hence no paper trail. Perfect, really: the easily hackable and insecure machines could have been grossly tampered with and, most deviously, no one would ever know. Not exactly. There is a movement sponsored by an organization called Black Box Voting, which is filing the largest Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in history to find out what exactly happened, county by county. The organization, through its 'Help America Audit' campaign, "has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines." They claim to "base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems." (You can take a look at the 30-minute documentary they made on it, titled "Votergate," here.)