NORTH CAROLINA | 2004 | U.S. Senate and President

Suspicious Gaps Between Exit Polls, Election Day Results and Early and Absentee Voting

Wide polling discrepancies, anomalies across the ballot, and electronic voting machine results raise suspicions of fraud in the races for Senate and President.


  • Statistical Evidence: Election Day electronic results diverged significantly from the early and absentee voting. The shift in the Senate race was 6.4 percent. The shift in the Presidential race was 9 percent.
  • Down-Ballot Anomalies: All races for lesser offices showed consistency between early and absentee votes and Election Day electronic results.
  • Polling Discrepancies: Results from electronic voting machines contradicted pre-election and unadjusted exit polls by a wide margin.
  • No Paper Record: An electronic voting machine lost more votes than the margin of victory in the Commissioner of Agriculture race.


North Carolina tallied its early and absentee ballots separately from its electronic Election Day voting. Therefore, there are two different data sets within the North Carolina election results: early/absentee and Election Day.

By comparing these two data sets, and also comparing the difference in these data sets between different races in the same election, there is potential evidence that electronic voting machines were used to manipulate the races for President and U.S. Senate.

Statistical Evidence

Major vote SHift Between Early and Absentee Voting and Election Day Electronic Results

A major vote shift between early and absentee voting and the Election Day results can be seen in two key races and nowhere else on the North Carolina 2004 ballot.

The gap between early/absentee and Election Day tallies was huge for President and Senate. The gap between early/absentee and Election Day tallies was negligible for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

Roughly 30 percent of Republican and Democrat votes were absentee/early.

Vote Shift in Two Key Races

The results from nearly every race on the 2004 North Carolina ballot showed consistent numbers between early/absentee and Election Day results. But two races stand out as targets of election fraud: President and Senate. In the Senate race there was a shift of 6.44 percent. In the Presidential contest there was a shift of 9 percent.


Consistent results between early/absentee voting and Election Day can be seen in the races for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.



Mike Easley (D): 55.6%
Patrick J. Ballantine (R): 43.2%

Election Day
Mike Easley (D): 55.6%
Patrick J. Ballantine (R): 42.7%

Vote Shift = 0.5 percent



Beverly Eaves Perdue (D): 55.7%
Jim Snyder (R): 43.0%

Election Day
Beverly Eaves Perdue (D): 55.5%
Jim Snyder (R): 42.7%

Vote Shift = 0.1 percent



A suspiciously high vote shift can be seen between early/absentee voting and Election Day in the races for President and Senate.


George W. Bush (R): 52.9%
John F. Kerry (D): 46.9%

Election Day
George W. Bush (R): 57.3%
John F. Kerry (D): 42.3%

Vote Shift = 9.0 percent



Richard Burr (R): 49.48%
Erskine Bowles (D): 49.52%

Election Day
Richard Burr (R): 52.4%
Erskine Bowles (D): 46.0%

Vote Shift = 6.44 percent


Another data set suggesting election fraud are the unadjusted exit polls. The exit poll data had George W. Bush defeating John Kerry by 53.0 percent to 46.1 percent, which aligns closely with the early/absentee tally (Bush 52.9 percent, Kerry 46.9 percent).

The electronic Election Day results were highly divergent, with 57.3 percent for Bush and 42.3 percent for Kerry.

Election Day Results Diverge from Exit Polls

The unadjusted exit poll results closely tracked with the absentee/early voting results, but the Election Day results show a significant divergence. This statistical evidence could indicate election fraud in favor of George W. Bush.

Electronic voting machines that do not produce paper records make recounts impossible.
— New York Times editorial board

The Peril of No Paper Record

Carteret County Electronic Voting Machine Loses More Votes than the Margin of Victory

The 2004 race for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture was sabotaged by an electronic voting machine. Republican Steve Troxler finished ahead of Democrat Britt Cobb by just 2,287 votes, but a touchscreen voting machine in Carteret County had lost 4,438 votes, more than the margin of victory.

As reported in the New York Times:

The machine had mistakenly been set to keep roughly 3,000 votes in its memory, which was not enough. And in a spectacularly poor design decision, it was programmed to let people keep "voting" even when their votes were not being saved.

The controversy over how to handle this situation dragged on for months because the machines in use had no paper record that could be used to conduct a recount.

Read More: "One Last Election Lesson," Editorial Board, New York Times.