Citizen Audit

Independent Researcher Documented Where the Votes Were Stolen and How

The only in-depth audit of the Ohio 2004 presidential race was conducted by an independent citizen, Richard Hayes Phillips (with the help of many volunteers). Phillips set out to investigate what went wrong in Ohio when he saw major anomalies in the official election results.

Phillips discovered a dizzying array of electoral misconduct. His book Witness to a Crime documents the many fraudulent means by which enough votes were stolen or shifted to change the outcome of the election.

Some of the suspicious results he found include:

  • Impossible turnout numbers
  • Uncounted ballots
  • Ballot tampering
  • Counties with more ballots than registered voters
  • Third-party candidates with unusually high totals
  • Suspicious under-votes and over-votes
  • Evidence of vote flipping

Phillips meticulously compiled forensic data showing where and how the election theft occurred. What follows are some examples and evidence he uncovered during his investigation.

I know more about what happened in Ohio than anyone else on the planet, except, perhaps, Karl Rove.
— Richard Hayes Phillips

Down-Ballot Anomaly

Ohio Supreme Court Candidate Received More Votes than John Kerry in Suspicious counties

A down-ballot Democratic candidate for Ohio state supreme court received significantly more votes than John Kerry in a dozen jurisdictions, something that typically never happens in a major presidential race.

In most elections, around 15 percent of voters tend to vote for the important race at the top of the card and then drop off at some point down the ballot, failing to vote for lesser offices.

This drop-off effect is stronger among Democratic voters, meaning a down-ballot anomaly in their column is more significant. When a down-ballot candidate gets more votes than the candidate for the top office it can be an indicator of election fraud.

In Ohio 2004, suspicious results of this sort were brought to light by looking at election results for Ellen Connally, a Democratic candidate for state supreme court, relative to results for John Kerry.

Richard Hayes Phillips analyzed 12 counties, all won by Bush, where John Kerry's votes were unusually low, and Bush's votes suspiciously high. He compared the results with the other 60 counties won by Bush. His research suggests that 60,000 votes were shifted from Kerry to Bush, affecting the margin of victory by 120,000 votes.

Connally received roughly the same percentage in the 12 counties as she did in the other 60, but in those 12 suspicious counties, Ellen Connally received more votes than John Kerry. In those 12 counties, John Kerry received only 31 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent in the other 60 counties.

Further confirmation can be seen in Bush's performance relative to the Republican candidate for state supreme court. Bush's percentages were inflated in those 12 counties compared to the other areas where he won, while the Republican judge had consistent percentages across the two sets of counties.

12 Counties Rigged for Bush Exceed His Performance Elsewhere

In 12 counties where election fraud favoring George W. Bush is suspected, Bush performed significantly better than he did in the other 60 counties where he won. John Kerry performed significantly worse in those same 12 counties, indicating that votes may have been shifted from one candidate to the other. The Democratic and Republican candidates for state supreme court both had consistent performance across those two sets of counties where Bush won. John Kerry not only lost votes in those rigged counties, he also received fewer votes than Ellen Connally, the Democratic candidate for state supreme court. A down-ballot discrepancy of that nature and magnitude is a classic sign of election rigging.

Mechanism of Theft


What caused the Connally-Kerry discrepancy? By what mechanism was a vote shift accomplished? Glaring examples of ballot box stuffing and tampering in several counties support the accusations of election rigging in rural southwestern Ohio.

Warren County

  • Officials declared a fake terrorism alert in order to count the ballots out of public view. The terror alert had been planned in advance. Kerry finished 2,426 votes lower than Ellen Connally.

Darke, Mercer, Shelby, and Van Wert counties

  • Wide disparities between regular and absentee ballots
  • Non-random sequences of ballots; and
  • Many more ballots than the number of voters in the official results or in the signature books

Clermont County

  • Marks on ballots were covered with stickers, altering the choices of voters
  • More ballots were cast in the official results than the number issued to voters
  • The “recount” was rigged by selecting the precincts in advance
  • Unused ballots were destroyed, and stub numbers were absent from the voter signature books, making a full audit impossible

Miami County

  • Too many provisional ballots counted in 53 of 82 precincts
  • Too few absentee ballots counted in 74 of 82 precincts
  • Ballots sorted by candidate prior to the “recount”
  • Ballot box stuffing in Troy 4-F, Tipp City F, and Concord South West

The turnout was impossibly high in at least a dozen Miami County precincts, especially when compared to the previous presidential election. Bush got nearly all of the new voters. A review of the voter histories in the database for Miami County revealed that the official turnout data are wrong in every single precinct. In 35 of 82 precincts, the official results are impossible.

In one Miami County precinct, supposedly all but 10 eligible voters went to the polls, but at least 25 people swore they didn't vote.

In Miami County, after 100 percent of precincts had reported official results, an additional 18,615 votes were added to the final tally. This post-election alteration awarded 12,000 votes to Bush, boosting his margin of victory in the county by nearly 6,000.

If there is motive, means, and opportunity, and no penalty for cheating, this is never going to stop.
— RIchard Hayes Phillips

Strange Bedfellows


The gay marriage proposition on the 2004 Ohio ballot likely motivated participation on both sides of the issue. But how many people would have voted in favor of gay marriage and for George W. Bush? Very few in the conservative counties of rural, religious Ohio.

Yet precinct analysis in Butler, Clermont, Delaware, and Warren counties shows that 10,000 people must have voted for gay marriage and for Bush, or else the election results are fake.

Provisional Ballots


One key voter suppression tactic of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell was his decree that provisional ballots would be not counted when cast in the wrong precinct. Yet in red-leaning Miami County, 165 provisional ballots counted were cast by voters registered in another county. In blue-leaning Franklin County, 623 provisional ballots were rejected when cast by in-county voters in the right precinct.

Further Evidence


Phillips identified 15 multiple-precinct polling places where Kerry votes were shifted to Bush and various third-party candidates, due to voters casting ballots on the wrong machines, intended for another precinct.

Ballot rotation is meant to reduce the small advantage a candidate gets when listed first on the ballot. But in order to be counted properly, rotated ballots must be scanned on machines that have been programmed for the proper ballot type, otherwise the votes go to the wrong candidates.

If several precincts are in the same polling site, the opportunity for error and fraud is huge. Simply by steering voters to a voting machine intended for another district, a corrupt poll worker can flip dozens of votes. This could be based on racial profiling.

It is ultimately the task of the governed to guard their democracy from their leaders.
— Richard Hayes Phillips