Evidence of fraud in the 2004 Ohio presidential race can be seen pretty much everywhere one looks. It came in physical as well as statistical forms. Exit polls diverging from election results were an early indication. A subsequent county-by-county audit conducted by independent citizens revealed more and more numbers that didn't add up, and signs of a stolen election.

Statistical Fingerprints

Election Results Diverged from Exit Polls by Huge amounts defying normal probability

John Kerry's percentage of the official vote count in Ohio was roughly 5 percent lower than predicted by the normally reliable exit poll data. The likelihood of a gap that large occuring randomly is infinitesimally small and demands explanation. In some jurisdictions the discrepancy was as high as 10 percent. IMAGE: Steven F. Freeman and Joel Bleifuss, from their book Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?

Astounding deviations in the exit poll data compared to official election results are a strong indication of fraud in the 2004 Ohio and national presidential race.

  • Polls in 30 states deviated from their margins of error.
  • 87 percent of those deviations favored George W. Bush.
  • Across the country exit poll disparities were as high as 9.5 percent.
  • The exit poll disparity in Ohio was 6.7 percent.
  • Exit polls are usually accurate and have been used to uncover fraud in foreign elections.
  • Exit poll results were “adjusted” to better match the official vote counts.
  • Pollsters manufactured a false explanation to explain the gap.

Exit polls predicted John Kerry would win in battleground states. Yet as election night progressed, official vote counts told a different story. In ten battleground states, the tallies varied from the predictions, favoring Bush in every case.

According to Steven F. Freeman, author of Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, the chance of all those shifts going in one direction was one in 660,000.

To cover up what seemed to be glaring errors in their surveys, pollsters invented a fake theory that Bush voters had been more reluctant to respond. Subsequent analysis by Freeman and others proved them wrong. Voters in Republican areas actually responded to exit polls at a slightly higher rate than voters in Democratic territory.

Freeman also discovered something very suspicious: The greatest disparities between exit polls and official vote counts occurred in Republican strongholds. As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. writes in Rolling Stone, citing Freeman's research:

In precincts where Bush received at least eighty percent of the vote, the exit polls were off by an average of ten percent. By contrast, in precincts where Kerry dominated by eighty percent or more, the exit polls were accurate to within three tenths of one percent

This pattern suggests that ballot boxes were stuffed—or electronically rigged—where it would be easiest and least noticeable.

In Ohio, the exit poll discrepancy presents strong evidence of vote tampering. In nearly half of the precincts surveyed there was divergence from the official vote count. In 91 percent of those cases the disparity benefited Bush.

In one extreme example, Kerry should have received roughly 67 percent of the vote, yet in the official tally he got only 38 percent. The odds of a gap that large are almost 3 billion to one.

The media completely fell down on the job and failed to investigate. Instead of treating the exit poll discrepancies as a puzzle worth solving, they buried their initial results and instead used "adjusted" figures that were recalculated to better fit the official vote counts.

According to Freeman, the discrepancies were:

  • Higher in battleground states;
  • Higher where there were Republican governors;
  • Higher in states with greater proportions of African-American communities; and
  • Higher in states where there were the most Election Day complaints.

The patterns, trends, and sheer magnitude of the exit poll discrepancies are a strong indication of election fraud.

It is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote count in the three critical battleground states of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error.
— Steven F. Freeman, University of Pennsylvania

Other Signs of a Rigged Election


Several third-party candidates performed beyond their wildest expectations. In Cuyahoga County these candidates received 20 times more votes than similar candidates had ever received in that area.



Voter turnout was improbably high (98.5 percent) in Miami County, and 19,000 extra votes were recorded after 100 percent of the precincts had reported their results. Various precincts in Perry County showed: more votes than voters; fewer ballots than voters; voters casting more than one ballot.



93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast for president were insufficiently investigated. Precincts in Montgomery County had 25 percent of ballots with no vote for president. An anomaly of that magnitude demands explanation. Why would people stand in line, sometimes for hours, and then not vote?



Warren County officials concealed the vote count from the public. They moved their tabulation site to a closed facility, claiming the FBI had issued a terrorism warning. The FBI denied issuing any such warning. It was later revealed that the fake terror alert had been planned in advance.

Behind closed doors, ballots were shifted from precinct to precinct to alter the vote count. A down-ballot candidate for state supreme court ended up with more votes than Kerry, an unusual amount of Bush voters also voted in support of gay marriage, and “wild card” ballots were found with no precinct printed.



Attempts by election defenders to investigate and litigate election fraud were stymied by destruction of ballots and other evidence. Boards of Elections in 56 of 88 Ohio counties destroyed some or all of the records from the 2004 presidential election, in violation of Ohio law and a federal court order, sometimes both.

Researchers calculate, based on records obtained from Blackwell's successor as Secretary of State, that more than 1.58 million ballots were destroyed. At least 566,000 were voted ballots; the rest unused or spoiled.