Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.I knew, like a vulture finds the scent of rotting flesh from miles away, that the vote counting in Ohio in 2004 was foul. I had no evidence, not a scintilla of proof. Maybe it was all those years tracking sewage spills in San Diego, I could smell it.
~ Josef Stalin
While the Cleveland Plain Dealer goes out of its way to sugarcoat the story, the facts are simple. The Cuyahoga County Elections Board was faced with a recount of the November 2004 presidential election that might overturn the results of the election.
The Elections Board pre-screened the precincts, selecting out for "random" selection later only those precincts that would confirm the original count. The hand-count was restricted to the pre-screened precincts and the recount changed little. A truly random selection of precincts would have changed the outcome of the election. That is proven by the fact of a pre-screening.
Why would the Elections Board go through this extra effort unless they didn't trust the machine count? The official argument, that they were lazy or trying to save money, doesn't wash. The pre-screening was unnecessary extra work and expense unless the Elections Board believed the machine count was inaccurate.