General Question

shilolo's avatar

Will a loss by Obama-Biden trigger similar reactions to the Rodney King trial?

Asked by shilolo (18075points) September 12th, 2008

I am wondering whether people feel that if Obama loses, and it appears “rigged”, which it very well might, will people riot in response as happened in 1992?

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31 Answers

Les's avatar

I for one will be too heartbroken and depressed to riot. Actually, I will be in New Zealand on and after the election, and I may just stay there if that happens.

I don’t know if there will be riots, but I know that the world standing and credibility our country had at one point will continue to crumble and disappear. And that is enough to make anyone hurl a rock at something.

robmandu's avatar

Increasingly frustrated by poorly-based questions, robmandu begins speaking in the third person and goes off on a tangent…

I’m getting real tired of “rigged” election talk myself. Even from the vaunted scientific minds among us.

The whining about the Electoral College vs. the Popular Vote is also a bunch of crap.

So, let’s agree that Al Gore won the PV in 2000. Bush won the EC and so that’s a wrap. Ah, say those who want Gore in office, but that’s a bum deal. We should fix it! Of course, no one does anything to effect change.

Fast forward to 2004.

Kerry loses to Bush. Funny enough, the roles have reversed. Bush ran away with the PV (source). Kerry almost won the EC… if only he could’ve picked up Ohio. With Ohio, he would have won the EC, but lost the PV… and I doubt that the malcontents who complained in 2000 would have made a peep.

Oh, but what about fraud? Ohio was rigged by those damn neo-cons, right? Um, no, it wasn’t.

There are plenty of issues to discuss, viewpoints to espouse, bridges to build (or not)... must we carry on about this underlying conspiracy & fraud?

And now robmandu is off to retire for a bit, and consider if he must vote Obama to prevent theoretical riots. And if he does so, is that itself a racist motivation?

Les's avatar

removed by Les

jrpowell's avatar

Am I the only one that finds it odd that the nation is split so evenly? How can a nation of 300 Million plus be divided by a single percentage point?

edit :: changed 350 to 300

shilolo's avatar

@Rob. There are plenty of people concerned about election fraud beyond conspiracy theorists. Here is a Rolling Stone article about the 2004 election, another from the Boston Globe, another from Harper’s Magazine, and so on. Its not that difficult to find information about how few voter machines were delivered to predominantly black (Democratic) neighborhoods in Ohio (for example).

I’m just saying that while some people believe justice was done in the Rodney King case (my example), others believed a real injustice occurred. That Obama is black may rile people more than when Kerry lost in 2004.

JackAdams's avatar

I just hope that the team with the most votes, wins.

tabbycat's avatar

I really can’t imagine that. I think Obama/Biden supporters will be in mourning and not inclined to riot. If they can’t win this one, they really need to go back the the drawing board and figure out what they’ve done wrong and how to correct it in the future.

I will vote for Obama, and I hope he will win, but think it’s going to be a very close election. This country really seems to be divided down the middle. Both sides really need to work on their consensus-building skills.

kevbo's avatar

@rob- and and and to name a few.

I can’t predict rioting, but I hope that unlike Gore/Bush, all the votes get counted properly. I’d be concerned though, that our terrorism laws will be applied toward rioters and affected areas.

kevbo's avatar

@jp, I found this comment that speaks some to what you are saying. I’m not saying it’s true, but it is food for thought.

“This is why all the so called polls are showing Obama and McCain in a virtual dead heat. The machines are in place…. all they have to do is make it seem close. With over 80% of the country believing that we are headed in the wrong direction and McSame voting over 90% of the time with Bush. How could it even be close?”

robmandu's avatar

If the conspiracy gets big enough, is it still a conspiracy?

So… the elected officials are in on it. So are those running for office. Plus all their handlers. Much of the working government in D.C. would have to be, plus other central government offices in most other countries.

Now the pollsters (like Gallup and Zogsby) are in on it. And the folks working in their offices. To keep up appearances, the people being polled should be brought into the conspiracy, so that random spot checks yield statistically similar results.

Of course, the volunteers working the polling stations across the country are in on it. And every kind of voting machine (electonic, computerized, manual, punch card, whatever) manufacturer has to build in their hooks to control the result.

OMG! Come November, when we go to the polls to vote, we’ll be members of the conspiracy, too!

allengreen's avatar

As long as Americans have their cable TV, 99 cent hamburgers, and cheap beer there is no chance of any even ripple of outrage. We Americans are and have been paralyzed by 40 years of bad TV programming and high fructose corn syrup which has so zombified our higher cognitive functions that even engagement with the issues has become seemingly impossible.

But if they fuck with our NFL Direct Ticket, then there will be hell to pay. I imagine circular firing squads in every precinct.

allengreen's avatar

@Kev—good quote, I had the same question in 2004 after the debates—how could it be close?

The only answer I can fathom, is that we are the stupidest nation in the history of the universe.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

I will be terribly depressed, not to mention extremely embarrassed in the face of other nations if McCain gets elected. Of all the ppl I know, I think two support McCain. (But I’m a college student). However I don’t think its really as close as it seems, and as the media makes it out to be. Whether or not they’re making it up, I don’t care, its clear they can do whatever they want. I think Obama is ahead, and going to win. I keep telling myself that.

To answer the question, I don’t think there will be a riot unless another florida happens. Mass depression and consumption of double bacon cheeseburgers may occur. Talk to your doctor before watching the news on election night. Do not consume alcohol on election night, or operate heavy machinery. Heart failure and stroke have been known to occur following a McCain victory, and smoking increases this risks. Other side effects may occur.

sands's avatar

Even if the election appears rigged, it is unlikely that people will riot. The LA riots occurred because people felt powerless and tired of the police brutality that is commonplace against minorities. Obviously rioting was the wrong choice but when people are constantly oppressed by the powers that be, eventually something will give. If Obama loses in a way that appears suspicious, I am certain that a recount or even a re-election will occur.

allengreen's avatar

@Sands I wish I shared your optimism. I beleive that even the illusion of Democracy is in question.

BonusQuestion's avatar

All I know is that recent numbers look very much like 2004. If I remember correctly, it was almost the same time in 2004 that Republicans “swift boated” Kerry and at that point polls started to move towards Bush. This year at the same time, they picked a VP that changed the game in their favor. What did Democrats do? They picked a VP that added nothing to their ticket and they lost the “change” message by picking a Washington insider. Jeez, am I too cynical?

allengreen's avatar

Will Rodney King make an appearance? Maybe in the Debates?

dalepetrie's avatar


I generally disbelieve conspiracy theories, but 2000 was stolen. I don’t know if 2004 was or not, I find the evidence there inconclusive. But in 2000, look no further than the book “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” by investigative journalist Greg Palast. He exposed how Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris contracted with a company called Choice Point technologies to create a scrub list for the 2000 election. The official purpose of the scrub list was to remove felons from the voter rolls. But they intentionally asked Choice Point to match the voter lists to the felon lists by using any matches where the first 2 letters of the first or last name would produce a match. So if Joseph Smithson was a convicted felon, John Smith had his name removed from the list too. That was one problem. Another was that they used felon lists from both Florida AND Texas (remember, they’re using names of felons in Texas to remove voters from the rolls in Florida), simply because, well W was the governor of Texas and they had access to that list. Then they scrubbed names only in counties and precincts which were OVERWHELMINGLY democrat (like 90%). So, BEFORE the recount, when we had 537 votes separating Bush and Gore, there were a net 156,000 more Democrats that Republicans who were turned away at the polls. It was fucking stolen, no question.

kevbo's avatar

@dale- I wish I could remember better what I read, but here’s a meticulously documented book by an ex-CIA regarding 2004.–1

cheebdragon's avatar

Will there be riots?........I hope so, I really, really hope so.

allengreen's avatar

so that your pro life secret police will kill all the black people?....just say what you really mean

allengreen's avatar

robmandu——what is it that makes you hate Democracy?

How many ohio Election officials did time in jail for the 2004 fraud? And you deny it exists,

Why are you an enemy of the Constitition? Are you a Maoist? Jihadist?

Just curious, we can agree to disagree, I just wonder why you hate America…

cheebdragon's avatar

Not at all, most of my friends are black.

allengreen's avatar

yes, but are YOU their friend? That is the question.

cheebdragon's avatar

No we hangout because we hate each other.

robmandu's avatar

@allen, my apologies. Apparently, I need to explain things to you in little, itty bitty bites.

First of all, you’ll note that in my quip above, I cited a source. That’s a useful device to back up what one says. Fun thing about my source is that it uses math to prove its point.

Second, I admit that I glossed over a key tenet of the reference I linked: namely that, even if voter fraud was attempted in Ohio, it was pointless and insignificant to the end result.

Since you obviously didn’t trouble yourself to read the article, allow me to provide that piece here for you…


Statistically speaking the only conclusion we can make is that there was no significant election fraud in Ohio in 2004. That is not to say that everything was perfect. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any fraud. But we can conclude that:

Bush won Ohio with a margin consistent with the pre-election surveys.

The chance that Kerry was actually ahead in Ohio but was shown to be behind by both the pre-election surveys and also in the actual election are 1 in 220,564. It’s statistically impossible to believe that Kerry should have won on election day.

If there was any fraud in Ohio it was not statistically significant and did not effect the outcome of the election.

If the assertion is made that Kerry actually should have won then the person making that assertion must accept that the fraud wasn’t just in the election but in all of the pre-election surveys as well. A conspiracy of this magnitude could not be concealed and it’s doubtful that it could work even if it were possible to conceal it.

It is my conclusion that it was impossible for Kerry to win Ohio on election day, Bush won by the exact margin that pre-election surveys were predicting, and that the current rumors that Kerry should have won based on exit polls are due to people misinterpreting data or intentionally spreading disinformation to undermine Bush’s second term.

allengreen's avatar

@robmandu: You are entitled to your own reality, but not your own facts. Since your “Google” is broken, I will post the whole AP article: sorry to the rest of you. Rob, may I get you some Kool Aide?

Ohio poll workers convicted
From the Associated Press
January 25, 2007

CLEVELAND—Two election workers were convicted Wednesday of rigging arecount of the 2004 presidential election to avoid a more thorough review in Ohio’s most populous county.

Jacqueline Maiden, elections coordinator of the Cuyahoga County Elections Board, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct by an elections employee.

They also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure to perform their duty as elections employees.

Read more.


1. Two Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Election Officials Convicted of Felony and Misdemeanor for 2004 Election; One Official Acquitted – Read more.

Will be Questioned by Special Prosecutor Before Sentencing to Learn if Higher Ups Involved



Do new Ohio recount prosecutions indicate unraveling of 2004 election theft cover-up?
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
January 19, 2007

Three criminal prosecutions in Ohio’s biggest county have opened with strong indications that the cover-up of the theft of the 2004 presidential election is starting to unravel. Prosecutors say these cases involve “rigging” the recount in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), where tens of thousands of votes were shifted from John Kerry to George W. Bush, or else never counted. Meanwhile, corroborating evidence continues to surface throughout Ohio illuminating the GOP’s theft of the presidency. According to the AP, County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter opened the Cuyahoga trial by charging that “the evidence will show that this recount was rigged, maybe not for political reasons, but rigged nonetheless.” Baxter said the three election workers “did this so they could spend a day rather than weeks or months” on the recount.

Jacqueline Maiden, the county election board’s third-ranking employee, faces six counts of misconduct involving ballot review. Rosie Grier, the board’s ballot department manager, and Kathleen Dreamer, an assistant manager, are also charged. All three are on paid administrative leave, and are being supported by the county board of elections.

The county prosecutors do not allege vote fraud. No do they say mishandling the recount affected the election’s outcome.

But Cleveland, which usually gives Democrats an extremely heavy margin, was crucial to Bush’s alleged victory of roughly 118,000 votes out of 5.5 million counted. Some 600,000 votes were cast or counted in Cuyahoga County. But official turnout and vote counts varied wildly and improbably from precinct to precinct. Overall the county reported about a 60% turnout. But several predominantly black precincts, where voters went more than 80% for Kerry, reported turnouts of 30% or less. In one ward, only a 7% turnout was reported, while surrounding precincts were nearly ten times as high. Independent studies indicate Kerry lost thousands of votes in Cuyahoga County that rightfully should have been counted in his column.

In the Cuyahoga case, the poll workers are charged with circumventing state recount laws that require a random sampling of at least three percent of the votes cast in a given precinct, to be recounted by hand and by machine. The prosecution charges that the workers instead hand picked sample precincts to recount that they knew did not have questionable results. Once they were able to match those recounts with official results, they could then do the rest of the recount by machine, in effect rendering the entire process meaningless. “This was a very hush operation,” said prosecutor Baxter.

Similar allegations have been made in other counties. Indeed, such illegal non-random recounting procedures appear to have been common throughout the state, carried out by board of election employees with the tacit consent of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell was officially charged with administering the election that gave Bush a second term while simultaneously serving as the Ohio co-chair of his Bush’s re-election campaign. Blackwell has just been overwhelmingly defeated in his own attempt to become governor of Ohio.

Defense attorney Roger Synenberg, who represents Dreamer, told the jury that the recount was an open process, and that his client and the others “were just doing it the way they were always doing it.”

The Ohio recount was forced by the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, which raised over $100,000 to cover costs. They charge the recount was fraudulent due largely to the kinds of irregularities with which the Cuyahoga poll workers are now charged. Those charges carry sentences of up to 18 months in prison each, and include failure to perform duties imposed by law; misconduct; knowingly disobeying elections law; unlawfully obtaining possession of ballots/ballot boxes or pollbooks; and unlawfully opening or permitting the opening of a sealed package containing ballots.

But the trial in Cleveland represents just a small sampling of what happened during the Ohio recount. At a public hearing sponsored by the Free Press in Toledo in December, 2004, sworn testimony claimed that Diebold technicians were party to picking the “random” precincts to be recounted. At least one of the precincts lacked a memory card for the recount using the optiscan machine.

In Miami County, election officials admit that they did not recount to the official vote total, but merely ran the optiscan ballots through the ES 550 counter, and then counted them to see if they matched the machine count. In essence, what they did was a test of the counting machine, not a recount to the actual reported votes. Miami’s procedures were thus as illegal as those in Cuyahoga.

Indeed, when the Free Press audited all the recount ballots from Miami County, we found the so-called recount results differed noticeably from the official results. If these differences in results were discovered at the recount in 2004, Ohio law should have triggered a hand recount of all ballots in the county. That was never done.

In Fairfield County, when the recount totals wouldn’t match, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell recommended Sam Hogsett, an ES&S employee, to assist with the process. Despite complaints from a Democratic election officer, Hogsettt worked the central tabulator and counter. Hogsett somehow managed to make the recount match, thus avoiding a full manual recount.

Hogsettt is on record in a local newspaper saying that he would like to shoot a “liberal” so the liberal would learn that it wasn’t the gun that killed him, but the shooter, Hogsett. Green Party recount coordinator Paddy Shaffer complained to Delaware County election officials about Hogsett’s presence during the recount and his constant use of the computer. Her complaint has had no apparent impact.

In Hocking County, Board of Elections Deputy Director, Sherole Eaton was fired after she submitted an affidavit to U.S. Rep. John Conyers outlining how Hocking BOE officials pre-selected one precinct because it had the “right” number of voters (3%), thus illegally prescreening like Cuyahoga County. Eaton also complained that a Triad technician showed up unannounced on recount day and offered her a “cheat sheet” for the recount. He just happened to have a hard drive for a 12-year-old Dell computer that served as Hocking County’s central tabulator. The county’s official central tabulator went down mysteriously just prior to the recount. Eaton said the Triad technician installed his hard drive and told the election officials that the recount would match up perfectly if they didn’t turn off the computer. Eaton has not been restored to her BOE position, and there has been no full recount in Hocking County.

In Coshocton County, Green Party recount observer Tim Kettler acquired public records showing that election officials pre-counted in secrecy in clear violation of Ohio law. Coshocton BOE officials desperately begged Secretary of State Blackwell for advice when the recount did not match. Blackwell’s office urged the county to simply send in the results as official. But after being confronted by angry recount observers, Coshocton BOE officials became the only ones in Ohio to hand count every ballot. The recount resulted in a statistically significant vote pickup for John Kerry among previously uncounted ballots.

In part due to widespread public revulsion over his conduct of the 2004 election, Blackwell was soundly beaten in the 2006 gubernatorial race by Democrat Ted Strickland. Ohio also now has a Democratic Secretary of State and Attorney General. Whether they will conduct further investigations into what really happened in 2004 remains to be seen.

But a federal court decision has preserved the ballots from that election. Whether further legal charges come from the new administration in Columbus remains to be seen. But the Cuyahoga prosecutions provide more evidence that we still don’t have a reliable vote count for the election that gave George W. Bush a second term.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA’S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008 (, and, with Steve Rosenfeld, of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO?, published by the New Press.

robmandu's avatar

@allen, impressive copy & paste.

Where’s the math? I see a lot of conjecture and circumstantial evidence.

That’s all you can provide: a lot of interesting questions… but with answers made up out of whole cloth.

And you know, if you’re gonna reference a tragic event in American history, you should at least get the brand name right. They drank Flavor Aid in Jonestown.

Do you always play so fast and loose with the facts just so you can build up your hype?

allengreen's avatar

oh yeah, I’m and asshole—George Bush is Jesus Christ….I am very sorry

robmandu's avatar

Yes. No. And no, you’re not.


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