By Mark Wachtler | Examiner | Feb. 5, 2012
February 5, 2012. Las Vegas. For the second time in just five primary states, the Republican Party, with the assistance of the national corporate news media, is raising questions about the legitimacy of this season’s primary election system. First, the Iowa Republican Party and the entire American media knowingly reported the wrong Iowa Caucus results with the wrong person being declared the winner. Last night, it appears the same thing may be happening in Nevada. And again like Iowa, critics are accusing the GOP of suspicious activity.
Perhaps it’s indicative that the beneficiary of these recurring vote counting “mistakes” always seems to be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. He’s just happens to be the same man that both the Republican Party establishment and the four corporations that own all of America’s news media outlets are actively supporting.
In Iowa a few weeks ago, local Republican precinct captains – the individuals responsible for providing the official vote count to the state Republican Party – were up in arms and all over the national media claiming their vote counts had somehow been changed once they arrived at the state GOP headquarters. Two weeks later, the party announced that Mitt Romney didn’t win, but instead, Rick Santorum had actually won. This author was one of the only national journalists that predicted the results would be reversed. Two weeks later, they were. Read the article, ‘Santorum won Iowa and didn’t say Black’ for specific details, published two weeks before the Iowa GOP reversed their vote count.
As early as 2:00am this morning, supporters of Ron Paul had taken to social media with cries of “fraud” over the Nevada Caucus election results, or lack there of.
Here are just some of the comments taken from the Ron Paul 2012 Facebook page:
Dorian RM posted, “I am seriously smelling voter fraud again. This is seriously depressing.” Toni P wrote, “I am not a big pusher of conspiracy theories, but this election is swaying me to how corrupt this all is.” Patrick M added, “It’s not a conspiracy. It’s been proven.” Matt K confirmed the same feeling, posting, “I’m smelling voter fraud.” Ryan added, “Is this true about the fraud in Nevada or is everyone just panicking?”
That’s the big question as self-imposed deadline after self-imposed deadline passes without any word from the missing precincts of Clark County. According to the Nevada Republican Party last night, they were going to recount every single vote from Clark County, right there in the smoky, back room of the GOP headquarters. The only good part of the announcement is that a representative from each candidate would be allowed to oversee the recount.
Expected to be over by “midnight”, that deadline turned into “dawn”. When dawn came and went with no vote results in sight, questions over vote fraud really picked up steam. See the below chain of events from last night and decide for yourself if something fishy is going on.
Events of the Las Vegas Caucus, February 4, 2012. All times and percentages are rough estimates from memory. All are from first-hand witness accounts.
Counting the votes
8:00pm EST – Some polls close, roughly 3 percent of the total vote is in. Mitt Romney leads with over 50 percent of the votes counted. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are tied with approximately 20 percent of the vote each.
9:00pm EST – Media outlets nationwide declare Mitt Romney the winner of the Nevada Caucus “in a landslide.”
9:01pm EST – All polls but one are closed. Some results have been released, less than 4 percent of the total vote is in. Mitt Romney leads with 46 percent, Gingrich second with 24 percent, Paul third with 19 percent and Santorum fourth with 11 percent.
10:00pm EST – All media outlets spend two hours declaring Mitt Romney the overwhelming winner of the Nevada Republican Caucus in a landslide victory. Only 4 percent of the vote is in.
11:00pm EST – CNN sends their election coverage live to the last remaining open precinct in Nevada, located in Clark County. The polling place remained open extra long to accommodate strict religious observers. The voter demographic of the precinct is devout Christians and Jews who refused to violate their Sabbath day by voting during daylight hours. 15 percent of the state’s precincts have reported, Romney still leads with approximately 46 percent to Gingrich’s 22 percent, Paul’s 20 percent and Santorum’s 12.
11:15pm EST – With apparently nothing better to broadcast, media outlets like CNN announce to viewers that they’re in for a treat. They will see the Caucus process, live in action. The outlets would broadcast live from the last open Nevada precinct.
11:45pm EST – For 45 minutes, actual voters at the Adelson precinct being broadcast live on CNN and other stations, gave some of the most heartfelt one-minute speeches in support of their candidate – every single one of them was caucusing for Ron Paul. This was no Ron Paul rally either. This was a closed-door caucus. These were actual voters who were about to vote at this particular precinct. According to 40 minutes or so of speeches, it appeared Ron Paul should capture 100 percent of the vote in this Clark County precinct.
**Thanks to a much valued reader, it's explained that the Adelson precinct had let each candidate's supporters speak one candidate at a time. This was the segment CNN chose to air live and simply the Ron Paul campaign's turn to speak. In fairness, Ron Paul's speakers at this location did in fact out number all speakers from all other candidates combined.
12:00pm EST – CNN and the other outlets finally broke away from the speeches when no other candidates besides Ron Paul appeared to have any voters present. Only moments later, the network broke into its all-night election coverage to announce that the precinct viewers were just watching had begun to count the votes and had decided to do it publicly, letting the national media outlets continue filming.
12:15am EST – In riveting coverage, an entire auditorium full of hundreds of voters fell silent. One by one at a table assembled on a stage and with campaign representatives watching over their shoulders and the entire nation watching, the GOP precinct captain shouted out each vote as he unfolded each paper ballot.
12:30am EST: For five minutes, CNN sat in silence as the Republican precinct captain shouted out each vote while dozens of tabulators sat nearby keeping track. Unfolding one sheet at a time, the man yelled, “Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul.
12:45am EST: Based on your author’s quick mental addition, it appeared Ron Paul would capture roughly 70 percent of the vote in this precinct, with Mitt Romney coming in around 20 and Newt Gingrich around 10. The entire time, every news outlet repeatedly congratulated Mitt Romney for his avalanche victory in Nevada.
12:55am EST: The official Nevada Caucus vote count was still stuck where it had been for the last 4 hours. 47 percent of the vote counted and included every county but one. 53 percent of the vote still outstanding, all from Clark County – the largest county in Nevada representing more than 60 percent of the state’s voters. It’s also the scene of the Caucus site just broadcast showing Ron Paul winning overwhelming.
1:00am EST: The same precinct captain in Clark County calling out votes 30 minutes earlier was now about to announce the final vote totals from the nationally televised caucus site. With CNN showing it live, the rough final vote count (going from memory) was 150 for Ron Paul, 50 for Mitt Romney, 20 for Newt Gingrich and 8 for Rick Santorum.
1:05am EST: The same above precinct then announced they were going to recount each and every vote to insure an accurate vote count.
1:30am EST: CNN and the precinct captain revealed the results of the second count. This time Ron Paul’s count was roughly 183 (58 percent of the precinct’s overall vote) to Mitt Romney’s 45, Newt Gingrich’s 20 and Rick Santorum’s 8. (Again, all numbers from your author’s tired, late-night memory. If the media wasn’t blacking out the coverage now, we could share the actual numbers with our readers). Paul supporters are extatic knowing that they won overwhelmingly in a precinct full of Jewish and extremely Christian voters, two of Ron Paul's worst demographics. In fact, CNN entrance polls showed that Ron Paul won overwhelmingly among voters who said they weren't religious.
1:35am EST: Your author, and thousands of Ron Paul supporters still waiting up and able to do simple math, deduced that if Ron Paul won 58 percent of the vote in a large Clark County precinct and that was representative of his performance county-wide, the Texas Congressman should win the Nevada Caucus. Clark County alone represents more than half the vote in the entire state of Nevada. If Ron Paul won 58 percent of the 53 percent outstanding, compared to Mitt Romney’s 47 percent of the 47 percent counted, it’s a Ron Paul win.
1:45am EST: CNN blacks-out election coverage, shutting down the studio without so much as one word of explanation or warning. Switching to human interest stories with an afternoon anchor for ten minutes, the network the shut all live coverage completely, opting instead to rebroadcast the entire night’s early evening election coverage. Every minute of the broadcast for the next few hours replayed Mitt Romney’s victory speech repeatedly, along with all the CNN pundits declaring Mitt Romney the landslide victor with 3 percent of the vote counted.
1:50am EST: A quick check of Fox News revealed the exact same tactic. The network had switched to replaying its entire early evening election coverage. Viewing like a Mitt Romney campaign commercial, the network was repeatedly rebroadcasting the Mitt Romney victory speech from hours earlier. Their pundits also spent the entire time congratulating Romney on his overwhelming victory, with just 3 percent of the vote reported.
1:55am EST: Feeling like he had just stumbled back in time or tripped into the Twilight Zone, your author went to the internet in search of vote totals. Stuck all night at 47 percent of precincts reported, Mitt Romney was leading with 42 percent of the vote to Newt Gingrich’s 26, Ron Paul’s 18 and Rick Santorum’s 13.
2:00am EST: Getting the sneaky suspicion that the Republican Party’s vote totals weren’t adding up again, a quick stop at the Ron Paul 2012 Facebook page revealed your author wasn’t alone. The campaign had posted a message saying that the Nevada GOP had announced that even though the first 47 percent of the votes were counted and reported in an hour, the remaining 53 percent, all coming from Clark County, would take all night. Random posts followed leveling accusations of suspicion and even outright vote fraud. Many had watched the results being tabulated live on national TV just as this author had. We all saw Ron Paul’s overwhelming victory in that part of Clark County. It’s unimaginable to believe that in the same county, a candidate could win overwhelmingly when the votes were counted live on TV, but lose so badly when the votes were counted by the Party establishment behind closed doors.
2:00am EST: CNN and Fox News had blacked-out their coverage, opting instead to run reruns for the first time of any election so far this primary season. Online news outlets also froze their coverage, stopping all blog entries at midnight. With that, your author went to bed.
9:00am EST: Your author wakes up to a Nevada Caucus vote count with 71 percent of precincts reporting. The totals and percentages, even though the added 24 percent appeared to overwhelmingly favor Ron Paul by a staggering margin of more than 3 to 1 over Mitt Romney, had somehow managed to match the first 47 percent of the vote reported earlier in the evening that overwhelmingly favored Mitt Romney. The new state-wide totals now read Mitt Romney 47, Newt Gingrich 22, Ron Paul 18 and Rick Santorum 11.
10:00am EST: The Nevada Republican Party announces they are not going to release any of the missing Clark County vote totals until all the precincts in Clark County are turned in.
11:00am EST: The Nevada Republican Party announces they are not going to release the final and complete vote results. Instead, they are going to hold an internal recount.
11:05am EST: Outrage, frustration and condemnation erupt from Ron Paul supporters everywhere. Social media explodes with charges of blatant vote fraud by Nevada Republican Party officials. The entire corporate national news media, including all the Sunday morning political talk shows, blacks-out the events of the previous evening, the missing vote totals and the outrage by the Ron Paul campaign. Instead, they continue to inform their readers and viewers that the Nevada Caucus is over and it was another landslide victory for media and GOP favorite Mitt Romney.
Even the Ron Paul supporters will concede they have no concrete proof of actual election fraud regarding the tabulation of the Nevada Caucus ballots. What they do have is a very legitimate complaint and very real circumstantial evidence. And it's not so crazy considering the Iowa GOP just reversed their caucus winner. As Republican Party officials repeatedly remind us, primaries and caucuses are “private party events”. They are not general elections. They are party functions and the party makes, and changes, the rules whenever they want for whatever reason they want. If you don’t like it, don’t be a Republican.
The bigger tragedy is that the nation’s corporate owned media is obviously playing along, just as they did in Iowa. We’ll see if the Nevada GOP has to publicly and officially reverse the results of its election just as the Iowa Republican Party was forced to do two weeks after its caucus a few weeks ago. If that turns out to be the case, the national GOP and the nation’s news outlets will have more explaining to do than just the theft of one election.
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