Monday, February 13, 2012

Maine Caucus results – a vote of ‘No Confidence’

The Examiner
Mark Watchler

Ron Paul insists the cancelled Maine
caucus sites are in his voter strongholds.

February 12, 2012. Augusta, Maine. For the third time in this young primary election season, there are cries of vote fraud concerning the way the Republican Party is handling its caucuses and primaries. This time, the setting was the Maine Caucus. With each County free to schedule their vote any time over a month-long period, some local caucuses were held last week, while the majority were held yesterday. More than 16 percent of Maine’s precincts will hold their caucuses in the coming days and weeks.

Or will they?

Those election watchers who closely followed the events of yesterday’s Maine Caucus have some serious and legitimate questions. With the types of answers emanating from Maine GOP officials this morning, those questions are now turning into allegations – allegations of election fraud.

The cries of foul play aren’t only coming from one campaign this time, as they did from the Santorum campaign in Iowa, the Gingrich campaign in South Carolina or the Paul campaign in Nevada. Instead, cries of fraud and outrage are surfacing from anyone who values free and fair elections and America’s system of democracy itself.

Here is how the events of the Maine Caucus unfolded:
  • In the days preceding the Saturday caucuses, a small handful of precincts held their votes early. The state GOP announced that the results of those precincts would be kept secret, so as not to influence the remaining precincts. Individual precinct results were leaked by various Precinct Captains and campaign representatives from multiple candidates. According to the leaks, Ron Paul had an impressive and early lead. Politico even quoted John Grooms, Newt Gingrich’s Maine campaign director saying, “I think Ron Paul is going to take it.”
  • Saturday, caucus day for most of Maine, national media outlets declare Mitt Romney the winner of the Maine Caucus only seconds after polls close and the instant the first results are reported. As more and more precinct results were released, reported or otherwise made available, they actually showed a neck and neck race between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Slowly moving from 15 percent of precincts reporting to 50 percent, the race appeared to be a dead heat.
  • By late evening Saturday night, it appeared that all votes had been counted and reported, except for the precincts whose caucuses are schedule in the coming days and the one that was postponed due to snow. Mitt Romney was declared the official winner, with Party officials claiming that the remaining votes aren’t enough to have any effect on the final results.
The results as of midnight Saturday:

83.7% reporting (502 of 600 precincts)

Mitt Romney – 2,190 (39.2%)

Ron Paul – 1,996 (35.7%)

Rick Santorum – 989 (17.7%)

Newt Gingrich – 349 (6.2%)

Other – 61 (1.1%)
  • Ron Paul supporters are frustrated and outraged yet again by the blatant electioneering being perpetrated by the nation’s media. Not only did they declare Mitt Romney the winner in the first minutes, they’re now calling the election over with a virtual tie and 16 percent of precincts yet to report. Paul backers remind us that it shouldn’t be any surprise. Take NBC and its empire of media outlets for example. The network is owned by General Electric – one of the largest Defense Dept contractors in the world. Their profits will be affected by tens of billions of dollars depending on which candidate, Romney or Paul, would become the next US President.
  • From midnight to dawn, Ron Paul supporters do the math on their own to arrive at the conclusion that not only is the caucus not over, but Ron Paul has a very good chance of actually winning. They explain:
83.7 percent of the vote cast is 5,585 votes. Mitt Romney leads Ron Paul by 194 votes. 16.3 percent of precincts outstanding amounts to 894 voters in 98 precincts still yet to vote. Ron Paul would only need to win by less than 2 votes per precinct to win, hardly an impossible feat for a candidate with the best ground game in the state and a week or more to motivate his troops.
  • Sunday morning, Maine voters wake up to the unofficial news that the Republican Party of Maine has announced it is cancelling all remaining caucuses. Almost immediately, news outlets begin changing their vote tracking and headlines. Instead of Mitt Romney being the winner of the Maine Caucus with 16 percent of the vote yet to report, he is now the winner with 100 percent reporting. Those 98 precincts, and the voters who make up their caucuses, will not be allowed to vote.
Nevada Caucus

News of the election irregularities in Maine comes right on the heels of a questionable Republican Nevada Caucus. In that race, the first half of the state was counted and reported within an hour. The second half of the state, having been completely turned over to state party officials, was suddenly taking 2 days to count. Precinct captains claimed their totals didn’t match the state party’s numbers, just like in Iowa. CNN live unofficial exit polls and live vote counting all showed Ron Paul the overwhelming winner, but results announced by the state party showed the exact opposite. It didn’t help when the State Chair of the Nevada Republican Party – the one person in charge of certifying the results – resigned in the middle of the chaos rather than play a part in what was going on behind closed doors.

Read the article, ‘Paul Camp cries Fraud over Nevada Caucus Results’ for further details.

Iowa Caucus

For skeptics who find it too painful to admit to themselves that there are serious election irregularities occurring this election season and who insist these are nothing more than conspiracy theories, this author need only remind readers that the Iowa Republican Party had to publicly and officially reverse its results two weeks after they proclaimed Mitt Romney the winner last month. That was no fairy tale or conspiracy theory. And just as in Nevada, the Chair of the Iowa Republican Party promptly resigned as a result.

Now in Maine, it’s again no fairy tale or conspiracy theory to say the Maine Caucus was stolen. Regardless of which candidate had a probable victory taken from him is debatable. What’s not debatable is the fact that more than 16 percent of the Republican voters in Maine are going to be denied the right to vote, simply because the establishment elites don’t like the results so far. According to Texas Congressman Ron Paul on today’s Sunday morning news circuit, the precincts in Maine being denied the right to vote are located in Ron Paul strongholds where the campaign expected to win overwhelmingly.
If there’s one bright spot in this dilemma, it’s that unlike the previous states, it may not be too late to fight the injustice. Proving party officials changed vote totals without witnesses or evidence is one thing. Demanding that 98 precincts in Maine be allowed their Constitutionally guaranteed right to vote is another. If enough pressure and outrage is thrust upon officials in Maine, they may be persuaded to let the remaining caucuses take place as previously planned. Then, rightfully angry Ron Paul supporters might get what they believe was stolen from them – a win in the Maine Caucus.
For more information on illegitimate tactics taken by both the Republican Party leadership, as well as the nation media, read any of the following articles:

Paul Camp cries Fraud over Nevada Caucus Results

Mainstream Media not so Mainstream

CNN Changing Election Outcome

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