election with checks and balances. No one could possibly rig itrnfrom a central location.rnAt the end of caucus night the major networks reported thatrnDole had indeed edged out Buchanan (who was supposed tornreceive only 12 percent of the vote according to the polls beingrnpublished by all four major TV networks only three days eariicr)rn26 to 23 percent out of 100,000 votes cast, with the other candidatesrntrailing far behind. However, the next morning somethingrncame to light which calls into question the legitimacv ofrnthese published results. Had Buchanan really “lost” Iowa, orrnwas it stolen from him? What happened in Dubuque Countyrnmay hold the key.rnDubuque County, IowarnThe people of Dubuque County, Iowa, ran a completely openrnand honest election. The county’s 41 precincts caucused in 41rnclassrooms at two local high schools. The participants in eachrnclassroom voted on easily read paper ballots, and the ballotsrnwere counted at the front of the classroom with candidate representativesrnwelcome to observe. Representatives from competingrnfactions in each classroom then ran their results downrnthe hall to the county chairman, who waited with a cell phone.rnThe county chairman invited each group to stay as he phonedrnin the results—just to be sure he did not make a mistake. Thernresults from all 41 precincts in the county were then posted onrna chalkboard where representatives from the various campaignsrncould double check them. Everything checked out; Buchananrn870, Dole 359, Keyes 245, the rest far behind. (A copy of thernofficial tally sheets from all 41 precincts in Dubuque Countyrnare on file.)rnBut where had that GOP county chairman, as well as all thernrest of the local Iowa Republican caucus leaders, been directedrnto call in his results? To the GOP State Committee? To thernIowa Secretary of State? No, to VNS in New York City. Thisrnmeans that the GOP state party had willinglv abdicated its responsibilityrnby turning over the vote tabulation to a media-controlledrnservice—VNS. Indeed, in a letter to an outraged constituentrndated June 6, 1996, Senator Charies Grassley admits:rn”Since 1988, the Iowa Caucuses have operated under the systemrnwhereby the precinct gives its results to the county, which,rnin turn passes the information on to the ‘official’ reporting outlet,rnthe Voter News Service (VNS). The State Republican Partyrnhas no role in this reporting process and no independent verificationrnof the votes. VNS is the first entity to get the resultsrnand then it reports them.” (The Senator is wrong on one point.rnIn the vast majority of eases where the precincts in a county arernnot meeting at one or two centralized locations, each precinctrncaucus leader calls direedy to VNS in New York City.)rnSo how did VNS handle its stewardship in Dubuque Countyrnduring the 1996 GOP Iowa Caucuses? Badly, and perhapsrncriminally. By the next morning, only ten hours later, VNS hadrnsent false (or falsified) results back to the Associated Press to bernpublished all over Iowa. Buchanan had “lost” 13 percent of hisrnvote in Dubuque County as it passed through the VNS and APrnoffices on its way back to the Des Moines Register. The AP reportedrnthat Buchanan had garnered only 757 votes—downrnfrom the 870 he had actually received. If VNS shortedrnBuchanan even four percent on average across Iowa, thenrnPatrick J. Buchanan, not Senator Robert Dole, won the IowarnCaucuses.rnCalls from multiple witnesses to GOP state headquartersrnand VNS brought arrogant, insulting responses. There was norninterest in seriously discussing, let alone correcting, the “mistake.”rnVNS admitted nothing. Iowa GOP headquarters insistedrnthat they were in VNS’s hands, and had to wait for the “officialrnresults”—which, as of Labor Day, had still not beenrnpublished. Copies of the February 13,1996, Des Moines Register,rnthe Cedar Rapid Gazette, and a final fax made to the variousrncampaigns from VNS are on file. A comparison of thesernsources against the official tally proves that 13 percent (or 113rnvotes) disappeared from the Buchanan column overnight.rnHow? Why? First, this incident proves that fraudulent talliesrncan indeed make it through “the system,” even though eyewitnessesrnhad been present at the local level to verify the truerncount from beginning to end. All VNS needed in this case (ultimatelyrna Republican Party event) was the abdication of all responsibilityrnby the Republican Party of Iowa, which SenatorrnGrassley confirms did indeed occur. In most elections, however,rnthe circle of acquiescing public “servants” must be widenedrnto include state and county election officials, who in fact relyrnon experts from a handful of computer programming companiesrnnationwide. (According to Ronnie Duggar’s Novemberrn1988 article in the New Yorker, one company, Shouptronie, accusesrnB.R.C./Cronus of having a virtual monopoly on countingrnvotes in the United States.) These companies provide electionrnnight “services,” usually at outrageously expensive fees. Thernstate and county officials sign the results placed in front ofrnthem by these helpful experts. VNS provides the “projections”rnbased on the alleged exit polls, which are in turn announced byrnthe big four TV networks shortly after the polls close. The earlyrnprojections invariablv come true. As always, because of its integralrnrelationship to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and AP, VNSrncan count on little scrutiny (usually none) from the mainstreamrnpress.rnSecond, if our impromptu team had not been in Iowarnwatching for vote fraud, chances are that no one would haverncaught the still uncorrected falsification in Dubuque County.rnThird, it is important to note that the citizens of Iowa fulfilledrntheir responsibility honestly and thoroughly in DubuquernCounty. After phoning their results into VNS as they were directedrnto do by State Republican headquarters, they wentrnhome confident that they had done their civic duty. Isn’t thisrnthe way it is in all 50 states and all 3,075 counties?rnArizonarnA contrast of the Arizona primary with the Iowa Caucusesrnspeaks volumes. In Arizona, Buchanan was attracting largerncrowds everywhere. He was doing every radio show in the state.rnHis signs were seemingly everywhere. Forbes, even after anrnoverwhelming media blitz, was drawing comparatively listlessrncrowds in the few places he showed up. Dole had stiff-armedrnthe people of Arizona by not even participating in the primaryrndebate. He only visited Arizona once between October II,rn1995, and primary day, February 27, 1996.rnKaren Johnson, the Buchanan Campaign Arizona State Coordinator,rngot a call on the afternoon of the election from GovernorrnFife Symington. The governor congratulated her onrnwhat he said would be a decisive Buchanan victory based on hisrnsources inside CBS. Senator McCain drafted a congratulatoryrnletter that was never issued due to sudden “reversals of fortune”rnright after the polls closed. In fact, all four networks (JudyrnWoodruff at C N N was especially emphatic) asserted right afterrn16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn