David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the 2004 presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties, today announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio.
"Due to widespread reports of irregularities in the Ohio voting process, we are compelled to demand a recount of the Ohio presidential vote. Voting is the heart of the democratic process in which we as a nation put our faith. When people stand in line for hours to exercise their right to vote, they need to know that all votes will be counted fairly and accurately. We must protect the rights of the people of Ohio, as well as all Americans, and stand up for the right to vote and the right for people's votes to be counted. The integrity of the democratic process is at stake," the two candidates said in a joint statement.
The candidates also demanded that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who chaired the Ohio Bush campaign, recuse himself from the recount process.
The Ohio presidential election was marred by numerous press and independent reports of voter intimidation, mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and the targeted disenfranchisement of African American voters. A number of citizens' groups and voting rights organizations are holding hearings this Saturday in Columbus, Ohio to investigate voting irregularities and voter suppression in the Ohio 2004 general election. The hearings will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the New Faith Baptist Church, 955 Oak Street. Voters, poll workers, journalists and voting experts are invited to testify. A second hearing will be held on Monday at a location TBA, from 6-9 p.m.
The Cobb and Badnarik campaigns are in the process of raising the required fee, estimated at $110,000, for filing for a complete recount. The campaigns are accepting contributions through their websites. The Cobb-LaMarche website is http://www.votecobb.org. The Badnarik-Campagna contribution page is https://badnarik.org.
The Cobb and Badnarik campaigns have displayed a level of cooperation and civility rarely found in electoral politics. The campaigns jointly participated in and/or sponsored a series of independent debates. Cobb and Badnarik were also simultaneously arrested in St. Louis protesting their exclusion from the restricted, two-party corporate-sponsored debates.
To see an investigative report by Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which asserts that the Ohio vote was improperly decided, see http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won.php.
For an article detailing a dozen ways in which the Ohio vote was potentially manipulated, see http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/810.