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Group challenging Ohio election results

(AP) - A lawyer representing at least 25 voters who feel their right to vote was violated plans to file a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court today claiming widespread abuses in the presidential election.
Thursday, December 2, 2004

Attorney Cliff Arnebeck of Columbus says the lawsuit will request that the court make a projection of what the vote total should have been where there were abuses.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Sunday the Ohio Supreme Court should consider setting aside President Bush's win in Ohio and that Congress should investigate how Ohioans voted.

Arnebeck said yesterday that Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition might become part of the suit.

A spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, Carlo LoParo, called the allegations in the planned lawsuit ``absurd.''
Ohio election tally faces challenge 03.Dec.2004 00:20

Chicago Sun-Times

November 30, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nearly a month after John Kerry conceded Ohio to President Bush, complaints and challenges about the balloting are mounting as activists including the Rev. Jesse Jackson demand closer scrutiny to ensure the votes are being counted on the up-and-up.

Kerry gave up Ohio after unofficial results showed Bush with a 136,000-vote lead in the state. Since then, there have been complaints about uncounted punch-card votes, disqualified provisional ballots and a ballot-machine error that gave hundreds of extra votes to Bush.

An attorney for a political advocacy group on Wednesday plans to file a ''contest of election.'' The request requires a single Ohio Supreme Court justice to either let the election stand, declare another winner or throw the whole thing out.

Elections officials concede some mistakes were made but no more than most elections. ''The problem seems to be that Rev. Jackson's candidate didn't win,'' said Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.

Blackwell, a Republican, has until Dec. 6 to certify the vote. AP

Ohio voters cry ‘fraud,’ demand recount 03.Dec.2004 00:27

Tim Wheeler

People's Weekly World Newspaper, 12/02/04 10:59

The crowd packing an African American church in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 28 cheered as Rev. Jesse Jackson urged the Ohio Supreme Court to set aside George W. Bush's narrow win in this battleground state.

Jackson charged a "pattern of intentionality" in suppressing the Black vote in Ohio, which Bush claims to have won by 136,000 votes. "We can live with losing an election," Jackson said. "We cannot live with fraud and stealing."

His speech was a dramatic highpoint of the surging demand to investigate voter suppression in Ohio, remove Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and recount all ballots.

Demanding the removal of Blackwell, who chaired Ohio's 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign, Jackson said, "The owner of the team can't also be the referee. We need federal supervision of federal elections. Right now we have 50 separate but unequal ways to vote. There can be no safe harbor for a flawed process that leaves people disenfranchised."

He added, "You can't have public elections on privately-owned machines, especially where one of the owners has vowed to deliver the state for George Bush." Jackson was referring to Walter O'Dell, CEO of Ohio-based Diebold, the largest manufacturer of voting machines, who promised last spring to deliver Ohio for Bush.

"You can hack these machines," Jackson said. "The playing field is uneven. These numbers will not go away. We as Americans should not go begging a secretary of state for a fair vote count. We cannot be the home of the thief and the land of the slave."

The issue, he said, is not John Kerry versus George Bush. "This is about Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer and Viola Liuzzo. About Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, and 27 years in prison for Nelson Mandela."

A Nov. 13 hearing in Columbus by the Ohio Election Protection Coalition (OEPC) heard about widespread irregularities in sworn testimony by 32 Ohio voters, precinct judges, poll workers and legal observers.

"There is no way Bush's margin in Ohio will hold up in a recount; there are just too many discrepancies," OEPC statewide coordinator Jocelyn Travis told the World in a telephone interview. "The bottom line is there were too many problems that add up to suppressing the vote especially in Black and Latino precincts."

A shortage of voting machines forced voters to wait as long as 12 hours in a cold driving rain, and some had to leave for work without voting, she said.

Travis said the number of provisional ballots raises the issue of whether all new registrants were entered correctly in the system.

"We support a recount," she added. "I truly believe that every vote must be counted. Otherwise people are going to lose confidence in the integrity of the system."

During the hearing, witnesses told of a Franklin County precinct that awarded Bush 4,258 votes even though only 628 people voted there. Franklin County voters waited hours to vote, yet 68 stored voting machines were never used on Election Day.

Youngstown pastor Rev. Werner Lange estimated 8,000 votes were lost from the African American community just in Youngstown because of "woefully insufficient" voting machines, and said that "would translate to some 7,000 votes lost for Kerry."

Matthew Segal of Gambier, Ohio, told the hearing Kenyon College students and Gambier residents "had to stand in line up to 10 to 12 hours in the rain," and many left without voting. By contrast, Republican-majority precincts had ample machines.

"We support a recount in Ohio due to the widespread irregularities," Tim Rusch of the New York-based National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI) told the World. A joint statement by NVRI, People for the American Way, Common Cause, and the Fannie Lou Hamer Project said, "We believe it is imperative that, in a democracy, every citizen's vote be counted."

The statement adds, "Approximately 93,000 ballots (in Ohio) have not been counted on the grounds that voters either voted for more than one presidential candidate or did not cast a vote in the presidential race. Ohio election officials ... may be improperly disqualifying thousands of the 155,000 provisional ballots that have been cast."

Leaders of the Green and Libertarian parties have filed a lawsuit requesting a recount in Ohio and are raising the required $113,600 or $10 per precinct payment. Blackwell said state election rules allow him to limit a recount to only a few days. He said he will certify the Ohio vote by Dec. 6 and a recount must be completed by Dec. 13 when Ohio electors are scheduled to meet.

At the request of a bipartisan group in Congress including Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Gregory Meeks (D-Fla.), Louise Slaughter (R-N.Y.) and others, the Government Accountability Office will investigate 57,000 complaints of election irregularities delivered to the House Judiciary Committee during and after the 2004 elections.

The author can be reached at  greenerpastures21212@yahoo.com.

Ohio lunacy 03.Dec.2004 00:39

Rich Lowry

A counter-argument from the right.


"The fact is that the Ohio vote-counting process is a model of bipartisanship and openness. Before the election result is formally certified, the county Board of Elections does an extensive canvass. It carefully examines the provisional ballots, overseas ballots and ballots cast on Election Day, and runs them through the vote tabulators again. Then the board -- always made up of two Democrats and two Republicans -- holds a public vote to certify the result.

"Given this process, it would actually require the connivance of Democrats like William Anthony for Bush to steal Ohio. To complaints about long lines in Franklin County, Anthony replies that they were simply a product of high turnout. The county considered supplementing its electronic voting machines with punch-card machines on Election Day, but decided against it because it thought having two types of machines would be confusing. In other urban areas where blacks would have been "disenfranchised" -- such as Dayton and Cincinnati -- the local Democratic Party chairmen were also on the county Boards of Elections."

Kerry joins Ohio lawsuit over Ohio recount 03.Dec.2004 00:52

AP / Salt Lake Tribune

House Judiciary Committee & GAO investigate 03.Dec.2004 00:58

John McCarthy, Associated Press / Boston.com


In another development, Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, sent a letter to Blackwell asking for his assistance as the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee investigates "election irregularities." That probe would be in addition to one sought by the Government Accountability Office.

Nader commends Kerry 03.Dec.2004 01:05

Nader campaign

Dec. 2, 2004

Nader-Camejo Commends "Johnny-Come-Lately" John Kerry for Supporting the Third-Party Battle to Recount on His Behalf in Ohio

Ralph Nader to Kerry: "Why did you wait so long?"

Washington, DC: The Nader-Camejo campaign commends John Kerry for supporting the heated battle for a recount in Ohio. The Kerry-Edwards legal intervention in defense of the recount comes 21 days after the Nader-Camejo campaign issued a public challenge to the candidate to initiate an Ohio recount, and 25 days after an AP story revealed astonishing irregularities in the Ohio election, including an error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in a Gahanna precinct.

Nader-Camejo stood ready to initiate a recount in Ohio, as they did in New Hampshire, but could not, since only candidates appearing on the Ohio ballot have legal standing to do so. The Democrats' anti-democratic actions to bar Ralph Nader and running mate Peter Miguel Camejo from ballots throughout the country prevailed in Ohio with many disgraceful tactics - ultimately robbing many Ohio citizens of the right to vote for the candidate of their choice and nearly depriving them of the right to have their votes counted and verified.

Nader-Camejo challenged the candidates on the ballot with the most at stake - Kerry and Edwards - to follow through on their recurring promises during the campaign to the American people to make sure every vote counts. The Democrats ended their campaign with $51 million in their campaign coffers - more than sufficient funds to finance recount efforts in every questionable state. When the Democrats declined to stand by their campaign promise, leading the recount fell to Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik, whom Ralph Nader asked to intervene, and Green Party candidate David Cobb.

Ralph Nader reissued his challenge to Kerry-Edwards to join the recount and back it with Democratic Party resources.

"With the extensive alleged pre-election effort to prevent election fraud and the volume of irregularities reported in such an important swing state, the Democratic Party's long silence was puzzling," said Ralph Nader. "Now they must take every possible action to give our nation the fair accounting it deserves from the 2004 election and to assure more accurate vote counting in future elections."