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Conyers? letter to FBI in response to allegations of Triad tampering

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) letter to both the FBI Special agent in charge in Ohio and the Hocking County Prosecutor.
Letter from the Offices of Representative John Conyers, Jr.:

December 15, 2004

Mr. Kevin R. Brock
Special Agent in Charge
John Weld Federal Building
550 Main Street, Suite 900
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Attorney Larry E. Beal
Hocking County Prosecutor
Hocking County Courthouse
88 South Market Street
Logan, OH 43138

Dear Mr. Brock and Mr. Beal:

As part of the Democratic staff's investigation into irregularities in the 2004 election and following up on a lead provided to me by Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb, I have learned that Sherole Eaton, a Deputy Director of Board of Elections in Hocking County, Ohio, has first hand knowledge of inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering in the Ohio presidential election in violation of federal and state law. I have information that similar actions of this nature may be occurring in other counties in Ohio. I am therefore asking that you immediately investigate this alleged misconduct and that, among other things, you consider the immediate impoundment of election machinery to prevent any further tampering.

On December 13, my staff met with Ms. Eaton who explained to them that last Friday, December 10, Michael Barbian, Jr., a representative of Triad GSI unilaterally sought and obtained access to the voting machinery and records in Hocking County, Ohio, modified the computer tabulator, learned which precinct was planned to be the subject of the initial test recount and made further alterations based on that information, and advised the election officials how to manipulate the machinery so that the preliminary hand recount matched the machine count. Ms. Eaton first relayed this information to Green Party representatives, and then completed, signed and notarized an affidavit describing this course of events, a copy of which is attached.

The Triad official sought access to the voting machinery based on the apparent pretext that he wanted to review some "legal questions" the officials might receive as part of the recount process. At several times during this visit, Mr. Barbian telephoned into Triad's offices to obtain programming information relating to the machinery and the precinct in question. I have subsequently learned that Triad officials have been, or are in the process of intervening in several other counties in Ohio - Greene and Monroe, and perhaps others (see attached).

There are several important considerations you should be aware of with respect to this matter. First, this course of conduct would appear to violate several provisions of federal law, in addition to the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. 42 U.S.C. 1973 provides for criminal penalties against any person who, in any election for federal office, "knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by . . . the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held." 42 U.S.C. 1974 also requires the retention and preservation, for a period of twenty-two months from the date of a federal election, of all voting records and papers and makes it a felony for any person to "willfully steal, destroy, conceal, mutilate, or alter" any such record. Further, any tampering with ballots and/or election machinery would violate the constitutional rights of all citizens to vote and have their votes properly counted, as guaranteed by the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Second, the course of conduct would also appear to violate several provisions of Ohio law. No less than 4 provisions of the Ohio Revised Code make it a felony to tamper with or destroy election records or machines.1 Clearly, modifying election equipment in order to make sure that the hand count matches the machine count would appear to fall within these proscriptions.

Moreover, bringing in Triad officials into other Ohio Counties would also appear to violate Ohio Revised Code 3505.32 which provides that during a period of official canvassing, all interaction with ballots must be "in the presence of all of the members of the board and any other persons who are entitled to witness the official canvass," given that last Friday, the Ohio Secretary of State has issued orders to the effect that election officials are to treat all election materials as if they were in a period of canvassing,2 and that "Teams of one Democrat and one Republican must be present with ballots at all times of processing."3

Third, it is important to recognize that the companies implicated in the wrongdoing, Triad and its affiliates, are the leading suppliers of voting machines involving the counting of paper ballots and punch cards in the critical states of Ohio and Florida. Triad is controlled by the Rapp family, and its founder Tod A. Rapp has been a consistent contributor to Republican causes.4 A Triad affiliate, Psephos Corporation, supplied the notorious butterfly ballot used in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the 2000 presidential election.

Please respond to me at your earliest convenience through Perry Apelbaum or Ted Kalo of my Judiciary Committee staff, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (tel 202-225-6504, fax 202-225-4423).

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.

Enclosures

cc: The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.

1 Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3599.27 provides "[n]o person shall tamper or attempt to tamper with, deface impair the use of, destroy or otherwise injure in any manner any voting machine...No person shall tamper or attempt to tamper with, deface, impair the use of, destroy or otherwise change or injure in any manner any marking device, automatic tabulating equipment or any appurtenances or accessories thereof."

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3599.24 provides "[n]o person shall...destroy any property used in the conduct of elections."

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3599.34 provides "[n]o person, from the time ballots are cast or voted until the time has expired for using them in a recount or as evidence in a contest of election, shall unlawfully destroy or attempt to destroy the ballots, or permit such ballots or a ballot box or pollbook used at an election to be destroyed; or destroy, falsify, mark, or write in a name on any such ballot that has been voted.".

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3599.33 provides "[n]o person, from the time ballots are cast or counted until the time has expired for using them as evidence in a recount or contest of election, shall willfully and with fraudulent intent make any mark or alteration on any ballot; or inscribe, write, or cause to be inscribed or written in or upon a registration form or list, pollbook, tally sheet, or list, lawfully made or kept at an election, or in or upon a book or paper purporting to be such, or upon an election return, or upon a book or paper containing such return the name of a person not entitled to vote at such election or not voting thereat, or a fictitious name, or, within such time, wrongfully change, alter, erase, or tamper with a name, word, or figure contained in such pollbook, tally sheet, list, book, or paper; or falsify, mark, or write thereon with intent to defeat, hinder, or prevent a fair _expression of the will of the people at such election.".

2 Mehul Srivastava, Greene County elections board scrutinized; Office containing ballots found unlocked overnight, Dayton Daily News, Dec. 12, 2004 at B1.

3 Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, Directive 2004-48, Oct. 29, 2004, "Absentee/Provisional Counting and Ballot Security".

4 Contributions of Tod A. Rapp

National Republican Congressional Committee

3/16/1998 - $250
2/15/1999 - $350
9/11/2000 - $350

Ohio State Central and Executive Committee

3/1/2001 - $200

Bush-Cheney 2004

2/2/2004 - $500

Republican National Committee

8/8/2003 - $250
2/3/2004 - $500

Source: WWW.FEC.GOV

~~~~~

 http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=495

 http://www.buzzflash.com/alerts/04/12/ale04104.html

Watch... 15.Dec.2004 09:44

Very Sad

Oh yes, lots & lots of talk, many more letters, hundreds more hoops to jump through...
And nothing will ultimately be done....

that's allright 15.Dec.2004 10:52

Uncle Sam

As long as everyone realizes that we live in a totaliterian regime. That's the important part. I want to stop hearing about freedom, liberty, and the american way. I want to see more images like this, we are watching a fascist takeover right in front of our eyes. Just think of all the memorabilia we'll be able to sell on ebay. The yellow ribbon magnets will go for big money. When is the Dept. of HS going to start recruiting kids?

Send Conyers thanks -- and petition Wyden 15.Dec.2004 11:09

pp we@actionspeaksportland.org

Conyers has been relentless about this. Send him your letters of support.

And petition Wyden and other senators to support a House challenge:

One of the most painful scenes in Farenheit 9-11 is footage of the House of Representatives Black Caucus in 2000 attempting to get ONE senator - all that is legally required - to support a congressional challenge to the presidential election. Not one senator was willing to voice support. We cannot let this happen again.

Therefore, ActionSpeaks Portland has written a petition urging Senator Wyden to voice his support of any challenge of the 2004 election brought by members of the House of Representatives. This petition can be modified and sent to senators in other states. Download documents from:  http://www.actionspeaksportland.org

Please make copies of this petition and gather as many signatures as possible! It must arrive at the senators' offices by the beginning of the 2005 session - if you mail the completed petition to the senator's Washington DC office, we suggest doing so by December 28th. Or you can FAX the completed petition by December 30th.

ALSO: write letters, emails, make calls to Wyden and to other senators who may be willing to stand up! They need to hear from us en masse.

*** PETITION MAIL DEADLINE ***
Tuesday, December 28th 2004
Senator Ron Wyden
516 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3703
(202) 224-5244

*** PETITION FAX DEADLINE ***
Thursday, December 30th 2004
Fax number 202-228-2717
=================================================

Text of petition:

Senator Ron Wyden December 14, 2004
516 Hart Senate
Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5244

Dear Senator Wyden:

Massive evidence has emerged concerning election irregularities and fraud in the 2004 Presidential Election. The GAO has received over 57,000 complaints concerning election irregularities. Hundreds of stories on malfunctions of electronic voting machines and central tabulation machines are appearing in regional news media. Numerous papers and sworn testimonies written by experts are stating that the chances of the exit polling to be so wrong are almost a statistical impossibility.

We recently learned that Kenneth Blackwell, the Secretary of State for Ohio, who is clearly partisan as the Co-Chair for the Bush/Cheney campaign, has used his official powers to illegally hinder the recount process in Ohio in numerous ways. He has also refused to cooperate with and refuses to recognize the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

It is because of these facts along with so many more that we are proactively seeking support from you.

We, the undersigned citizens of Oregon, agree that a repeat of the betrayal of the 2000 election where no Senator stood up to support the members of the House of Representatives in challenging the election outcome is unacceptable. We urge you to openly voice your support for any challenge of the 2004 election brought by members of the House of Representatives.

Respectfully,

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