Here is the lay of the land:
Objecting to the Counting of One or More Electoral Votes.
3 U.S.C. s15 includes a procedure for making and acting on objections to the counting of one or more of the electoral votes from a state or the District of Columbia.
When the certificate or equivalent paper from each state (or the District of Columbia) is read, "the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any."
Any such objection must be presented in writing and must be signed by at least one Senator and one Representative. The objection "shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof...." When an objection is received, each house is to meet and consider it separately. The statute states that "[n]o votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of." However, in 1873, before enactment of the law now in force, the joint session agreed, without objection and for reasons of convenience, to entertain objections with regard to two or more states before the two houses met separately to consider any of them.
Disposing of Objections.
The joint session does not act on any objections that are made. Instead, the joint session is suspended while each house meets separately to debate the objection and vote whether, based on the objection, to count the vote or votes in question. Both houses must vote separately to agree to the objection. (This is the form in which the question was put in 1969; Deschler's Precedents, v. 3, Ch. 10, s3.6.) Otherwise, the objection falls and the vote or votes are counted. (3 U.S.C. s15, provides that "the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes ....) These procedures have been invoked once since enactment of the 1887 law.
In 1969, a Representative and a Senator objected in writing to counting the vote of an elector from North Carolina who had cast his vote for George Wallace and Curtis LeMay. Both houses, meeting and voting separately, rejected the objection, so when the joint session resumed, the challenged electoral vote was counted as cast. (This episode is discussed in Deschler's Precedents, v. 3, Ch. 10, s3.6.) In that instance the elector whose vote was challenged was from a state that did not by law "bind" its electors to vote only for the candidates to whom they are pledged. The instance of an elector voting for a different candidate (the socalled "faithless elector"), from a state which does, in fact, bind by law the elector to vote for the candidate to whom listed or pledged (see Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214 (1952) in which the Court upheld the permissibility of such state limitations but did not address their enforceability), has not as yet been expressly addressed by the Congress or the courts.
Procedures for Considering Objections.
3 U.S.C. s17 lays out procedures for each house to follow in debating and voting on an objection. (As these procedures affect either house, however, they presumably are rule-making provisions of law which that house can decide unilaterally to alter.)
These procedures limit debate on the objection to not more than two hours, during which each member may speak only once and for not more than five minutes. Then "it shall be the duty of the presiding officer of each House to put the main question without further debate." Under this provision, the presiding officer in each house held in 1969 that a motion to table the objection was not in order (Deschler's Precedents, v. 3, Ch. 10, s3.7). On the other hand, the Senate agreed, by unanimous consent, during the same proceeding to a different way in which the time for debate was to be controlled and allocated (Deschler's Precedents , v. 3, Ch. 10, s3.8).
Basis for Objections.
The general grounds for an objection to the counting of an electoral vote or votes would appear from the federal statute and from historical sources to be that such vote was not "regularly given" by an elector, and/or that the elector was not "lawfully certified" according to state statutory procedures. The statutory provision first states in the negative that "no electoral vote ... regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified ... from which but one return has been received shall be rejected" (3 U.S.C. s 15), and then reiterates for clarity (see Conference Report on 1887 legislation, 18 Congressional Record 668, 49th Cong., 2d Sess., January 14, 1887) that both houses concurrently may reject a vote when not "so regularly given" by electors "so certified." 3 U.S.C. s 15. It should be noted that the word "lawfully" was expressly inserted by the House in the Senate legislation (S. 9, 49th Cong.) before the word "certified" ( Conference Report, supra, 18 Congressional Record
at 668). Such addition arguably provides an indication that Congress thought it might, as a grounds for an objection, question and look into the lawfulness of the certification under state law. While the first objection of "regularly given" may, in practice, subsume the latter (as a vote may arguably be other than "regularly given" if it were given by one who was not "lawfully certified"), the two objections are not necessarily the same. In the case of the so-called "faithless elector" in 1969, described above, the elector was apparently "lawfully certified" by the state, but the objection raised was that the vote was not "regularly given" by such elector. http://www.ballotintegrity.org/DCForumID1/232.html
What is likely to be the basis for objections? For starters, try these:
There is sufficient evidence that the voter suppresion activities, taken together, were on a scale where they could have swung the election from Bush to Kerry, in Ohio, or nationally. In Ohio alone,
* 7,000-21,000 possible votes: election officials throughout the state improperly told convicted felons no longer incarcerated that they could not vote.
* 22,000 possible votes: conservative estimates of voters in Franklin County alone who were denied the right to vote because of the voting machine allocation (shortage of machines/malfunctioning machines).
* 62,513 possible votes: number of absentee ballots "up for grabs"
* 96,000 possible votes: number of uncounted punch card ballots
Total: 187,513 - 201,153 possible votes Bush's margin of victory was: 136,000
This at least raises the possibility that, in a clean and proper election, Kerry could have won.
Of course, the above points to only some of the problems among many within a single state, and no details are given here.
Right now, in addition to mainstream media almost ignoring, and usually greatly depreciating the illegitimate election of 2004, Congress and society are requiring proof of fraud before they investigate it. Consider . . .
A patient walks into his doctor's office.
"Doc, I'm really sick. I have a tumor the size of an orange growing here, I'm constantly nauseated, tired, throwing up all the time, unexplained weight loss...My dad died of cancer...and I think I might have it too."
"How do you know you have cancer?"
"Well, I have all the symptoms...Something is seriously wrong with me, Doc. Can you run a test or something?"
"Look, I'm not going to investigate your illness unless you prove to me you have cancer."
"But...that's what the test is for..."
"Do you think you have cancer?"
"Can you prove it to me?"
"Well, no...but...that's why I came here, so you can test me..."
"Then you're out of luck. Come back to me when you can prove to me you're dying."
Two months after the Presidential election, there has yet to be a smoking gun that Bush was not the legitimate winner. No "clear and convincing evidence" has been made public, no whistleblower has emerged to attest to some vast conspiracy to steal the election.
Yet November 2 left many plagued by a sense that something went terribly wrong on Election Day. After two months' worth of anecdotes, affidavits, hearings, and number-crunching, the word "fraud" has begun to escape from the lips of many concerned citizens.
At this point, the only people investigating the disturbing events that transpired in Ohio are the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, along with various activists and concerned citizens.
In a few days, Congress may approve the slate of Electors from Ohio. For those of us who have been investigating the election in Ohio, that day will be a sad and tragic day for America.
For in approving those Electors without due consideration of all the "statistical oddities", coordinated voter suppression, abuse of power, and fraudulent activity, is to essentially proclaim "We, as Americans, are comfortable with a diseased election system."
"Armando's Challenge, Or The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election," is an attempt not to prove fraud, but to lay out the symptoms, the many circumstances which suggest that Ohio's election was not fair, and possibly not legitimate.
It is a bit lengthy -- over 50 pages, but a fast read because of the graphics and bullet points.
you can find how to download it in .pdf and/or .doc formats (please right-click and download). My downloads were "clean" but beware these documents may still be vulnerable to hackers who could put something nasty in them. (A bit more difficult than hacking the national votes for the Presidency of the U.S., but possible.). You can possibly find mirror sites by looking through the comments (suggest from the bottom up).
The author's hope is that, after reading it, you will acknowledge the injustices that occurred, and you will act to remedy them, and prevent them in the future.
At this time, the document is a draft -- although well-formatted and very readable, it will soon be even better, with a team of people making suggestions and helping. Written by a truly wonderful Law student ("english major/philosophy minor/law student") with the handle "georgia10" at Kos.
But the clock is ticking, the mainstream media is not covering the question of the legitimacy of this election hardly at all, and citizens need to be informed . . . so inform yourself, and while you are at it, try to inform others.