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Boxer Signs Objection to Ohio Electors

Boxer Signs Objection to Ohio Electors
Boxer Signs Objection to Ohio Electors

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I saw an AP story about it 06.Jan.2005 07:51

Mandolin

My 'favorite' part is this

Many Democrats oppose challenging the Ohio vote, concerned that it would do little but antagonize voters who consider the election over.
WTF!!!

Nichols slams Democrats for complicity; EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 06.Jan.2005 08:13

John Nichols

Dems Should Object Today


Conyers, who has served four decades in Congress and been a central player in every major voting rights debate since the 1960s, wrote last week to all 100 senators asking that they sign on to his objection. Yet, even when he distributed materials itemizing and analyzing what he described as "the many irregularities we have come across as part of our hearings and investigation into the Ohio presidential election," he no response from most.

Ultimately, that objection has little chance to get beyond the debating stage, as both the Senate and the House would have to agree to the objection in order to block the counting of Ohio's electoral votes -- and that is not going to happen in either of those Republican-controlled chambers. But Conyers is right to argue that a formal objection needs to be made, and that objection should be broadly supported by Democrats -- and, frankly, honest Republicans -- in both the House and the Senate.

and below: THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ON THE CONYERS REPORT

"With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio...."




2 hours, 40 minutes ago

Add to My Yahoo! Op/Ed - The Nation

John Nichols

American elections never play out perfectly. But the dramatic imperfections in the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, as detailed in a new report (see below) circulated by Representative John Conyers (news, bio, voting record) Jr., D-Michigan, deserve a more serious response than they received from the majority of Congressional Democrats.

When Ohioans began to raise concerns about troublesome irregularities in the approach of Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell -- a Bush campaign apparatchik -- to conducting the November 2 election and counting the votes in the contest that ultimately decided the race between Bush and Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites), they initially got more encouragement from Greens and Libertarians than from national Democrats. But Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee (news - web sites), took the complaints seriously enough to go to Ohio.

There, he and minority staffers for the Judiciary Committee conducted hearings and investigations that cut through the hyperbole and got down to two basic conclusions: first, voting and vote counting procedures in Ohio were so flawed that they created circumstances where citizens were disenfranchised and, second, that legitimate questions about the problems with the Ohio election had not been resolved at the point when the state's electoral votes were cast for Bush.

Accordingly, Conyers has announced that he will object to the certification of the results from Ohio when Congress is scheduled to review and approve Electoral College (news - web sites) votes this afternoon.

Conyers has found a handful of allies among House Democrats in recent days, mostly members of the Congressional Black Caucus (news - web sites). But as today approached, he had received little encouragement from Democrats in the Senate. (The staff of California Senator Barbara Boxer says she is "considering" going along with Conyers, and Wisconsin's Russ Feingold is reportedly doing the same. But neither had signed on as of this morning.)

Barring a last-minute show of solidarity by Boxer, Feingold or another senator, the failure of Senate Democrats to side with Conyers appeared likely to block his formal objection, as federal rules require that a challenge to the counting of electoral votes from a particular state must be backed by at least one member of both the House and the Senate.

Conyers, who has served four decades in Congress and been a central player in every major voting rights debate since the 1960s, wrote last week to all 100 senators asking that they sign on to his objection. Yet, even when he distributed materials itemizing and analyzing what he described as "the many irregularities we have come across as part of our hearings and investigation into the Ohio presidential election," he no response from most.

It was an eerie echo of what happened in 2001 when members of the Congressional Black Caucus tried to object to the certification of electoral votes from Florida only to be ruled out of order because no senator had backed their complaint. The scene of African-American members being gaveled into silence was one of the most powerful and poignant moments in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11, and it was impossible to imagine that it would ever be repeated. Yet, as the moment of truth approached this year, Conyers, the senior African-American in Congress was forced to plead for an opportunity "to debate and highlight the problems in Ohio which disenfranchised innumerable voters."

It is important to note the language Conyers has used. He was not calling for overturning the election of President Bush (news - web sites). Rather, he was suggesting that, based on the evidence of voter disenfranchisement, flawed or corrupted voting machinery, and inappropriate procedures for counting and recounting votes in Ohio, it was inappropriate for Congress simply to rubber stamp the decisions of Secretary of State Blackwell and other officials in Ohio to award the state's electoral votes to Bush.

Ultimately, that objection has little chance to get beyond the debating stage, as both the Senate and the House would have to agree to the objection in order to block the counting of Ohio's electoral votes -- and that is not going to happen in either of those Republican-controlled chambers. But Conyers is right to argue that a formal objection needs to be made, and that objection should be broadly supported by Democrats -- and, frankly, honest Republicans -- in both the House and the Senate. That it has not received that broad support is a sad statement about the seriousness with which most Democrats take their party's pledge to "count all the votes this time" -- and about the prospects for reform of erratic, unequal and unreliable voting systems that, as Conyers and his aides have ably illustrated, are prone to abuses that undermine democracy.

THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ON THE CONYERS REPORT -- PRESERVING DEMOCRACY -- WHAT WENT WRONG IN OHIO -- FOLLOWS:

We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.

This report, therefore, makes three recommendations:

(1) consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the State of Ohio;

(2) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and

(3) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people's trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws.

With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

First, in the run up to election day, the following actions by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party and election officials disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens, predominantly minority and Democratic voters:

The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters. This was illustrated by the fact that the Washington Post reported that in Franklin County, "27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry." (See Powell and Slevin, supra). Among other things, the conscious failure to provide sufficient voting machinery violates the Ohio Revised Code which requires the Boards of Elections to "provide adequate facilities at each polling place for conducting the election."Mr. Blackwell's decision to restrict provisional ballots resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of voters, again predominantly minority and Democratic voters. Mr. Blackwell's decision departed from past Ohio law on provisional ballots, and there is no evidence that a broader construction would have led to any significant disruption at the polling places, and did not do so in other states.Mr. Blackwell's widely reviled decision to reject voter registration applications based on paper weight may have resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in time for the 2004 election.The Ohio Republican Party's decision to engage in preelection "caging" tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a negative impact on voter turnout. The Third Circuit found these activities to be illegal and in direct violation of consent decrees barring the Republican Party from targeting minority voters for poll challenges.The Ohio Republican Party's decision to utilize thousands of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and Democratic areas likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became discouraged by the long lines. Shockingly, these disruptions were publicly predicted and acknowledged by Republican officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, admitted the challenges "can't help but create chaos, longer lines and frustration."Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent voters who requested absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis from being able to receive provisional ballots 6 likely disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands, of voters, particularly seniors. A federal court found Mr. Blackwell's order to be illegal and in violation of HAVA.

Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands of votes that have yet to be accounted for:

There were widespread instances of intimidation and misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and the Ohio right to vote. Mr. Blackwell's apparent failure to institute a single investigation into these many serious allegations represents a violation of his statutory duty under Ohio law to investigate election irregularities.We learned of improper purging and other registration errors by election officials that likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters statewide. The Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County alone over 10,000 Ohio citizens lost their right to vote as a result of official registration errors.There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be inspected. The problem was particularly acute in two precincts in Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of over 25% each - accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who stood in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for president.There were numerous, significant unexplained irregularities in other counties throughout the state: (i) in Mahoning county at least 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of Kerry votes to the Bush column; (ii) Warren County locked out public observers from vote counting citing an FBI (news - web sites) warning about a potential terrorist threat, yet the FBI states that it issued no such warning; (iii) the voting records of Perry county show significantly more votes than voters in some precincts, significantly less ballots than voters in other precincts, and voters casting more than one ballot; (iv) in Butler county a down ballot and underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential candidate in history; (v) in Cuyahoga county, poll worker error may have led to little known thirdparty candidates receiving twenty times more votes than such candidates had ever received in otherwise reliably Democratic leaning areas; (vi) in Miami county, voter turnout was an improbable and highly suspect 98.55 percent, and after 100 percent of the precincts were reported, an additional 19,000 extra votes were recorded for President Bush.

Third, in the post-election period we learned of numerous irregularities in tallying provisional ballots and conducting and completing the recount that disenfanchised thousands of voters and call the entire recount procedure into question (as of this date the recount is still not complete):

Mr. Blackwell's failure to articulate clear and consistent standards for the counting of provisional ballots resulted in the loss of thousands of predominantly minority votes. In Cuyahoga County alone, the lack of guidance and the ultimate narrow and arbitrary review standards significantly contributed to the fact that 8,099 out of 24,472 provisional ballots were ruled invalid, the highest proportion in the state.Mr. Blackwell's failure to issue specific standards for the recount contributed to a lack of uniformity in violation of both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses. We found innumerable irregularities in the recount in violation of Ohio law, including (i) counties which did not randomly select the precinct samples; (ii) counties which did not conduct a full hand court after the 3% hand and machine counts did not match; (iii) counties which allowed for irregular marking of ballots and failed to secure and store ballots and machinery; and (iv) counties which prevented witnesses for candidates from observing the various aspects of the recount.The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in numerous counties to provide "cheat sheets" to those counting the ballots. The cheat sheets informed election officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count. In that way, they could avoid doing a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state law.

 http://story.news.yahoo.com/news...

RNC quick to discredit 06.Jan.2005 08:31

U. Sam

Just as news breaks that a Senator will challenge the Ohio electors, the RNC is poised and ready with damage control coming from yahoo via a press release. This makes both parties look very suspicious of conspiracy to commit fraud in the last presedential election.

The AP has broken the news of Senator Boxer signing a challenge and almost immediately following this, the RNC has broken out their press statement. Talk about some good corporate damage control...and talk about fast...it's like they knew in advance.

Much like Blackwell, the judges, and congress...it's all bought and paid for, so nothing will come of this, except the fact that both parties can dispute amongst each other, as both have become self-serving factions that are trying to divide America and divide the power amongst themselves. This is painfully obvious now.

They will smear Senator Boxer and they will probably use John Kerry to do it, this will legitimize the supposed thin margin Bush won the election. His mandate and political capital are in question now, as well as all democrats who do not support the challenge, this time we're watching. It happened in 2000 and not many people knew. This time the supression and irregularities are even greater. More votes then voters? Votes switched from Kerry to Bush using electronic machines in Florida? Judges ruling in their own cases? Partisan election officials and scenes reminiscent of Katherine Harris? It's about time we stop trying to fool ourselves. Certainly Bush does not want to win another tainted election, he barely has a 50% approval rating. This does not look good for the GOP. More shady practice casts an even darker cloud on an already tainted administration; from non-existant WMD to a sinking dollar at home and US soldiers complaining about proper equipment and training, as well as triple defecits spiraling out of control. The silence of the leaders of the democratic party is also deafening and makes this whole election look like a sham.

Calling protestors enemies of the state or domestic terrorists is an old trick and played out, Hitler did it, and it's been used in the US before, so don't be fooled. We learned from the 1988 civil liberties act that we can no longer expect governments to know what's right. That act is a testament to those failures and apology by the US government to it's own Japanese American citizens and paid restitution. The act recognized that we illegally placed japanese-american citizens in internment camps because we feared they were not loyal citizens(aka "domestic terrorists").

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. - Abraham Lincoln

the news "distraction du jour" being pushed hard? 06.Jan.2005 08:40

see link with screen captures

Even Google.com's so-claimed "random" news service based on prevalence of the story being reported, has drastically moved vote fraud story even lower.

More on that in comments at link below, with pictures of how it has changed this morning.

What will be the breaking NEWS to bump off the Rep Conyers objection to the election fraud
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/01/307368.shtml

Boxer is just another sellout Democrat advocating another dog and pony show! 06.Jan.2005 08:53

StevetheGreen

Boxer said ""I have concluded that objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate way to bring these issues to light by allowing you to have a two-hour debate to let the American people know the facts surrounding Ohio's election," </i>

This doesn't sound like someone who is outraged!
It sounds like someone who (only after being pressured) succumbed to allowing a trivial facade to take place that will then be used to put the issue to bed.

Sickening and disgusting.

I disagree with stevethegreen 06.Jan.2005 09:15

on this one

I'm extremely thankful that at least ONE FUCKING SENATOR agreed to challenge this. I will call Senator Boxer and express my appreciation. And now let's see what we can do to get this ball rolling. We need to get this story out because the corporate media isn't going to. And then we need to FIGHT. No matter what they say, we need to go Ukranian.

Make it be known You are not 06.Jan.2005 10:05

going to be quiet

Listening to NPR's deceitful spin on how the public accepts the election results and only fringe lunatics still cling to the election fraud "story" while driving to work amost brought up my breakfast.
NPR was the last radio station I could stomache so I guess No More listening to any of the corporate Borg media even on an intermitten basis. This ongoing election fraud is the biggest threat to our liberties. Election Fraud is the biggest story never told(on Borg media that is)

it's a bit late 06.Jan.2005 10:52

ne1

The time to have challenged the election was four years ago. That was actually a much more clearcut case than this one. This time around, Bush did a lot better than he did last time. Even if there was fraud in Ohio, Bush still won the popular vote. You'd have to prove a whole lot more instances of fraud to deny him that. So what are you left with? Arguing Kerry should get the Awful Office courtesy of our slaveowner Founding Father's gift of the Electoral College? Pretty f*ckin pathetic if you ask me, not exactly a very palatable progressive crusade.

Also, the thanks for Boxer's "courage" this time around should probably go to Michael Moore. The scene from his movie is what has made this a cause celebre. California Sen. Boxer is hardly going out on much of a limb after Moore set the stage for her. Boxer will now demand faux progressive "hero" status. It oughta be good material for a few campaign mailers and fundraisers among the faithful and such. A truly pathetic photo-op if you ask me.

Not too late 06.Jan.2005 11:05

No Excuses

ne1 says it's too late to challenge this, and then stated: "This time around, Bush did a lot better than he did last time."

Bush most certainly did NOT do better this time around. He's done nothing but publically fuck up for four fucking years. He's an idiot and an embarrassment, and even people who voted for him four years ago have been asking where the WMDs are and why people are dying for nothing in the east. Even with the protection of the corporate media, people could not help but see that this man is no one to be leading a nation.

But he's wealthy and well connected. His flaccid-dick dad has well known connections to the CIA and the corrupt ruling elite of this country. This was a set up. Bush could do nothing but lose in this election, and if the votes had been counted he would have handily lost. BUt they had 4 years to plan and execute this stolen election. (Even at THAT they're a bunch of clods. Any idiot can see through the holes in this "election.")

If you think he "did better," then you have clearly not been paying attention. Read up. Don't look to the corporate media to tell you what's going on, they are lying through their teeth. Look how they've been spinning this story! Look beyond the corporate media and open your eyes.

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