Monday, March 14, 2005
(RawStory.com/exclusives/) The lawyers for Green presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, along with Kerry-Edwards 2004 have added election tampering to a civil suit filed against the state of Ohio over problems with the state's recount, RAW STORY has learned.
The suit, detailed here, alleges that a manufacturer of voting machines, Triad Election Systems, which serves 43 counties in the state, is tampering with the recount. It is unclear exactly what recourse the plaintiffs' seek; the filing adds on to an original suit to have the recount take place before Ohio electors meet, which failed in the courts. Green Party spokesman Blair Bobier said the party hoped to reform the recount process and suggested Ohio should secure or impound voting machines.
RAW STORY has also acquired the affidavit of the programmer mentioned in this suit who alleges that such tampering threatens the integrity of the recount.
RawStory features on-line copies of the programmer's affidavit and the Cobb-Badnarik ("along with Kerry-Edwards 2004") legal filing back in December, 2004. On February 24, 2005, "Kerry-Edwards 2004" -- as "Intervenor Counter-Plaintiff" along with "Counter-Plaintiffs" David Cobb and Michael Badnarik -- filed in support of, and agreeing with, Cobb-Badnarik ("Cobb, et al.") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Eastern Division). In effect, they are all now co-plaintiffs. The "counter" stuff is because the Defendant, Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican, has been counter-suing the plaintiffs. The legalese is extremely dense, for example, the December filing identifies Kerry-Edwards as "Intervenor-Defendant" in a joined case as well as "Intervenor-Couinter-Plaintiff" in the case that is apparently continuing in the court so far.
The history of the law suit is extremely complex because of delay and obfuscation tactics by election officials, led by Blackwell -- using Ohio public funds to pay his legal expenses. The plaintiffs' motion to force a recount before the Ohio electors met to cast their votes for Bush failed in the courts. Since then, there has been less interest in the case, but it is still pending in federal District Court.
Everything moves very slowly, and with much legal work, in this case. Documents are not necessarily available through the court records maintained by the Clerk of the Court until the judge has signed off on the record.
It is definitely a possibility that there will be a judgment for the plaintiffs, and it is also possible that the court will allow some relief in the form of a court order to replace or modify Ohio voting machines. But it will take time, because Blackwell will undoubtedly appeal, possibly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruling on Gore v. Bush as to Florida, 2000, could be intrepreted as meaning that vote-counting methods must be uniform throughout the state.
Documents for the February 24 filing are available (in pdf format) at truthout.org http://www.truthout.org/pdf/kerryedwardsmotionforhearing22405.pdf
This story should be big news across the U.S.A. -- of course, it is systematically ignored by the corporate media. That's why I am reporting here at PDX indymedia.
Here are a FEW of many links --
http://www.pdamerica,org/ (ProgressiveDemocrats of America)
http://www.betterworldlinks.org/book109h.htm (more links)
AND I ALSO FOUND LISTED AS A SOURCE --
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/topic/electionfraud/ (PDX Indymedia)