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PUBLIC HEARINGS IN OHIO!
They might have conceded - but we haven't conceded our right to have our votes count.
The Ohio Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections (CASE-OH), This Time We're Watching, the
League of Young Voters, People for the American Way
Foundation - a leading member of the Election Protection Coalition, Common Cause
Ohio, Ohio Election Reform Now, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, WVKO Radio, and Ohio Voterization Project
are calling for public
hearings to investigate voting irregularities and vote suppression in Ohio surrounding the 2004 General Election.
THIS IS A NONPARTISAN STATEWIDE CALL TO ACTION. VOTERS AND POLL WORKERS
FROM AROUND THE STATE ARE INVITED TO TESTIFY.
Saturday November 13, 1-4 PM
New Faith Baptist Church
955 Oak Street
Columbus, Ohio 43205
Monday November 15, 6-9 PM,
Auditorium (Meeting Room A)
Courthouse, 373 S. High St.
We are calling for anyone
who experienced or observed election
irregularities or vote suppression on Election Day to come
give their testimony.
We are calling for any individuals or organizations
that have information about election irregularities
or voter suppression that occured before, during or after the elections to give
calling for our public officials, community representatives and
the media to come and hear the testimony of the people.
We will document and videotape the testimonies for use
in a report
and a formal complaint to the Franklin County
Board of Elections.
is a public space to respond to the systemic undermining of our
democratic process and assess how to respond to racial disenfranchisement and suppression of democratic rights.
Citizens, voting experts, and investigative journalists
will be invited
to present testimony for the public record documenting instances of voting
irregularities and systematic voter suppression. The coalition hopes to expose
the systemic undermining of our democratic process that occurred leading up to and on Nov 2, and assess how to respond to
disenfranchisement and suppression of democratic rights.
Testimony will be followed by a summary statement of
patterns of voting rights violations emerging in the state of Ohio and a discussion of statewide reforms needed to
address these issues.
* Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor
* Ohio State Senator Ray Miller
* Carol Mosley
* Cobb/LaMarche campaign
* League of Pissed Off Voters (www.indyvoter.org )
* freelance journalist Lynn Landes
* Dr. Robert Fitrakis, Ph.D, J.D.
* Bill Moss, community leader/former Columbus School Board Member
* Lawyers Committee For Civil
Rights in San Francisco Bay Area
* Medea Benjamin - Code Pink & Global
* Ted Glick - IPPN
* Wisconsin Green Party
* Ohio Green Party
* Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, San
* Driving Votes (www.drivingvotes.org )
* Chris Vaeth - Truth Force Training Center
* International Labor Communications Association
No Stolen Elections Coalition (www.nov3.us )
* Liberty Tree
* Black Voices for Peace
* Alliance for Democracy
* Global Women's Strike (www.globalwomenstrike.net)
* Women of Color in the Global Women's Strike
* Payday (www.refusingtokill.net )
* Citizens for Democracy and Ending Corporate Rule
We are seeking support from US Congressional Representatives, Ohio State Representatives,
nonpartisan organizations, and community and national leaders. Experts and investigative reporters are invited to present
testimony as well.
Here are a few articles on the types of voter suppression/disenfranchisement that we are hoping
to call attention to:
Kerry Won. Greg Palast, Tompaine.com
Did Kerry Concede Too Soon? Bob Fitrakis, The Free Press
Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair? Institute for Public Accuracy
Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster, William Rivers Pitt,
None Dare Call it Voter Suppression and Fraud, Bob Fitrakis, Free Press
To get involved, sponsor this call, or testify, contact:
Amy Kaplan: 614.405.2160
Navina Khanna: 425.269.5194
National Field Director
IF THE ELECTION WAS ONLY FOLKS UNDER 30, KERRY WOULD HAVE WON- IN A LANDSLIDE!
The media said youth turnout was down last night... they were SO wrong.
Check out this CNN exit poll
* 4.6 Million More Young People Cast Votes Than in 2000
* Youth Turnout Up by 9.3 Points Nationally
Download the CIRCLE election release (1 MB, Word format)
Had problems at the polls? Let us know: 212-283-8272
ColumnsBob Fitrakishttp://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/985And so the sorting and discarding of Kerry votes begins
November 10, 2004
Are the provisional
ballots in Ohio being thrown out? A new rule for counting provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County, Ohio was implemented on
Tuesday, November 9 at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, according to election observer Victoria Lovegren
The new ruling in Cuyahoga County mandates that provisional ballots in yellow packets must be “Rejected”
if there is no “date of birth” on the packet. The Free Press
obtained copies of the original “Provisional
Verification Procedure” from Cuyahoga County which stated “Date of birth is not mandatory and should not reject
a provisional ballot.” The original procedure required the voter’s name, address and a signature that matched
the signature in the county’s database.
Lovegren described the clerks as “kind of disturbed” after
the new ruling came down. She said that one of the clerks told her, “This is new. This just came down. They just changed
it in the last thirty minutes.” According to Lovegren, 80 yellow-jacketed provisional ballots piled up in the hour and
45 minutes she observed. By Lovegren’s tally, three provisional ballots were rejected because the registered voters’
registration had been “cancelled.” The rest, she said, were being discarded because of no date of birth.
2000, an estimated 9% of Ohio’s provisional ballots were rejected and not counted, according to Secretary of State Kenneth
Blackwell. Many election observers are predicting the number will be much higher this year due to directives from Blackwell’s
An earlier analysis in the Free Press
of the 155,428 unofficial provisional ballots recorded at the
Secretary of State’s website
found that a clear majority, 85,096, came from the 15 counties Kerry won. An additional 17,038 came from urban Hamilton County,
home of Cincinnati, and Wood County, where Bush won with 53% and 53.5% respectively. Traditionally, Hamilton County’s
provisional ballots are disproportionately cast in the African American majority wards of the central city and not in the
affluent Republican-dominated suburbs. Thus, nearly two-thirds (65.7%), or 102,134, provisional ballots come from areas where
the provisional ballots are likely to be pro-Kerry.
The official county-by-county board of elections’ final
tally will begin on Saturday, November 13, the 11th day after the election and be completed by the 15th day. Following this
canvassing period, 11-15 days after the election, an automatic recount would ensue if the gap between Kerry and Bush narrowed
to less than one quarter of one percent, an estimated 16-19,000 votes, depending on how many are actually counted.
the canvassing, Bush will no doubt lose 3,893 votes from the infamous ward 1B in Gahanna, Ohio where a “computer glitch”
counted 4,258 votes for Bush from 638 voters. But it is unlikely that Kerry will draw within the needed automatic recount
At the end of the canvass, candidates including Kerry have five days to apply for a paid recount, according
to election attorney Donald McTigue. McTigue served as U.S. representative Dennis Kucinich’s campaign treasurer during
the Democratic presidential primaries. The recount would be held within five days, and gives any candidate who applies, Kerry
or others, the right to physically inspect the polling place materials including 92,672 ballots that failed to record a vote
Under Ohio law, like Florida law in 2000, the recount can include these ballots, many of them punch
cards with the notorious “hanging chads” and optically scanned ballots where marks may have gone slightly astray
but a vote for president is clearly evident.
Overseas ballots postmarked by Election Day and late absentees just prior
to the election also remain to be counted. During a recount, candidates may also inspect authorizations to vote, to make sure
that the machine tallies are in line with the actual votes cast. They also may examine voter registration forms to argue for
improperly rejected provisional ballots.
Local boards of elections may amend election results if obvious mistakes
are pointed out. It will cost $10 per precinct in Ohio, or an estimated $120,000, to recount the whole state.
official tallies are due at the Secretary of State’s Office by December 1. The Secretary of State must certify the election
under Ohio law by December 3.
U.S. representative Dennis Kucinich complained in an article on CommonDreams.org
that “Dirty tricks occurred across the state, including phony letters from Boards of Elections telling people that
their registrations through some Democratic activist groups were invalid and that Kerry voters were to report on Wednesday
because of massive voter turnout.”
The Free Press
, in its November 7 article “None dare call it voter suppression or fraud
,” pointed to possible voting anomalies in Miami County, Ohio where nearly 19,000 new ballots appear to have been added
after 100% of the precincts had reported. The additional votes were at virtually the exact same ratio as earlier Bush votes,
65.8% for earlier votes and 65.77% for the latter. Kerry’s vote percentage was identical, despite the nearly 19,000
new votes at 33.92%.
Roger Kearney of Rhombus Technologies, Ltd. told the Free Press
, “The report you saw the following morning at 9 a.m. was probably either the 60 or 80 percent report.” Kearney’s
company is the reporting company for vote results for Miami County; he claims that the problem was not with his reporting
and that the additional 19,000 votes came before 100% of the precincts were in.
As for the statistical anomaly that
showed virtually identical ratios after the final 20-40% of the vote came in, Kearney offered no explanation and said he merely
reports the results given to him.
Miami County reports its votes in 20 percent blocks instead of a continuous running
tally. “I watch as Steve Quillen, the Board Director, put floppy disks that he had taken from the tabulating computer
and put them into the reporting computer. He did this at about 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% of the count ... I looked at each
of these reports. When the final one came out about midnight, we copied the report file onto my floppy disk. I came home and
immediately posted it to the website. The page is still on our website exactly as it was shortly after midnight ... No one
had access to this computer but me.”
Kearney told the Free Press
that the software used at the Miami
County Board of Elections for counting the votes is from Elections Systems & Software (ES&S). The strong Republican
ties of ES&S are well established in the public record. (See for example, “Diebold’s political machine
” at motherjones.com).
Such statistical anomalies may be examined if Kerry has the courage to demand a recount,
or if other candidates who have legal standing to request a recount are curious. McTigue told a gathering of suburban Democrats
that Kerry may recount eight counties of interest, and other candidates may recount the rest of Ohio.
Unless the opportunity
is seized, more than 100,000 votes will likely go uncounted, and statistical anomalies and “computer glitches”
will remain unexamined.
--Bob Fitrakis is a Professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Columbus
State Community College. He has a Ph.D in Political Science and a J.D. from The Ohio State University Law School. He is the
author of seven books, an investigative reporter, and Editor of the Columbus Free Press (freepress.org). He has won ten major investigative journalism awards including Best Coverage of Politics in Ohio from the Ohio Society
of Professional Journalists. He served as an international election observer in the 1994 presidential elections in El Salvador
and was the co-author and editor of the report to the United Nations. He served as legal advisor for eight polling locations
on Columbus' Near East Side for the Election Protection Coalition.
At Northwestern, Howard Dean Disputes Media View that 'Values' Swung Election
By Charles Geraci
Published: November 12, 2004 2:05 PM ET
EVANSTON, Ill. Former presidential candidate Howard Dean wants the media to stuff its new conventional wisdom
that "values" or "morals" drove the result of this month's election.
Speaking Thursday night to 500 Northwestern University students, many of them journalism majors, Dean noted
there was little "statistical difference" between the percentage of voters who deemed moral values the top issue (22 %) and
those who ranked as their top concern Iraq or the economy/jobs, according to exit poll data.
"How can you get to the conclusion morality was the most important issue in this campaign?" Dean asked. "It's
beyond me, but that was what the media was riding. They're entitled to their opinion. It doesn't happen to be the opinion
of thoughtful people who are looking."
Though Dean, a Democrat, complimented President Bush, saying he "ran a great campaign" and was "very disciplined,"
he compared the president to former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, at least in one regard.
"The truth is the president of the United States used the same device that Slobodan Milosevic used in Serbia.
When you appeal to homophobia, when you appeal to sexism, when you appeal to racism, that is extraordinarily damaging to the
country," Dean charged. "I know George Bush. I served with him for six years [as a fellow governor]. He's not a homophobe.
He's not a racist. He's not a sexist. In some ways, what he did was worse … because he knew better."
Dean also criticized Bush for the ballot initiatives in 11 states calling for gay marriage to be outlawed,
saying this "had only one effect, which is to appeal to homophobia and fear and gay-baiting in order to win a presidential
And he took a shot at Rev. Jerry Falwell.: "Most Americans are decent people -- not all. I mean, there are
those hate-mongers. I wouldn't call Jerry Falwell a decent person."
Scolding Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for, in Dean's opinion, humiliating people from the bench,
he said, "Justice Scalia ought not to be on the bench. Never pick anyone who's sarcastic and mean-spirited."
But Dean's lighter side also was apparent throughout the evening. When a student asked what, if anything,
Democrats could do regarding Bush's Supreme Court nominations, Dean joked: "We can do a lot. But senators have to have some
chutzpah, as they say in Yiddish, or cajones, as they say in Spanish."
The former Vermont governor also responded to an ad by the conservative Club for Growth in which two ordinary
Americans said Dean should take his "tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York
Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left wing freak show back to Vermont where it belongs."
He explained, "I don't drink coffee. I have three cars -- all of which are American. No part of me is pierced
that I'm willing to discuss publicly. And if you want to see a freak show, go look at the people who wrote that ad -- you
won't believe it."
Dean talked about his vision for the Democratic Party, saying, "We need to stand up for what we believe in
... so that the people who vote against their economic interests will now consider voting for Democrats."
Complimenting students for "voting in significantly higher numbers," Dean appealed for them to "run for office"
quite a few times. Echoing the now infamous "Dean scream," he shouted, "You need to run for office -- not just in Illinois
and Ohio and South Carolina! ... You need to run for office in Mississippi, and Alabama, and Idaho, and Texas, and...."
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Published on Wednesday,
November 10, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
A Note On The Presidential
Election in Ohio
by Congressman Dennis
|The 2004 presidential election was determined
by the results of Ohio. The unofficial result, as reported on November 3, had George Bush with approximately 136,000 more
votes than John Kerry. Senator Kerry conceded the election to President Bush. He also said every vote would be counted.
I have been vigilant in monitoring Ohio's election in 2004. Attorneys from my party closely monitored the election before
and during election day. While there were some incidents of voter intimidation noted by the attorneys, most if not all cases
were resolved at the scene because of quick action by challengers, witnesses, the Kerry campaign, and volunteers from other
campaigns including my own.
The unofficial count gave Ohio to George Bush by approximately 136,000 votes. The official count by county Boards of Election
will begin on Saturday, November 13, 2004. It is due at the Secretary of State's office by December 1. The Secretary of State
must certify the election by December 3.
During this interim period, attorneys from both political parties, and those representing me, will be watching the procedures
by county Boards of Elections carefully. Among the most important issues to note is the counting of the overvotes. Overvotes
occur when more than one candidate is indicated on the punch card. Another issue relates to whether all properly cast provisional
ballots will be counted.
My constituents have also brought other issues to my attention. In an effort to provide appropriate government oversight,
I am reviewing every issue and bringing them to the attention of attorneys, congressional authorities, party officials, or
Boards of Elections, as appropriate. I want to assure my constituents and others who have contacted me with their concerns,
that I am paying c lose attention to this important period of time between the initial results and the official vote tabulation
and will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action where supported by facts.
Serious problems surfaced in this election that must be addressed at the state and national level. Some were inefficiencies
in handling the massive turn out. No citizen should have to wait for hours to vote, or worry whether their vote was actually
Glitches in electronic voting in the Columbus area should move all legislatures to demand paper receipts for voting machines.
Without such a paper trail, no true recount can ever be done. Note that no Diebold electronic voting machines were employed
Clear efforts at voter suppression and intimidation were well handled by the courts and election officials. Dirty tricks
occurred across the state, including phony letters from Boards of Elections telling people that their registration through
some Democratic activist groups were invalid and that Kerry voters were to report on Wednesday because of massive voter turnout.
Phone calls to voters giving them erroneous polling information were also common. Attempts to subvert our right to fair elections
must be investigated and prosecuted when possible.
With passion running so high in this country and specter of Florida 2000 still hanging over the presidential voting process,
it is important to gather hard evidence prior to disputing the legitimacy of the election.
Meanwhile, it is obvious that the Help America Vote Act of 2002 needs to be refined. Arduous voter identification rules
unfairly penalize the poor, lead to a violation of rights and defeat the intent of the act.
The official tabulation of votes for Ohio will begin on Saturday and will include four categories not reflected in the
unofficial count: provisional ballots, late absentee ballots, overseas military and overseas civilian.
If the difference between George Bush and John Kerry is less than one quarter of one percent after the official tally is
completed (about 16,000 votes) an automatic recount occurs under Ohio law.
If the margin is greater than one quarter of one percent, a candidate can request a recount at an expense to the candidate
of $10 per precinct. Because there are approximately 12,000 precincts in Ohio, the recount would cost about $120,000, before
legal fees. A recount would entail a visual inspection of every punch card ballot.
I believe we must pursue every lead which raises questions about the integrity of the electoral process. Our work may not
change the outcome, but it will demonstrate that beyond our commitment to our candidates, we have a higher commitment to our
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) is Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
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Keith Olbermann Plays Hardball, Breaks Votergate Story on National, Mainstream Media
November 8, 2004
Kudos to Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. Finally, someone in the mainstream media took
the story about the rampant evidence of election fraud to prime time. Following the tepid journalism from Chris Matthews,
Olbermann reported tonight about the two major stories we have been following since election night.
reported on the events in Warren County, Ohio on election night. Warren was one of the last counties to report and as such,
directly contributed to the state being called for Bush. What makes Warren County newsworthy is that election officials decided
to lock down the vote count and excluded any observation of the tallying process. The lame excuse given was “homeland
security” concerns. Olbermann reported tonight that those concerns actually stemmed from the Department of Homeland
Security, who informed them that on a scale of 1-10, Warren represented a 10 in terms of security concerns. Warren County
represents a mostly rural district between Dayton and Cincinnati. I would be very interested to hear about the source Tom
Ridge used to determine that this small portion of a Midwest state had suddenly become a security threat.
is beyond suspicious, Olbermann went on to report on the startling results from 29 Florida counties which had all flipped
their vote from their registration. In each of these counties we saw statistically improbable results favoring George W. Bush
every time. This story had been on the internet for a week now, but had been all but ignored by all mainstream media until
Keith Olbermann finally proved there can be honesty in journalism. Keith’s guest was the Honorable John Conyers, Congressman
from Michigan. Mr. Conyers has led the charge for the GAO to investigate the mounting reports of “irregularities”.
Mr. Olbermann tried his best to ask pointed questions, referring to the possibility of the election being “rigged”
or “fixed”. Conyers tried his best to stay above the political fray but in the end the cold fact remained that
something has gone wrong in this election.
Prior to the Olbermann show, we saw Chris Matthews, playing softball as
only he can. After the obligatory shock and awe Iraq coverage, Matthews had a segment on “where the Democrats went wrong”
and had on Bush Campaign 04 Senior Advisor, Tucker Eskew. Quite the moment of impartial journalism. The only thing separating
Matthews from being a Fox host is the “fair and balanced” tag line. The intent is again, quite clear. Pay no attention
to the fact that there is mounting evidence of fraud. Ignore the clamoring from the people on the Internet, who are starting
to put the pieces together and hold out for the elections to be certified. Chris Matthews should be ashamed.