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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.
Columbus, OH

We are calling for anyone who experienced or observed election
irregularities or vote suppression on Election Day to come forward and
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 their testimony.

We are 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.

This 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 racial
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.

 ENDORSERS:

* Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor
* Ohio State Senator Ray Miller
* Carol Mosley Braun
* 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 Exchange
* Ted Glick - IPPN
* Wisconsin Green Party
* Ohio Green Party
* Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, San Francisco
*
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
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won_.php

Did Kerry Concede Too Soon? Bob Fitrakis, The Free Press
http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/981

Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair? Institute for Public Accuracy
http://www.accuracy.org/press_releases/PR110304.htm

Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster, William Rivers Pitt,
Truthout
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/110804A.shtml

None Dare Call it Voter Suppression and Fraud, Bob Fitrakis, Free Press
http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/983

To get involved, sponsor this call, or testify, contact:

ohiohearings@yahoo.com
Amy Kaplan: 614.405.2160
Navina Khanna: 425.269.5194

Naina Khanna
National Field Director
naina@indyvoter.org

 


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

Columns
Bob Fitrakis
http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/985
And 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.

In 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 office.

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.

During 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 margin.

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 for President.

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.

The 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 election."
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...."

 

 

 

 

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1110-31.htm 

 

 

 

 

  
 
  Thursday, November 11, 2004  
 
   Featured Views  
   
 
Published on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
A Note On The Presidential Election in Ohio
by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
 
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 counted.

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 in Ohio.

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 democracy.

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) is Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

###

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http://www.opednews.com/wade_110904_olbermann.htm

Keith Olbermann Plays Hardball, Breaks Votergate Story on National, Mainstream Media

By Anthony Wade

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.

Olbermann first 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.

While that 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.

 
Articles:
 
 
  • 50,000 Votes LOST in Dem Indiana County! Yet another ES&S computer "failure".
  • 10,000 Extra Votes Added in Nebraska County Another ES&S computer "failure".
  • 70,000 Votes "Discovered" in Broward County, FL; Extra Presidential votes "show up", results of local initiative overturned after find! Software glitch in counting machine blamed.
  • NC election officials admit 4500 (out of 7000) votes lost entirely on a single E-voting machine due to memory limit on machine; Same machines used in OH!
  •