Sunday, December 12, 2004

John Kerry & Ohio Recount; Howard Dean; "Jersey Girls" picked as Women of the Year by Ms.

I thought I was done and would be grabbing a magazine or two, listening to The Doors and Ani DiFranco and winding down for the night. But a number of you are e-mailing regarding Ohio.

Democrat John Kerry is asking county elections officials to allow his witnesses to visually inspect the 92,000 ballots cast in Ohio in which no vote for president was recorded, a Kerry lawyer said Sunday night.
The request is one of 11 items that Kerry is asking for as part of the recount that Ohio's 88 county boards of election will begin this week, according to a letter sent to the boards over the weekend.
"We're trying to increase the transparency of the election process," said Donald McTigue, the lawyer handling the recount for the Kerry campaign.


Yesterday, it came to the attention of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff that efforts to audit poll records in Greene County, Ohio are being obstructed by County Election officials and/or Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. According to Joan Quinn and Eve Robertson, two election observers researching voting records, Greene County officials initially gave Quinn and Robertson access to poll records, and then abruptly withdrew such access. Greene County Director of Elections Carole Garman claimed that she had withdrawn access to the voting records at the direction of Secretary Blackwell. Regardless of who ordered the denial of this access, such an action appears to violate Ohio law. Later, at the same office, election observers found the office unlocked, and what appeared to be locked ballot boxes, unattended. Prior to the withdrawal of access to the books, observers had found discrepancies in election records, and possible evidence of minority vote suppression.

Six weeks after voters in Sandusky and Ottawa counties cast their votes, elections officials in both counties will be counting those votes again next week.
This time, the recount was forced by presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties, who demanded recounts in each of Ohio's 88 counties. They also put up the $113,600 -- or $10 per precinct -- that is required to force a recount.
Candidates from both parties argued that the recount was necessary to account for voting irregularities in several counties statewide.


I want to add that I found the above links via in about five minutes. It's a great resource and Buzzflash is one of the links on this site.

Searching the net itself, I found the following.

Want to read the transcripts from the public hearings on Ohio voting? Click here

In all fifty states and the District of Columbia, members of the electoral college are meeting on Monday to cast their votes - one each for president and vice president. C-SPAN is airing six of these meetings, from Ohio, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts & Texas.

That starts at noon eastern time if I'm reading the schedule correct. (Check for yourself.)

From The LA Times:

Clifford Arnebeck won't let it go. He can't let it go. Not, he says, while America refuses to recognize that John F. Kerry was elected president Nov. 2.Arnebeck, a Democratic lawyer here and co-chairman of a self-styled national populist alliance, is petitioning the state's highest court to throw out official results that favor President Bush and instead hand Ohio's 20 electoral votes — and thus the White House — to Kerry. Or, at least, order a revote.

The story also notes:

• In several counties, a Democratic candidate for state chief justice got more votes than Kerry, even though she lost statewide by a wider margin than did Kerry, and the overall total of votes cast in her race was 4.4 million, well below the 5.6 million cast in the presidential race.
• A "computer glitch," as local officials called it, recorded an extra 3,893 votes for Bush in suburban Columbus, in a precinct with only 638 votes cast. Officials say they caught the glitch and fixed it, showing that the system works; but protesters say they wonder where else such discrepancies may have gone undetected.
• Long lines forced many Ohioans to wait hours to vote and may have deterred some from voting at all. They were reported to be especially long in urban Democratic areas and in some college towns. Some voters want to know why. At Kenyon College in rural Knox County, a machine malfunction caused some students to wait as long as 10 hours to vote, college officials say, the last emerging at 4 a.m.

An AP story on the New York Times website (possibly in tomorrow's paper):

As it has done for 200 years, Ohio's delegation to the Electoral College is to meet Monday to cast ballots for president and vice president -- but this time, there are demands that the electors wait until after a recount. A demonstration was held Sunday as about 100 people gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse to protest the delegation's vote.
The Electoral College's vote in the Ohio Senate chamber is expected to be accompanied by demonstrations outside the Capitol sponsored by groups who don't accept that President Bush won the key swing state by 119,000 votes, guaranteeing his victory over Democrat John Kerry.
Led by a coalition representing the Green and Libertarian parties, the dissidents are paying for recounts in each of Ohio's 88 counties that will begin this week. The recount is not expected to be complete until next week.
"John Kerry conceded so early in the process that it's maddening,'' said Kat L'Estrange of We Do Not Concede, an activist group born after the election that believes Kerry was the real winner in Ohio and nationally.


Let's fall back to Thursday (December 9th) for a moment to note these problems (nation wide) that The Christian Science Monitor mentioned:

• In Montana, control of the house still hangs in the balance, with a mere 2,000-vote margin now being debated and recounted.
• In Iowa, a poll supervisor had to drive hundreds of miles to find a working counting machine. Worse, the state didn't accept a federal absentee ballot for military personnel, which meant that some Iowans fighting in Iraq were not able to vote.
• And in Florida's Broward County, among other places, some voters said that when they voted for Sen. John Kerry, President Bush appeared on the screen instead. Yet charges that Mr. Bush simply couldn't have won in some areas were dispelled by media research showing that many of those who were expected to vote Democratic actually chose Bush.


Mark Williams AP article ("Kerry lawyer seeks Ohio ballot inspection") is in many papers (online editions at least). Boston Globe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Denver Post have some version of it. As does ABC's new site. (American Broadcasting Company, not Australia's ABC.)

CNN has nothing on it yet. They do have this:

Democrats used their weekly radio address Saturday to focus on ensuring accurate ballot counts and elections free of voter intimidation.
Donna Brazile, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute, said efforts supporting election recounts and investigations into allegations of fraud are aimed at making sure that every vote counts, no matter who wins, and that voters are free of harassment when casting their ballots.
"America's story is one of expanding opportunity and suffrage, and one of our fundamental principles is that every eligible citizen is entitled to cast his or her vote and have that vote counted," Brazile said.
Since the November 2004 elections, she said, the DNC and the Voting Rights Institute have supported a number of efforts, including monitoring the recount in the state of Ohio and helping finance a statewide recount in the race for governor of Washington state. In addition, the committee announced this week it would investigate "various election administration issues" that arose in Ohio during the election.


CBS has nothing on it. I can't find anything on MSNBC.

Check C-Span tomorrow morning to make sure they haven't added additional programming.

Raw Story is promoting a story on a new Florida vote controversy (story will be up Monday).
Their web site is And you are WARNED because they allow replies to be posted and who knows what someone will post as a reply. So use home computers or library computers unless your work place doesn't care or you just enjoy taking risks.

Interesting Times covered Howard Dean's appearence on Meet the Press and I meant to link to that earlier so I'll toss it in now

I'll also note the new Ms. is out and they pick their Women of the Year. On the cover are the "Jersey Girls": Mindy Kleinberg, Lorie Van Auken, Kristen Breitweiser and Patty Casazza. Others who made the Women of the Year list are Samantha Power, Maxine Waters, Saudatu Mahdi, Betty Dukes, Lisa Fernandez and Kathy Najimy. You can find more right now by checking out this web page and check out the issue too.