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Thread: Ohio to Delay Destruction of Presidential Ballots

  1. #1
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    Ohio to Delay Destruction of Presidential Ballots

    Ohio to Delay Destruction of Presidential Ballots
    Michael Houghton for The New York Times

    By IAN URBINA
    Published: August 31, 2006
    With paper ballots from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio scheduled to be destroyed next week, the secretary of state in Columbus, under pressure from critics, said yesterday that he would move to delay the destruction at least for several months.


    Also in the Guide The Race for the U.S. House Governors' Races Since the election, questions have been raised about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that helped deliver the election to President Bush over Senator John Kerry.

    The critics, including an independent candidate for governor and a team of statisticians and lawyers, say preliminary results from their ballot inspections show signs of more widespread irregularities than previously known.

    The critics say the ballots should be saved pending an investigation. They also say the secretary of state’s proposal to delay the destruction does not go far enough, and they intend to sue to preserve the ballots.

    In Florida in 2003, historians and lawyers persuaded state officials not to destroy the ballots in the 2000 presidential election, and those ballots are stored at the state archive.

    Lawyers for J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio secretary of state, said although he did not have the authority to preserve the ballots, Mr. Blackwell would issue an order in a day or two that delays the destruction and that reminds local elections officials that they have to consult the public records commissions in each county.

    Federal law permits, but does not require, destroying paper ballots from federal elections 22 months after Election Day.

    The critics say their sole interest in the question is to improve the voting system.

    “This is not about Mr. Kerry or Mr. Bush or who should be president,’’ said Bill Goodman, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York group that is part of the lawsuit. “This is about figuring out what is not working in our election system and ensuring that every cast vote counts.

    “There is a gap between the numbers provided in the local level records, which until recently no one has been allowed to see, and the official final tallies that were publicly released after this election, and we want to figure out why that gap is there.”

    The planned action of Mr. Blackwell, a Republican who is running for governor, and the threatened suit could draw attention to possible irregularities in the election that he supervised.

    The suit would follow what researchers call the first time anyone other than county and state officials in Ohio have been given such extensive access to the main material from the previous presidential election.

    After eight months inspecting 35,000 ballots from 75 rural and urban precincts, the critics say that they have found many with signs of tampering and that in some precincts the number of voters differs significantly from the certified results.

    In Miami County, in southwestern Ohio, official tallies in one precinct recorded about 550 votes. Ballots and signature books indicated that 450 people voted.

    The investigation has not inspected all 5.6 million ballots in the election because the critics were not given access to them until January. That followed an agreement by the League of Women Voters, a plaintiff in another election suit against the state, that it was not contesting the 2004 results, Mr. Goodman said.

    The new suit, to be filed in Federal District Court in Columbus, would be argued on civil rights grounds, saying the state deprived voters of equal treatment.

    Last week, lawyers sent a legal notice to Mr. Blackwell notifying him that suit was pending and asking him to issue an administrative order directing the 88 county election boards to retain the 2004 records.

    “The decision of who decides whether the records will be preserved is quite simply not the secretary’s to make,” said Robert A. Destro, a lawyer for the secretary of state’s office.

    Mr. Destro said preservation decisions belonged to the county public records commissions, the county boards of elections and the Ohio Historical Society.

    “But by issuing this order,” Mr. Destro added, “the secretary of state will prevent any records from being destroyed for at least several months while this matter is studied more closely.”

    Steven Rosenfeld, a freelance reporter formerly with National Public Radio, said the investigative team analyzed three types of sources. They are poll books used by officials to record the names of voters casting ballots, signature books signed by voters and used to verify that signatures match registration records, and optical scan and punch card ballots, used by 85 percent of the voters in the state. The rest used touch-screen machines
    We’re not claiming that what we found reveals a huge conspiracy,” Mr. Rosenfeld said. “What we’re claiming is that what we found at least reveals extremely shoddy handling of ballots, and there are some initial indications of local-level ballot stuffing.”

    Also in the Guide The Race for the U.S. House Governors' Races In Miami County, Mr. Rosenfeld said, the team found discrepancies of 5 percent or more in some precincts between the people in the signature books and the certified results.

    In 10 southwestern counties, he said, the team found thousands of punch card ballots that lacked codes identifying the precinct where the ballot was cast. The codes are typically necessary for the machines processing the ballots to “know’’ to record which candidate receives the votes.

    Mr. Rosenfeld is a co-author of a book that The New Press is to publish next month, “What Happened in Ohio?: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election.” The other co-authors are Harvey Wasserman, an election rights advocate and an adjunct professor of history at Columbus State Community College, and Robert J. Fitrakis, a lawyer who is running for governor as an independent.

    Robert F. Bauer, a lawyer from Washington who represented Mr. Kerry and the Democratic National Committee on voting issues before the 2004 election, was skeptical about the critics’ case.

    “The major discrepancies that they are identifying are not materially different than what has already been highlighted,” Mr. Bauer said.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Kerry sent a fund-raising e-mail message calling for support for Representative Ted Strickland, the Democrat who is running for governor. Mr. Kerry wrote that Mr. Blackwell “used his office to abuse our democracy and threaten basic voting rights” in 2004.

    Multiple suits failed in challenging the 2004 election in Ohio, and most studies after the election concluded that irregularities existed, but that they would not have changed the outcome.

    In January 2005, the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee issued a report finding “massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies” in the election.

    In March 2005, the Democratic National Committee issued a report that said 2 percent of the Ohio electorate, or “approximately 129,543 voters,” had intended to vote but did not do so because of long lines and other problems at polling stations.

    But the report said those and other frustrated voters “would not have erased Bush’s 118,000 vote margin in the state.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/wa...&ex=1157169600
    __________________________________________________ ______________

    Now I am not saying that Bush was not legitimately elected in 2004 and that he lost Ohio but why in this day and age are Presidential elections still run in our country in such a way that invites abuse and fraud? It seems like we demand higher standards in a banana republic than we do in the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Queens Jet Fan

    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Now I am not saying that Bush was not legitimately elected in 2004 and that he lost Ohio but why in this day and age are Presidential elections still run in our country in such a way that invites abuse and fraud? It seems like we demand higher standards in a banana republic than we do in the US.
    sure...but before we start worrying about paper ballots, receipts, etc, let's first put in place a voter ID system where voters are required to show proper identification at polling stations such as voter ID cards, state issued licenses, etc, as all the counting in the world means squat if the person in the booth is illegally voting....

    I'm sure Barbara Boxer and the rest who complained about long lines in Ohio from the floor of the senate will trumpet this cause....hey Russ Fiengold- this was a huge problem in your state- take up the cause!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY
    sure...but before we start worrying about paper ballots, receipts, etc, let's first put in place a voter ID system where voters are required to show proper identification at polling stations such as voter ID cards, state issued licenses, etc, as all the counting in the world means squat if the person in the booth is illegally voting....

    I'm sure Barbara Boxer and the rest who complained about long lines in Ohio from the floor of the senate will trumpet this cause....hey Russ Fiengold- this was a huge problem in your state- take up the cause!!
    It'll never happen until cutnrunocrats figure out how to get voter ID cards into the hands of corpses.

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    It is amazing that without Democrats you would not be able to post anything.

    The elections would run to pristine if it wasn't for the Democrats. The Republican party is the picture of truth, honesty and the American way.

    Wake up. Politics are corrupt all the way around, there is not difference in parties anymore. They all want to become rich from office.


    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit of Weeb
    It'll never happen until cutnrunocrats figure out how to get voter ID cards into the hands of corpses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726
    It is amazing that without Democrats you would not be able to post anything.

    The elections would run to pristine if it wasn't for the Democrats. The Republican party is the picture of truth, honesty and the American way.

    Wake up. Politics are corrupt all the way around, there is not difference in parties anymore. They all want to become rich from office.
    There's a big difference.

    One party boasts the likes of kerry, clinton, dean, reid, pelosi, sharpton and jackson among others.

    One party votes to fight a war before they vote against it.

    One party wants to provide bin laden & co. with an 8x8 cell and 3 squares a day.

    One party wants to penalize the productive and reward the slackers.

    That is enough of a difference for me.

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    The scarey thing is you actually believe what you wrote.



    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit of Weeb
    There's a big difference.

    One party boasts the likes of kerry, clinton, dean, reid, pelosi, sharpton and jackson among others.

    One party votes to fight a war before they vote against it.

    One party wants to provide bin laden & co. with an 8x8 cell and 3 squares a day.

    One party wants to penalize the productive and reward the slackers.

    That is enough of a difference for me.

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    Yeah, lets store paper. That is great use of time and taxpayer money.

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    like I said- whine about voting machines all you want- don't mean sh!t if the person pulling the lever shouldn't be there in the first place....

    Judge Strikes Down Mo. Voter ID Law
    By KELLY WIESE, Associated Press Writer


    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    (09-14) 15:21 PDT Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) --

    A judge struck down Missouri's new voter identification law Thursday as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote.

    The law required voters to show a federal or Missouri-issued photo ID at the polls, which Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan said was an unconstitutional burden on voters because the paperwork required to get those IDs is not free.

    Callahan said the requirement is a particular burden to women and the poor. Missouri law requires those getting or renewing a driver's license to show they are lawfully in the country, generally with a birth certificate or passport.

    Those whose name has changed, such as some married women, also must provide documents showing those changes.
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...a152120D19.DTL

    of course those who illegally vote do not infringe on the rights of law abiding voters....a complete joke...

  9. #9
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    Democrats Pounce on Voter ID Laws
    By Susan Jones
    September 20, 2006

    (CNSNews.com) - The way Democrats and some judges see it, requiring a photo ID at the polls infringes the rights of America's voters.

    The Democratic National Committee is applauding a Georgia judge, who has permanently blocked a state voter ID law from taking effect.

    In the ruling issued Tuesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. said Georgia's new photo ID law violated the state constitution by placing an extra burden on qualified voters.

    "Any attempt by the Legislature to require more than what is required by the express language of our Constitution cannot withstand judicial scrutiny," Bedford wrote.

    Press reports said the issue may reach the George Supreme Court before the general election on Nov. 7.

    'Harmful law'

    The Democratic National Committee says voter ID laws are nothing more than "Republican attempts to restrict voting rights."

    The DNC noted that just last week, a circuit court overturned Missouri's "harmful voter ID" law.

    "This is the second blow in less than a week to the Republican strategy to narrow and limit the rights of America's voters," said Donna Brazile, who chairs the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute.

    "This latest decision in favor of voting rights and against Georgia's voter ID sends a message to Republicans across the country, that their partisan schemes to undermine the right to vote will not go unchallenged."

    The House of Representatives on Wednesday is expected to vote on H.R. 4844, "The Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006," which would require voters to show government-issued photo IDs, such as a driver's license, when voting in federal elections. The bill also would require people to prove their U.S. citizenship when registering to vote.

    Supporters say the bill will reduce fraud at the polls -- and prevent illegal aliens from casting ballots.

    But the DNC said Republicans should "think twice" before enacting a federal voter ID law. "This Republican legislation would become the equivalent of a national poll tax," the DNC said.

    "As Democrats, we believe that no American should have to pay in order to vote, and we will continue to fight for meaningful election reform that ensures every citizen has access to the ballot and that those votes are accurately counted."

    The National League of Women Voters also is urging Congress to reject the Federal Election Integrity Act, which it describes as a "manipulation" of the voting process.

    "This is an attempt to politicize the voting process by erecting barriers to keep many eligible, legal voters from participating," National League President Mary G. Wilson said.

    Wilson questions arguments that the bill will reduce voter identity fraud. She pointed to a "lack of evidence of instances in which voters misrepresent their identity at the polls."

    The National League says voter ID laws will disproportionately impact people who are least likely to have a current photo ID -- such as the poor, the infirm, the elderly, rural voters and minorities.

    "In modern society it is easy to assume that everyone has appropriate ID or can prove their citizenship. But it is more difficult than one might think," Wilson said. "The costs in time and money of obtaining proof of citizenship and photo ID would clearly discourage voter participation."

    Hardship?

    But Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), who sponsored the Federal Election Integrity Act, says requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls "presents no greater hardship than people face performing everyday activities."

    For example, Hyde noted that government-issued photo IDs are required for driving vehicles, applying for Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, food stamps, boarding airplanes, entering government buildings, registering at school, getting student loans, renting movies, and cashing checks.

    Given all the cases in which U.S. citizens are asked to produce photo IDs, it should not be difficult to produce IDs to guard against fraud in the electoral system, Hyde said.
    so let's see...the defeatocrats will whine like children about possible vote counting irregularities they have no proof of yet do not want to make sure everyone voting is legally doing so???

    yeh.....that's the ticket!!!

  10. #10
    One of the two parties feels pressure to push for voting rights to felons. That, to me, says there is plenty of difference between the two parties at present time.

  11. #11
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    U.S. Senate Democrats decry voter photo ID bill Fri Sep 22, 5:38 PM ET


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democrats on Friday said legislation that would require voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship to vote in federal elections was little more than a poll tax and urged Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to stop the bill.

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    The measure, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week largely along party lines, would require voters to present at the polls a photo identification that also proves citizenship for federal elections beginning in 2010.

    Republicans said proof of citizenship is needed to crack down on voter fraud and ensure illegal immigrants do not vote in U.S. elections.

    Democrats said there is no evidence of widespread abuse and that the cost and effort required to get such a document would discourage poor voters, the elderly and people with disabilities. right....but there is evidence of wide-spread counting irregularities- as they constantly b!tch about then prove...

    "Worst of all, this bill recalls a dark era in our nation when individuals were required to pay a poll tax to cast their ballot and has been termed a 21st century poll tax," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and three other Democrats wrote in a letter to Frist, a Tennessee Republican.

    Democrats said the only identification that would meet that requirement is a passport, which costs $97 to obtain. Only about 25 percent of Americans have passports.

    Democrats fear Republicans will attach the photo identification measure to a domestic security spending bill the House and Senate could vote on next week.

    They say such a move would be politically motivated to draw Democratic opposition to the homeland security bill that otherwise would easily pass just weeks ahead of the November 7 congressional elections.

    If the identification measure were enacted it would likely face legal challenges. Recently judges in Missouri and Georgia ruled unconstitutional state laws requiring voter photo identification.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060922/...n_elections_dc

    ---------------------------

    yep....dem rats reeeaaaallly want voting improvements in this country...

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