Monday, November 22, 2004
Ohio Democrats join recount effort
From Keith Olbermann
The news release was issued this afternoon over the signature of Ohio's Democratic chairman, Dennis White: "As Senator Kerry stated in his concession speech in Boston, we do not necessarily expect the results of the election to change, however, we believe it necessary to make sure everyone's vote is counted fairly and accurately." White called for witnesses, volunteers, and donations.
Also, Howard Fineman will be on Countdown tonight at 8 and 12 Eastern time, discussing the implications of all of this.
Posted at 07:39 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Truthout: Litigating the Election
An article in truthout, Litigating the Election, backs up Olbermann's remarks about the timeline...
Although John Kerry conceded that George W. Bush won the election, a candidate's concession is not legally binding. Electors will be certified on December 7, which gives a presumption of legitimacy to the vote; but electors actually vote on December 13. These votes are not opened by Congress until January 6, so there is still time to challenge the results in key states such as Ohio and Florida. A challenge requires a written objection from one House member and one senator. If that objection is recorded, both Houses separate again and they vote by majority vote as to whether to accept the slate of electoral votes from that state.
Bush is claiming he has a mandate, planning to spend his "political capital." Curiously, virtually all of the so-called "anomalies" in the voting results favor Bush. The electors have not yet voted; the election results are not yet final. In the words of Yogi Berra, "It's not over until it's over."
Posted at 04:58 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Keith says we can chill a bit about the timeline
There have been a number of stories floating around that the recount must start now in order to be finished by December 13, when the Ohio electors meet. Keith Olbermann addresses that in his most recent column...
But, Turley noted, “those votes are not opened by Congress until January 6. Now, if there are controversies, such as some disclosure that a state actually went for Kerry (instead of Bush), there is the ability of members of Congress to challenge.” In other words, even after the December 13th Electoral College Vote, in the extremely unlikely scenario that a court overturns the Ohio count, or that the recount discovers 4,000 Gahanna-style machines that each recorded 4,000 votes too many for one candidate, there is still a mechanism to correct the error, honest or otherwise.
“It requires a written objection from one House member and one senator,” Turley continues. Once that objection is raised, the joint meeting of the two houses is discontinued. “Then both Houses separate again and they vote by majority vote as to whether to accept the slate of electoral votes from that state.”
In these super-heated partisan times, it may seem like just another prospective process decided by majority rule instead of fact. But envision the far-fetched scenario of some dramatic, conclusive new result from Ohio turning up around, say, January 4th. What congressman or senator in his right mind would vote to seat the candidate who lost the popular vote in Ohio? We wouldn’t be talking about party loyalty any more - we’d be talking about pure political self-interest here, and whenever in our history that critical mass has been achieved, it’s been every politician for himself (ask Barry Goldwater when Richard Nixon trolled for his support in July and August, 1974, or Republican Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas when his was to be the decisive vote that would have impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868).
The point of this dip into the world of political science fiction is that the Ohio timeframe is a little less condensed than it seems. The drop-dead date is not December 13, but January 6.
It is noteworthy that the announcement of a legal challenge made it into weekend editions of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Columbus Dispatch, the Associated Press wires, and other publications. The Columbus paper even mentioned something curious. “Earlier this week, the Ohio Democratic party announced it would join a lawsuit arguing that the state lacks clear rules for evaluating provisional ballots, a move the party said will keep its options open if problems with the ballots surface.”
This makes a little more sense out of a confusing item that appeared in an obscure weekly paper in Westchester County, New York, last Wednesday, in which a reporter named Adam Stone wrote “A top-ranking official with Democratic Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign told North County News last week that although unlikely, there is a recount effort being waged that could unseat Republican President George Bush.” Stone quotes Kerry spokesman David Wade as saying: “We have 17,000 lawyers working on this, and the grassroots accountability couldn’t be any higher - no (irregularity) will go unchecked. Period.” Gives a little context to Senator Kerry’s opaque mass e-mail and on-line video statement from Friday afternoon.
The Ohio newspaper coverage suggests that even the mainstream media is beginning to sit up and take notice that, whatever its merits, the investigation into the voting irregularities of November 2nd has moved from the Reynolds Wrap Hat stage into legal and governmental action. Tripe does continue to appear, like Carol Pogash’s column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. Its headline provided me with a laugh: “Liberals, the election is over, live with it.” I’ve gotten 37,000 emails in the last two weeks (now running at better than 25:1 in favor), and the two most repeated comments by those critical of the coverage have been references to the ratings of Fox News Channel, and the phrase “the election is over, (expletive deleted), live with it. I hesitate to generalize, but this does suggest a certain unwillingness of critics to engage in political discourses that don’t have no swear words in ‘em.
Posted at 07:19 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Posted at 09:36 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
C.A.S.E. needs optical scan plaintiff A.S.A.P.
Seen in the Kos comments...
Subject: URGENT - NEED ONE OHIO OPTICAL SCAN PLAINTIFF ASAP!!!!!
We need one optical scan plaintiff as soon as possible.
If you know anyone that voted optical scan (filling in the bubbles on a piece of paper - like taking the SAT) please ask them if they would be willing to make history.
No financial obligation. The attorney, John Bonifaz, General Counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, is doing this pro bono.
Please contact me ASAP if you or someone you know wants to be a plaintiff.
CASE - Ohio
Posted at 09:26 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Updates from my purple state
Gotta tell you, for someone who usually doesn't even know when there is an OSU game unless to creates traffic problems for me, I actually found myself smiling when I learned that OSU had beaten Michigan yesterday. I guess I'm feeling a little ornery and protective of my state, what with everybody ragging on it lately--well, everybody who wanted Bush out of office, anyway.
As I find myself continually reminding people lately, I do not live in a "red state". Ohio, like many other states, is purple. And maybe it is really a bluer shade of purple than people think. As Senator Fedor noted on November 3, we had a really hard time making sure this election was fair, and that the wishes of the people were reflected in the outcome.
Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor said today: "There was trouble with our elections in Ohio at every stage. It's been a battle getting people registered to vote, getting to the ballot on voting day and getting that vote to count. There is a pattern of voter suppression; that's why I called for [Ohio Secretary of State] Blackwell's resignation more than a month ago. Blackwell, while claiming to run an unbiased elections process, was also the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio. Additionally, he was the spokesperson for the anti-business, anti-family constitutional amendment 'Issue 1,' and a failed initiative to repeal a crucial sales-tax revenue source for the state. Blackwell learned his moves from the Katherine Harris playbook of Florida 2000, and we won't stand for it."
Posted at 09:09 pm by Renee_in_Ohio