Saturday, December 11, 2004
Posted at 01:45 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Somehow I keep forgetting to post about this, but tomorrow is the 51 Capital March.
On December 12th 2004 at 12 noon, before the steps of your State Capitol and the Federal Capitol, join with us to protest the theft of our votes and our voting rights in the 2004 election.
As citizens, it is our duty to protect those basic rights that insure the survival of our democracy and constitution for present and future generations of Americans.
Egregious infringements of our voting rights occurred in the 2004 election: our voting systems were compromised and our votes violated. The line was crossed: we no longer trust our voting systems. As citizens, we must stand together and demand:
Of our fellow citizen state electors,
Do NOT cast your ballots for president and vice-president until state election officials provide a complete, fair, accurate and verified manual vote recountOf our state elected representatives,
Direct state election officials to immediately undertake a full statewide supervised manual vote recountOf our federal elected representatives,
Launch an immediate public investigation into all reported incidents of voter intimidation, misinformation, and other acts by state employees intended to dissuade, interfere with, or prevent voters from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote
Act to restore integrity to our voting systems by adopting state provisions of the Voter's Bill of Rights and eliminating unsecured vote tabulation PCs and software
Investigate vote fraud and vote count manipulation in the 2004 elections.Join with us in a people's uprising, a citizen protest. Volunteer to help mobilize the citizens of your state to converge on your state capital in peaceful protest of our stolen rights.
Enact legislation incorporating federal guarantees protecting our voting power and the integrity of our voting systems, and all federal provisions of the Voter’s Bill of Rights.
On December 12th, go to your state or federal capitol and make your voice heard.
Make a sign and show up!
The 51 Capital March
Posted at 10:35 am by Renee_in_Ohio
On Friday December 10 two certified volunteers for the Ohio Recount team assigned to Greene County were in process recording voting information from minority precincts in Greene County, and were stopped mid-count by a surprise order from Secretary of State Blackwell's office. The Director Board of Elections stated that "all voter records for the state of Ohio were "locked-down," and now they are not considered public records."
The volunteers were working with voter printouts received directly from Carole Garman, Director, Greene County Board of Elections. Joan Quinn and Eve Roberson, retired attorney and election official respectively, were hand-copying voter discrepancies from precinct voting books on behalf of the presidential candidates Mr. Cobb (Green) and Mr. Badnarik Libertarian) who had requested the recount.
Click here for more
Visit the Pacifica Radio web site to listen to audio from the forum in Columbus on December 4.
From the Cobb/LaMarche web site
David Cobb will address the crowd at the Ohio State Capitol on Monday around 12:15 pm with a message he released as a public statement yesterday: "It is absolutely outrageous and irresponsible for the Ohio and New Mexico presidential electors to cast their Electoral College votes on December 13th when the outcome of recounts are still unknown. Just as in Florida in 2000, we have to question the integrity of our voting system and those partisan officials who are in charge of it. With allegations of voter intimidation and suppression looming, an impending Congressional investigation, and recounts just beginning, the presidential electors will cast their votes under a cloud of suspicion."
Tuesday, December 14th is the big day for DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines, with Franklin County (515, 472 votes) and Mahoning County (131, 938 votes) as well as Pickaway and Ross Counties starting recounts of ....what exactly? DREs have no voter-verified paper trail. For more information on DRE voting machines, see the Frequently Asked Questions page of the VerifiedVoting.org website.
Posted at 10:28 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Conyers to hold forum in Columbus on Monday
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Fourteenth District, Michigan
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
December 10, 2004 Dena Graziano (202) 226-6888
REP. CONYERS, WATERS, TUBBS JONES, STRICKLAND, ALONG WITH REV. JACKSON AND OHIO STATE SENATOR RAY MILLER, TO HOLD 2004 ELECTION FORUM
Rep. John Conyers, Jr, and other Representatives along with Rev. Jesse Jackson will be holding a congressional forum in Columbus concerning new evidence of election irregularities and fraud in Ohio, the issue of Ohio electors meeting while recounts and litigation are pending, and to discuss legislative and other responses to the problems.
WHAT: "2004 Election Forum"
WHEN: Monday, December 13th @ 10:30am
WHERE: Columbus City Hall, Columbus City Council Chambers
90 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH
WHO: Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
Rep. Maxine Waters
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Rep. Ted Strickland
Ohio State Senator Ray Miller
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Founder Rainbow Push Coalition
Prof. Robert Fitrakis, Editor, The Free Press
Cliff Arnebeck, Arnebeck Associates
John Bonifaz, General Counsel, National Voting Institute
Gregory Moore, Executive Director, NAACP National Voter Fund
Councilwoman Charleta Tavares
Posted at 02:25 am by Renee_in_Ohio
At the rally with Jesse Jackson earlier this month in Columbus, he talked about the idea of amending the Constitution to assure a "national right to vote" (rather than having 50 separate elections with different rules, standards, etc). Just found an article about that idea...
The lack of the integrity of the American system of elections is as suspect as the recent Ukranian election that brought out hundreds of thousands of people into the streets there. It also prompted President Bush to issue a statement characterizing the election as corrupt and poorly administered. He could have said the same thing about each of his own elections.
I applaud Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. for the vision to demand that there be an amendment to the Constitution that wipes away all ambiguity about the right to vote, even though there are legal scholars who assert that it exists, buried in the bowels of one arcane court decision or another. However, I also know that as of the last election, 31 of the governors in the 50 states are Republican, representing a party that has shown a peculiar fondness for states’ rights in this era of history. So a Constitutional amendment that takes away the right of the political officials in their states to “administer” the elections would no doubt be opposed.
A case in point is the secretary of state in Ohio, Kenneth Blackwell, a Black Republican. Blackwell who, it has been reported, desires to run for governor, did everything that he could in that state to influence the election for George Bush. Initially, he proclaimed that voter registration forms would not be considered legal unless then were on 80-pound paper stock, a position that was reversed in the face of a public outcry.
He also ruled that people could not fill out provisional ballots in any other precinct than that in which they resided. And his underlings routinely instructed ex-felons that they could not vote – until the courts ruled otherwise. So onerous were his actions that at one point, a demonstration against him was held by various progressive groups involved in voter registration.
And that is the point, for a movement to obtain the right to vote to be successful, as I have previously said, it will take a citizens’ movement to overcome the entrenched political power in the states, not only in the governor’s mansions, but in the statehouses and election boards. But such a movement to obtain a federal right to vote is warranted by the fact that we already have some federal laws that are being ignored.
Posted at 02:10 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Friday, December 10, 2004
"Whitewashing" the Voter Fraud Issue
Let me start by saying that I am very hesitant use the word "fraud" myself, because the use of that word seems to prompt many people to relegate whatever you are about to say to the category of "conspiracy theory". But it would be pretty limiting to avoid posting articles that use that word. And as far as titles, I tend to base them on the title of the article I'm referring to because, well, I'm bad at coming up with titles. Have been since high school. Anyway, I do feel that this Free Press article deserves a look-see, and hopefully some discussion...
The One-Two Punch of Racism: Whitewashing the Voter Fraud Issue
Overt racism by right-wing Republicans is the core dynamic at work here, but it is aided and abetted by invisibility racism found in left commentators and media reports, who fail to center the civil rights struggle. An issue that is clearly about racism and civil rights has been whitewashed into "voter fraud" generica. Type one racism answered with type two. Browne's careful citation of race-based discrimination followed by Browne's invisibility in the press. The one-two punch continues.
There may not be much that can happen to change the results of the presidential election, so the whitewashing of "election fraud" may not have an immediate consequence for those who are focused on the Bush machine today. But here in Texas, Republicans are taking three newly elected Democrats into a costly process of hearings before a Republican-controlled chamber. "Election fraud" is the allegation that Republicans are bringing against the Democrats.
In Texas, therefore, the generic cry of "election fraud" will very likely make invisible the crucial civil rights component that ties together the fates of three would-be state legislators with racist powers in Ohio and Florida.
In particular, take the case of Hubert Vo, a Vietnamese immigrant who beat a Republican powerhouse by about 30 votes. If the Vo election is overturned by a Republican-led Legislature on whitewashed charges of "election fraud", then the losers will be a coalition of urban voters who worked hard on this grassroots coup. And the winners will be white suburban voters, again.
Yet, if the pattern of injustice in "voter fraud" is a pattern that seeks to favor white suburban voters over struggling urban voters, wherever they are, then making this pattern visible, for once, could tip this 30 vote scale in Vo's favor, and reverse for the first time in more than 30 years a steady trend toward Republican domination of Texas politics.
The white left is meaningless without a civil rights coalition. The sooner the white left embraces this, in deed and word, the sooner we'll be able to see a real future in front of us. The sooner, also, that a national movement of progressives can make a real difference in the South.
More new Free Press articles:
Hacking the Vote in Lucas County
Uncounted Votes in Montgomery County
Why History Demands an Ohio Revote
Posted at 08:08 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Some recount diaries/discussions
Posted at 10:12 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Olbermann's comments after the Columbus forum
for the most recent comment by Keith Olbermann regarding Ohio...
... You may recall that on the November 9th Countdown, law professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, a constitutional expert, told us that though the Electoral College votes next Monday, there is a subsequent window, and a process, for challenging whether voters from a state, pledged to one candidate and not the other, should be allowed to vote.
“If there are controversies,” Professor Turley reminded me, “such as some disclosure that a state actually went for Kerry (instead of Bush), there is the ability of members of Congress to challenge. It requires a written objection from one House member and one senator.”
Once that objection is raised, the joint meeting of the two houses, convened to formally count the Electoral College votes and certify the winner of the presidential election, would be immediately 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.”
What Jackson was asking Conyers was whether or not the Congressmen who were at the voting forum should consider invoking that challenge. The threat was raised in 2000, but Al Gore insisted no Democratic representative or senator should wield the cudgel. It last came up in the 1876 mess and it is not a pleasant thing - the wackier of the politically active of the day started to wonder aloud about rebellion.
But despite Conyers’ back-pedaling in the subsequent interview, Congressman Jackson’s question raises an essential point. If the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who convened the forum seriously believe something went astray in Ohio - even something entirely attributable to static cling in the computers - they should put some of their political capital where their mouths are.
These minority members, who now say they are headed to Ohio to conduct field hearings to listen directly to the grievances of voters there, have provided an invaluable service in forcing at least part of the mainstream to provide a platform for the 20% or more of the citizenry who suspect error or subterfuge.
But to stop there is to subject themselves to accusations of political cowardice and grandstanding. If, in Ohio, or in the calculations of the academics, or in subsequent developments, they conclude there is reasonable evidence that the vote there was rotten - merely accidentally so - one of them in the House and one of them in the Senate should stand up and produce that written challenge to the Ohio electors’ credibility.
Posted at 09:02 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Baltimore Chronicle: Counting Votes
In a piece in the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel, Margie Burns asks...
Why did historically Democratic precincts in Cleveland record up to 22 times more votes for the Constitution Party than all third-party candidates combined received in 2000?
According to the company web site, “Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) is the world's largest and most experienced provider of total election management solutions with over 74,000 systems installed worldwide. Over the past decade, ES&S has handled more than 30,000 of the world's most important events--elections. In the U.S. 2000 General Election, ES&S systems counted over 100 million ballots.” The company provides election machines for local, state and national elections: “Based on the primary voting tabulation system installed within the United States, our customers represent approximately 50 percent of the precincts and registered voters in the U.S. ES&S systems have counted approximately 56 percent of the U.S. national vote in each of the last four presidential and congressional elections.” The company’s connections are also impressive. It was founded in Omaha, Neb., and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was chairman of the company when it was American Information Services. The founders were two brothers, Bob and Todd Urosevich. Todd Urosevich is currently vice president of ES&S. His brother Bob is now head of Diebold Election Systems, another large election machine company based in Ohio.
As pointed out in the online newspaper American Free Press, “Together, the computerized ballot scanners and touch-screen voting machines systems made by ES&S and Diebold recorded some 80 percent of all votes cast in the recent U.S. presidential election.”
Posted at 03:54 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
As Ohio Certifies Vote Count, Protests Continue, Recounts Requested
In the New Standard...
As Ohio Certifies Vote Count, Protests Continue, Recounts Requested
...Hours before making the certification public, Blackwell’s Columbus office buzzed with demonstrators, police and press.
"We came to the Borden building today to ask the Secretary of State not to choose electors until after the recount is complete, and [to] appear on Wednesday before the [US] House [of Representatives] Judiciary Committee," said Warren Linney, spokesperson for electoral activists CASE Ohio. "We have a letter and we are asking him to answer questions about the irregularities across the state."
Speaking by phone over a mélange of directives from police, security guards and the building’s property manager, Linney told The NewStandard that a truly fair count would only be possible if Blackwell stepped out of the process and opened polling records, machines and e-voting software to federal investigation. Many democracy activists have called for Blackwell to recuse himself from the vote counting process because of his previous involvement with the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign.
Click here for more
Posted at 03:47 pm by Renee_in_Ohio