Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Plea for help from an Ohio activist
This was posted in the Blog for America comments. I was amazed at how well Gary expressed what so many of us in Ohio (or involved with the Ohio issues) are feeling, and what we need from all of you...
!!!A PLEA FOR HELP FROM AN OHIO ACTIVIST!!! (please pass it around)
From Voteprotection@voicelists.org which is moderated by Mark Ritchie in Ohio. They are the source of most of the post-election vote information: From: Gary Polvinale [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Yesterday in 30 degree temperature with winds that knocked me over while I was filming the Ohio Statehouse Rally, Ohioans and people from all over America who came to Ohio to help us, listened to Joan and Eve tell how they were denied access to those public records in Greene County Ohio. I was moved beyond words when I looked into the faces of my haggard and weary fellow patriotic Ohioans who continue to persevere no matter how many obstacles are thrown in their path, no matter how tired they are, no matter how sick, how broke, how cold. That kind of spirit is seldom seen today.
Yes, those of us in Ohio ARE on the front lines - and it feels like we are defending the Alamo. We are doing our part. A handful of determined people are working themselves to exhaustion. Yes, we ARE out there in the streets. And we ARE at the statehouse. And we ARE at the hearings. And we ARE filing the lawsuits. And we ARE out there doing the recount. And we ARE out there knocking on doors to investigate, verify and gather the facts.
People all over the country who are web-tracking what's happening want to help, who feel helpless, frustrated, and sorry for us in Ohio, are offering good wishes and words of encourgement. And believe me, we appreciate the encouragement. We do, and thank you for that. But we here in Ohio need more than a "You can do it" pat on the back. We ARE doing it. But nobody knows. Ohio is screaming the truth at the top of its lungs, literally, and no one hears us because of all the noise of the media silence.
If you want to do something, here's what you can do to help.I am asking the rest of the country to please get out there and find well-known people who's voices are loud enought to be heard by the press who will stand up for us. Get a Senator or a media personality or anyone of very high profile to come out about this. The media blackout is killing us. Very few members of Congress, and no one in the Democratic Party has even seriously acknowledged the recount. This is still looked at as the "sour grapes" effort of a couple of disgruntled 3rd party candidates who can't win anyway. It couldn't be further from that. The civil rights of every man, woman and child in America are at stake here.
I don't care what it takes, convince somebody to break our story, to back us and give us the credibility we need and to let the world know we're here doing this. Redford, Sting, Kennedy, Fonda, Kerry... I don't care who, somebody, anybody who can attract the attention of the media (evidently John Conyers' and Jesse Jackson's brave voices are not loud enough.)
We've kinda got our hands full here, or we'd be doing that ourselves too. Give us a voice and we will deliver Ohio. Otherwise SOS Blackwell and the BOE will continue to slap us around like we don't matter a lick, at every turn. We are being squelched by a state government that is willing to violate our rights and even break the law as often as necessary to stand in our way and prevent us from exposing what they've done.I watched 100 of the greatest people I've ever met freeze their butts off for three hours Sunday, and 1500 the week before. And today people are out there at the Conyers hearing at the Columbus Statehouse again freezing, supporting the hearing, the investigation and the recount. And the Ohio recount has begun this morning. If you want to help, please turn over every rock to find someone big who can get the media's attention who is willing to speak up for us. We need that. And we need it now. We'll take care of the rest. You'll have to pardon the tone of this message - I'm tired, I'm pissed and I'm still cold from yesterday.
Thanks for anything you can do toward this.
Democracy = the vote,
Gary Polvinale Sandusky, Ohio
Posted at 09:50 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Recount headlines for Dec. 14
Challenge asks Ohio's top court to review vote (in the Seattle Times)
The Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast its votes for President Bush yesterday, hours after dissident groups asked the state Supreme Court to review the results of the state's presidential race.
Ralph Nader on the Ohio Recount, Bush's Cabinet Reshuffle and the White House "Lowballing" of U.S. Casualties in Iraq (Democracy Now)
As the Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast its votes for President Bush despite calls for a review of voting irregularities, we speak with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader about the Ohio recount, the future of the Democratic Party, the reshuffling of Bush's cabinet, the occupation of Iraq and much more. [includes rush transcript]
Jackson helps challenge ballot totals in Ohio (in the Chicago Sun Times)
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and attorney Cliff Arnebeck of the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy accused Bush's campaign of ''high-tech vote stealing.''
Jackson said the challengers noticed Bush generally received more votes in counties that use optical-scan voting machines and questioned whether the machines were calibrated to record votes for Bush.
The dissidents claim there were disparities in vote totals for Democrats, too few voting machines in Democrat-leaning precincts, organized campaigns directing voters to the wrong polling place and confusion over the counting of provisional ballots by voters whose names did not appear in the records at polling places
Posted at 05:48 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Monday, December 13, 2004
Olbermann reports on Blackwell's recount obstruction
Check it out--Keith Olbermann reports on Kenneth Blackwell's recount obstruction
And here is Blackwell, having insisted on 'Countdown' that there would be a re-count and his office would take no steps to prevent it, stepping on his own feet in Xenia, Ohio. Last Friday, Greene County election officials there tossed out two Green Party observers who had been given access to the examine the voting records there, attributing their actions to Blackwell’s directives that the so-called ‘canvassing period’ which follows every election be extended from ten days to more than a month because of the fact of the recount. Those county records, Blackwell’s people reasoned, needed to be sealed and handled with the “utmost care” until the recount was completed.
Just to round out the absurdity, those same two Greens returned to the Election Board building in Greene County (and what script editor would’ve permitted that coincidence?) on Saturday morning to find, they say, the facility unlocked, and all those ‘sealed’ voting machines and records out in the open where any passing vandal or political memorabilia junkie could’ve walked off with them (heck, I own two Broward County 2000 Voting Machines, if anybody would like to do a private recount). Greene County responded by insisting that while it was true that someone appears to have left the building unlocked, overnight, on Friday, and that nobody locked it up until Saturday afternoon, the other stuff — about the machines and records being unprotected — wasn’t true; they were inside locked rooms.
Posted at 10:06 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
House Judiciary Ohio Forum Hears of Recount Fraud Plans
From Break for News...
House Judiciary Ohio Forum Hears of Recount Fraud Plans
The House Judiciary Cmte., meeting in Columbus, Ohio to investigate presidential election vote irregularities in the state, has heard evidence that preparations to conduct a fraudulent recount are underway statewide.
In early testimony, chairman of the forum, Rep. John Conyers heard from Green party presidential candidate, David Cobb that employees of punch card vendor, Triad Governmental Systems, Inc. (Triad GSI) are attempting to orchestrate a fraudulent recount of the 3 percent of precincts likely to be included in the first phase of the recount process.
Posted at 08:28 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Clint Curtis' testimony in Ohio hearings
Okay, credit is apparently a big deal here, so why don't I just quote that part in full rather than taking the risk that I might say something snarky in my own words.
BREAKING UPDATE!: CLINT CURTIS 'STUNS' JUDICIARY COMM HEARINGS IN OHIO WITH 'JAW DROPPING' SWORN TESTIMONY!
Testimony Described as 'Show Stopper'!
'Stunner', 'Jaws Dropped'!
Audible 'Gasps' heard in chamber room!
*** BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE! PLEASE CREDIT! ***
The BRAD BLOG has just received an exclusive first-hand account of Clint Curtis' sworn testimony (as reported earlier) to the Judiciary Committee Democrats holding hearings this morning in Columbus, Ohio on Election 2004 Voting Irregularities.
The software programmer, whose sworn affidavit was first reported by The BRAD BLOG, named Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee!) as having asked him to create "vote-rigging" software when he was a Florida Congressman prior to 2000 elections!
Curtis was the only witness to be sworn in at today's hearings.
Read the rest here, on, you know, BRAD BLOG. Really--go there! There's even a flashing police car light on the page, lest you miss the fact that this is IMPORTANT BREAKING NEWS.
Whoops...that got a little snarky, didn't it?
Posted at 08:08 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
New Ohio election revelations
From an article in Common Dreams...
Startling New Revelations Highlight Rare Congressional Hearings on Ohio Vote
On Sunday, John Kerry spoke with Rev. Jesse Jackson and urged him to take an more active role in investigating the irregularities and ensuring a fair and impartial recount. Kerry said there were three areas of inquiry that should be addressed: 92,000 ballots that recorded no vote for president; qualifying and counting provisional ballots; and supported an independent analysis of the software and set-up of the optical scan voting machines.
What follows are excerpts from some of the affidavits for the election challenge.
- In Warren County, where election officers declared a homeland security emergency on Election Day, and barred reporters and others from watching the vote count, it now has been revealed that county employees were told the previous Thursday they should prepare for the Election Day lockdown. That disclosure suggests the lockdown was a political decision, not a true security risk. Moreover, statements also describe how ballots were left unguarded and unprotected in a warehouse on Election Day, and they were hastily moved after county officials received complaints.
- In Franklin County, where Columbus is located, the election director, Matt Damschroder, misinformed a federal court on Election Day when he testified the county had no additional voting machines – in response to a Voting Rights Act lawsuit brought by the state Democratic Party that minority precincts were intentionally deprived of machines. It now appears as many as 81 voting machines were being held back, out of 2,866 available, according to recent statements by Damschroder and Bill Anthony, the chairman of the Franklin County Board of Elections. The shortage of machines in Democratic-leaning districts lead to long lines and thousands of people leaving in frustration and not voting. Damschroder's contradictory statements raise the possibility of perjury.
Posted at 07:23 pm by Renee_in_Ohio
Hands Around the Statehouse
As reported in the Free Press
HANDS AROUND THE STATEHOUSE
December 13, 2004 is the date the Ohio electoral college is scheduled to meet and vote for President on your behalf. Who do YOU think really won the election? If you believe the election had severe irregularities and voter suppression, meet from 11AM-1PM at the Ohio Statehouse-Columbus to protest.
Posted at 07:24 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Conyers accuses Blackwell of "Stonewalling"
The office of Congressman John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, has just rushed an alert out to the media in regards to recount efforts on the ground in Ohio. The release quotes Conyers as asking publicly if Ohio election officials are now attempting to hide information and accuses them of "stonewall[ing]" Judiciary Committee member’s "search for truth"!
"We have now repeatedly seen election officials obstruct and stonewall this search for the truth," Conyers says in the release, adding "I am beginning to wonder what it is they are trying to hide." [emphasis added]
The Press Release, just issued, headlined "Conyers Alarmed at Efforts to Obstruct Ohio Recount Effort, Calls Witness to Monday Hearing to Detail Such Efforts", outlines the troubling reports, discussed here yesterday, of Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (also Co-Chair of the Ohio Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee!) reportedly attempting to obstruct efforts by Green/Libertarian Recount Volunteers in Ohio over the last several days.
Click for more
Posted at 07:21 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Kerry Lawyer Seeks Ohio Ballot Inspection
I'm pretty sure this is the lawyer who spoke to us about the possible next steps as far as legal remedy at a meeting of concerned voters/activists a week after the election. Didn't know he was one of Kerry's lawyers...
Kerry Lawyer Seeks Ohio Ballot Inspection
Democrat John Kerry is asking county elections officials to allow his witnesses to 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 the Kerry campaign made in a letter sent over the weekend to Ohio's 88 county boards of election, which will begin recounting presidential ballots this week.
"We're trying to increase the transparency of the election process," said Donald McTigue, the lawyer handling the recount for the Kerry campaign. But he added that several requests — such as using independent experts to check election equipment, "are trying to push the edge of envelope."
Posted at 07:13 am by Renee_in_Ohio
Congressman Conyers on Blackwell's Obstruction
CONGRESSMAN JOHN CONYERS, JR.
FOURTEENTH DISTRICT, MICHIGAN
RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
DEAN, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS
December 12, 2004
Dena Graziano (202) 226-6888
Conyers Alarmed at Efforts to Obstruct Ohio Recount Effort, Calls
Witness to Monday Hearing to Detail Such Efforts
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.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats wrote a letter to Blackwell on
December 2 requesting answers to 34 questions about election
irregularities and fraud in Ohio. This letter included questions
about major discrepancies in Perry County poll books. Since that
letter, additional documentation has been provided to the Democratic
staff demonstrating similar problems in other counties.
Because of the urgency of the Greene County matter, Congressman John
Conyers, Jr., Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, has
requested that Ms. Quinn testify at a hearing scheduled Monday in
Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Quinn has agreed to do so and will also present
sworn statements from corroborating witnesses. Conyers issued the
"The Recount effort is simply a search for the truth of what happened
during the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio. We have now repeatedly
seen election officials obstruct and stonewall this search for the
truth. I am beginning to wonder what it is they are trying to hide."
Posted at 12:44 am by Renee_in_Ohio