Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Wednesday, December 15
 
Ohio: Continuing Contest and Controversy
Although the Electoral College voted on Monday, there's continuing controversy over the results of the election, particularly in the State of Ohio. The Washington Post has this report on "'lost' voters" (shouldn't that be votes?). Among the problems identified are long lines, faulty poll worker instructions, the continuing use of unreliable punch cards, and, in one county, allegations that electronic voting machines switched votes from Kerry to Bush.

Did these problems affect the result? The Post story concludes, correctly in my view, that they probably didn't. Some voters, however, take a different view. Now available on buzzflash.com are the contest petition and accompanying motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. The contest petition, filed on behalf of several individual Ohio voters, alleges that about 130,000 votes were added to Bush's total and about 130,000 deducted from Kerry's -- meaning that Kerry really won by "at least 143,537 votes." How did this siphoning of votes occur? The petition alleges that President Bush "participated personally and substantially . . . in devising and/or implementing the pattern of vote fraud and discrimination . . . which operated to deprive numerous Ohio citizens of their constitutional and statutory rights." Call me Thomas, but I'm dubious.

Another accusation, one that on its face appears more deserving of careful scrutiny, comes from Rep. John Conyers. Conyers alleges manipulation of the recount procedures in Hocking County, which is located in southeastern Ohio. His letter to the FBI and other information on the allegations can be found here. Keith Olbermann has this post on Conyers' allegations, which appear to be worthy of investigation.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University