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Ohio Recount Rigging Case Goes to Court 224

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the counting-down-the-hits dept.

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the trial of the three election workers accused of rigging the 2004 presidential election recount in Cuyahoga County is finally underway. As you may recall, this was the case where poll workers 'randomly' selected the precincts to recount by first eliminating from consideration precincts where the number of ballots handed out on Election Day failed to match the number of ballots cast and, then opening the ballot boxes in private and pre-counting until they found cases which would match up. What is interesting here is that they have already admitted doing this and that it was clearly counter to the letter and the spirit of the law, but still insist it wasn't really 'wrong,' presumably since they only did it to avoid having to go to the bother of a full recount as required by law.

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Ohio Recount Rigging Case Goes to Court

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  • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Teresita (982888) <badinage1@netzer ... t minus math_god> on Saturday January 20, 2007 @11:25AM (#17694580) Homepage
    The initial count showed her trailing Rossi by 261 votes Recount #1 diminished that lead to only 42 votes. Recount #2 gave her a 10-vote lead. Enter the courts, tossing in some ballots, tossing out others. The final results had Christine Gregoire ahead by 130 votes
  • Washington State (Score:5, Informative)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @12:01PM (#17694834) Homepage Journal
    Dino Rossi asked a judge to review the election. The (Republican) judge in (conservative) Chelan County heard the evidence and ruled that the (Republican) Secretary of State had followed the law. Rossi did not appeal, accusing the (fractured) state Supreme Court of bias.

    The biggest problem with that election was outrageous sloppiness in (Democratic) King County. It looks more like sloppiness than fraud, given that the problem is that they misplaced and didn't count thousands of ballots that were likely to have favored Gregoire. The Secretary of State excoriated them for that and other screwups. (They also tried to cover up a spectacular failure to keep a record of how many absentee ballots came in).

    For more about King County, see blackboxvoting.com.
  • by Snarfangel (203258) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @12:24PM (#17695008) Homepage
    ... and not CNN. I suppose if we had a respectable voter turn out, then big media might think we would find election fraud newsworthy. I guess the president just isn't as important as "American Idol".

    ABC News [go.com] also has the story, along with a picture of the defendents. I can't put my finger on it, but they don't appear to be stereotypical Bush operatives.
  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @12:35PM (#17695076) Journal
    That said I don't even know how this could be considered a reasonable argument since they had to count the boxes twice if I understand thing correctly.

    The law says they have to manually recount a randomly selected 3%, and if that comes out close enough they can do the rest of the recount by running it through the machine again. Otherwise they would have had to manually recount them all.

    So they did a quick search for precincts that might match (e.g., skip the ones where the total number of votes was way off or that otherwise looked fishy), counted some of them until the had 3% that would pass muster, and that became their "random sample" for the public recount.

    What is amazing is that they (&, IIRC, the voting machine tech that helped them) admitted this to the people doing the recount.

    --MarkusQ

  • by Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @12:46PM (#17695182) Homepage
    Aren't they?

    Plus, it's a heavily Democratic county.
  • I 100% agree (Score:3, Informative)

    by MarkusQ (450076) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @01:01PM (#17695302) Journal
    Electoral problems should be scrutinized and fixed based on their severity and merits, not how well they play into some "what if the other guy had won?" scenario.

    I agree 100%. As I have said many times, I wouldn't be all that interested in having Kerry as President, though I don't like Bush either. But if we're going to have an election between two worthless shills I'd still insist on having an honest election between them.

    Further, we should be (and, thankfully, some of us are) looking at the recent midterms as well. Cases like the guy that got no votes (even though he voted for himself), the close House race where 18000 votes went missing [pcworld.com], and so on need to be investigated. Further, we should be paying a lot more attention to things like Rahm Emanuel's involvement in the timing of the Foley scandal, which constitute election rigging of a different sort.

    And finally, we need to keep clear that this isn't a partisan issue. I am a registered Republican, but I want nothing to do with cheaters on "my side." This is actually a pretty common reaction at the grass roots level -- for instance, left leaning sites [firedoglake.com] are as annoyed at Rahm as the right leaning sites [gopbloggers.org].

    Even in hyper-partisan times, the red team and the blue team (again, almost exclusively at the grass roots) have common ground in wanting a fair system.

    --MarkusQ

  • by skymt (968075) <skymt0@gmail.com> on Saturday January 20, 2007 @01:23PM (#17695456)

    I was skeptical, so I did a web search. This Boing Boing post [boingboing.net] has links to coverage from CNN and CBS. I guess he really said it.

    Here's the exact quote (from Wally O'Dell, Diebold CEO and former Republican fundraiser):

    I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president.
  • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ardeaem (625311) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @02:26PM (#17695828)

    Good thing too - Rossi actually quoted as saying Alcohol and Cigarette taxes hurt families. (don't think too hard about that one).
    I was discussing cigarette taxes with a friend of mine who does research in addictions, and I stated my position that cigarette taxes are good. She made the point that cigarette taxes are very regressive. They hit the poor who are addicted much harder than the middle class or wealthy. There will be some who might stop smoking because of them, but the hardcore addicted will continue to smoke because the can't stop, and it higher taxes will take a significant toll on them and their families. It essentially makes a bad situation worse for poor families.

    Don't dismiss the idea out of hand that sin taxes hurt (poor) families. I think a good argument can be made for it.
  • by Gregg M (2076) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @02:38PM (#17695928) Homepage
    Did you RTFA? Prosecutors do not allege vote fraud or that the mishandling of the recount affected the outcome of the presidential election.

    That's why it's not a big deal. But it doesn't stop you or the editors from making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Did you RTFA? They said they didn't think it would change the out come of the election, because they weren't able to do a full recount. The recount they did was rigged. They said they were only following standard procedure. If that's not going to effect the outcome I don't know what is. The flawed recount still gave Kerry more votes. If this was done in every county in Ohio it could have swung the election.

  • Re:Uhhh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Baricom (763970) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @04:05PM (#17696472)
    On the other hand, surely their must be something that can be done
    Not on the national level. Regardless of what one believes happened in the local elections, George W. Bush is the legitimate President of the United States, because there has been no allegations that the votes from the electoral college were coerced or otherwise counted incorrectly.

    Locally, what can happen varies from state to state. Some states do not require their electors to vote according to the popular vote; they can break ranks. (Indeed, this has happened before.) The political parties, which typically nominate the electors, can refuse to nominate them in the future if the state's vote did not come out as expected. And of course, local poll workers can be sanctioned for wrongdoing.

    Bush is the president. No doubt about it.

    Thank goodness that will change in two years.
  • by ChipMonk (711367) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @04:33PM (#17696616) Journal

    *-not just for blowjobs any longer

    It wasn't for a blowjob. It was for perjury.

    Granted, he perjured himself in testimony about a blowjob, but it was still perjury listed in the Articles of Impeachment.

    Sigh.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 20, 2007 @09:57PM (#17698500)
    Yes, a HEAVILY democratic county, home of anti-war granola-eating uber-lefty Dennis Kucinich, where republicans are rare as hell, and yet it went strongly for Bush in 2004. Which is why the trouble with people asking about a recount -- hell, a lot of locals think that something fishy went on in 2004.

    Here is from Cuyahoga County Board of Elections official website:

    MICHAEL BADNARIK/RICHARD V. CAMPAGNA 1,885 (.28%)
    GEORGE W. BUSH/DICK CHENEY (REP) 221,600 (32.89%)
    JOHN F. KERRY/JOHN EDWARDS (DEM) 448,503 (66.57%)
    CANDIDATE DISQUALIFIED 0
    MICHAEL A. PEROUTKA/CHUCK BALDWIN 1,752 (.26%)

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