[Jesse] Jackson may have also introduced a new rotting fish into the pile of evidence that suggests Ohio did a very lousy job of running an election four weeks ago. “We don’t want to be presumptuous, but these numbers in Butler, Clermont, Warren and Hamilton counties are suspicious.” Jackson refers in part to the incongruity of an underfunded Democratic candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, C. Ellen Connally, getting 45,000 more votes in Butler County than did Kerry. She finished ahead of her party’s presidential nominee by 10,000 votes or more in five Ohio counties; by 5,000 or more in ten others.Also over at Bloggerman is a less sensational but equally important bit of news about Ohio's provisional ballots:
It is not unprecedented for a statewide candidate - especially a popular, well-publicized one - to finish “ahead of the ticket.” But Connally was a retired African-American judge from Cleveland, and Butler County is as about as far away from Cleveland (on the Indiana border, and 40 miles north of Kentucky) as you can get and still be in Ohio. Moreover, The Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that the Republican candidates in the three Supreme Court races raised 40% more in official campaign funds than did Connally and the other Democrats. The Toledo Blade showed that the fund-raising, and thus visibility, was far more lopsided than even the party documents would suggest: “Citizens for a Strong Ohio, a nonprofit arm of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, raised $3 million to fund TV and radio ads that gave the winners exposure Democrats couldn't match,” the newspaper reported on November 4th.
The Cincinnati Post Saturday quoted Chairman Tim Burke of the Hamilton County Board of Elections as saying that approximately 400 of the 3,000 provisional ballots invalidated in his jurisdiction were thrown out for an extraordinary reason. In some cases, one polling place served more than one voting precinct - and though they were in the correct building, voters were disqualified because they got in the wrong line. “400 voters were in the right place,” Burke says, “but not at the right table.” The newspaper says Burke plans to object to those disqualifications when Hamilton County meets Tuesday to certify its vote.Thank goodness Kenneth (you'd better not be) Black (if you want to vote) well is committed to making sure there is full public confidence in Ohio's final, certified election results.
Other discarded provisional ballots will be sued over. Cuyahoga County tossed a third of all its provisionals, and a group called ‘The People for the American Way Foundation’ filed Friday for a writ of mandamus against Secretary of State Blackwell in the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals, asking the court to order Blackwell to notify each of the 8,099 disqualified voters and afford them the opportunity to contest their disenfranchisement.
though he legally has until December 6 to certify the Ohio vote, Cincinnati television station WCPO reported Sunday that Blackwell is in fact expected to do so on Wednesday of this week.Since I'm complaining about the news coverage as well as the news, here's one breath of fresh air to finish on. Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle carried a front page article on most of the recent developments in Ohio, complete with links to The Neighborhood Network video from Ohio's public
hearings and Election Day lines and quotes from Tova Wang, a real expert from The Century Foundation, a real non-partisan electoral reform organization.
"A working person having to wait in line for five hours to vote is arguably a denial of voting rights," said Wang of the Century Foundation.Finally some mainstream, post-election coverage of voting irregularities that avoids quoting the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project and is not all about internet conspiracy theorists.
In a video from Columbus, Ohio, posted on the Web site theneighborhoodnetwork.org, a diabetic woman who waited 2 1/2 hours in line stepped outside the crowded polling place for air. In the short time she was outside, the polls closed, the doors were locked and she was not allowed back inside to vote.
It poured rain on election day in Ohio and the videos show long lines of people waiting outside under umbrellas or pulling garbage bags over their heads like ponchos.
"We're not making accusations (of fault) against individuals, but we're talking about institutional, systemic problems that disproportionately affect poor people and people of color," said Amy Kaplan, a Columbus resident and organizer for the League of Pissed-Off Voters, a New York-based group focusing on younger voters.