"Whatever It Takes": Ohio Update
Catching up on the last few days of Ohio...
Green Party press release from yesterday: "Federal Judge Rules That Ohio Recount Will Go Forward in All Counties." "The judge also provisionally granted the motion by the Kerry-Edwards campaign to intervene in the lawsuit in defense of the position of Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik. Although the judge did not agree with Cobb that the recount should proceed on an expedited basis, the Cobb campaign is confident that a full and complete recount will take place."
Juan Gonzalez in today's NY Daily News: "Ohio was the decisive state in the election and none of the challenges is expected to prevent the Electoral College from making the President's reelection official. But the hand recount may be able to tell why nearly 93,000 voters who went to the polls did not register any vote for President." The piece features a Democratic state senator saying that his touchscreen voting machine registered a vote for Bush: "I hate to be part of the conspiracy crowd, but it happened to me," said State Sen. Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown). Hagan said he then repeated his vote for Kerry, and this time his candidate's name lit up properly. (Note: I'd been under the impression that Ohio was all punch cards and optical scan ballots. But apparently there were touchscreen machines in use. Sorry for the confusion.)
Gonzalez: "Something tells me no bank in America would accept as many computer problems in tracking its money as Ohio's elections board had in tracking its votes on Nov. 2."
The Green Party formally submits their recount demand today, as well as their bonds to the 88 counties in Ohio. David Cobb and others will hold a press conference at 2:00 pm. Details here.
The NY Times: "As Questions Keep Coming, Ohio Certifies Its Vote Count." "The Ohio secretary of state officially certified on Monday that President Bush won that swing state by roughly 119,000 votes, but an array of Democrats, third-party candidates and independent groups continued to question the results, issuing new demands for a statewide recount and a formal investigation of the vote." Remember when any coverage just focused on crazy Internet rumors? As Triumph the Insult Comic Dog said, "Ah, those were the days."
"Even before Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican, issued the final tally, the Democratic National Committee said it would appoint an expert panel to review voting problems in Ohio - including long lines, voting machine errors and understaffed polling stations - that it said had disenfranchised voters in predominantly Democratic urban districts.
Democratic officials, walking a fine line between their angry liberal base and centrist voters who consider the election over, said they were not contesting the results. But they said they planned to use the results of their investigation, which is to be completed by the summer, to demand changes to the electoral systems in Ohio and other states."
Dec 6: "DNC Chair McAuliffe and Voting Rights Institute Chair Donna Brazile Announce Comprehensive Investigative Study on Election Practices in Ohio"
"The DNC investigative study will examine the legitimate questions and concerns that have been raised in Ohio and will develop factual information which will be critically important in crafting further necessary election reforms. Specifically, the investigation will seek to address questions surrounding the issues of adequate voting resources (machines, pollworkers, etc), the high number of provisional ballots – valid and invalid – as compared with other states, anomalies in the reported results as compared with exit polls, historical data, and reported anomalies within counties and precincts and whether the touch-screen machines and tabulating systems functioned properly.
To address these questions and more, the DNC, at its own expense, will assemble a top-flight team of recognized experts to be named at a later date including:
a political scientist expert in quantitative analysis;
an expert or experts in the design of computer hardware and software systems;
an expert in voting systems and machines;
an investigator with forensic expertise; and
a pollster to survey voters who cast provisional ballots and to conduct other original survey research as needed.
This team will be supported by DNC and state party staff, consultants who were deeply involved in the election effort in Ohio, Ohio attorneys and the DNC legal team."
The DNC's list of experts sounds like a wonky version of the Breakfast Club!.A nerd, a jock, a princess, and an investgiator with forensic expertise!
"You just bought yourself another Saturday, McAullife!"