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Friday, February 01, 2008

Blackwell could be subpoenaed

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has been asked to testify next Friday in Washington, D.C., by the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

The topic: "Voter Suppression," according to this letter sent Tuesday to Blackwell, who now works for the Family Research Council, Buckeye Institute and other conservative policy groups.

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., a Michigan Democrat, is investigating election irregularities, including long lines and challenges to voter registrations.

Blackwell, a Republican from Cincinnati, said he received the invitation, "however, my schedule will not permit me to attend the hearings."

Jonathan Godfrey, a Conyers spokesman, said Blackwell has not responded and could be subpoenaed if he doesn't appear voluntarily.

"I don't think it's unlikely," Godfrey said today of a subpoena.

But it would take a majority vote of committee members to issue a subpoena, probably delaying the day Blackwell would be asked to appear, according to Godfrey.

"As we look forward to the 2008 Presidential Election, the Committee seeks to explore policies that should be implemented to avoid future voting problems and ensure that every American can exercise their right to vote," Conyers and Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler wrote in their invitation to Blackwell.

Blackwell said, "For a better understanding of Ohio’s voting performance during the 2004 election, I recommend Chairmen Conyers and Nadler review the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2004 post-election analysis."

The Census Bureau found Ohio experienced record voter turnout among both African-American voters and those between the ages of 18 to 24, he said.

"In addition, voter registration rolls grew by one million new voters from the year before and voter turnout increased by one million more voters from the previous presidential election," Blackwell said.

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at 3:51 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Conyers and Clinton are successful n permiting illegal aliens to vote. They have rights too.

at 3:53 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Translation: Bush took Ohio in the 2004 election... WAAAAA!!! *sob* *sob*

at 3:55 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Jail for J. Ken said...

Kudos to the Dems for finally growing a pair and holding the Repugs accountable for their election thefts.

But let's not just focus on 2004. Let's be sure to examine all the Repug vote fixing over the past 20 years!

And I love how the Dems have this timing thing down and will force the national media's attention on the Repug hijacking of our democracy just in time for the 2008 elections. Oh, yes, the corporate media would rather tell the American public about Britney Spears' personal life than broadcast the truth about how the corporate plutocrats have stolen their Democracy from them.

Who needs the truth when we have so much bread and so many circuses?

Can anyone seriously believe that anyone other than the super-rich and super-crazy-christian-zealots support the Repugnicant Party? And that the coalition of the wealthy and the stealthy somehow ever made a majority?

Go John Conyers! Let's hope that this is the first step for national exposure of the Repugs' theft of our fundamental right to vote.

at 4:06 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

[quote]Kudos to the Dems for finally growing a pair[/quote]

Did they grow a pair of baby rattles?

at 4:23 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they have rights! IN THEIR OWN DAMN COUNTRY!

at 4:51 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous CG said...

Let us not forgoet that the CIncinnati Enquirer endorsed Blackwell for Governor, despite widely known information pointing to his involvement in voter supression. The Enquirer also printed headlines that undermined Strickland and articles that unfairly favored Blackwell.

at 7:07 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Southeast Michigan. John Conyers hasn't done anything for the State of Michigan the entire 40 years he has been in Congress, other than being involved in one scandal after another, why do you think our wonderful Detroit mayor gets in trouble? Because he learned from the best, John Conyers. John Conyers should investigate himself.

If Mr. Conyers wants to continue blow our taxpayer money, why doesn't he go back to investigate the 1960 election where several thousand dead people voted in Chicago...thereby handing the state to Kennedy.

The Moveonoutofhere.org posters here can plainly state some facts instead of their drooling spitting up of the Koolade ration that they read this morning post on DailyKos

at 7:19 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chairman Conyers (Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio):

With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

First, in the run up to election day, the following actions by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party and election officials disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens, predominantly minority and Democratic voters:

The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters. This was illustrated by the fact that the Washington Post reported that in Franklin County, "27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry." (See Powell and Slevin, supra). Among other things, the conscious failure to provide sufficient voting machinery violates the Ohio Revised Code which requires the Boards of Elections to "provide adequate facilities at each polling place for conducting the election."

Mr. Blackwell's decision to restrict provisional ballots resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of voters, again predominantly minority and Democratic voters. Mr. Blackwell's decision departed from past Ohio law on provisional ballots, and there is no evidence that a broader construction would have led to any significant disruption at the polling places, and did not do so in other states.

Mr. Blackwell's widely reviled decision to reject voter registration applications based on paper weight may have resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in time for the 2004 election.

The Ohio Republican Party's decision to engage in preelection "caging" tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a negative impact on voter turnout. The Third Circuit found these activities to be illegal and in direct violation of consent decrees barring the Republican Party from targeting minority voters for poll challenges.

The Ohio Republican Party's decision to utilize thousands of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and Democratic areas likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became discouraged by the long lines. Shockingly, these disruptions were publicly predicted and acknowledged by Republican officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, admitted the challenges "can't help but create chaos, longer lines and frustration."

Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent voters who requested absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis from being able to receive provisional ballots 6 likely disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands, of voters, particularly seniors. A federal court found Mr. Blackwell's order to be illegal and in violation of HAVA.


at 7:21 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

more from Conyers:

Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands of votes that have yet to be accounted for:

There were widespread instances of intimidation and misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and the Ohio right to vote. Mr. Blackwell's apparent failure to institute a single investigation into these many serious allegations represents a violation of his statutory duty under Ohio law to investigate election irregularities.
We learned of improper purging and other registration errors by election officials that likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters statewide. The Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County alone over 10,000 Ohio citizens lost their right to vote as a result of official registration errors.

There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be inspected. The problem was particularly acute in two precincts in Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of over 25% each - accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who stood in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for president.

There were numerous, significant unexplained irregularities in other counties throughout the state: (i) in Mahoning county at least 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of Kerry votes to the Bush column; (ii) Warren County locked out public observers from vote counting citing an FBI warning about a potential terrorist threat, yet the FBI states that it issued no such warning; (iii) the voting records of Perry county show significantly more votes than voters in some precincts, significantly less ballots than voters in other precincts, and voters casting more than one ballot; (iv) in Butler county a down ballot and underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential candidate in history; (v) in Cuyahoga county, poll worker error may have led to little known thirdparty candidates receiving twenty times more votes than such candidates had ever received in otherwise reliably Democratic leaning areas; (vi) in Miami county, voter turnout was an improbable and highly suspect 98.55 percent, and after 100 percent of the precincts were reported, an additional 19,000 extra votes were recorded for President Bush.


at 7:26 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

More from Conyers:

Third, in the post-election period we learned of numerous irregularities in tallying provisional ballots and conducting and completing the recount that disenfanchised thousands of voters and call the entire recount procedure into question (as of this date the recount is still not complete):

Mr. Blackwell's failure to articulate clear and consistent standards for the counting of provisional ballots resulted in the loss of thousands of predominantly minority votes. In Cuyahoga County alone, the lack of guidance and the ultimate narrow and arbitrary review standards significantly contributed to the fact that 8,099 out of 24,472 provisional ballots were ruled invalid, the highest proportion in the state.

Mr. Blackwell's failure to issue specific standards for the recount contributed to a lack of uniformity in violation of both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses. We found innumerable irregularities in the recount in violation of Ohio law, including (i) counties which did not randomly select the precinct samples; (ii) counties which did not conduct a full hand court after the 3% hand and machine counts did not match; (iii) counties which allowed for irregular marking of ballots and failed to secure and store ballots and machinery; and (iv) counties which prevented witnesses for candidates from observing the various aspects of the recount.

The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in numerous counties to provide "cheat sheets" to those counting the ballots. The cheat sheets informed election officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count. In that way, they could avoid doing a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state law.





at 7:41 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer also failed to cover the massive disenfranchisement of African Americans in Ohio and referred to election obervers that spoke of irregularities as "conspiracy theorists".

Carl Weiser still won't say what expert allegedly said there was no conspiracy. Why is that Carl?

at 11:56 PM, February 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conyers is a joke. And maybe the Dems stole the election in '06

at 12:34 AM, February 02, 2008 Blogger JACBI said...

Why? I suspect it is because we would find that those "experts" were paid political operatives. They can't afford to name names.

at 9:00 AM, February 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

When J. Ken goes to jail, I hope one of the large men he disenfranchised is standing close by the first time he drops the soap.

at 10:07 AM, February 02, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

Yawn.......how about the "Get out the vote" crowd flipping parties in the Florida primary on last Tuesday (Fla. law states that you can't change parties 29 days before a primary) just to make sure that the Mamchurian RINO republican McLame would prevail????


at 11:40 AM, February 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps when Conyers takes his tin foil hat off he can realize that the average of the last 5 polls taken in Ohio showed Bush would win by 2%. Bush actually won by 2.12%. Does that sound like fixing an election to you?

at 12:00 PM, February 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike the Honorable Mr. Conyers, Mr. Blackwell failed to investigate election irregularities. Perhaps he will report on why.

The current Ohio Secretary of State responded promptly to the same problems.

Statistical evidence indicates a high percentage of 2004 Ohio punch card votes were counted other than as intended.
See: http://jqjacobs.net/politics/ohio.html
The 2004 Ohio Presidential Election: Cuyahoga County Analysis
How Kerry Votes Were Switched to Bush Votes

"In a subset of 166,953 votes, one of every 34 Ohio voters, the Kerry-Bush margin shifts 6.15% when the population is sorted by outcomes of wrong-precinct voting.


Simply put, Ohio votes were NOT counted as cast. Many votes were miscounted, and Kerry votes were counted for Bush. Numerous questions have been raised about the fairness of the 2004 Presidential election in the United States of America (US). In this article...."



The 2004 Ohio Presidential voting results do not accurately reflect voter intentions. In Cuyahoga County, the election was flawed and the design appears to have been manipulated. At locations with several ballot orders in use, many votes were cast by voters crossing precincts, hence counted other than as intended. At precincts with the highest Kerry support, the percentage of uncounted votes is inexplicably high. The obvious inference—intentional manipulation produced concentrated undercounting, cross-voting, and vote-switching in areas of highest Kerry support—cannot be ignored in the face of the evidence and statistics. The possibilty that ballots were switched to different precincts, post-voting to effect vote-switching, must be considered in a complete chain of custody context.

"Many individual ballots resulted in a vote-switch, a two-vote margin difference from the intended result. Switched-votes cast for Kerry and counted for Bush had twice the impact as their actual occurence, by each subtracting one from Kerry and adding one to Bush. Bush and Kerry votes also went uncounted as non-votes or were miscounted as minor candidate votes. A high percentage of all Cuyahoga County votes were cast at locations with multiple ballot orders. The manner in which precincts and ballot orders were combined increased the probability of a Kerry cross-vote being recorded as a Bush vote. Quantitative analyses of candidate votes and of non-vote percentages evidence the cross-voting and the patterns of cross-voting and vote-switching.

"Sorting locations and precincts to their specific cross-voting probability subsets reveals intended voting patterns and the degree of cross-voting. The combinations of ballot orders and precincts at polling locations enables quantitative analysis of cross-voting and vote-switching. The complexity of the election's organization—the great number of combinations of ballot orders and locations—also makes the task of determining the number of cross-votes laborious and complex. While that process is not concluded herein, the procedures so far taken in this study define the process. This process may be more easily applied to other Ohio counties given less-complex ballot order combinations.

"Any official inquiry into the 2004 irregularities needs to be independent of political interests, and monitored by political interests. The fact that the irregularities discussed herein are known and have been reported to multiple jurisdictions and law enforcement entities, and yet no official inquiry into the election has occurred, illustrates the broader failure of the current election process and judicial system to respond to election fraud and irregularties or to hold officials accountable for their actions. Polling places should never have been arranged such as in Ohio, with multiple ballot orders and separate casting and counting devices. Measures are required to prevent the possibility of similar future flawed election designs. To this end, control of elections should be removed from competing political interests and actors to politically-independent processes, with at the least, independent and political oversight of elections.

"Many more conclusions remain to be made as study and analysis continues. The 2004 Ohio election ballots must be preserved to allow further investigations. If this study illustrates anything, hopefully it is the degree to which this problem has not yet been fully considered, and the complete failure of officials to respond. During an era of new voting system technologies and reforms, careful consideration of past errors may prove useful in avoiding their repetition and in preventing future abuses of process and power.

"The 2004 Ohio Presidential election remains to be fully investigated. The blatant evidence of irregularities and unfairness of organization continues to be ignored by the authorities who have been informed of the evidence."

Hopefully, the Honorable Mr. Conyers, as chairman now, has the power to do more about the failures of democracy under Mr. Blackwell than giving them a hearing.

The real work on Ohio 2004 remains to be completed, and the real story remains to be reported.

at 12:55 PM, February 02, 2008 Anonymous 8-year-nightmare said...

If Kenneth Blackwell has nothing to hide, why isn't he eager to clear the record by testifying in a congressional hearing? The arrogance he displays sounds very familiar to the m.o. of the Bush administration: his "schedule won't allow it". My, my, can you see the complicity?

One valuable thing that I've learned by paying attention during the last 7 years is that the Democrats have consistently tried to uphold the high standards that this country stands for, while being hijacked & stonewalled at every turn by the lock-step Republicans. The contempt shown for our country's wise constitution is unforgiveable & I will never consider voting for a Republican after what I've learned.

Kenneth Blackwell, you are a disgrace.

at 1:54 PM, February 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Prison Reform Advocacy Center in Cincinnati issued an August report entitled, “The Disenfranchisement of the Re-Enfranchised” documenting in detail widespread confusion over the voting rights of former felons. Hamilton County again stands out as the key county for eliminating eligible voters. The study found that the Hamilton County Board of Elections erroneously “requires felons who attempt to register by mail to attach ‘documentation restoring voting rights.’” Hamilton County practices are at odds with Ohio law, which allows felons to vote as long they are not incarcerated or in prison, even if they are on parole or in a halfway house. There are more than 34,000 ex-offenders in Ohio who are currently under some form of corrections supervision who are eligible to vote, and many don’t know it. Political science studies indicate that the vast majority of former felons tend to vote Democratic.

Hamilton was one of twenty counties where Board of Elections officials incorrectly stated the law in the survey. The Prison Reform Advocacy Center report found that only 44% of formerly incarcerated individuals in the Cincinnati Adult Parole Authority Office knew they had the right to vote. In Cleveland the rate was 77% and in Columbus 71% knew they could register to vote.

Following the survey, Damschroder sent out 3500 letters to former felons in the Franklin County stating, “The purpose of this letter is to notify you that your voter registration status has been canceled due to your conviction and incarceration, …” He included people charged with felonies dating back to the year 1998. Damschroder told the Free Press that he normally only sends out between 2-300 such letters a year, but he was following directives from Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. Why Blackwell would issue such directives remains a mystery.


at 10:01 AM, February 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone else here think Conyers sounds like "Marvin the Martian" in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons?

at 12:13 PM, February 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohio elections are controlled by 88
county officials, two Democrats and two Republicans in every one. So if Blackwell was really involved in voter suppression and tinkering with the results he would have had to have the willing cooperation of 176 local Democratic officials. Why do the left-wing conspiracy theorists ignore this fact?

at 8:38 PM, February 03, 2008 Anonymous Wake the F' up! said...

I'm always amazed at the sheer ignorance of some people on this blog when faced with concrete evidence. Thank you to those intelligent ones who cited the report produced by Conyers and the excellent research from the Free Press.

If you don't believe that the 2000 and 2004 elections were rigged in Bush's favor you must be either braindead or so partisan to your Republican party that a fair election is simply not in your interest.

Stop acting like a 'blind' Republican and start acting like an AMERICAN! The evidence is plain to see. This is our democracy we're talking about people. You people make me SICK!

For more election fraud information visit: www.blackboxvoting.org

at 7:28 AM, February 04, 2008 Anonymous its about time they did something said...

Translation: Bush stole Ohio in the 2004 election... blackwell was the ringleader and should do hard time.

at 9:16 AM, February 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous @ 12:13PM:

You are correct in stating that each county BOE has 2 Dems and 2 Republicans, but (1.) they served at the pleasure of the SOS (so if they presented a problem they could be dismissed) and (2.) Whenever there was tie, Blackwell broke the tie. Also it was Blackwell who issued the directives.

All we want is a fair system for all voters and accountability that the outcomes can be verified to have reflected the will of the voters. Is this really so outrageous?

Read some of the information included in posts above. Do you really not take issue with suppressing the vote for certain segments of the population?

Would you have no problem if SOS Jennifer Brunner did the same to effect GOP turn out?

Would you not be suspicious if it was Dem partisan corporations controlling the voting machines that produced outcomes that could not be verified and where known to fail an be inaccurate?

Don't you find it interesting that a corporation like Diebold can produce ATM machines that can be trusted to handle our financial numbers but fail miserably when counting votes?

Nearly half of voting machines tested fail

Montgomery officials tested the 5% of machines that drew complaints; 56 of those 125 machines failed.


at 12:15 PM, February 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conyers can't be trusted to do anything, just look how he lied and led everyone on with Impeachment. Conyers will need to steal his own election next time just to stay in office.

at 1:46 PM, February 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though each county has 2 Democratic and 2 Republican members of their Board of Elections, Ken Blackwell was able to co-opt 176 partisan Democrats and steal the election for Bush in 2004...even ordering the local Boards who have the authority where to put voting machines. You know, this is so looney it defies rational analysis.

at 12:01 PM, February 05, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like it's time for SUBPOENAS. Go get 'em Conyers.

at 9:27 PM, February 05, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conyers is a racist a$$clown.

Bush beat your boy Gore.
Bush beat your boy Kerry.

The voters were smart enough to elect the right man for the job both times. So suck on it, libs.

at 1:34 AM, February 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Bush won. Twice. Get over it.

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