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Monday, February 25, 2008

Congress to Blackwell: Get here and testify


Bill Theobald of Gannett News Service reports:


WASHINGTON -- Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell could be forced to testify before a House committee looking into problems during the 2004 presidential election.


A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will discuss Tuesday issuing a subpoena for the Republican Blackwell. He declined to appear in a politically tinged exchange of letters with the committee’s Democratic leadership.


A Jan. 29 letter from Rep. John Conyers Jr., D- Mich., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., inviting Blackwell states election problems in Ohio in 2004 "affected hundreds of thousands of voters."


Blackwell's response, dated Feb. 5, states that since he is no longer secretary of state he has "not been privileged to information regarding the state's election administration preparation for the upcoming 2008" elections. At the end of his letter Blackwell mentions a report showing Ohio did a better job in 2004 of handling provisional ballots than Michigan, Conyers' home state.


The two Democrats responded Feb. 19 saying that "we believe your prominent role in recent elections ... in which serious questions arose concerning protection of the right to vote gives you a uniquely valuable perspective."


"We are therefore writing to renew our invitation, and to further advise you that your appearance will be required."

"Your cooperation will ensure the committee can obtain the benefit of your testimony without the need to resort to compulsory process," the two wrote.


A hearing on voter suppression is scheduled immediately after the discussion of the subpoena.



27 Comments:

at 3:59 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken Blackwell is a disgrace and so is Rosa Blackwell. What have they ever done that was good? Rose has destroyed the Cincinnati Public Schools.

 
at 4:50 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blackwell is a liar and a crook and should be in jail. He also helped Bush get into office..which has been a total disaster. He plays this 'I'm a good community values guy' BS..believe me there a plenty of skeletons in his closet that will be public soon! Stay tuned..

 
at 4:53 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blackwell is being highly rewarded by the Republican Party for his obstruction of an investigation of our most primal rights to vote in Ohio. His legal defense fund is overwhelmed with their supporters of his antagonism against truth.

Subpoena the SOB and ask him the names of those adisors and contributors who promoted Nixonese cover ups

 
at 4:55 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If two people ever fed out of the public trough, it's these two. And we got nothing back for it. These two are shameful!

 
at 5:28 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the damned Democrats investigated the 2000 and 2004 election "irregularities" in Florida pertaining to "hanging chads" and the military absentee voting. Probably not. They tried their best to steal that election like they stole the 1960 election via the Chicago returns. So much for an even-handed approach to Democrat-led investigations. I hope Ken Blackwell is successful in telling Conyers to go fertilize his headgear.

 
at 5:37 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of unethical Republicans, the Enquirer needs to ask John Boehner about this:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is resisting an order by House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard to remove the site earmarkreform.house.gov, which promotes GOP efforts on reducing earmarks... House Administration regulations require all House.gov domain names to be “recognizably derivative or representative” of the name of the Member or office sponsoring the site, according to [Bears spokesman Jeff] Ventura. Domain names may not be a slogan or imply that the “House endorses or favors any specific commercial product, commodity or service,” Ventura added.

 
at 5:44 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are nuts. The outcome of the election in Ohio was the same as the polling in Ohio...there was no conspiracy. Besides, everyone knows the Council on Foreign Relations picks who will be president.

 
at 5:53 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blackwell has not put in an honest day in 20 yrs.

Taxpayers throw him in jail, cease his assets as partial payment for the huge damage to the state and nation. Damn him!

 
at 8:14 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

more folly from the lowest rated congress in the modern age.

 
at 9:22 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congress, do something important. Your venture into the baseball investigation made you look foolish but you continue... Look into the mirror and you will see corruption.

 
at 9:42 PM, February 25, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an observation where are the Rev. Jackson, Sharpton and others to defend the poor people of color eating of the government cheese?

Regarding Mrs Blackwell she is hardly responsible for harming a broken public school service in Cincinnati. If so, was she employed by the many failing public trust in the country? It appears this is all about the D or the R. Shame on all of us for being quick to judge.

 
at 3:01 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush won. Twice. Get over it!

 
at 5:48 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease- get Blackwell sworn to testify under oath on C-SPAN so the nation can see what a corrupt fool he is.

 
at 7:43 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is sufficient evidence to prove that blackwell was instrumental in the theft of the 2004 election. its time to hold the neocons accountable for their crimes.

 
at 9:16 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

UNCOUNTED VOTES IN OHIO IN 2004:

UNCOUNTED VOTES:

Cranks and Kooks: Kerry won in '04
by Greg Palast
May 11, 2006

Answer: The Uncounted.

In Ohio, there were 153,237 ballots simply thrown away, more than the Bush "victory" margin. In New Mexico the uncounted vote was fives times the Bush alleged victory margin of 5,988. In Iowa, Bush's triumph of 13,498 was overwhelmed by 36,811 votes rejected. In all, over three million votes were cast but never counted in the 2004 presidential election. The official number is bad enough-1,855,827 ballots cast not counted, reported to the federal government's Election's Assistance Commission. But the feds are missing data from several cities and entire states too embarrassed to report the votes they failed to count. Correcting for the under-reporting of the undercount, the number of ballots cast but never counted goes to 3,600,380. And there are certainly more we couldn't locate to tote up.

Why doesn't your government tell you this? Hey, they do. It's right there in black-and-white on a U.S. Census Bureau announcement released seven months after the election -- in a footnote to the report on voter turn -- out. The Census tabulation of voters voting "differs," from ballots tallied by the Clerk of the House of Representatives for the 2004 presidential race by 3.4 million votes.

This is the hidden presidential count which, excepting the Census' whispered footnote, has not been reported.

Unfortunately, that's not all. In addition to the 3 million ballots uncounted due to technical "glitches," millions more were lost because the voters were prevented from casting their ballots in the first place. This group of un-votes includes voters illegally denied registration or wrongly purged from the registries.

http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2006/1961




November 2, 2004 Election

Iowa New Mexico Ohio

Ballots “spoiled” 18,847 21,084 103,660

Provisional Ballots Uncounted 7,368 6,593 33,998

Absentee Ballots Uncounted 10,596 4,217 15,519

Ghost Votes & blocked votes unknown 2,087 85,950

Total Uncounted* 36,811 33,981 239,127

Bush “Victory” Margin 10,059 5,988 118,599

*Totals here include ghost vote only for New Mexico and machine shortage only for Ohio. Registry purges etc., would increase these totals.



-U.S. Civil Rights Commission reports that ballots of “non-black” voters were rejected: 1.6% (1 in 63 did not count); while black voter ballots were rejected 14.4% or 1 in 7 African American votes went uncounted.

-The rejection of provisional ballots were cast over-whelmingly in Democratic precincts.

-In New Mexico, 9 out of 10 votes uncounted were cast by non-Anglo voters. (90% of this population vote Democratic.

-Nationally, the total numver of voters voting provisionally was 3,107,490 and the rejection rate was 1,090,729.

SOURCE: Greg Palast "Armed Madhouse"




1,597 Provisional Ballots from Franklin Co categorized as Status 200-”Not Registered”, yet voters were registered

http://my.core.com/~rhh/index.htm



Study of Provisionals in Cleveland


From a recent Cleveland study on ‘04:
Almost 1,000 provisional ballots may have been wrongfully rejected because of registration problems alone. At least 944 rejected provisional ballots, mostly classified as “not registered”, were apparently mistakenly purged from the registration lists. Since this error was detected by only one type of search, which did not detect other voters who claimed similar errors, the true number of provisional ballots wrongfully rejected is likely to be higher.
We estimate that 2 out of every 5 provisional ballots that were rejected should have been accepted as legitimate. If we combine incorrectly purged provisional votes, projected votes rejected because of initial registration errors, provisional ballots lost through polling place misinformation and innocent errors filling out the provisional application, it appears that over 41% of rejected provisional ballots (or 14% of all provisional votes) may have been unnecessarily rejected.
We estimate that simply changing residence exposes voters to a 6% chance of being disenfranchised. Youth, the poor, and minorities are disproportionately affected. In fact, with respect to just provisional ballots, we found a two-fold increase in rejection rate in predominantly African-American compared to predominantly Caucasian precincts.
Full text: http://www.clevelandvotes.org/news/reports/summary.html


DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF THE MILITARY VOTE:
Wednesday, December 14, 2005; Page A28:


A Defense Department survey on military voting found that 79 percent of military personnel tried to vote in the 2004 presidential election and that 73 percent of those actually voted [news story, Dec. 7].

But the survey obscured an important fact: Disenfranchisement of military and overseas absentee voters remains high. Between 30 and 45 percent of these potential voters failed to receive their absentee ballots or received them too late to matter, according to surveys by the National Defense Committee and the Overseas Vote Foundation.

About 1.4 million active-duty members of the uniformed services and 1 million spouses and family members are eligible for absentee voting. In addition, an estimated 4 million U.S. civilians who live abroad are eligible. Yet most states still conduct absentee voting through U.S. mail via a cumbersome three-step process.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/13/AR2005121301729.html

 
at 9:17 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fixing America's Broken Elections
Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
February 08, 2005

My staff reviewed thousands of pages of primary source materials, including copies of actual ballots, voter registration databases, and poll books. They also met with several individuals having firsthand knowledge of irregularities. What they found indicated problems in multiple areas, from machine tampering and malfunction, to the intimidation and caging of minority voters in urban and rural areas, to the purposeful misallocation of voting machines and the unjustifiable restrictions that were placed on the use of provisional ballots.

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/fixing_americas_broken_elections.php

 
at 10:08 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, with hours-long poll-tax lines for poor, brown, Democratic voters and none for rich, white Republican voters, you can't really call what Blackwell ran an "election." Unless of course you live under a third-world dictator. (Oh, right.)

But Blackwell revealed himself as an election thief long before that when he tried to trash thousands of Democratic votes due to paper thickness.

Still, since he met personally with Karl Rove -- like Tom Noe -- I'm sure they'll trot out the Executive Privilege fig leaf to hide behind. It must be getting kind of crowded back there.

 
at 10:39 AM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dems lost the 2004 election. Get over it. My brother lives in Mason, a very strong Republican area and faced long lines in 2004. Will this Kangaroo Kourt Committee look into that also? Also, I would like to know, which party controls the County Boards of Elections in the counties where the Dems claim they were denied the right to vote? I would bet they were probably Dem-controlled. So how does Blackwell supposedly cheat them out of their votes? Are where were the Dems who worked the polls and who were on the County Board of Elections? Do these people have any CLUE about Ohio election law?

What a pack of sore losers!

 
at 3:56 PM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Sore Loser said...

Those who oppose voter suppression and election irregularities are not "sore losers." Especially not so if they are under oath to protect the rights of We the People. And, I hope, they know better than to resort to "name calling" when they know they are wrong.

From the Conyers Report:

"... 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...."

"... it is imperative that we examine any and all factors that may have led to
voting irregularities and any failure of votes to be properly counted."

Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio
Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, Jan. 2005.

http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/ohiostatusrept1505.pdf

 
at 5:03 PM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Undue Influence After the Florida fiasco in 2000, Diebold saw an opportunity. To persuade Rep. Bob Ney to promote its machines in a package of election reforms he was drafting called the Help America Vote Act, the company hired two lobbyists with close ties to the Ohio congressman. Diebold paid at least $180,000 to David DiStefano, Ney's former chief of staff. And it shelled out as much as $275,000 to the lobbying firm of the best-connected man on Capitol Hill: Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff has now been convicted of bribing Ney -- but Americans will be paying for the results of Diebold's influence for years. As part of the Help America Vote Act, every precinct in America is now required to install at least one machine accessible to disabled voters -- a mandate that has already fueled the spread of touch-screen technology and cost taxpayers almost $3 billion. ''These vendors have a Halliburton-like hold on the Republican leadership,'' says Rep. John Conyers.

Diebold's influence extends to Ohio, where top Republicans have pushed hard to install the company's machines. Matt Damschroder, the chair of the Franklin County Board of Elections, was fined a month's pay last year for accepting a $10,000 check from Diebold made out to the county GOP in 2004, on the same day the board accepted bids for new voter-registration software. Once he was caught, Damschroder ratted out his friend, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, telling authorities that a Diebold consultant boasted of funneling $50,000 to Blackwell's ''political interests.''

Blackwell and Diebold deny the transactions ever took place. But in April of last year, after engaging in secret negotiations with the company, Blackwell emerged with the triumphant announcement that he'd reached a deal to equip Ohio with Diebold machines at a cut-rate price. He didn't bother to mention that he had just bought nearly $10,000 in Diebold stock -- a ''mistake'' he now blames on his financial manager. He also neglected to reveal that as part of the deal -- as revealed in a company e-mail to Blackwell -- Diebold insisted he use his influence as secretary of state in a way that would guarantee the company a state monopoly. Blackwell complied by setting such an early cutoff date for counties to select their new machines that other manufacturers would be unable to get their equipment certified in time. A lawsuit filed by a Diebold competitor and thirty-two counties in Ohio eventually forced Blackwell to roll back the deadline. But in the end, Diebold still wound up selling its machines to forty-seven of the state's eighty-eight counties -- just in time for elections this fall.

-snip
http://www.thealliancefordemocracy.org/html/eng/2361-AA.shtml

 
at 5:19 PM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do your job Congress!

It's OK to impeach Bill for lying about his sex life

But not go after Boner and Blackwell for undermining Democracy? Come on now.

 
at 5:20 PM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous BlueOhio said...

The 2004 Ohio Presidential Election: Cuyahoga County Analysis
How Kerry Votes Were Switched to Bush Votes
http://jqjacobs.net/politics/ohio.html

Preface

Simply put, Ohio votes were NOT all 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 study I focus on one election issue, punch card cross-voting—how votes cast one way were counted other than as intended, as a vote for a different candidate or option. .......

For Ohio punch card voting, accurate tally is dependent on the chain of custody from giving the voter a ballot until central tabulation. Ballots must be cast and counted in their own precinct. Many votes were counted for the wrong candidate or ballot option, and a significant portion of the cross-voting resulted in Kerry votes tallied as Bush votes. The 2004 Presidential election hinged on the Ohio results. ......

Conclusions

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. .....

 
at 5:25 PM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earth to Conyers:
Quit pussyfooting around with this important issue. The voters expect MORE from you guys.
See Johnboy's lame quotes here:
http://www.wlwt.com/politics/15416477/detail.html

 
at 10:59 PM, February 26, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberals are angry, bitter, hateful losers. Just read their comments above.

Liberals hate their lives, are under-educated, and they know that nothing will ever get better in their pathetic existences. Thus, they try to tear down everyone else who is more successful.

 
at 3:30 PM, February 28, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

George W. Bush defeated Algore.

George W. Bush defeated John Kerry.

Get over it, libs. The best man won both elections.

 
at 12:11 AM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Congress is going to go after Roger Clemens for perjury, it ought to go after the countless Bush Administration officials who lied under oath -- or refused to appear. Isn't that called contempt?

 
at 12:15 AM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:30:

Do your research.

The U.S. Supreme Court defeated Al Gore.

Swiftboaters, Fear of Al Qaida, Sureshot Cheney, Ken Blackwell and Warren County defeated flip-flopping Kerry.

 
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