Green and Libertarian Presidential Candidates to Demand Ohio Recount.
November 12, 2004 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Green and Libertarian Presidential Candidates to Demand Ohio Recount. David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the 2004 presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties, today announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio.
posted by ZenMasterThis (25 comments total)
?Due to widespread reports of irregularities in the Ohio voting process, we are compelled to demand a recount of the Ohio presidential vote. Voting is the heart of the democratic process in which we as a nation put our faith. When people stand in line for hours to exercise their right to vote, they need to know that all votes will be counted fairly and accurately. We must protect the rights of the people of Ohio, as well as all Americans, and stand up for the right to vote and the right for people?s votes to be counted. The integrity of the democratic process is at stake,? the two candidates said in a joint statement.

The candidates also demanded that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who chaired the Ohio Bush campaign, recuse himself from the recount process.

How cool is this? Any chance it'll have any effect?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:28 AM on November 12, 2004

Sorry about the "?"'s. Damn.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:30 AM on November 12, 2004

Stay golden, pony boy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:31 AM on November 12, 2004

Knowing what really happened is a good thing for everybody on all sides of the issues.
posted by ba at 6:50 AM on November 12, 2004

In the meantime, the MSM dismisses voter fraud as 'rumors' without even bothering to look at the data, [NY times link], and John "Reporting for Duty" Kerry and the Democrats, armed with "10,000 lawyers" and charged with "making all the votes count", fold like a cheap tent.
posted by psmealey at 6:58 AM on November 12, 2004

So.. What happens if they find out that Kerry won, in however many months that takes?
posted by cell at 6:59 AM on November 12, 2004

This is and should remain a non-partisan issue.

So, how do you do a recount with the Diebold machines? Isn't that impossible to REALLY do a recount?
posted by nofundy at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2004

What happens if they find out that Kerry won
Then we get a different Skull-n-Boneser who supported the USAPATRIOT and favors killing poor people on the other side of the world.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2004

This makes an interesting read regarding Florida elections.
posted by bas67 at 7:05 AM on November 12, 2004

It's pretty unlikely that Kerry did win, but the fact that no one is making any serious effort to look at any of the data behind the claims [pdf link] is aggravating beyond belief.
posted by psmealey at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2004

Interestingly, some liberal media outlets such as The Nation are stepping forward to defend the vote count.
posted by jellybuzz at 7:20 AM on November 12, 2004

What happens if they find out that Kerry won

If it's before the Electoral College vote is certified, then he loses.

If it's after the inauguration, then he gets to say he's president, but everyone gets to ignore him, his signatures on bills don't count, and everything he says bounces off of us and sticks to him.

If in between, then it's uncharted waters...
posted by lathrop at 7:21 AM on November 12, 2004

So, how do you do a recount with the Diebold machines?

With the full EVMs, you don't -- there's no reliable audit trail that can't be hacked right along with the vote counting software itself.

However, a great number of counties didn't used EVMs, they used optical scan counters (also made by Diebold, and others). These can be recounted by hand, or by other machines. Spot checking could be done as well.

On preview -- the MeFi Spell Check offers "disembody" for "Diebold." Hmm.
posted by eriko at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2004

Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but does anyone have a source that shows exit polls and actual results from prior elections. If it has always been dramatically different then maybe there is no case, but if not then why aren't more people concerned?
posted by bas67 at 7:26 AM on November 12, 2004

I think you would have to check whether the exit polls were a rough match for the vote totals in the precincts in which exit polls were taken, though, rather than in the nation overall. The differences between the exit polls and the national vote totals can certainly be explained by limited sampling.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:38 AM on November 12, 2004

nofundy, there actually were no Diebold voting machines used in Ohio. Here's a summary from the Ohio Democratic Party.

No Ohio County used Diebold Electronic Voting Machines. Ohio did not use modern electronic voting machines in this election. Six counties use an older form of electronic voting, which has a means of verifying the accuracy of the vote. In 69 Ohio Counties, punch card ballots were used.
posted by Otis at 7:47 AM on November 12, 2004

Here's a look at exit polls. Follow the links for more info.
posted by loquax at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2004

I doubt this will make any difference, but I'm glad that somebody's doing it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:15 AM on November 12, 2004

... stepping forward to defend the vote count.

Call it "inverse sour grapes." It's essential to their mental well-being that they do so. They have a choice of believing that the most fundamental thing in American Democracy was subverted on a mammoth scale, or believing that the system worked according to the rules and, oh, well, the game just didn't go their way this time. Better luck next time.

One outcome casts the world in much starker terms than the other. One outcome is championed by "moonbats" and "tinfoil-hatters", the other by patriotic Americans who Just Want To Move On.

Perhaps they find the idea that some group could be gaming the entire election so monstrous as to be blasphemous.
posted by lodurr at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2004

In related news, the Plain Dealer is reporting that honest-to-God Kerry campaign lawyers are investigating the Ohio vote.

My favorite line from the article:

The campaign's inquiries come against a backdrop of increasing hysteria among Internet activists who, in chains of e-mails and articles, claim that Ohio's election was so riddled with problems that the outcome may not be legitimate.

posted by Otis at 8:45 AM on November 12, 2004


Lathrop, is there a precedent for the first or last scenario..?
And could you clarify that Electoral College thing?

(Sorry, not American - if the rest of you know all this, please tell me to stop asking dumb questions.)
posted by cell at 9:18 AM on November 12, 2004

Perhaps they find the idea that some group could be gaming the entire election so monstrous as to be blasphemous.

i didn't read The Nation article that way at all. it seemed "fair and balanced." all Corn is saying is that there isn't any hard evidence... yet. we need something significantly demonstrable, and i agree that we're not there yet.

most of the article is dedicated to all of the problems with spoilage/evs.

i'm definitely glad that the voting fraud story is still alive, however, because i still think it's a possibility, and it needs to be investigated by independent authorities with full access.

for non-americans, i think Lathrop's first part is right, and the rest is a joke. if the electors cast enough ballots for GWB, he's president, and anything after that would require some serious legal challenges, imo. i would think that until the electors cast their ballots (the first monday after the second wednesday in December?), states are free to recount their votes as many times as allowed by their laws.

that's what was so disgusting about the 2000 recount, or non-recount. there was such a rush to get it done, when they still had several weeks before the electors had to cast their ballots ...
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 AM on November 12, 2004

The Cobb and Badnarik campaigns are in the process of raising the required fee, estimated at $110,000, for filing for a complete recount. The campaigns are accepting contributions through their websites.

I've given money to the Libertarian party and Libertarian candidates in the past. But I can think of about ten thousand better uses of my money than this.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:19 AM on November 12, 2004

So Matt, since trout didn't post this, does that mean its OK to keep and debate? :-)
posted by nofundy at 11:43 AM on November 12, 2004

I'm with the Democrats (like Atrios and Kos) who believe the vote counts may have problems but our time is better spent focusing on rethinking the party's larger electoral and message challenges. It's fine that the 3rd parties are pursuing this and other avenues should be followed as well, in part simply to ensure greater public support for auditable voting. But cries de coeur such as Greg Palast's insistence that Kerry Won if you, you know, count all the ballots that are, you know, uncountable -- these are a sideshow.

As for the electoral college scenarios, one must review the deciding venues. Ohio, run by a Republican SoS, Governor, and legislature, would have to agree that its electoral slate should be switched to the Democrats. Failing that, or even assuming that, the electoral slate would then be submitted to the US House, which would have a 30-16 dominant vote (with 4 required abstentions) in favor of the Republicans in any dispute. Then there's the Supreme Court, comprising the same crew as 2000, and Republican precedent set in seeking a fiat there rather than allow the process to play out in the constitutionally ordained manner, even when they have clear advantages should it do so.
posted by dhartung at 11:24 PM on November 12, 2004

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