January 5, 2005 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell was in charge of making sure the election in his state was free and fair. With his recount was still progressing, he revealed his true colours. You remember towards the beginning of Fahrenheit 9/11, where the objectors to the electoral result needed just one senator to come out and support them? Well, it's that time again.
posted by Pretty_Generic (34 comments total)
Blackwell's a Republican. Big surprise that he wanted the incumbent President, a Republican, to win.

A link to a biased website, and a link to a biased blog, to point out the other side's inherent bias. Flogging a long-time-dead horse. The best of the web?
posted by veedubya at 7:56 AM on January 5, 2005

I agree with X and vw ...

If the entire political direction of a country can hinge on such a small percentage of the vote, the problem is not the votes, but the system.

I applaud any and all efforts to ensure elections are free and fair. However, I abhor and oppose any effort to do so in the name of changing the outcome of an election.

Rant Time
I vote both ways, I'm solid middle of the road.
If the left wants to garner votes, they need to work on defining themselves, and get that message out. The left's strenght has always been its positive vision, the glass half-full outlook. Look at the Democrats who have been elected, it was based more on their positive vision, than attacking the right (there was some of that, but that's politics). The republicans did not win by bashing the left. The left just thinks thats the reason. Somebody in another mefi thread said it exactly right. The current perception of the left is a bunch of PC whiners, and the left (in general) has done nothing to change that image around. Is liberal a bad word? Why? What the right does so effectively that the left hasn't yet (except in very isolated cases), is to take the criticism of the left, and say, yep the left is correct, we are opposed to stem cell research because we think playing God is not what we should be doing. See that, they DEFINE themselves. Its media spin Kung Fu ... attacking the right will just give them more ammunition. Take what the right doesn't like about you and expand upon it, highlight the differences and be proud of your political affiliation.

Ok ... sorry rant off ... too much coffee this morning I guess ...
posted by forforf at 8:15 AM on January 5, 2005

The system isn't breaking down, so much as it's being broken down.

You can't reform elections with the corrupt officials still running elections and insisting on keeping obvious vulnerabilities in place. What can you do, debate them about the merits of a paper trail, or why it's important to have allocated every available voting machine?

They owe their "victory" to their contempt for democracy! You think you can reform elections with these gremlins determined to screw with the system at every turn for their benefit?


You need to make some harsh examples out of them under the law, and scare the pants off of anyone else who may consider fucking with elections. How are you gonna negotiate with someone who has no reservations, shamelessly showing contempt for democracy and voters and getting away with UNBELIEVABLE BULLSHIT because one side is trigger shy and afraid to appear impolitic?

(For just one instance among many....Ken Blackwell seized ballots during the recount, arbitrairily deciding that "ballots were no longer public records." That is textbook election fraud under Ohio law. There's no wiggle room. That's fraud, plain and simple. Just one example.)

It's not about winning and losing, it's not about partisanship....Does the rule of law apply or not?
posted by edverb at 8:23 AM on January 5, 2005

Thank you for your helpful advice.


The Left
posted by goethean at 8:23 AM on January 5, 2005

Does the rule of law apply or not?

Considering the examples of the last four years? No.


Get used to it, or get out. They've won (by theft and deceit,) but none the less, they've won. It will not get better before it gets worse. It will not get better at all.
posted by eriko at 9:03 AM on January 5, 2005

The left's "PC whining" about what would happen in Iraq turned out to be prophecy.
posted by digaman at 9:05 AM on January 5, 2005

via Wash Times (yeah i know): "Jesse Jackson can complain, grandstand, whine, stamp his feet all he wants," said Carlo LoParo, Mr. Blackwell's spokesman. "It's not going to change the results of Ohio's election or how voters cast their ballots on November 2."

And all you other . . . disenfranchised . . peoples can suck it! okay I added that part

And via Cleveland Plain Dealer: "[US Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones] also chided Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell for co-chairing President Bush's Ohio re-election campaign and accused Blackwell of making 'irresponsible rulings' on how election officials handled voter registration cards and provisional ballots."
posted by petebest at 9:16 AM on January 5, 2005

"Crucial flaws in the national vote count, most importantly in Ohio, New Mexico and Florida, indicate John Kerry was most likely the actual winner on November 2, as reported in national exit polls. At very least, the widespread tampering with how the election was conducted, and how Ohio's votes were counted and re-counted, has compromised this nation's historic commitment to free and fair elections."
posted by muckster at 9:20 AM on January 5, 2005

I applaud any and all efforts to ensure elections are free and fair. However, I abhor and oppose any effort to do so in the name of changing the outcome of an election.


But let me ask a question: granted that any and all miscounts, intentional and unintentional cannot change the actual US election result... Wouldn't a proven attempt to tamper with the results (on a state level) on even the smallest scale, be sufficient for impeachment, should it be determined that this was done with the complicity (or even the knowledge) of the republican leadership...? I mean, Nixon would have won the 72 elections anyway...
Isn't looking into voting fraud allegations justified anyway, regardless of whether the actual numbers of fraudulent votes were enough to change the electoral result?
If you ignore fraud it won't go away, it will just repeat...

And lets not confuse Kerry with the left...
posted by talos at 9:24 AM on January 5, 2005

Get used to it, or get out.

What, and give up front-row seats to the final episode of the Great American Experiment? Hell no! I want to see exactly how it ends.

[sniff...god I'll miss that show almost as much as Seinfeld]
posted by edverb at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2005

If a senator gets on board all that will happen is a Republican controlled committee will have to admit something's not right with our election system, or rather, they will have to admit that some people have suspicions. There's not a chance in hell they'll DO anything, but they will have to basically acknowledge the elephant in the room.

I, for one, would like there to be discussion about this stuff, in the open, on the record. I'd love to have the people that have such faith in our faith based process to be on record - if only so that in 20 years when the truth comes out we can look back and see everyones position relative to the elephant, or if it comes out sooner we can call 'em on it.
posted by 31d1 at 9:49 AM on January 5, 2005

I agree that if there is proof of tampering with an election, that election should be called into question.

But at some point, could we please point to a NON-BIASED source??? Please, pretty-pretty please ????

Until then it smacks of sour grapes.

And touching on an earlier point, if a few corrupt officials can throw a country into a direction that the majority doesn't want to go, something is wrong with the system.

If the majority goes along with it ... well ... they may be wrong, but I'd take government by an unenlightened majority over a government by an "enlightened" minority any day.*

*of course govt by an enlightened majority would be nicer still

and on preview, I agree whole heartedly with 31d1 as well.
posted by forforf at 10:34 AM on January 5, 2005

What exactly is the complaint? The links in the FPP aren't very well organized or illuminating. Is the complaint that voters were disenfranchised or that Kerry ought to have won? The first is a legtimate complaint, worthy of investigation; the second, well, meh.

Anything to discredit Blackwell would be lovely of course. I speak as an Ohio resident - I do not want that man as our next governor.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:46 AM on January 5, 2005

Blackwell's a Republican. Big surprise that he wanted the incumbent President, a Republican, to win.

Yes, well hurrah for Mr. Blackwell. And you are correct, it’s common knowledge he wanted to attach his political star to the Bush/Cheney campaign. What some democratic-minded citizens might raise a few eyebrows at, however, is the fact that Mr. Blackwell’s well-documented partisanship, in his position of power, allowed him to shape the election. The Secretary of State’s Office did some pretty suspicious things that sure appeared as if they tilted the playing field in favor of Mr. Blackwell’s team (does something smell funny?)

(See here and here and here)

So yeah, the fact this these kinds of shenanigans go on in our democracy is a bit upsetting to a few people (disgruntled and bitter lefties all, I’m sure).

A link to a biased website, and a link to a biased blog, to point out the other side's inherent bias.

In defense of the post, the first link is to a scanned letter on official Ken Blackwell stationary. I believe that makes it a primary document to add to the “Ken Blackwell is a Partisan Hack” file and not just “a link to a biased website.”
posted by Otis at 10:48 AM on January 5, 2005

And while you are out, stop by here for an interesting discussion of the usage of "stationary" versus "stationery."
posted by Otis at 10:54 AM on January 5, 2005

It looks like Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) might sign on with House Democrats to contest Ohio's Electoral Vote. If that happens, the 20 Ohio EVs could be tossed in the garbage!

Meanwhile, in Washington state, Republicans are trying their best to overturn the governor's election that was at once in the GOP's favor...but now in the Democrat's favor.

Hopefully, at some point, we'll get this 'election' thing right."
posted by jb_thms at 11:31 AM on January 5, 2005

Is the complaint that voters were disenfranchised or that Kerry ought to have won?

Both, and some people think they amount to the same thing. If you're willing to look past the apparent bias of the people who still haven't given up on the system, and consider the body of evidence that is accumulating, you might be interested in this link. And this one.

The non-biased stuff will start to come out after the electoral vote is certified tomorrow. The issues are not going to go away, though much effort will be made to sweep them under the rug. I can't wait to see how we'll all justify remaining on our asses and not doing anything about it once we can no longer use the "sour grapes" excuse.

There is still time to contact your legislators, if that kind of radical behavior appeals to you.
posted by Buzz at 11:40 AM on January 5, 2005

"Is the complaint that voters were disenfranchised or that Kerry ought to have won?"

Both, and some people think they amount to the same thing.

They most assuredly do not amount to the same thing.

For those people that are working to ensure all voters are (and were) treated equally (regardless of whether they reside in a budget challenged inner city precint, or are deployed gung ho soldiers with absentee ballot issues) you are doing your country a great service.

For any that are working to swing the pendulum to your favorite side, in a partisan fashion. I hope you fail so miserably that your efforts end up doing grievous harm to whichever "side" you're on.
posted by forforf at 12:03 PM on January 5, 2005

I don't give a flip how you feel about the 2000 or 2004 election.

If you can't see the danger of allowing completely partisan people to be in charge of counting the votes (a process which is now being allowed to happen in complete secrecy, beyond the reach of a recount, via audit-less vote machines), then, frankly, you don't deserve a democracy.

We should all be able to agree that the idea of completely partisan politicians running the vote counting operation is brain-dead stupid. And that's the electoral system we have.

As Americans, we like to claim that our democracy and system of government is the best going. In this case, that's either not true at all, or what passes for the "best" is a joke.
posted by teece at 12:12 PM on January 5, 2005

For any that are working to swing the pendulum to your favorite side, in a partisan fashion. I hope you fail so miserably that your efforts end up doing grievous harm to whichever "side" you're on.

This actually a very sad statement, forforf, and explains very clearly why America is ripe for serious election fraud.

It is an indisputable fact that, at present, somewhere between 1/5 and 1/3 of the votes are counted in a completely unverifiable way, by admitted partisans. And yet you, and the majority of Americans, have complete, blind faith in the stated outcome of the election. Did fraud happen? Who knows. Is asking if the election was fair, and demanding proof, somehow a horrible thing? Not in any sane universe.

In the end, I guess you do get the government you deserve.
posted by teece at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2005

What are you talking about teece ... ?
I think that partisans in charge of the election is a very BAD thing. I think that votes that can't be counted in a verifiable way is a very BAD thing. I think elections should be FREE and FAIR.

Why is a rabid Kerry supporter any more trustworthy than a rabid Bush supporter? That's my friggin point.

Don't you get it? We're ripe for seditious fraud because too many people are caught up on "their side" winning. Pardon me while I puke. Because the America vision I buy into is not about sides, its about being fair, its about putting the system above politics.

Where I differ with some, is that some see that a few thousand votes "stole" an election. But I'm of the mind that if a few thousand votes is all that seperates the two sides, it doesn't matter who wins, its a virtual tie. Flip a coin for all I care, because your entering in the realm of the margin of error, and when you're within the margin of error, either side can find reasons why they should have won.

Don't get me wrong, we should endeavor to make sure that elections are free and fair, and I'm ok with the investigations, what ticks me off, is the incessant "AHA see it was rigged in Ohio" meme that when I go check, shows that yes, there do seem to be irregularities that need to be checked, and highlighting that things can be done better (like not having a partisan Republican (or Democrat!) in charge of counting votes). But drawing a line from these irregularities to out and out fraud is a leap I'm not willing to make until there is more evidence.

So if you're saying that changes should be made to the system to make it more open and transparent, I'm with you 100%.
If you're telling me that Kerry won in Ohio ... then I would kindly ask for some proof, other than innuendo.

Look, if Republic fraud happened, and if they did an amazing job of covering it up perfectly, then there's nothing we can do about it, except change the sytem to be more transparent the next time. If there's incriminating evidence about actual vote manipulation, than I'll be the first to get the lynching rope. But having a republican in charge of counting votes is a bad idea, but does not in and of itself constitute fraud. Having a voting machine that doesn't provide an audit trail is a bad idea, but does not mean they were manipulated.

If we're into fixing problems to make the system better, count me in. If we're into stacking the deck so that the democrats have a better shot at the election next year count me out.

Because, at the end of the day, I want the government most of my fellow countrymen want, even if its not the government I was hoping for ... we're all in this together, like it or not.
posted by forforf at 12:56 PM on January 5, 2005

So if you're saying that changes should be made to the system to make it more open and transparent, I'm with you 100%.
If you're telling me that Kerry won in Ohio ... then I would kindly ask for some proof, other than innuendo.

With you on the second part, very much against you on the first part. You are not willing to wait and see if there was fraud -- you have already decideded there wasn't, as it is obvious from the way you talk about Ohio.

The people that are working to understand what happened in Ohio are not asking you or anybody to accept that Kerry won Ohio (except for a minority of whackos), they are asking for an open accounting of what went wrong (and there is certainly enough evidence of foul-ups to warrant that), and an understanding of whether on not the will of the people is expressed in the vote tally. And, thanks in part to the widespread attitude you're espousing (don't rock the boat attitude and confusion of calls for an investigation with demands of overturning results), we are not going to get any accounting of how badly Ohio or any other state was or was not FUBAR.

You have given the election to Bush, and swept the real problems under the rug. In all likelihood, Bush did win. But given the pretty serious evidence of problems, you're too quick to put complete faith in an obviously flawed electoral system (which is what it sounds like you're doing). My thinking is that it is exactly that attitude that has allowed the FUBAR system to persist to this date: "well, there may have been problems, but we'll fix 'em next time..." Well, reform is not going to happen except in the controversy of a disputed election.

I don't think they are ever going to be fixed, sadly, not with a majority of Americans holding this attitude. Which is scary, because the things that have been put in place over the last 4 years guarantee massive fraud is going to happen, the only question is when. This is the second election in a row when major voting irregularities have put the outcome of an election in dispute (although the first one was orders of magnitudes worse). That there is no groundswell of support for change, from all sides, tells me that American democracy is on life support. And yes, the "sides" issue is real, and you are falling for it.

(Oh, and your description of the left are the usual caricature. I don't care which side you think you are on, you're not making much attempt to listen the left side seriously.)
posted by teece at 1:40 PM on January 5, 2005

Seems like the Dems get hacked both ways.

If they 'play nice' and concede for the good of the country they are called spineless, and if they challenge and fight they are called sore losers and whiners.

Good grief, what a perfect trap eh?
posted by edgeways at 1:41 PM on January 5, 2005

But having a republican in charge of counting votes is a bad idea, but does not in and of itself constitute fraud. Having a voting machine that doesn't provide an audit trail is a bad idea, but does not mean they were manipulated.

No, of course, none of this "proves" anything - that's precisely the problem, and why electoral systems are supposed to be designed to involve "provable" assertions about things like how many people voted, and who they voted for. Anyone who wilfully disregards this principle, like say, the Republican-controlled congress, executive, and judiciary, is *already* guilty of crimes against democracy, regardless of whether or not they availed themselves of the capabilities which they have been very persistent and careful in granting themselves. Short version - the 2004 American election was a joke. Not that anyone is laughing...

For those of you who are interested in the actual issues in Ohio, here's a link to a PDF version of The Conyers Report: What Went Wrong in Ohio which outlines the many reasons to throw out Ohio's electoral votes. (executive summary here)

How the hell does one certify, with a straight face, 124% voter turnouts? How about the 13,000+ citizens who voted for a black, liberal Ohio Supreme Court Justice, and also for Bush? And what about that recount? Ballots impounded in mid-count, ballots left unguarded overnight, "cheat sheets", unsupervised maintenance visits etc etc.
Ten preliminary reasons why the Bush vote does not compute
posted by dinsdale at 1:45 PM on January 5, 2005

But having a republican in charge of counting votes is a bad idea, but does not in and of itself constitute fraud.

Agreed. However...that's not what's at issue. It's not indictment by mere association, there is a very well documented body of evidence that points to conspiracy and fraud.

Given all that we know about irregularities in this election in Ohio alone (more votes than voters in precincts, seizure of public records by SecState Blackwell, the Warren County lockdown, intentional long lines, voting machines withheld, remote access enabled on tabulators during elections and recounts, exit polling data variance, implausible results in places, and much more)...there's certainly probable cause for investigation.

But by the time actual fraud can be proven -- as was the case with Florida's felon list of 2000 -- it's too late. If there's prior history, motive, opportunity, and suggestive what point is it OK to make a charge of "fraud"?

After all, throughout this entire "debate" (that's being charitable), I've seen story after story of credible allegations -- and not a single satisfactory answer. I've heard an awful lot of "tinfoil hat" accusations, and plenty of "get over it", and a fair amount of begging indifference and mischaracterization -- but many of the allegations have not been answered to anyone's satisfaction.

It's not because Ken Blackwell is a Republican. It's because he's egregiously committed election fraud, more than once. Nothing more and nothing less.
"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?

But conscience asks the question - is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."

-Martin Luther King
posted by edverb at 1:57 PM on January 5, 2005

"It's not those who vote that counts-
It's those who count the votes!"
Stalin didn't really say this, but he could have. This election (and 2000 as well) was a poster child for that statement.
posted by mullingitover at 4:49 PM on January 5, 2005

Okay, so I emailed Barbara Boxer. I figured she might want to hear from an Ohioan:

Dear Senator Boxer,

I'm not a California resident, but I've read in a couple of places that you're considering contesting Ohio's Electoral vote along with several Democarats in the House of Representatives. As someone who lives in Ohio, I can't really expect my senator to look out for the interests of Ohio in this case, because he's a Republican, and supports President Bush. This is sad, because I don't think that this issue is a partisan issue.
Let me explain: I don't think that Senator Kerry "really" won the election, or that there was a vast conspiracy or anything along those lines. I don't think that contesting Ohio's electoral vote will change the election's outcome. But I do think that contesting Ohio's vote will draw attention to the great number of irregularities that occurred on election day here in Ohio, and elsewhere in the country. I do not believe the election was stolen, but I do believe a great many voters were disenfranchised, and that the election was certainly stealable. Our electoral system is broken, and easy to manipulate. It should be safeguarded, because it is perhaps our most valuable national trust. Without a transparent and reliable electoral system, we can't have genuine democracy. We can't heal the division between Republicans and Democrats. We can't trust each other or our leaders.
I want to be able to vote and know that my vote was counted, and counted fairly, and that the will of the people, not mistakes, not fraud, not broken machinery or pregnant chads decided the election. I believe that if Ohio's vote is contested, media attention will be drawn to the many problems in our system and a genuine effort for reform can begin.

posted by eustacescrubb at 5:18 PM on January 5, 2005

kudos eustacscrubb.
I agree with your message and think your approach is a good one. Also, having checked your blog, I agree with many of the points your raise there as well..
posted by forforf at 2:31 AM on January 6, 2005

forforf: I disagree with your basic position. There is no such thing as a non-biased source, much less a non-biased source that investigates elections. Everyone and everything is biased, period, end of statement.

More to the point, I don't *understand* your basic position. If there was electoral fraud how could any ethical person not seek to change the result of the election on that basis? (or call for a new election, as has happened in Ukraine twice before they got a fair election). I'm sure I'm misunderstanding you, but it seems as if you are demanding that people who believe there is fraud accept a fraudulent result rather than working to change the result. In other words, it seems to me that you are demanding that people be utter whimps: "well, there was fraud, but we shouldn't try to change the result of the election, we lost because they cheated, but we can't try to change the result of the election". Again, I'm pretty sure that isn't what you mean, but from what you've written that's what I'm getting.

My point is that in the real world no one is going to push for a fraud investigation unless he a) believes there is fraud, and b) wants to see the election results overturned. I'm certain that there are Republicans who are repulsed by the obvious potential for fraud, and indications of fraud, on Blackwell's part. But I'm equally certain that those Republicans will tolerate that fraud because it benefited them. They don't like it, and they may work to eliminate future fraud, but they damn sure aren't going to do anything that will rock the boat after they won.
posted by sotonohito at 4:20 AM on January 6, 2005

Well said eustacescrubb. Sen. Boxer came through:

"I have concluded that objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate way to bring these issues to light by allowing you to have a two-hour debate to let the American people know the facts surrounding Ohio's election," Boxer wrote in a letter to Tubbs Jones, a leader of the Democratic effort.
posted by Otis at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2005

Lots of points there, sotonohito ... I'll try to address them.

First, Non-biased sources.
I think we'll have to disagree here. I think that there do exist people that put the process and rule of law above personal preferences and politics. They have biases, of course, but they do their work in an open and transparent way so that they are able to engender the trust across a broad spectrum.I also beleive that you can form committees or commissions where individual biases are balanced up by the make up of the committee.

Second, Was fraud committed in Ohio?
I don't know. An investigation (which I am in favor of) will have to determine that.

Third, If there was fraud, was it significant enough to change the Election Result?
First, I don't know if there was fraud, but I find it hard to believe that Senator Kerry would idly stand by if he felt Bush had won nefariously. The vast majority of the Democrats in Congress don't think Bush stole the election, either.

If there was voting irregularites/fraud, should the election be overturned?
If there were significant and willful violations of election law, then yes, with a caveat. People seem to be assuming that an investigation would provide some clear indication of who really won. I have deep doubts that a close election in our current system can have such clear results. SO what should happen if there was fraud? a re-vote? Litigation? What should we do in the meantime ... keep the incumbent in place until its sorted out? So yes there is a piece of me that wonders whether the chaos of sorting it out would be worth it. I tend to lean that, yes it would, but I'm equally sure many would say that the chaos would not be

Are irregularities enough to overturn the election?
If the irregularities were impartial (i.e. affected both dems and repubs) or random, then no I don't think the elections should be overturned. Everyone knew the rules and system going into it, incuding its fallabilities. Now please try to understand the line I'm drawing. If there was illegal activity, overturn the election. If the system was gamed (legally) then, that sucks ... but I don't know what to do about it, other than change the system.

Hopefully, some of these issues will get the attention they deserve with some of the democrats in Congress forcing the issue.
posted by forforf at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2005

Thanks for the clarification.

At the moment we don't even really know if there was significant fraud. We *do* know that in Florida the government yet again implemented a voter purge targeted specifically at blacks. I tend to take this as evidence that the government is willing to cheat to get re-elected. We do know that the person in charge of overseeing the Ohio vote was actively working to get one of the candidates elected; and we know that exit polls that were accurate elsewhere did not match the results in Ohio.

Whether the election was stolen or not I don't know. But I do know that it was broken. Ukraine has shown us the way to deal with broken elections: have another, and another if necessary until its not broken.

It seems that we do agree that the system as a whole is broken, and needs to be fixed.

As for Kerry, given that he seemed so pathetically eager to surrender (conceding before all the votes were counted) I doubt his willingness to fight, his moral courage, and his nerve. His failure to protest the election problems is (IMO) merely one more aspect of his general failure to stand up for his principles, his self interest, and his party. Doubtless there is also fear from some on the Democrat side that an investigation into electoral fraud will reveal Democrat fraud. I find it difficult to believe that the fraud is all from the Republicans.

I think the uncertainty is my main reason for objecting to the Diebold "no paper" voting machines. They enforce uncertainty. We don't know there was fraud, but we don't know there wasn't either.

Personally, I'm willing to kick the whole thing apart if there is any fraud, and demand another election. Obviously the rest of the nation, including most other Democrats, disagree.
posted by sotonohito at 2:52 PM on January 6, 2005

If you want to change the system, the "default setting" would give Bush a win by about 3,000,000 votes. So go spend your time on something else, like, for example, coming up with proposals that might win you an election? Start my realizing it's not 1965, or even 1995 anymore.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:10 PM on January 6, 2005

Paris, I feel improving the democratic process in this country is worth spending some time on. Apparently some of my fellows Ohioans in Congress feel differently, including Rep. Pryce who said on the House floor today that the challenges are "no more than another exercise in their party's primary goal to obstruct, to divide and destroy." Go! Go! Demzilla!

I had this to write to Rep. Pryce:

Dear Congresswoman Pryce,
I just heard your comments on the House floor regarding the recent presidential election voting process in Ohio. I can only conclude from your comments that your partisanship prevents you from even considering the problems that plagued voters of all political parties here during the recent election. Instead you trot out the old boogeyman "Michael Moore" and state the challenges are "no more than another exercise in their party's primary goal to obstruct, to divide and destroy."
Of course spouting this rhetoric is much easier than actually going to the trouble of examining the problems and irregularities that occurred. Perhaps it is too much to ask of our elected officials to impartially examine the process that is the bedrock of our democratic system in this country. This issue is not about recalling an election. It is about ensuring that our treasured election process is fair, impartial, accurate and secure. It is not unpatriotic or "sour grapes" to want to protect our right to vote and to have our vote counted. As an elected official, one would expect you, of all people, would recognize this fact.

posted by Otis at 6:38 AM on January 7, 2005

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