Jackson Calls for Ohio Investigation

We already all know about the fraud that took place on November 2nd, and now more and more mainstream public officials are calling for investigation. Jesse Jackson is trying to lead the pack, with calls for a full investigation into what happenned on November 2nd. From thousands of ballots that somehow registered votes for every candidate BUT the presidential race to the almost 10,000 votes that are to be thown out in the most Democratic county.

Every vote should be counted, though the Republicans are afraid of that.Jesse Jackson seeks voting probe

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From staff and wire reports

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says Ohioans should not stand for the way elections were run in Ohio Nov. 2, and he planned to bring his message directly to Cincinnati today.
Jackson was expected to speak at a rally this morning at Integrity Hall in Bond Hill, calling for an investigation of the voting process in Ohio. He said the rally this morning and one Sunday night in Columbus were to serve as “a kind of statewide sharing of experiences” that would mobilize citizens and result in “collective state action.

“We are pulling people together from around the state,” Jackson, president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said in a telephone interview Sunday. “The Ohio race has not yet been (decided) because of so many irregularities 26 days after the election.”

Jackson on Sunday called for a recount of votes and said the Ohio Supreme Court should consider setting aside President Bush’s victory Nov. 2. Jackson and others are complaining about uncounted punch-card votes, disqualified provisional ballots, discrepancies between exit polling and results, and too many votes counted for President Bush in Ohio. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry in Ohio by 136,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

Jackson also said that there was a disparity in voting machinery used in suburban and urban neighborhoods.

“The suburban communities had ample machines,” he said. “In inner cities, we had people (waiting) five or six hours in line. That was no doubt targeted.”

Kerry has already conceded the race. Jackson said he thought it was possible a recount could change the outcome of the election, but said it was more important to get votes counted.

“This is about the integrity of the vote. This is not about the Kerry campaign,” said Jackson, who supported Kerry.

On the morning of Nov. 3, less than 12 hours after Ohio’s final votes were cast, Kerry called Bush to congratulate him on his victory. His campaign figured he would not get enough of the 155,000 provisional ballots, or those cast by voters whose registrations could not be confirmed at polling places, to overtake Bush’s total.

The counting of provisional ballots and wide gaps in vote totals for Kerry and other Democrats on the ballots in certain counties have raised too many questions to let the vote stand without further examination, Jackson said.

“We can live with winning and losing. We cannot live with fraud and stealing,” Jackson said.

Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who has represented political activist groups, said he would ask the Ohio Supreme Court, probably on Wednesday, to take a look at the election results. If the court decides to hear the case, it can declare a new winner or throw the results out.

Since the election, several complaints have surfaced:

• The Green and Libertarian parties asked a U.S. District Court judge to order an immediate recount. The judge agreed with the state that a recount cannot begin until Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell certifies the statewide vote, sometime between Dec. 3 and 6. The two parties are raising the $113,600, or $10 per precinct statewide, needed to force a recount.

• People for the American Way, a national watchdog group, is trying to stop the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland from rejecting 8,099 of the 24,472 provisional ballots cast there. The ballots were thrown out because voters did not properly complete them or cast them at polling places that were not their own.

• An error was detected in an electronic voting system, giving President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus. Elections officials caught the glitch and the votes will not be added to the official tally. Some groups also have complained about thousands of punch-card ballots that were not tallied because officials in the 68 counties that use them could not determine a vote for president. Votes for other offices on the cards were counted.

The Ohio Democratic Party believes every effort should be made to get an accurate count, but it is not planning legal action of its own, spokesman Dan Trevas said.

Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections and of the county’s Democratic party, said the county party supports any effort that leads to more efficient elections.

Publication Date: 11-29-2004

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