Saturday, December 18, 2004

It's Not Over

Firstly, watch this explosive Clint Curtis testimony (about 12 minutes long) from the House Judiciary Committee Hearing in Ohio last Monday. Curtis is the computer programmer that, according to his sworn testimony and affidavit, was asked to develop "vote flipping" software for Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL). I have been hesitant to follow this story, not knowing much about Curtis, but it appears The Judiciary has taken an interest in him, and he does have an accomplished resume.

Here are copies of the original and the updated filing of the Verified Election Contest Petition, filed in the Ohio Supreme Court and referred to in my last post.

Meanwhile, there is new evidence of electoral malfeasance in Ohio. As noted in this Ohio Free Press article:

“The epic legal battle over Ohio's presidential vote count is back in the state Supreme Court, with an election challenge claiming George W. Bush was wrongly declared the winner on Nov. 2 and seeking a court-ordered reversal of that victory. Meanwhile, efforts to recount Ohio's vote may have been fatally tainted by the Republican Party, raising questions of what the GOP has to hide, and prompting demands for criminal prosecution.

New affidavits point to possible criminal activity by top Ohio election officials, raising yet more questions about the 2004 vote. Rhonda J. Frazier, a former employee of the Ohio Secretary of State's office, has confirmed in an affidavit taken by Cynthia Butler, working with freepress.org, that the Office had secret slush funds. Frazier says it also failed to comply with the requirements of ‘The Voting Reform Grant’ that required all the voting machines in Ohio to be inventoried and tagged for security reasons. ’I was routinely told to violate the bidded contracts to order supplies from other companies for all 17 Secretary of State offices throughout the State which were cheaper vendors, leaving a cash surplus differential in the budget,’ Frazier states, ‘After complaining about the office's repeated practices of violating grants and contracts I was fired.’



On Monday, December 13, with Rev. Jesse Jackson at hand, citizen activists filed the now-famous landmark Moss V. Bush action demanding the Ohio Supreme Court vacate the apparent victory for George W. Bush and award the state's 20 electoral votes -- and thus the presidency -- to John Kerry. The filing lists a litany of problems with the November 2 balloting and vote count. The official tally showed a victory for George W. Bush of some 119,000 votes. But the filing claims the real outcome was a 134,000 vote victory for John Kerry, and it demands the Court install a slate of Democratic electors.



But far more serious charges than a mere delay surfaced at Conyers' hearing. A letter from the Shelby County Board of Elections, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, admitted that data critical to a meaningful recount had been discarded, possibly illegally. Sworn testimony from election observers in Greene County indicated that ballots had been left loose on tables in an unlocked, unguarded building, open to manipulation and theft, prior to a recount. And in Lucas County and Hocking County, it was revealed that technicians from the Diebold and Triad companies had inexplicably taken control of voting machines and dismantled them, rendering verifiable recounts impossible.



The observers' work has been frustrated and the recount tainted by destroyed records, compromised evidence, and by private vendors who have "re-programmed" machines in both Lucas and Hocking Counties. Despite his early concession, Kerry has now issued a letter to election boards in all 88 Ohio counties asking a series of questions about the vote count. Thus, charges that Republicans are hiding an outright theft have gained increasing media attention, as have charges that deliberate and illegal destruction of records has been rampant. Where this will all lead remains unclear. An escalation of court battles is the only certainty. The presidential election of 2004 is by no means over.”

And finally, here is an interesting read describing what the environment is like at the Ohio Recount in Cuyahoga County. It starts:

“This is Jen Frigolette, coordinator in Cuyahoga County. We started our recount today, Thursday December 16, 2004. I have started composing a long description of what transpired, but it occurs to me now that I no longer have the capacity to finish in such detail.”

To quote Neil Young (just for you Erik), "... And look out, look out, look out, the voice is now the choir. Can you feel it getting down to the wire?"

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