Thursday, February 03, 2005

Dems to Investigate Ohio Election

Democrats will investigate Ohio vote National party to spend up to $500K
By Carl WeiserEnquirer Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - The national Democratic Party will spend up to $500,000 to investigate voting problems that critics say might have occurred last year in the battleground state of Ohio, the party's leader said Tuesday.

"I want them to open up the machines," outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe told Gannett News Service and USA Today reporters. "If there's nothing wrong with the machines, we ought to be able to go in and take a look at them."

Since November's presidential election, a small but vocal chorus of liberal activists has complained that the vote in Ohio was miscounted - either through conspiracy or errors - and the wrong man elected president. Had Ohio's 20 electoral votes gone to Sen. John Kerry, he would be president today.

McAuliffe and other Democrats have acknowledged that Bush won the election. "The election wasn't stolen," McAuliffe declared.

But he said the DNC's investigation was a bow to "blogworld," referring to activists who write Web logs about politics and continue to talk about a stolen election. There's even a Web site, www.bushstole04.com, largely about the Ohio vote.

McAuliffe said he has assembled a team of about 20 experts in law, statistics and computer analysis. They'll crunch numbers, file freedom of information requests and talk with election officials.

"This is a classic problem with the Democratic Party. Rather than focus on improving their team's performance, they obsess over the officiating," said Ohio Republican chairman Bob Bennett.

Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell said through a spokesman that Ohio's votes have already been counted three times - on Election Night, the official canvass and an official recount.

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