Thursday, February 10, 2005

No shows from Florida and Ohio disappoint committee

From the AP: No-Shows Annoy Group Probing 2004 Election. Also covered: Voting Committee Examines 2004 Election.

Starting on a sour note, lawmakers holding the first congressional review of the 2004 vote were upset by the absence of top election officials from Ohio and Florida, states with many balloting complaints.

The chairman of the House Administration Committee said he would hold hearings away from Washington and continue to seek testimony from Ohio's secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, and Florida's Glenda Hood.

"I am disappointed that they are not here," said Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio. "We can have disagreements, but you can't run and you can't hide."

Also this from the Nashua Advocate: Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens, a Bush Supporter, Calls for Ohio Investigation: "There Is Something Wrong About the Ohio Election"

Whichever way you shake it, or hold it up to the light, there is something wrong about the Ohio election that refuses to add up. The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush. But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many "vote hops" the computerized machines might have performed unnoticed....there is one soothing explanation that I don't trust anymore. It was said, often in reply to charges of vote tampering, that it would have had to be "a conspiracy so immense" as to involve a dangerously large number of people. Indeed, some Ohio Democrats themselves laughed off some of the charges, saying that they too would have had to be part of the plan. The stakes are very high: one defector or turncoat with hard evidence could send the principals to jail forever and permanently discredit the party that had engaged in fraud.

I had the chance to spend quality time with someone who came to me well recommended, who did not believe that fraud had yet actually been demonstrated, whose background was in the manufacture of the machines, and who wanted to be anonymous. It certainly could be done, she said, and only a very, very few people, would have to be "in on it."

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