Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Ohio officials prepare to destroy paper ballots from 2004 presidential election

Ohio officials will soon begin destroying the paper ballots from the 2004 presidential election despite objections from voter rights groups.

"Soon after the 2004 presidential election, questions emerged about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that delivered the presidency to George W. Bush," Ian Urbina writes in a story slated for the New York Times.

"Now, following a routine procedure, state officials are preparing to destroy the paper ballots from the election," writes Urbina.

"Critics say the ballots should be preserved for more study," the article continues.

In related news, an email written by 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee Senator John Kerry was sent out to 100,000 Democratic donors on Tuesday urging them to support Congressman Ted Strickland in his race for governor of Ohio against GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who oversaw the deciding vote two years ago, the Associated Press reported.

"He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote," wrote Kerry in the email.

Although the A.P. is reporting that Kerry is only "alleging election improprieties" as he mulls running for president again, the senator has spoken out a number of times since November of 2004, as noted in a Democratic Underground thread.

"Thousands of people were suppressed in their efforts to vote," said Kerry at a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial breakfast in Boston in January of 2005 as reported in the Boston Globe last year. "Voting machines were distributed in uneven ways."

In August, the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, a 501(c)3 organization that has examined election irregularities in Ohio, started a website called Save the Ballots!

"The ballots are the smoking gun to explain what happened in Ohio in 2004," according to the website.

"They were not made public until earlier this year, and after September 2, 2006, election officials across Ohio are legally allowed to destroy them," the site continues. "We have been told by election officials in the most problem-plagued counties they can't wait until Sept. 3rd, because then people asking questions will go home."

(Note: The Times article may have been postponed until Thursday)

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