Kerry Won

12th November 2004

Attempts to question Bush victory continue

Columbus, Ohio: Hearings on Widespread Voting Irregularities that Call Thousands of Votes into Question

" Faith in our Democracy at Stake", say organisers

 

Public hearings to investigate voting irregularities and voter suppression in the recent US presidential election will be held this Saturday, November 13th in Columbus, Ohio to address widespread reports of electoral fraud during last week's elections. The hearing will feature testimony by voters from around the state of Ohio, elections officials, legislators, and national voting rights and election protection experts.

 

This week, several mainstream US news sources, including MSNBC, USA Today and the New York Times have presented mounting evidence of electoral fraud in crucial states, most importantly Ohio and Florida. These reports call into question tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of votes.  

 

 "Every eligible voter has the right to have his or her vote counted," said Naina Khanna from the League of Young Voters. "This isn’t necessarily about disputing the results, it’s about disputing the process, which is clearly flawed. We have heard of widespread machine malfunctions, in addition to the thousands of reports received of people, particularly first-time voters, students and people of colour facing problems at the polls." 

 

 The coalition convening the Ohio hearings includes the League of Young Voters, People for the American Way Foundation, Citizens' Alliance for Secure Elections (CASE-OH), and legislators, including Ohio State Senators Teresa Fedor and Ray Miller. The coalition calls for a complete count of every ballot cast, as well as thorough investigations into the origin of each instance of disenfranchisement, voter suppression, and mechanical or electronic malfunctions.

 

Throughout election day and the weeks of early voting, the Election Protection Coalition, Common Cause, and the League of Young Voters documented serious violations of voters’ rights, including: inequitable access to voting machines, machine malfunctions, irregularities with provisional ballot access, lack of uniform ID acceptance by poll workers, and inadequate provision for voters requiring assistance at the polls.

 

 "We have received many reports of voter suppression, and the Election Protection hotline was overwhelmed with calls. This must be addressed. Counting each ballot is not a favor: it’s the foundation of our democracy," said Adrienne Maree Brown, of the League of Young Voters. 

On election day itself, an Election Protection telephone was inundated with calls. Ms. Khanna said the League has also independently documented irregularities throughout the country, including Ohio, Missouri, Florida and Wisconsin.  

The hearings will take place at 1 p.m. until 4, at the New Faith Baptist Church, 955 Oak Street, Columbus, Ohio.

For more on the "anomalies" which plagued this election, go here