November 23, 2004

Lawsuit to Force Recount Commenced

November 22nd, 2004 10:54 pm
Third-Party Candidates Seek Ohio Recount

By Terry Kinney / Associated Press

CINCINNATI - Two third-party presidential candidates filed a federal
lawsuit Monday to force a recount of Ohio ballots, and a spokesman for
the state Democratic Party said it intends to join the suit.

The lawsuit was filed Monday evening in U.S. District Court in Toledo,
according to Blair Bobier, a spokesman for Green Party candidate David
Cobb, who brought the suit along with Libertarian Michael Badnarik.
Court officials could not be reached for comment Monday night. The case
did not immediately show up on the court's Web site.

The third-party candidates have said they are not interested in
overturning President Bush's victory in the state. But they say they
are concerned about reports of voting irregularities and believe a
recount is necessary to ensure accuracy.

Dan Trevas, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, said the party
would join the recount request after the secretary of state certified
the results, or sooner if an early recount is ordered by a court.

Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, has
said results will be certified by Dec. 6, and said Monday it would not
be feasible to conduct a recount beforehand because there are no final

Bush led Democrat John Kerry by 136,000 votes in the unofficial count,
and Kerry conceded that there were not enough provisional ballots to
change the outcome. But Kerry supporters have made numerous claims of
voting irregularities in Ohio.

The two third-party candidates received a combined 0.26 percent of the
vote in unofficial results.

Keith Cunningham, director of the Allen County Board of Elections and
incoming president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials,
called the lawsuit "frivolous," adding that he might mobilize counties
to resist a recount.

"Commissioners are beginning to understand — and if they don't, will
understand soon — what kind of financial impact this is going to have
on them, in a year when elections already cost a great deal more than
expected," said Cunningham, a Republican.

The two former third-party candidates have said they raised more than
$150,000 to cover the state's fee for a recount. Ohio law requires
payment of $10 per precinct, or $113,600 statewide, but election
officials say the true expense would be far greater.

LoParo has estimated the actual cost at $1.5 million

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