Reverend Jesse Jacksons states that the Ohio electors who met on December 13th should not have been seated, and urges us to "Keep hope alive."
Protesting the Election Results and Irregularities in Ohio
Vol. 1, No. 6--December 23, 2004
by Rev. Jesse Jackson
Those who cherish freedom and democracy, and who have waged the struggle for the right to vote, will continue to seek the truth. We will fight to ensure the voter irregularities in Ohio are fully investigated--especially the voter machines so susceptible to manipulation and hacking--and to seek an expeditious recount so every vote cast is accurately counted.
The Ohio "electors" who met on December 13th should not have been seated; their ballots should be considered "provisional" until the full investigation and recount into the presidential vote in Ohio is completed.
The fight in Ohio is not over until every vote is counted and honored. And for the future credibility of the process, we must end the practice and precedent of voter suppression and disenfranchisement schemes.
The American people must have the opportunity to have outside experts verify and test the computer programming on the "central tabulating systems." Without independent scrutiny of the voting machines, the credibility of the vote remains will remain in doubt.
Voting Machines Irregularities and Vote Count Disparities
We do not believe that the Secretary of State is part of any conspiracy or that he engaged in conscious fraud. But the voting machines are too susceptible to glitches, mistakes, and hacking. Even Secretary Blackwell admits there were "glitches" and "mis-steps" in the election process. Witnesses have testified that they have, in fact, created hacking programs that can alter the vote count. This leads to a series of questions that must be answered:
Why were there 92,000 unprocessed votes - over and under counts? And what was the basis for accepting or denying these ballots?
Why were there 155,000 provisional votes--and what was the basis for accepting or denying these ballots?
Why were the exit polls specifically in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio all wrong and outside of the margin of error--statisticians say there is a 180 million to one chance for this sequence of exit polling disparities to have occurred.
Why did the optical scan machines "freeze" in Lucas County--using software leased by Diebold--owned by a "Bush Texas Ranger" who pledged to deliver Ohio to Bush and who maintains proprietary software for his voting machines used in the 2004 election.
Why did election officials in Warren County alert staff on Thursday before the election, that there would be a Homeland security alert on Election Day--then takes the ballots to a warehouse for a secret count which resulted in a 14,000 vote increase for Bush from his 2000 total?
Why in Miami County did 19,000 votes come in after all precincts had voted, at a 2:1 margin for Bush?
How did South Concord manage a 98.5% turnout heavily tilted toward Bush; but a Cleveland precinct heavily tilted toward Kerry manage just a 7.1% turnout?
Computer analysts have discovered that all votes cast in areas using optical scan machines in New Mexico went in favor of Bush--even in heavily democratic precincts. We see this pattern again in Ohio. We want to know why.
We know that there are "glitches" in the election machines used during Election Day. Who was glitched? How were they glitched? What was glitched?
We know that they can be hacked by "insiders" and "outsiders."
We know that the owner of Diebold has proprietary software that can manipulate the voting machines.
We need a complete and thorough investigation of the voting irregularities--we must have computer forensic analysts investigate the voter machines. The people demand to know the answers to these questions, as the credibility of the election process and the vote swings in the balance.
As we approach the 40th year of the Voting Rights Act, we must honor the legacy of Dr. King and LBJ, both of whom faced persecution and marginalization. Apparently, the forces that resisted those landmarks never ceased to find ways to manipulate and undermine them.
The unfinished business of this drive for an open, fair and transparent democracy should be our focus. And as we expose and reveal the irregularities of today's antiquated and systematically flawed election process, we must demand a one person, one vote democracy--the direct election of the President--which will motivate a 51-state campaign inclusive of the entire nation, not just 20 battleground states. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s (D-IL) bill, which calls for a Constitutional amendment on the right to vote for all U.S. citizens--Presidential elections with one set of rules where the individual right to vote is protected by the U.S. Constitution--will go a long way toward achieving this goal.
This is our challenge and our opportunity. Let us celebrate 2005 as the year we complete the unfinished business of American democracy. My brothers and sisters, we have unfinished business.
Keep hope alive.