December 02, 2004
URGENT!!! Report and Nationwide Request for Assistance from National Voting Rights Institute to All Concerned Citizens!!!
With complaints about voting irregularities numbering in the thousands, many Ohio citizens have questioned the integrity of the 2004 election process and have called for a recount of the ballots cast.
The National Voting Rights Institute is likewise concerned, and is serving as legal counsel for presidential candidates David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, as well as for a coalition of voters throughout Ohio and Common Cause/Ohio in support of the candidates’ call for a recount.
Following the lead of NVRI, Cobb, Badnarik, and the voters, the Kerry-Edwards campaign has now moved to be included in the lawsuit to defend the right to the recount. If American democracy means anything, it means that all votes must be fairly counted. Yet, election officials in Ohio are fighting the recount –and evading their public responsibility. Our fight is to make sure democracy works for all Americans, but we now face active resistance from many Ohio county boards of elections and from the Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell.
These are some of the obstacles Ohio state officials have used to thwart the recount-
· Sued NVRI in court to prevent our efforts in ensuring that a recount is held, as mandated by Ohio law;
· Sought a court order requiring NVRI to pay attorney’s fees and costs for their lawsuit to impede the recount;
· Returned the money submitted by our clients to pay for the recount; and
· Refused to start the recount at a time that will ensure completion prior to the date on which the presidential electors meet and cast their votes.
The entrenched bureaucrats are fighting tooth and nail because NVRI is pushing aggressively to ensure an accurate count. On Election Day, thousands of Ohio citizens reported barriers in casting their vote, including
· lines into the hours at polling places;
· shortages of poll workers and machines;
· electronic voting machines that malfunctioned;
· voters being required to show identification even though they were not first-time mail-in registrants;
· erroneous purges of voters from the voter rolls; and
· voters who requested absentee ballots but never received them and were nevertheless barred from voting in person.
In one precinct in Franklin County, Ohio, an electronic voting system gave George W. Bush 3,893 extra votes out of a total of 638 votes cast. In addition, approximately 93,000 ballots were not counted and Ohio election officials may have improperly disqualified thousands of 155,000 provisional ballots cast.
In order to continue fighting for the democratic process and to defend the recount, your support is critical. Your support is critical to ensure democracy has its day.
We need you to join us in this fight. Please support NVRI as generously as you can. You can visit our website at www.nvri.org to make a contribution and to learn more about this effort. Please help us protect the right to vote.