January 31, 2005

Article : "More Trials and Tribulations for Ohio" by Tova Andrea Wang

More Trials and Tribulations for Ohio

Tova Andrea Wang

The Century Foundation, 12/30/2004


"Ohio lawyer Cliff Arnebeck, with the backing of a number of progressive organizations, filed a motion in court last week challenging the presidential election. The petition argues it is almost statistically impossible for the exit poll data and the actual vote count to have varied so dramatically absent fraud, which the document alleges for the most part was carried out through the manipulation of electronic voting and counting machines. Whether or not Arneback can prove such a case, these allegations of high-tech fraud only serve to distract from the more mundane but critical ways that voting machine problems disenfranchised Ohio voters. And unlike machine tampering, these failures and abuses of the voting system are disturbingly well-documented.

"The machine problem in Ohio was two-fold: (1) there weren't enough of them and the breakdown of who did and did not have sufficient machines was extremely suspicious; (2) the overwhelming majority of machines in use were not electronic, but the same old punch cards Florida made notorious in the 2000 election.

"As detailed in my recent piece in the American Prospect, the failure to provide a reasonable number of voting machines in Ohio led to lines and wait times to vote that were not just unacceptably high—they were possibly an unconstitutional denial of voting rights. In Ohio, voters had to wait in line for up to ten hours. Thousands of voters were still waiting in line when the polls closed at 7:30 P.M.

How many people decided not to wait?

What makes this more disturbing are emerging revelations of just where the machines were and where they weren't.....

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