Activists Want Ohio Election Chief
The Associated Press
Thursday 31 August 2006
Columbus, Ohio - Activists filed a civil-rights lawsuit Thursday claiming Secretary of State Ken Blackwell deprived people of their voting rights during the 2004 presidential election and seeking to have him removed from overseeing the general election in November.
The plaintiffs, who range from the Ohio Voter Rights Alliance for Democracy to the head of a Columbus neighborhood association, accuse Blackwell of distributing fewer voting machines per person in black neighborhoods, purging voter registrations and disproportionately assigning provisional ballots to blacks. Those provisional ballots then were disqualified at higher rates than in nearby precincts that were mostly white, the plaintiffs allege.
"The court should appoint someone that everyone will say is honest and competent and will ensure that the appropriate security measures are in place and we don't have this kind of vulnerability in the next election," said attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who represents the plaintiffs.