Recount Efforts Move Forward In Ohio & New Mexico
For Immediate Release
December 13, 2004
RECOUNT EFFORTS MOVE FORWARD IN OHIO AND NEW MEXICO AS STATE ELECTORS MEET
As recounts begin in all several Ohio counties today, and the New Mexico Secretary of State stalls New Mexico's recount efforts, state electors will meet across the country to cast their votes.
Eleanor LeCain, President of Audit the Vote, will testify today at Congressman Conyers' hearings on election irregularities in Ohio.
"We respect the sanctity of the vote. Our intention is to ensure that the expressed will of the people is heard and followed, for the sake of our democracy," said LeCain, former Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of State. "Over 400,000 citizens who experienced or observed voting problems called on election day to report voting problems to non-partisan election monitoring hotlines. Since the election, more than 50,000 citizens have contacted members of the U.S. House of Representatives requesting that they investigate election irregularities. "
Lawyers fighting for the New Mexico recount filed suit against the State Canvassing Board Friday for not responding to the recount request within the legally required time limit. The recount request and funds to cover costs of the recount were received by the Secretary of State's office on November 29th. New Mexico State law requires an immediate response from state elections officials, setting a date no later than 10 days after the request and summoning precinct board members to appear on that date to start the recount.
"This recount is not optional," said Lowell Finley, general counsel to Help America Recount. "The state is required to go forward with this recount and we wonder why New Mexico's elected officials have worked so hard to delay the opportunity to ensure that democracy has been fulfilled."
The suit, filed on behalf of Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik, was prepared by Finley and filed by local counsel John Boyd of Freedman, Boyd, Daniels, Hollander, & Goldberg P.A. of Albuquerque, and David P. Garcia of Montoya, Murphy, & Garcia, LLC.
Trainings for recount observers were conducted in Ohio and New Mexico over the last several days and turnout for both states was higher than expected. More than 3,000 local volunteers are being trained to monitor the Ohio recounts, and at least 800 New Mexico residents are expected to have been trained for that recount by mid-week.
"It's obvious that the people of Ohio and New Mexico feel strongly that these recounts must occur in a timely and meaningful manner," said Holly Jacobson, who trained recount observers in New Mexico through the weekend. "The overwhelming number of volunteers that have come forward is proof that people are concerned about and unsure of our election process."
According to a press release issued late Friday by the New Mexico Governor's office, the State Canvassing Board will meet to discuss the recount Tuesday, one day after the state electors meet to cast their votes in the presidential election.
"The electors are casting their ballots on the same day the recounts are just beginning in Ohio and New Mexico," LeCain pointed out. "Recounts should be completed before the electors cast their ballots."