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Ohio Election Officials Obstruct Recount

COBB/LaMARCHE 2004 GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
http://www.votecobb.org

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release:
December 17, 2004

Ohio Election Officials Obstruct Recount

Reports from throughout Ohio present a clear and disturbing pattern of state and local election officials obstructing the recount of Ohio's 2004 presidential vote, according to the Green Party's presidential campaign which initiated the recount and is monitoring the process.

"Ohio election officials are violating both the spirit and the letter of the law governing the recount," said Cobb-LaMarche Media Director Blair Bobier.

In two counties, Monroe and Fairfield, election officials have refused to do a full hand recount, as required, when hand and machine tallies don't match. They have instead opted to get new machines to count the votes.

In the vast majority of counties, election officials have pre-selected precincts to be sampled, rather than choose them randomly as required by law. In Cuyahoga County, the pre-selection of precincts eliminated those which reported the most problems on Election Day, thwarting the intent of the recount and raising serious concerns about the integrity of the process.

"Ohio's partisan vote-counter and Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell, presided over the most error-ridden election in the country and he is now intent on preventing the people of Ohio from scrutinizing those results. We have asked Mr. Blackwell to establish uniform standards and guidelines for the conduct of the recount and he has refused," said Bobier.

In at least two counties, Montgomery and Coshocton, the recount has discovered that the state certified the wrong vote totals. The official results won't be changed, however, because of loopholes in Ohio's election laws.

Other problems with the recount range from volunteers being told they couldn't ask questions, to an allegation of tampering with voting machines.

Reports from the recount are being filed by Green Party monitors on a daily basis. They can be found on the Cobb-LaMarche website at http://www.votecobb.org/press/.


ENDS

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