Kerry Edwards Lawyer's Letter To Kenneth Blackwell
December 15, 2004
J. Kenneth Blackwell
Ohio Secretary of State
180 E. Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Re: Compromised Hocking County Recount
Dear Secretary Blackwell:
I am writing to you on behalf of John Kerry and John Edwards, the Democratic Party candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States at the November 2, 2004 general election.
Given the information that has come to light regarding activity that occurred on December 10, 2004 at the Hocking County Board of Elections, the integrity of using the Board’s computerized tabulating system to conduct the recount of the presidential election has been seriously compromised. I assume that by now your office is fully aware of the affidavit by the Deputy Director of the Hocking County Board of Elections regarding what she observed and heard. Based upon this affidavit, I hereby request that you conduct a thorough investigation of the matter. In the meantime, the tabulating system should not be used for the recount and I hereby request that you order the Hocking County Board of Elections to conduct a full hand recount of the ballots and not use the tabulating system for the recount. I also request that you immediately impound the tabulating equipment and programming, and preserve it in its present state, and prohibit access to the same.
I also request that your office immediately review with all other boards of elections whether representatives of any company that may have been employed to program or prepare their tabulating equipment for the recount were made aware of the precinct or precincts that would be included in the three percent hand count. If such is the case, I request that you take corrective action, including ordering full hand recounts or allowing the candidates to have the systems tested by outside independent experts.
As the state’s Chief Elections Official, you have both the authority and responsibility to take these actions. Time is of the essence and your immediate attention is required. I look forward to your response.
Very truly yours,
Donald J. McTigue
Cc: Daniel J. Hoffheimer
Kerry-Edwards State Counsel, Ohio