Category Archives: Election 2004 – Aftermath

NY Times Editorial On The Electoral Challenge

The Election’s Last Gasp

A NY Times Editorial.

Congressional Democrats staged an unusual protest yesterday when Senator Barbara Boxer of California and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio objected to certifying the results of the 2004 election. Supporters of the defeated (and absent) John Kerry then spent two hours making speeches, most of which began with the declaration that George W. Bush had definitely won.
It could not have been a totally satisfactory afternoon for the president’s angry supporters or for the conspiracy theorists who still believe that Bush operatives managed to steal Ohio’s electoral votes. The final count showed that Mr. Bush had won the state by more than 100,000 votes, and the Democrats who rose to complain about the process prefaced their remarks by saying things like “the irregularities in Ohio would not have overturned the results.”
But the Democrats were right to call attention to the defects in the system. Our elections need to do more than produce a legitimate winner. They need to do it through a process that seems fair to all reasonable citizens. On that count, the United States has a way to go.
Electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper trail that can be rechecked in contested elections create worries that a contest could be stolen by computer hacking or by tampering with the machine software. Those concerns seem to have been unfounded in the last election, but it did not require paranoia to think that such things might happen.
It is not illegal to require voters to stand in lines so long that they wind up being forced to give up or to skip work, but it is unfair – particularly when such delays happen mainly in poor and minority neighborhoods. It is not illegal to leave election operations in the hands of a partisan elected official, but such a situation will make the system seem biased to voters from the other side of the political divide. That is what happened in Ohio, where the secretary of state was also a co-chairman of the Bush campaign in that state.
Democrats were obviously most vocal about the sloppy and highhanded way the election was run in many places, but the Republicans should also object. Mr. Bush won the most votes, but he has been deprived of universal confidence in the way they were counted.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Hi gang.
I’m in the process of figuring out what actually got accomplished yesterday. I’ll let you know whatever I can figure out as soon as I’ve done enough homework to be sure I’m correct. But here’s a couple of things that happened, for starters:
1. History was made in that a challenge hasn’t happened since 1877. So that’s something.
2. Looks like the house and senate each spent two hours debating the issues surrounding the Ohio election and recount, and that there is supposed to be some kind of congressional investigation. So that’s something.
3. The House Judiciary Democratic Staff has published a report saying some pretty strong things about Blackwell’s involvement, including, but not limited to:

With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

I think this is the lead that needs following up on. (Via the congressional investigation and the other pending lawsuits.)
Like I said earlier — I will publish my results in a similiar fashion to the last report for easy reference, once the facts manifest themselves.
Just wanted to touch base. That and many Daily Show clips on the way.

NBC Covers Today’s Electoral Challenge

Senate, House Reject Challenge To Ohio Electoral Votes

Challenge Mounted By U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer

President George W. Bush has been declared the winner of the electoral vote, with 286 votes. Democrat John Kerry got 251 votes, and his running mate, John Edwards, received one.
The declaration came after the House and the Senate have overwhelmingly rejected a Democratic challenge to awarding Ohio’s 20 electoral votes to President George W. Bush.
The Senate vote was 74-1, with only Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., voting to support it. The vote in the House was 267-31.
Boxer and U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, lodged a formal protest to the Ohio results, prompting several hours of debate. If a senator hadn’t signed on, the protest wouldn’t have been heard.
They and others cited a lack of voting machines, unusually long lines and other problems that plagued some Ohio districts, many in minority neighborhoods…
By law, any such challenge that’s signed by members of both houses compels each chamber to meet for up to two hours to consider the complaint.
As a result of the move, House and Senate members went into separate meetings for a debate focusing on alleged voting irregularities in Ohio on Election Day.
The challenge, which was expected, disrupted the mostly ceremonial reading of the electoral vote count of each state…
The delay didn’t jeopardize Bush’s win. The outcome of the race is not in doubt, since Republicans have majorities in both the House and Senate. After the debate, lawmakers reconvened and finished hearing the reading of the electoral votes.
Democratic leaders — including Sen. John Kerry — distanced themselves from the challenge. Some said they feared it would make them look like sore losers.

Continue reading

CNN Covers Today’s Electoral Challenge

Bush carries Electoral College after delay

Democrats challenge Ohio vote, push back official certification
On the CNN website.

President Bush officially won a second term in the White House after electoral votes from all 50 states were counted Thursday during a joint session of Congress.
The normally perfunctory ceremony of counting and certifying Electoral College votes was delayed for about four hours as Democrats unsuccessfully challenged Ohio’s votes for Bush…
The challenge was defeated 267-31 by the House and 74-1 by the Senate, clearing the way for the joint session to count the votes from the remaining states…
The objecting Democrats, all of whom are House members except Boxer, said they wanted to draw attention to the need for aggressive election reform in the wake of what they said were widespread voter problems.
In a letter to congressional leaders Wednesday, members of the group said they would take the action because a new report by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee found “numerous, serious election irregularities,” particularly in Ohio, that led to “a significant disenfranchisement of voters.”
“How can we possibly tell millions of Americans who registered to vote, who came to the polls in record numbers, particularly our young people … to simply get over it and move on?” Tubbs Jones said at a press conference with Boxer…
It was only the second such challenge since the current rules for counting electoral votes were established in 1877. The last was in 1969 and concerned a so-called “faithless elector,” according to congressional researchers.
Four years ago, after the disputed election results in Florida, members of the Congressional Black Caucus attempted to block Florida’s electoral votes from being counted.
In a scene recalled in Michael Moore’s movie “Fahrenheit 9/11,” lawmaker after lawmaker was gaveled down by Vice President Al Gore because no senator would support the objections, as the rules require.
House Democrats involved in this year’s protest worked for weeks to enlist the support of a senator in their party, and Boxer agreed to join the effort Wednesday.
“This is my opening shot to be able to focus the light of truth on these terrible problems in the electoral system,” Boxer told the joint press conference with Tubbs Jones.
“While we have men and women dying to bring democracy abroad, we’ve got to make it the best it can be here at home, and that’s why I’m doing this.”…
Kerry released a letter Wednesday saying he would not take part in the protest.
“Our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election,” Kerry said.
Bush carried Ohio by more than 118,000 votes — the Buckeye State win providing the margin of victory in the Electoral College race. The president received 286 to Kerry’s 252 electoral votes.
“There are very troubling questions that have not yet been answered by Ohio election officials,” the senator said.
“In the coming months I will present a national proposal to ensure transparency and accountability in our voting process.”

Continue reading

Video From Representative Conyers’ December 8th Hearings In Washington DC On Ohio Voting Irregularities

This is not from today – Jan 6, 2005, this is from December 8, 2004.
(The Jan 6 stuff goes up this weekend — I’m just catching up.)
I haven’t even had a chance to look at these yet, but I wanted to make sure you knew they were up. It’s several hours of hearings split up into 20 MB chunks.

December 8, 2004 Hearings At DC On Ohio Voting Irregularities

Congratulate Yourselves: The Senators Heard You — But Only Senator Boxer Signed On To Today’s Challenge – Here Is The Text Of Boxer’s Statement

I’m just reading this stuff today myself guys, but I’ve got a lot of information to post, and the Pete recorded 8 hours of CSPAN today that I’ll be receiving Fed Ex on Saturday. I’ll figure out the highlights and try to have them ready for you over the weekend sometime.
For now, read William Rivers Pitt’s excellent notes from his new blog. I’ve cut and pasted the whole thing below. (click on “more”)
Here’s a quote from Pitt’s blog:

Today was a good day
Thursday 06 January 2005 @ 06:05
I can’t recall a day in the last several years when the efforts of citizens yielded fruit in the Senate. Didn’t work with the Patriot Act vote. Didn’t work with the Homeland Security Act vote. Sure as hell didn’t work with the Iraq war vote.
It worked today. Voices were heard, and something we haven’t seen since 1877 took place today. This is what Congress exists for, and for once, they responded.

Here are some highlights from Boxer’s statement:

We have fought for social justice. We have fought for economic justice. We have fought for environmental justice. We have fought for criminal justice.
Now we must add a new fight

Letter That Conyers Sent To All Senators – Urging Them To Support His Jan 6 Electoral Challenge

According to RAW STORY, this is straight from Conyers’ Office:

December 30, 2004
Dear Senator,
As you know, on January 6, 2005, at 1:00 P.M, the electoral votes for the election of the president are to be opened and counted in a joint session of Congress, commencing at 1:00 P.M. I and a number of House Members are planning to object to the counting of the Ohio votes, due to numerous unexplained irregularities in the Ohio presidential vote, many of which appear to violate both federal and state law. I am hoping that you will consider joining us in this important effort to debate and highlight the problems in Ohio which disenfranchised innumerable voters. I will shortly forward you a draft report itemizing and analyzing the many irregularities we have come across as part of our hearings and investigation into the Ohio presidential election…

Continue reading

Conyers Announces He’ll Object To Ohio Electoral Votes

Representative John Conyers has announced that he’ll be filing an official Objection to the Ohio Electoral votes on January 6, 2005. We need to mobilize and get our Senators to support him. (article underneath senator information below)
Here’s the same list of historically-progressive Senators I cite in my report on the Ohio Situation from yesterday:

Note that Russ Feingold is the one senator that voted against the Patriot Act, so he’s got the guts to do this kind of thing, and I put him at the top of the list.
When the Senate offices reopen after January 2, 2005, you can call their offices directly:
Senator Russ Feingold, (202) 224-5323,
Senator Tom Harkin, (202) 224-3254,
Senator Jim Jeffords, (202) 224-5141,
Senator Edward Kennedy, 202/224-4543,
Senator Patrick Leahy, (202) 224-4242,
Senator Barbara Boxer, (202) 224-3553,
Senator Dick Durbin, (202) 224-2152,

Conyers to Object to Ohio Electors, Requests Senate Allies

By William Rivers Pitt for Truthout.

Representative John Conyers, ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, will object to the counting of the Ohio Electors from the 2004 Presidential election when Congress convenes to ratify those votes on January 6th. In a letter dispatched to every Senator, which will be officially published by his office shortly, Conyers declares that he will be joined in this by several other members of the House. Rep. Conyers is taking this dramatic step because he believes the allegations and evidence of election tampering and fraud render the current slate of Ohio Electors illegitimate.
“As you know,” writes Rep. Conyers in his letter, “on January 6, 2005, at 1:00 P.M, the electoral votes for the election of the president are to be opened and counted in a joint session of Congress. I and a number of House Members are planning to object to the counting of the Ohio votes, due to numerous unexplained irregularities in the Ohio presidential vote, many of which appear to violate both federal and state law.”
The letter goes on to ask the Senators who receive this letter to join Conyers in objecting to the Ohio Electors. “I am hoping that you will consider joining us in this important effort,” writes Conyers, “to debate and highlight the problems in Ohio which disenfranchised innumerable voters. I will shortly forward you a draft report itemizing and analyzing the many irregularities we have come across as part of our hearings and investigation into the Ohio presidential election.”

Continue reading