NVRI E-News Update - December 15, 2004

Dear Friends,

Two days after the electoral votes were finalized, and the Ohio recount is just underway. We are busy with our work in Ohio, but I wanted to take a moment and update you on our progress and also welcome the many newcomers to this list. Since the last time I wrote you, the number of subscribers to this list has almost doubled.

Ohio Recount Underway
Re-counting in Ohio began in some counties on Monday. The rest will begin sometime this week. It remains disturbing that the manner of recounting varies from county to county. Depending on the whim of county officials, the standards vary. In Hocking County, officials initially told folks not to bother sending witnesses, because there's no space for them in the counting room. Allen County said that if there's a discrepancy in the first 3% of ballot recounts, they'll begin the full recount on January 10, after electors have been accepted by Congress. And there remains uncertainty how re-counting will be conducted in counties with electronic voting machines that have no paper trail.

On behalf of our clients - David Cobb and Michael Badnarik - we asked a federal judge to insist on one standard. That request was declined for now, though he will review more documents later. With the assistance of witnesses being provided by the David Cobb and Michael Badnarik campaigns, and the DNC, we will monitor the activities in the county recounts. To read John Bonifaz' affidavit about the many county variations, click here.

A Disturbing Story About Vote Machine Fixing in Ohio
Meanwhile, in a disturbing story, the deputy director of the Hocking County board of elections has submitted a sworn affidavit describing the "fixes" to the voting machines that were conducted by a technician from Triad on Friday December 10. You can read Sherole Eaton's affidavit as an attachment to a letter from Congressman John Conyers, Jr., in which he asks the FBI to investigate this incident. Voting technology expert Doug Jones (University of Iowa) states that the evidence from Eaton is serious and potentially threatens the integrity of the recount statewide, and highlights the need for preserving all ballots and election related machinery throughout the state.

And you can read the New York Times account of this incident

NVRI is submitting to the federal court the Conyers letter, Eaton and Jones affidavits, and other documents relating similar concerns in Monroe and Greene Counties.

Contribute to The Ohio Defense Work
All of the work we're doing in Ohio is possible because of your support. We receive no funding from either the Cobb or Badnarik campaigns and depend on the contributions of supporters like you to continue our work. We could not do it without you.

About NVRI
Because there are so many newcomers to this list, I thought a brief description of NVRI's full range of activities would be worthwhile. NVRI is committed to making real the promise of American democracy, that meaningful political participation and power should be accessible to all regardless of economic or social status. Right now the political system is a money game. Money determines who runs for office, who most influences the candidates, what issues are debated and voted upon. Middle class people and people without resources are largely unable to participate. We want to change that. We file lawsuits to challenge government practices, to defend laws, but most of all to defend the right of individual voters who are squeezed out of the process. You can look through our website, http://www.nvri.org to learn more about our work - protecting the right to vote, defending campaign spending limits and public financing, and challenging illegal campaign practices.

And we hope you always feel welcome to share your ideas and concerns with us.

Please share this notice with your friends and colleagues. If you want to join the NVRI list-serve, please click here.


Stuart Comstock-Gay
Executive Director
National Voting Rights Institute
617-624-3900 ext.16
[email protected]