We ended up giving Bush his return to the White House in 2004. By we, I mean Ohio. The people on our side knew something was not quiet right about it, but our complaints went largely unheard. In January we finally saw a conviction in one of Ohio's counties for rigging a recount. Today they get sentenced to 18 months in prison for it and the judge thinks the problems go a lot higher:
Two county election workers were sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for rigging a recount of 2004 presidential election ballots so they could avoid a longer, detailed review.
Jacqueline Maiden, 60, a Cuyahoga County election coordinator who was the board's third-highest ranking employee, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer, 40, each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct of an elections employee.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Corrigan allowed the women to remain free on bail pending appeal, but indicated he thought there was a more widespread conspiracy among election officials.
``I can't help but feel there's more to this story,'' Corrigan said.
This same article also gives a decent run down of how this conviction came to being:
Ohio law says that during a recount each county is supposed to randomly count at least 3 percent of its ballots by hand and by machine. If there are no discrepancies, the rest of the votes can be recounted by machine. A full hand count is ordered if two random samples result in differences.
Special prosecutor Kevin Baxter said in the defendants' January trial that they worked behind closed doors three days before the public recount on Dec. 16, 2004, to pick ballots they knew would not cause discrepancies when checked by hand, thereby avoiding a full hand recount.