Stolen Democracy Gets A Little More Justice
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 […]
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.
18 months does not seem that much for trying to steal a democracy. If these people did not resort to such illegal acts we might have a different person in the White House today.
The judge says he believes it goes higher and so do a lot of us. In Ohio we had a Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, who was the state’s chief election official. Blackwell also served as Bush’s state chair for his re-election. He vowed to do whatever he could to return Bush to the White House. It is also worth reminding people that Blackwell was the deciding factor in Ohio’s move to Diebold machines, a company he held stock in.
It is more than just pure coincidence that both elections Bush won was decided by states who had campaign chairs overseeing the states election process. In the wake of this we need to seriously look at that obvious conflict. The chief election officer for any state, county, city, etc. should be nonpartisan. Making it such a partisan job leads to corruption as we seen here.
Of course to make the changes nationally we would have to look at amending the Constitution, something I am seriously for. This amendment should come as part of a larger package, including a recall system for federal officials, public funding of campaigns, a national date certain to hold federal primaries, removing the electoral college, and a run-off system on our ballots.
The authors of our Constitution were way ahead of their time. They came up with a great system of three separate, but equal branches of government. The problem is that they trusted people too much. In those days people with power were more out to use that power for the good. In today’s climate such people are hard to find. Our Constitution needs a serious look to repair a lot of these problems as a whole. The first must be to fix the corruption that has surrounded our electoral system for decades.
Brad has much more on this