Saturday, December 25, 2004

Cobb Asks Federal Court to Preserve Evidence in Ohio Recount "Voting Machines in Multiple Counties May Have Been Tampered With"

More from CommonDreams.org

WASHINGTON -- December 24 -- Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb asked a Federal Court yesterday to preserve a wide range of evidence, including voting
machines and election records, to ensure the integrity of the Ohio presidential recount. Cobb's attorneys filed a Motion for a Preservation Order and for Leave to Take Limited Expedited Discovery in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio where recount litigation is pending.

"It is time for the federal judiciary to step in and ensure the integrity of the recount in Ohio, something which Ohio's blatantly partisan Secretary of State is either unwilling or thoroughly incapable of doing," said Cobb. Papers filed with the court state that "voting machines in multiple counties may have been tampered with during the recount by an employee of Triad Governmental Systems, Inc.-the company whose computer program tallied the punch-card votes cast in 41" of Ohio's 88 counties. The most widely reported of these instances took place on December 10, in Hocking County, Ohio, when a Triad representative reprogrammed a computer used for tabulating votes and instructed the county's Deputy Director of Elections to create a "cheat sheet" so "the count would come out perfect and we wouldn't have to do a full hand recount of the county."

Douglas W. Jones, a computer voting expert and the former Chair of the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems, said in an affidavit filed yesterday that the Hocking County incident "threatens the overall integrity of the recount.and the ability of the presidential candidates.to properly analyze, inspect and assess the ballots and the related voting data from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio."

The Jones affidavit also states that as "a general rule, the tabulating systems room of a voting office should be viewed as a sensitive secure area. No one should have unsupervised access to ballots, official election records, or the machinery used to perform the official tabulation or recount of the ballots." The Cobb campaign has also learned of questionable ballot security procedures in Ashland, Greene and Coshocton counties. Improper interference with voting machines may also have taken place in Union, Monroe, Lucas, Belmont, Fairfield and Harrison counties. All of these instances are cited in yesterday's filing."It seems like the Three Stooges have been put in charge of security for the Ohio recount," said Cobb-LaMarche Media Director Blair Bobier. Legal documents filed in the Ohio recount litigation, along with detailed reports from official recount observers can be found on the Cobb-LaMarche website, http://www.votecobb.org. Information about the Green Party can be found at http://www.gp.org.

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