27 April 2014

I worked for 3 days, including Election Day, on the statewide voter protection hotline run by the Ohio Democratic Party in Columbus, Ohio.



I am writing this because the media is inexplicably whitewashing what happened in Ohio, and Kerry's concession was likewise inexplicable.



Hundreds of thousands of people were disenfranchised in Ohio. People waited on line for as long as 10 hours. It appears to have only happened in Democratic-leaning precincts, principally (a) precincts where many African Americans lived, and (b) precincts near colleges.



I spoke to a young man who got on line at 11:30 am and voted at 7 pm. When he left at 7 pm, the line was about 150 voters longer than when he'd arrived, which meant those people were going to wait even longer. In fact they waited for as much as 10 hours, and their voting was concluded at about 3 am. The reason this occurred was that they had 1 voting station per 1000 voters, while the adjacent precinct had 1 voting station per 184. Both precincts were within the same county, and managed by the same county board of elections. The difference between them is that the privileged polling place was in a rural, solidly Republican, area, while the one with long lines was in the college town of Gambier, OH.



Lines of 4 and 5 hours were the order of the day in many African-American neighborhoods.



Touch screen voting machines in Youngstown OH were registering "George W. Bush" when people pressed "John F. Kerry" ALL DAY LONG. This was reported immediately after the polls opened, and reported over and over again throughout the day, and yet the bogus machines were inexplicably kept in use THROUGHOUT THE DAY.



Countless other frauds occurred, such as postcards advising people of incorrect polling places, registered Democrats not receiving absentee ballots, duly registered young voters being forced to file provisional ballots even though their names and signatures appeared in the voting rolls, longtime active voting registered voters being told they weren't registered, bad faith challenges by Republican "challengers" in Democratic precincts, and on and on and on.



I was very proud of the way so many Ohioans fought so valiantly for their right to vote, and would not be turned away. Many, however, could not spend the entire day and were afraid of losing their jobs, due to the severe economic depression hitting Ohio.



I do not understand why Kerry conceded and did not fight to ensure that all Ohioans would have a chance to vote, and for their vote to be counted.