15 October 2014

COLUMBUS---As transcribed testimony from citizens denied their right to vote November 2 has become public, a coalition of public interest lawyers says it will initiate a legal filing demanding a statewide recount.

Attorneys from the Alliance for Democracy, Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections-Ohio, Common Cause, and the Ohio Honest Elections Campaign made the announcement at a dramatic Friday afternoon press conference on the steps of the Ohio Supreme Court.

The newly transcribed sworn testimony, which appears below for the first time, was taken at a public hearing Saturday, November 13, in Columbus. The Green Party and its presidential candidate, David Cobb, have raised more than $150,000 for the recount. The Libertarian Party is also supporting the demand. Representatives of the Ohio Democratic Party have, reportedly, for the first time, indicated the party might help train observers. Up to 3,000 volunteers may be required.

Exactly when the recount might start and how it might be conducted remain unclear. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who co-chaired the Bush Campaign in Ohio, is required to certify results by Friday, December 3. He wants to delay the beginning of any recount until December 6, which would leave just one week until the Ohio Electoral College is scheduled to meet.

The Greens and Libertarians have demanded an immediate recount so a thorough job can be done of counting the vote in all of Ohio's 88 counties. Cliff Arneback of the Alliance for Democracy says Blackwell may be trying to stall and "run out the clock" on a fair recount. Arnebeck says a filing could come as early as Monday or Tuesday.

Transcribed testimony and sworn affidavits, as below, will continue to be released to the public by freepress.org.

SWORN TESTIMONY TAKEN SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2004, IN COLUMBUS, OHIO:

Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D, Cleveland:
“I also found it kind of odd that nowhere on the voter registration card did it say that the date of birth was required, and when I went down to ask about that, the guy that was -- the clerk [Cuyahoga County Board of Elections] there was actually, was actually discarding voter registrations because there was not a date of birth, even though it didn't say it was required. He said that they were going to mail them back. Hopefully, they will be fixed, but that was a red flag. He also told me about layoffs that were going to be happening in the near future and that they were going to be losing a lot of their staff, and we both sort of laughed. Well, like this is a good time, the most important election, most of the largest election in our lifetimes, and they are laying off people.”

Mike Swinford, Knox County:
“…Knox County has two colleges. The one that has been profiled is Democrat, had long lines, that has already been testified to. The other one, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, that has been profiled as a Republican. That one did not have any problems as to waiting lines, and then they were not intimidated by the representative from Blackwell's office.”

Eliza Jane Schneider, Franklin County, moveon.org witness:
“What I witnessed was at Columbus Alternative High School, during the hours of 6:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M., everyone was turned away due to broken machines. That is what I watched. They turned -- between 6:30 A.M. and 8:30 A.M., I was there with moveon.org, and they started turning people away because they didn't have any working machines. At 8:30 A.M. they fixed one.”

Fiona Mitchell, Athens:
“The night before the election, just after midnight we received a call at the vote mob headquarters that there had been fliers posted on South Green stating that due to unprecedented voter registration turnout, voting dates had been changed by the bipartisan voting authority. Republicans and undecideds will vote on November 2nd. Democrats and undecided will vote on November 3rd. It went on to stay make sure you bring proper ID and go to the proper voting place for you.”

Jerry Doyle, Franklin County:
“I voted at precinct 13, and I got there around a quarter till nine, and I didn't get out of there until about ten minutes to one. And there is a lot of, you know, my wife and I, we both went to vote, and so there is a lot of people, elderly people behind me that couldn't stand, that was in worse shape than I was, and they were not offered any assistance, and I thought that was wrong, you know. And I was there for all of that time, over four hours, and I wasn't offered any assistance, you know. And there was a lady about three, four people behind me, she was arguing on her cell phone, I guess to her employer, and she asked, she said well, I have been in this line for two hours, you know, and it looks like it is going to be another hour, and she was telling him -- I am telling you what I heard her say, you know, she was on the cell phone. And she said, I will make it up, the time I lose, no matter what, or no matter how long, I will make it up, please let me stay here, and I guess he said no, because she got very upset and she had to leave to protect her job, you know.”

Murlien Featherstone, Franklin County:
“I have been a proceed presiding judge for 20 years, I have been at the Ohio Avenue School for I guess six years or so. This election I was at Ohio Avenue School as presiding judge. We always had four machines at election time. During the primary, we had four machines. When I walked in the door Tuesday morning, we had three, and I couldn't understand why we only had three, knowing that this election was going to be the way it was, and I called them up and I asked them, where is my other machine? And first they told me, ma'am, we are going to try to get you a machine. I called back the second time and told them I don't need one, I need two, I said because we got a line. They said how long was the line, is it 100 feet? I said, yeah, about 150 feet, and some people had been in line three and four hours. When I called them the third time and asked them about the machine, they said, ma'am we are not going to get you no machine, we are not going to get you any machine, and what we want you to do is do best you can with what you got, and that is what we did. We had people leaving.”

Kimberly Richardson, Franklin County:
“Also I worked at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church. At that particular location there were three voting machines in the morning. They did not work. Some people that got there early wanting to vote were not able to vote. They waited until 11:30 and they finally got the machines working, and the people were able to vote. But, of course, people had to leave, they had to come, they had to leave because they got children, families, have jobs, they have lives. So they could not continue. The lines were out the door. First of all, it was raining, it was wet. We know it was cold. The weather was horrible. People were standing -- this was all across the inner-city precincts, two to three hours' waits, not enough machines, and broken down machines, all across the even inner-city precincts. They knew we had a record turnout this year. They did nothing to accommodate us, nothing.”

--
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of the upcoming ANOTHER STOLEN ELECTION: VOICES OF THE DISENFRANCHISED, 2004 (freepress.org). Fitrakis is publisher and Wasserman is senior editor of freepress.org. Fitrakis is co-counsel for the Alliance For Democracy which has announced that it will file a lawsuit to ensure a fair recount of the votes in Ohio.