Dear Governor Taft and Secretary of State Blackwell,
We the undersigned Ohio citizens and voters hereby request of you that all ballots and other relevant and related materials from the 2004 election in our state be gathered, indexed, and permanently preserved in a centralized state-run and state-protected facility, such as the Ohio Library, where the materials can be protected and made available to scholars, students and the general public in an orderly, reliable fashion for the foreseeable future.
We welcome the federal court order issued today protecting these materials. This order acknowledges the unique and precious nature of the rights represented by these ballots, which all American citizens treasure.
The logical next step is to establish a permanent archive for these materials.
We note that the state of Florida, as ordered by Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Glenda Hood, has carefully preserved the ballots and related materials from the 2000 election there in a monitored, carefully maintained state facility in Tallahassee.
We believe the state of Ohio can do no less.
The controversial nature of these two elections means that the ballots and other related materials will be of extraordinary interest to scholars and citizens alike for decades to come. These materials now constitute an essential artifact of our democratic process.
No matter what one may think of the outcome of these elections, or of the way they were conducted, it is now clear that these materials have assumed the aspect of core source documents in the examination and evaluation of how our system of government really works. They are also irreplaceable in the process of finally finding closure on what really happened in these two disputed elections.
As such, the minimal financial burdens involved in maintaining these ballots and other documents pales before their place in our nation’s history. Florida has acted on that reality. We urge that Ohio do the same.
Suzanne Patzer….et al….
As of today, September 7, 2006, this letter is being circulated for sign-ons at savetheballots.org.