COLUMBUS, OHIO -- The above title was the stage banner for the enthusiastic, hopeful rally at the Columbus, Ohio, Capitol Theater on January 3, 2005.  It described what has motivated countless citizens since November 2, 2004.  As in the Ukraine, exit polls showed that we were dealing with a stolen national election.  JOHN KERRY HAD WON OHIO, AND THE PRESIDENCY, but George Bush had been declared the winner.  What a travesty!

Supported by worldwide contributions (monetary and otherwise), dedicated individuals had systematically documented blatant voter disenfranchisement, fraud, theft, and multiple other illegalities.  Such explained the differences between Ohio’s initial, unchanged Exit Polls (which showed Kerry winning) and Ohio’s falsely Certified Vote Count (which declared him losing). 

Green and Libertarian candidates had the necessary “standing” to demand a state-wide vote recount, which compounded already revealed problems.   But a “phony” state-wide recount demanded a request for another one.  Ohio’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, whose own election was in serious question, refused to remove himself from Supreme Court Case 04-2088 - Moss, et al. v. Bush, et al. - filed by 37 voters to challenge the stolen election.  Instead he played judicial games - stalled for time, etc.  Ohio’s Secretary of State, who was also the chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, refused to voluntarily answer any questions regarding the election, even to testify under subpoena.  

Stonewalling by the Republican hierarchy had become the order of the day.  But, for those who believe in DEMOCRACY, and that “THE VOTE IS THE FOUNDATION OF DEMOCRACY,” miracles were happening.  Consider the following:

1. Responding to Ohio’s overwhelming voting problems, on December 8, 2004, John Conyers, Michigan’s Democratic Minority leader of the House Judiciary Committee, called for an exploratory hearing in Washington, D. C.  He, and other members of his committee, even came to Columbus, Ohio, on December 13, 2004, to personally hear what had happened in Ohio.  His Democratic staff further investigated the irregularities, and produced a 102 page Status Report which was inserted into the Congressional Record on January 6, 2005, the date Congress would meet to receive the report from the Electoral College.  A two page Executive Summary of this report is available from Google, by typing “Conyers Committee,” which has a Truthout report, entitled “Preserving Democracy:  What Went Wrong in Ohio – Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff.”   

Having led the struggle for the electoral challenge, Conyers gave an impassioned speech on January 6, in which he asked Congress to have the same concern for “voter disenfranchisement in this country that we show in Afghanistan, and the Ukraine, and Iraq.”  He further challenged the Congress to take decisive action with “true bipartisan hearings to get to the bottom of what went wrong in Ohio and around the Nation on election day,” and “to enact real election reform: that gives all citizens the right to a provisional ballot; that gives all voters a verifiable paper trail; and that bans election officials from serving as campaign chairs.”

2. It was Democratic Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, from Ohio, and  Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, from California, who actually challenged, on January 6, 2005, the legitimacy of the Ohio electoral vote.  This forced the two houses of Congress to spend the afternoon debating voting problems in Ohio and the United States.  Many House Democrats competently debated the voting problems, and thirty-one House Democrats voted for the challenge to the presidential election.  Ten Senate Democrats spoke in favor of having the debate, despite allowing only Barbara Boxer to vote for the challenge.  WHILE REPUBLICANS COMPLAINED BITTERLY, NOT ONE SPOKE IN FAVOR OF THE DEBATE OR THE CHALLENGE!

3. Now, there is even talk about how to guarantee the right to vote for all citizens, and how to secure an accurate and honest count of the vote.  Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., on January 6, 2005, emphasized the need for a Constitutional Amendment for a National Right to Vote - replacing the perilous 50 State, 3,067 County, and 13,000 election jurisdiction confusion now in existence.  Since the U. S. Constitution does not specify, but only implies, a citizen’s right to vote, do we need such a guarantee? 

4. On January 8, 2005, AP Reporter Malia Rulon listed other pending efforts to fix the electoral system:

• Both Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Senator Barbara Boxer (who initiated the Electoral Challenge), are intending to introduce election changes.

• Democratic Representative John Conyers “wants to establish Election Day as a national holiday, expand early voting options, and create national standards for voter registration, voting hours and ballot recounts.”

• Democratic Representatives Gene Green of Texas, Brian Baird of Washington, and Bill Delehunt of Massachusetts want to do away with the electoral college.

• Although Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was in Iraq, and not present for the historic challenge to the presidential election, he says he will introduce legislation “to reform our election system, ensuring transparency and accountability,” and have all votes counted.

• Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor, from Toledo, wants “to improve our system,” thinks we need a paper trail, and that Ohio’s Secretary of State should be prohibited from “holding a campaign office.”

Join us to work for ongoing voting miracles!  SAVE DEMOCRACY with nationally guaranteed voting rights for all citizens, and for all their votes to be honestly counted.  THERE MUST BE NO MORE STOLEN ELECTIONS!