Late yesterday, September 7, U.S. District Judge Algernon L. Marbley issued an order to all 88 Ohio Board of Elections (BOEs) to protect the ballots as evidence in the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association et. al. v. J. Kenneth Blackwell case.

In his decision, Marbley ordered all Ohio BOE's "to preserve all ballots from the Presidential election, on paper or in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by the court." Plaintiffs in the King Lincoln case contend that certain election records including unused ballots needed for auditing have already been destroyed. Plaintiffs contend that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell violated the civil rights of various inner city African American voters during his administration of the 2004 presidential election. The ballots are needed in order for the plaintiffs to establish their claim that there was an ongoing pattern and practice of targeting and disenfranchising African American voters.

NOTE: The Coumbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism continues its investigation of the election and Save the Ballots campaign to preserve all the ballots and election records from the 2004 presidential election beyond this case. The ballots must be archived for historical purposes. See Save the Ballots to sign a petition to preserve the ballots beyond the legal case and to donate to help the cause! ?