Destroying and Losing Ohio's 2004 Election Records is a CRIME. It is a felony. Spilling coffee on… and then destroying records is an outrage and a crime. It is also a very lame excuse for Holmes County to use to have destroyed most of their 2004 election records. Here is what Director Lisa Welch, the Director of the Holmes County Board of Elections… "Respectfully" signed her name to in her letter of explanation for Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, as to why she and her board no longer had their records,

Holmes County Board of Elections

"A shelving unit collapsed in the Board of Election storeroom on the morning of Friday, April 7, 2006. That shelving unit held the voted ballots, stubs, soiled and defaced ballots envelopes, and the ballot accounting charts fromt he 2004 General Election. The shelves and stored items collapsed onto a side table holding a working coffee maker. The carafe on the coffee maker was full at the time of the incident. Many of the stored items had to be destroyed due to the broken glass and hot coffee. The ballot pages and unused ballots were stored on a neighboring shelf and were not damaged".

Respectfully Lisa Welch, Director.

According to the Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, which often addresses election issues for the media, and where Bob Fitrakis is an alumnus, I have located part of the legal information on election crimes and penalties for Ohio. There have been problems for years, well documented in Ohio. A new very powerful document is now in the hands of election investigators.

"Destruction of election records before expiration of time for contest", Ohio Revised Code 3599.34 is a Fifth Degree Felony.

"Tampering with ballots" Ohio Revised Code 3599.26 is a Fifth Degree Felony

A Fifth Degree Felony is a mandatory 6-12 month imprisonment plus optional fine of not more than $2,000.

And from other law sources it seems that

Contempt of Court is an issue raised by Judge Algenon Marbley.

Misconduct of member, director, or employee of board of elections- dismissal. 3599.16 is a felony of the fourth degree.

Whoever violates this section shall be dismissed from his position as a member or employee of the board and is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree. A fourth degree felony is a mandatory 6-18

Areas of the law that apply to what I know about the 2004 election include, but are not limited to: No member, director, or employee of a board of elections shall:

(A) Willfully or negligently violate or neglect to perform any duty imposed upon him by law, or willfully perform or neglect to perform it in such a way as to hinder the objects of the law, or willfully disobey any law incumbent upon him so to do;

(B) Willfully or knowingly report as genuine a false or fraudulent signature on a petition or registration form, or willfully or knowingly report as false or fraudulent any such genuine signature;

(C) Willfully add to or subtract from the votes actually cast at an election in any official returns, or add to or take away or attempt to add to or take away any ballot from those legally polled at such election;

(D) Carry away, destroy, or mutilate any registration cards or forms, pollbooks, or other records of any election;

(F) In any other way willfully and knowingly or unlawfully violate or seek to prevent the enforcement of any other provisions of the election laws.

On September 11, 2006, in regards to Case No. 06-CV-745, on page 7, United States District Judge Algenon L. Marbley ordered "This Court concludes that the most effective way to preserve those election ballots during this litigation is for it to enjoin directly each Ohio county's board of elections from destroying them. See In re N.A.A.C.P., 845 F.2d at *4; Hall, 472, 256-66. In the event the Court discovers that any Defendant or any non-party to this case, such as an employee of a county's board of elections, has destroyed or disposed of 2004 presidential election ballots in violation of this Order, it may impose an appropriate discovery sanction. FED> R>CIV>P37(b)(2)(D) (authorizing a court to hold a person in contempt of court when the person fails to obey an order).

Therefore, the Court hereby a ORDERS the Boards of Election for each of the 88 Counties for the State of Ohio forthwith to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election, on paper or in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court. IT IS SO ORDERED".

The final four words are in bold print. It sounds like it should matter.