[Mb-civic] Ohio Justice Throws Out Election Challenge
michael at michaelbutler.com
Thu Dec 16 18:34:02 PST 2004
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Ohio Justice Throws Out Election Challenge
By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press
Thursday 16 December 2004
Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice on Thursday
threw out a challenge to the state's presidential election results. The 40
voters who brought the case will likely be able to refile the challenge.
Chief Justice Thomas Moyer ruled that the request improperly challenged
two separate election results. Ohio law only allows one race to be
challenged in a single complaint, he said.
The challenge was backed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Cliff Arnebeck,
a Columbus attorney for the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy, who
accused Bush's campaign of "high-tech vote stealing."
Claiming fraud, the voters cited reports of voting-machine errors,
double-counting of ballots and a shortage of voting machines in
predominantly minority precincts as reasons to throw out the results.
Ohio and its 20 electoral votes determined the outcome of the election,
tipping the race to President Bush. The state declared Bush the winner by
119,000 votes, but counties are in the middle of a recount - requested by
two minor party candidates and supported by John Kerry's campaign.
The complaint questioned how the actual results could show Bush winning
when exit-poll interview findings on election night indicated that Kerry
would win 52 percent of Ohio's presidential vote.
Without listing specific evidence, the complaint alleges that 130,656
votes for Kerry and John Edwards in 36 counties were somehow switched to
count for the Bush-Cheney ticket.
The allegations are based on an analysis comparing the presidential
race to Moyer's Supreme Court race against a Cleveland municipal judge.
But nothing in state law or any previous court decision allows
challenges to be combined, Moyer said.
"Were this court to sanction consolidation here it would establish a
precedent whereby twenty-five voters could challenge, in a single case, the
election results of every statewide race and issue on the ballot in any
given election," Moyer wrote.
Messages seeking comment on the court decision were left for Jackson
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