Thursday, January 6

Ohio Electoral Votes Challenged

Just minutes ago, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) submitted an official challenge to the certification of the Ohio Electors for President.

This has halted the proceedings which would finalize George W. Bush Presidency and has automatically generated a 2 hour debate in both the House and Senate on the merits of the challenge.

Certainly those on the right will argue that this is "sour grapes" and simply the act of "sore losers", however even if the resulting vote on the merits of the challenge were to prevail - the most likely result would be for the House of Representatives to themselves vote in place of the Electors and any reasonable person could not think that the overwhelmingly Republican dominated House would ever select John Kerry as President.

There is no way that George W. Bush will not be the next President.

This is not an attempted coup.

Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) "This is about election reform, not election result. The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. As the Supreme Court noted, no right is more important (than the right to vote) and that all other rights are illusiary, if the right to vote is undermined."

Even Cliff Arnebeck, the lawyer who has filed suits challenging the Ohio results on behalf of the Green and Libertarian Party has repeatedly stated that he only wishes that the process be corrected, not that John Kerry become the President.

All that can occur at this point is for our Representatives to debate the core issues : Should ever y persons vote count or not? Should every person who has a legitimate right to vote, not have a reasonable and fair oppurtunity to do so? And most importantly - did they or did they not in Ohio?

Were Black and minority Voters deliberately disenfranchised? That itself is debatable. The Democratic head of Election commitee in the county which include Columbus has stated that the long lines which occured in many urban districts was the result of excessive turnout, not the deliberate undersupply of voting machines. Regardless of the cause, or any malice, the result is that many voters were unable to wait for 8 to 10 hours, or willing to risk their health while standing in the rain and as a result did not vote. Exactly how many can not be known, and that is the problem.

There were numerous reports that votes on electronic machines which were entered for Kerry - automatically switched to Bush on the summary screen and required three or four retries in order to be corrected. It doesn't really matter whether this was a deliberate attempt to steal votes or not - it is simply unacceptable and completely undermines the legitimacy of the voting process.

Many other issues have been brought up, some more serious than others. Democratic registration forms were destroyed. Democrats were called and told they should vote on November 3rd. Some counties in Ohio which were heavily Democratic reported incredibly low turnout percentages in the certified vote while other areas recorded over 90% turnout. But in my view it actually doesn't matter whether or not the results would have been different. There is a core principle - a core value at stake here.

People of all stripes deserve the right to vote. This has been ratified by the enactment of the 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, 23rd Amendment, 24th Amendment, 26th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

If someone were to - either accidently or deliberately - set fire to your house, but not quite burn it down would you be a "sore loser" to wish to have the house repaired?

I think not.

If we continue down this road of evasion and minimization of fact, where continue to allow partisan dirty tricks to disrupt our Democracy - returning to the time when such tactics as the POLL TAX or LITERACY TEST were used to block the access of citizens to their most primary right of the we very well risk losing that very Democracy.

Elijah Cummings (D) : "One vote denied is one vote too many!"

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