TRUTH LEFT OUT: Ohio Hand Recount Suspended After Exposing Tabulator Malfunction
The Ohio Green Party reports that Bowen County had suspended their recount after the machine tabulator and 3% hand recount did not match. Again, they have apparently violated Ohio law by suspending this recount until later, at which time another machine will be used to recount this initial set of ballots. Ohio law states that if there is a discrepancy between the machine count and hand count, then a FULL HAND RECOUNT must be done. Here's an excerpt from the Green Party's website:
Monroe County, Ohio, December 14, 2004Here's a recent article from the Cincinnati Post, reporting an update from the recount efforts. Here are some excerpts:
Summary - The 3% hand-count failed to match machine count, a repairman from Triad was summoned to bring new machine, and recount was suspended & reconvened for Wednesday at 9:30 AM
...Franklin and Cuyahoga counties were among the many reporting little or no change from the recount...Well isn't that just tickity-boo! I see there's no mention of Fairfield or Bowen counties. Surprise-surprise!
...Election officials said the 3 percent hand-counts matched in virtually all the recounts done so far...
..."We're feeling pretty proud of ourselves, to prove to some of these people how wrong they were," said Margaret Hansen, director of the Monroe County Board of Elections in Woodsfield...
The Ohio Green Party has now posted two eye-witness accounts of what happened in Fairfield County on December 15, 2004. Both reports confirm what was previously posted below. I have edited together a "merged" version of the two stories. Each witness' account is designated by a different colour.
...Some troubles occurred with the tabulator. It seemed to stop frequently, giving invalid tally on a card messages (basically a jam). After many starts and stops, both precincts were finally tabulated. The explanation for the troubles was the handling of the cards for the hand count and humidity. There were several dehumidifiers clearly visible in the area.The MMLP clock has begun!!!
Lancaster 2C tabulations matched up with the hand count. However, Pickerington C did not. Many of us felt that the hand count did not show the no-votes in the totals (4 cards) and could explain the four-card grand total discrepancy….the hand count showed 4 votes less than the tabulator count...
...At that time we had some discussion about the next step, with the Republicans and the board resisting a second manual count. Secretary Blackwell’s directives were very clear that a second recount was necessary, so our next step was a manual count with a backup tabulator that had never been used...
...it was decided by the BOE that a spare machine should be used after the original machine (the first machine was actually the machine that tallied the vote the evening of 11/2/04). The spare machine was removed from the box, hooked up, and promptly failed completely. The first machine was then hooked back up, and the tabulation commenced again...
...Once again the totals did not match.
I called for a full manual recount on behalf of the Green Party. The members of the board asked all witnesses to wait while they talked with the county commissioners to make arrangements for staffing the count. The observers waited approximately one hour, during which time, I felt the Republican’s lawyer was trying to intimidate me...
...At this time, the BOE asked if we would waive their rights, and they were told no. The BOE then suggested contacting their machine vendor to get another machine in to retabulate. The BOE was then told by us that this would be unacceptable – the law was very clear, they would now have to perform a mandatory hand count of the entire county. The BOE then stated they would have to contact the Secretary of State’s office. The Board members then asked us to wait, and they left the area...
...at exactly 4:00 PM, the Board members returned to the area, convened a Board meeting, moved and seconded to suspend the recount until 9:30 AM Saturday, December 18, 2005. On that date, the recount would be conducted again, same exact precincts, with a new machine from their vendor. It was claimed that the tabulator had suffered “equipment malfunction” and a new tabulator would arrive and be in place. All voted AYE, motion carried...
...The BOE also then stated that only one observer from each party would be allowed at each of the two hand count tables, and no other observers would be allowed in the counting area at all. The BOE was informed they were violating the law, and the Green Party legal team was contacted...
...We were then told that it was 4:00 PM, the building was closed, and all had to leave. The Republican contingent, however was allowed to stay in a conference room for an additional ten minutes or so for a private discussion.
This is an alleged first-hand eye-witness account of what happened in Fairfield County, Ohio during the recount. So far, no media outlet has reported this. Keep your eyes peeled! I'll start the MMLP clock when I get a media report of some kind.
Ohio, Fairfield County, suspends recount
At 4 pm today, after failing to get a match of hand counted ballots with punch card tabulator (ESS), two hand counts and two times through machine, after stating they were awaiting a call back from that company to have a new machine delivered, less than 30 seconds later convened a board meeting, voted to suspend recount, to await a new machine from ESS, and recount will be re-done Saturday, same exact precincts, the building is now closed, you are to exit the facility. BOE blaming issues on "machine failure" in order to avoid the now required entire county hand count. Precints were not random, they were selected by BOE, one from the Dem and one from the Repup.
This after their call to SOS Kathy Blackwell.
Greens will be going for a TRO. They are fully aware of entire circumstances of this report.
BOE’s trying to get around mandotory handcounts of entire counties by calling it machine failure rather than follow clear statute. This will be breaking I am sure before long.
First hand witness to events above....myself
(from Democratic Underground Forums, December 15, 2004)