Thursday, June 23, 2005

DNC issues report on voting problems in Ohio

The headline links to the Executive Summary which is a much quicker read. If you are interested in reading the full DNC report: click here.

In short, the report doesn't tell us much more than what Ohioans largely observed themselves. African-American voters in much larger numbers experience much larger waits in line to vote in 2004. 3% of Ohio "voters" said they left the line without voting due to the wait and never returned (should they really be called voters, then?).

Despite this and a number of problems, the researchers say that while there was problems the data does not support any basis to believe that widespread fraud misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.

While this should put to rest any lingering doubts whether Bush "stole" the election in 2004, that doesn't mean this report is irrelevant. The fact that any voter, white or black, Democratic or (yes, even) Republican, was dissuaded from voting by intimidation, misinformation, and inadquate polling place and voting technology should be no less troubling.

It seems that the general consensus is preference for optical scanners with a printed receipt (can you refund an election?). Touchscreens, surprisingly, took more time than punch cards (I spent five minutes doing delicate micro-surgery to my ballot to make sure any hint of a "chad" was gone alone.)

The touchscreen technology machines were pushed particularly by Sec. of State and Gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell. If I find a thoughtful reaction from him on the topic, I'll be sure to post it.

Strickland for Governor released this statement from Congressman Strickland regarding the DNC's report:
“There’s nothing more fundamental in our democracy than the right to vote. The disparities detailed in this ground-breaking report should shock the conscious of every Ohioan. More important, this report should move us to action. As governor, I’ll work my heart out to ensure that no Ohioan is denied their voice at the ballot box.”

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