Ohio: None dare call it voter suppression and fraud
Bob Fitrakis
November/December 2004

The following are excerpts from a much longer article on the Nov. 2 elections in Ohio. This article and the author's other reports are available at www.freepress.org, the website of the Columbus Free Press.

November 7, 2004, Columbus, Ohio-Evidence is mounting that the 2004 presidential election was stolen in Ohio. Emerging revelations of voting irregularities coupled with well-documented Republican efforts at voter suppression prior to the election suggests that in a fair election Kerry would have won Ohio.

Democratic hopeful Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts conceded on November 3, based on preliminary postings by the highly partisan Republican Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. These unofficial results showed Bush with 136,483 more votes than Kerry, although 155,428 provisional ballots, 92,672 "spoiled" ballots, additional overseas ballots, and some remaining absentee ballots remained uncounted.

The day after his concession, Kerry drew 3,893 votes closer to Bush when a computerized voting machine "glitch" was discovered in an Ohio precinct. A machine in ward 1B in the predominantly Republican Gahanna, Ohio, recorded 4,258 votes for George W. Bush when only 638 people cast votes at the New Life Church polling site. Buried on page A6 of the Columbus Dispatch, the story also reported that the voting machine recorded 0 votes in a race between Franklin County Commissioners Arlene Shoemaker and Paula Brooks. Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matt Damschroder told the Dispatch that the voting machine glitches were "why the results on election night are unofficial."

The nonpartisan Citizen's Alliance for Secure Elections (CASE) is investigating various other voting irregularities in Ohio, among them:

The Columbus Dispatch confirmed an Election Day Free Press story that far fewer voting machines were present in predominantly black Democratic inner-city voting wards than in the recent primary election and the 2000 presidential election, with their lighter turnouts. The reduced number of machines caused voters to wait up to seven hours and wait an average of approximately three hours. One Republican Central Committee member told the Free Press that Damschroder held back as many as 2000 machines and dispersed many of the other machines to affluent suburbs in Franklin County. [...]

On Election Day, the Election Protection Coalition observers who covered 58 polling places in central Ohio, documented thousands of voter complaints over long lines and recorded numerous people leaving the polls for work or because they were elderly or handicapped and physically unable to wait for hours to vote. Professor James K. Galbraith, of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, wrote the following summary of Election Day in Ohio: ". . . I drove a young African-American voter, a charming business student, seven months pregnant, to her polling place at Finland Elementary School in south Columbus. We arrived in a squalling rain to find voters lined up outside for about a hundred yards. . . . The real problem was a grotesque shortage of voting machines." Ohio State University Law Professor Edward B. Foley told the New York Times, "When your lines get to two or three hours, it's system failure."

Other bizarre tactics emerged in the run-up to the election:


Full article at www.freepress.org.

Bob Fitrakis is a professor at Columbus State Community College in Ohio. He is the author of seven books, an investigative reporter, and Editor of the Columbus Free Press (freepress.org). He served as an international election observer in the 1994 presidential elections in El Salvador and was the co-author and editor of the report to the United Nations.


Turnout in U.S. federal elections as percentage of voting-age population: 50%.

Percent of voting age population needed to win a federal election: 26%.

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