The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
Jennifer Brunner Ohio Secretary of State
Mark Dann, Ohio Attorney General
Chris Nance, Assistant Secretary of State
Brian Green, Elections Council
February 25, 2008
Re: SOS Directive 2007-30, page 6, paragraph 10
Dear Secretary Brunner, General Dann, Ms. Gilbert, Mr. Nance, Mr. Elhagmusa, and Mr. Green,
I write today with great concern over Directive 2007-30 regarding recounts in Ohio, which now under this directive, seems to be a violation of Ohio law. This will make the choice of picking precincts for a recount, no longer able to be a random choice. I have included below the relevant part of the directive. I have also left phone messages for Secretary Brunner, for Chris Nance, and for Brian Green. I was able to speak with Omar about this, and let him know I would follow up with this information in written form, to make taking action on it easier. Omar said he would talk with others, and call me back.
Of concern is that all anyone who might be an election rigger would have to do to avoid getting caught is to leave alone the first precinct in every political subdivision (e.g. ward or village) and they could rig everything else in the county!
The only legal action we got to address problems with recounts from 2004 was on this very issue, with Maiden and Dreamer not doing a random selection for choosing the precincts for the recount in Cuyahoga County. Although if you were to read the recount reports from the Green Party at http://www.iwantmyvote.com/recount/ohio_reports/ you will see that many counties rigged the recounts by picking the precincts for the audit, in a non random fashion. Public opinion on this could look really bad for the SOS office if this plays out with the appearance that all 88 counties had rigged recounts at the direction of the office of the Secretary of State.
This also makes it where an honest county cannot do a random choice of choosing the precinct, or they will be going against the SOS directive. It all looks bad from here. So where are we if the only thing that brought even a little legal action into the many problems of 2004, is made mute and a non issue for 2008?
I have listened to Secretary Brunner in radio interviews being asked about this, where it seemed like from her answer, this would be corrected. That the precinct choice would again follow Ohio law, and be a random selection chosen for the audit of the election, the recount.
It is my great hope, that this will be changed prior to the March 4th Presidential Primary in Ohio. In looking at the Directives on the Secretary of State's website today, I do not see anything about this non-random recount issue. If I have overlooked it, and it is there, please direct me to it.
Here is the text of Secretary Brunner's Directive, 2007-30, page 6, paragraph 10, for easy dissemination:
10. For the purposes of this directive, "randomly select" means the following:
a. Whole precincts shall be selected for recount.
b. Enough precincts shall be selected for recount whose total votes cast, when taken
together, equal at least 3% of the total votes cast in the election at issue.
c. The first precinct selected shall be selected by making a list of all the named political subdivisions within the election district (that is, township, city or village, county, district or state) and drawing by lot among such political subdivisions within the election district the political subdivision from which the first precinct will be selected. Such first precinct shall be the lowest numbered and/or lettered precinct in that political subdivision.
d. Subsequent precincts shall be selected from the next political subdivision, if any, in the election district, choosing the lowest numbered and/or lettered precinct in that political subdivision. If reaching the end of the alphabet results in a sum of total votes cast of less than 3% of the total votes cast in the election district, the next precinct chosen shall be from the lowest alphabetical political subdivision in the district and thereon from that point.
e. If one precinct has been chosen from each political subdivision in the election
district, or if there is only one political subdivision in the election district (e.g. in a township, village or city recount situation), and the sum of total votes cast is less than 3% of the total votes cast in the election district, the next precinct chosen shall be from the first political subdivision and shall be the numbered or lettered precinct from the political subdivision that is chronologically subsequent to the first precinct chosen in that political subdivision. If reaching the end of the lettered or numbered precincts results in a sum total votes cast of less than 3% of the total votes cast in the
election district, the next precinct chosen shall be from the lowest numbered precinct in a political subdivision.
f. Precinct selection shall continue in such fashion as set forth above for the completion of the second manual count, if necessary.
Thank you for your assistance and hopefully for taking quick action on this very serious issue.
Bless you in your work, make it good work.
Director, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
Cc: Jon Craig, Cincinnati Enquirer
Mark Niquette, Columbus Dispatch
James Nash, Columbus Dispatch
Mark Kovac, Vindy News
Bill Cohen, WOSU Radio
Greg Palast, BBC
Ian Urbina, New York Times
The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
|SOS - Non Random Audit for Electon Recount Dir. 2007-30.dat|