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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/21/08

Check out all these unexpected deaths of people involved with elections

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   12 comments
Message Pokey Anderson

Keep your coincidence caps handy, folks. People involved in elections and voting machine companies seem very unlucky.  Especially those in Ohio (4 of the 7) and Georgia (2 of the 7).

--Pokey Anderson

1. Dan Rocco -- April 1, 2002 -- ChoicePoint VP -- plane crash
He died on April 1, 2002, in a plane crash in Gainesville, Georgia. He was an executive vice president at ChoicePoint, the firm that gained infamy with their faulty "felons" list supplied to Katherine Harris during the 2000 election in Florida. As a result of this list, over 90,000 voters (mostly African-American voters) were wrongly identified as felons and purged from the rolls.

2. Wesley Vance -- April 26, 2003 -- Diebold VP -- plane crash
Pilot Killed In Plane Crash Was Top Exec At Diebold
April 28, 2003
(Jackson-AP) -- The pilot of a single-engine airplane that crashed in southern Ohio over the weekend was the chief operating officer of Canton-based Diebold Incorporated.

The company says 45-year-old Wesley Vance of Canton was flying a private plane that crashed Saturday near the Jackson County Airport. ...The company says Vance joined Diebold in October, 2000, as president of its North America business unit. He was named chief operating officer in 2001. Chief Executive Walden O'Dell will assume the company's daily operational responsibilities until a successor is found for Vance. An airport spokesman says Vance was practicing takeoffs and landings in a six-seat Beachcraft A-36 when it crashed near the airport.

[Note - On September 21, 2005, Diebold announces that its current COO will leave his post and the board.  Stock drops 16% intraday.  O'Dell will temporarily assume the post.]


Vance was an Eagle Scout, elected to Boys State, and a church-going Mormon, married, father of five.  He earned a degree from Brigham Young University.  He was described as a confident person who people liked to be around.  His senior class in high school voted him "favorite boy".  He had been a pilot for over twenty years.  He was named to Diebold's No. 2 position as COO in 2001, managing the company's global operations.

3. Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. -- July 4, 2003 -- Diebold consultant -- cause of death not confirmed
Anthony Celebrezze Dies

Former Ohio Attorney General Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr., 61, died yesterday in an Urbana hospital. Champaign County Coroner Joshua Richards confirmed that Celebrezze died about 9 p.m. yesterday, but would not confirm a cause of death.

Celebrezze, a Democrat of Columbus, was a stalwart in Cleveland and Ohio politics.... He was 38 when he was elected secretary of state in 1978.

He was Ohio attorney general from 1983 to 1991, and Ohio secretary of state from 1979 to 1983. Celebrezze ran against George Voinovich for governor in 1990 but lost.

Wayne Hill, Celebrezze's longtime communications director during the 1978 campaign for secretary of state and then attorney general, was in shock at Celebrezze's death yesterday.

Hill said Celebrezze, who enjoyed racing cars, was at Shady Bowl Speedway in De Graff for a Fourth of July race when he felt ill. De Graff is west of Columbus.

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Pokey Anderson has broadcast or published numerous reports on voting machine issues over the past four years. She co-produces a weekly news and analysis radio program, The Monitor on KPFT-Pacifica in Houston. A previous article was "Even a Remote (more...)
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