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Letter from an Ohio Board of Elections (Holmes County) on missing 2004 ballots.
“Letters from the Edge” - Part 1
Overall this blatant destruction of evidence only reinforces the widespread belief that the 2004 election was stolen.
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman,
Free Press August 2, 2007
The 2004 presidential election was mired in controversy all over the country. Candidate Kerry’s legion of volunteer lawyers was ready to fight anticipated election fraud. Serious challenges were defused when Kerry conceded the election in the early morning of November 3, 2004. Failing to recognize that candidates cannot concede the votes of citizens, the news media and political parties called it a night.
Ohio was ground zero for charges of election fraud. These are ably detailed in several articles and won’t be repeated here. One post election event is worth mentioning. The March 13, 2007 Toledo Blade ran this headline at the end of a major trial in Cleveland:
The crime took place in the largest voting district in Ohio, Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland. Election workers created the recount that wasn’t thus denying the public of vital information about charges of election fraud.
The tale of the lost ballots and destroyed evidence begins with a law suit brought by citizens against Ohio officials: King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association (KLBNA) v. Blackwell. The suit charges Blackwell and other Ohio officials with: “election fraud, vote dilution, vote suppression, recount fraud and other violations.”
Specific charges include: “withholding unused (unvoted) ballots” in response to legitimate requests to review these ballots; violation of Ohio law by “breaks in the bipartisan chain of custody;” and “tampering with ballots” by marking Bush’s name on ballots with no presidential vote and switching ballots from Kerry to a third party candidate. Amended Complaint October 9, 2006
In order to prove their case, plaintiff’s counsel, noted voting rights attorney Cliff Arnebeck, needed all of the ballots from the 2004 election. Federal law stipulates a 22 month retention period for all federal elections, as does Ohio law for state elections. The presiding judge in the case, Algenon L. Marbley, issued a court order on September 6, 2006 extending the retention requirements for an additional 12 months. Blackwell was instructed to distribute the order to Ohio’s boards of elections.
The Judge then ordered that the ballots be turned over to the new Secretary of State, Democrat Jennifer Brunner on April 7, 2007. Brunner sent a request out for the ballot evidence two days later
When the Ohio Secretary of State sent requests for delivery of the ballots, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties replied that they no longer had some or all of the ballots requested. Only 41 bothered to provide an explanatory letter as to the missing ballots. Fifteen counties offered no reason at all for noncompliance. Counties failing to return complete sets of ballots accounted for a majority of Ohio’s 2004 presidential votes.
Federal and State Law on Preserving Ballots