[Fwd: Elections, Voting and an Iraq Dispatch]

From Uni's. (So good I'm pasting the entire post)

11/18/04 Eureka's green David Cobb leads effort to initiate recount in Ohio
by Diane M. Batley, The Eureka Reporter
Green and Libertarian 2004 presidential candidates David Cobb and
Michael Badnarik joined together by announcing they will formally file
papers demanding a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio.
We raised about $150,000 over the last weekend and will continue to
raise money for the on the ground team for the recount. We have the
filing fees necessary," Cobb said.
He said the contributions were overwhelmingly from small donors. He said
only two individuals have contributed more than a thousand dollars.
He said that he cannot file for a recount in Ohio by law until the Ohio
secretary of state certifies the election results. Cobb said the results
must be certified by Dec. 3 and then he will demand a recount.
There are a whole litany of voting rights issues that need to be
investigated, Cobb said.
According to www.votecobb.org, money needed for the recounts filing fees
and expenses have been received from all over the country. Now Cobb and
Badnarik are hoping to raise $100,000 by Nov. 22 to pay for the recount
"We feel like we need another $100,000 for phase two for the costs of
bringing people in to serve as observers during a formal recount and the
litigation that may ensue as a result of this," he said. "Thousands have
donated from all over the country. Frankly it hasn't even broken in the
major media markets. This has been a phenomenon of individuals simply
e-mailing each other and community radio. The major corporate media has
not covered this story."
For more information, visit www.votecobb.org.

This link leads to other good links.
Don't Count Kerry Out
Progressives fight deadlines and Democrats to order recount of Ohio votes
By Steven Rosenfeld
The campaign of Green Party candidate David Cobb has raised enough money
to demand a recount of the presidential election results in Ohio, a
party spokesperson said Monday. While it's unclear if a recount will
result in a Kerry victory, it's likely to highlight many flaws in Ohio
elections that may have tilted results toward Republicans and against
Efforts to launch an official statewide recount got underway in earnest
last week when Common Cause of Ohio and the Alliance for Democracy, a
progressive coalition, announced they were initiating a recount campaign
for Ohio. Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who represents both groups, said both
the Green Party and Libertarian Party presidential candidates would seek
a recount if the $110,000 filing fee could be raised. "Common Cause and
the Alliance for Democracy are not partisan. The purpose of the recount
is to verify the honesty of the process," Arnebeck said. "That is in the
interest of anyone who would be declared the winner."

Lawyers documenting voting problems say they'll challenge results
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Lawyers who have been documenting voting day problems
in Ohio say they'll challenge the results of the presidential election
as soon as the vote is official.
The lawyers say documented cases of long lines, a shortage of machines
and a pattern of problems in predominantly black neighborhoods are
enough evidence to bring such a challenge.
"The objective is to get to the truth," said Cliff Arnebeck, a lawyer
who said he'll represent voters who cast ballots Nov. 2. Arnebeck said
the effort is bipartisan.
"What's critically important, whether it's President Bush or Sen. Kerry,
whoever's been actually elected, is to know you won by an honest
election," he said. "So it's in the interest of both sides as American
citizens to know the truth and to have this answered."
Ohio Republican Party chairman Bob Bennett said it was a joke that the
effort was being billed as bipartisan.
"This is nothing but an absurd attempt by a handful of radical front
groups to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Bush presidency. The
election is over, the Democrats have conceded and the outcome will not
change," Bennett said in a statement.
"This is an egregious waste of time and taxpayer money. It's time to
move on."
More than 200 people in Columbus voiced their complaints Nov. 13 about
voting problems on Election Day, some accusing the state of voter
suppression. Many were Kerry supporters.
A similar hearing was scheduled Friday in Cleveland.
The Columbus hearing was organized by Robert Fitrakis, a lawyer and
political science professor at Columbus State Community College, who is
also involved in filing the challenge.
"The sworn statements that we've received should give everyone cause to
go forward in terms of this inquiry," Fitrakis said.
Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell will certify the election
results by Dec. 6, spokesman Carlo LoParo said Friday.
A ruling in favor of the challenge could lead to a recount or even
having the results set aside, although Arnebeck hinted that such an
event was unlikely.

Requests strain election boards, county budgets
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ross County elections director Nancy Bell ticked off a
list of information requested by groups checking election results,
mentioning everything from provisional ballot totals to voter signature
poll books.
"That's not all," Bell said Friday. "There's still another eight things
on the list."
Elections officials say such requests from political and advocacy
groups, media outlets and other organizations are straining their staffs
and budgets as they try to finish the official ballot count for the
presidential election.
"We've never received anything like this before, since I started in
1985," Bell said.
Bev Harris, founder of Black Box Voting, a Seattle-based nonprofit
consumer protection organization, said the group filed public records
requests for every county in the country before the election.
The requests cover items ranging from internal audit logs for central
tabulating machines to all communications about problems or components
of the election.
"We're wanting to verify the accuracy of the special vote count
computer," Harris said. "It's the last spot the votes go. It's the one
that produces the final report of the secretary of state."
Harris said they haven't examined any of the material they have received
from Ohio so far because they've been busy with other election audits.

News From 91.3 KUWS
Group calls for investigation into voter fraud in Duluth and several states
BusinessNorth Fri, 19 Nov 2004 2:52 PM PST
With growing numbers of accusations of fraud, a local group is joining
the national call for an investigation of the presidential election.
David Hopkins reports.
Progressive Action's Charles Gessert says his organization is joining
Michigan Congressman John Conyers to call for a nonpartisan
investigation into possible voting irregularities. Gessert has lost some
faith in the electoral system. "I'm nearly 60 years old, and for the
first time in my life over the last four years my confidence in the
electoral process has been shaken." Gessert noted that the
irregularities in question are in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina among
oher states. Progressive Action activist Sharla Gardner of Duluth noted
that voting irregularities are also suspected in Duluth. "People were
turned away, people left, people were intimidated. Vouchers, people who
came to vouch for people, were intimidated down at the Duluth Public
Linrary. They were told untruths by republican poll watchers. They were
told that there was a $10,000 fine for voter fraud and they had to know
the person that they were vouching for. And that they could not vouch
for more than one person. And none of these things were true." Gessert
says the time since the election makes perfect sense to let emotions
cool, and to alleviate initial false charges. He says the investigation
of the issues that remain on the table should be handled by the U-S
Government Accounting Office.


Exit Polls and Voter Fraud: A User-Friendly Explanation
Independent Media TV Fri, 19 Nov 2004 5:35 AM PST
Electronic voting machines were supposed to save us from the nightmare
of hanging chads.

Santa Monica Mountain News and Arts Publication

Many Unhappy Returns: Topanga Election Results
By Dan Mazur
Topanga Canyon voters overwhelmingly chose John Kerry over George W.
Bush in this monthís election, confounding pundits who saw the Canyon as
a dependable conservative bastion, and leading to insinuations of voter
Well, actually, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Topanga
preferred Kerry to Bush by a margin of 2,005 to 484, or 79 to 18
percent, and that other Democratic candidates fared equally well in the
Canyon. Here is a rundown of how Topangans chose to exercise their
democratic rights (or lefts).


Successful Operation, But Patient Dead: By EVE PELL
Pacific News Service (11-19-04)
With the help of tens of thousands of people like me, the Democrats and
527 Democrat-leaning organizations achieved their goals on Nov. 2: high
voter turnout, millions of doorbells rung, a huge and enthusiastic army
mobilized to defeat the president. Yet, as an old adage goes, "The
operation was a success, but the patient died."

Another person charged in vote-buying probe
Another man indicted earlier now faces additional charges
By The Associated Press, Friday November 19, 2004
A state Division of Highways worker accused of buying votes in the May
primary election faces new charges, and a second person has been
indicted in the federal investigation of election fraud in southern West
Jackie David Adkins, 35, of Harts was charged with conspiracy to buy
votes in a superseding indictment handed up Wednesday by a federal grand
jury in Huntington. Adkins, a DOH employee who was indicted in August on
charges of bribing four voters, also was accused of bribing six other
Wandell "Rocky" Adkins, 49, of Ferrellsburg, was charged with conspiracy
to buy votes and eight counts of vote buying.
The two men are not related, federal prosecutors said.
Both men are accused of paying 10 Lincoln County residents $20 each to
vote for a slate of candidates in the May 11 primary. The slate did not
identify who paid for it, which is a violation of state election law.
U.S. Attorney Kasey Warner's office did not identify the candidates on
the slate.

Aren't news alerts wonderful?!

Democrats take up fight over ballots
November 18, 2004, By: Bill Sloat, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cincinnati - Seeming to brush aside John Kerry's concession speech, the
Ohio Democratic Party has launched a federal court fight over nearly
155,000 provisional ballots by contending a proper accounting of those
votes might decide who really won.
In Ohio, Bush now holds a lead of about 136,000 votes over Kerry.
County officials across the state began tabulating provisional ballots
"Given the closeness of the presidential and other elections," Ohio's
provisional ballots "may prove determinative of the outcome," Democrats
argue in a legal filing made public Wednesday by the U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit asked U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson to order Ohio
Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to impose uniform standards for
counting provisional votes on all 88 counties. Democrats want the judge
to take action quickly - before the results of the election are certified.
Watson, who was appointed by Bush, has not set a hearing.
Don McTigue, a Columbus lawyer who filed the lawsuit for the Ohio
Democratic Party, said the Democrats have concerns that different
standards are being applied from county to county.
"Our action is not tied to some hope of changing the outcome of the
election. We're being consistent with the Kerry campaign, and the
Democratic Party's interest in seeing all eligible ballots are counted,"
McTigue said.
Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, defended Ohio's rules for
handling provisional ballots as explicit. He said Blackwell, a
Republican, is adamant that every valid vote will be counted.
In court papers, the Democrats cite Bush v. Gore - the Supreme Court
ruling after Florida's contested election that awarded Bush the White
House in 2000 - as a legal precedent for the Ohio lawsuit. That case was
decided by a majority of five justices.
"In Bush v. Gore, the United States Supreme Court held that the failure
to provide specific standards for counting of ballots that are
sufficient to assure a uniform count statewide violates the Equal
Protection Clause of the United States Constitution," their court filing
In Ohio, Democrats argue, the state lacks clear statewide rules that
guarantee provisional ballots are processed consistently from county to
Democrats intervened in an existing lawsuit filed by Republicans on
election night. That case has been inactive," said Dan Hoffheimer, the
Kerry campaign's chief lawyer in Ohio.
"I think the Republicans went to court first to protect their interests.
Now, it looks like the Ohio Democratic Party is doing the same.
Certainly, as far as I know today, the Kerry-Edwards campaign is not
planning to file such a case," Hoffheimer said.
Provisional ballots are special ballots used by voters who believe they
are registered but who don't appear on the rolls, those who could not
provide proof of identity and others who had moved, but did not update
their registration information. Once local officials verify that the
voters were indeed registered and that they voted in the correct
precinct, their provisional ballot can be counted.
Most of Ohio's provisional ballots were cast in urban areas where Kerry
typically fared well. Cuyahoga County had the most - nearly 25,000.
About 13,000 of those had been verified as of Wednesday, with about
8,600 of that group deemed valid.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidates from the Green and Libertarian
parties have said they will demand a recount of all the ballots in Ohio
- which could include a review of another group of votes; 92,672
"spoiled" ballots that recorded no vote for president.
Still, many political experts - including top Kerry campaign operatives
- believe Bush's margin cannot be overcome.
"I think the Democrats are more worried about avoiding a controversy in
2006 or 2008," said Dan Takaji, an Ohio State University law professor
who is an expert on election law. He views the Democrats' court action
as a move to make sure that there are solid, court-approved guidelines
for future elections.
"But there's no way the math is going to change," Takaji said. "The
margin might shrink as the provisionals are counted, but if you look
seriously at the numbers, the outcome won't change."
Gene Beaupre, a political scientist at Xavier University in Cincinnati,
saw the suit as an effort by Democratic officials to assuage party
loyalists who feel Kerry quit without a fight in Ohio.
"There's certainly a feeling out there that people were let down by the
leadership," Beaupre said. "All you have to do is look on the Internet,
and that sense of disappointment is a political reality among a lot of
people who are Internet users."
To reach these Plain Dealer reporters:
bsloat@plaind.com, 513-631-4125

Kerry to Give Dems Leftover Campaign Cash
AP via Yahoo! News Thu, 18 Nov 2004 8:52 PM PST
Under friendly fire, Sen. John Kerry likely will donate a substantial
portion of his excess presidential campaign cash to help elect
Democratic candidates in 2005 and 2006, advisers said Thursday.

Election Fraud 2004: Kerry, the Times and the Democrats
by Ronald Bleier
(Friday 19 November 2004)
"...It seems that rather than face the demands of the presidency, Kerry
preferred to return to his relatively undemanding Senate position."

Amy Goodman's Democracy Now (11.17.04 www.democracynow.org) asks why
Kerry isn't using $50 million in unspent campaign funds to assist in
recounts of the election --especially an Ohio recount. What's the
political imperative preventing Kerry from joining the Green and
Libertarian parties who have raised $150,000 in the last week to file
for a recount there? David Cobb, the Green Party candidate for president
appeared on the Democracy Now program and excoriated Kerry for his
silence on the issue, especially decrying his premature concession. The
result is that we are now left with the great majority of Americans
including even the majority of Democrats and independents essentially
investing Bush once again with an unearned legitimacy through another
fraudulent election without demanding a proper investigation.
Kerry's brutally swift capitulation dramatically undercut his supporters
and created confusion, with some wondering if Kerry and elements of the
Democratic Party are somehow in tacit collusion with the Bush forces. My
own guess follows Michael Thomas of the Observer in suggesting that like
several Democrats before him, Kerry simply did not have the stomach for
the job. (See his article and my comments:
m-thomas-kerry-cant-handle-presidency.html), It seems that rather than
face the demands of the presidency, Kerry preferred to return to his
relatively undemanding Senate position.


Dispatch from Iraq: "your country (USA) made this mess, your country
needs to clean it up"
by Michele Naar-Obed, (Monday 02 February 2004)
:: A view of Iraq from the perspective of an NGO group who witnessed and
reported abuse of the Iraqi prisoners ::
It's been a week now since I completed a 2 week tour of post war Iraq,
or at least that's how George W refers to this time. Actually, the war
continues in Iraq only now there are even more players. It is no longer
the war between the lone ranger USA and dictator Saddam, although most
people knew it was never really that simple. This unilateral, preemptive
war with no clear plan on what to do after the Iraqi government fell,
has opened up a Pandora's box that nobody knows how to contain. It is a
quagmire probably of more significance than Vietnam where the enemy is
defined as terrorism which is about as tangible as a ray of light. The
victims of course are the Iraqi people and our foot soldiers, but that's
nothing new either.
Our Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) delegation arrived in Baghdad on
January 5. We joined a CPT team of 7 who were deeply involved in
documenting cases of abuse and torture by coalition forces against Iraqi
detainees. The team had compiled data from 72 cases which included
prying off toenails during interrogation to psychological torture and
more. The data was passed on to CPA headquarters, various senators and
representatives and of course, the media. BBC picked up on it almost
immediately and ran the story repeatedly on headline news. The next day,
there were reports that 500 of the estimated 18,000 detainees would be
released and that military investigations were pending. CPT didn't claim
total responsibility for the response as Occupation Watch, AFSC, Amnesty
International and independent journalists had been contributing evidence
as well. [see reports below]
Our delegation jumped into the work head on. During our 1st full day in
Baghdad, we witnessed the testimony of an Iraqi translator who saw a man
gunned down at a check point. Although some of the details were sketchy,
the man was essentially gunned down by 3 soldiers without firing any
warning shots as he approached the checkpoint. When the car finally
stopped, US soldiers dragged the victim out of the car while he bled
profusely as other soldiers searched for explosives for 45 minutes.When
none were found, they strapped him to the hood of a Humvee and took him
to a nearby medical facility. He died soon after and due to improper
documentation, it took 3 months before the family knew what happened.
The victim left behind a wife, 5 children, and many family members.


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