News Release

Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair?


Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor said today: “There was trouble with our elections in Ohio at every stage. It’s been a battle getting people registered to vote, getting to the ballot on voting day and getting that vote to count. There is a pattern of voter suppression; that’s why I called for [Ohio Secretary of State] Blackwell’s resignation more than a month ago. Blackwell, while claiming to run an unbiased elections process, was also the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio. Additionally, he was the spokesperson for the anti-business, anti-family constitutional amendment ‘Issue 1,’ and a failed initiative to repeal a crucial sales-tax revenue source for the state. Blackwell learned his moves from the Katherine Harris playbook of Florida 2000, and we won’t stand for it.”

Executive vice president of HBCU Connect, which works to connect historically black colleges and universities, Moss said today: “I stayed in line two and a half hours. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. There were fewer voting machines in the highly concentrated black areas, creating the long lines so as to frustrate the voters. But we knew the Republicans — many of whom became Republicans because they opposed equal rights for blacks — would try to drive down black turnout. … [Ohio Secretary of State] Blackwell was confusing things by raising issues like the paper weight of cards.”

Co-founder of the Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, Truitt said today: “Seven counties in Ohio have electronic voting machines and none of them have paper trails. That alone raises issues of accuracy and integrity as to how we can verify the count. A recount without a paper trail is meaningless; you just get a regurgitation of the data. Last year, Blackwell tried to get the entire state to buy new machines without a paper trail. The exit polls, virtually the only check we have against tampering with a vote without a paper trail, had shown Kerry with a lead. … A poll worker told me this morning that there were no tapes of the results posted on some machines; on other machines the posted count was zero, which obviously shouldn’t be the case.”
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Wallach is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston specializing in building secure and robust software systems for the Internet. Along with colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Wallach co-authored a groundbreaking study that revealed significant flaws in electronic voting systems. He appeared on an Institute for Public Accuracy news release in June entitled “Electronic Voting — Danger for Democracy.”
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An attorney who monitored the election with the Election Protection Coalition, Fitrakis said today: “There were far fewer machines in the inner-city districts than in the suburbs. I documented at least a dozen people leaving because the lines were so long in African-American areas. Blackwell did a great deal of suppressing before the election — like attempting to refuse to process voter registration forms. The absentee ballots were misleading in Franklin County. Kerry was the third line down, but you had to punch number four to vote for him. Bush was getting both his votes as well as Kerry’s.”

Senior editor of, an Ohio-based web site, and co-author with Fitrakis of the recent article “Twelve Ways Bush is Now Stealing the Ohio Vote,” Wasserman said today: “There was a huge fight around ensuring that the electronic voting machines had paper trails and there was resistance by the secretary of state, so there is no paper trail. There were some victories to ensure a paper trial — by 2006. There were limited numbers of voting machines in African-American districts. Some people had to wait up to eight hours, far more than in predominantly white areas.”
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On November 9, 2003, the New York Times reported: “In mid-August, Walden W. O’Dell, the chief executive of Diebold Inc., sat down at his computer to compose a letter inviting 100 wealthy and politically inclined friends to a Republican Party fund-raiser, to be held at his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. ‘I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year,’ wrote Mr. O’Dell, whose company is based in Canton, Ohio. That is hardly unusual for Mr. O’Dell. A longtime Republican, he is a member of President Bush’s ‘Rangers and Pioneers,’ an elite group of loyalists who have raised at least $100,000 each for the 2004 race. But it is not the only way that Mr. O’Dell is involved in the election process. Through Diebold Election Systems, a subsidiary in McKinney, Tex., his company is among the country’s biggest suppliers of paperless, touch-screen voting machines. Judging from Federal Election Commission data, at least 8 million people will cast their ballots using Diebold machines next November. … Some people find Mr. O’Dell’s pairing of interests — as voting-machine magnate and devoted Republican fund-raiser — troubling.”
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On November 3, 2004, Reuters reported: “Voters across the United States reported problems with electronic touch-screen systems on Tuesday in what critics said could be a sign that the machines used by one-third of the population were prone to error…. ”
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On October 24, 2004, the Palm Beach Post reported: “A federal judge on Monday rejected U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s claim that paperless electronic voting violates the constitutional rights of Floridians….”

On November 3, 2004, Thomas Crampton wrote in the International Herald Tribune: “The global implications of the U.S. election are undeniable, but international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices….”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167