Who Really Won?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Free Press: Recount Fraud

Meanwhile, efforts to recount Ohio's vote may have been fatally tainted by the Republican Party, raising questions of what the GOP has to hide, and prompting demands for criminal prosecution.

New affidavits point to possible criminal activity by top Ohio election officials, raising yet more questions about the 2004 vote. Rhonda J. Frazier, a former employee of the Ohio Secretary of State's office, has confirmed in an affidavit taken by Cynthia Butler, working with freepress.org, that the Office had secret slush funds. Frazier says it also failed to comply with the requirements of "The Voting Reform Grant" that required all the voting machines in Ohio to be inventoried and tagged for security reasons.

"I was routinely told to violate the bidded contracts to order supplies from other companies for all 17 Secretary of State offices throughout the State which were cheaper vendors, leaving a cash surplus differential in the budget," Frazier states, "After complaining about the office's repeated practices of violating grants and contracts I was fired."

A letter from the Shelby County Board of Elections, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, admitted that data critical to a meaningful recount had been discarded, possibly illegally. Sworn testimony from election observers in Greene County indicated that ballots had been left loose on tables in an unlocked, unguarded building, open to manipulation and theft, prior to a recount. And in Lucas County and Hocking County, it was revealed that technicians from the Diebold and Triad companies had inexplicably taken control of voting machines and dismantled them, rendering verifiable recounts impossible.

On Wednesday, December 15, U.S. Representative John Conyers posted an affidavit from Douglas W. Jones, a professor of computer science and a voting technology consultant. In Professor Jones' opinion, the bizarre behavior by the Triad Company, which provides computer software and voting machines in 41 of Ohio's 88 counties, may have tainted the entire recount effort. A Triad employee took apart a computer used in the recounting process and inserted new parts as well as alleged modifications of the software. "As a result, the incident in Hocking County could compromise the statewide recount and undermine the public's trust in the credibility and accuracy of the recount," Jones stated in an affidavit.