BRAD BLOG Reporting Included in Update to Ohio Sec. of State!
Also...Exit Poller Mitofsky Asked to Testify, Release 'Raw Data'
By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2004, 2:14pm PT  

A follow-up with updated information on our several previous reports...

A supplement to the letter sent to Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell by House Judiciary Committee Dems concerning numerous voting irregularities in Ohio was obtained earlier today by The BRAD BLOG. The supplement, which includes an invitation for Blackwell to appear at next week's just-announced committee hearings, has now been posted within the past hour at the House Judiciary Committee Democrats website. We will excerpt details below.

As well, a request has been filed with Warren Mitofsky, head of the news consortium that conducted the Exit Polling on Election Day, to release the "raw data" from that controversial polling. Details follow below on that as well.

Additional information has been provided to Blackwell in a supplemental letter, which also requests explanation for the incidents described. The first item is based on information reported exclusively by BRAD BLOG last Wednesday evening in our report about the judge in Delaware County, OH who had issued a "temporary restraining order" to stop the Green/Libertarian sponsored recount from happening in that county.

Our investigation revealed that the Delaware County Board of Elections website was still publicizing an outdated edict from Blackwell concerning the paper-weight requirements of voter registration forms in Ohio despite the rulings reversal over a month prior to Election Day.

After drawing negative publicity about Blackwell's arcane ruling which mandated that voter registration forms must be submitted only on "white, uncoated paper of not less than 80-pound text weight", the ruling was then lifted on Sept. 29th.

Yet, as we reported Wednesday, the Delaware County Board of Elections website still features the following text, as of this posting, on the front page of the site a full two months since the ruling was lifted, and over a month since Election Day itself:

Due to the new paper weight restrictions set forth by the Secretary of State, we can no longer accept a copy of the Voter Registration form. Please call us at 740-833-2080 and we will be happy to send one to you. Thank You for your cooperation.

Here is a screenshot taken last night from the page...

The Judiciary Committee letter includes this information on the matter to Blackwell:

In addition, as follow-up to the letter I sent yesterday, I would like to bring two additional concerns to your attention.

First, in Section II(C) of our letter, we raised the problem of a directive you issued on September 7 commanding county elections boards to reject voter registration forms "not printed on white, uncoated paper of not less than 80 lb. text weight." We noted that you reversed the directive on September 28, but in the interim a number of counties followed the directive and rejected otherwise valid voter registration forms. It has now come to our attention that in at least one county, Delaware County, the directive is still posted on the Internet. Attached is a screen capture of this directive for your review. This raises the question of whether Delaware County rejected voter registration forms after your rescinded the directive.

The second additional item sent to Blackwell asks about the unusual report of the Auglaize County, OH Board of Elections, the entirety of which was placed on "Administrative Oversight" by Blackwell's office --- without explanation --- after a board official had reported that an Election Systems & Software (ES&S) employee was seen accessing the main computer. Such access is reportedly contrary to election protocol.

The curious incident was first published by The Evening Later on Nov. 6th, and then reported here two days later.

The text of the Blackwell supplement asks for more information on the matter:

Second, I would like to follow up regarding the investigation your office possibly conducted of the Auglaize County Board of Elections. Specifically, on October 21, it was reported that Joe McGinnis, an employee at Election Systems and Software, the company that provides the voting system in Auglaize County, violated protocol by accessing the main computer that was used to create the ballot and compile election results. Your office placed the Auglaize County Board of Elections on administrative oversight, but, to date, there has been no word as to the results of any such investigation.

35. Did you or your office, in fact, conduct an investigation into this matter? If so, did you find impropriety in the conduct of Joe McGinnis?

36. Did you find any other impropriety, either by McGinnis or any other employee of Election Systems and Software, that could have affected vote counts in the county? Did you find any impropriety by any employee of the Auglaize County Board of Elections?

The full text of the supplemental letter to Blackwell in PDF format can be downloaded here.

ALSO...In the committee's invitation to Warren Mitofsky, head of the news consortium that conducted all of the Exit Polling on Election Day, asking him to appear at next week's hearings, Mitofsky is asked to about releasing the "raw data" from those polls which have sparked so much controversy since Nov. 2nd.

As well, the letter points out the irony of the Bush Administration's use of Exit Polls as an indicator of possible fraud in the recent Ukraine Elections, while virtually overlooking similar concerns about the data from such polling in this country:

I am writing to ask you to help clear up many of the rumors and disputes surrounding the 2004 Presidential election exit polls by releasing the "raw data" from your exit polls and by testifying at a hearing we will be holding next week.

As you are well aware, many questions have been raised regarding the discrepancy between the early exit polls conducted by the National Election Pool and the final result of the election. Specifically, just after noon on November 2, numbers were reportedly released showing that Senator John Kerry was leading in several key states such as Florida and Ohio, by a three percentage point lead late in the day. As we now know, these numbers are at odds with official results.

This discrepancy is objectively problematic and raises serious concerns about voting irregularity. While reasonable minds can differ as to the latter theory, the only way to restore complete legitimacy on this election is to have an independent firm conduct a detailed analysis of the data, including the raw data taken at the polls early in the day.

Indeed, exit poll data is now being used by Administration officials to evaluate the legitimacy of the election in the Ukraine. As Secretary of State Colin Powell stated, "We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse."

Powell recently called for "a full review of the conduct of the election" and tallying of results. Such an inquiry into the legitimacy of election results should be a priority for our country as well.

The full text of the letter to Mitofsky in PDF format can be downloaded here.