WASHINGTON -- February 9 -- Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb's pending request to have the flawed recount of Ohio's presidential vote be done again, this time in conformance with state and federal law, moved a step closer to judicial resolution with the filing last week of the final necessary documents before the matter can be heard by a federal judge.
Attorneys acting on behalf of Cobb and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, filed a legal Memorandum on February 3, countering the "remarkable assertion" of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell that he is not a proper party to the recount litigation and that the lawsuit filed by the presidential candidates should be dismissed.
"Mr. Blackwell and Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro are doing their utmost to keep the public and the proper authorities from finding out what went wrong with Ohio's presidential election and the bungled recount which followed it. Collectively, they have refused to testify before members of Congress and they have sought sanctions against attorneys prosecuting legitimate election claims. It is not at all surprising that they are claiming a federal court has no jurisdiction in the oversight of a federal election. It's not surprising, it's simply ridiculous," said Blair Bobier, Media Director for the Cobb-LaMarche 2004 Green Party presidential campaign.
The matter is pending in the Eastern Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, before Judge Edmund Sargus.
Whether the Ohio election and subsequent recount were conducted fairly and with uniform standards has become a national issue since Cobb and Badnarik first demanded the Ohio recount back in November.
The recount set the stage for investigations conducted by Representative John Conyers of Michigan, rallies featuring the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the historic challenge to Ohio's Electoral College votes on January 6, before a joint session of Congress. The issue has galvanized activists all across the country and has resulted in Congressional legislation, a well-attended national conference and the emergence of a New Voting Rights Movement.
Problems with the recount included a lack of security for the ballots and voting machines-including allegations of interference with voting machines by representatives of the Diebold and Triad corporations-and the refusal of some counties to do a full hand recount when Ohio law required them to do so. One of the most significant problems with the recount was that few of Ohio's 88 counties randomly selected sample precincts for the recount as is required by state law.
Additional information about the recount and the New Voting Rights Movement can be found at <http://www.votecobb.org>. The website for the national Green Party is <http://www.gp.org>.