Ohio Recount Appears Imminent
-David Cobb and Michael Badnarik filed for a recount in Ohio. By Ohio State law, they needed to provide $150,000 to pay for the cost of the recount. Since late last week, they have already raised $144,000, which means they are certainly going to reach that goal. Given that the money has already been raised, a recount is probable.
Currently, Bush leads by an unofficial count of around 136,000 votes
There are 155,000 provisional ballots to be counted. In the 2000 election, 90% of these ballots were counted in the final total. In this years elections, they have begun counting provisional ballots, and estimates are that between 75 and 90% of the provisional ballots will be counted.
Let's make some assumptions. We'll assume a relatively safe 80% of the provisional ballots will be counted. Of these, the vast majority are disenfranchised black and minority voters (Stats support this fact) If we assume the provisionals go 80-20% for Kerry,Bush will receive an additional 24,800 votes, while Kerry will receive an additional 99,200 votes. This will tighten the race by 74,400 votes.
Next, we bring in the issue of ballot "spoilage". A spoiled ballot is a ballot that was not read properly by the voting machine. An overwhelming 92,672 spoiled ballots were counted. The official reason given for these ballots being spoiled is voters that either A) didn't vote for president, or B) Voted for more than one president. Most likely, the issue is a pregnant or hanging chad. These ballots should definitely be recounted and sorted by hand.
As in the 2000 Florida election, ballot spoilage occurs predominately among black and minority voters. There is also the possibility of systematic discarding and voter fraud occurring among this group. Studies have shown that Cuyahoga county, the predominant democratic area in Ohio, demonstrated levels of ballot spoilage that were 6-7 times the rate of ballot spoilage throughout the rest of the state. It is not unreasonable to assume that if the spoiled ballots were to be recounted, that Kerry could would up an additional 35,000 ballots. Suddenly, we are in a race:
Next comes the question of systematic fraud. Cuyahoga county registered 98,00 more votes than voters. Potential source of fraud? you bet. Warren county, with 93,000 votes going 73% for Bush, locked out all media from the vote counting process, citing a false claim that the Department of Homeland Security and FBI had issued an imminent security threat in the area. These allegations were later found to be false -- This county should automatically be recounted.
How about the fact that Blackwell, the head of the committee to re-elect George Bush, is also the head of the Ohio State Voting Committee. How is this not a major conflict of interest?
Questions remain. Let us all hope and pray that these questions are thoroughly answered with a full and transparent recount, without the interference of James Blackwell.