Members of Congress and National Leaders Analyze Ohio Election

At the first Congressional forum today on election irregularities in Ohio, members of Congress, national leaders, lawyers, and citizens of Ohio testified to the problems that plagued the pivotal state in the 2004 presidential election. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, explained that in her analysis, voter purging in Ohio is inconsistent from county to county, but appeared to significantly affect Cuyahoga County (Cleveland area). Because of purging of voters in 2001 and 2002 in Cuyahoga County, the massive voter registration effort in the county in 2003 and 2004 still resulted in a net loss in registered voters in 2004 compared to the 2000 election. “Needless to say, the results may be punitive to voters who are purged unnecessarily,” said Smeal in her written testimony. “For example, one of our students observed in East Cleveland that many people came to the “wrong” polling location and were not given provisional ballots. Was it a Ôwrong’ location or were these voters simply purged? Either way, they should have been given a provisional ballot.” Smeal also pointed to long lines at polling places on or near colleges and universities in Ohio, that had the effect of suppressing the student vote. Lines were as long as 10 hours at Ohio State University and 11 hours at Kenyon College. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) opened the forum, saying, “As hard as voters worked for the vote, we need to work just as hard to make sure every single vote counts.” Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (R), certified the Ohio vote on Monday, despite lawsuits aimed at calling for a recount in Ohio. LEARN MORE Read Eleanor Smeal’s testimony and analysis of the 2004 election in Ohio


Feminist Majority Foundation; Rep. John Conyers 12/8/04

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