Ballot and Soul: REFORM OHIO NOW

This newsletter is intended to be a combined effort of CASE OHIO, J30 Coalition, AND OHIO VIGILANCE, and any citizen activists involved in Election reform. This newsletter will include applicable news and events, it is not intended to promote any specific agenda but instead be inclusive.

This mailing is from CASE Ohio mailing list.

Bob Koehlers most recent article: "Ballot and Soul" http://www.commonwonders.com/


The summary below is from Common Cause website. CASE Ohio, J30, and Ohio Vigilance have NOT officially endorsed RON. While not speaking for anyone but myself, the groups above are most concerned about Issue 2, in that early voting appears to be open to fraud.

Common Sense Reforms for Ohio http://www.ReformOhioNow.org ,

Common Cause Ohio is working with our partners who make up the Reform Ohio Now (RON) coalition to restore faith and integrity in government through four common sense reforms. These reform measures are central to our mission of holding power accountable and, if passed, would form one of the most comprehensive reform packages in the country. They will appear on the November 8th ballot as Issues 2, 3, 4 and 5 and will do the following:

Issue 2 - Allow Ohioans to vote early or to vote by mail, ensuring easy access to elections

Issue 3 - Put tough limits on campaign contributions, reducing the influence of money in politics

Issue 4 - Create an independent redistricting commission to take the power to draw legislative districts out of the hands of partisan lawmakers

Issue 5 - Remove partisan politicians from the administration of state elections

Our effort will succeed because of grassroots power and volunteer like you. Please sign up to volunteer today and visit this site often to learn what you can do to clean up Ohio.

For more info: http://www.ReformOhioNow.org


The following story broke on Bradblog http://www.bradblog.com and was subsequently confirmed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I am reprinting only a small part of the entire article here.

Blogged by Brad on 9/22/2005 @ 12:31am PT...

DIEB-THROAT Weighs in on Diebold's Stunning 15.5% Wednesday Stock Plunge a BRAD BLOG Exclusive late last week.

That "Cyber Security Bulletin", little-noticed by the media, and apparently wholly ignored by Diebold when it was originally posted in late August of 2004 is still available on the US-CERT website . It warns of an "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's GEM Central Tabulator software used with its electronic voting machine systems. The security vulnerability could allow a local or remote user to modify vote tallies stored in the system according to the warning and corroborated by several different sources.

"This backdoor means that one malicious person can change the outcome of any Diebold election," DIEB-THROAT said in our previous article. "Diebold's election system," the source added, "is one of the greatest threats our democracy has ever known."


Marj Creech, Victoria Parks and I (Jo Anne Karasek) are going to speak on the hand count paper ballot constitutional initiative and parallel elections on October 12 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The group that has invited us is the Women’s Progressive Activists, and they are interested in sponsoring a hand count paper ballot constitutional initiative in Michigan. Victoria Parks will also be singing her songs about the election debacle before the event begins.

The draft constitutional initiative for hand count paper ballots in Ohio is being revised. This is because of the additional security procedures suggested in "Voting on Paper Ballots" by Douglas W. Jones at http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/voting/paper.html. Douglas W. Jones is an Associate Professor at Iowa State in computer science with an election administration background.

To sign up to help with the constitutional initiative for hand count paper ballots, please contact Jo Anne Karasek, Coordinator, at jakarasek@cinci.rr.com

Ohio HB 3:

Inside information is that the Republican leadership in the house intends on adding an amendment to HB3 to require a photo ID to vote, thereby avoiding debate in committee or in the public domain, and they plan to bring the bill to a vote soon after the November election. Nationally a photo ID requirement will disenfranchise 357,000 currently eligible voters in Ohio while solving a problem that does not exist. (Four voters have been charged with fraudulently voting in Ohio in 2005)


Franklin County has a contract to work with Election Science Institute to ensure an accurate election. Other counties, such as Cuyahoga, have similar voting machines but are expecting the public to trust the equipment without this oversight. There is some concern that ESI is a Trojan Horse. Regardless, this response from Matt Damschroeder, BOE director in Franklin Co, recognizes the many issues and vulnerabilities of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines.

"We are working with ESI to do a complete review of the ES&S including a line by line review of the source code. Since we here at the BOE are not electronic security or programming experts, we are asking the experts brought in by ESI to help us identify shortcomings in the ES&S system for ES&S to either change or for us to create mitigating processes. We are also working with ES&S to make recommendations for the conduct of our post election canvass (audit). Also, with the ES&S machines, it creates a real time electronic log of all transactions, which is written to a removable flash card. Franklin County’s goal is to develop the procedures and technology so that in addition to posting the tabulated results of the system, that we will also post to the web the flash card data from each individual machine as well as .pdf’s of the VVPAT for each machine. Obviously, that will take some time to download and scan, so it probably won’t be election night, and again, we have to develop some procedures and acquire some additional technology to do this … but our objective is to have all of the material out there so that our posted results are transparent and independently auditable". Matt Damschroder (email from Matt Damschroeder to Pete Johnson, 9/26/05)

Exit Polls : On Friday October 14th, Steve Freeman Ph.D. will debate Warren J. Mitofsky of Mitofsky International, which was contracted to perform an exit poll for the National Election Pool. This debate may eventually be televised on CSpan.

The two will square off in lectures and discussion on Friday, October 14, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania Terrace Room, Logan Hall, 249 South 36th Street in Philadelphia. They will be part of ASAP's fall meeting, which includes a third talk on the use of two remarkably powerful statistical methods to make the best use of clinical trial data.



Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

Public Meeting to "unveil" the Diebold Touch-Screen Voting Machines (DRE's) "Roadmap to Electronic Voting, 2004-2005"

Date: Monday, Oct 17th, 2005

Location: Myers University Club, 3813 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH

Time: 10am to 4pm


Lucas County, Ohio

A second election audit of the Lucas County, Ohio, November 2004 General Election was done on October 7, 2005. The first was done in June, 2005

Twelve volunteers: Troy Seman, Stuart Wright, Marj Creech, Evan Davis, Denis Logan, Adam Kopchian, John Willey, James Marek, Bev & John Peterson, Debbie Dalke, and Jo Anne Karasek worked on digitally photocopying the signature books and poll books. There has been a public records request to audit the ballots, but no date has been set yet.

To sign up to participate in Lucas County audits, please contact Jo Anne Karasek at jakarasek@cinci.rr.com

Clermont County, Ohio

A public records request to audit the ballots, signature books and poll books of the Clermont County, August 2004 Special Election has been issued and a preliminary date has been set to discuss arrangements on Friday, October 14. We are requesting a videographer is for this.

To sign up as a videographer or to participate in Clermont County audits, please contact Jo Anne Karasek at jakarasek@cinci.rr.com

TECHNOLOGY ISSUES : Open Voting Consortium has recently had success convincing the Sec of State in California to study the use of "open source code in voting systems in California". To view the letter: http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/ad/sos-letter-926.pdf

Carter Baker Commission

for full report:

For an excellent article from Washington Post.


The Commission made 87 recommendations, one of which has generated significant controversy:

"The most controversial recommendation calls for all voters to produce a standard photo identification card before being allowed to vote. The commission proposes that, by 2010, voters be required to use either the Real ID card, which Congress this spring mandated as the driver's license of the future in all states. For about 12 percent of eligible voters who do not have a driver's license, the commission says states should provide at no cost an identification card that contains the same key information."

Carter says Gore won 2000 election ( sept 22, 2005)


John Byrne

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter delivered a shocker at an American University panel in Washington Monday: RAW STORY has learned he told the crowd he was certain Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election. There is "no doubt in my mind that Gore won the election," the erstwhile President declared, saying the 2000 election process "failed abysmally." He also snubbed the Supreme Court for getting involved, saying it was "highly partisan."

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.ohiovigilance.org/
CASE Ohio: http://www.caseohio.org/
Ohio Honest Elections: http://www.ohiohonestelections.org/
J30: http://users.cjb.net/j30/
Ohio Vigilance: http://www.ohiovigilance.org/
Free Press: http://www.freepress.org/

Important newspaper articles:"What Went Wrong in Ohio?" by Mark Crispin Miller in Harper's Magazine


"Way to go Ohio" by David Bernstein in the Boston Phoenix.


"Ohio's Odd Numbers" by Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair.


New Book: "How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election $ is Rigging 2008" by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman.

This newsletter edited by Pete Johnson, as a result of a vote taken at the J30 meeting but intended to be representative of the entire election reform movement. Please submit comments and articles for the next newsletter to pjohnso6@insight.rr.com .


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Oktober 2005

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