11
Nov
2004

Outrage in Ohio : Angry residents storm State House in response to massive voter suppression and corruption

Hundreds of angry Ohio residents marched through the streets of Columbus—Ohio’s Capital—this evening and stormed the Ohio State House, defying orders and arrest threats from Ohio State Troopers. "O-H-I-O ! suppressed democracy has got to go,"they chanted. After troopers pushed and scuffled with people, nearly a hundred people took over the steps and entrance to the State’s giant white column capital building and refused repeated orders to disperse or face arrest. People prepared for arrests, ready to face jail—writing lawyers phone numbers on their arms, signing jail support lists and discussing non-cooperation and active resistance (linking arms, but not fighting back). A freshly painted banner held on the steps read "ONE VOTE DENIED = DEMOCRACY IN TROUBLE! 100’S OF 1000’S OF VOTES SURPRESSED = DEMOCRACY FAILED" articulated the crisis. An unprecedented massive grassroots voter registration and get out the vote effort and widespread opposition to Bush went up against the massive coordinated Republican effort to suppress, intimidate and possibly steal millions of votes. In addition to the voter suppression and intimidation is the fact that Bush campaign co-chair Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell is in charge of the election and vote counting. But much deeper questions about fundamental flaws in the system hang in the air. CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Investigative reporter Greg Palast in an article today titled "Kerry Won" details how the deciding states, Ohio and New Mexico, if all votes were actually counted, would have gone to Kerry. Palast explains, "Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called "spoilage." Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded." But that is just a piece of it.

//michiganimc.org/feature/display/7644/index.php


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