Lawyers to challenge election in Ohio
Sunday, November 21 @ 10:33:03 EST
By Julie Carr Smyth, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Columbus- A trio of activist lawyers armed with mysteriously wrong exit polls and hundreds of voter horror stories announced plans Friday to contest Ohio's presidential election as soon as the vote is official.
Their challenge could lead to widespread reconsideration of dozens of alleged election irregularities around the state - from reported computerized voting glitches to provisional-ballot mishaps to unusual incidents involving voter rolls, poll workers and machine technicians.
But it is unclear whether the complaint will ever get that far.
Columbus attorney Cliff Arnebeck, a national officer in the Alliance for Democracy, could not predict exactly when members of the coalition will be ready or able to file their request.
And, after they do, the Ohio Supreme Court would have to rule in their favor.
To qualify to reopen consideration of the election, Arnebeck said, the group needs find only 25 aggrieved electors and evidence of irregularities, both of which he and his associates have collected in abundance at hearings around the state, he said.
Another hearing is scheduled in Cleveland today.
Arnebeck said the national boards of the NAACP, Alliance for Democracy and Common Cause are reviewing requests to sign on to the litigation, which is not affiliated with either political party.
Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said many glitches brought to light on Internet blogs and in the alternative press will be corrected in the state's official canvass of the election.
That process, which turns unofficial election results into official ones, is still under way.
LoParo said the canvass includes precinct-level auditing of results, poll book reviews, provisional-ballot verification and an actual recount of all ballots cast on Election Day. Official results historically have varied from final totals only enough to affect the outcomes of very close local races, nothing of the scale of a national race.
Susan Truitt, co-founder of Citizens' Alliance for Secure Elections and one of the participating lawyers, said Ohioans need to know their vote was properly counted.
"Our intent is to examine this election, and to prevail, so that we will have a democracy in this country," she said. "So that we will not have our voices shut down."
Reprinted from The Cleveland Plain Dealer: