The Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast its votes for President Bush yesterday, hours after dissident groups asked the state Supreme Court to review the results of the...
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio delegation to the Electoral College cast its votes for President Bush yesterday, hours after dissident groups asked the state Supreme Court to review the results of the state’s presidential race.
As members of the Electoral College met nationwide to affirm results of last month’s election, the 20 GOP electors in Ohio voted unanimously for Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
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“The vast majority of people understand this election is over,” said Gov. Bob Taft, who was at the voting session in the state Senate chamber. Congress will announce nationwide totals in January.
The challengers who went to the Ohio Supreme Court question whether Bush won the key swing state by about 119,000 votes, guaranteeing his victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry.
The court did not act on their request before the electors cast their ballots. If it decides to hear the challenge, it could declare a new winner or throw out the results.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and attorney Cliff Arnebeck of the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy accused Bush’s campaign of “high-tech vote stealing.”
Jackson said the challengers noticed Bush generally received more votes in counties that use optical-scan voting machines and they questioned whether the machines were calibrated to record votes for Bush.
The challengers also claim there were disparities in vote totals for Democrats, too few voting machines in Democrat-leaning precincts, organized campaigns directing voters to the wrong polling place and confusion over the counting of provisional ballots by voters whose names did not appear in the records at polling places.
They also allege that unlawful ballots were added to the total and that legally cast ballots were altered. Without listing specific evidence, the complaint alleges 130,656 votes for Kerry in 36 counties were somehow switched to count for Bush.
Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, said that for the challengers’ accusations to be true, officials of both parties would have had to conspire to throw the election.
“That’s simply a ridiculous assertion,” he said.
Led by a coalition representing the Green and Libertarian parties, the dissidents are also paying for recounts in each of Ohio’s 88 counties that begin this week.
Kerry issued a statement last week saying reports of voting problems should be investigated to ensure there are no doubts in future elections. His campaign does not dispute Bush won the election.