Democrats ask GAO for election review

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Washington, D.C. — House Democrats called for an investigation into possible voting fraud and irregularities during the 2004 U.S. presidential election, according to a Dec. 23 letter from House Representative David Wu (D-OR).

Thousands of Ohio citizens have reported experiencing problems casting their votes due to long lines at polling places, malfunctioning voting machines, inexplicable numbers of votes cast, and disenfranchisement in urban areas.

"The integrity of our democracy is at stake. We need to give the American people confidence that each and every vote will be properly counted and that the democratic electoral process is respected," Wu said. "I also understand concerns about the conflict of interest of having an official in charge of running elections in a key state also heading a presidential campaign. I agree that Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell's dual role calls into question any election decision he made that favored Republicans."

Other Congressmen including John Conyers (D-MI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Robert Wexler (D-FL) voiced similar concerns, and requested an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), citing specific cases in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and California.

In December, Conyers, the Ranking Democrat on the House Committee on the Judiciary, issued a series of letters about voting irregularities to the media, campaign officials, and manufacturers of voting equipment. These letters seek to collect and preserve information regarding the conduct of the election.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office previously reported on voting irregularities in eariler presidential elections.

A September 14, 2004 GAO report on the 2000 presidential elections detailed changes the DOJ implemented to try to ensure voter access to polls, and the importance of monitoring election-day activities. The report warned that allegations in the 2000 election lacked sufficient specifics to enable the DOJ to perform and adequate investigation and recommended that more precise information be collected regarding voting for the 2004 presidential election.