Republicans Subpoenaed in Ohio Recount

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Columbus, Ohio — Voters in Ohio, alleging evidence of voter fraud in the presidential election, subpoenaed several leading Republicans as part of a challenge of the election results. Ohio Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney and White House Political Advisor Karl Rove were subpoenaed for depositions December 28th and 29th in a challenge supported by the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Blackwell has refused to appear, claiming in a court filing that he is not required to be interviewed since he is a high-ranking public official. The lawyer for the other three officials claims that his clients were not properly served the subpoenas.

The deposition was part of a lawsuit filed at the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the results of the U.S. presidential election in that state. A multi-party recount effort completed on December 28 showed a 300 vote difference between the initial and final tallies, but failed to answer questions about irregularities in the voting process such as shortages of voting machines in minority precincts, problems with electronic voting machines, and statistical improbabilities in reported vote tallies.

In his court filing, Blackwell further called those asking questions about the vote engaging in 'frivolous conduct' and making too many requests of election officials around the state. Republican Blackwell, as Secretary of State, assigns all members, directors and deputy directors of the precinct boards of elections that run the elections in the state. Challengers to the voting process have questioned whether these boards were adequately run as bipartisan operations, suggesting that since the boards owe Blackwell their jobs, this could have established a pattern of problems that favored Bush at Kerry's expense.