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Election critics protest at Statehouse


Associated Press   04 December 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio - About 400 people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse on Saturday to demand a recount of Ohio's presidential election or at least a look into Election Day irregularities around the state.

"I would like to welcome you to the Ukraine," said Susan Truitt of the Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections.

The crowd that gathered in front of a statue of William McKinley on a sunny, windy day listened to speakers who claimed Ohio voters were the victims of a fraud that took votes from John Kerry and gave them to President Bush.

One group, which says it plans to contest the election in the Ohio Supreme Court, said the fraud details would come out in its court filing, expected Monday.

Ohio was the state that the election hung on, and Kerry would have won the presidency had he carried the state's 20 electoral votes. He conceded the day after the election, saying there was not enough provisional and other ballots to swing the results his way.

Bush won Ohio by about 119,000 votes, or 2 percentage points, according to an analysis of county board of elections results by The Associated Press.

A federal judge in Columbus on Friday ruled that the recount may proceed. But it probably won't begin before Dec. 13, when Ohio's 20 electoral votes are counted.

Critics say Ohio's numbers are suspect because of disparities in the vote totals for different Democrats on the same ballot; the disqualification of more than 90,000 presidential votes on punch-card ballots because they could not be determined; the election night lock-down of Warren County's board of elections because of an alleged terror threat; and a computer glitch on election night that recorded an extra 3,893 votes for Bush in one suburban Columbus precinct.

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