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Green party leader says GOP donors have voting machine concerns, notes letter to discourage voters that mirrors Rove tactics
Cobb details disenfranchisement tactics, says GOP donors concerned about voting machines

By Larisa Alexandrovna | RAW STORY 17 December 2004

In an exclusive interview with RAW STORY, Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb expressed concern about broad attempts made to disenfranchise voters in Ohio, and asserted that even Republican donors are concerned about the manipulating of voting machines.

Cobb raised allegations of voting machine tampering by Hocking County elections official Sherole Eaton at a public hearing Monday, which was reported in the New York Times.

Possible tampering, according to Cobb, has large Republican donors very concerned. While they will not go on the record, Cobb said they wanted a transparent and honest election.

Cobb enumerated myriad issues in Ohio which have gone largely unreported. He cited longtime voters being taken off rolls, bogus letters and attempts to keep African Americans and college students from voting.

Some African American voters in Ohio received letters on NAACP letterhead telling them the wrong day to vote.

?African American voters received letters on stolen NAACP letterhead claiming that because of the expected high turnout, Republicans were asked to vote on Tuesday Nov. 2 and all other parties were being asked to vote on Thursday Nov. 4,? Cobb said.

Similarly, some Florida seniors received a letter directing them to vote on November third. Republicans have largely denied all such letters and calls, blaming Democrats instead of dirty tricks.

However, stealing letterhead and using it for political purposes mirrors a tactic of top presidential advisor Karl Rove.

RAW STORY found that in a well documented incident in 1970, Karl Rove broke into the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and stole Dixon?s letterhead. He used the letterhead to print up to 1,000 party invitations promising ?free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing.?

He then distributed the letter to homeless shelters.

Cobb stressed that the bogus NAACP letter was part of a pattern to disenfranchise voters.

?It?s important to understand that the lines in the affluent, suburban white precincts were 15 to 20 minutes long,? he said. ?The lines in African American precincts and college campuses were four to six hours.?

?Why?? he queried. ?Because of a decision on how to allocate machines. In some counties with African American counties, there were fewer machines in 2004 than in 2000.?

Some ?longtime voters simply fell off the rolls,? he added. ?People who had been voting for decades showed up and were simply not there.?

Cobb also noted problems with the voting machines.

?We know that there were machinery breakdowns across the state where there were jumping screens.? When someone attempted to cast a vote for a candidate, Cobb said the machine ?would jump to record a vote for Bush.? Similar problems have been reported by voters nationwide.

The Green also noted efforts to thwart his Ohio recount push.

?There have been some counties where election administrators who have been professional and efficient,? though in others, ?sadly there have been deliberate systematic efforts to thwart the process.?

The most egregious attempt, he stated, came in Delaware County where county officials threatened to sue him for seeking a recount because the result could not possibly result in his being elected president.

?They attempted to sue us for seeking a recount,? he said.

Cobb also discussed various issues which he says are plaguing not only Ohio, but the electoral system as a whole.

?We need to end the partisan administration of our elections,? he said. ?In addition, we need publicly funded elections in this country. Virtually every country in the industrial world publicly funds elections.

?We need same-day voter registration so that people are able to vote if they want to do so,? he added. ?In addition, we need a constitutional
amendment guaranteeing our right to vote.?

RAW STORY asked if Cobb, who is also a lawyer, was aware that the Ohio Supreme Court judge who threw out the most recent filing was also up for reelection on the Ohio Bush/Cheney ticket for 2004.

He said he was not aware but indicated that ?judicial code does in fact apply to judges and if he does have a violation of the ethics code than it could and should be enforced. He should have recused himself and it is our hope and decency that he show a modicum of decency and recuse himself.?

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