Historic Congressional Challenge to Ohio Election Results Spotlights Voting Irregularities
Interview with Bob Fitrakis, an attorney who filed lawsuit challenging the presidential election results in Ohio, conducted by Scott Harris
For only the second time in 128 years, members of the U.S. Congress formally lodged a challenge to the certification of a presidential election. On January 6th Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Democrat from Ohio was joined by Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat in objecting to the certification of Ohio's 20 electoral votes on the basis of documented voting irregularities. Their action forced a constitutionally mandated two-hour debate in both the House and Senate. Following the debate, however, the challenge was rejected in the House 267 to 31. In the Senate the tally was 74 to 1 with Barbara Boxer casting the only dissenting vote.
The end of the 2004 presidential election came after a series of citizen-initiated hearings, protests and independent investigations into voting irregularities in Ohio. The Green and Libertarian parties jointly demanded a recount of the votes cast in Ohio, but that controversial recount garnered President Bush's Democratic challenger John Kerry only 300 more votes. Rep. John Conyers Jr. a Democrat from Michigan who had convened hearings to investigate the many irregularities, expressed his deep mistrust of the way the election in Ohio had been conducted.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bob Fitrakis, one of three attorneys disputing the results of the Presidential election in Ohio before that state's Supreme Court. Fitrakis, editor and publisher of the Columbus Free Press assesses the historical significance of the formal challenge lodged in Congress against Ohio's electoral votes and the need to reform the nation's system of casting and counting ballots.
For more information, visit the Columbus Free Press, an online investigative magazine, at www.freepress.org
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