Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Hail Mary Pass 

Rep. John Conyers told Keith Olbermann that he is prepared to formally challenge Ohio's electors before their votes for Bush are counted before Congress on January 6, 2005:
“We’re prepared to do that,” Conyers said. “And we understand the law as well as you.” After the on-air interview ended, the Michigan representative added that he and his colleagues had not yet decided whether or not to take the extraordinary constitutional step, and he had not sought the support of a Senator who would have to co-sign the challenge.

The constitution provides the challenge process for the eventuality that a given state’s popular vote is determined to have been compromised after that state has certified the vote, and its members of the Electoral College have cast their ballots for a presidential candidate. Such a challenge needs to be in written form, signed by one member of the Senate, and one member of the House. Upon its presentation, the joint vote-counting session would be adjourned, and the Senate and House separately vote, by simple majority, whether to accept the challenge, or let that state’s electoral votes stand as cast . . . .

Conyers said he had not yet received a reply to his request to the Cincinnati field office of the FBI and the office of the Hocking County, Ohio, Prosecutor, to begin an investigation into the allegations that a vote-tabulating machine there was manipulated there last Friday, contrary to the statewide instructions of Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell that no ballots or vote-counting equipment be inspected except in the presence of bi-partisan observers of that state’s recount.

He said he “didn’t know” if the explanation offered by the president of Triad, the manufacturer of the tabulator, that his employee merely conducted maintenance on the machine, was valid. But he did note that the source of the allegations, Hocking County Deputy Director of Elections Sherole Eaton, has “given a sworn affidavit. The president of the company hasn’t.”
Conyers has sent a letter to the FBI requesting an investigation into the Hocking County incident, and owing to the kind agency of our revered colleague Avedon Carol you may read it here.

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