- George Bush's victory in the US presidential election
will be challenged in Ohio's supreme court today, when a group of
voters will allege widespread fraud.
- President Bush clinched re-election by winning the state
of Ohio on November 2 by a margin of 136,000 votes over the Democratic
candidate, John Kerry. Despite claims of fraud and technical glitches,
Senator Kerry decided that they were not big enough to affect the result
and conceded the election on November 3.
- However, Cliff Arnebeck, a lawyer representing a group
of voters challenging the Ohio result, claimed new analysis of various
anomalies suggested it was rigged.
- "We'll be calling for a reversal of the result based
on evidence developed in the course of litigation," Mr Arnebeck told
The Guardian yesterday. "Exit polling and substantial irregularities
excluded votes that should have been counted. There is evidence that votes
cast for one candidate were moved to the column of the other
- Mr Arnebeck, a legal adviser to a liberal group, Alliance
for Democracy, said the "contest of election" lawsuit will be
presented to a judge from the Ohio supreme court today on behalf of at
least 25 disgruntled voters. He said he expected other voters and
to join the case.
- Ohio's secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, has until
Monday to certify the result. His office did not return calls seeking
yesterday but his spokesman, Carlo LoParo, told the Associated Press news
agency: "There are no signs of widespread irregularities."
- Mr Arnebeck said that hearings held in Ohio cities have
brought to light new evidence of malpractice. He said one voter of a
group caught destroying Democratic registration documents in Nevada before
the election, had also been operating in Ohio.
- Critics of the Ohio count have also pointed to the case
of an electronic voting machine found to have credited President Bush with
3,893 extra votes in a suburb of Columbus where only 638 people voted.
State officials have said those votes will not be included in the final
- There have also been complaints focused on punch card
ballots, of the type which caused chaos in Florida in 2000. Voting involves
making a hole in the ballot against the chosen candidate by punching out
a small piece of card, a chad, with a stylus.
- In the 68 Ohio counties where the ballots were used this
year, according to some groups protesting at this year's election, vote
counters were unable to determine a vote for the president, but did
votes for other offices.
- The veteran civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson,
is spearheading the call for an Ohio recount. "We can live with
and losing. We cannot live with fraud and stealing," he said earlier
- The election challenge will be reviewed by a single judge
out of the seven members of Ohio's supreme court, who may let the election
stand, declare another winner, or throw out the result, forcing a recount
or even a new vote. The ruling can be appealed to the full court.
- Exit polls on election day suggested that the election
could be heading towards a Kerry victory, deepening the despair in
ranks at the Bush win. The anomaly was blamed on the exit polls, but Mr
Arnebeck argued that it was evidence of malpractice.
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