Republican vote tampering efforts in Ohio took a direct hit this week when newly elected Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner cast the deciding vote to get rid of hackable touch screen voting machines in Cuyahoga County.
Cleveland was the center of a hailstorm of objections to the presidential vote in 2004, where polls up until election day had Kerry comfortably ahead. Whoops, look at that, all of a sudden Kerry was behind...and so lost the national election. I'm sure there was a perfectly good explanation why all the exit polls were so wrong.
In 2005, partly in response to suspicions of vote tampering, Ohio voters were offered several good government referenda related to cleaning up election procedures. [Hey---I mean you could always relax and trust Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to do the right thing---right? The very idea that he came close to being governor in 2006! /rant]
As predicted by the Columbus Dispatch poll, which historically has been accurate to within a tenth of a percentage point, the referenda were slated to pass by a 2 to 1 margin. Ooops, look at that, overnight the voters must have changed their minds! The good government reforms LOST by a 2 to 1 margin. I'm sure it was just a "glitch." I hate this word, it sounds so teeny and innocent, and ever so much sweeter than its real meaning: "election fraud."
By November 2006 voters in Ohio had HAD ENOUGH. With rare exception voters cast out Republicans and elected Democrats for state office including Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Treasurer. People I know who have been lifelong Republicans cast their first ever vote for Democrats, probably crying as they went into the voting booth.
Newly victorious Jennifer Brunner raced to investigate claims of vote tampering and voting machine fraud, with special emphasis on the suspected epicenter of manipulation, Cuyahoga County/Cleveland.
It was sweet revenge to watch Brunner cast the deciding vote in the 3-2 decision to get rid of Cleveland's touch screen voting machines, which have helped the Republicans cheat their way to victory in the last several elections. But no more.
As goes Ohio, so goes the nation. We hope.
Photo by DRB62