Bob Fitrakis, independent candidate for governor, spoke in suburban Columbus to the progressive group Blue Dublin on February 23 on the issue of voting concerns and legislation on election reform.
He recounted how tactics employed by J. Kenneth Blackwell, who served the dual role of Ohio Secretary of State and OH Co-Chair Bush/Cheney ’04, played a significant role in suppressing the democratic vote in Ohio during the ’04 and ’05 elections.
Fitrakis pointed to Lucas County as an example of how Blackwell and the GOP cronyism handed leadership positions to the Noes in running elections in Lucas County. Lucas County’s election was so mismanaged that Blackwell was forced to fire his subordinates at the board of elections and issue a scathing report on how the election in Lucas County was run.
Fitrakis termed recent GOP legislation, HB 3, as the equivalent to modern day “Jim Crow” tactics meant to further suppress the democratic base voters. He wondered why the Democratic party wasn’t circulating petitions to challenge the suppressive law, which he said could have a devastating effect on democratic base voters in the midterm elections.
Fitrakis urged citizens to place pressure on Boards of Elections to issue PHOTO VOTER IDS to the poor, and at nursing homes and college campuses, so that voters disenfranchised in the past will be able to cast their votes in November.
He suggested that the Dublin progressives contact Denny White, at the Franklin County BOE and ask his help in protecting the Democratic base voters by issuing Voter IDs.
When asked why the Democratic Party hasn’t done more on the GAO Report on Electronic Voting, Dr. Fitrakis was at a loss.
This report, which states that Electronic Voting Machines in the U.S. are not secure, not accountable, not transparent, not accurate, and are uncertifiable, should be raising serious alarms, but has gotten little attention in the media or with the Democratic Party.
He pointed out that the Federal Voting Standards-National Institute for Standards and Technology reports that Infrared Data Transfer Ports can totally compromise elections without detection. If the parties and media won’t acknowledge these serious flaws it is up to citizen groups to push for action.