Kerry Files Motion to Protect Ohio Vote Evidence
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t
Report Monday 27 December 2004
This afternoon, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election. The motions were filed in the matter titled Yost et al. v. Delaware County Board of Elections and J. Kenneth Blackwell (Civil Action No. C2-04-1139) with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The document is titled "Motion Of Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. For A Preservation Order And For A Leave To Take Limited Expedited Discovery."
The purpose of the motions is twofold: A) To preserve all ballots and voting machines pertaining to the Yost matter for investigation and analysis; and B) To make available for sworn deposition testimony a technician for Traid Systems, the company that produced and maintained many of the voting machines used in the Ohio election. The technician has been accused of tampering with the recount process in Hocking County, Ohio, though other counties are believed to have also been involved. Any officers of Triad Systems who have information pertaining to said tampering are likewise subject to subpoena for sworn deposition testimony.
If the judge in this case allows these motions, and these individuals are served with subpoenas for deposition, the information disclosed under oath could have a major effect on the case. Likewise, judicial approval of these motions will open the door to forensic analysis of both the ballots cast and the machines they were counted on. If tampering took place, such an analysis could reveal it.
The document filed in Ohio reads as follows:
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. hereby moves this Court for an order preserving materials from the 2004 presidential election and for leave to take a limited number of depositions on an expedited schedule. The depositions and preservation order sought by Intervenor- Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. are the same as those sought in the motion filed on December 23, 2004 by Defendants NVRI, Cobb and Badnarik. Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwads 2004, Inc. hereby adopts the memorandum and proposed order filed by the Defendants in support of its own motion.
The filing by the Kerry/Edwards campaign is significant. The Yost matter deals with a recount of the votes cast in Ohio during the election. In order for a judge to consider such a motion, the plaintiff must be able to prove irreparable harm in the matter at hand, and must also be able to prove a significant chance that the case will succeed on the merits. The stumbling point for the Green Party and Libertarian Party in this matter has been the ability to prove that potential for success, because no recount would deliver an Ohio victory to them. A recount could very well deliver Ohio to Kerry, thus fulfilling the success on the merits requirement.
In the end, this filing amounts to a "Me, too" from the Kerry/Edwards campaign. This case would not exist in any form without the dedicated efforts of Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik. Though the inclusion of Kerry into this matter strengthens the case significantly, Cobb and Badnarik deserve the lion's share of credit for carrying the matter to this point.
Attorney John Bonifaz serves as general counsel for the National Voting Rights Institute, and is co-counsel for Cobb and Badnarik in this matter. Reached for comment on this Kerry filing, Bonifaz said, "We are pleased that the Kerry Edwards campaign has joined our motion to preserve all of the ballots and election machinery in the presidential election in Ohio and to investigate the potential tampering of voting machines by Triad Governmental Systems, Inc, prior to the start of the recount. We welcome the Bush Cheney campaign joining our motion as well. The integrity of this recount is at stake. All candidates ought to join together in ensuring the proper counting of every citizen's vote."