COUNTING ELECTORAL VOTES--JOINT SESSION OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE HELD PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1 (HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES--JANUARY 6, 2005); Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 2
(House of Representatives - January 06, 2005)

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[Pages H84-H128]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 COUNTING ELECTORAL VOTES--JOINT SESSION OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE HELD 
PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1 (HOUSE OF 
                   REPRESENTATIVES--JANUARY 6, 2005)

  At 1:02 p.m., the Sergeant at Arms, Wilson Livingood, announced the 
Vice President and the Senate of the United States.
  The Senate entered the Hall of the House of Representatives, headed 
by the Vice President and the Secretary of the Senate, the Members and 
officers of the House rising to receive them.
  The Vice President took his seat as the Presiding Officer of the 
joint convention of the two Houses, the Speaker of the House occupying 
the chair on his left.
  The joint session was called to order by the Vice President.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. Mr. Speaker and Members of Congress, pursuant to 
the Constitution and laws of the United States, the Senate and House of 
Representatives are meeting in joint session to verify the certificates 
and count the votes of the electors of the several States for President 
and Vice President of the United States.
  After ascertainment has been had that the certificates are authentic 
and correct in form, the tellers will count and make a list of the 
votes cast by the electors of the several States.
  The tellers on the part of the two Houses will please take their 
places at the Clerk's desk.
  The tellers, Mr. Lott and Mr. Johnson on the part of the Senate, and 
Mr. Ney and Mr. Larson of Connecticut on the part of the House, took 
their places at the desk.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. Without objection, the tellers will dispense with 
reading formal portions of the certificates.
  There was no objection.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. After ascertaining that certificates are regular 
in form and authentic, the tellers will announce the votes cast by the 
electors for each State, beginning with Alabama.
  Senator LOTT (one of the tellers). Mr. President, the certificate of 
the electoral vote of the State of Alabama seems to be regular in form 
and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the 
State of Texas received 9 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the 
State of Wyoming received 9 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY (one of the tellers). Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Alaska seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of 
Texas received 3 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of 
Wyoming received 3 votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON (one of the tellers). Mr. President, the certificate 
of the electoral vote of the State of Arizona seems to be regular in 
form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the 
State of Texas received 10 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the 
State of Wyoming received 10 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut (one of the tellers). Mr. President, the 
certificate of the electoral vote of the State of Arkansas seems to be 
regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. 
Bush of the State of Texas received 6 votes for President and Dick 
Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 6 votes for Vice President.
  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of California seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 55 votes for President and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 55 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
State of Colorado seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 9 
votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 9 
votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the great State of Connecticut seems to be regular in 
form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 7 votes for President and John 
Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 7 votes for Vice 
President.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  January 6, 2005--On Page H 84 under COUNTING ELECTORAL VOTES--
JOINT SESSION OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE HELD PURSUANT TO THE 
PROVISIONS OF SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1 (HOUSE OF 
REPRESENTATIVES--JANUARY 6, 2005) the following appeared: received 
9 votes for Vice President. Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, great 
State of Connecticut received 7 votes for Vice President.
  
  The online version should be corrected to read: received 9 votes 
for Vice President. Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, 
great State of Connecticut. received 7 votes for Vice President.


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Delaware seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 3 votes for President and John 
Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 3 votes for Vice 
President.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  January 6, 2005--On Page H 84 under COUNTING ELECTORAL VOTES--
JOINT SESSION OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE HELD PURSUANT TO THE 
PROVISIONS OF SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1 (HOUSE OF 
REPRESENTATIVES--JANUARY 6, 2005) the following appeared: Mr. 
LARSON of Connecticut..received 3 votes.
  
  The online version should be corrected to read: Senator 
JOHNSON..received 3 votes.


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the District of Columbia seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 3 votes for President and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 3 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
State of Florida seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 27 
votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 27 
votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of Georgia seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 
15 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 
15 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Hawaii seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 4 votes for President and John 
Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 4 votes for Vice 
President.

[[Page H85]]

  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of Idaho seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 4 
votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 4 
votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
State of Illinois seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 21 votes for President and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 21 votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of Indiana seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 
11 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 
11 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Iowa seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of 
Texas received 7 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of 
Wyoming received 7 votes for Vice President.
  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of Kansas seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 6 
votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 6 
votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
Commonwealth of Kentucky seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 
8 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 
8 votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of Louisiana seems to be regular in form and authentic, 
and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas 
received 9 votes for President and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming 
received 9 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Maine seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 4 votes for President and John 
Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 4 votes for Vice 
President.
  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of Maryland seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 10 votes for President and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 10 votes for Vice President.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 12 votes for President, and John 
Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 12 votes for Vice 
President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of Michigan seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 17 votes for President, and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 17 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Minnesota seems to be regular in form 
and authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 9 votes for President, that John 
Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 1 vote for President, 
and John Edwards of the State of North Carolina received 10 votes for 
Vice President.
  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of Mississippi seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 
6 votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 
6 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
State of Missouri seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 11 
votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 
11 votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of Montana seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 
3 votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 
3 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of Nebraska seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of 
Texas received 5 votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of 
Wyoming received 5 votes for Vice President.
  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of Nevada seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 5 
votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming received 5 
votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
State of New Hampshire seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 4 votes for President, and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 4 votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of New Jersey seems to be regular in form and authentic, 
and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 15 votes for President, and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 15 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. President, the certificate of the 
electoral vote of the State of New Mexico seems to be regular in form 
and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the 
State of Texas received 5 votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the 
State of Wyoming received 5 votes for Vice President.
  Senator LOTT. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of 
the State of New York seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it 
appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts received 31 votes for President, and John Edwards of the 
State of North Carolina received 31 votes for Vice President.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
State of North Carolina seems to be regular in form and authentic, and 
it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas received 
15 votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming 
received 15 votes for Vice President.
  Senator JOHNSON. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote 
of the State of North Dakota seems to be regular in form and authentic, 
and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of Texas 
received 3 votes for President, and Dick Cheney of the State of Wyoming 
received 3 votes for Vice President
  Mr. NEY. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the 
well-known and great State of Ohio seems to be regular in form and 
authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush of the State of 
Texas received 20 votes for President and Dick Cheney from the from the 
State of Wyoming received 20 votes for Vice President.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Ohio 
rise?
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Vice President, I seek to object to the 
electoral votes of the State of Ohio on the ground that they were not, 
under all of the known circumstances, regularly given and have a signed 
objection, and I do have a Senator.

[[Page H86]]

  The VICE PRESIDENT. Has the Senator signed the objection?
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Vice President, the Senator has signed the 
objection.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. An objection presented in writing and signed by 
both a Representative and a Senator complies with the law, chapter 1 of 
title 3, United States Code.
  The Clerk will report the objection.
  The Clerk read the objection as follows:

       We, a Member of the House of Representatives and a United 
     States Senator, object to the counting of the electoral votes 
     of the State of Ohio on the ground that they were not, under 
     all of the known circumstances, regularly given.
     Stephanie Tubbs Jones,
       Representative, State of Ohio.
     Barbara Boxer,
       Senator, State of California.

  The VICE PRESIDENT. Are there further objections to the certificate 
from the State of Ohio?
  The Chair hears none.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. The two Houses will withdraw from joint session. 
Each House will deliberate separately on the pending objection and 
report its decision back to the joint session.
  The Senate will now retire to its Chamber.
  The Senate retired to its Chamber.
  The SPEAKER. Pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 and section 
17 of title 3, the United States Code, when two Houses withdraw from 
the joint session to count the electoral vote for separate 
consideration of objection, a Representative may speak to the objection 
for 5 minutes and not more than once. Debate shall not exceed 2 hours, 
after which the Chair will put the question, ``Shall the objection be 
agreed to?''
  The Clerk will report the objection made in the joint session.
  The Clerk read the objection as follows:

       We, a Member of the House of Representatives and a United 
     States Senator, object to the counting of the electoral votes 
     of the State of Ohio on the ground that they were not, under 
     all of the known circumstances, regularly given.
     Stephanie Tubbs Jones,
       Representative, State of Ohio.
     Barbara Boxer,
       Senator, State of California.

  The SPEAKER. The Chair will endeavor to alternate recognition between 
Members speaking in support of the objection and Members speaking in 
opposition to the objection.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones) for 5 
minutes.
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and 
Barbara Boxer, a Senator from California, have objected to the counting 
of the electoral votes of the State of Ohio on the ground that they 
were not, under all of the known circumstances, regularly given.
  I, thank God, have a Senator joining me in this objection, and I 
appreciate Senator Boxer's willingness to listen to the plight of 
hundreds, and even thousands of Ohio voters, that for a variety of 
reasons were denied the right to vote.

                              {time}  1330

  Unfortunately, objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only 
immediate avenue to bring these issues to light. While some have called 
our cause foolish, I can assure you that my parents, Mary and Andrew 
Tubbs, did not raise any fools. They raised a lawyer, they raised a 
former judge, they raised a prosecutor; and thank God they live to see 
me serve as a Member of the House of Representatives.
  I am duty bound to follow the law and apply the law to the facts as I 
find them, and it is on behalf of those millions of Americans who 
believe in and value our democratic process and the right to vote that 
I put forth this objection today. If they are willing to stand at polls 
for countless hours in the rain, as many did in Ohio, then I should 
surely stand up for them here in the halls of Congress.
  This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of 
overturning the victory of the President; but it is a necessary, 
timely, and appropriate opportunity to review and remedy the most 
precious process in our democracy. I raise this objection neither to 
put the Nation in the turmoil of a proposed overturned election nor to 
provide cannon fodder or partisan demagoguery for my fellow Members of 
Congress. I raise this objection because I am convinced that we as a 
body must conduct a formal and legitimate debate about election 
irregularities. I raise this objection to debate the process and 
protect the integrity of the true will of the people.
  Again, I thank Senator Boxer.
  There are serious allegations in two lawsuits pending in Ohio that 
debate the constitutionality of the denial of provisional ballots to 
voters: One, the Sandusky County Democratic Party v. J. Kenneth 
Blackwell and Ohio's vote recount, Yost v. David Cobb, et al. These 
legitimate questions brought forward by the lawsuits, which go to the 
core of our voting and democratic process, should be resolved before 
Ohio's electoral votes are certified.
  Moreover, as you are aware, advancing legislative initiatives is more 
challenging when you are in the minority party in the Congress. 
However, this challenge is multiplied when you are in the minority in 
the House of Representatives because of the House rules compared to the 
Senate rules.
  Voting irregularities were an issue after the 2000 Presidential 
election when the House initiatives relating to election reform were 
not considered. Therefore, in order to prevent our voices from being 
kept silent, it is imperative that we object to the counting of Ohio's 
electoral votes.
  What happened in Ohio in Cuyahoga County. There are just over 1 
million registered voters in Cuyahoga County which, of course, includes 
my congressional district. Registration increased approximately 10 
percent. The beauty of the 2004 election was that more people were 
fully prepared to exercise their right to vote; however, on election 
day, hundreds and even thousands of individuals went to the voting 
polls and were denied the opportunity. In my own county where citizen 
volunteers put forth a Herculean effort to register, educate, mobilize 
and protect, there were long lines, 4- to 5-hour waits.
  Election Protection Coalition testified that more than half of the 
complaints about long lines they received came from Columbus and 
Cleveland where a huge proportion of the State's Democratic voters 
live. One entire polling place in Cuyahoga County had to shut down at 
9:25 a.m. on election day because there were no working machines. On 
provisional balloting, Cuyahoga County had over-all provisional ballot 
rejection of 32 percent. Rejection rates for provisional ballots in 
African American precincts and wards in Cleveland averaged 37 percent 
and in some as high as 51 percent.
  Significant flaws in registration process and procedures. Initial 
research identified at least 600 individuals purged from the Cuyahoga 
County voting rolls without a due process. Cuyahoga County analysis of 
10,900 voter applications showed that almost 3,000 were never entered; 
address updates received but never updated; mistakes in entering 
addresses.
  I thank the Speaker for the opportunity to be heard, and I raise the 
objection on behalf of the electors of the State of Ohio.
  Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House for 5 
minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, on one recent, crisp autumn morning 
in Boston, one tired-looking Presidential hopeful took the stage in 
front of a large crowd of loyal, yet disappointed, faces to say the 
following words: ``It is now clear that even when all the provisional 
ballots are counted, which they will be, and which they were, there 
won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And, 
therefore, we cannot win this election.'' And so John Kerry conceded 
the Presidency to George W. Bush with grace and dignity.
  Apparently such admirable qualities do not apply to certain extreme 
elements of Senator Kerry's own party. For if they did, surely this 
House would not be standing here today bogged down in this frivolous 
debate.
  Mr. Speaker, on the other side of the aisle, a handful of Members 
will step forward and claim that they are here to contest an election 
of this Nation. They will claim that there was fraud

[[Page H87]]

and that the result was invalid. Americans, do not be deceived. Their 
intentions in this whole process are merely to sow doubts and undermine 
public confidence in the electoral system itself. Their challenges to 
the legitimacy of this election are no more than another exercise in 
their party's primary strategy, to obstruct, to divide, and to destroy. 
In other words, their objection is a front for their lack of ideas. 
With absolutely no credible agenda for America, these Democrats have 
opted to try and change the past rather than work for a better future
  Mr. Speaker, we just welcomed a new year and began a new Congress. 
Republicans are ready and eager to ask the questions and prompt the 
debate that will produce results for America. We want to talk about 
ways to reduce health care costs for families and debate ways to create 
more jobs for Americans. We are ready to discuss how to strengthen our 
schools to better educate our children.
  But apparently some Democrats only want to gripe about counts, 
recounts, and recounts of recounts. So eager are they to abandon their 
job as public servants, they have cast themselves in the role of 
Michael Moore, concocting wild conspiracy theories to distract the 
American public. Such aspiring fantasy authors should note the facts 
before they let the ink dry on this tall tale.
  For example, the request for an Ohio recount has already been 
fulfilled, and it verified what we already knew, what Senator John 
Kerry knew the first day, that President Bush won Ohio by nearly 
120,000 votes, an overwhelming and comfortable margin. Indeed, George 
W. Bush is the first Presidential candidate to win the majority of the 
popular vote since 1988. And, Mr. Speaker, every single major editorial 
board of every newspaper in Ohio has called this effort a sham.
  Eighty-eight separate bipartisan election boards from every county in 
Ohio, even Cuyahoga, have verified and vouched for the integrity of the 
results. Are we to believe that the hundreds of Democrats who sit on 
these boards were actively working against their own party and their 
own Presidential candidate? No local, county, or State election 
officials in Ohio are contesting this election. Not one. The 
overwhelming majority of Ohioans are not contesting this election, so 
why should politicians in Washington?
  Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that these Democrats have resorted to such 
baseless and meritless tactics to begin the 109th Congress. And it is a 
shame that they have placed their partisan war, disclaimed by their own 
candidate above what is best for the country and to use the great State 
of Ohio as their vehicle.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to my friend and 
colleague from the great State of Ohio (Mr. Hobson).
  Mr. HOBSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise with a heavy heart today on this 
issue. I think this is, in all the years I have been in politics, one 
of the most base, outrageous acts to take place. The Democratic State 
chairman in our State has not challenged, to my knowledge, the count or 
the outcome in any county. His name is Denny White. The Democratic 
chairman of no county that I know of has challenged either the count or 
the outcome in any county. The Democratic board of election members 
have not challenged the count or the outcome in any county.
  This should be voted down.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart on this issue. In all of 
the years that I have been in public service, I think this is one of 
the most base, outrageous acts to take place.
  Ohio's State Democratic Chairman, whose name is Denny White, has not, 
to the best of my knowledge, challenged the count or outcome of this 
election.
  No Ohio Democratic County Chairman has challenged the count or 
outcome of this election in any county.
  No Ohio Democratic Board of Election member has challenged the count 
or outcome of this election in any county.
  The people of the State of Ohio are not challenging the results of 
the election. The challenges we are hearing today are politically 
motivated by partisan politicians. They are casting aspersions on the 
bipartisan electing officials within the State of Ohio. This is unfair 
and wrong to do to those hardworking, dedicated officials.
  All of the major newspapers in Ohio have editorialized against this 
despicable action taken by the minority.
  Mr. Speaker, the American people want us to work together in a 
bipartisan fashion. My constituents ask me why we don't work together 
more often. What we are seeing here today, two days after being sworn 
in, is why we don't see more comity in the House. this action is 
setting the wrong tone for the beginning of the 109th Congress.
  This debate today is not going to change the result of the election, 
but it will poison the atmosphere of the House of Representatives.
  Mr. Speaker, this challenge should be overwhelmingly defeated.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I include for printing in the Congressional 
Record the staff report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic 
staff entitled, ``Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.''

             Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio

                           executive summary

       Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Democrat on 
     the House Judiciary Committee, asked the Democratic staff to 
     conduct an investigation into irregularities reported in the 
     Ohio presidential election and to prepare a Status Report 
     concerning the same prior to the Joint Meeting of Congress 
     scheduled for January 6, 2005, to receive and consider the 
     votes of the electoral college for president. The following 
     Report includes a brief chronology of the events; summarizes 
     the relevant background law; provides detailed findings 
     (including factual findings and legal analysis); and 
     describes various recommendations for acting on this Report 
     going forward.
       We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in 
     the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a 
     significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these 
     irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousands of votes 
     and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it 
     can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, 
     were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone 
     federal requirements and constitutional standards.
       This report, therefore, makes three recommendations: (1) 
     consistent with the requirements of the United States 
     Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by 
     Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, 
     there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the 
     State of Ohio; (2) Congress should engage in further hearings 
     into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we 
     believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the 
     appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and 
     Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (3) 
     Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our 
     people's trust in our democracy. These changes should include 
     putting in place more specific federal protections for 
     federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit 
     capability for electronic voting machines and casting and 
     counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed 
     changes to federal and state election laws.
       With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that 
     there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and 
     anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were 
     caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much 
     of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the 
     co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.
       First, in the run up to election day, the following actions 
     by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party and election officials 
     disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens, 
     predominantly minority and Democratic voters:
       The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented 
     long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of 
     thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters. 
     This was illustrated by the fact that the Washington Post 
     reported that in Franklin County, ``27 of the 30 wards with 
     the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for 
     Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven 
     wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for 
     Kerry.'' Among other things, the conscious failure to 
     provide sufficient voting machinery violates the Ohio 
     Revised Code which requires the Boards of Elections to 
     ``provide adequate facilities at each polling place for 
     conducting the election.''
       Mr. Blackwell's decision to restrict provisional ballots 
     resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, 
     of thousands of voters, again predominantly minority and 
     Democratic voters. Mr. Blackwell's decision departed from 
     past Ohio law on provisional ballots, and there is no 
     evidence that a broader construction would have led to any 
     significant disruption at the polling places, and did not do 
     so in other states.
       Mr. Blackwell's widely reviled decision to reject voter 
     registration applications based on paper weight may have 
     resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in 
     time for the 2004 election.
       The Ohio Republican Party's decision to engage in 
     preelection ``caging'' tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 
     predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a negative 
     impact on voter turnout. The Third Circuit

[[Page H88]]

     found these activities to be illegal and in direct violation 
     of consent decrees barring the Republican Party from 
     targeting minority voters for poll challenges.
       The Ohio Republican Party's decision to utilize thousands 
     of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and 
     Democratic areas likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of 
     legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became 
     discouraged the long lines. Shockingly, these disruptions 
     were publicly predicted and acknowledged by Republican 
     officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican 
     Party, admitted the challenges ``can't help but create chaos, 
     longer lines and frustration.''
       Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent voters who requested 
     absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis 
     from being able to receive provisional ballots likely 
     disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands, of 
     voters, particularly seniors. A federal court found Mr. 
     Blackwell's order to be illegal and in violation of HAVA.
       Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained 
     anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands 
     of votes that have yet to be accounted for:
       There were widespread instances of intimidation and 
     misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 
     Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and 
     the Ohio right to vote. Mr. Blackwell's apparent failure to 
     institute a single investigation into these many serious 
     allegations represents a violation of his statutory duty 
     under Ohio law to investigate election irregularities.
       We learned of improper purging and other registration 
     errors by election officials that likely disenfranchised tens 
     of thousands of voters statewide. The Greater Cleveland Voter 
     Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County alone 
     over 10,000 Ohio citizens lost their right to vote as a 
     result of official registration errors.
       There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast 
     for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be 
     inspected. The problem was particularly acute in two 
     precincts in Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of 
     over 25% each--accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who stood 
     in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for 
     president.
       There were numerous, significant unexplained irregularities 
     in other counties throughout the state: (i) In Mahoning 
     county at least 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown 
     number of Kerry votes to the Bush column; (ii) Warren County 
     locked out public observers from vote counting citing an FBI 
     warning about a potential terrorist threat, yet the FBI 
     states that it issued no such warning; (iii) the voting 
     records of Perry county show significantly more votes than 
     voters in some precincts, significantly less ballots than 
     voters in other precincts, and voters casting more than one 
     ballot; (iv) in Butler county a down ballot and underfunded 
     Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received 
     more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential 
     candidate in history; (v) in Cuyahoga county, poll worker 
     error may have led to little known third party candidates 
     receiving twenty times more votes than such candidates had 
     ever received in otherwise reliably Democratic leaning areas; 
     (vi) in Miami county, voter turnout was an improbable and 
     highly suspect 98.55 percent, and after 100 percent of the 
     precincts were reported, an additional 19,000 extra votes 
     were recorded for President Bush.
       Third, in the post-election period we learned of numerous 
     irregularities in tallying provisional ballots and conducting 
     and completing the recount that disenfranchised thousands of 
     voters and call the entire recount procedure into question 
     (as of this date the recount is still not complete):
       Mr. Blackwell's failure to articulate clear and consistent 
     standards for the counting of provisional ballots resulted in 
     the loss of thousands of predominantly minority votes. In 
     Cuyahoga County alone, the lack of guidance and the 
     ultimate narrow and arbitrary review standards 
     significantly contributed to the fact that 8,099 out of 
     24,472 provisional ballots were ruled invalid, the highest 
     proportion in the state.
       Mr. Blackwell's failure to issue specific standards for the 
     recount contributed to a lack of uniformity in violation of 
     both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses. 
     We found innumerable irregularities in the recount in 
     violation of Ohio law, including (i) counties which did not 
     randomly select the precinct samples; (ii) counties which did 
     not conduct a full hand court after the 3% hand and machine 
     counts did not match; (iii) counties which allowed for 
     irregular marking of ballots and failed to secure and store 
     ballots and machinery; and (iv) counties which prevented 
     witnesses for candidates from observing the various aspects 
     of the recount.
       The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted 
     that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in 
     numerous counties to provide ``cheat sheets'' to those 
     counting the ballots. The cheat sheets informed election 
     officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, 
     and how many over and under votes they should calculate to 
     match the machine count. In that way, they could avoid doing 
     a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state law.


                          Chronology of Events

       The Lead Up to the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election In 
     Ohio--In the days leading up to election day 2004, a 
     consensus appeared to have emerged among observers that the 
     state of Ohio would be one of the battleground states that 
     would decide who would be elected the Forty-fourth President 
     of the United States. Both the Democratic and Republican 
     Presidential campaigns, as well as outside groups, had spent 
     considerable time and resources to win the state, but the day 
     before the election, the Democratic candidate, Senator John 
     Kerry, appeared to have the edge. The Democratic Party also 
     had vastly outperformed its Republican counterparts in 
     registering voters in this key state.
       Election Day--Numerous irregularities were reported 
     throughout Ohio. In particular, in predominately Democratic 
     and African-American areas, the voting process was chaotic, 
     taxing and ultimately fruitless for many. The repeated and 
     suspicious challenges of voter eligibility and a lack of 
     inadequate number of voting machines in these areas worked in 
     concert to slow voting to a crawl, with voting lines as long 
     as ten hours. Voters reported bizarre ``glitches'' in voting 
     machines where votes for Senator Kerry were registered as 
     votes for the President. The counting process was similarly 
     chaotic and suspect.
       The Aftermath--On November 5, after receiving preliminary 
     reports of election irregularities in the 2004 General 
     Election, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Member 
     of the House Judiciary Committee, and 14 Members of Congress 
     wrote to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to 
     request an investigation of such irregularities.
       On November 22, at the request of the GAO, the House 
     Judiciary Committee Democratic staff met with GAO officials. 
     In this meeting, GAO officials advised that, on its own 
     authority, the GAO was prepared to move forward with a wide 
     ranging analysis of systemic problems in the 2004 elections. 
     GAO officials also advised Judiciary staff that they would be 
     unable to examine each and every specific election complaint, 
     but would look at some such complaints as exemplars of 
     broader deficiencies.
       At the same time, the offices of Democratic Staff and of 
     Democratic Judiciary Committee Members were deluged with e-
     mails and complaints about the election. While such 
     complaints are still being processed, close to 100,000 such 
     complaints were received. As of this writing, the Judiciary 
     Democratic office alone is receiving approximately 4,000 such 
     e-mails a day. More than half of these complaints were from 
     one state: Ohio. The Election Protection Coalition has 
     testified that it received more complaints on election day 
     concerning irregularities in Ohio than any other state.
       On December 2, 2004, Members of the Judiciary Committee 
     wrote to Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell that these 
     complaints appear collectively to constitute a troubled 
     portrait of a one-two punch that may well have altered and 
     suppressed votes, particularly minority and Democratic votes. 
     The Members posed 36 questions to Secretary Blackwell about a 
     combination of official actions and corresponding actions by 
     non-official persons, whether in concert or not, worked hand-
     in-glove to depress the vote among constituencies deemed by 
     Republican campaign officials to be disadvantageous.
       Through his spokesman, Secretary Blackwell assured the 
     public and the press that he would be happy ``to fill in the 
     blanks'' for the Committee and asserted that many questions 
     were easily answered. In fact, Secretary Blackwell belatedly 
     replied to the letter with a refusal to answer any of the 
     questions. Ranking Member Conyers wrote back to Blackwell the 
     same day requesting that he remain true to his promise to 
     answer the questions. Congressman Conyers has yet to receive 
     a reply.
       At the same time, officials from the Green Party and 
     Libertarian Party have been investigating allegations of 
     voter disenfranchisement in Ohio and other states. 
     Eventually, the Presidential Candidates for those parties, 
     David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, filed requests for recounts 
     to all 88 Ohio Counties. However, it appears their efforts 
     too are being stonewalled and thwarted by nonstandard and 
     highly selective recounts, unnecessary delays, and blatant 
     deviations from long accepted Ohio law and procedure. 
     Recently, Senator Kerry, a party to the recount action, 
     joined the Green Party and Libertarian Party in requesting 
     immediate action to halt these irregularities and potential 
     fraud in the recount. The recount is still pending before the 
     federal court, yet to be counted.
       In addition, a challenge has been filed to the Ohio results 
     asserting, to a level of sworn proof beyond a reasonable 
     doubt, that Senator Kerry, not President Bush, was the actual 
     victor of the Presidential race in Ohio. Kenneth Blackwell is 
     adamantly refusing to answer any questions under oath in 
     regard to election irregularities or results. He is 
     apparently counting upon Congress accepting the votes of the 
     electors and, as an immediate consequence, the Ohio Supreme 
     Court dismissing the citizens' election contest.
       Committee Members and other interested Members have gone to 
     substantial lengths to ascertain the facts of this matter. 
     The investigation by Congressman Conyers and the Democratic 
     staff of the House Judiciary Committee into the 
     irregularities reported in the Ohio presidential election has 
     also included the following efforts:
       On November 5, 2004, Representatives Conyers, Nadler, and 
     Wexler wrote to the GAO

[[Page H89]]

     Comptroller David M. Walker requesting an investigation of 
     the voting machines and technologies used in the 2004 
     election;
       On November 8, 2004, Representatives Conyers, Nadler, 
     Wexler, Scott, Watt, and Holt wrote to GAO Comptroller Walker 
     requesting that additional concerns surrounding the voting 
     machines and technologies used in the 2004 election be 
     investigated;
       On November 15, 2004, Representatives Lee, Filner, Olver, 
     and Meeks joined in the request for a GAO investigation;
       On November 29, 2004, Representatives Weiner, Schakowsky, 
     Farr, Sanders, and Cummings joined in the request for a GAO 
     investigation;
       On December 2-3, 2004, Congressman Conyers and other 
     Judiciary Democratic Members wrote to Ohio Secretary of State 
     J. Kenneth Blackwell concerning Ohio election irregularities;
       On December 3, 2004, Representative Woolsey joined in the 
     request for a GAO investigation;
       On December 3, 2004, Congressman Conyers wrote to Warren 
     Mitofsky of Mitofsky International requesting the release of 
     exit poll raw data from the 2004 presidential election as 
     such data may evidence instances of voting irregularities;
       On December 8, 2004 in Washington, D.C., Congressman 
     Conyers hosted a forum on voting irregularities in Ohio;
       On December 13, 2004 Congressman Conyers hosted a second 
     forum on voting irregularities in Ohio in Columbus, Ohio;
       On December 13, 2004 Congressman Conyers and other Members 
     wrote to Ohio Governor, Bob Taft, Speaker of Ohio State 
     House, Larry Householder, and President of Ohio State Senate, 
     Doug White, requesting a delay of the meeting of Ohio's 
     presidential electors;
       On December 14, 2004, Congressman Conyers wrote to Ohio 
     Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell in regards to the 
     Secretary's refusal to cooperate with the Judiciary 
     Democratic Members investigating election irregularities in 
     Ohio;
       On December 15, 2004, Congressman Conyers wrote to FBI 
     Special Agent in Charge, Kevin R. Brock and Hocking County, 
     Ohio Prosecutor, Larry Beal, requesting an investigation into 
     alleged Ohio election problems;
       On December 21, 2004, Congressman Conyers wrote to Ohio 
     candidates requesting that they report any incidences of 
     irregularities or deviations from accepted law or practices 
     during the recount in Ohio;
       On December 21, 2004, Congressman Conyers wrote to several 
     major media outlets requesting the exit poll raw data from 
     the 2004 presidential election;
       On December 22, 2004, Congressman Conyers wrote to Triad 
     GSI President Brett Rapp and Triad GSI Ohio Field 
     Representative Michael Barbian, Jr. regarding the voting 
     machine company's involvement in the Presidential election 
     and Ohio recount and allegations that it intentionally or 
     negligently acted to prevent validly cast ballots in the 
     presidential election from being counted;
       On December 23, 2004, as a follow-up letter to the December 
     22 letter, Congressman Conyers wrote to Triad's President 
     Rapp and Ohio Field Representative Barbian upon learning that 
     Triad had remote access to tabulating computers controlled by 
     the Board of Elections; and
       On January 3, 2004, federal and Ohio state lawmakers joined 
     Reverend Jesse Jackson in Columbus, Ohio for a rally calling 
     attention to the need for national election reform and the 
     January 6th joint session of Congress where election results 
     will be certified.
       Citizen groups have played a substantial role in acquiring 
     relevant information. Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections 
     in Ohio has organized hearings that have provided valuable 
     leads for this report. We have been contacted by thousands of 
     concerned citizens: they want a full and fair count of all of 
     the votes and confidence in the electoral system, and they 
     find both of these to be sorely lacking in this election. 
     Many have investigated these matters themselves and have made 
     considerable sacrifices to do so.
       The events surrounding the Presidential election in Ohio 
     must be viewed in two important contexts. First, there is the 
     2000 Election debacle in Florida. In that election, advocates 
     for a full and fair count were asked to ``move on'' after 
     Vice President Al Gore conceded the election to then-Governor 
     George W. Bush. Months later, it was found that a full and 
     fair count would have resulted in Gore, not Bush, being 
     elected the Forty-third President of the United States. 
     Subsequent investigations also uncovered rampant 
     disenfranchisement in Florida, particularly of African-
     American voters.
       Second, as events have unfolded in Ohio, telling events 
     have taken place within the United States, in the State of 
     Washington, and across the globe, in the Ukraine. In 
     Washington State, after the Republican Gubernatorial 
     Candidate, Dino Rossi, declared victory after a partial 
     recount, it was later found--after a full and fair recount--
     that the Democratic candidate, Christine Gregoire, was the 
     victor. While national and state Republican leaders in Ohio 
     have derided attempts to ascertain the Ohio Presidential 
     election result and resolve the questions described herein, 
     after the Washington recount, Mr. Rossi has now asked for a 
     re-vote in the State of Washington, saying it is needed for 
     the election to be ``legitimate.''
       In the Ukraine, after the apparent defeat of the opposition 
     leader, Viktor Yushchenko, in that nation's Presidential 
     election, amid allegations of fraud and public protests, a 
     new election was held, and Yushchenko won by a significant 
     margin. In fact, in the first, seemingly flawed election, 
     Yushchenko appeared to lose by three percentage points. 
     However, he won by eight percentage points in the subsequent 
     revote. United States officials called the original vote rife 
     with ``fraud and abuse,'' largely relying on anecdotal 
     evidence and deviations between exit polls and reported 
     results.
       A simple lesson may be drawn from these two contexts: 
     elections are imperfect. They are subject to manipulation and 
     mistake. It is, therefore, critical that elections be 
     investigated and audited to assure the accuracy of results. 
     As Senator Kerry's attorney recently noted, only with 
     uniformity in the procedures for such an investigation and 
     audit ``can the integrity of the entire electoral process and 
     the election of Bush-Cheney warrant the public trust.''
       Regardless of the outcome of the election, and that outcome 
     cannot be certain as long as legitimate questions remain and 
     valid ballots are being counted, it is imperative that we 
     examine any and all factors that may have led to voting 
     irregularities and any failure of votes to be properly 
     counted.


                        Relevant Background Law

     A. Federal Constitutional Law Safeguards
       The right to vote is our most cherished democratic right 
     and, as such, is strongly protected under the Constitution. 
     Both the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th 
     Amendment operate to protect our citizens' right to vote for 
     the candidate of their choice.
       In the seminal voting rights case of Reynolds v. Sims, the 
     Supreme Court held that ``the right to vote freely for the 
     candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic 
     society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the 
     heart of representative government.'' The Court observed 
     that, ``undeniably the Constitution of the United States 
     protects the right of all qualified citizens to vote, in 
     state as well as in federal elections. A consistent line 
     of decisions by this Court in cases involving attempts to 
     deny or restrict the right of suffrage has made this 
     indelibly clear. It has been repeatedly recognized that 
     all qualified voters have a constitutionally protected 
     right to vote, . . . and to have their votes counted.''
       Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth 
     Amendment, Reynolds and its progeny require that votes that 
     are cast must actually be counted. The Equal Protection 
     Clause also requires that all methods the ``legislature has 
     prescribed'' to preserve the right to vote be effected, not 
     thwarted.
       Courts have held that the Due Process Clause implemented in 
     the context of voting rights requires ``fundamental 
     fairness''--the idea that the state official cannot conduct 
     an election or apply vote-counting procedures that are so 
     flawed as to amount to a denial of voters' rights to have 
     their voices heard and their votes count. As a result, under 
     the Constitution, citizens have a fundamental right to vote 
     and to have their vote counted by way of election procedures 
     that are fundamentally fair. Where ``organic failures in a 
     state or local election process threaten to work patent and 
     fundamental unfairness, a . . . claim lies for a violation of 
     substantive due process.''
       Importantly, protections for the right to vote extend to 
     and include the right to a full and fair recounting of those 
     votes. A recount is fundamental to ensure a full and 
     effective counting of all votes. Ohio courts have held that 
     ``[a] recount . . . is the only fair and equitable procedure 
     to ensure the correct tally of all the votes.'' As the 
     Oklahoma Supreme Court recently emphasized, ``[a] timely 
     recount is an integral part of an election.'' The West 
     Virginia Supreme Court, construing a recount statute similar 
     to Ohio's recount provisions, stressed the importance of an 
     election recount to the fairness and integrity of the 
     election itself. Indeed, courts in states which provide a 
     statutory right to a recount uniformly have held that an 
     election cannot be deemed over and final until a recount 
     provided under state law has been completed.
     B. Federal Statutory Election Safeguards
       There are numerous federal statutes that protect the right 
     to vote. First and foremost, the Voting Rights Act prohibits 
     any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, 
     from:
       (1) failing or refusing to permit any qualified person from 
     voting in . . . federal elections;
       (2) refusing to count the vote of a qualified person; or
       (3) intimidating any one attempting to vote or any one who 
     is assisting a person in voting.
       In addition, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 provides criminal 
     penalties for violations of civil rights, including 
     interference with the right to vote. Specifically, section 
     245 of title 18 makes it a crime for any person who ``by 
     force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or 
     interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or 
     interfere with any person because he is or has been, or in 
     order to intimidate such person or any other person or any 
     class of persons from voting or qualifying to vote. . . .''.
       In 1993, Congress enacted the National Voter Registration 
     Act (NVRA), which requires that, for federal elections, 
     states establish fair and expeditious procedures so that 
     eligible citizens may register to vote. Pursuant to the NVRA, 
     section 1974a of title 42 makes it a crime for any person to 
     willfully steal, destroy, conceal, mutilate, or

[[Page H90]]

     alter any voting records, including those having to do with 
     voter registration.
       After the widespread problems that occurred in the November 
     2000 election, Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act 
     (HAVA), thereby creating a new federal agency with election 
     administration responsibilities, setting requirements for 
     voting and voter-registration systems and certain other 
     aspects of election administration, and providing federal 
     funding. Perhaps the central requirement of HAVA was that, 
     beginning January 1, 2004, any voter not listed as registered 
     must be offered and permitted to cast a provisional ballot. 
     HAVA included a variety of additional new requirements, 
     including a provision that beginning January 1, 2004 
     (extendable to 2006), states using voter registration must 
     employ computerized, statewide voter registration systems 
     that are accurately maintained.
     C. Ohio Election Safeguards
       Ohio has enacted numerous provisions designed to protect 
     the integrity of the voting and tabulation process.
     1. The Right to Vote in Ohio
       Under the Ohio Constitution, ``Every citizen of the United 
     States, of the age of eighteen years, who has been a resident 
     of the state, county, township, or ward, such time as may be 
     provided by law, and has been registered to vote for thirty 
     days, has the qualifications of an elector, and is entitled 
     to vote at all elections.'' This includes the right to vote 
     directly for Presidential electors. The protection of this 
     right is placed squarely on the Secretary of State, who has 
     the affirmative duty to ``investigate the administration of 
     election laws, frauds, and irregularities in elections in any 
     county, and report violations of election laws to the 
     attorney general or prosecuting attorney, or both, for 
     prosecution.'' To complete this task, the legislature has 
     given the Secretary the power to ``issue subpoenas, summon 
     witnesses, compel the production of books, papers, records 
     and other evidence.''
       Many specific provisions in the Ohio Revised Code help 
     protect one's right to vote:
       Polls must be open from 6:30 in the morning until 7:30 at 
     night, and everyone in line at that time must be allowed to 
     vote.
       Loitering around the polling place is barred, and no one 
     may ``hinder or delay'' a voter from reaching the polls or 
     casting a vote.
       Alteration or destruction of ballots, machinery or election 
     records is prohibited.
       Illegal voting is a felony.
       Those who cannot mark their own ballot due to illiteracy or 
     disability are entitled to assistance.
       Election officials who do not enforce these provisions are 
     criminally liable.
     2. Declaring Results
       Ohio law requires that, before the Secretary of State can 
     declare the initial results of the Presidential election in 
     Ohio, each of the 88 county boards of elections (``county 
     boards'') must (1) canvass the results in the county, (2) 
     certify abstracts of those results, and (3) send the 
     certified abstracts to the Secretary of State.'' Only after 
     the Secretary of State receives the certified abstracts from 
     the county boards is the Secretary able to canvass the 
     abstracts to ``determine and declare'' the initial results of 
     the Presidential election in Ohio.
       Under Ohio law, the Secretary of State is required to fix 
     the calendar by which the state's Presidential election 
     results initially are declared and by which a recount of 
     those initial results can occur. Specifically, the Secretary 
     is to set the date by which Ohio's 88 county boards must 
     complete their canvass of election returns and send the 
     certified abstracts of the results to the Secretary. Any 
     statutorily mandated recount of the votes cast in Ohio for 
     President cannot occur before the Secretary declares the 
     initial results.
     3. Security of Ballots and Machinery
       In addition, Ohio law prohibits election machinery from 
     being serviced, modified, or altered in any way subsequent to 
     an election, unless it is done so in the presence of the full 
     board of elections and other observers. Any handling of 
     ballots for a subsequent recount must be done in the presence 
     of the entire Board and any qualified witnesses. Containers 
     in which ballots are kept may not be opened before all of the 
     required participants in are attendance. The Ohio Revised 
     Code defines a ballot as ``the official election presentation 
     of offices and candidates . . . and the means by which votes 
     are recorded.'' Therefore, for purposes of Ohio law, 
     electronic records stored in the Board of Election computers 
     are to be considered ``ballots.''
       Further, any modification of the election machinery may 
     only be done after full notice to the Secretary of State. The 
     Ohio Code and related regulations require that after the 
     state certifies a voting system, changes that affect ``(a) 
     the method of recording voter intent; (b) voter privacy; (c) 
     retention of the vote; or (d) the communication of voting 
     records,'' must be done only after full notice to the 
     Secretary of State.
       Secretary Blackwell's own directive, coupled with Ohio 
     Revised Code Sec. 3505.32, prohibits any handling of these 
     ballots without bipartisan witnesses present. That section of 
     the code provides that during a period of official 
     canvassing, all interaction with ballots must be ``in the 
     presence of all of the members of the board and any other 
     persons who are entitled to witness the official canvass.'' 
     In this election, the Ohio Secretary of State has issued 
     orders that election officials were to treat all election 
     materials as if the State were in a period of canvassing,'' 
     and that, ``teams of one Democrat and one Republican must be 
     present with ballots at all times of processing.''
       In addition to these provisions imposing duties on the 
     Board of Elections, there are numerous criminal sanctions for 
     tampering with votes and the machines that tabulate them:
       ``No person shall tamper or attempt to tamper with, deface 
     impair the use of, destroy or otherwise injure in any manner 
     any voting machine . . . No person shall tamper or attempt to 
     tamper with, deface, impair the use of, destroy or otherwise 
     change or injure in any manner any marking device, automatic 
     tabulating equipment or any appurtenances or accessories 
     thereof.''
       ``No person shall-destroy any property used in the conduct 
     of elections.
       ``No person, from the time ballots are cast or voted until 
     the time has expired for using them in a recount or as 
     evidence in a contest of election, shall unlawfully destroy 
     or attempt to destroy the ballots, or permit such ballots or 
     a ballot box or pollbook used at an election to be destroyed; 
     or destroy, falsify, mark, or write in a name on any such 
     ballot that has been voted.
       ``No person, from the time ballots are cast or counted 
     until the time has expired for using them as evidence in a 
     recount or contest of election, shall willfully and with 
     fraudulent intent make any mark or alteration on any ballot; 
     or inscribe, write, or cause to be inscribed or written in or 
     upon a registration form or list, pollbook, tally sheet, or 
     list, lawfully made or kept at an election, or in or upon a 
     book or paper purporting to be such, or upon an election 
     return, or upon a book or paper containing such return the 
     name of a person not entitled to vote at such election or not 
     voting thereat, or a fictitious name, or, within such time, 
     wrongfully change, alter, erase, or tamper with a name, word, 
     or figure contained in such pollbook, tally sheet, list, 
     book, or paper; or falsify, mark, or write thereon with 
     intent to defeat, hinder, or prevent a fair expression of the 
     will of the people at such election.
       All of these are fifth degree felonies.
     4. The Law of Recounts and Contests
       The Secretary of State's declaration of the initial results 
     of a Presidential election in Ohio is not final. Under Ohio 
     law, a recount of the initial results is required where the 
     margin of victory is one-fourth of one percent or less, or 
     where a candidate who is not declared elected applies for a 
     recount within five days of the Secretary of State declaring 
     the results of the election and remits the required bond. In 
     either instance, the Secretary of State ``shall make an 
     amended declaration of the results'' of the Presidential 
     election after a full and complete recount of the initial 
     results throughout the state is completed. Therefore, the 
     Ohio legislature has determined that, in certain statutorily-
     defined circumstances, the Secretary's final declaration of 
     the results of a Presidential election in Ohio shall not 
     occur prior to a full and complete recount of the initial 
     results.
       Once the recount applications have been filed, all affected 
     county boards must notify the applicant and all others who 
     received votes in the election of the time, method and place 
     at which the recount will take place, such notice to be no 
     later than five days prior to the start of the recounts. 
     Nothing in Ohio law prohibits the notices from being mailed 
     prior to the certification of results. The recount must be 
     held no later than ten days after the day the recount 
     application is filed or after the day the Secretary of State 
     declares the results of the election.
       At the time and place fixed for making a recount, the Board 
     of Elections, in the presence of all witnesses who may be in 
     attendance, shall open the sealed containers containing the 
     ballots to be recounted and shall recount them. Each 
     candidate may ``attend and witness the recount and may 
     have any person whom the candidate designates attend and 
     witness the recount.
       Due to a directive issued by Secretary Blackwell, the 
     recount does not automatically require a hand count of every 
     vote cast in the election. Each county board of elections 
     randomly takes a sample representing at least 3% of the votes 
     cast and compares the machine count to a hand count. If there 
     is a discrepancy, the entire county must be hand counted. If 
     there is no discrepancy, the remainder of ballots may be 
     recounted by machine.
     D. Determination of Ohio's Electoral College Votes
       Ohio and federal law intersect with regard to the issue of 
     determining the extent to which Ohio's electoral votes are 
     counted towards the election of the president through the 
     electoral college. The 12th Amendment sets forth the 
     requirements for casting electoral votes and counting those 
     votes in Congress. The electors are required to meet, cast 
     and certify their ballots and transmit them to the Vice 
     President in his or her capacity as President of the Senate. 
     In addition, the Electoral Count Act requires that the 
     results be transmitted to the secretary of state of each 
     state, the Archivist of the United States, and the federal 
     judge in the district in which the electors met. Upon receipt 
     of the ballots at a time designated by statute, the 
     ``President of the Senate shall, in the

[[Page H91]]

     presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all 
     the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.
       Congress has specified that all controversies regarding the 
     appointment of electors should be resolved six days prior to 
     the meeting of electors (on December 7, 2004, for purposes of 
     this year's presidential election) in order for a state's 
     electors to be binding on Congress when Congress meets on 
     January 6, 2005, to declare the results of the 2004 election.
       Specifically, 3 U.S.C. Sec. 5 provides, in pertinent part:
       ``If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior 
     to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its 
     final determination of any controversy or contest concerning 
     the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, 
     by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such 
     determination shall have been made at least six days before 
     the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such 
     determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said 
     day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting 
     of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the 
     counting of the electoral votes as provided in the 
     Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the 
     ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is 
     concerned.''
       The joint session of the Senate and House is held on 
     January, unless Congress determines otherwise, of the year 
     following the presidential election at 1:00 p.m. No debate is 
     allowed during the joint session. The President of the Senate 
     opens the electoral vote certificates in alphabetical order 
     from each state, passes them to four tellers (required by 
     statute to be appointed two from each House) who announce the 
     results. The votes are then counted and those results 
     announced by the President of the Senate. The candidates for 
     President and Vice President receiving a majority of the 
     electoral votes, currently set at 270 of 538, are declared to 
     have been ``elected President and Vice President of the 
     States.''
       Section 15 of title 3, United States Code, provides that, 
     when the results from each of the states are announced, that 
     ``the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if 
     any.'' Any objection must be presented in writing and 
     ``signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House 
     of Representatives before the same shall be received.'' The 
     objection must ``state clearly and concisely, and without 
     argument, the ground thereof.'' When an objection has been 
     properly made in writing and endorsed by a member of each 
     body the Senate withdraws from the House chamber, and each 
     body meets separately to consider the objection. ``No votes . 
     . . from any other State shall be acted upon until the 
     [pending] objection . . . [is] finally disposed of.''
       Section 17 of title 3 limits debate on the objections in 
     each body to two hours, during which time no member may speak 
     more than once and not for more than five minutes. Both the 
     Senate and the House must separately agree to the objection; 
     otherwise, the challenged vote or votes are counted.
       Historically, there appears to be three general grounds for 
     objecting to the counting of electoral votes. The law 
     suggests that an objection may be made on the grounds that 
     (1) a vote was not ``regularly given'' by the challenged 
     elector(s); (2) the elector(s) was not ``lawfully certified'' 
     under state law; or (3) two slates of electors have been 
     presented to Congress from the same State. Section 15 of 
     title 3 specifically provides:
       ``[N]o electoral vote or votes from any State which shall 
     have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has 
     been lawfully certified . . . from which but one return has 
     been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses 
     concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree 
     that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by 
     electors whose appointment has been so certified. If more 
     than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a 
     State shall have been received by the President of the 
     Senate, those votes, and those only shall be counted which 
     shall have been regularly given by the electors who are shown 
     . . . to have been appointed.''
       Since the Electoral Count Act of 1887, no objection meeting 
     the requirements of the Act has been made against an entire 
     slate of state electors. In the 2000 election several Members 
     of the House of Representatives attempted to challenge the 
     electoral votes from the State of Florida. However, no 
     Senator joined in the objection, and, therefore, the 
     objection was not ``received.'' In addition, there was no 
     determination whether the objection constituted an 
     appropriate basis under the 1887 Act. However, if a State has 
     not followed its own procedures and met its obligation to 
     conduct a free and fair election, a valid objection--if 
     endorsed by at least one Senator and a Member of the House of 
     Representatives--should be debated by each body separately 
     until ``disposed of''.


                           Detailed Findings

     A. Pre-Election
     1. Machine Allocations--Why were there such long lines in 
         Democratic leaning areas but not Republican leaning 
         areas?

                                 Facts

       One of the critical reforms of HAVA was federal funding for 
     states to acquire new and updated voting machines, and to 
     fairly allocate the machines. Under HAVA, the Election 
     Assistance Commission (EAC) provides payments to States to 
     help them meet the uniform and nondiscriminatory election 
     technology and administration requirements in title III of 
     the law.'' In 2004, the EAC processed a payment of 
     $32,562,331 for fiscal year 2003 and $58,430,186 for fiscal 
     year 2004 for a total of $90,992,517. There is no information 
     publicly available describing what, if any, Ohio HAVA funds 
     were used and for what those funds were used. Nor are we 
     aware how such funds were allocated within the state of Ohio 
     and between counties.
       There was a wide discrepancy between the availability of 
     voting machines in more minority, Democratic and urban areas 
     as compared to more Republican, suburban and exurban areas. 
     Even on election day, urban areas were hard pressed to 
     receive the critical machines to respond to the ever 
     lengthening lines. According to a Washington Post 
     investigation, ``in Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, and on 
     college campuses, election officials allocated far too few 
     voting machines to busy precincts, with the result that 
     voters stood on line as long as 10 hours--many leaving 
     without voting.'' Moreover, the Election Protection Coalition 
     testified that more than half of the complaints about long 
     lines they received ``came from Columbus and Cleveland where 
     a huge proportion of the state's Democratic voters live.''
       Based upon various sources including complaints, sworn 
     testimony, and communications with Ohio election officials, 
     we have identified credible concerns regarding the allocation 
     of machines on election day:

                            Franklin County

       A New York Times investigation revealed that Franklin 
     County election officials reduced the number of electronic 
     voting machines assigned to downtown precincts and added them 
     to the suburbs. ``They used a formula based not on the number 
     of registered voters, but on past turnout in each precinct 
     and on the number of so-called active voters--a smaller 
     universe. . . . In the Columbus area, the result was that 
     suburban precincts that supported Mr. Bush tended to have 
     more machines per registered voter than center city precincts 
     that supported Mr. Kerry.''
       The Washington Post also found that in voter-rich Franklin 
     County, which encompasses the state capital of Columbus, 
     election officials decided to make do with 2,866 machines, 
     even though their analysis showed that the county needed 
     5,000 machines.
       The Franklin County Board of Elections reported 81 voting 
     machines were never placed on election day, and Board 
     Director Matt Damschroder admitted that another 77 machines 
     malfunctioned on Election Day.'' However, a county purchasing 
     official who was on the line with Ward Moving and Storage 
     Company, documented only 2,741 voting machines delivered 
     through the November 2 election day.'' While Franklin 
     County's records reveal that they had 2,866 ``machines 
     available'' on election day. This would mean that the even 
     larger number of at least 125 machines remained unused on 
     Election Day. Mr. Damschroder misinformed a federal court on 
     Election Day when he testified the county had no additional 
     voting machines; this testimony was in connection with a 
     Voting Rights Act lawsuit brought by the state Democratic 
     Party that alleged minority precincts were intentionally 
     deprived of machines.
       After the election the Washington Post also reported that 
     in Franklin County, ``27 of the 30 wards with the most 
     machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush. At 
     the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven wards with 
     the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry.''
       At seven of the eight polling places in Franklin County, a 
     heavily populated urban community, there were only three 
     voting machines per location; but there had been five 
     machines at these locations during the 2004 primary.
       According to the presiding judge at one polling site 
     located at the Columbus Model Neighborhood facility at 1393 
     E. Broad St., there had been five machines during the 2004 
     primary. Moreover, at Douglas Elementary School, there had 
     been four machines during the spring primary.
       We have received additional information of hardship caused 
     by the misallocation of machines based on emails and other 
     transmissions, with waits of 4-5 hours or more being the 
     order of the day. For example, we have learned of four hour 
     waits at Precincts 35B and C in Columbus; seven hours waits 
     for one voting machine per thousand voters, where the 
     adjacent precinct had one station for 184 voters.'' 
     Additionally, it appears that in a number of locations, 
     polling places were moved from large locations, such as gyms, 
     where voters could comfortably wait inside to vote, to 
     smaller locations where voters were required to wait in the 
     rain.''
       Dr. Bob Fitrakis testified before the House Judiciary panel 
     that Franklin County Board of Elections Chair, Bill Anthony, 
     said that a truckload of 75 voting machines were held back on 
     election day while people waited 5 to 6 hours to vote.
       Over 102,000 new voters were registered in Franklin County. 
     A majority of them were African Americans. ``And so,'' said 
     State Senator Ray Miller, ``only logic would say, we need 
     more machines, particularly in the black community.''
       Rev. William Moss testified that there were ``unprecedented 
     long lines'' and noted that Secretary of State Blackwell did 
     not provide sufficient numbers of voting machines to 
     accommodate the augmented electorate in Columbus.

[[Page H92]]

                              Knox County

       At Kenyon College, a surge of late registrations promised a 
     record vote. Nevertheless, Knox County officials allocated 
     two machines, just as in past elections. Voter Matthew Segal, 
     a student at Kenyon College, testified before the House 
     Judiciary panel about conditions that amounted to voter 
     disenfranchisement in Gambier, Ohio.'' The Gambier polling 
     place had two machines for a population of 1,300 people, 
     though nearby counties had one machine for every 100 people. 
     He noted that voters were ``compelled to stand outside in the 
     rain, through a hot gymnasium in crowded, narrow hallways, 
     making voting extremely uncomfortable.'' According to his 
     testimony, ``many voters became overheated and hungry'' and 
     had to leave the long lines to eat. ``One girl actually 
     fainted and was forced to leave the line,'' he said. ``Many 
     others suffered headaches due to claustrophobic conditions 
     and noise.''
       In contrast, at nearby Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, 
     which is considered more Republican leaning, there were ample 
     voting machines and no lines.

                                 Other

       The NAACP testified that approximately ``thirty precincts 
     did not have curbside voting machines for seniors and 
     disabled voters.''
       One entire polling place in Cuyahoga County had to ``shut 
     down'' at 9:25 a.m. on Election Day because there were no 
     working machines.
       We received an affidavit from Rhonda J. Frazier, a former 
     employee of Secretary Blackwell, describing several 
     irregularities concerning the use of HAVA money and the 
     acquisition of election machinery by the state. She states 
     that Secretary Blackwell's office failed to comply with the 
     requirements of the voting reform grant that required all of 
     the voting machines in Ohio to be inventoried and tagged for 
     security reasons. Ms. Frazier also asserts that she ``was 
     routinely told to violate the bidded contracts to order 
     supplies from other companies for all 17 Secretary of State 
     offices throughout the State which were cheaper vendors, 
     leaving a cash surplus differential in the budget'' and that, 
     when she inquired as to where the money differential was 
     going, she was essentially told that this was not her concern 
     and that she should not inquire about where that money went.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Through intent or negligence, massive errors that led to 
     long lines were made in the distribution and allocations of 
     voting machines. The Washington Post reports that in Columbus 
     alone, the misallocation of machines reduced the number of 
     voters by up to 15,000 votes. Given what we have learned in 
     our hearings, this is likely conservative estimate, and 
     statewide, the shortage of machines could have resulted in 
     the loss of hundreds of thousands of votes. The vast majority 
     of this lost vote caused by lengthy lines in the midst of 
     adverse weather was concentrated in urban, minority and 
     Democratic leaning areas. As a result, this misallocation 
     appears to be of the pivotal factors concerning the vote and 
     outcome in the entire election in Ohio.
       On its face, the misallocation, shorting, and failure to 
     timely deliver working machines would appear to violate a 
     number of legal requirements.
       First, it would seem to constitute a violation of the 
     Voting Rights Act and the constitutional safeguards of Equal 
     Protection and Due Process, particularly given the racial 
     disparities involved. Denying voters the means to vote in a 
     reasonable and fair manner is no different than preventing 
     them from voting outright.
       Second, the failure to provide enough voting machinery 
     violates both Ohio's Constitution, that provides all eligible 
     adults the right to vote, and the Ohio Revised Code which 
     requires the Boards of Elections to provide ``for each 
     precinct a polling place and provide adequate facilities at 
     each polling place for conducting the election.'' Further, 
     ``the board shall provide a sufficient number of screened 
     or curtained voting compartments to which electors may 
     retire and conveniently mark their ballots.''
       These conclusions regarding Ohio legal violations are 
     supported by several precedents, as well as common sense:
       The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio 
     found such a serious threat to the voting right that it took 
     the highly unorthodox step of ordering that those individuals 
     waiting in line for longer than two hours receive paper 
     ballots or some other mechanism.
       There is specific precedence for a legal violation due the 
     fact that, under Ohio law in 1956, the courts were forced to 
     intervene to enforce the then-applicable requirement of one 
     machine per 100 voters. The court was highly critical of the 
     previous practice of requiring only one machine for 800 
     voters or two for 1,400. Nearly 50 years later, we are 
     unfortunately back to the antiquated practice of effectively 
     disenfranchising those who are unable to spend an entire day 
     voting.
       Evidence suggests that the Board of Elections' 
     misallocation of machines went beyond urban/suburban 
     discrepancies to specifically target Democratic areas. In 
     particular, within the less urban county of Knox, the more 
     Democratic leaning precincts near Kenyon College were 
     massively shorted; the more Republican leaning precincts near 
     Mt. Vernon Nazarene University were not.
       Third, it appears that a series of more localized legal 
     violations have not been investigated. These include Mr. 
     Damschroder's contradictory statements regarding the number 
     and availability of machines on election day in Franklin 
     County raise the possibility of perjury. The affidavit 
     submitted by Rhonda Frazier would also appear to demonstrate 
     a prima facie violation of the Help America Vote Act.
       Fourth, Secretary of State Blackwell's failure to initiate 
     any investigation into this pivotal irregularity (which 
     perhaps borders on fraud), notwithstanding his clear 
     statutory duty to do so under Ohio Revised Code section 
     3501.05, represents a clear violation of Ohio law. The 
     Secretary of State's most important obligation under the Ohio 
     Constitution is to protect the right of every Ohio citizen 
     who is eligible to vote and invesigate any and all 
     irregularities concerning the same. Mr. Blackwell's failure 
     to obey Ohio law on this point constitutes a clear instance 
     where Ohio election law has been abrogated.

          2. Cutting Back on the Right to Provisional Ballots

                                 Facts

       In a decision that Ohio Governor Bob Taft believed could 
     affect over 100,000 voters, on September 17, 2004, Secretary 
     Blackwell issued a directive restricting the ability of 
     voters to use provisional ballots. The Election Protection 
     Coalition testified that the narrow provisional ballot 
     directive led to thousands of ballots from validly registered 
     voters being thrown out because election officials with 
     limited resources never told many of the voters in their 
     jurisdictions where to cast a ballot on Election Day. While 
     the Help America Vote Act provided that voters whose names do 
     not appear on poll books are to sign affidavits certifying 
     that they are in the correct jurisdiction and to be given 
     provisional ballots, Secretary Blackwell considerably 
     narrowed the definition of ``jurisdiction'' to mean 
     ``precinct.'' Alleging that allowing voters to use 
     provisional ballots outside their own precincts would be ``a 
     recipe for Election Day chaos,'' Secretary Blackwell required 
     such ballots to be cast in the actual precincts of voters 
     otherwise they would be discarded entirely. Mr. Blackwell's 
     rationalization appears to have ignored the fact that in 
     prior elections, Ohio was able to grant far broader rights to 
     provisional ballots, and that other states that permitted 
     voters to cast them from anywhere within their county did not 
     face the chaos he feared.
       Because of Secretary Blackwell's restrictive order, the 
     Sandusky County Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit to 
     overturn it. The plaintiff's basis for the suit was that the 
     order was discriminatory because lower-income people were 
     more likely to move and, thus, appear at the wrong precinct. 
     Furthermore, the order would have disenfranchised first-
     time voters, many of whom would not know where to vote.
       In his rulings in favor of the plaintiffs and against 
     Secretary Blackwell, U.S. District Judge James Carr held that 
     the blame lay squarely on Secretary Blackwell. The court was 
     forced to issue two rulings ordering Secretary Blackwell to 
     issue HAVA-compliant directives. Secretary Blackwell abided 
     by neither judgment and instead proceeded with directives 
     that would disenfranchise Ohio voters.
       With respect to the speed of the case, the court noted that 
     its urgency was the result of Secretary Blackwell failing to 
     issue provisional voting guidelines for almost two years 
     after the enactment of HAVA: ``The exigencies requiring the 
     relief being ordered herein are due to the failure of the 
     defendant to fulfill his duty not only to this Court, as its 
     injunction directed him to do, but more importantly, to his 
     failure to do his duty as Secretary of State to ensure that 
     the election laws are upheld and enforced. . . . The primary 
     cause of the exigency is the defendant's failure to have 
     issued Directive 2004-33 relating to provisional voting for 
     nearly twenty-three months after HAVA's enactment. . . . 
     Blackwell has never explained why he waited so long to do 
     anything to bring Ohio's provisional election procedures into 
     line with federal law.''
       The court then turned its attention to the substance of 
     Secretary Blackwell's original and amended directives. In 
     these directives, ``Blackwell described not a single 
     provision of federal law generally, much less HAVA in 
     particular. . . . By failing to discuss HAVA, on the one 
     hand, and describing only outmoded, no longer applicable 
     procedures on the other, Blackwell . . . left Ohio's election 
     officials more confused than they would have been if the 
     directive had not issued.'' In addition, because the amended 
     directive did not clearly state that persons who might not be 
     eligible to vote must be informed of their right to vote 
     provisionally, the court held that ``Blackwell's proposed 
     directive would disenfranchise all such individuals.'' The 
     court believed that, by seeming to deprive voters and county 
     election officials of valuable information regarding HAVA and 
     provisional ballots, ``Blackwell apparently seeks to 
     accomplish the same result in Ohio in 2004 that occurred in 
     Florida in 2000.'' Ultimately, the court was forced to 
     require the Secretary, within a tight deadline, to issue 
     specific guidelines pertaining to provisional ballots.

[[Page H93]]

       Instead of complying with this federal court order, 
     Secretary Blackwell entirely disregarded the ruling and 
     questioned the motives of the judge. He referred to Judge 
     Carr as ``a liberal judge . . . who wants to be co-secretary 
     of state.'' At a speech before the Loveland Area Chamber of 
     Commerce in Clermont County, Secretary Blackwell compared 
     himself to Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and the 
     apostle Paul on the grounds that he would rather go to jail--
     as they did--than issue an order he believed was illegal. He 
     also claimed his office could not speak with Judge Carr about 
     the case because the Judge was in Florida; Blackwell later 
     admitted he did not mean the Judge actually was in Florida. 
     Additionally, a journalist reported seeing Judge Carr in his 
     chambers the day the ruling was issued. Secretary Blackwell 
     appealed the judge's decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of 
     Appeals, which overturned the lower court decision and 
     authorized Mr. Blackwell's more restrictive legal 
     interpretation.
       While Blackwell cited an October 12 resolution by the 
     Election Assistance Commission as authority for his decision, 
     EAC Chairman DeForest Soaries asked Blackwell in writing not 
     to say that the resolution endorsed the Blackwell order. 
     Chairman Soaries further stated that Secretary Blackwell was 
     the only secretary of state who actually misread the EAC's 
     ruling. The EAC did not ``agree that a person in the wrong 
     precinct shouldn't be given a provisional ballot. . . . The 
     purpose of provisional ballots is to not turn anyone away 
     from the polls. . . . We want as many votes to count as 
     possible.''
       Many of Ohio's county boards of elections also disagreed 
     with Blackwell's interpretation of the law and with his 
     motivations. Franklin County Board Chairman William Anthony 
     stated, ``For him to come out with that decision so close to 
     Election Day . . . I'm suspect of his motivations.'' The 
     Director of the Franklin County Board also disagreed with 
     Blackwell and asserted that its precincts would have voters 
     who insist they are in the correct precinct sign affidavits 
     and submit provisional ballots. Cuyahoga County directed 
     people to the right precincts but still accepted provisional 
     ballots from anyone who insisted on voting. Cuyahoga County 
     Board Chairman Bob Bennett, who also chairs the Ohio 
     Republican Party, issued a statement saying the Board would 
     not deny ballots to voters who wanted them: ``The Cuyahoga 
     County Board of Elections will not turn voters away. . . . We 
     are simply trying to avoid confrontation at the ballot box 
     over the validity of each ballot. Those decisions will be 
     made by the board of elections according to state law.''
       In response, Mr. Blackwell's spokesperson threatened such 
     election officials with removal from their positions.
       In Hamilton County, election officials implemented Mr. 
     Blackwell's directive and refused to count provisional 
     ballots cast at the correct polling place even if they were 
     cast at the wrong table in that polling place. Some polling 
     places contained multiple precincts that were located at 
     different tables. As a result, 1,110 provisional ballots were 
     deemed invalid because people voted in the wrong precinct. In 
     about 40 percent of these cases, voters found the correct 
     polling places, which contained multiple precincts, but 
     workers directed them to the wrong table. In other areas, 
     precinct workers refused to give any voter a provisional 
     ballot. Also, in at least one precinct, election judges told 
     voters that they may validly cast their ballot in any 
     precinct, leading to any number of disqualified provisional 
     ballots. Similarly, in Stark County, the Election Board 
     rejected provisional ballots cast at the wrong precinct in 
     the right polling place. In earlier elections, a vote cast in 
     Stark County in the wrong precinct at the proper polling 
     location was counted.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Mr. Blackwell's decision to restrict the use of provisional 
     ballots is one of the most critical in the election and could 
     well have resulted in disenfranchisement of tens of thousands 
     of voters. In a single polling place in Hamilton County, 
     denying provisional ballots if a voter showed up at the wrong 
     precinct cost more than 1,100 votes.
       Although Mr. Blackwell's narrow interpretation was 
     ultimately upheld by the Sixth Circuit, this was not until 
     after a lower court found: ``The Proposed Directive fails in 
     many details to comply with HAVA by not instructing Ohio's 
     election workers about their duties under HAVA. Among the 
     crucial, but omitted details are: the mandatory obligation to 
     inform voters of the right to vote provisionally and the duty 
     to provide provisional ballots to all persons covered by the 
     statute, and not just to persons whose names are not on the 
     rolls.''
       In our judgment, Mr. Blackwell's restrictive interpretation 
     violates the spirit, if not the letter, of HAVA. The decision 
     seems particularly unjust given that Ohio had not experienced 
     any notable difficulties giving provisional ballots on a 
     broader basis in past elections, and other states which 
     adopted broader constructions did not report the chaos and 
     confusion that Mr. Blackwell claimed to be the rationale for 
     his decision.

      3. Cutting Back on the Right of Citizens To Register To Vote

                                 Facts

       On September 7, 2004, Secretary Blackwell issued a 
     directive to county boards of elections mandating rejection 
     of voter registration forms based on their paper weight. 
     Specifically, he instructed the boards to reject voter 
     registration forms not ``printed on white, uncoated paper of 
     not less than 80 lb. text weight.'' Then the counties were 
     instructed to follow a confusing procedure, treating the 
     voter registration forms not on this minimum paperweight as 
     an application for a new registration form. Mr. Blackwell's 
     issuance of this directive less than one month before Ohio's 
     voter registration deadline resulted in confusion and chaos 
     among the counties:
       The Lake County Board of Elections Director, Jan Clair, who 
     happens to be a Republican, stated that the weight order 
     would ``create more confusion than the paper's worth. . . . 
     It's the weight of the vote I'm concerned about on Nov. 2--
     that's the important thing.''
       The Mahoning County Board of Elections Director, Michael 
     Sciortino, said mailing high weight registration paper to 
     voters was not a priority and might occur after the election 
     because of how it might confuse voters.
       The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director, Michael 
     Vu, said his Board would rather not comply with the weight 
     order and asked state lawmakers to address it. Secretary 
     Blackwell gave permission for the Board to accept 
     registration forms that were printed in newsprint in the 
     Cleveland Plain Dealer.''' As Director Vu pointed out, his 
     office does not ``have a micrometer at each desk to check the 
     weight of the paper.''
       Other counties such as Madison County followed Mr. 
     Blackwell's ruling and indicated that they sent letters and 
     new forms to voters.
       The Franklin County Board of Elections was unlikely to 
     comply with the weight directive, largely because it does not 
     keep track of the weight of such forms.
       The Lorain County Board of Elections accepted voter 
     registration on any weight of paper.
       The Montgomery County Board of Elections said the paper 
     weight order was frustrating their ability to process 
     registrations. They attempted to comply by mailing a new form 
     to potential voters who sent forms of incorrect weight, but a 
     processing backlog of 4,000 forms prevented them from sending 
     new forms by the October 4 deadline, such that some voters 
     could have been disenfranchised. Steve Harsman, the Deputy 
     Director of the Board, says ``there is just no reason to use 
     80-pound paper.''
       Finally, Secretary Blackwell was not following his own 
     order. An Ohio lawyer, John Stopa, noted that voter 
     registration forms obtained at Blackwell's office were 
     printed on 60-pound paper. An election board official stated 
     he obtained 70-pound weight forms from Blackwell's office.
       After several weeks of pressure from voting rights 
     advocates, such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio and 
     People for the American Way, Secretary Blackwell reversed his 
     directive on September 28, 2004. Even his new order, however, 
     was not drafted clearly enough. He did not withdraw the first 
     directive, and the New York Times found the second directive 
     to be ``worded so inartfully that it could create confusion. 
     As a matter of fact, the Delaware County Board of Elections 
     posted a notice on its website stating it could not accept 
     its own Voter Registration Forms and directed voters to 
     request a new one by calling a number.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Secretary Blackwell's directive to reject registration 
     applications based on paper weight, even though eventually 
     rescinded, undoubtedly had a negative impact on registration 
     figures. During the time period the directive was in place, 
     it likely resulted in an untold number of voters not being 
     registered in time for the 2004 election. In addition, even 
     after the directive was reconsidered, it was done so in a 
     confusing manner. For example, the directive continued to be 
     posted on the Ohio Secretary of State's website, and at least 
     one county, Delaware County, continued to post the directive 
     on its website as well.
       Mr. Blackwell's initial directive appears to be 
     inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act, which 
     put safeguards in place to ease voter registration, not 
     impede it. There is perhaps no more certain indication of the 
     disenfranchisement bias Secretary of State Blackwell brought 
     to his job than this controversial ruling, which was widely 
     reviled even by Republicans.

          4. Targeting New Minority Voter Registrants--Caging

                                 Facts

       The Ohio Republican Party attempted to engage in 
     ``caging,'' whereby it sent registered letters to newly 
     registered voters in minority and urban areas, and then 
     sought to challenge 35,000 individuals who refused to sign 
     for the letters or the mail otherwise came back as 
     undeliverable (this includes voters who were homeless, 
     serving abroad, or simply did not want to sign for something 
     concerning the Republican Party). Mark Weaver, an attorney 
     for the Ohio Republican Party, acknowledged the Party used 
     this technique. During a hearing before the Summit County 
     Board of Elections, a challenger admitted that she had no 
     knowledge to substantiate her claim that the voters she was 
     challenging were out of compliance with Ohio's election law:
       Ms. Barbara MILLER (Republican Challenger): That was my 
     impression that these items that I signed were for people 
     whose mail had been undeliverable for several times, and that 
     they did not live at the residence.

[[Page H94]]

       Mr. Russell PRY (Member, Summit County Board of Elections): 
     Did you personally send any mail to Ms. Herrold?
       Ms. MILLER: No, I did not.
       Mr. PRY: Have you seen any mail that was returned to Ms. 
     Herrold?
       Ms. MILLER: No, I have not.
       Mr. PRY: Do you have any personal knowledge as we stand 
     here today that Ms. Herrold does not live at the address at 
     238 30th Street Northwest?
       Ms. MILLER: Only that which was my impression; that their 
     mail had not been able to be delivered.
       Mr. PRY: And who gave you that impression?
       Ms. MILLER: Attorney Jim Simon.
       Mr. PRY: And what did--
       Ms. MILLER: He's an officer of the party.
       Mr. PRY: An officer of which party?
       Ms. MILLER: Republican party.
       Mr. PRY: Where did you complete this challenge form at?
       Ms. MILLER: My home.
       Mr. PRY: What did Mr. Simon tell you with respect to Ms. 
     Herrold's residence?
       Ms. MILLER: That the mail had come back undeliverable 
     several times from that residence.
       Mr. PRY: And you never saw the returned mail?
       Ms. MILLER: No, I did not.
       Mr. PRY: Now, you've indicated that you signed this based 
     on some personal knowledge.
       Mr. HUTCHINSON: (Joseph F. Hutchinson, Jr. Summit County 
     Board of Elections) No.
       Mr. ARSHINKOFF: (Alex R. Arshinkoff, Summit County Board of 
     Elections) Reason to believe. It says, ``I have reason to 
     believe.'' It says it on the form.
       Mr. JONES: It says, ``I hereby declare under penalty of 
     election falsification, that the statements above are true as 
     I verily believe.''
       Mr. ARSHINKOFF: It says here, ``I have reason to believe.''
       Mr. HUTCHINSON: It says what it says.
       Mr. ARSHINKOFF: You want her indicted, get her indicted.
       Mr. PRY: That may be where it goes next.
       Among other things, the Republican Party arranged for the 
     Sandusky County sheriff to visit the residences of 67 voters 
     with wrong or non-existent addresses.
       The caging tactics were so problematic that a federal 
     district court in New Jersey and a panel of the Third Circuit 
     found that the Republican Party was egregiously in violation 
     of the 1982 and 1987 decrees that barred the party from 
     targeting minority voters for challenges at the polls. They 
     found sufficient evidence that the Ohio Republican Party and 
     the RNC conspired to be ``disruptive'' in minority-majority 
     districts and enjoined the party from using the list. The 
     Third Circuit granted a hearing en banc and therefore 
     stayed the order and vacated the opinion.
       The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio 
     found the same activities to violate the Due Process Clause 
     of the Constitution. Most importantly, notice of the 
     Republican-intended challenge and subsequent hearing was sent 
     to the 35,000 voters far too late to be of any use to the 
     challengee. In fact, the notice was sent so late, that many 
     did not receive it before the election at all, and the court 
     found that ineffective notice must have been the intent: 
     ``The Defendants' intended timing and manner of sending 
     notice is not reasonably calculated to apprise Plaintiff 
     Voters of the hearing regarding the challenge to their 
     registrations, nor to give the them opportunity to present 
     their objections, as demonstrated by the individual 
     situations of Plaintiffs Miller and Haddix . . . it seems 
     that Defendants intend to send the notice to an address which 
     has already been demonstrated to be faulty.''
       The court also found that the challenge statute in general 
     was not narrowly tailored enough justify the ``severe'' 
     burden on voters. While the state's interest in preventing 
     fraudulent voting was compelling, there were other ways to do 
     that besides allowing partisan groups to arbitrarily 
     challenge voters.

                                Analysis

       Although the ``caging'' tactics targeting 35,000 new voters 
     by the Ohio Republican Party were eventually struck down, it 
     is likely they had a negative impact on the inclination of 
     minorities to vote, although, it is difficult to develop a 
     specific estimate.
       The caging tactics were clearly both discriminatory and 
     illegal. All three district court cases ruled in favor of the 
     plaintiffs, finding the challenges to be politically and 
     racially charged, and burdening the fundamental right to 
     vote. As one court stated, ``This Court recognizes that the 
     right to vote is one of our most fundamental rights. 
     Potential voter intimidation would severely burden the right 
     to vote. Therefore, the character and magnitude of 
     Plaintiffs' asserted injury is substantial.'' It went on to 
     note that the right to vote is paramount to any interest in 
     challenging other people: ``. . . Plaintiff's right to cast 
     votes on election day is a fundamental right. The 
     challengers, however, do not have a fundamental right to 
     challenge other voters. These decisions correctly overturned 
     these caging and challenging activities because they violated 
     the right to equal protection, due process, and Ohioans' 
     fundamental right to vote.
       Ralph Neas, President of the People for the American Way 
     Foundation, emphasized the seriousness of these tactics when 
     he testified that ``the 35,000 people that were threatened 
     with being challenged. That's not the spirit of democracy; 
     that's the spirit of suppression. [The Republican Party] did 
     everything to minimize the vote in the urban areas and to 
     engage in voter suppression, and I hope the hearings really 
     emphasize this. I think that prosecution is something that 
     should be considered with respect to what happened in Ohio.''

      5. Targeting Minority and Urban Voters for Legal Challenges

                                 Facts

       The Ohio Republican Party, which Secretary Blackwell helped 
     lead as Chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio, engaged in 
     a massive campaign to challenge minority voters at the polls. 
     The Republican Party lined up poll challengers for 30 of 
     Ohio's 88 counties, and the vast majority were focused in 
     minority and urban areas. In addition to intimidating 
     minority voters, this scheme helped lead to increased delays 
     and longer waits in voting lines in these areas. This was a 
     particularly damaging outcome on a day of severe adverse 
     weather in Ohio. As a federal court looking at these issues 
     concluded: if challenges are made with any frequency, the 
     resultant distraction and delay could give rise to chaos 
     and a level of voter frustration that would turn qualified 
     electors away from the polls.
       Three separate courts issued opinions expressing serious 
     concerns with Ohio's voter challenge processes. At the state 
     level, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell 
     found that Secretary Blackwell exceeded his authority in 
     issuing a directive that let each political party have 
     multiple challengers at each polling place. While the 
     Democratic Party registered only one challenger per polling 
     place, the Republican Party had registered one challenger for 
     each precinct (there are multiple precincts in many polling 
     places). Judge O'Donnell found the directive to be 
     ``unlawful, arbitrary, unreasonable and unconscionable, 
     coming four days after the deadline for partisan challengers 
     to register with their county boards of elections.'' An 
     attorney with the Ohio Attorney General's office, Jeffrey 
     Hastings, admitted to Judge O'Donnell that Secretary 
     Blackwell had changed his mind in first limiting challengers 
     to one per polling place and then, after the October 22 
     challenger registration deadline, allowing multiple 
     challengers.
       Two federal district court judges also found the challenge 
     procedure to be problematic and tantamount to voter 
     disenfranchisement. In one lawsuit, the plaintiffs were 
     Donald and Marian Spencer, an elderly African-American couple 
     who alleged the challenge statute harkened back to Jim Crow 
     disenfranchisement. In her opinion rejecting the GOP 
     challenger system, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott 
     wrote that ``there exists an enormous risk of chaos, delay, 
     intimidation and pandemonium inside the polls and in the 
     lines out the door.'' In the other district court case, 
     Summit County Democratic Central and Executive Committee, et. 
     al. v. Blackwell, Judge John R. Adams noted the risk that 
     ``the integrity of the election may be irreparably harmed.'' 
     ``If challenges are made with any frequency,'' he wrote, 
     ``the resultant distraction and delay could give rise to 
     chaos and a level of voter frustration that would turn 
     qualified electors away from the polls.''
       Judge Dlott also noted the racial disparity inherent in 
     challenges, citing that only 14% of new voters in white areas 
     would face challenges while up to 97% of new voters in black 
     areas would face them. The Chair of the Hamilton County Board 
     of Elections, Timothy Burke, was an official defendant in the 
     lawsuit but testified the use of the challenges was 
     unprecedented. Chairman Burke stated that the Republican 
     Party had planned for challengers at 251 of Hamilton County's 
     1013 precincts; 250 of the challenged precincts have 
     significant black populations.
       Both federal courts blocking the use of challengers 
     highlighted that challengers were not needed because Ohio law 
     already safeguarded elections from voter fraud by the use of 
     election judges. In particular, Ohio law mandates that four 
     election judges staff each polling place and provides that 
     the presiding judge of each group can make decisions 
     regarding voter qualifications.
       Although Secretary Blackwell reversed his position and 
     issued a statement on October 29, 2004, excluding challengers 
     from polling places, his position became less relevant when 
     Jim Petro, Ohio's Attorney General, argued in favor of the 
     challenges taking place and said the Secretary's new 
     statement was unlawful. Seeing the irony in these conflicting 
     opinions, Judge Dlott asked ``how can the average election 
     official or inexperienced challenger be expected to 
     understand the challenge process if the two top election 
     officials cannot?''
       These two lower court rulings did not stand. The Sixth 
     Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the two lower court 
     opinions on a 2-1 vote. The Supreme Court of the United 
     States denied the applications to vacate the 6th Circuit's 
     stays of the lower court rulings. While troubled about the 
     ``undoubtedly serious'' accusation of voter intimidation, 
     Justice John Paul Stevens said the full Court could not 
     consider the case because there was insufficient time to 
     properly review the filings and submissions.

                                Analysis

       The decision by the Ohio Republican Party to utilize 
     thousands of partisan challengers in the voting booths 
     undoubtedly had an intimidating and negative impact on 
     minority voters. While it is difficult to estimate how many 
     voters were disenfranchised by the

[[Page H95]]

     challenger program, given the adverse weather conditions and 
     the lack of trained pollworkers, the disruptions caused by 
     challengers could easily have reduced minority turnout by 
     tens of thousands of voters, if not more. It is noteworthy 
     that these disruptions were predicted by Republican 
     officials: ``Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican 
     Party, acknowledged, `[the challenges] won't be resolved 
     until [Election Day], when all of these people are trying to 
     vote. It can't help but create chaos, longer lines and 
     frustration.' He reiterated that `challengers at the polls] 
     were bound to slow things down.' '' This will lead to long 
     lines.
       While the program of challenging voters was ultimately 
     upheld, after a series of back and forth decisions, clearly 
     this is an issue which harkens back to the ``Jim Crow'' era. 
     As U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams wrote in his 
     Summit County opinion: ``In light of these extraordinary 
     circumstances, and the contentious nature of the imminent 
     election, the Court cannot and must not turn a blind eye to 
     the substantial likelihood that significant harm will result 
     not only to voters, but also to the voting process itself, if 
     appointed challengers are permitted at the polls on November 
     2. . . . The presence of appointed challengers at the polls 
     could significantly impede the electoral process, and 
     infringe on the rights of qualified voters.''
       As a result, the Ohio challenger system deserves 
     reconsideration by the legislature or further judicial 
     appeal.

 6. Denying Absentee Voters Who Never Got Their Ballots the Right to a 
                           Provisional Ballot

                                 Facts

       Secretary Blackwell also issued a ruling preventing the 
     issuance of provisional ballots for voters who requested 
     absentee ballots, even if they failed to receive them by the 
     official deadline or did not receive them at all. Despite the 
     fact that these errors occurred on the part of the Ohio 
     government and not the voters, Secretary Blackwell determined 
     they should not receive provisional ballots at the polls.
       A lawsuit filed by a college student, Sara White, who never 
     received her absentee ballot and was denied a provisional 
     one, led to a ruling that other similar voters must be 
     issued provisional ballots. The court ordered Lucas County 
     to start providing provisional ballots, and directed 
     Secretary Blackwell to advise all Boards of Elections of 
     the same within 30 minutes. The legal ruling overturning 
     Mr. Blackwell's restrictive ruling on absentee ballots 
     came late in the afternoon, and as a result, many voters 
     intending to vote that day were prevented from doing so.

                                Analysis

       Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent those voters who 
     requested absentee ballots, but did not receive them on a 
     timely basis, from being able to vote, also likely 
     disenfranchised many voters, particularly seniors who were 
     turned away from the polls before the decision was known.
       The federal court found that Mr. Blackwell's decision 
     clearly violated HAVA: ``HAVA is clear; that all those who 
     appear at a polling place and assert their eligibility to 
     vote irrespective of the fact that their eligibility may be 
     subject to question by the people at the polling place or by 
     the Board of Elections, shall be issued a provisional 
     ballot.'' In addition, this restrictive directive also likely 
     constituted violations of Article S, Section 1 of the Ohio 
     Constitution, granting every Ohio citizen the right to vote 
     if he or she is otherwise qualified.

                  7. Denying Access to the News Media

                                 Facts

       Secretary Blackwell also sought to prevent the news media 
     and exit poll takers from locating themselves within 100 feet 
     of polling places. This would have been the first time in 
     thirty years in which reporters were prevented from 
     monitoring polls. Media organizations challenged the barrier, 
     leading to a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit 
     ruling that struck down Secretary Blackwell's decision. In 
     its opinion, the court noted that ``democracies die behind 
     closed doors'' and found that the district court's ruling had 
     ``interpreted and applied the statute overly broadly in such 
     a way that the statute would be violative of the first 
     amendment''.

                                Analysis

       Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent news media and exit 
     polls from interviewing Ohio citizens after they voted 
     constitutes a clear violation of the First Amendment's 
     guarantee that state conduct shall not abridge ``freedom . . 
     . of the press.'' His decision also likely violated Ohio's 
     own Constitution that provides: ``Every citizen may freely 
     speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, 
     being responsible for the abuse of the right; and no law 
     shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech, 
     or of the press.'' His decision does not appear to have had 
     any negative impact on the vote, but potentially made it more 
     difficult for the media to uncover voting irregularities, 
     discrepancies, and disenfranchisement.
     B. Election Day

                       1. County-Specific Issues

    Warren County--Counting in Secret Because of a Terrorist Threat?

                                 Facts

       On election night, Warren County, a traditional Republican 
     stronghold, locked down its administration building and 
     barred reporters from observing the counting. When that 
     decision was questioned, County officials claimed they were 
     responding to a terrorist threat that ranked a ``10'' on a 
     scale of 1 to 10, and that this information was received from 
     an FBI agent. Despite repeated requests, County officials 
     have declined to name that agent, however, and the FBI has 
     stated that it had no information about a terror threat in 
     Warren County.
       Warren County officials have given conflicting accounts of 
     when the decision was made to lock down the building. While 
     the County Commissioner has stated that the decision to lock 
     down the building was made during an October 28 closed-door 
     meeting, e-mailed memos--dated October 25 and 26--indicate 
     that preparations for the lockdown were already underway.
       Statements also describe how ballots were left unguarded 
     and unprotected in a warehouse on Election Day, and they were 
     hastily moved after county officials received complaints.
       It is important to view the lockdown in the context of the 
     aberrant results in Warren County. An analyst who has 
     received all the vote data for 2000 and 2004 by precinct in 
     several Ohio counties did a detailed analysis of the greatest 
     increase in votes for President Bush by precinct, and the 
     Bush-Kerry margin in Warren County. The analyst revealed that 
     Warren County first did a lockdown to count the votes, then 
     apparently did another lockdown to recount the votes later, 
     resulting in an even greater Bush margin and very unusual new 
     patterns.
       Moreover, in the 2000 Presidential election, the Democratic 
     Presidential candidate, Al Gore, stopped running television 
     commercials and pulled resources out of Ohio weeks before the 
     election. He won 28% of the vote in Warren County 223 In 
     2004, the Democratic Presidential candidate, John Kerry, 
     fiercely contested Ohio and independent groups also put 
     considerable resources into getting out the Democratic vote. 
     Moreover, unlike in 2000, independent candidate Ralph Nader 
     was not on the Ohio ballot in 2004. Yet, the tallies reflect 
     John Kerry receiving exactly the same percentage, 28 percent, 
     in Warren County as Gore received.
       In support of his assertion that there was no wrongdoing in 
     Warren County, Secretary Blackwell has referred to a 
     Democratic election observer in Warren County, Jeff Ruppert, 
     who has said he observed nothing inappropriate at the County 
     administration building. While we have no reason to doubt Mr. 
     Ruppert's truthful account of what he actually observed, a 
     complete review of his statements shows numerous problems at 
     the building. At the outset, Mr. Ruppert acknowledges that he 
     was subject to the lockout and had to present identification 
     to even be admitted to the building. Once he gained 
     admission, Mr. Ruppert said he did ``have concerns over how 
     provisional ballots were handled at polling places--which he 
     said seemed to be inconsistent.'' He also points to a number 
     of areas he observed that were centers of activity (ballots 
     being transferred from vehicles, precinct captains 
     accompanying ballots in elevators, and ballots being stored), 
     but it clearly would have been impossible for Mr. Ruppert to 
     observe all of these activities at the same time. Finally, 
     considering that he left before the ballot count was 
     completed, it is inaccurate to state with certainty that 
     there were no problems in Warren County.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Given the total lack of explanation by Mr. Blackwell or 
     Warren County officials, it is not implausible to assume that 
     someone is hiding something. We do not know whether what 
     happened is simply a miscommunication or mix up, where an 
     election official misunderstood an FBI directive. If that 
     were the case, it would seem to be an easy matter to dispel 
     the confusion surrounding this episode. Given that no such 
     explanation has been forthcoming and given the statistical 
     anomalies in the Warren County results, it is impossible to 
     rule out the possibility that some sort of manipulation of 
     the tallies occurred on election night in the locked down 
     facility. The disclosure that the decision to lock down the 
     facility the Thursday before the election, rather than on 
     election day would suggest the lockdown was a political 
     decision, not a true security risk. If that was the case, it 
     would be a violation of the constitutional guarantees of 
     equal protection and due process, the Voting Rights Act, and 
     Ohio right to vote. We believe it is the statutory duty for 
     the Secretary of State to investigate irregularities of this 
     nature.

       Mahoning County--Innumerable Flipped Votes and Extra Votes

                                 Facts

       We have received numerous reports of transfers of votes for 
     Senator Kerry to votes for President Bush. Specifically, in 
     Youngstown, the Washington Post reported that their 
     investigation revealed 25 electronic machines transferred an 
     unknown number of Kerry votes to the Bush column. Jeanne 
     White, a veteran voter and manager at the Buckeye Review, an 
     African American newspaper, stepped into the booth, pushed 
     the button for Kerry--and watched her vote jump to the Bush 
     column. ``I saw what happened; I started screaming: `They're 
     cheating again and they're starting early!' '' The Election 
     Protection Coalition also confirmed

[[Page H96]]

     these voting ``glitches'' noting that a ``voter reported 
     `Every time I tried to vote for the Democratic Party 
     Presidential vote the machine went blank. I had to keep 
     trying, it took 5 times.' ''
       The voting machine in Youngstown experienced what election 
     officials called ``calibration problems.'' Thomas McCabe, 
     Deputy Director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, 
     stated that the problem ``happens every election'' and 
     ``[i]t's something we have to live with and we can fix it.''
       There is also information, still being investigated, that 
     in several precincts, there were more votes counted by 
     machine than signatures in poll books (which includes 
     absentee voters). This would mean that more people voted by 
     machine at a precinct than actually appeared at that 
     location. For example, in CMP 4C Precinct, there were 279 
     signatures and 280 machine votes. In BLV 1 Precinct, there 
     were 396 signatures but 398 machine votes. In AUS 12 
     Precinct, there were 372 signatures but 376 machine votes. In 
     POT 1 Precinct, there were 479 signatures but 482 machine 
     votes, and in YGN 6F Precinct, there were 270 signatures but 
     273 machine votes. It would appear from these numbers that 
     the machines counted more votes than voters.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Evidence strongly suggests many individuals voting in 
     Mahoning County for Senator Kerry had their votes recorded 
     for President Bush. Due to lack of cooperation from Secretary 
     of State Blackwell, we have not been able to ascertain the 
     number of votes that were impacted or whether the machines 
     malfunctioned due to intentional manipulation or error. This 
     determination would help us determine if the Voting Rights 
     Act was also violated. Ascertaining the precise cause and 
     culprit could help ensure that the error does not occur in 
     the future. Secretary of State Blackwell's apparent failure 
     to initiate any investigation into this serious computer 
     error would seem inconsistent with his statutory duty to 
     review these matters.

      Butler County--The Strange Case of the Downballot Candidate 
                Outperforming the Presidential Candidate

       In Butler County, a Democratic candidate for State Supreme 
     Court, C. Ellen Connally, received 59,532 votes. In contrast, 
     the Kerry-Edwards ticket received only 54,185 votes, 5,000 
     less than the State Supreme Court candidate. Additionally, 
     the victorious Republican candidate for State Supreme Court 
     received approximately 40,000 less votes than the Bush-Cheney 
     ticket. Further, Connally received 10,000 or more votes in 
     excess of Kerry's total number of votes in five counties and 
     5,000 more votes in excess of Kerry's total in ten others.
       According to media reports of Ohio judicial races, 
     Republican judicial candidates were ``awash in cash,'' with 
     more than $1.4 million in campaign funding, as well as 
     additional independent expenditures made by the Ohio Chamber 
     of Commerce.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       It appears implausible that 5,000 voters waited in line to 
     cast votes for an underfunded Democratic Supreme Court 
     candidate and then declined to cast a vote for the most well-
     funded Democratic Presidential campaign in history. We have 
     been able to ascertain no answer to the question of how an 
     underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate could 
     receive such a disproportionately large number of votes in 
     Butler County over the Kerry Edwards ticket. This raises the 
     possibility that thousands votes for Senator Kerry were lost, 
     either through manipulation or mistake. The loss of these 
     votes would likely violate constitutional protections of 
     equal protection and due process; if manipulation is 
     involved, that would also violate the Voting Rights Act and 
     Ohio election law. This anomaly calls for an investigation, 
     which Mr. Blackwell has failed to initiate.

       Cuyahoga County--Palm Beach County for Pat Buchanan-Redux?

                                 Facts

       It has been well documented that a flawed Palm Beach County 
     ballot design in the 2000 Florida Presidential election may 
     well have cost Al Gore thousands of votes, by misrecording 
     such votes as votes for Pat Buchanan. A similar problem may 
     well have occurred in Cleveland in 2004.
       Precincts in Cleveland have reported an incredibly high 
     number of votes for third party candidates who have 
     historically received only a handful of votes from these 
     urban areas. For example, precinct 4F in the 4th Ward cast 
     290 votes for Kerry, 21 for Bush, and 215 for Constitution 
     Party candidate Michael Peroutka. In 2000, the same precinct 
     cast less than 8 voters for all third party candidates 
     combined. This pattern is found in at least 10 
     precincts throughout Cleveland in 2004, awarding hundreds 
     of unlikely votes to the third party candidate. Notably, 
     these precincts share more than a strong Democratic 
     history; they share the use of a punch card ballot. This 
     problem was created by the combination of polling sites 
     for multiple precincts, coupled with incorrect information 
     provided by poll workers.
       In Cuyahoga County, each precinct rotates candidate ballot 
     position. Therefore, each ballot must go into a machine 
     calibrated for its own precinct in order for the voter's 
     intent to be counted. In these anomalous precincts, ballots 
     were fed into the wrong machine, switching Kerry votes into 
     third party votes. This was done on the advice of poll 
     workers who told voters that they could insert their ballots 
     into any open machine--and machines were not clearly marked 
     indicating that they would work only for their designated 
     precinct.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       It appears that hundreds, if not thousands, of votes 
     intended to be cast for Senator Kerry were recorded as being 
     for a third party candidate. At this point it is unclear 
     whether these voting errors resulted from worker negligence 
     and error or intentional manipulation. While Cuyahoga County 
     election official Michael Vu said he would investigate, there 
     has been no further explanation about what will be done to 
     remedy this situation, and Secretary of State Blackwell has 
     refused to cooperate in our investigation or pursue his own 
     inquiry. In any event, those voters whose votes were not 
     properly counted suffered a violation of their constitutional 
     protections of equal protection and due process; if 
     intentional manipulation is involved, this would also 
     implicate the Voting Rights Act and Ohio election law.

   Franklin County (Gahana)--How does a computer give George W. Bush 
                       nearly 4,000 extra votes?

                                 Facts

       On election day, a computerized voting machine in ward 1B 
     in the Gahana precinct of Franklin County recorded a total of 
     4,258 votes for President Bush and 260 votes for Democratic 
     challenger John Kerry. However, there are only 800 registered 
     voters in that Gahana precinct, and only 638 people cast 
     votes at the New Life Church polling site. It has since been 
     discovered that a computer glitch resulted in the recording 
     of 3,893 extra votes for President George W. Bush--the 
     numbers were adjusted to show President Bush's true vote 
     count at 365 votes and Senator Kerry's at 260 votes.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       At this point it is unclear whether the computer glitch was 
     intentional or not, as we have received no cooperation from 
     Secretary Blackwell or other authorities in resolving the 
     question. In order to resolve this issue for future 
     elections, it must be determined how it was initially 
     discovered that such a computer glitch did and could occur 
     and what procedures were employed to alert other counties 
     upon the discovery of the malfunction. Further, a 
     determination should be made as to whether we can be 
     absolutely certain that this particular malfunction did not 
     occur in other counties in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential 
     election, and what actions have been taken to ensure that 
     this type of malfunction does not happen in the future.

 Miami County--Where did nearly 20,000 extra votes for George W. Bush 
                               come from?

                                 Facts

       In Miami County, voter turnout was a highly suspect and 
     improbable 98.55 percent. With 100% of the precincts 
     reporting on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, President Bush 
     received 20,807 votes, or 65.80% of the vote, and Senator 
     Kerry received 10,724 votes, or 33.92% of the vote. Thus, 
     Miami reported a total of 31,620 voters. Inexplicably, nearly 
     19,000 new ballots were added after all precincts reported, 
     boosting President Bush's vote count to 33,039, or 65.77%, 
     while Senator Kerry's vote percentage stayed exactly the same 
     to three one-hundredths of a percentage point at 33.92 
     percent. Roger Kearney of Rhombus Technologies, Ltd., the 
     reporting company responsible for vote results of Miami 
     County, stated that the problem was not with his reporting 
     and that the additional 19,000 votes were added before 100% 
     of the precincts were in.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Mr. Kearney's statement does not explain how the vote count 
     could change for President Bush, but not for Senator Kerry, 
     after 19,000 new votes were added to the roster. Thus, we are 
     primarily concerned with identifying a valid explanation for 
     the statistical anomaly that showed virtually identical 
     ratios after the final 20-40% of the votes were counted. 
     Specifically, we have received no explanation as to how the 
     vote count in this particular county could have changed for 
     President Bush, but not for Senator Kerry,

[[Page H97]]

     after 19,000 new votes were added to the roster. The vote 
     results in Miami constitute yet another significant anomaly 
     in the tens of thousands range without any explanation or 
     investigation by Secretary of State Blackwell, leading us to 
     conclude that there is likely some vote error or vote 
     manipulation. This could constitute a violation of 
     constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process 
     and, if intentional, would likely violate the Voting Rights 
     Act and Ohio election law.

        Perry County--Discrepancy in Number of Votes and Voters

                                 Facts

       The House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff has received 
     information indicating discrepancies in vote tabulations in 
     Perry County. Similar discrepancies have been found in other 
     counties. For example, in Trumbull County there are 
     apparently more absentee votes than absentee voters according 
     to a recent study. For example, the sign-in book for the 
     Reading S precinct indicates that approximately 360 voters 
     cast ballots in that precinct. In the same precinct, the 
     sign-in book indicates that there were 33 absentee votes 
     cast. In sum, this would appear to mean that fewer than 400 
     total votes were cast in that precinct. Yet, the precinct's 
     official tallies indicate that 489 votes were cast. In 
     addition, some voters' names have two ballot stub numbers 
     listed next to their entries, creating the appearance that 
     voters were allowed to cast more than one ballot.
       In another precinct in Perry County, W Lexington G AB, 350 
     voters are registered according to the County's initial 
     tallies. Yet, 434 voters cast ballots. As the tallies 
     indicate, this would be an impossible 124% voter turnout. The 
     breakdown on election night was initially reported to be 174 
     votes for Bush, and 246 votes for Kerry. We are advised that 
     the Perry County Board of Elections has since issued a 
     correction claiming that, due to a computer error, some votes 
     were counted twice. We are advised that the new tallies state 
     that only 224 people voted, and the tally is 90 votes for 
     Bush and 127 votes for Kerry. This would make it appear that 
     virtually every ballot was counted twice, which seems 
     improbable.
       In Madison Township, Precinct AAS, a review of the poll 
     books shows that 481 people signed in to vote on election 
     day, yet the Perry County Board of Elections is reporting 
     that 493 votes were cast in that precinct, a difference of 13 
     votes. The same discrepancy appears with respect to Monroe 
     Township AAV. The poll books show that 384 people signed in 
     on election day to vote, while the Perry County Board of 
     Elections reports that 393 votes were cast, a difference of 9 
     votes.
       We have also received information that in at least three 
     precincts, Pike West AAY, New Lexington I AB, and Redfield 
     AAC, more signatures appear in the sign-in books than votes 
     cast. This would indicate that votes may have been thrown 
     out.
       In Perry County, there appears to be an extraordinarily 
     high level of 91% voter registration; yet, a substantial 
     number of these voters have never voted and have no signature 
     on file. Of the voters that are registered in Perry County, 
     an extraordinarily large number of voters are listed as 
     having registered in 1977, a year in which there were no 
     federal elections. Of these, an exceptional number are listed 
     as having registered on the exact same day: in total, 3,100 
     voters apparently registered in Perry County on November 8, 
     1977.
       In addition, according to a Democratic staff count of the 
     poll books, there are approximately 751 registered voters in 
     Madison Township AAS, while the Perry County Board of 
     Elections reports that there are 850 registered voters in 
     that township.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Clearly, there is an unexplained discrepancy between the 
     actual vote tallies and the number of registered voters in 
     various precincts as well as other statistical anomalies in 
     the County. Given the lack of any explanation to date, and an 
     absence of willingness by Secretary Blackwell or any other 
     authorities to explain or investigate these irregularities, 
     it is not inconceivable that some sort of vote tampering has 
     occurred. If so, that would likely constitute a denial of the 
     constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due 
     process, the Voting Rights Act, and Ohio election law.
       Republicans in the State of Washington are currently citing 
     such ``mystery voters'' as evidence of fraud. The State 
     Republican Chairman has commented, ``people ask me what fraud 
     would look like? It would look like this.
     2. Myriad Other Problems and Irregularities
       We learned of literally thousands upon thousands of 
     additional irregularities in Ohio. As a matter of fact, the 
     Election Protection Commission has testified that to date, 
     there have been over 3,300 incidents of voting irregularities 
     entered for Ohio alone. The following is a brief highlight of 
     some of the more egregious irregularities we have learned of 
     during the course of our investigation:
     a. Intimidation and Misinformation

                                 Facts

       In the course of our hearings we learned:
       The NAACP testified that it received over 200 calls 
     regarding incidents of suspected voter intimidation or 
     unusual election related activities, particularly actions 
     taken by challengers who intimidated poll workers and voters. 
     Other specific incidents involved a caller who reported that 
     someone was going door-to-door telling people they were not 
     registered to vote. A voter in Franklin County received 
     information in the mail identified as being from the state 
     that said he would have to vote by provisional ballot because 
     he had moved; in fact, the voter had not moved and had lived 
     at the address for 10-15 years. One polling place worker was 
     only asking African American voters for their address. A new 
     voter was told that there were vote challengers at her 
     precinct. When she was voting, she was confused by the punch 
     cards. She was afraid to ask poll workers for help for fear 
     that she would be challenged. Vote challengers were demanding 
     that voters provide ID, leading many people to leave. This 
     egregious behavior should be curtailed by the state.
       In Franklin County, a worker at the Holiday Inn observed a 
     team of 25 people who called themselves the ``Texas Strike 
     Force'' using payphones to make intimidating calls to likely 
     voters, targeting people recently in the prison system. The 
     ``Texas Strike Force'' members paid their way to Ohio, but 
     their hotel accommodations were paid for by the Ohio 
     Republican Party, whose headquarters is across the street. 
     The hotel worker heard one caller threaten a likely voter 
     with being reported to the FBI and returning to jail if he 
     voted. Another hotel worker called the police, who came but 
     did nothing.
       Phone calls incorrectly informed voters that their polling 
     place had changed.
       The Cleveland Plain Dealer found that several Lake County 
     residents received an official-looking letter on Board of 
     Elections letterhead informing them that their polling place 
     had changed or that they were not properly registered to 
     vote.
       On election day, a fake voter bulletin from Franklin County 
     Board of Elections was posted at polling locations, and 
     fliers were distributed in the inner city, telling 
     Republicans to vote on Tuesday and Democrats to vote on 
     Wednesday due to unexpected heavy voter registration.
       In Cleveland, the Washington Post reported that unknown 
     volunteers began showing up at voters' doors illegally 
     offering to collect and deliver complete absentee ballots to 
     the election office.
       The Election Protection Coalition testified that in 
     Franklin County, voters received fliers informing them that 
     they could cast a ballot on November 3.
       In Franklin County there were reports that about a dozen 
     voters were contacted by someone claiming to be from the 
     county board of elections, telling them their voting location 
     was changed.
       ``Door-hangers'' telling African-American voters to go to 
     the wrong precinct were distributed.

                                Analysis

       The use of intimidation and misinformation in Ohio on 
     election day was widespread and pervasive and clearly 
     suppressed the vote. The NAACP testified that they received 
     over 200 complaints of such acts in Ohio, so it is likely the 
     actual number of incidents ranged in the thousands, if not 
     higher. It is difficult to estimate how many of these 
     incidents actually resulted in lost votes.
       These incidents of voter intimidation and misinformation 
     clearly violate the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act 
     of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and the Ohio right to 
     vote. The fact that Secretary Blackwell did not initiate a 
     single investigation into these many serious allegations may 
     represent a violation of his statutory duty to investigate 
     election irregularities. Cases of intimidation and 
     misinformation such as we have seen in Ohio appear to have 
     become a regular feature of our election landscape and would 
     appear to warrant the development of a stronger investigative 
     and law enforcement system than we have at present, at both 
     the state and federal levels.
     b. Machine Irregularities

                                 Facts

       In the course of our hearings we learned:
       In Auglaize County, there were voting machine errors. In a 
     letter dated October 21, 2004, Ken Nuss, former deputy 
     director of the County Board of Elections, claimed that Joe 
     McGinnis, a former employee of ES&S, the company that 
     provides the voting systems in Auglaize County, had access to 
     and used the main computer that is used to create the ballot 
     and compile election results. Mr. McGinnis's access to and 
     use of the main computer was a violation of county board of 
     election protocol. After calling attention to this 
     irregularity in the voting system, Mr. Nuss was suspended and 
     then resigned.
       In Cuyahoga County and Franklin County, there were voting 
     machine errors with respect to absentee ballots. The arrows 
     on the absentee ballots did not align with the correct punch 
     hole. This likely led to voters casting a vote for a 
     candidate other than the candidate they intended to support.
       In Mahoning County, one precinct in Youngstown recorded a 
     negative 25 million votes.
       In Mercer County, one voting machine showed that 289 people 
     cast punch card ballots, but only 51 votes were recorded for 
     president. The county's website appeared to

[[Page H98]]

     show a similar anomaly, reporting that 51,818 people cast 
     ballots but only 47,768 ballots were recorded in the 
     presidential race, including 61 write-ins, meaning that 
     approximately 4,000 votes, or nearly 7%, were not counted for 
     a presidential candidate.
       At our Washington, D.C. hearing, investigative journalist 
     Bob Fitrakis highlighted malfunctions in Lucas County: ``When 
     the machines in Lucas County, which is a heavily Democratic 
     county, when they are locked in the principal's office and 
     nobody may vote at that site; when they're going wrong all 
     day, and the [Lucas County Election Director Paula Hicks-
     Hudson] admits the test failed prior to that, and the 
     software is provided, of course, by Diebold, whose CEO, 
     Walden O'Dell, is a member of President Bush's Pioneer and 
     Ranger team, has visited the Crawford ranch and wrote a 
     letter promising to deliver the electoral votes of Ohio, one 
     has to be somewhat suspect.
       In Hamilton County, the Washington Post learned many 
     absentee ballots did not include Kerry's name because workers 
     accidentally removed Kerry when removing Ralph Nader's name 
     from the ballots.

                                Analysis

       There is no doubt that there were a number of machine 
     irregularities and glitches in the election, beyond the major 
     discrepancies highlighted earlier in our report However, it 
     is difficult for us to quantify the number of votes that were 
     altered or affected by these irregularities.
       Given the lack of cooperation we have received from the 
     Secretary of State's office, it is difficult for us to 
     ascertain whether the glitches were the result of mistake, 
     negligence, or intentional misconduct. Depending on the type 
     of misconduct involved, these errors may constitute 
     violations of the Voting Rights Act, Equal Protection and 
     Due Process, and Ohio's right to vote. Morever, it would 
     appear that Secretary Blackwell's apparent failure to 
     follow-up on these machine errors by way of an 
     investigation would violate his duty to investigate 
     election law irregularities.
       The role of voting machines and computers in our election 
     represents an increasingly serious issue in our democracy. 
     Our concerns are exacerbated by the fact that there are very 
     few companies who manufacture and operate voting machines, 
     and they tend to be controlled by executives who donate 
     largely, if not exclusively, to the Republican Party and 
     Republican candidates. Issues such as the need for verifiable 
     paper trails and greater accountability all warrant further 
     investigation and possibly legislation.
     c. Registration Irregularities and Official Misconduct and 
         Errors

                                 Facts

       In the course of our hearings we learned:
       A Washington Post investigation found that many longtime 
     voters discovered their registrations had been purged.
       Numerous voters were incorrectly listed on roster as 
     felons, and thus not allowed to vote.
       The NAACP testified to receiving over 1,000 calls related 
     to voter registration issues, generally from individuals who 
     were not on the voter rolls even though they had voted in 
     previous elections, individuals with questions on how to 
     register, and individuals with concerns about not receiving a 
     voter registration card.
       The Election Protection Coalition found that ``Individuals 
     frequently reported having `disappeared' from the voter rolls 
     . . . Many individuals expressed concerns that they had 
     registered but never received confirmation or were not listed 
     on the voter rolls at the precincts.''
       At our Columbus, Ohio hearing, several documented problems 
     in Cuyahoga County were brought to our attention by the 
     Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition (GCVRC). GCVRC 
     registered approximately 10,000 voters before the 2004 
     elections, yet when they tracked the registrations, 3.5% were 
     either not entered at all or entered incorrectly, completely 
     disenfranchising the applicants. While the board of Cuyahoga 
     County was alerted to this problem as early as September, no 
     corrective measures were taken. Projected out county-wide, 
     over 10,000 people were likely not correctly registered and 
     lost their right to vote. These registration problems led to 
     provisional ballots being thrown out.
       The NAACP reported that many voters complained they were 
     asked to show ID when they thought it was unnecessary or were 
     unable to vote because they lacked proper ID. At several 
     locations in Cuyahoga County, all voters were being asked for 
     ID, not just new voters. A voter called to say that all 
     voters are being asked for ID. The poll workers were checking 
     the address of the voter against the address on the 
     registration and if they did not match, the voter was being 
     turned away, often without casting a provisional ballot. In 
     still another case, a voter was challenged because the 
     address on the ID did not match the registration address (but 
     was in the same precinct).
       There were numerous cases where election workers sent 
     voters to the wrong precinct.
       A voter stated that a polling place in Cleveland ran out of 
     ballots, and put in an emergency request for ballots but did 
     not receive them.
       The Associated Press reported that officials ticketed 
     lawfully parked cars at the polling stations.
       Election protection volunteers received complaints about 
     provisional ballots from voters, many of whom reported being 
     denied the opportunity to vote by provisional ballot. Some 
     polling places either ran out of provisional ballots or never 
     had any at their location. For example: a voter registered to 
     vote in September. When she went to the polling place in 
     Cuyahoga County on Election Day, they said she was not 
     registered and they refused to give her a provisional ballot.
       In Franklin County, some voters, who were in line to vote, 
     but outside of the doors to the polling place, were sent home 
     at 7:30 p.m. when the polls closed.

                                Analysis

       Just as we witnessed in the Florida presidential debacle 
     four years ago, improper purging and other errors by election 
     officials represent a very serious problem and have a 
     particularly negative impact on minority voters. The fact 
     that the Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition 
     projects that in Cuyahoga County alone over 10,000 Ohio 
     citizens lost their right to vote as a result of official 
     registration errors and that the NAACP received more than 
     1,000 purging complaints on election day indicate that the 
     overall number of voters who may have been disenfranchised as 
     a result of official mistakes and wrongful purging is in the 
     scores of thousands, if not more. Congressional passage of 
     HAVA's provisional ballot requirement was intended to 
     mitigate errors such as this, but Secretary Blackwell's 
     unduly narrow interpretation of this requirement, as well as 
     weak rules for counting and checking provisional ballots, 
     have made it far less likely that individuals whose 
     registration was wrongfully purged or never entered would be 
     able to receive a provisional ballot and have it counted.
       Given the information we have, it is unclear whether 
     improper purging and other registration errors which appear 
     so prevalent in Ohio were the result of human mistake or 
     intentional misconduct. If it was intentional, a strong case 
     can be made that it violated the Voting Rights Act, Equal 
     Protection, Due Process, possibly the National Voter 
     Registration Act, as well as Ohio's right to vote law. The 
     Secretary of State's failure to investigate these 
     registration errors and other irregularities may also violate 
     his duties to do so under Ohio law.
       HAVA funds were supposed to be used to implement a fairer 
     and more efficient registration system statewide. 
     Unfortunately, full funding has been delayed, and most 
     states, including Ohio, have received waivers from this 
     federal requirement.
     3. General Problems
     a. Spoiled Ballots--Hanging Chads Again?

                                 Facts

       Ohio had a significant number of spoiled votes--
     approximately 93,000. These are ballots in which either no 
     presidential vote was recorded or multiple votes were 
     indicated and therefore ignored. For example, someone may not 
     have filled in his presidential choice dark enough for an 
     optical scan machine to read, but did fill it in clearly 
     enough to be a valid selection in a hand count. In addition, 
     a punch card voter may not have punched completely through 
     his choice, leaving a ``chad'' attached that could not be 
     read by the tabulator. However, that same chad could be read 
     in a hand count because Ohio law provides that hanging chads 
     may be considered valid votes as long as two corners are 
     detached.
       According to a New York Times investigation, ``the problem 
     [with spoiled ballots] was pronounced in minority areas, 
     typically Kerry strongholds. In Cleveland ZIP codes where at 
     least 85% of the population is black, precinct results show 
     that one in 31 ballots registered no vote for president, more 
     than twice the rate of largely white ZIP codes where one in 
     75 registered no vote for president. Election officials say 
     that nearly 77,000 of the 96,000 [spoiled] ballots were punch 
     cards.''
       One of the principal purposes of the recount in Ohio was to 
     ascertain the intent of these 93,000 ballots. However, by 
     manipulation or otherwise every county in Ohio but Coshocton 
     County avoided completing a full hand recount. This means 
     that the vast majority of these spoiled ballots will never be 
     reviewed.
       The problem was particularly acute in two precincts in 
     Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of over 25% 
     each--accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who stood in line 
     to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for president. 
     This is in stark contrast to the 2% of undervoting county-
     wide. Disturbingly, predominately Democratic precincts had 
     75% more undervotes than those that were predominately 
     Republican.
       Secretary of State Blackwell has refused to answer any of 
     the questions concerning these matters posed to him by 
     Ranking Member Conyers and 11 other Members of the Judiciary 
     Committee on December 2, 2004.

                                Analysis

       Given the high level of interest in the presidential 
     election in 2004, it is logical to assume that many of the 
     persons casting spoiled ballots intended to cast a vote for 
     president, so this irregularity alone could account for tens 
     of thousands of disenfranchised votes, with a 
     disproportionate amount being minority voters and Kerry 
     voters. One of the reasons Ohio has such a large number of 
     ballots is that the state relies so heavily on the outdated 
     and antiquated punch card system that proved to

[[Page H99]]

     be error prone in Florida. Sixty-eight of the 88 Ohio 
     counties still rely on the outdated punch card machines. 
     Thus, at least in the critical swing state of Ohio the 
     promise of HAVA funding to help states acquire better 
     equipment so that more votes could count has not been met.
       With regard to the severe undercount voting figures in 
     Montgomery County, we have not received any cooperation from 
     Secretary Blackwell in ascertaining how this occurred. This 
     may have been due to some equipment or poll worker error or, 
     in the worst case, manipulation.
     b. Exit Polls Bolster Claims of Irregularities and Fraud

                                 Facts

       An exit poll serves as a predictor of the final vote 
     results in an election. It is conducted by interviewing 
     voters about their vote selections as they are leaving the 
     polls. The process for conducting reliable exit polls was 
     largely created in 1967 by CBS News pollster and 
     statistician, Warren Mitofsky, now known as ``a world 
     recognized expert in exit polling in particular and public 
     opinion polling in general.'' Former Mexican President Carlos 
     Salinas credited Mr. Mitofsky's work for contributing to the 
     prevention of fraud and an increase in credibility in the 
     1994 election in Mexico.
       The exit poll data taken on November 2, 2004, was compiled 
     by two well-respected firms--Mitofsky International and 
     Edison Media Research. Joseph Lenski, who conducted the exit 
     polls for Edison Media Research, trained in the field of exit 
     polling under Mr. Mitofsky before starting his own firm. They 
     conducted in 2004 exit polls under a contract from the 
     National Election Pool (NEP), a consortium of six news and 
     media organizations: the Associated Press, ABC, CNN, CBS, 
     NBC, and Fox.
       In this year's election, the National Election Pool 
     conducted two types of exit polls: 73,000 voters were 
     interviewed in statewide polls, and an additional 13,000 
     voters were interviewed for a national poll. The national 
     poll's sample size was approximately six times larger than 
     the sample normally used in high quality pre-election 
     national polls. This poll size would normally yield a very 
     small margin of error and would be very accurate. 
     Furthermore, such a poll would normally result in a close 
     congruence between exit poll and official results. The sample 
     size for Ohio was 1,963 voters, which is quite large for 
     statistical purposes and equivalent to the 2,000 person norm 
     for most national polls. In addition, this year's poll 
     numbers were designed to account for absentee votes after a 
     large number of absentee votes contributed to the inaccurate 
     projections of the Florida race in 2000. This year, Mitofsky 
     and Edison began telephone surveys in key states before the 
     election to screen for absentee voters and create an accurate 
     estimate of their votes.
       While exit pollsters caution against using their results to 
     predict election results, exit polls can be extremely 
     accurate, with only small variations from the official 
     outcomes in numerous elections. For example, in the three 
     most recent national elections in Germany, exit polls 
     differed from the final official vote counts by an average of 
     only 0.26%. Their results have proven to be very accurate; 
     correctly predicting the winner with no evidence of 
     systematic skew of the data. United States exit polls have 
     also been precise. Brigham Young University students' exit 
     poll results for Utah in this election indicated 70.8% for 
     Bush and 26.5% for Kerry.
       The official results were 71.1 % for Bush and 26.4% for 
     Kerry.
       In the Ohio election for 2004, early exit polls that were 
     released just after noon on November 2 showed that Senator 
     Kerry was leading President Bush by three percentage points. 
     Shortly after midnight on November 3, exit poll data 
     continued to indicate that 52.1% of Ohio voters selected 
     Senator Kerry and 47.9% selected President Bush. These 
     numbers, however, differed greatly from the final results of 
     the election; in the official results, President Bush led 
     Senator Kerry by 2.5 percentage points in Ohio.
       National poll data showed a similar shift from a clear 
     advantage for Senator Kerry on Election Day to a victory for 
     President Bush on the day after the election. Data that was 
     provided by Edison/Mitofsky to the National Election Pool 
     members at 4 p.m. on Election Day showed Senator Kerry 
     leading 51% to 48%. These percentages held the same in the 
     data released at 7:30 p.m. that day. By the time Senator 
     Kerry conceded the election on Wednesday, November 3, the 
     Edison/Mitofsky poll numbers had been aligned with reported 
     vote counts. For the first time the poll numbers showed an 
     advantage for President Bush with 51% to Senator Kerry's 48%.
       On December 3, 2004, Rep. Conyers requested the raw exit 
     poll data from Mitofsky International. Mr. Mitofsky replied 
     ``The data are proprietary information gathered and held for 
     the benefit of those news organizations, and I am not at 
     liberty to release them.'' On December 21, 2004, as a follow-
     up, Rep. Conyers requested the data directly from the news 
     wire and television companies that contracted with Mr. 
     Mitofsky and Mr. Edison for the data. Though the Congressman 
     has not received a response to his letter, Edie Emery, a 
     spokesperson for the NEP and a CNN employee, said the exit 
     poll data was still being analyzed and that the NEP's board 
     would decide how to release a full report in early 2005. ``To 
     release any information now would be incomplete,'' she said. 
     Furthermore, Jack Stokes, a spokesperson for the Associated 
     Press said, ``like Congressman Conyers, we believe the 
     American people deserve answers. We want exit polling 
     information to be made public as soon as it is available, as 
     we intended. At this time, the data is still being evaluated 
     for a final report to the National Election Pool.''

                                Analysis

       Clearly something unusual is indicated by the differential 
     between the exit poll information we have obtained and the 
     final vote tallies in Ohio. It is rare, if not unprecedented, 
     for election results to swing so dramatically from the exit 
     poll predictions to the official results. Kerry was predicted 
     to win Ohio by a differential of 4.2 percentage points. The 
     official results showed Bush winning by 2.5 percentage 
     points. The differential between the prediction for Kerry and 
     the winning results for Bush represent a swing of 6.7 
     percentage points. According to University of Pennsylvania 
     Professor Steven Freeman, this ``exit poll discrepancy could 
     not have been due to chance or random error.'' Professor 
     Freeman has further concluded that statistical analysis shows 
     a probability of 1 in 1,000 that the difference 
     between Senator Kerry's share of the exit poll projection 
     and the official count of the vote would be as much as the 
     final 3.4% spread, a virtual impossibility. As a matter of 
     fact, there are broad statistical variations of up to 9 
     percentage points between exit poll data and official 
     results in Ohio and other key states in the 2004 election. 
     In state after state, Senator Kerry's advantage in the 
     exit poll results was lost by sizable margins.
       The discrepancy between the exit polls and the official 
     vote count must be due to an inaccurate poll or an inaccurate 
     vote. Either there was unintentional error in the exit poll 
     or the official vote count, willful manipulation of the exit 
     poll or the official vote count, or other forms of fraud, 
     manipulation or irregularities occurred in the electoral 
     process. Pollsters Mitofsky and Lenski have intimated that 
     their poll numbers deviated from the official results because 
     a disproportionate number of Bush supporters refused to 
     participate in their polls. However, Professor Freeman posits 
     that part of the discrepancy is due to a miscount of the 
     vote.
       As noted above, election polls are generally accurate and 
     reliable. Pollsters are able to categorize their sources of 
     error and develop extensive methodologies to limit those 
     errors with each successive poll. Political scientist Ken 
     Warren noted claims, ``. . . exit polling has become very 
     sophisticated and reliable, not only because pollsters have 
     embraced sound survey research techniques, but because they 
     have learned through experience to make valid critical 
     adjustment.'' In fact, prominent survey researchers, 
     political scientists and journalists ``concur that exit polls 
     are by far the most reliable'' polls.
       Unfortunately, throughout American history various devices, 
     schemes and legal structures have been used to shape the 
     outcome of an election. Elections at every level of 
     government have been skewed by tactics that deny voting 
     rights, establish poll taxes, lose voter registrations, 
     disqualify voters and disqualify ballots to ensure a certain 
     outcome. The Florida election in 2000 provides ample evidence 
     that our system is rife with election irregularites that have 
     profound impacts on our election outcomes.
       Elections are politically controlled, with extreme 
     pressures for certain outcomes. In our system, victory can 
     become more important than an accurate vote count. While 
     pollsters are privately hired based on their accuracy and 
     timely results, candidates and campaigns are primarily 
     concerned with winning. When key election officials are also 
     key campaign officials, as was the case in Florida in 2000 
     and in Ohio in 2004, the goal of providing an accurate vote 
     tally gets into the murky waters of winning the political 
     contest. But pollsters lose their legitimacy, and thus future 
     contracts, if they are not accurate. Thus, `` the systemic 
     pressures on polling accuracy are much greater than they are 
     on vote count accuracy.
       While pollsters use feedback and detailed analysis to 
     improve their results, are motivated towards accuracy, and 
     face market competition if they fail to provide thorough, 
     accurate and timely exit poll results, ``there is little 
     competition, feedback and motivation for accuracy in election 
     processing.'' Thus we do not dismiss these exit poll results, 
     and their discrepancy with the official vote counts, as 
     others might do. We believe they provide important evidence 
     that something was amiss in the Ohio election.
       Full, accurate and reliable statistical analysis cannot be 
     completed until the raw data from the exit polls is released. 
     The limited available ``uncalibrated'' or raw data indicates 
     the broad discrepancies that are discussed above. However, it 
     appears that the National Election Pool data was 
     ``calibrated'' or corrected after the official results were 
     publicized. It may be standard practice to recalibrate poll 
     results to reflect the actual outcome ``on the assumption 
     that the [official] count is correct, and that any 
     discrepancies must have been due to imbalanced representation 
     in their samples or some other polling error.'' Thus data 
     that was publicized on Election Day showing these large 
     discrepancies is no longer publicly available; only the 
     recalibrated numbers are available on the Internet. An 
     independent, detailed analysis of the early exit poll data 
     is necessary to verify the actual outcome of the vote in 
     Ohio, and thus restore complete legitimacy to this 
     election. In any event, the discrepancies that we are

[[Page H100]]

     able to identify place the entire Ohio election results 
     under a cloud of uncertainty.
     C. Post-Election
     1. Confusion in Counting Provisional Ballots

                                 Facts

       Secretary Blackwell's failure to issue standards for the 
     counting of provisional ballots led to a chaotic and 
     confusing result such that each of Ohio's 88 counties could 
     count legal ballots differently or not at all. In turn, this 
     fostered a situation where subsequent to the election, 
     Cuyahoga County mandated that provisional ballots in yellow 
     packets must be ``rejected'' if there is no ``date of birth'' 
     on the packet. This ruling was issued despite the fact that 
     the original ``Provisional Verification Procedure'' from 
     Cuyahoga County stated, ``Date of birth is not mandatory and 
     should not reject a provisional ballot'' and simply required 
     that the voter's name, address and a signature match the 
     signature in the county's database. The People for the 
     American Way Foundation sought a legal ruling ordering 
     Secretary Blackwell and the county elections board to compare 
     paper registration and electronic registration records. 
     People For the American Way further asked the Board to notify 
     each voter whose ballot was invalidated and how the 
     invalidation could be challenged. Neither of these actions 
     were taken.
       In another case, while the state directed counties to 
     ensure voters had been registered during the thirty days 
     before the election, one college student who had been 
     registered since 2000 and was living away from home was 
     denied a provisional ballot.

                                Analysis

       Mr. Blackwell's failure to articulate clear and consistent 
     standards for the counting of provisional ballots likely 
     resulted in the loss of several thousand votes in Cuyahoga 
     County alone, and untold more statewide. This is because the 
     lack of guidance and the ultimate narrow and arbitrary review 
     standards imposed in Cuyahoga County appear to have 
     significantly contributed to the fact that in Cuyahoga 
     County, 8,099 out of 24,472 provisional ballots, or 
     approximately one third, were ruled invalid, the highest 
     proportion in the state. This number is twice as high as the 
     percentage of provisional ballots rejected in 2000.
       These series of events constitute a possible violation of 
     the Voting Rights Act, as not only were legitimate votes 
     apparently thrown out, they undoubtedly had a 
     disproportionate impact on minority voters, concentrated in 
     urban areas such as Cuyahoga County which had the highest 
     shares of the state's provisional ballots. The actions may 
     also violate Ohio's constitutional right to vote.
     2. Justice Delayed is Justice Denied--Recounts were Delayed 
         Because of a Late Declaration of Results

                                 Facts

       Ohio law requires the Secretary of State to provide county 
     boards of elections with directives governing voting 
     procedures, voting machine testing, and vote tallying. Prior 
     to the election, Secretary Blackwell thus issued a directive 
     providing that Ohio boards of elections would have to 
     complete their official canvasses by December 1, almost one 
     month after the date of the 2004 election. The directive 
     further states that ``no recount may be held prior to 
     the official canvass and certification of results,'' so 
     that county boards would have to wait until Secretary 
     Blackwell decided to certify the results before proceeding 
     with recounts.
       Ohio law also sets deadlines for the conduct of recounts. 
     First, applications for statewide recounts must be submitted 
     within five days of the Secretary of State's declaration of 
     results. Second, such recounts must begin within ten days of 
     the recount request. Secretary of State Blackwell gave county 
     boards of election until December 1 to certify their returns 
     and then waited to another five days, until December 6, to 
     certify the results. As a consequence, recounts could not be 
     sought until at least December 11, and were required to begin 
     by December 16. The Green/Libertarian recount began on 
     December 13, 2004. As a result, the recount was pending when 
     the Secretary of State sent certificates to electors on 
     December 7, and before the electoral college met on December 
     13. Because it appeared the Secretary of State had 
     intentionally delayed certification to ensure that the 
     recount could not be completed by these time periods, 11 
     Members of Congress, including Rep. Conyers, wrote to Gov. 
     Taft asking that they delay or treat as provisional the 
     December 13 meeting of the state's presidential electors.
       The counties completed their recounts on December 28, 2004, 
     but due to a variety of irregularities and alleged legal 
     violations in the recount, they remain embroiled in 
     litigation as of the date of this report.

                                Analysis

       The scenario created by Secretary Blackwell effectively 
     precluded recounts from being concluded prior to the December 
     13 meeting of electors. By setting the vote tally deadline so 
     late and then delaying the declaration of results--it took a 
     full 34 days after the November 2 election for the results to 
     be certified--Secretary of State Blackwell insured that the 
     time for completing recounts, therefore, was pushed to after 
     the date of the Electoral College meeting. As a result of 
     this intentional course of conduct, it appears that Mr. 
     Blackwell has ensured that the controversies concerning the 
     appointment of electors could not be resolved by December 7, 
     2004, thereby causing Ohio to lose the benefit of the 
     electoral college safe harbor so that there appointment of 
     electors is not necessarily binding on Congress. In addition, 
     this diminishment of the recount law may violate the voters' 
     right to equal protection and due process, as well as 
     undermine the entire import of Ohio's recount law.
     3. Triad GSI--Using a ``Cheat Sheet'' to Cheat the Voters in 
         Hocking and Other Counties

                                 Facts

       Perhaps the most disturbing irregularity that we have 
     learned of in connection with the recount concerns the 
     activities and operations of Triad GSI, a voting machine 
     company. On December 13, 2004, House Judiciary Committee 
     Democratic-staff met with Ms. Sherole Eaton, Deputy Director 
     of Elections for Hocking County. She explained that on 
     Friday, December 10, 2004, Michael Barbian, Jr., a 
     representative of Triad GSI, unilaterally sought and obtained 
     access to the voting machinery and records in Hocking County, 
     Ohio.
       Ms. Eaton witnessed Mr. Barbian modify the Hocking County 
     computer vote tabulator before the announcement of the Ohio 
     recount. She further witnessed Barbian, upon the announcement 
     that the Hocking County precinct was planned to be the 
     subject of the initial Ohio test recount, make further 
     alterations based on his knowledge of that information. She 
     also has firsthand knowledge that Barbian advised election 
     officials how to manipulate voting machinery to ensure that a 
     preliminary hand recount matched the machine count.
       According to the affidavit, the Triad official sought 
     access to the voting machinery based on the apparent pretext 
     that he wanted to review some ``legal questions'' Ohio voting 
     officials might receive as part of the recount process. At 
     several times during his interaction with Hocking County 
     voting machines, Mr. Barbian telephoned into Triad's offices 
     to obtain programming information relating to the machinery 
     and the precinct in question. It is now known that Triad 
     officials have intervened in other counties in Ohio--Greene 
     and Monroe, and perhaps others.
       In fact, Mr. Barbian himself has admitted to altering 
     tabulating software in Hocking, Lorain, Muskingum, Clark, 
     Harrison and Guernsey counties. Todd Rapp, President of 
     Triad, also has confirmed that these sorts of changes are 
     standard procedure for his company.
       First, during an interview, film maker Lynda Byrket asked 
     Barbian, ``you were just trying to help them so that they 
     wouldn't have to do a full recount of the county, to try to 
     avoid that?'' Mr. Barbian answered, ``Right.'' She further 
     inquired: ``did any of your counties have to do a full 
     recount?'' Mr. Barbian replied, ``Not that I'm aware of.''
       Second, it appears that Mr. Barbian's activities were not 
     the actions of a rogue computer programmer but the official 
     policy of Triad. Rapp explained during a Hocking County Board 
     of Elections meeting:
       ``The purpose was to train people on how to conduct their 
     jobs and to help them identify problems when they conducted 
     the recount. If they could not hand count the ballots 
     correctly, they would know what they needed to look for in 
     that hand count.''
       Barbian noted that he had ``provided [other counties] 
     reports so they could review the information on their own.''
       As one observer asked, ``Why do you feel it was necessary 
     to point out to a team counting ballots the number of 
     overvotes and undervotes when the purpose of the team is to 
     in fact locate those votes and judge them?''
       Barbian's response was, ``. . . it's just human error. The 
     machine count is right . . . We're trying to give them as 
     much information to help them out.''
       In addition, Douglas W. Jones, a computer election expert 
     from the University of Iowa, reviewed the Eaton Affidavit and 
     concluded that it described behavior that was dangerous and 
     unnecessary:
       ``I have reviewed the Affidavit of Sherole L. Eaton (``the 
     Eaton Affidavit''), the Deputy Director of the Hocking County 
     Board of Election, as well as the letter of Congressman John 
     Conyers to Kevin Brock, Special Agent in Charge with the FBI 
     in Cincinnati, Ohio. In light of this information, and given 
     my expertise and research on voting technology issues and the 
     integrity of ballot counting systems, it is my professional 
     opinion that the incident in Hocking County, Ohio, threatens 
     the overall integrity of the recount of the presidential 
     election in Ohio, and threatens the ability of the 
     presidential candidates, their witnesses, and the counter-
     plaintiffs in the above-captioned action, to properly 
     analyze, inspect, and assess the ballots and the related 
     voting data from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. It 
     is my understanding that 41 of Ohio's 88 counties use Triad 
     voting machines. As a result, the incident in Hocking County 
     could compromise the statewide recount, and undermine the 
     public's trust in the credibility and accuracy of the 
     recount.''
       We have received several additional reports of machine 
     irregularities involving several other counties serviced by 
     Triad, including a report that Triad was able to alter 
     election software by remote access:
       In Union County, the hard drive on the vote tabulation 
     machine, a Triad machine, had failed after the election and 
     had been replaced. The old hard drive was returned to

[[Page H101]]

     the Union County Board of Elections in response to a 
     subpoena.
       The Directors of the Board of Elections in both Fulton and 
     Henry County stated that the Triad company had reprogrammed 
     the computer by remote dial-up to count only the presidential 
     votes prior to the start of the recount.
       In Monroe County, the 3% hand-count failed to match the 
     machine count twice. Subsequent runs on that machine did not 
     match each other nor the hand count. The Monroe County Board 
     of Elections summoned a repairman from Triad to bring a new 
     machine and the recount was suspended and reconvened for the 
     following day. On the following day, a new machine was 
     present at the Board of Elections office and the old machine 
     was gone. The Board conducted a test run followed by the 3% 
     hand-counted ballots. The results matched this time and the 
     Board conducted the remainder of the recount by machine.
       In Harrison County, a representative of the Triad company 
     reprogrammed and retested the tabulator machine and software 
     prior to the start of the recount. The Harrison County 
     tabulating computer is connected to a second computer which 
     is linked to the Secretary of State's Office in Columbus. The 
     Triad technician handled all ballots during the machine 
     recount and performed all tabulation functions. The Harrison 
     County Board of Elections kept voted ballots and unused 
     ballots in a room open to direct public access during daytime 
     hours when the courthouse is open. The Board had placed voted 
     ballots in unsealed transfer cases stored in an old wooden 
     cabinet that, at one point, was said to be lockable and, 
     at another point, was said to be unlockable.
       On December 15, 2004, Rep. Conyers forwarded information 
     concerning the irregularities alleged in the Eaton Affidavit 
     to the FBI and local prosecutors in Ohio. He has not received 
     a response to that letter. On December 22, 2004, Rep. Conyers 
     forwarded a series of questions concerning this course of 
     events to the President of Triad GSI and to Mr. Barbian. 
     Counsel for Triad GSI has indicated that a response would be 
     forthcoming later this week or shortly thereafter.

                                Analysis

       Based on the above, including actual admissions and 
     statements by Triad employees, it strongly appears that Triad 
     and its employees engaged in a course of behavior to provide 
     ``cheat sheets'' to those counting the ballots. The cheat 
     sheets told them how many votes they should find for each 
     candidate, and how many over and under votes they should 
     calculate to match the machine count. In that way, they could 
     avoid doing a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state 
     law. If true, this would frustrate the entire purpose of the 
     recount law--to randomly ascertain if the vote counting 
     apparatus is operating fairly and effectively, and if not to 
     conduct a full hand recount. By ensuring that election boards 
     are in a position to conform their test recount results with 
     the election night results, Triad's actions may well have 
     prevented scores of counties from conducting a full and fair 
     recount in compliance with equal protection, due process, and 
     the first amendment.
       In addition, the course of conduct outlined above would 
     appear to violate numerous provisions of federal and state 
     law. As noted above, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1973 provides for 
     criminal penalties for any person who, in any election for 
     federal office, ``knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, 
     or attempts to defraud the residents of a State of a fair and 
     impartially conducted election process, by . . . the 
     procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known 
     by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or 
     fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election 
     is held.'' Section 1974 requires the retention and 
     preservation of all voting records and papers for a period of 
     22 months from the date of a federal election and makes it a 
     felony for any person to ``willfully steal, destroy, conceal, 
     mutilate, or alter'' any such record.
       Ohio law further prohibits election machinery from being 
     serviced, modified, or altered in any way subsequent to an 
     election, unless it is so done in the presence of the full 
     board of elections and other observers. Any handling of 
     ballots for a subsequent recount must be done in the presence 
     of the entire Board and any qualified witnesses. This would 
     seem to operate as a de facto bar against altering voting 
     machines by remote access. Containers in which ballots are 
     kept may not be opened before all of the required 
     participants in are attendance. It is critical to note that 
     the fact that these ``ballots'' were not papers in a box is 
     of no consequence in the inquiry as to whether state and 
     federal laws were violated by Barbian's conduct: Ohio Revised 
     Code defines a ballot as ``the official election presentation 
     of offices and candidates . . . and the means by which votes 
     are recorded.'' Ohio Rev. Code Sec. 3506.01 (B) (West 2004). 
     Therefore, for purposes of Ohio law, electronic records 
     stored in the Board's computer are to be considered 
     ``ballots.'' Triad's interference with the computers and 
     their software would seem to violate these requirements.
       Further, any modification of the election machinery may 
     only be done after full notice to the Secretary of State. 
     Ohio Code and related regulations require that after the 
     state certifies a voting system, changes that affect ``(a) 
     the method of recording voter intent; (b) voter privacy; (c) 
     retention of the vote; or the (d) communication of voting 
     records, must be done only after full notice to the Secretary 
     of State. We are not aware that any such notice was given to 
     the Secretary.
       Finally, Secretary Blackwell's own directive, coupled with 
     Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3505.32, prohibits any handling of 
     these ballots without bipartisan witnesses present. That 
     section of the code provides that during a period of official 
     canvassing, all interaction with ballots must be ``in the 
     presence of all of the members of the board and any other 
     persons who are entitled to witness the official canvass.'' 
     The Ohio Secretary of State issued orders that election 
     officials are to treat all election materials as if the State 
     were in a period of canvassing, and that, ``teams of one 
     Democrat and one Republican must be present with ballots at 
     all times of processing.''
       Triad has sought to respond to these charges by arguing 
     that Ohio law requires a Board of Elections to prevent the 
     counting or tabulation of other races during a recount and 
     limit these activities to those offices or issues for which a 
     formal recount request has been filed. However, this 
     requirement does not supercede the above requirements that 
     election machinery only be serviced or otherwise altered in 
     the presence of the full elections board and observers. There 
     are at least two ways this recount process could have been 
     conducted legally. First, recounters could have been given 
     the full ballot and been simply instructed not to count 
     the other races recorded. Second, the service company 
     employees could have waited to alter the software program 
     until the official recount began in the presence of the 
     board and qualifying witnesses. Neither of these scenarios 
     occurred in the present case.
       In addition to these provisions imposing duties on the 
     Board of Elections, there are numerous criminal penalties 
     that can be incurred by those who actually tampered with the 
     machines. These apply to persons who ``tamper or attempt to 
     tamper with . . . or otherwise change or injure in any manner 
     any marking device, automatic tabulating equipment or any 
     appurtenances or accessories thereof;'' ``destroy any 
     property used in the conduct of elections;'' ``unlawfully 
     destroy or attempt to destroy the ballots, or permit such 
     ballots or a ballot box or pollbook used at an election to be 
     destroyed; or destroy [or] falsify;'' and ``willfully and 
     with fraudulent intent make any mark or alteration on any 
     ballot.''
       It is noteworthy that the companies implicated in the 
     misconduct outlined above, Triad and its affiliates, are the 
     leading suppliers of voting machines involved in the counting 
     of paper ballots and punch cards in the critical states of 
     Ohio and Florida. Triad is controlled by the Rapp family, and 
     its founder Brett A. Rapp has been a consistent contributor 
     to Republican causes. In addition, a Triad affiliate, Psephos 
     Corporation, supplied the notorious butterfly ballot used in 
     Palm Beach County, Florida, in the 2000 presidential 
     election.
     4. Greene County--Long Waits, the Unlocked Lockdown and 
         Discarded Ballots
       We have received information indicating negligence and 
     potential tampering with Greene County ballots and voting 
     machines. On December 9, election observers interviewed the 
     County Director of Elections, Carole Garman, and found 
     substantial discrepancies in the number of voting machines 
     per voter in low-income areas as compared to other areas. 
     Apparently, some consolidated precincts had almost the state 
     imposed limit of 1,400 registered voters and others had only 
     a few hundred voters. One of the precincts disproportionately 
     affected included Central State University and Wilbur Force 
     University, both historically black universities.
       The next day, the observers returned to that office and 
     requested voter signature books for copying. Ms. Garman 
     granted such access. After leaving the office for three 
     hours, the observers returned and had been advised that, 
     under Ohio law, they were entitled to copies of the precinct 
     books for a nominal fee, and requested such copies from 
     Garman. Garman did not concur with that view of Ohio law and 
     telephoned the office of Secretary Blackwell, eventually 
     reaching Pat Wolfe, the Election Administrator for the 
     Secretary of State. Garman then advised the observers that, 
     per Blackwell, all voter records for the State of Ohio were 
     ``locked down'' and they now were ``not considered public 
     records.'' Garman subsequently physically removed the books 
     from one observer's hands'' After attempting to persuade 
     Garman to reverse this decision to no avail, the observers 
     departed the office.
       The observers returned the following day, a Saturday, at 
     10:15 am. While a number of cars were parked in the parking 
     lot and the door to the office was unlocked, and there was no 
     one in the office. One light was on in the office that had 
     not been on the previous night after the office was closed. 
     In the office, unsecured, were the poll books that had been 
     taken from then observers the day before. There were also 
     voting booths, ballot boxes apparently containing votes, and 
     voting equipment, also unsecured. Shortly after the observers 
     had left the office, a police officer arrived and later 
     elections officials and members of the media. The officials 
     were unable to offer any explanation for the unsecure office, 
     other than negligence, and said they would ask a technician 
     (from the Triad company) to check out the machines on Monday.
       A number of other substantial irregularities in Greene 
     County have come to our attention that were uncovered after 
     the office

[[Page H102]]

     was discovered to be unsecure. In the short period of time 
     that observers were given to examine voting records, ballots 
     were not counted for apparently erroneous reasons. In a 
     number of cases, Greene County officials rejected ballots 
     because the secrecy envelope for the ballot appeared to 
     indicate that the voter had voted in the wrong precinct, 
     notwithstanding the fact that a notation was made--apparently 
     by an election worker--indicating the vote should count. The 
     records appeared to indicate that, in some cases, voters were 
     sent to the wrong precinct by election workers and, in 
     others, were given the wrong precinct's envelope for the 
     ballot because election workers had run out of envelopes for 
     the correct precinct.
       These records also appeared to indicate that some voters 
     were purged from the voting rolls on the basis that they 
     failed to vote in the previous election, while other voters 
     who had not voted in several elections had not been purged. 
     On October 26, Secretary Blackwell issued a directive and 
     provided it to Greene County officials regarding the ``pre-
     challenging'' process, where a voter's eligibility is 
     challenged prior to the election, and sent an attached list 
     of voters who were to be pre-challenged in Greene County, to 
     the Board of Elections. Notice was sent by the Board to these 
     voters on the Friday before the election by registered mail, 
     and was likely not received until Monday, advising such 
     voters of their right to be present at a Monday hearing, 
     where the voter's eligibility would be decided.
       Other irregularities appear in the official ballot counting 
     charts prepared by election officials, including a number of 
     precincts where the number of voters do not match the number 
     of votes cast despite the fact that the charts indicate that 
     those numbers ``must match.''
       We have also obtained evidence indicating that eligible 
     voters did not have their ballots counted for invalid 
     reasons. For example, an overseas military ballot was not 
     counted because it was a photocopy rather than the original 
     ballot; an 85 year old voter did not have his absentee vote 
     counted because it did not have a stub attached; a disabled 
     voter who indicated she marked her ballot with the assistance 
     of election workers did not have her absentee vote counted 
     because no stub was attached; an absentee voter with a 
     properly postmarked ballot did not have his vote counted 
     because it was received ``too late,'' but before the initial 
     certification of results; and provisional ballots that were 
     not counted because an election official forgot to sign as a 
     witness when the ballot was cast. Substantial numbers of 
     provisional ballots appear to have been rejected because 
     voters were purged in the last two years.

                                Analysis

       Numerous Ohio laws appear to have been broken in Greene 
     County. First it is a misdemeanor to deny the public access 
     to election records. Ohio law clearly states that ``No 
     director of elections, deputy director of elections, or 
     employee of the board of elections designated by the director 
     or deputy direct shall knowingly prevent or prohibit any 
     person from inspecting, under reasonable regulations 
     established and posted by the board of elections, the public 
     records filed in the office of the board of elections.'' Not 
     only is this a crime, but grounds for dismissal from election 
     duties--required whether the offender is an official or an 
     employee. It does not appear that anyone has been prosecuted, 
     and no one has been dismissed as required by statute.
       Second, the complete lack of security on Friday night 
     violates any number of Ohio laws requiring that ballots and 
     machinery be kept absolutely secure. Section 3505.31 requires 
     that ballots, pollbooks, poll lists, tally sheets and voting 
     machines be kept tamper-proof and under seal. Ballots are to 
     be held secure until a recount is properly conducted in front 
     of witnesses, and ballots may not be handled by anyone except 
     the board and its employees. Failure of these duties by board 
     members and their employees, is a felony, as ``No member, 
     director or employee of a board of elections shall willfully 
     or negligently violate or neglect to perform any duty imposed 
     upon him by law, or willfully perform or neglect to perform 
     it in such a way as to hinder the objects of the law.'' 
     Again, it requires that the offender be dismissed, and again, 
     it appears that those actions have not been taken in Greene 
     County. It is important to note that this statute does not 
     require any intent of wrongdoing--simple negligence is enough 
     to invoke the statute and there is no explanation as to why 
     it has not been enforced.
       Third, Greene County's operation seems to have several 
     Constitutional problems, both federally and at the state 
     level. The selective use of challenges and purges invokes the 
     Equal Protection clause. We were unable to confirm any 
     legitimate reason why some voters were challenged and then 
     purged, and others were not. There are also Due Process 
     concerns as those to be purged were not given sufficient 
     notice to meaningfully participate in their scheduled 
     hearings. And finally, these actions violate Ohio's own 
     constitution that guarantees the right to vote.

                    5. Other Recount Irregularities

       We learned of numerous additional troubling recount 
     irregularities in the course of our investigation. The 
     groundwork for these problems was laid when the Secretary of 
     State failed to issue specific standards for the recount. In 
     essence, Mr. Blackwell's directive on recount procedures 
     permitted each county board of election to determine its own 
     recount rules. Mr. Blackwell failed to issue such standards, 
     notwithstanding the fact that election officials themselves 
     had offered contrasting election recount procedures, 
     including some counties who sought to unilaterally oppose 
     doing any recount whatsoever.
       Some of the serious recount irregularities that we learned 
     of in connection with our investigation include the 
     following:

 a. Irregularities in Selecting the Initial 3% Hand Count--Many County 
    Boards of Elections Did Not Randomly Select the Precinct Samples

       In the course of our investigation we learned:
       Mr. Keith Cunningham, Director of the Allen County Board of 
     Elections, explained that it would take considerably longer 
     to carry out the recount if there were a random selection 
     process employed. Instead, the Board pre-selected four 
     precincts, totaling slightly more than the required three 
     percent, for the recount. Democratic and Green Party 
     witnesses raised objections but to no avail.
       The Clermont County Board of Elections selected the 3% 
     precinct samples by choosing the thirteen precincts with 
     lowest number of voters plus the next number of precincts 
     that reached the total of 3% of the total votes cast in that 
     county. This selection process eliminated larger and more 
     diversified precincts. The staff of the Board admitted that 
     small precincts were chosen because fewer problems would be 
     encountered in smaller precincts. A witness objected to 
     this selection process, but to no avail.
       The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections decided to choose 
     only precincts with 550 votes or more and from a cross-
     section of areas--one East side, one West side, one affluent, 
     one non-affluent. This criterion left only eight percent of 
     precincts available to be selected. In addition, witnesses 
     observed that the ballots were not in a random order, and 
     that they had been previously sorted. As the ballots were fed 
     into the counting machines, there were long runs of votes for 
     only one candidate and then long runs for another, which 
     seemed statistically improbable.
       The total number of votes cast in Morrow County was 16,694. 
     Three percent of this would be 501. The Morrow County Board 
     of Elections selected the Harmony Township precinct for the 
     initial hand count because it had 517 ballots cast. When 
     observers complained this was not random, the Board responded 
     that it had the right to select the precinct. During this 
     discussion, an election official with the Board called the 
     Secretary of State's office and reported that the Secretary 
     of State's office stated that the Board was correct.
       The Hocking County Board of Elections met and Rod Hedges, a 
     Republican Board member, stated that he believed the Board 
     should select a precinct that was not heavily in favor of 
     George W. Bush or John F. Kerry. The Board decided to 
     consider only the precincts where the vote totals for Bush 
     and Kerry were similar. An observer objected that this was 
     not a random selection, but to no avail.
       Election officials in Medina County were aware of several 
     ``problem'' districts, but instead chose to perform the 
     manual 3% test recount on two precincts that had been part of 
     a school levy recount the previous Monday. That meant that 
     those ballots had been taken out of the standard ``double 
     lock'' situation and had been handled several times since 
     that Monday.
       The Board of Elections in Vinton County selected a precinct 
     3% manual recount test simply because its vote total was 
     closest to 3% of the total votes cast in the county.
       The Summit County Board of Elections selected precincts 
     randomly with the Director and Deputy Director of the Board 
     of Elections and two other Board employees present, both of 
     whom were IT specialists for the Board so that they could 
     compute the three percent. The Board shuffled 475 precinct 
     cards and then chose randomly from the pile. The Summit 
     County Board of Elections conducted this selection without 
     any recount witnesses present.

b. Irregularities in Applying the Full Hand-Count Requirement--Counties 
Not Conducting Full Hand Count After 3% Hand and Machine Counts Did Not 
                                 Match

       In the course of our investigation we learned:
       In Monroe County, the 3% hand-count failed to match the 
     machine count twice. Subsequent runs on that machine matched 
     neither each other nor the hand count. The Monroe County 
     Board of Elections summoned a repairman from Triad to bring a 
     new machine and the recount was suspended and reconvened for 
     the following day. On the following day, a new machine was 
     present at the Board of Elections office and the old machine 
     was gone. The Board conducted a test deck run followed by the 
     3% hand-counted ballots. The results matched this time and 
     the Board conducted the remainder of the recount by machine.
       In Fairfield County, the hand recount of the 3% test sample 
     did not match the machine count, even after two attempts. The 
     Board suspended the recount and stated that Secretary 
     Blackwell recommended that the recount should begin again 
     ``from scratch.'' The Green recount observers were then told 
     that it was 4:00 PM, the building was closed, and all had to 
     leave. The Republican recount observers, however, were 
     allowed to stay in a

[[Page H103]]

     conference room for an additional ten minutes or so for a 
     private discussion. When the Board reconvened a few days 
     later, it announced that it would be conducting a machine 
     count of the county's votes. When a Green Party observer 
     objected, she was told by the Board that she was not allowed 
     to speak.

 c. Irregularities in the Treatment of Ballots--Some Counties Marking 
         Ballots and Some Counties Not Securely Storing Ballots

       In the course of our investigation we learned:
       In Washington County, the Board of Elections had, in the 
     first count, excluded ballots which included no votes and 
     overvotes. During the recount, the Board altered many such 
     ballots to make them work. An observer protested this 
     practice. An election official pulled a black marker from his 
     right pocket near the beginning of the recount and stated 
     that he was the mark-up man. He proceeded to do all of the 
     marking of the ballots. Another election official assisted 
     with the ``band-aids''. The observer noted that all the re-
     marking and band-aiding of ballots did reflect the will of 
     the voter, with one exception. In the precinct Belpre 4A, a 
     voter had both marked the oval and put an X through it for 
     presidential candidate Michael Peroutka and had marked the 
     oval for Bush. The election official put a band-aid over the 
     Peroutka vote and put his own X on the Bush vote. The 
     observer objected that it should be counted as an overvote. 
     The Board ruled that the vote should count for Bush.
       In Lucas County, an observer witnessed the physical 
     alteration of three ballots for the apparent reason of 
     ensuring that the vote count produced by the optical scan 
     machine would match the 3% hand count. At least one of the 
     election officials stated that she did not want the hand 
     count and machine count to be different because they did not 
     want to do a complete hand count. The Board made the 
     alterations to the ballot after determining the intent of the 
     voters. Following a lunch break during the recount, the Board 
     kept recount observers waiting while a technician from the 
     Diebold company reprogrammed the machine.
       In Ashland County, ballots cast in the presidential 
     election were stored by precinct in open cubicles along one 
     wall in the employee lunchroom/meeting room, completely open 
     and visible to anyone who enters the room. Piled on top of 
     the cubicles were bags of Doritos, mugs, cleaning products, 
     Glad Wrap and other miscellaneous items. Board of Election 
     officials said the room was kept locked, except when used.
       In Coshocton County, the Board stored voted ballots mixed 
     with blank, unused ballots in partially-opened boxes, 
     unsealed at the time of observation and apparently never 
     sealed after the election. While ballots were stored in a 
     locked room, all Board employees had keys to the room.
       In Belmont County, the Deputy Director of Elections stated 
     that her county had hired an independent programmer (``at 
     great expense'') to reprogram the counting machines so that 
     they would only count votes for President during the recount.
       In Portage County, all ballot boxes were locked and 
     reopened, locked and re-opened again--always in plain sight--
     and transported methodically from the visual inspection area 
     to the tabulator room.

  d. Irregularities in the Treatment of Witnesses at the Recount and 
                        their Access to Ballots

       In the course of our investigation we learned:
       In Summit County, recount witnesses were threatened with 
     expulsion if they spoke to counting teams. In some instances, 
     they were expected to ``observe'' from up to 20 feet away, 
     which prevented them from being able to actually observe 
     recount.
       In Huron County, the punchcard tabulator test was observed 
     only by Republican witnesses. This test was conducted the day 
     before the Green Party witness was invited to observe the 
     recount.
       In Putnam County, Board of Elections officials told 
     observers that their Board would meet on December 15th to 
     decide the start date. When the observer called back on the 
     15th, she was told the recount had already taken place.
       In Allen County, observers were not allowed to examine 
     provisional ballots and absentee ballots during the recount. 
     The Board told them that they must make an appointment at a 
     later time working around the Board's schedule. The Board 
     further stated that only the specific person who cast such a 
     ballot is allowed to inquire whether his or her vote was 
     counted.
       In Holmes County, observers asked to see the spoiled ballot 
     pile, comprised of five ballots, but the Board denied access, 
     stating that they were in a sealed envelope that could not be 
     opened.
       In Licking County, the Board denied observers access to 
     view provisional and absentee ballots.
       In Mahoning County, the Board denied observers access to 
     view rejected absentee ballots.
       In Medina County, the Board denied observers access to view 
     provisional ballot tallies, provisional ballots, and the 
     actual machines and ballot booklets used.
       In Morgan County, 30 of 160 provisional and absentee 
     ballots were not counted, and the Board denied observers 
     access to view these ballots. The Board stated that these 
     ballots were locked away and would be destroyed 60 days after 
     the election.
       In Stark County, the Board denied an observer request to 
     view the provisional ballots.
       In Warren County, the Board denied an observer request to 
     view provisional and absentee ballots. The observer has 
     requested that the Board have this decision reviewed by the 
     county prosecutor and the Board is now awaiting the county 
     prosecutor's decision.

                                Analysis

       The Secretary of State's failure to issue specific 
     standards for the recount was a major problem. It appears to 
     have contributed to a lack of uniformity that may very well 
     violate both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection 
     Clause of the Constitution. As the U.S. Supreme Court held in 
     2000, ``Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, 
     the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate 
     treatment, value one person's vote over that of another.'' 
     As the Court articulated in that case, ``It is obvious 
     that the recount cannot be conducted in compliance with 
     the requirements of equal protection and due process 
     without substantial additional work. It would require not 
     only the adoption (after opportunity for argument) of 
     adequate statewide standards for determining what is a 
     legal vote, and practicable procedures to implement them, 
     but also orderly judicial review of any disputed matters 
     that might arise.'' It may also have violated Ohio state 
     law which charges the secretary of state with ``[issuing] 
     instructions by directives and advisories to members of 
     the boards [of elections] as to the proper methods of 
     conducting elections'' and ``[preparing] rules and 
     instructions for the conduct of elections.''
       In terms of the specific irregularities, they would seem to 
     be inconsistent if not in outright violation of several 
     aspects of Ohio's recount law. Those counties which did not 
     randomly select the precinct samples appears to violate the 
     Secretary of State's directive on this point. Those counties 
     which did not conduct a full hand count after the 3% hand and 
     machine counts did not match is inconsistent with Ohio's 
     statutory right to have inconsistent results rechecked. Those 
     counties that allowed for irregular marking of ballots and 
     which failed to secure and store ballots and machinery appear 
     to have violated provisions of Ohio law mandating that 
     candidates have the right to ensure that ballots are secure 
     between the election and the official recount, that ballots 
     may not be handled by anyone besides Board members and their 
     staff, and may not be handled outside of the presence of the 
     Board and qualifying witnesses. Finally, those counties which 
     prevented witnesses for candidates from observing the various 
     aspects of the recount appear to have violated provisions of 
     Ohio law providing that candidates have the right to observe 
     all ballots.


                            Recommendations

     A. Electoral College Challenge
       We believe there are ample grounds for challenging the 
     electors from Ohio as being unlawfully appointed.
       We say this for several reasons. First, there is 
     considerable doubt that all controversies regarding the 
     appointment of the electors were lawfully resolved six days 
     prior to the meeting of the electors (on December 7) in order 
     for the state's electors to be binding on Congress as 
     required by 3 U.S.C. Sec. 5. This is because, among other 
     things, the Secretary of State appears to have intentionally 
     delayed the initial certification of the electors until 
     December 6, making it impossible for the recount (of which he 
     was fully aware) to be completed by December 7, let alone the 
     December 13 meeting of the electors.
       Second, there are numerous irrefutable instances where Ohio 
     election law has been violated by the Secretary of State and 
     others such that the election cannot be said to comply with 
     Ohio law, and the electors cannot be considered lawfully 
     certified under state law within the meaning of 3 U.S.C. Sec. 
     15. These violations of law are highlighted throughout this 
     Report.
       The failure to provide adequate voting machinery would 
     appear to violate both Ohio's Constitution, that provides all 
     eligible adults the right to vote, and the Ohio Revised Code 
     which requires the Boards of Elections to provide ``for each 
     precinct a polling place and provide adequate facilities at 
     each polling place for conducting the election.'' Secretary 
     of State Blackwell's failure to initiate any investigation 
     into this pivotal irregularity notwithstanding his statutory 
     duty to do so under Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3501.05, 
     represents another likely violation of Ohio law.
       The ``caging'' tactics targeting 35,000 new voters by the 
     Ohio Republican Party for preelection legal challenge were 
     found by three federal courts to be illegal as being 
     politically and racially charged, and burdening the 
     fundamental right to vote. The tactic would also appear to 
     violate Ohioans' right to vote under the Ohio Constitution.
       Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent news media and exit 
     polls from interviewing Ohio citizens after they voted was 
     found by a federal court of appeals to have violated the 
     First Amendment's guarantee that state conduct shall not 
     abridge ``freedom . . . of the press''. His decision also 
     likely violated Ohio's Constitution that provides: ``Every 
     citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his 
     sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the 
     abuse of the right; and no law shall be passed to restrain 
     or abridge the liberty of speech, or of the press.''

[[Page H104]]

       Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent those voters who 
     requested absentee ballots, but did not receive them on a 
     timely basis from being able to vote, was found by a federal 
     court to violate HAVA. This restrictive directive also likely 
     violated Article 5, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution, 
     granting every Ohio citizen the right to vote if he or she is 
     otherwise qualified.
       Numerous incidents of voter intimidation and misinformation 
     engaged in Ohio on election day likely violate the Voting 
     Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and the Ohio right 
     to vote. Mr. Blackwell's apparent failure to institute a 
     single investigation into these acts likely represents a 
     violation of his statutory duty to investigate election 
     misconduct.
       The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted 
     that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in 
     numerous counties to provide ``cheat sheets'' to those 
     counting the ballots. By insuring that election boards were 
     in a position to conform their test recount results with the 
     election night results, Triad's actions may well have 
     prevented scores of counties from conducting a full and fair 
     recount. Triad's action appears to violate Ohio law 
     prohibiting election machinery from being serviced, modified, 
     or altered in any way subsequent to an election, unless it is 
     done so in the presence of the full board of elections and 
     other observers.
       Numerous Ohio laws appear to have been broken in Greene 
     County, where after initially being granted access to poll 
     books to conduct an audit, election observers had this access 
     abruptly revoked under the orders of Secretary Blackwell, and 
     arbitrary and capricious practices and counting procedures 
     that disenfranchised hundreds of voters were identified. 
     These practices violate Ohio law requirements preventing the 
     denial of public access to election records; requiring that 
     ballots and machinery be kept absolutely secure; and 
     protecting the right to vote.
       The Secretary of State's failure to issue specific 
     standards appears inconsistent with Ohio state law which 
     charges the secretary of state with ``[issuing] instructions 
     by directives and advisories to members of the boards [of 
     elections] as to the proper methods of conducting elections'' 
     and ``[preparing] rules and instructions for the conduct of 
     elections.''
       There were numerous specific irregularities in the recount 
     that are inconsistent with several aspects of Ohio's recount 
     law. Those counties which did not randomly select the 
     precinct samples violated the Secretary of State's directive 
     on this point. Those counties which did not conduct a full 
     hand court after the 3% hand and machine counts violated 
     Ohio's statutory right to have inconsistent results 
     rechecked. Those counties which allowed for irregular marking 
     of ballots and which failed to secure and store ballots 
     and machinery appear to have violated provisions of Ohio 
     law mandating that candidates have the right to ensure 
     that ballots are secure between the election and the 
     official recount, that ballots may not be handled by 
     anyone besides Board members and their staff, and may not 
     be handled outside of the presence of the Board and 
     qualifying witnesses. Finally, those counties which 
     prevented witnesses for candidates from observing the 
     various aspects of the recount violated provisions of Ohio 
     law providing that candidates have the right to observe 
     all ballots.
       Whether the cumulative effect of these legal violations 
     would have altered the actual outcome is not known at this 
     time. However, we do know that there are many serious and 
     intentional violations which violate Ohio's own law, that the 
     Secretary of State has done everything in his power to avoid 
     accounting for such violations, and it is incumbent on 
     Congress to protect the integrity of its own laws by 
     recognizing the seriousness of these legal violations.
     B. Need for Further Congressional Hearings
       It is also clear the U.S. Congress needs to conduct 
     additional and more vigorous hearings into the irregularities 
     in the Ohio presidential election and around the country.
       While we have conducted our own Democratic hearings and 
     investigation, we have been handicapped by the fact that key 
     participants in the election, such as Secretary of State 
     Blackwell, have refused to cooperate in our hearings or 
     respond to Mr. Conyers questions. While GAO officials are 
     prepared to move forward with a wide ranging analysis of 
     systemic problems in the 2004 elections, they are not 
     planning to conduct the kind of specific investigation needed 
     to get to the bottom of the range of problems evident in 
     Ohio. As a result, it appears that the only means of 
     obtaining his cooperation in any congressional investigation 
     is under the threat of subpoena, which only the Majority may 
     require.
       Given the seriousness of the irregularities we have 
     uncovered, and the importance of the federal elections, we 
     recommend that the House and Senate form a joint, select 
     committee to investigate the full gamut of irregularities 
     across the board.
       Among the issues which require further attention at 
     Congressional hearings are the following:
       The misallocation of voting machines. Congress should 
     examine the extent to which the lack of machines in certain 
     areas led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised 
     predominantly minority and Democratic voters.
       The decisions to restrict provisional ballots to actual 
     precincts and to deny them to voters who did not receive 
     absentee ballots. Congress should examine the extent to which 
     the decisions departed from past Ohio law on provisional 
     ballots, how many voters were impacted, and whether a broader 
     construction would have led to any significant disruption at 
     polling places.
       The use of partisan, pre-election ``caging'' tactics. 
     Congress should examine to what extent caging is used and to 
     what degree minority voters were targeted for intimidation 
     and suppression.
       The use of voter suppression and intimidation tactics. 
     Congress should investigate reports of intimidation and 
     misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 
     Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and 
     the Ohio right to vote.
       The use of partisan challengers. Congress should examine 
     whether the use of such challengers is disruptive and 
     intimidating to voters. Further, Congress should investigate 
     whether the precinct judges, which are required by law, are 
     sufficient to regulate voting practices.
       Voter purging and other registration errors. Congress 
     should look at what methods of voter purging are used and 
     whether they target minority groups.
       The prevalence of undervotes, in which ballots are cast but 
     lack votes for president. Congress should further investigate 
     whether undervotes are principally caused by punchcards and 
     what reforms can be made to prevent them.
       The need for greater accountability in ballot counting. 
     Congress should examine whether an audit capability for 
     voting machines would enhance the ability to verify voter 
     choices.
       The lack of national standards for issuing provisional 
     ballots and conducting recounts. Congress should examine 
     areas in which national standards would promote the 
     guaranteed right to vote and would ensure that every vote 
     counts.
       Restrictions on the use of government-granted power for 
     political or personal gain. Congress should investigate the 
     need for restricting the ability of state contractors and 
     public officials involved in the administration of elections 
     to participate in campaign activities.
     C. Legislation
       Our investigation has made it abundantly clear that 
     Congress and the States must reform the election laws to 
     address the many inequities that have come to light. At the 
     very least, we must--
       Develop a fair and uniform system of processing provisional 
     ballots, including training of poll workers and counting 
     votes.
       Ensure that every voting machine has a verifiable audit 
     trail, guidelines for which could be established by the 
     Election Assistance Commission.
       Consider an Amendment to the Constitution of the United 
     States to reaffirm the right to vote.
       Facilitate voter turnout through the establishment of a 
     national election day holiday, the expansion of early voting, 
     and the re-enfranchisement of former felons.
       Ensure full enforcement by the Justice Department of anti-
     voter intimidation laws, including prohibitions on voter 
     suppression and caging.
       Establish national standards for voter registration, 
     polling place opening hours, and ballot recounts.
       Establish an explicit private right of action for voter 
     rights in the Help America Vote Act.
       Ensure that state and local election officials involved in 
     the administration of elections do not use their offices for 
     political gain.
       Ensure enough accessible voting machines and poll workers 
     are available at all precincts such that waiting times are 
     reasonable, including in lower-income and minority 
     communities.
       Consistent with the First Amendment, restrict state 
     contractors from participating in campaign activities.
       Develop and fund public campaigns to educate voters on 
     voting rights, anti-voter intimidation laws, etc.
       Fully fund the Help America Vote Act.
       Clarify that provisional ballots are available to all 
     citizens who request them, as long as they are in the 
     appropriate County.
       We recommend that House and Senate Members join together in 
     reforming these laws and preserving our democracy.

  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Clay) for 
the purpose of making a unanimous consent request.
  (Mr. CLAY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CLAY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for 
yielding.
  Honorable colleagues, the numerous irregularities that occurred with 
the electronic voting machines in Ohio on November 2 of last year point 
to an unresolved national crisis: The lack of a unified standard for 
all voters and all ballots cast in a Federal election. Congress must 
establish this standard, with a verifiable paper or audit trail. It is 
the only way to ensure the integrity of the Federal election process.
  Reports of voter intimidation, inadequate and malfunctioning voting 
machines, incompetent election judges, and lines at polling

[[Page H105]]

places in urban areas that lasted for many hours were widespread.
  These irregularities were compounded by the irresponsible conduct of 
the allegedly unbiased top election official who openly became a 
partisan advocate for his party's Presidential nominee.
  The Ohio Secretary of State has refused to assist us in the search 
for the truth. He has shown no interest in determining whether the 
glitches were the result of mistakes, negligence, or intentional 
misconduct.
  Numerous voters have reported that when they attempted to cast a vote 
for Kerry-Edwards, the electronic voting machine registered the vote as 
a ballot for Bush-Cheney. While it is difficult to quantify the number 
of votes that were altered or affected by the irregularities that have 
been reported, a single vote not counted, as it was intended . . . is a 
discredit to our democracy. I am not suggesting that these 
irregularities changed the outcome of the election. But I am insisting 
that we act to ensure that the sacred right of every voter, to have his 
or her vote counted, as the voter intended, is protected by adopting a 
uniform Federal standard.
  In order to protect the voting rights of the citizens of Ohio, and to 
be true to the oath that we all swore to earlier this week, it is our 
responsibility as Members of Congress to review the serious 
irregularities that occurred in Ohio to ensure that this significant 
disenfranchisement of voters never happens again. It is imperative that 
we give voters complete confidence that their votes will be accurately 
counted by reforming our election laws to address all of the 
irregularities that have come to light. I encourage my colleagues to 
join me in preserving our democracy.
  Mr. CONYERS. Members of the House, we are here today not as partisans 
for one Presidential candidate or another, but because we want to do 
our duty under the Constitution to protect our democracy. We are here 
because of the inner-city voter in Franklin County who waited 10 hours 
in the pouring rain while suburban voters in the same county had no 
wait because election officials decided to reallocate voting machines 
from Columbus to the suburbs. We are here because of the Hispanic voter 
in Hamilton County who also stood in line for hours, but was directed 
to the wrong voting table and had his ballot thrown out because of a 
decision by the Secretary of State of Ohio to throw out ballots cast at 
the right polling place but the wrong precinct.
  We are here because of the elderly voter in Lucas County who 
requested an absentee ballot that never showed up and was refused a 
provisional ballot because of another partisan decision by the 
Secretary of State of Ohio. We are here because of the new voter in 
Delaware County whose registration form was thrown out because it did 
not meet the paper weight requirements set forth by the Secretary of 
State. We are here because of the African American voter in Summit 
County who was targeted with an unlawful voter challenge because of her 
race and because she refused to answer a certified letter from the 
chairman of the Republican Party.
  Most of all we are here because not a single election official in 
Ohio has given us any explanation for the massive and widespread 
irregularity in the State. No explanation for the machines in Mahoning 
County that recorded Kerry votes for Bush. No explanation of improper 
purging in Cuyahoga County. No explanation for the lockdown in Warren 
County. No explanation for the 99 percent turnout in Miami County. No 
explanation for machine tampering in Hocking County.
  Read on our Web page 101 pages of great staff work that takes this 
out of semantics, of partisanship; and I appeal to every Member of this 
body to sustain this objection.
  We are here today, not as partisans for one Presidential candidate or 
another, but because we want to do our duty under the Constitution to 
protect our democracy.
  We are here because of the inner city voter in Franklin County, who 
waited 10 hours in the pouring rain, while suburban voters in the same 
county had no wait because election officials decided to reallocate 
voting machines from Columbus to the suburbs.
  We are here because of the Hispanic voter in Hamilton County who was 
directed to the wrong voting table, and had their ballot thrown out 
because of a decision by the Secretary of State to throw out ballots 
cast at the right polling place but the wrong precinct.
  We are here because of the elderly voter in Lucas County who 
requested an absentee ballot that never showed up and was refused a 
provisional ballot because of another partisan decision by the 
Secretary of State.
  We are here because of the new voter in Delaware County, whose 
registration form was thrown out because it did not meet the paper 
weight requirements of the same Secretary of State.
  We are here because of the African American voter in Summit County, 
who was targeted with an unlawful voting challenge because of her race 
and because she refused to answer a certified letter from the chairman 
of the Republican Party.
  Most of all we are here because not a single election official in 
Ohio has given us any explanation for the massive and widespread 
irregularities in that State: No explanation for the machines in 
Mahoning County that recorded Kerry votes for Bush--No explanation for 
the improper purging in Cuyahoga County--No explanation for the lock 
down in Warren County--No explanation for the 99 percent voter turnout 
in Miami County--No explanation for the machine tampering in Hocking 
County.
  The debate we have today will not change the outcome of November's 
election. We know that. But out of today's debate, I hope this Congress 
will respond to our challenge:
  A challenge to hold true bipartisan hearings to get to the bottom of 
what went wrong in Ohio and around the Nation on election day.
  A challenge to show the same concern about voter disenfranchisement 
in this country that we show in Afghanistan, and the Ukraine, and Iraq.
  A challenge to enact real election reform; that gives all citizens 
the right to a provisional ballot; that gives all voters a verifiable 
paper trail; and that bans election officials from serving as campaign 
chairs.
  The thing we should never fear in Congress is a debate, and the thing 
we should never fear in a democracy is the voters. I hope that today we 
have a fair debate and 4 years from now, we have an election all our 
citizens can be proud of.
  Mr. Speaker, I am proud to yield the balance of my time to the 
distinguished gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders).
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from 
Michigan for yielding.
  I agree with John Kerry. I think George W. Bush won Ohio. But I agree 
with millions of American citizens that no American should have to wait 
4 hours to cast a vote. I agree with tens of millions of Americans who 
are very worried that when they cast a ballot on an electronic voting 
machine that there is no paper trail to record that vote in the event 
of a recount.
  What today is about is to demand that the Federal Government begin to 
move forward, to guarantee that every voter in America feels secure and 
confident that all of the votes cast in this country are counted 
accurately and that all of our voters are treated with respect and 
dignity. That is what democracy is about and that is what we are 
fighting for.

                              {time}  1345

  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Missouri is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. Speaker, as I listened to the gentleman from Vermont 
make his remarks, I assume that means that he will be voting with me to 
accept the results from Ohio since he agrees that the President won. 
That has just been verified for me. So the whole purpose of this 
discussion, at least from that perspective of understanding that there 
are still challenges in our election system in the country, should be 
handled at a different time.
  But let us talk about what we are doing here today. First of all, 
every Member of this body was elected to this body. It distinguishes us 
from almost any other institution, certainly in the Federal Government 
and in many other institutions. We also were all elected under the same 
rules and regulations that we are discussing today. I do not know that 
we help the process by casting doubt on what all of those people that 
work in elections all over America do. I know in Missouri when I was 
the chief election official for 8 years and an election official for 20 
years that no Republican did anything on Election Day by themselves. I 
think it is the same in Ohio. Every single thing that is done is done 
by a Republican. It is also done at the same time by a Democrat. I do 
not think the people that stepped forward to accept that significant 
public responsibility are saying there was a problem with the election 
on Election Day. In fact, I think they are all saying we did exactly 
what we should have done on Election Day: We tested the equipment; we 
verified the ballots; we counted, as we should, with bipartisan teams

[[Page H106]]

there to do that; and we have certified these results.
  If we were taking this important time today to talk about a 
difference of 118 votes, that might be justifiable in my mind. To take 
this time on this day to challenge all of those Democrats and 
Republicans who gave of themselves and their time to make this process 
work in Ohio and in Missouri and everywhere else where people voted the 
November Election Day with a difference in this State of 118,000 seems 
to me to be the wrong time, the wrong place, and maybe even the wrong 
job for the Federal Government. These are great discussions to have in 
Ohio. That is where they are ultimately going to solve the problem of 
how they conduct elections in Ohio, and this apparently is more about 
that than anything about the result.
  The purpose of our work here today is to certify the result 
unquestioned by the country, unquestioned by the Democratic nominee, 
unquestioned by anybody involved in this process who certified the 
election, our job today was to count the electoral votes, get on with 
our business of doing the work that can only be done here in this city 
by the Federal Government to move the country in a new and positive and 
better direction. We need to continue to do that. We need to be 
committed to that. We also need to understand that every time we attack 
the process, we cast that doubt on that fabric of democracy that is so 
important.
  People do have to have, as I believe the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers) said, confidence that the process works in a proper way. They 
do not need to believe that it is absolutely perfect because, after 
all, it is the greatest democracy in the history of the world and it is 
run by people who step forward and make a system work in ways that 
nobody would believe until they see it to produce the result of what 
people want to have happen on Election Day.
  This was not a closely decided election. The President's margin is 
significant. No President elected since 1988 has had a majority of the 
vote, let alone a 3 percentage point majority of the vote with a 
direction clearly to move the country forward.
  We need to get on with our job. We need to honor the election process 
by working in the proper time and the proper way at the proper place to 
make it better, but not to suggest that because there were problems 
that somehow those problems affected a result in ways that every one of 
us knows is not the case.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Keller).
  (Mr. KELLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. KELLER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, there is a wise saying we have used in Florida over the 
past 4 years that the other side would be wise to learn: ``Get over 
it.''
  Is it not ironic that the very people who refuse to move on are the 
people from Moveon.org and their hero Michael Moore?
  There's a wise saying we've used quite a bit in Florida over the past 
4 years that the other side would do well to learn--Get over it. Isn't 
it ironic that the only people who refuse to ``move on'', are the 
people from ``move on.org'', and their hero Michael Moore?
  My colleagues across the aisle have two sides to choose from, the 
John Kerry side that acknowledges the election is over and President 
Bush has won. Or the Michael Moore side that defines ``democracy'' as 
Democrats going to the polls, and ``conspiracy'' as Republicans going 
to the polls.
  The election is over and the results couldn't be clearer. We know 
that President Bush won the electoral vote by 286 to 252. We know that 
President Bush won the popular vote by 3.3 million votes. We know that 
President Bush won Ohio by more than 118,000 votes, an overwhelmingly 
comfortable margin. We know that in every area of Ohio, bipartisan 
county boards have verified and vouched for the integrity of the Ohio 
election results.
  Why are we here wasting time on silly Hollywood inspired conspiracy 
theories?
  Well, since Hollywood likes conspiracies so much, here's a real one. 
On June 23, 2004, the Michael Moore movie ``Fahrenheit 911'' premiered 
in Washington, DC. According to U.S. News and World Report, New York 
Times, and National Journal, one of the few Senators who attended this 
premier was Senator Barbara Boxer. In this movie, Mr. Moore said it was 
shameful that not one U.S. Senator objected to the electoral vote count 
in Florida. Two days ago, on January 4, 2005, the same Michael Moore 
published a new letter to Senator Boxer and other Senators reminding 
them that they didn't object to the electoral vote count 4 years ago, 
and requested that they rise and object to the vote count from Ohio 
today. Today, in fact, Senator Barbara Boxer just objected to the Ohio 
vote count.

  Is this all merely a coincidence? Is this pandering to the Michael 
Moore wing of the Democratic Party? Is it worth wasting 2 hours of 
Congress' time? The only bigger waste of 2 hours would be to go see 
``Fahrenheit 911.''
  Do the people in the Michael Moore wing of the Democrat Party really 
think that the American people and their congressional representatives, 
are so stupid that they could be tricked into objecting to these 
electoral results? Well, the answer is ``yes.''
  Michael Moore told a British newspaper ``Americans are possibly the 
dumbest people on the planet . . . We Americans suffer from an enforced 
ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our 
country. Our stupidity is embarrassing.''
  In Germany, Mr. Moore told the German people ``You can see us 
(Americans) coming down the street . . . We've got that big grin on our 
face all the time because our brains aren't loaded down.'' He further 
asked the German people, ``Should such an ignorant people (as 
Americans) lead the world? . . . Don't go the American way when it 
comes to economics, jobs and services . . . it is the wrong way.''
  Regarding those who are now killing Americans in Iraq, he said, ``The 
Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not insurgents or 
terrorists or the enemy. They are the revolution, the minutemen and 
their numbers will grow--and they will win.''
  How many normal people in this country really believe that a 
terrorist like Al-Zarqawi, who chops off the heads of Americans over in 
Iraq, is on the same level as Paul Revere, the folk hero of the 
American Revolution?
  Here's some straight talk. In 2000, they didn't like the way the 
votes were counted in Florida. Now, they don't like the way the votes 
are counted in Ohio. In the blue States, they call it a recount. In the 
red States, we call it what it is: sour grapes.
  Mr. Speaker, President Bush has clearly won the electoral vote and 
the popular vote. Certifying these electoral votes is the only course 
for us to follow. Why allow the conspiracy theorists to undermine the 
public confidence in the electoral system itself? Let us vote down the 
objection, certify the electoral college results, and prepare to 
celebrate the happy day of January 20, 2005 when President George W. 
Bush is once again sworn in as the President of the United States.
  Mr. WATT. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. WATT. Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more basic to democracy than 
assuring that everyone who wants to vote is provided that opportunity 
and that each person's vote is counted in the result.
  In the last two election cycles, our country, which has held itself 
out as the world's model of an example of true democracy has fallen 
woefully short of meriting that title. The United States cannot 
continue to claim that it stands for and is willing to fight for 
democracy and the rights of people to vote in Afghanistan, Iraq, and 
other places around the world while not being willing to do whatever is 
necessary to guarantee the vote of all of our citizens here at home. 
Equal access, convenience of voting, quality of voting machines, and 
other means to assure democracy must not be a function of economic 
status, race, where citizens live, or any other variable. We must do 
whatever is necessary to assure equality in voting rights, opportunity 
and access for all our citizens, and if our democracy is to be 
protected, the eyes of the world will be watching to see how we respond 
to this, not treat it as frivolous when people are not allowed to vote.
  That is why I applaud the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones) for her 
leadership and for allowing this body to have a discussion about the 
basic right to vote in America.
  For me this is not about whether George Bush won or lost the last 
election. I am planning to vote to certify. I will tell the Members 
that. But there is nothing more basic than the right to vote, and if we 
pretend that this is frivolous, then we are not going to move forward 
and do anything in response to what is going on.

[[Page H107]]

  Two days ago we took an oath of office to uphold and defend the 
Constitution, that at least three amendments in the Constitution which 
guarantee equal access to the ballot, and yet we are saying that people 
who did not get an opportunity to vote, who did not have equal access 
to the vote, are raising frivolous issues? Come on, give me a break. We 
should not be about denying or abridging that right, and I stand here 
in full support of it. We have got to improve the Help America Vote 
Act. We took the first step 2 years ago. We have got to take additional 
steps to make sure that every single person who seeks the right to vote 
is given that right.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentlewoman from 
California (Mrs. Napolitano).
  Mrs. NAPOLITANO. Mr. Speaker, I stand today with my colleagues in the 
Congressional Black Caucus as they affirm their commitment to ensuring 
the vote of every American is counted, something I hope everybody in 
this body supports.
  As Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I am proud to be a 
voice for this long proud history of Hispanics in this Nation. Since 
the earliest days of this country, Latinos too have died and fought for 
the ideals that our Nation was founded upon, but unfortunately we know 
that many in our Latino community feel disenfranchised from our 
political process. Our democracy depends on full participation of all 
our citizenry and a deep and abiding faith in our electoral system.
  For the sake of this country, I ask Congress to do all they can to 
commit themselves to ensuring that our elections are not clouded in 
question and that we can truly proclaim ourselves a model for the rest 
of the world.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask to be recognized for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day. It saddens me that we have 
to be here today debating this issue. Politics in America can be 
bitter. Campaigns can divide people and breed resentment. That is a 
given. It also used to be a given that once a campaign was over the 
winner claimed victory, the loser accepted defeat, everybody else went 
on with their lives, and the country moved forward. Now, unfortunately, 
it seems the bitterness and resentments do not end with the campaign. 
Instead, the divisions are stoked by individuals who simply do not like 
the results.
  The curious thing about this challenge today is that it is taking 
place in spite of the fact that the losing candidate has admitted 
defeat. I have to applaud John Kerry for the gracious and magnanimous 
speech that he made the day after the election where he acknowledged he 
had been beaten. He also called for unity. I wish those bringing this 
challenge had heeded his call.
  I know there are some problems obviously with this election. They are 
not frivolous. These problems were not unique, however, or confined to 
Ohio. Nor were they limited just to Democratic voters. There is no such 
thing as a perfect election. There has not been. There never will be a 
perfect election. The question, then, is not whether or not mistakes 
were made. Of course they were. The question is did those mistakes 
affect the outcome of this election? The answer is no. No serious 
person, no objective observer, could claim that they did today.
  Now let us talk a little bit about the so-called evidence that has 
been presented about what happened in Ohio. Much has been made about 
the long waits for voters in some precincts. The distribution of voting 
machines in the State has been criticized, the claim being that 
minority precincts did not have enough machines while white or suburban 
precincts had too many. Ken Blackwell, our Secretary of State, has been 
a frequent target and basically blamed for everything. But, in fact, 
elections in Ohio are run by and large by the county election boards. 
If my colleagues are not familiar, these bipartisan boards consist of 
four members, two Democrats, two Republicans. Decisions about how many 
machines to have in each precinct are made by those boards, not by the 
Secretary of State. It is possible they could have miscalculated or 
underestimated.
  In a recent article that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch, and this 
is important, Franklin County Board of Elections Chairman William A. 
Anthony, Jr. said long lines were not caused by the allocation of 
machines, a process controlled by a Democrat supervisor, he added, but 
by the high voter turnout, the overall lack of voting machines, and a 
ballot that included more than 100 choices for voters.
  For those thinking Mr. Anthony must be a part of this conspiracy, I 
would point out that in addition to his position on the elections 
board, Mr. Anthony serves as chairman of the Franklin County Democrat 
Party. He said that he is offended by accusations from a band of 
conspiracy theorists. He further added, ``I am a black man. Why would I 
sit here and disenfranchise voters in my own community? I feel like 
they're accusing me of suppressing the black vote. I've fought my whole 
life for people's rights to vote.''
  I could go on, Mr. Speaker, but basically what is the point? Those 
who believe this election was stolen will always believe it. No amount 
of facts or evidence will convince them otherwise. The bottom line is 
those bringing this challenge today simply cannot accept the fact that 
George Bush has been elected President of the United States. It is too 
painful for them.
  We must always be seeking ways to improve the process. We announced 
weeks ago we are going to have bipartisan hearings to look at these 
issues, and they are not frivolous. They are important issues. But it 
would not have changed the outcome of the election.
  Mr. Speaker, it does not elevate those who are bringing this 
challenge. It does not elevate our House. It does not elevate the 
debate. It debases all of us, and it merits a sad day in the history of 
this Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. LaTourette).
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for 
yielding me this time.
  Most of our colleagues may not know that we not only had an election 
in Ohio but we had a recount that was funded by two third-party 
candidates that got less than 1 percent of the vote, and knowing this 
was going to happen today, I called my boards of election back home to 
see how that recount went.

                              {time}  1400

  In Ashtabula County after the recount, each candidate picked up one 
vote.
  In Geauga County there was a net gain of two votes for President 
Bush, and the 72 provisional ballots that were not allowed were not 
allowed because the people did not live and were not registered in the 
State of Ohio. In Lake County, not one ballot changed from November 2, 
and all of the 201 provisional ballots tossed were tossed because the 
people were not registered in the State of Ohio.
  In Summit County, there was a four-vote swing for Senator Kerry.
  In Cuyahoga County, the county that I am lucky enough, home of the 
City of Cleveland, to share with the objector and the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Brown) and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Kucinich), the net 
swing was 23 votes for John Kerry.
  On this day, we should be praising the dedication and hard work of 
our election officials and not castigating them.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, today we are witnessing democracy at work. 
This is not, as some of our Republican colleagues have referred to it, 
sadly, frivolous. This debate is fundamental to our democracy.
  The representatives of the American people in this House are standing 
up for three fundamental American beliefs: that the right to vote is 
sacred; that a Representative has a duty to represent his or her 
constituents; and that the rule of law is the hallmark of our Nation.
  Under the rule of law, today this House will accept the election of 
President Bush and Vice President Cheney as President and Vice 
President of the United States. There is absolutely no

[[Page H108]]

question about that. This is not in any way about rejecting that 
outcome. So, please, let us be respectful of each other and understand 
what it is about.
  Today's electoral challenge is not intended to overturn the results 
of the election. It is instead to discuss the real problems with our 
electoral system and the failings of the process in Ohio and elsewhere. 
It is about election reform, not about the election result.
  The Members of Congress who have brought this challenge are speaking 
up for their aggrieved constituents, many of whom may have been 
disenfranchised in this process. This is their only opportunity to have 
this debate while the country is listening, and it is appropriate to do 
so. If there were other venues of this caliber, we would have taken 
that opportunity. But this is the opportunity. We have a responsibility 
to take advantage of it.
  The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. A discussion of 
that foundation, again, should not be considered frivolous.
  As the Supreme Court noted: ``No right is more precious in a free 
country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make 
the laws under which as good citizens we must live. Other rights, even 
the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.''
  I repeat: ``Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the 
right to vote is undermined.''
  The principle of one person-one vote is sacred in our country, and we 
must do everything to uphold it. Yet more than 225 years since our 
founding, there are still legitimate concerns over the integrity of our 
elections and of ensuring the principle of one person-one vote, that 
every person has access to voting and that every vote will be counted.
  Twenty years ago, I was chair of the California Democratic Party. It 
was our function, it was our purpose to remove obstacles of 
participation to voting. The greater responsibility, of course, was 
with the Secretary of State in our State and in States across the 
country who controlled the elections in the State. But we all, in all 
of our capacities, had a responsibility to remove, not throw up, 
obstacles to participation.
  I know that this issue is not just about counting votes, but what 
happens in all three phases, before, during and after the election; and 
in all three phases, there were problems in this election in Ohio and 
elsewhere.
  Before the election, there were complaints about absentee ballots 
that were requested, but did not arrive. There were reports of 
registration problems and of improper purging of the voting rolls. The 
Ohio Secretary of State made decisions about provisional ballots, 
partisan poll watchers and paper requirements for registration forms 
that some found questionable, leading to widespread confusion and 
possible disenfranchisement.
  During the election we know that there were not enough voting 
machines in poorer and minority areas. This is a fact. Yet there were 
sufficient machines in wealthier areas. This led to appallingly long 
waiting times of up to 10 hours in certain places. You can deny it all 
you want, but it is a matter of public record that this is a fact, and 
this is wrong.
  There were credible reports of voter suppression on election day 
through intimidation and misinformation and the patchwork use of 
provisional ballots led to unequal treatment under the law; unequal 
treatment under the law, undermining the principles of one person-one 
vote and equal protection.
  As for after the election, the American people must have every 
confidence that every vote legally cast will be legally counted and 
accurately counted. But constantly shifting vote tallies in Ohio and 
malfunctioning electronic machines which may not have paper receipts 
have led to additional loss of confidence by the public.
  As elected officials, we have a solemn responsibility to improve our 
election system and its administration. We cannot be here again 4 years 
from now discussing the failings of the 2008 election. We must work 
with the Elections Assistance Commission to further reform the election 
process, and we must pass legislation to improve the Help America Vote 
Act, including universal standards for provisional ballot and strong 
verification measures and paper trails.
  I want to commend the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney), the distinguish 
chairman of the Committee on House Administration, for his leadership 
in helping to pass the HAVA Act, which is really where we are pinning 
our hopes, and to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), who served 
in that capacity with the gentleman, and now in the Senate others, a 
broader array of people who are weighing in on that.
  Congress must seize the opportunity this year to reauthorize the act 
and to make the needed reforms and improvements. Our very democracy 
depends again on the confidence of the American people and the 
integrity of our electoral system.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I say to my colleagues, please do not talk about 
this as a ``conspiracy theory.'' It is not about that. It is not about 
conspiracy; it is about the Constitution of the United States. George 
Bush and Dick Cheney are the elected President and Vice President of 
the United States, and I think the objection will be overruled today in 
that regard. It has never been about that. It has always been about the 
fundamental principle of the legitimacy of our electoral process.
  Congress will resolve this dispute today, and we will all abide by 
the results because we are a Nation of laws. America is a beacon of 
democracy to the world. We must never forget the power of our own 
example to those who aspire to freedom throughout the world.
  So let us respect this debate today for what it is, about ensuring 
the foundation of our very own democracy, and by sending a message to 
the world that we are truly, truly protective of our Constitution and 
that we honor the oath of office that we take to protect and defend the 
Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues all to join together in a 
bipartisan way for electoral reform to follow on the good work that I 
mentioned of the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney) earlier and the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer) and to make sure that 4 years from 
now we will come together not having to have this kind of debate, but 
that today's debate will serve the purpose that it is intended to have 
for our country.
  Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the Democratic leader 
mentioned the bipartisan support led by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Ney) and the gentleman from (Mr. Hoyer). The committee on which I sit, 
the Committee on House Administration, did bipartisan work on the Help 
America Vote Act of 2002, and it took a step in the right direction.
  For the record, the chairman has also scheduled hearings to evaluate 
where we are and where we are going in the future so we can work in a 
bipartisan fashion on the Help America Vote Act and its future 
considerations.
  Mr. Speaker, in 1974, Captain Hiroo Onada formally surrendered to the 
U.S. military forces. What made his surrender particularly unique is 
Captain Onada, who had already been declared legally dead for 15 years, 
was a member of the Imperial Army, still fighting a war whose outcome 
had been decided 29 years earlier.
  Thirty years later, another contest whose results have been firmly 
decided is being waged not on some remote island, but in the halls of 
the United States Congress.
  It is a sad day.
  Mr. Speaker, President Bush won more votes than any candidate in 
America's history. His opponent conceded that victory long ago. The 
Ohio results have been certified, and one of that State's newspapers, 
the Dayton Daily News, reported last month that those advancing the 
wild-eyed conspiracy theories surrounding Ohio's electorate votes are 
``speaking nonsense.''
  Mr. Speaker, it is amazing to me that my colleagues on the other side 
of the aisle cannot accept the words of their very own candidate who 
said, ``We cannot win this election.''
  The American people have spoken. I urge my colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle to open their ears and hear their voices; to join us 
in facing the challenges of the future rather than trying to change the 
past.
  President Bush has been duly elected by the people of this great 
country, and

[[Page H109]]

it is time for those who refuse to accept the American people's 
decision, if you will pardon the expression, to move on.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Regula).
  (Mr. REGULA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. REGULA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, the Ohio recount requested by the other party, has been 
completed and has been verified. In every area of Ohio, bipartisan 
county boards have verified the integrity of these election results. 
This is the true message to the world: our system works with integrity.
  We keep hearing that Ohio's vote was rigged in some way. But this is 
not plausible when you have a system of 88 separate bipartisan county 
election boards. In Ohio, our boards take great pride in their 
administration of the election laws.
  I urge the Congress to accept the votes cast today by the State of 
Ohio for President Bush.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 5 
minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I do not question the outcome of this 
election. However, I do know that I stood in line for hours with voters 
trying to cast ballots, and since election day I have heard from dozens 
of voters, Democrats and Republicans, who lost their right to vote on 
November 2 in my State of Ohio.
  For 8 years in the 1980s I served as Ohio's elected Secretary of 
State. During my term in office, we held and my office conducted two 
Presidential elections, two gubernatorial elections, and dozens of 
primary and special elections.
  The role of the Ohio Secretary of State serves two main functions: to 
ensure everyone is confident that his or her vote will be counted and 
to encourage everyone to exercise that right to vote. Our Secretary of 
State this year failed on both counts. I speak from experience when I 
say the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio was riddled with unnecessary 
problems.

                              {time}  1415

  I visited four precincts in Oberlin, Ohio, outside of my district 
where I stood in line with voters, some of whom waited up to 6 hours to 
vote. I visited Hispanic and white working-class precincts, and I saw 
long lines everywhere I went. I received panicked calls throughout the 
day from voters whose polling places had broken machines and were being 
denied the right to vote. In the days leading up to the election, I 
witnessed reports throughout my district in northeastern Ohio of voters 
who had been told their voter registration could be invalid and that 
despite their efforts to register, they were not on the voting rolls. 
In far too many cases, their votes were not allowed.
  Ohio voters should never again be forced to wait 3, 5, sometimes even 
10 hours to cast a vote. Ohioans should never again, as too many people 
did this November, lose their right to vote.
  But it is not just about Ohio; it is not just about who won and who 
did not. It is about our system of democracy. Mr. Speaker, I am 
saddened that no Republicans in this body are joining us today in 
acknowledging problems in Ohio and in working with us to fix those 
problems because, Mr. Speaker, defending the right to vote should be a 
concern for Republicans and Democrats alike.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, Ohio symbolizes that the Help America Vote 
Act fell short of the lofty goals set by this Congress. Ohio's 
Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican, in a State in 
which all statewide offices are controlled by Republicans and, in our 
State legislature, Republicans outnumber Democrats two to one in both 
chambers, our Secretary of State repeatedly took actions to make it 
more difficult for as many Ohioans as possible to have their votes 
fairly cast and accurately recorded.
  No national standards were set for voting equipment because the Bush 
administration appointed members of the Election Assistance Commission 
so late that their confirmation was nearly a full year later than 
required by HAVA itself. They had no time to recommend standards until 
it was too late, and those standards are still not in place today.
  The Ohio Secretary of State tried to force county boards of elections 
to buy equipment that his own reports showed to be flawed. Federal 
dollars that this Congress appropriated to help modernize elections 
became stuck in Ohio between the Secretary of State's office and local 
boards of elections who were often in deep disagreement as to which 
machine standards were trustworthy.
  Just prior to election, Secretary Blackwell continued to frustrate 
the enfranchisement of Ohioans with actions ranging from specifying 
paper weight standards for voter registration forms that even his own 
office could not meet, and then fighting the availability of 
provisional ballots right up until 3 p.m. on Election Day. In fact, 
people who had requested absentee ballots and had not received them 
were denied provisional ballots until a Federal court ruling that was 
issued at 3 p.m. on Election Day, after who knows how many Ohioans were 
denied ballots that they were prepared to cast for the candidates of 
their choice.
  No one can change the outcome of this election; but believe me, 
hundreds of thousands of Ohioans do have questions about the way that 
this election was handled in Ohio, in a State in which the winning 
margin was only 118,000 votes. Implementing the actual intent of HAVA 
and amending it where necessary deserve the full investigation of this 
109th Congress, and it ought to be our first order of business.
  I commend the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones) of Cleveland who 
experienced these abuses in her area for bringing this to national 
attention. We are very proud of her. We are very proud of the Members 
who have chosen to join her. I would ask my Republican colleagues, 
starting with the Committee on House Administration, to join us in this 
effort to make HAVA really work as we approach the elections of 2006.
  Ms. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, I seek to be recognized for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. 
Hayworth) for 5 minutes.
  (Mr. HAYWORTH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, this may be the most appropriate time to 
remind each and every one of us engaged in this debate that it is the 
hallmark of our constitutional Republic and our government to operate 
by the consent of the governed. And there is a corollary to that which 
we should likewise remember: in a free system where the people choose, 
it is also necessary for contestants who are unsuccessful to accept the 
verdict of the people. In our Republic there are majority rules, but 
the rights of the minority are protected.
  Now, also understand what has transpired this afternoon. In what 
should be a reaffirmation of our constitutional Republic and the 
Electoral College, a Member has chosen to dispute the outcome of voting 
in the State of Ohio. Despite that fact, speaker after speaker on the 
minority side, including the leader from California, has said they 
accept the verdict of the election. Do not misunderstand, I say to my 
colleagues. This is a vitally important point.
  The problem we confront with this debate is that it serves to plant 
the insidious seeds of doubt in the electoral process. All the talk of 
election reform, all the talk of hearings that the leader championed, 
all the process complaints, some that are inaccurate that have come 
from the other side, are points to be debated in the regular business 
of this House. Yes, they are important. But to disrupt the Electoral 
College, to say in effect, hey, we just want to shine light on this 
problem, is not the proper use of the people's time. And with all due 
respect, I question not the intent; but the net effect is this: again, 
it is to place doubt and to institutionalize forever the notion of 
grumbling and a lack of acceptance of the verdict of the people. In 
less elevated terms, Mr. Speaker, it is called sour grapes; and it is 
sad to see in this House.
  Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not point out that this view 
is not

[[Page H110]]

shared universally, despite the kind words for the Member who brought 
this from her friends on that side of the aisle. Listen to the comments 
from Kerry campaign spokesman David Wade: ``I'd give my right arm for 
Internet rumors of a stolen election to be true, but blogging doesn't 
make it so. We can change the future; we can't rewrite the past.''
  Or Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart on Election Day: ``We think the 
system has worked today. There were thousands of lawyers deployed to 
make sure that no one tried to take advantage or unfair advantage and, 
by and large, it has worked. I've seen very few reports of 
irregularities, and even the ones we have seen, after a little 
investigation, you find there is not much going on.''
  And it bears repeating, even though he has spoken earlier today in 
Baghdad and made some comments I vociferously disagree with from a 
Member of the Senate going into a wartime theater, listen to the words 
of the nominee of your own party who lost the election, my friends on 
the Democratic side: ``But the outcome should be decided by voters, not 
a protracted legal process. I would not give up this fight if there was 
a chance we should prevail, but it is now clear that even when all of 
the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be 
enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio and, therefore, 
we cannot win this election.''
  Mr. Speaker, one of the virtues of our system is this: in America, 
there are never lost causes because, in America, there are never fully 
gained causes. That is why we have the electoral process. How sad the 
electoral process has been sidelined today for a publicity stunt.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Kucinich).
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I yield for the purpose of making a 
unanimous consent request to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne).
  (Mr. PAYNE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in 
objecting to the certification of the State of Ohio's electoral votes.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join with my colleagues in objecting to 
the certification of the State of Ohio's electoral votes.
  Unfortunately, last November in Ohio we witnessed many of the same 
irregularities that occurred in Florida in the year 2000 and which 
tainted the election results. That year, former Vice President Gore won 
the popular vote by over half a million votes but was denied an 
electoral victory because of voter irregularities.
  As a member of the House International Relations Committee, I have 
monitored elections around the world, in remote nations like Namibia in 
Africa, and most recently in the disputed election in the Ukraine. 
Watching election coverage of our own elections here in the United 
States last November, I was shocked to see American voters facing 
greater obstacles than I have seen in third world countries. There were 
voters who waited in line over 10 hours to cast a ballot. For those 
standing in line, not only was this frustrating, it was also a 
particular hardship for older voters and for parents who had families 
waiting for them.
  In addition to the unreasonably long lines at certain voting 
precincts, other problems included a large percentage of provisional 
ballot rejections, voting machine errors, and voter registration 
obstacles.
  Mr. Speaker, as in the past, the most impacted voters are African 
Americans, Hispanics and other minorities. In Florida in 2000, 
minorities on their way to the polls were stopped at road blocks in 
their neighborhoods on the pretense that law enforcement officers 
needed to check vehicle inspection stickers. The wait was so long that 
many minority voters had to turn around and go home or to work. This is 
not democracy. This is how people lived under apartheid in South 
Africa.
  Now we learn that in Ohio, more than half of the complaints about 
long lines came from Columbus and Cleveland where a huge proportion of 
the State's Democratic voters live. The House Judiciary Committee 
report details numerous problems and obstacles that Ohio voters faced. 
For example, a New York Times investigation revealed that Franklin 
County election officials reduced the number of electronic voting 
machines assigned to downtown precincts and added them to the suburbs. 
One entire polling place had to shut down at 9:25 in the morning on 
election day because there were no working machines. Does this sound 
like democracy?
  Mr. Speaker, we have a responsibility to ensure that the 
constitutional right of every voter in this country is protected. We 
are raising this objection to try to ensure that our Nation takes 
action to ensure that what happened in Florida and Ohio will never 
happen again.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, let us not denigrate factual concerns 
about the Ohio election by dismissing them as simply partisan. This is 
not about Democrat or Republican votes. It is not about red or blue 
States or black or white. It is about wrong or right. It is not about 
winners or losers. It is about protecting voting rights in our 
democracy against corruption.
  Let us review just one of the very serious concerns with the Ohio 
election: voting machines were misallocated, causing voters to stand in 
line, in some cases for 10 hours. That denies voters equal protection 
of the law. In the State's capital, a shortage of voting machines in 
predominantly African American communities was created, even though the 
Secretary of State knew far in advance that 102,000 new voters were 
registered in that county alone. The misallocation of voting machines 
was estimated to have denied at least 15,000 people the opportunity to 
vote. Furthermore, the Secretary of State, who under Ohio law has a 
constitutional duty to ensure election laws are upheld, failed to issue 
guidelines under the Help America Vote Act for 2 years. Contrary to the 
spirit of HAVA, which is to encourage voting and to have every vote 
count, Ohio's top election official conducted the activities of his 
office in a most partisan manner, undermining public trust in the 
election. He sharply restricted the ability of voters to use 
provisional ballots. He endeavored to make it more difficult for lower-
income people, who are more likely to move, to vote.
  We know who won the election, but what the American people do not 
know is the extent to which voting irregularities in the State of Ohio 
deprived tens of thousands of my fellow citizens of their 14th 
amendment right to equal protection of the law and their 
constitutionally protected right to vote. The right to vote is 
expressly protected by the 15th amendment, the 19th and the 24th 
amendment, and the 26th amendment to the United States Constitution. It 
is that right which has produced our very presence in this Chamber. It 
is that right which binds us as a Nation, which creates the unity of 
States, which legitimizes the government, which enfranchises not just 
the people, but in which reposes the treasure of the American people, a 
government of the people, by the people and for the people.
  People have marched for that right, have put their lives, their 
fortunes, their sacred honor on the line for that right, have died for 
that right; and the least we can do is show our commitment to 
protecting that right.
  The outcome of the election will remain unchanged, but what must 
change is a system which denied citizens of a great State their 
opportunity to change the outcome. Election reform is our solemn duty. 
Our statements today show whether we intend to do that duty.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee) to 
continue this.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me say, first of all, that I rise to object 
to the certification of Ohio's electoral vote; and I want to thank the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. 
Jones), and Senator Barbara Boxer for their leadership. We all know 
this is not deja vu. The Supreme Court did not appoint President Bush 
this time, as it did in 2000. But again, in 2004, the Democratic 
process was thwarted.
  It is a fact that thousands of minority voters were disenfranchised 
before and on Election Day. The misallocation of voting machines, the 
restrictions of provisional ballots, the improper purging of voter 
rolls, the delays in mailing absentee ballots, the malfunctioning of 
electronic machines, the widely reported incidents of intimidation and 
misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act are all but a few 
examples of the widespread efforts to disenfranchise and suppress Ohio 
voters.
  Let me tell my colleagues, my constituents in the Ninth Congressional 
District of California want democracy to work for all. Some say ``get 
over it.'' I will never get over the shameful stain

[[Page H111]]

of the suppression of any American's constitutional right to vote. We 
must pass Federal standards to require a paper trail, insist on 
nonpartisan officials ensuring the process be moved forward for real, 
in a real way, and pass real election reform.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speakr, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Nadler), a great leader.
  (Mr. NADLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, the right to vote has been stolen from 
qualified voters. Stolen through corruption, through political 
cynicism, through incompetence, through technical malfunction.
  Despite the fact that the widespread and documented irregularities in 
the Ohio election have not been proved to change the outcome of the 
presidential election, the loss of the right to vote by so many is 
unacceptable.
  Elections must not only be fair and honest, they must be seen to be 
fair and honest in order to maintain the legitimacy of our democratic 
institutions.
  This year we have dodged a bullet. If the apparent margin of victory 
in Ohio were closer, the Florida 2000 fiasco would look like a picnic.
  Mr. Speaker, normally the process of counting electoral votes is a 
purely ceremonial event. Normally it is a celebration of our democratic 
institutions. Normally it is a celebration of the rule of law and equal 
protection of all Americans under the law.
  But we do not live in normal times. the right to vote has been stolen 
from qualified voters--stolen through corruption, through political 
cynicism, and through incompetence, through technical malfunction.
  Regardless of the reason, the denial of the fundamental right to vote 
is a crime against our democracy, against our way of life, and against 
the most fundamental rights of every American.
  Despite the fact that the widespread and documented irregularities in 
the Ohio election have not been proved to have changed the outcome of 
the presidential election, the loss of the right to vote by so many is 
unacceptable.
  Elections must not only be fair and honest, they must be seen to be 
fair and honest in order to maintain the legitimacy of our democratic 
institutions.
  This year, we have dodged a bullet. The disgraceful events in Ohio 
may not have changed the outcome of the election, but a closer vote 
could well have made this belief impossible. If the apparent margin of 
victory in Ohio were 30,000 or 40,000 instead of 118,000, we would now 
be embroiled in a dispute that would make Florida in 2000 look like a 
picnic.
  What is at stake is our democracy. This is not about conspiracies, or 
phantoms. It is about the failure to count valid votes for invalid 
reasons. It is about disenfranchising thousands of voters by forcing 
them to wait on line 10 hours to cast their votes. It is about the co-
chair of the President's reelect committee serving as the chief 
election officer for the state, and doing everything possible to 
prevent voters from voting. It is about voting machines that invalidate 
valid votes.
  We are told to get over it. How do you get over having your vote 
stolen? How do you get over widespread disenfranchisement?
  This Congress must fully investigate these allegations, and we must 
act to prevent these outrages from happening again. If these outrages 
were criminal violations of our laws, those responsible must be brought 
to justice. If they were not violations of the law, they ought to be. 
Our next election must not again steal people's votes.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle should not let partisan 
politics stand in the way of an honest assessment of this election. 
They should not ignore what happened. However they vote today, they 
should commit themselves to a full and fair investigation. Anything 
less would suggest that they think there is something to hide. It would 
suggest that there is a partisan coverup.
  We can do better. We must do better.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House for 
5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, the American people must be 
watching this debate and literally shaking their heads. With all of the 
challenges facing our Nation we are spending our time debating the 
challenge to the validity of the Presidential election simply because 
the Democratic Party cannot accept the fact that their candidate lost 
this election. They cannot accept the fact that their agenda, that 
their vision for America has been rejected by the majority of 
Americans. They cannot accept the fact that President George W. Bush 
simply received more votes than Senator John Kerry.
  This election was very hard fought on both sides. The American people 
have accepted the fact that it is over and they want this Congress to 
get to work and to work in a bipartisan way.
  If this is a minority party's idea of bipartisanship, then let the 
people of our Nation see it for what it is. Because in the spirit of 
bipartisanship, the Democrats are asking us to overturn the 
Presidential election which President Bush won by over 3 million votes 
nationwide and by over 118,000 votes in the State of Ohio.
  In the spirit of bipartisanship they say that somehow Karl Rove was 
manipulating votes from a secret computer in the White House and that 
somehow these secret computers were changing the votes on punch cards 
and optical scan sheets that record actual votes. This language is in 
their challenge.
  How interesting, however, that their challenge as it talks about 
conspiracies in the State of Ohio, making allegations that have no 
basis of fact, their challenge is silent about an incident in Ohio 
where fraudulent voter registration forms were being submitted and the 
worker who collected them was paid in crack cocaine.
  How interesting that their challenge does not mention the Democratic 
group ACORN which submitted vote registrations for dead people that 
used 25 different addresses for the same individual.
  Mr. Speaker, before I came to Congress I served very proudly for 8 
years as the Michigan Secretary of State where my principal 
responsibility was serving as the chief election officer. So I feel I 
have a little bit of background to make some observations about the 
election process. In fact, Michigan is recognized as a national leader 
on elections. We constructed the first statewide computerized voter 
registration list which precludes the possibility of anybody having 
more than one address or registering more than once.
  In fact, I might add, I was very proud in my former capacity to 
receive the highest grade in the Nation of Secretaries of State for 
voter election reforms and that grade was given to me by the NAACP.
  We are all committed to free and fair elections. We all want to make 
sure that every single vote is counted, that no different voter is 
disenfranchised.
  I do remember clearly, however, how distressed I was in my former 
capacity to have to threaten the Detroit City Clerk, a Democrat, with 
court action if she did not comply with our State election law to make 
sure that every vote is counted, particularly minority votes. However, 
my dismay at seeing that none of the Members of the United States 
Congress here ever spoke out to protect the rights of their own 
constituents to be heard at the ballot box. There was no outrage. There 
was no indignation. And yet today we hear outrage based on fantasies 
and conspiracies.
  Mr. Speaker, let me say that I am sincerely interested in undertaking 
the important work of the American people in truly a bipartisan manner. 
So I would ask that we might be spared from selective outrage, that we 
might be spared from the righteous indignation based on fantasy.
  Mr. Speaker, the challenges to those votes in Ohio are turkeys. I 
think those turkeys should be given to someone else.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Turner).
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Speaker, when the processes that are meant to 
guarantee our freedoms are abused, they are weakened in meaning and the 
rights and privileges that they are meant to protect are placed in 
peril. Like the person who cried wolf for attention, who risked the 
safety of the herd by demeaning and diminishing the meaning of the 
alarm, the objecting Members today weaken the processes of objecting to 
a State's electoral votes and place in peril future real attacks on our 
voting rights.
  If their goal today was to protect the right to vote, why object only 
to Ohio?

[[Page H112]]

Why not pick a State that voted for John Kerry? Because the objection 
today is not about protecting our right to vote. It is about 
undermining our election process and our President.
  Mr. Speaker, we are asking people in Afghanistan and Iraq to risk 
their lives to vote, and today we hear complaints about the time it 
took to vote in free elections in the greatest democracy in the world.
  My hometown newspaper in Dayton, Ohio said, ``What's not in order is 
the suggestion of some great fraud where there is none. Some people 
will take advantage of the inevitable flaws of elections to confuse 
other people . . . Those people do harm, not good.''
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Cummings) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Engel).
  (Mr. ENGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, we must ensure that everyone has the right to 
vote and every vote is counted.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the fact that too many 
Americans are being denied the right to vote in a fair, free and open 
election process. Every American citizen who wants to vote should be 
allowed to vote, and every vote must count.
  Sadly, many voters in this nation believe their right to cast ballots 
for President, Member of Congress, Governor or countless other 
leadership positions has been undercut because of this nation's broken 
electoral system.
  Today, the House of Representatives will certify the Electoral 
College's ballot electing the next President. While my first choice for 
this important job was Senator John Kerry, I know that President Bush 
won this election.
  This does not change the fact that around the country and 
particularly in the state of Ohio, many voters felt as if their vote 
was not properly counted. This feeling was particularly acute in more 
poor, urban and minority areas. Money, privilege, or geographic 
location should not make someone's vote count more than anyone else's.
  In October 2002, Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act, which 
addressed many of those weaknesses. It created a new federal agency, 
the Election Assistance Commission, with election administration 
responsibilities. It set requirements for voting and voter-registration 
systems and certain other aspects of election administration, and it 
provided federal funding; but it did not supplant state and local 
control over election administration.
  Yet, more needs to be done. We cannot have another election where 
tens of thousands of Americans feel as though their votes did not count 
or were counted improperly. We must continue to work toward a more 
perfect system. The Republicans control Congress, and their 
unwillingness to invest what it takes to correct our national electoral 
system is a disgrace.
  Fixing the voting problems around the country will not be easy and 
will not be cheap. But a fair and open election is the bedrock of our 
democracy and what ensures a peaceful transfer of power. How can we ask 
Americans to respect the laws made in Washington if we cannot ensure 
them the lawmakers were elected fairly?
  Today, American soldiers are being wounded and dying so the United 
States can spread democracy around the world. It is absolutely shameful 
that when these soldiers return home, they cannot even be sure their 
own electoral process is fair and accurate.
  I realize that in the case of Ohio, the irregularities would not 
overturn the results of the election. Even Senator Kerry has conceded 
that and does not support this congressional motion. I, therefore, will 
vote against the motion, but feel that it is important today to 
highlight the very real problems we have with our electoral process--
which must be addressed by this Congress.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, today this is not about overturning 
election results but reforming a broken election system.
  Mr. Speaker, as I listen to my friends from the other side I become 
quite upset when I hear them say things like, we are trying to break 
down the election system, taking away from the credibility of our 
election system. Nothing could be further from the truth.
  What we are trying to do is make sure that every single voter has the 
right to vote and that their vote is counted.
  This is not a black and white issue. This is not a Republican/
Democrat issue. This is a red, white and blue issue.
  This Constitution that we base our country and our laws on, the 
fundamental things of that Constitution, that building block, is the 
vote; and when we take away that vote, then what we do is we basically 
are destroying our democracy. That is what this is all about.
  I wonder, I really do, if it were your wife who was denied the right 
to vote or your child, would you be making the same arguments?
  All we are saying is we want to make sure that if we have a broken 
system, if there is one person whose vote is not counted, if there is 
one person who does not have the right to vote, then that is one person 
too many. It is as simple as that.
  So it upsets me that you keep saying these things about us denying 
Bush his opportunity to be President and all this kind of thing. That 
is not true.
  What we are addressing is the fundamental right to vote. It is simple 
as that.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express concern for our nation's 
democracy. At its core, our form of government is based on the premise 
of ``one person, one vote.''
  When you take away that right to vote or when you deny a cast vote 
from being counted, then you denigrate the building blocks of our great 
democracy and our Constitution.
  We are not here to contest the election results, but urge election 
reform of a broken system.
  In fact, today, we are reliving the painful experiences of the 2000 
election.
  Those problems included: outdated and unreliable technology, 
confusing ballots, lack of poll worker training, and inaccurate voting 
lists.
  As a result, 6 million voters were disenfranchised.
  We all remember that this disenfranchisement was most prevalent in 
Florida.
  And here we stand again, four years later, to discuss flaws that led 
to a significant disenfranchisement of voters in the recent 2004 
Presidential Election.
  This is not an effort to overturn the results of the election. 
Rather, this is an effort to address the irregularities of the election 
and to fix our broken election system.
  Although there were general reports of irregularities across the 
country, we must examine the prevalent problems that occurred in the 
state of Ohio, in particular.
  There were numerous accounts of eligible voters--waiting on line for 
up to ten hours in the cold and rain--facing insufficient resources at 
polling places, voting machine shortages, the denial of provisional 
ballots, voting machine errors or tampering, and the intentional 
distribution of inaccurate information.
  I think many of my colleagues find these irregularities appalling.
  My friends of the House and Senate this is a red, white and blue 
issue; not black or white; not urban or rural; or even Republican or 
Democratic.
  We must stand up to these injustices.
  That is why, as a result of these irregularities, I believe these 
critical steps must be taken:
  1. Congress needs to enact meaningful non-partisan election reform--
HAVA can and needs to be improved, particularly by providing for a 
verified paper trail for electronic voting machines.
  2. Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread 
election irregularities reported in Ohio and around the country to fix 
our piecemeal election system.
  Our duty to uphold democracy in America is clear.
  If even one American is denied the right to vote, or one vote is not 
counted, that is simply one too many.
  I applaud the brave gentlelady of Ohio, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and 
the equally brave Senator Barbara Boxer of the State of California for 
raising this contest to the electoral votes from Ohio.
  I leave this great Chamber with a fitting quote from Thomas 
Jefferson, ``[It is] by their votes the people exercise their 
sovereignty.''
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. McKinney).
  Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Speaker, never have the issues been so clear as 
they are for all of us today. Our country is at war ostensibly to bring 
democracy to a far off country on the other side of our planet. At the 
same time, a significant chunk of the American people protest in their 
own humble ways for democracy at home. They see unequal protection of 
the precious right to vote blatant in Ohio but not only in Ohio; voting 
machines that cannot be trusted, casting votes for candidates not 
intended by the voter. That happened in my own race in my own State of 
Georgia.

[[Page H113]]

  Provisional balloting made absurd by seemingly purposefully drafted 
arcane rules that in some case rendered the right to vote moot; our 
democracy entrusted to privately owned software run on computers that 
can be hacked, that overheat, break down or have their batteries die in 
the middle of the voting process; and, moreover, voting on machines 
that do not even tell us after we have voted who it is exactly that our 
vote was counted for.
  When Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, it hoped to correct 
the blatant irregularities and purposeful disenfranchisement that 
occurred in Florida in the 2000 election. It is clear from the work of 
the Committee on the Judiciary, the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones) 
and the tireless efforts of people across Ohio that this Congress has a 
lot of work to do.
  Our Vice President has told to us expect war for the next generation. 
It is not only our responsibility but our right to demand full 
democracy at home, and we do that by our actions today. This is not 
merely about bitterness or a recount, this is about a blackout.
  It is time to end the blackout and shine the lights on our precious 
right to vote.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Clay).
  Mr. CLAY. Mr. Speaker, the numerous irregularities that occurred with 
the electronic voting machines in Ohio on November 2 of last year point 
to an unresolved national crisis. The lack of a unified standard for 
all voters and all ballots casts in a federal election.
  Congress must establish this standard with a verifiable paper or 
audit trail. It is the only way to ensure integrity of the federal 
election process.
  Reports of voter intimidation, inadequate and malfunctioning voter 
machines, incompetent election judges and lines at the polling places 
in urban areas that lasted for many hours were widespread. These 
irregularities were compounded by the irresponsible conduct of the 
allegedly unbiased top election official who openly became a partisan 
advocate for his party's Presidential nomination.
  Honorable colleagues, the numerous irregularities that occurred with 
the electronic voting machines in Ohio on November 2nd of last year 
point to an unresolved national crisis: the lack of a unified standard 
for all voters and all ballots cast in a federal election. Congress 
must establish this standard, with a verifiable paper or audit trail. 
It is the only way to ensure the integrity of the federal election 
process.
  Reports of voter intimidation, inadequate and malfunctioning voting 
machines, incompetent election judges and lines at polling places in 
urban areas that lasted for many hours were widespread.
  These irregularities were compounded by the irresponsible conduct of 
the allegedly unbiased top election official who openly became a 
partisan advocate for his party's presidential nominee.
  Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I have just listened to the remarks of my 
returning colleague from Georgia. I certainly welcome her back to this 
great deliberative body. She began, Mr. Speaker, by saying that we are 
a nation at war, and it is very clear that we are. We are in the midst 
of a global war on terrorism and the people who are leading that war on 
terrorism clearly have no confidence whatsoever in the process of self-
determination. And that is why I think that this exercise which we are 
going through today clearly emboldens those who would, in fact, want to 
undermine the prospect of democracy because there is no evidence 
whatsoever, no evidence whatsoever that the claims that are being made 
are valid.
  The vote in Ohio has already been recounted. There is no doubt 
President Bush won the election. He won with historic margins, and 
millions of first-time voters in Ohio were participating. John Kerry 
has accepted this fact. Even those foreign officials who many of our 
colleagues invited to the United States as election observers have come 
to the conclusion that George Bush won the election.
  We as a Nation are regularly encouraging elections all over the 
world. We just observed this amazing exercise that has taken place with 
the election of Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine.
  Now, it is true that no election is perfect. We have seen this since 
the beginning of our democracy. But small imperfections here and there 
do not a mass conspiracy make. In fact, we have had a number of people 
quoting newspapers. I am not an expert on the newspapers in the State 
of Ohio, but I have been told by more than a few people that the Dayton 
Daily News, which is sometimes named something else, actually endorsed 
John Kerry and on December 3 they said the following: ``Some people 
will take advantage of the inevitable flaws of elections to confuse 
other people, to sow doubts. Those people do harm, not good. They 
undermine the legitimacy of every close election outcome.''
  The fact is the system worked pretty well. People should know that. 
Now, that came from what I am told is one of the most liberal 
newspapers in the State of Ohio and a newspaper that endorsed John 
Kerry.

                              {time}  1445

  I would respectfully suggest, Mr. Speaker, to my colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle, as well as those on the other side of the 
Capitol, that what makes our system great is our willingness to accept 
the legitimate results of an election, whoever wins, and move forward 
together for the good of the American people.
  I would remind them once again, there is no evidence whatsoever to 
suggest that the results of this election were anything other than 
legitimate. We know how difficult it is to lose an election. I am here 
with my colleague returning also, Dan Lungren. He lost his first 
election in 1976. I lost my first election in 1978, and Dan likes to 
regularly remind me that he was the first one to come and campaign and 
encourage me to run again in 1980.
  Losing an election is disappointing, no doubt about it whatsoever; 
but moving forward in defeat is just as critical to the integrity of 
our democracy as claiming victory itself.
  It has been said that democracy still represents the best hope for 
mankind. Sowing seeds of doubt about a legitimately decided election 
threatens to unnecessarily dim that hope.
  This objection is without any merit whatsoever, Mr. Speaker; and we 
should move on together as we look towards the inauguration which will 
be taking place on the 20th of this month and as we proceed to 
implement the agenda of the American people.
  Mrs. DRAKE. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DREIER. I yield to the gentlewoman from Virginia.
  Mrs. DRAKE. Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting irony in today's 
challenge to the legitimacy of President George W. Bush's election, the 
very partisans who fought against him the first time, arguing against 
his intelligence, political savvy and leadership abilities, are at this 
very moment accusing him of pulling off a major feat in tampering with 
and illegally affecting the outcome of the vote in Ohio. All of this he 
allegedly did without leaving a shred of evidence.
  Mr. Speaker, I find an interesting irony in today's challenge to the 
legitimacy of President George W. Bush's election as President of the 
United States:
  The very partisans who fought against him the first time, arguing 
against his intelligence, political savvy and leadership abilities are 
at this very moment accusing him of pulling off a major feat in 
tampering with and illegally affecting the outcome of the vote count in 
Ohio.
  All of this, ladies and gentlemen, he allegedly did without leaving 
so much as a shred of evidence.
  So I ask my colleagues who prefer to dwell on the past rather than 
fight for the future; who would rather level accusations than 
legislate; who would rather waste Congress's time and taxpayer dollars 
than work on providing health care, education and a strong military for 
America--I ask these colleagues, if reform is needed in Ohio, to work 
with their State legislature to create the best system possible and to 
join Senator Kerry in accepting the will of the American people.
  Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 
5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Jackson) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear. Today's 
objection is not about an individual, but our institutions. It is not 
about Republicans, but our Republic. It is not about

[[Page H114]]

Democrats, but our democracy. It is not about an election result. It is 
about an election system that is broken and needs to be fixed.
  Today, we are hearing the facts about voting irregularities in Ohio. 
In 2000, we saw a similar mess in Florida and other States. As we try 
to spread democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, it is 
prudent and appropriate and timely to examine our own democracy.
  What is wrong with our democracy? What is wrong with our voting 
system? State after State, year after year, why do we keep having these 
problems?
  The fundamental reason is this: Americans do not have the explicit 
right to vote in their Constitution. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court in 
Bush v. Gore ruled: ``The individual citizen has no Federal 
constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the 
United States.'' So at present, voting in the United States is a State 
right, not a citizenship right.
  Hence, our voting system is built on the constitutional foundation of 
States rights: 50 different States, 3,067 different counties, 13,000 
different election jurisdictions, all separate, all unequal.
  Consider this, if a person is an ex-felon in Illinois, they can 
register and vote. If they are an ex-felon in 11 States, mostly in the 
South, they are barred from voting for life. There are nearly 5 million 
ex-felons who paid their debt to society but are prohibited from ever 
voting again, including 1.5 million African American males; but in 
Maine and Vermont, a person can vote if they are a felon while they are 
in jail. Illinois, Florida, Vermont. Different States, different rules, 
different systems.
  In contrast, the first amendment to the Constitution guarantees us an 
individual citizenship right, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, 
freedom of association; and we can travel between the States with such 
a fundamental right. However, when it comes to voting, a person does 
not have such a fundamental right. They have a State right. A State 
right is not a citizenship right, but a right defined and protected by 
each State and limited to each State.
  108 of the 119 nations in the world that elect their public officials 
in some democratic manner have the right to vote in their Constitution, 
including the Afghan Constitution and the interim document in Iraq. The 
United States is one of eleven nations that does not have an 
affirmative right to vote in the Constitution. Should we not be the 
108th nation that does just that?
  The Bible says if we build a house on sand, when it rains, the winds 
blow and the storms come and it will not stand. Our voting system is 
built on the sand of States rights. Florida one year, Ohio the next 
year, and no telling what is happening in 2008 and 2012.
  As a result, the American people are gradually losing confidence in 
the credibility, the fairness, the effectiveness and the efficiency of 
our voting system. So we need to build our democracy, not on HAVA 
Democrats, not on HAVA Republicans, but build our democracy on the 
fundamental individual guarantee in the Constitution that every citizen 
can rely upon in their Constitution.
  We need to provide the American people with the citizenship right to 
vote and provide Congress with the authority to craft a unitary system 
from Maine to California so we do not have so many separate and unequal 
systems. Mr. Speaker, it is the foundation upon which we build a more 
perfect Union amongst the States.
  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. I yield to the gentleman from Georgia, whose 
credentials on the question of voting are unparalleled and unmarked and 
unmatched in this Congress.
  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and friend 
for yielding.
  The right to vote and to have every vote counted is precious and 
sacred. It is the heart and soul of our democratic process. We cannot 
be true to ourselves as a democratic society unless we get it right.
  I think, Mr. Speaker, it is fitting and appropriate that we pause, 
that we have this discussion, that we have this debate, and that 
Congress hold further hearings on questions about the Presidential 
election in Ohio and elsewhere.
  Our electoral system is broken, and it must be fixed once and for 
all. What happened in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004 tends to 
dramatize the fact that there is something wrong with our democracy. 
More and more of our citizens have grown uneasy.
  I hear people on the other side saying we should forget it, we should 
get over it. How can we get over it when people died for the right to 
vote, where people suffered for the right to vote? The right of every 
vote to be counted must be upheld by this body.
  Mr. JINDAL. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Jindal) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JINDAL. Mr. Speaker, it is a great honor to address this House 
for the first time in my elected career. It is also with a heavy heart 
that I address this House.
  I think that this debate diminishes this House. This was one of the 
proudest weeks of my life, when my father was able to see his son being 
sworn into this House, when I was able to bring my daughter to watch 
her father being sworn into this House.
  As a son of immigrants, I take very seriously the freedoms and rights 
granted to us in this country, America, the greatest country in the 
world.
  I think we diminish this House by the discussion that we are having. 
Let us be clear. We are not here at a congressional hearing. We are not 
hear to talk about improving our election procedures. We are hear to 
certify the results of this recent election. We are here to certify the 
fact that President Bush did, indeed, win the votes granted to him in 
the State of Ohio; did, indeed, win election across this great country.
  In many ways, I am glad that my daughter and father are no longer 
here to watch this debate taking place in this House. Even CBS news has 
recognized the fact that President Bush has won this election. This is 
probably the only place left that is still disputing this election.
  What kind of message are we sending out? What kind of message are we 
sending to the rest of the world where we bring democracy to every 
corner? Where we are trying to bring democracy, the right to vote to 
Afghanistan, to Iraq, to the Palestinian people, what message do we 
send when we stand up and say if you lose an election, if you do not 
like the results, you can always go to court, you can always hire an 
attorney?
  This is the wrong message to be sending. This does not bring honor to 
this House. This does not bring honor to our democratic tradition. This 
does not bring honor to the history of a peaceful transition of power. 
This does not bring honor to those who have gracefully conceded before.
  Indeed, in my own home State we had a congressional election decided 
by less than half of a percentage point, less than one vote per 
precinct. I want to stand up here and congratulate both the Democratic 
winner of that election, as well as his Republican opponent.
  Mr. Speaker, I have got several remarks from several different 
editorial pages from the State of Ohio that say that we should not be 
having this discussion, that say that the votes were counted in Ohio. 
There is another place, there is another time to be having this 
discussion. Today is about certifying, accepting the results.
  Two things that have been good that have happened today: one, I have 
heard many of my colleagues from the other side recognize our President 
as the rightful winner. I thank them for doing that. Secondly, before I 
yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Tiberi), I 
would like to say in Louisiana we make several jokes about the fact 
that in the past, distant past, people used to vote multiple times. We 
never, however, in the history of our State have ever had multiple 
counts of the same vote.
  I would offer that this is not a good day for our country, not a good 
day for democracy; and we have stopped the acceptance of the 
certification of the votes.
  Mr. TIBERI. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. JINDAL. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.

[[Page H115]]

  (Mr. TIBERI asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. TIBERI. Mr. Speaker, I am often asked in Columbus, Ohio, why it 
is so partisan here in Washington, D.C., and one wonders why 2 days 
after we get sworn in.
  Mr. Speaker, I spoke with a board of elections official this morning 
in my district, a Democrat, who said that what we are doing today is, 
in her opinion, an insult to not only Democrat but Republican board 
members throughout the State. The bipartisan system that is in place in 
Ohio, not one board member has objected to the process in Ohio, not 
one.
  Mr. Speaker, were there problems? Certainly, there were problems in 
Ohio. Were there long lines? Certainly. I stood in a long line in my 
area. The Columbus Dispatch reported there were long lines everywhere. 
In fact, in central Ohio, in Columbus, Ohio, the busiest places to vote 
were not in urban areas. They were in suburban areas.
  All electoral votes in Ohio have said what we are doing today is 
wrong. In fact, the chairman of the Democrat Party in Franklin County, 
my county, has gone so far as to label the charges as a band of 
conspiracy theorists. I did not say that; he said that. By the way, Mr. 
Anthony, the head of the Franklin County Democrat Party, the head of 
the board of elections in Franklin County is also a union official, an 
African American and a good man.
  Mr. Speaker, what we are doing here today, as the Cleveland Plain 
Dealer has said, is the election horse is dead. We are beating a dead 
horse. The election is over. Let us get on with it.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 5 minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey 
(Mr. Pallone) for a unanimous consent request.
  (Mr. PALLONE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, and I 
rise in support of the challenge to Ohio's electors.
  After the 2000 Presidential Election we knew we had to make changes 
in our elections system so American voters were confidant that their 
vote had been registered and counted. The 2000 election taught us that 
many of our election machines were outdated, and unfortunately, some of 
our election officials served their political party over the voter who 
should have the right to vote on Election Day.
  Three years ago, Congress approved landmark election reform 
legislation, the Help America Vote Act, that was supposed to fix many 
of the election problems we encountered in Florida and other States in 
2000.
  We've spent more than $3 billion over the last 3 years to correct the 
voting problems of the past, but despite all this funding we still 
heard horror stories of Americans in lower income and minority areas 
having to wait more than 4 hours to cast their votes because of the 
lack of enough ballot machines. We have to do more to ensure that every 
American has an equal chance to vote--meaning we need to make sure 
working election machines are available at all polling places.
  The nationwide use of provisional ballots is a direct result of that 
legislation. The problem is that while Congress can require that States 
allow voters to use provisional ballots, it has little control over how 
election officials count those provisional ballots.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, this is the second Presidential election in 
a row in which serious, well-documented concerns have been raised about 
disenfranchisement and voting rights violations without any 
congressional investigation. This is the second time, and this time, it 
must be different.
  The United States is supposed to be a beacon of freedom, the greatest 
democracy in the world. Yet we cannot seem to guarantee that the votes 
of our citizens are counted.
  This past election there was everything from votes outnumbering 
voters in some precincts to blatant voter intimidation in other 
precincts. It is time that we investigate these serious violations 
because they are violations to our democracy.
  There is an irony here, a very tragic irony. Yes, indeed, we are 
sacrificing American lives and billions of dollars to try to establish 
democracy in Iraq. Yet we cannot seem to get our own democracy in order 
right here at home.
  This is not about which candidate won, which candidate lost on 
November 2. It is not about politics at all. It is about citizens and 
their most fundamental rights.

                              {time}  1500

  The recommendations put together by the minority Members of this 
House must be followed, and I look forward to working with them to 
ensure that our efforts to ensure every vote counts come together 
before the next election. And if we do not, why would any American 
bother to vote?
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Owens).
  Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, we have preached democracy in Afghanistan. We 
have preached democracy in Iraq. Now the time has come for us to 
accelerate the process of more fully practicing what we preach.
  I wholeheartedly endorse the democracy mission of America, but I am 
here today to beg the chosen decisionmakers here in Congress to take a 
giant step forward to bolster America's world crusade for democracy. 
Today it is appropriate that we address our remarks not only to the 
citizens of America but also to the people of Iraq. Our efforts to 
achieve free elections in Iraq will be totally shattered if we want to 
propose today that Nation be divided into 30 or 50 units with each unit 
granted the power to determine its own election procedures, to select 
its own equipment, and to appoint its own administrators without any 
uniform national standards.
  Our historic compromise granting certain powers to the State that was 
necessary for the birth of this Nation must no longer be used as an 
excuse for the abuse of the free and democratic election process here 
in America. The abuse in certain sections of the country, which once 
openly used violence and intimidation, were outlawed. All other abuses 
involving voter suppression and dirty tricks should immediately be made 
Federal crimes. Out of those who have fought in the past and those 
still on the battlefield for the cause of democracy, it is our duty to 
take the steps to escalate our momentum toward the attainment of a more 
perfect Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, we have preached democracy in Afghanistan. We have 
preached democracy in Iraq. Now the time has come for us to accelerate 
the process of more fully practicing what we preach. Our great nation 
is the premium democratic government of the world and we are all proud 
of that fact. A unifying position of both Democrats and Republicans is 
that we support democracy everywhere. We believe that where there is 
democracy the people are inevitably better off. I wholeheartedly 
endorse the democracy mission of America. But I am here today to beg 
the chosen decision makers here in the Congress to take a giant step 
forward to bolster America's world crusade for democracy. As we strive 
for a more perfect union let us unite to end hypocrisy and to construct 
a more perfect one person, one vote electoral process.
  Today it is appropriate that we address our remarks not only to the 
citizens of America but also to the people of Afghanistan and to the 
people of Iraq. We should begin by apologizing for this present 
electoral system, which undercuts the principle of one person, one 
vote. Our efforts to achieve free elections in Iraq would be totally 
shattered if we were to propose today that the nation be divided into 
30 or 50 units with each unit granted the power to determine its own 
election procedures; to select its own equipment; and to appoint its 
own administrators without any uniform national standards. Our historic 
compromise granting certain powers to the States that was necessary for 
the birth of this nation must no longer be used as an excuse for the 
abuse of the free and democratic election process here in America. The 
abuse in certain sections of the country, which once openly used 
violence and intimidation, has been outlawed. All other abuses 
involving voter suppression and dirty tricks should immediately be made 
federal crimes.
  For too long our nation has accepted as legal and has tolerated 
blatant sabotage of free elections. Florida offered abundant evidence 
of such sabotage in the year 2000. Now, in 2004, Ohio has produced a 
multiple list of irregularities and we are demanding a more thorough 
investigation. In Ohio the failure of 25 to 30 voting machines to 
operate correctly with one precinct recording a negative 25 million 
votes; and the forced waiting periods of three hours in the rain in 
African American neighborhoods, and ten hours at a polling site for 
college students; these are only a few of the outrageous examples of 
voter disenfranchisement in Ohio.

[[Page H116]]

  In honor of those who have fought in the past and those still on the 
battlefield for the cause of true democracy it is our duty to first 
investigate and then to legislate to overcome all of the poisoning 
obstacles which obstruct the consolidation of a more perfect national 
election process. This is a vitally necessary action which will 
escalate our momentum toward the obtainment of a more perfect nation. 
God bless America. And God bless democracy everywhere.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. WOOLSEY. I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey) for yielding, and I thank the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Mrs. Jones).
  Mr. Speaker, this is a sacred debate. This is not a frivolous time in 
our history. This is about avoiding the suppression of votes. Might I 
say when the people of Ukraine rose up against their flawed election, 
they understood what democracy is all about.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to object to the votes in Ohio. I rise under the 
Constitution of the United States in Article 4, 14 and 15. I argue the 
point that we have an inconsistent election, and I argue the point that 
we believe in democracy. The equal protection and due clauses of the 
14th amendment of the Constitution operate to protect the rights of 
citizens to vote for the candidate of their choice.
  Furthermore, the well-settled case on this issue, Reynolds v. Sims, 
states that ``the right to vote freely for the candidate of one's 
choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions 
on that right strike at the heart of representative government.''
  How would Members like to be in Ohio and be told that the election 
was on November 3, 2004, instead of November 2, 2004? The 
Constitution's due process clause requires fundamental fairness and 
that a State election official not employ vote-counting procedures that 
are so flawed.
  Mr. Speaker, I believe that the American people value the value of 
one vote, one person, and all votes counted.
  Mr. Speaker, I support the objection made as to counting the votes of 
the Electoral College from the State of Ohio in the name of the 
American people, the United States Constitution, in the name of 
procedural due process, and in the name of democracy. The Equal 
Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment of the 
Constitution operate to protect the rights of citizens to vote for the 
candidate of their choice. Furthermore, the well-settled case on this 
issue, Reynolds v. Sims states that ``the right to vote freely for the 
candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic society, 
and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of 
representative government.''
  This is a sacred debate that is in no way frivolous use of the time 
of the Congress or of the tax dollars of the American people. Nor is 
this debate one that aims to overturn the 2004 presidential election. 
On the contrary, this debate is being made at the request and at the 
behest of the American people.
  I will cast a protest vote today not only in the name of the 
integrity of the Ohio voting process but for the democratic process 
that is seriously flawed and that must be fixed.
  The Court in that case also enunciated that ``undeniably the 
Constitution of the United States protects the rights of all qualified 
citizens to vote, in state as well as in federal elections . . . It has 
been repeatedly recognized that all qualified voters have a 
constitutionally protected right to vote, . . . and to have their votes 
counted.''
  Moreover, under the Equal Protection Clause, all methods prescribed 
by a legislature to preserve the right to vote must be effected and not 
thwarted as stated in Bush v. Gore in 2000. Reynolds and its progeny of 
cases added that votes that are cast must actually be counted under the 
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment--applicable to the 
individual States.
  In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Constitution's Due Process Clause 
requires ``fundamental fairness,'' or that a state official not conduct 
an election or apply vote-counting procedures that are so flawed as to 
amount to a denial of voters' rights to have their voices heard and 
their votes count. The First Circuit federal Court in 2001 held that 
where ``organic failures in a state or local election process threaten 
to work patent and fundamental unfairness, a . . . claim lies for a 
violation of substantive due process.''
  As we look to reauthorize relevant sections of the 1965 Voting Rights 
Act (VRA), it would be an indictment of the election process itself if 
we fail to ask pointed questions as to the integrity of the Ohio 
election in 2004. This challenge is an absolute must relative to 
America's standing and reputation as a real democracy and as a center 
that promotes the sanctity of the right to vote.
  Today's challenge in Joint Session forum aims to ensure the 
maintenance of the integrity of the voting process. I support my 
colleagues in challenging the mechanics of the Electoral College vote 
certification for its procedural value. This challenge represent our 
collective exhaustion of legal remedies on behalf of the American 
people--our constituents, for without this act, their voice remains 
muted. What my colleagues and I stand to achieve today is to raise the 
awareness of the American people as to the legitimacy of the democratic 
process and the absolute value of the notion of ``One person, One 
vote''. Our collective efforts may not net a different result in terms 
of the recent presidential election; but can and will affect future 
elections. On a global scale as the standard bearers of democracy this 
challenge can serve to provide a shining example of hope to the 
emerging democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  The exhaustion of all remedies available when there is any doubt as 
to the legitimacy of the overall process is one of the basic tenants 
upon which this country was founded. The duty to doggedly pursue a task 
to its ultimate conclusion is as applicable to the recent gubernatorial 
race in the State of Washington as it is in the democratic elections 
taking place for the first time in the Ukraine. In Washington State, 
candidate Dino Rossi declared victory after only a partial recount. 
However, after a full and fair recount, it was correctly determined 
that the Democratic candidate Chrisine Gregoire was the victor. A rush 
to judgment is never prudent. The transparency of process and 
convincing evidence of the true and correct outcome will preserve this 
institution we call democracy.
  In the Ukraine, a new election was held when majority supporters 
protested and complained of fraud in the election that resulted in the 
surprising defeat of opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko. The second 
vote held revealed that Yushchenko had actually won by a significant 
margin. What underscores the critical nature of full and fair recounts 
when there is doubt as to legitimacy is the fact that while the first 
flawed election rendered Yushchenko a loser by three (3) percentage 
points, the revote rendered him a winner by eight percentage points. 
This is clear and convincing evidence. This is democracy.

  Mr. Speaker, election processes, like legislation, are imperfect; 
therefore, we must use every opportunity and resource available to 
bring them closer to legitimacy and a truly representative nature. All 
evidence of voting irregularity and failure of votes to be counted is 
relevant and important to the achievement of this goal. This is 
democracy.
  The hearings that we have held as a body within the House Judiciary 
Committee and the hard work that officials such as my colleague from 
Ohio, Ms. Tubbs Jones has done leading up to November 4 and well 
through its aftermath have yielded factual findings that suggest the 
existence of ample grounds on which to challenge the electors from Ohio 
as being unlawfully appointed. Our fact-finding has shown possible 
violation of 3 U.S.C. Section 5--which states that all controversies 
regarding the appointment of electors should be resolved six days prior 
to the meeting of electors (or December 7, 2004 for purposes of the 
current election) in order for a state's electors to be binding on 
Congress when it meets on January 6, 2005, to declare the results of 
the 2004 election.
  Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and others appear to have 
intentionally delayed the initial certification of the electors until 
December 6, rendering a recount impossible by December 7--let alone by 
the December 13 meeting of Ohio's electors.
  Today's debate is very important to document the serious election 
improprieties that occurred in Ohio and in other voter precincts around 
America. Some of the incidents that occurred include:
  Insufficient resources allocated to poor and minority precincts, 
which resulted in unusually long lines which resulted in long waiting 
time;
  Lack of a verified ``paper trail'' relating to electronic voting 
machines, thus failing the test of transparency;
  Reports of Ohioans being told, incorrectly, that the presidential 
election was to take place on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, as opposed 
to Tuesday, November 2;
  Denial of provisional ballots to voters;
  Voter intimidation;
  Voting machine errors or tampering;
  Improper purging of eligible votes;
  Fraudulent phone calls, fliers, and bulletins on official-looking 
letterhead;
  Questionable vote recount in Ohio, about which the case Yost v. David 
Cobb, et al. is currently under litigation.
  The American people deserve to have their voice heard and to have 
their fundamental rights advocated.
  During this past pre-election period, I had the privilege of working 
closely with my constituents and with very efficient legal minds

[[Page H117]]

that really care about making every vote count. A former staff member 
of mine, Attorney J. Goodwille Pierre, led an organization called 
Election Protection 2004 in efforts to educate voters on the best way 
to increase voter turnout.
  Entities such as the Houston Black Lawyer's Association, the African-
American section of the State Bar of Texas, Region 5 of the National 
Bar Association, and Election Protection 2004 combined to hold a lawyer 
training session on Texas election law on October 9, 2004. Over 200 
lawyers attended and participated in this training session, and I feel 
that it was very effective in empowering the voters in the 18th 
Congressional District of Houston.
  In addition, I worked with these groups to hold a public meeting of 
over 500 volunteers from all walks of life, which included over 100 
lawyers, to discuss strategies on decreasing voter intimidation and 
implementing complaint mechanisms. I would like to thank Attorney John 
Strausberger from the firm of Weil, Gosthal, & Mangen for having given 
us the legal procedure backbone to our effort on a pro bono basis. I 
also had the opportunity to meet with the key election official for 
Harris County to bring her within arms-reach of these groups so that 
voter intimidation could be detected early and properly addressed.
  I would also like to thank Ms. Barbara Arnwine of Lawyer's Committee 
on Civil Rights, Mr. Ralph Nease of People For The American Way, and 
Carmen Watkins and Unity '04-Texas for their leadership and extensive 
efforts.
  Election Protection 2004 produced a report entitled ``Texas Election 
Protection EIRS Report.'' It revealed over 2,200 incident reports with 
over 1,500 having occurred on Election Day as compiled from poll 
monitors, on-line systems, and the 1-866-VOTE hotline.
  A partial breakdown of the results showed my District, Harris County, 
as leading other counties with over 720 complaints. Among the key 
issues identified in the complaints obtained were:
  (1) Confusion about how to implement provisional ballot requirements;
  (2) A significant number of Harris County voters having not received 
absentee ballots;
  (3) Apparent vote switching in Harris and Travis Counties on e-Slate 
voting machines associated with straight party voting;
  (4) Stringent and obtrusive identification requirements;
  (5) Voter intimidation; and
  (6) Confusion among voters about straight party voting.
  Mr. Speaker, the fact-finding made by the Committee on the Judiciary, 
my colleague from Ohio, my constituents and the constituents in many 
other districts makes it more than clear that additional and more 
focused hearings are required as to the irregularities in the Ohio 
presidential election and around the country. Furthermore, the election 
law requires reform in order to make voting more fair, consistent, and 
representative. We must lead by example. We must act in the true spirit 
of democracy.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise to request permission to address 
the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Kingston) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield for the purpose of a unanimous 
consent request to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Price).
  (Mr. PRICE of Georgia asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding. I rise in opposition to the objection.
  Mr. Speaker, as a freshman member I stood here with the rest of you 
two days ago taking an oath to preserve, protect and defend the 
Constitution of the United States. I couldn't be more proud and humbled 
to be a Member of the finest deliberative body in the Nation.
  Having served four terms in my state Senate in Georgia in both the 
majority and minority--I have great respect for appropriate procedural 
objections.
  However, political grandstanding during this vital electoral college 
ballot count is shameful and reprehensible.
  What my new colleagues on the other side of the aisle are doing today 
is destructive of our system. To raise an objection for which many 
speakers on the other side have said they will oppose--only feeds 
unfounded discontent in the veracity of our great democracy.
  I shall never lose my faith and pride in our great Nation and will 
fight vigorously and pray for our future at a time when some in the 
minority party put politics over people.
  God Bless America.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, we have been asked by our Democratic 
colleagues to take this objection to the vote today seriously. We have 
been told this is not frivolous.
  Well, we have to ask, why Ohio? Why Ohio, the State that happened to 
put President Bush over the top? Why not Minnesota where Kerry won, 
where there were discrepancies and Democrat groups working inside 
polling places at polling booths? Why not New Hampshire where Kerry won 
where Democrat operatives allegedly slashed wheels of vehicles intended 
to take Republicans to the polls? Why not Wisconsin which Kerry won 
where Democrat operatives physically intimidated Republican voters? Or 
why not even Colorado where a Democrat worker with ACORN signed herself 
up to vote 25 different times? Or why not New Mexico where a 13-year 
old was registered to vote by the same Democrat front group? And why 
not some of the other problems that were going on in Ohio, why do we 
not talk about them?
  For example, in Franklin County in Ohio where a dead person was 
registered to vote, or 25 addresses were submitted for the same man, 
why are they not concerned about that? Or why not raise a question 
about Lake County where a man who had been dead for 20 years was 
registered to vote?
  Our Democrat colleagues do not seem to be concerned about that, and 
yet here is the serious charge of that complaint by Reverend Bill Moss: 
A, that there was a computer in the White House hooked up to voting 
booths in Ohio which was allegedly controlled by some super agent who 
could change the results of those elections in Ohio from 1600 
Pennsylvania Avenue. I do not think even Hollywood would even buy into 
that;
  B, there were numerous agents who were doing ``unidentified things'' 
to intimidate voters;
  C, that a Democrat Supreme Court candidate received more votes than 
John Kerry; therefore, the election is a fraud; and
  D, because the exit polls showed Kerry was going to win, he should 
have won. The only thing that I know that are less realistic than exit 
polls are Godzilla movies, and yet that is what the basis of this 
attack was.
  We have heard that many voters had to stand in line for 3 hours. My 
dad is 87 years old. He is blind. He is very inconvenienced when he 
votes. He has to have assistance, yet as a World War II veteran and 
survivor, he is proud to wait 3 hours to vote. He only wishes more of 
his peer group was alive to have the same honor.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Keller).
  Mr. KELLER. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues across the aisle have two 
sides to choose from, the John Kerry side that acknowledges the 
election is over and President Bush has won, or the Michael Moore side 
that defines democracy as Democrats going to the polls, and conspiracy 
as Republicans going to the polls. The election is over and the results 
could not be clearer. Why are we here wasting time on silly, Hollywood-
inspired conspiracy theories? Well, since Hollywood likes conspiracy so 
much, here are some real facts.
  On June 23, 2004, the Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 9/11 premiered 
in Washington, D.C. According to U.S. News and World Report, the New 
York Times and the National Journal, one of the few Senators who 
attended its premier was Senator Barbara Boxer. In his movie, Mr. Moore 
said it was shameful that not one U.S. Senator objected to the 
electoral vote in Florida.
  Two days ago on January 4, 2005, the same Michael Moore published a 
new letter to Senator Boxer reminding them that they did not object to 
the electoral vote count 4 years ago, and he requested they rise and 
object to the vote count from Ohio today. Today, in fact, Senator Boxer 
objected to the vote count. Does Michael Moore and the people in the 
Michael Moore wing of the Democrat Party really think the American 
people and their elected representatives are so stupid that we could be 
tricked into objecting to these electoral results. Well, the answer, I 
think, is yes.
  Michael Moore told a British newspaper, ``Americans are possibly the 
dumbest people on the planet. Our stupidity is embarrassing.'' In 
Germany, Mr. Moore told the German people, ``You can see us Americans 
coming down the street. We have that big grin on our face all the time 
because our brains are not loaded down.''
  Regarding those who are now killing Americans in Iraq, Michael Moore 
said, ``The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 
insurgents or terrorists or the enemy, they are the

[[Page H118]]

revolution, the minutemen, and their numbers will grow and they will 
win.''
  Mr. Speaker, how many normal people in this country really believe 
that a terrorist like al-Zarqawi is the same as Paul Revere? I ask my 
colleagues to vote no on this objection.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to request permission to address the 
House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I dedicate my objection to Ohio's electoral 
votes to Mr. Mike Moore, the producer of the documentary Fahrenheit 9/
11, and I thank him for educating the world on the threats to our 
democracy and the proceedings of this House on the acceptance of the 
Electoral College votes for the 2000 Presidential election.
  The Democratic Judiciary Committee Staff Report clearly establishes 
that the State of Ohio has not met its obligation to conduct a fair 
election. Ohio's partisan Secretary of State, Mr. Kenneth Blackwell, I 
am ashamed to say an African American man has failed to follow even 
Ohio's election procedures, let alone procedures that comply with 
Federal law and constitutional requirements. Our ancestors who died for 
the right to vote certainly must be turning over in their graves.
  Mr. Speaker, I traveled to Ohio where the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers) convened hearings, and I listened to citizen after 
citizen describe the Ohio election debacle. When there is a shortage of 
voting machines that leads to lines of up to 10 hours to cast a vote in 
precincts that are predominant minority and Democratic voters, forcing 
countless prospective voters to leave without voting, and where a 
number of Democratic precincts had fewer machines than were used in the 
primary election, despite the certainty of a much higher turnout in the 
hotly contested general election for President, it is clear that Ohio 
has failed to run a fair election.
  When Mr. Blackwell arbitrarily and unreasonably refused to provide 
provisional ballots to voters who were in the right county but the 
wrong precinct, or to voters who requested but did not receive an 
absentee ballot in a timely manner, it is clear that Ohio has failed to 
run a fair election. When a county in Ohio shows more votes cast than 
registered voters, or when another Ohio county shows an underfunded 
Democratic State Supreme Court candidate getting substantially more 
votes than the well-funded campaign of Senator Kerry, it is clear that 
Ohio has failed to run a fair election.
  When Secretary of State Blackwell refused to recognize thousands of 
new voter applications because they are not on postcard-weight paper, 
it is clear that Ohio has failed to run a fair election. And where 
Secretary Blackwell, in violation of his statutory duty to investigate 
election irregularities, refused to investigate or remedy any of the 
hundreds of cases of voter intimidations reported to him, it is more 
than clear that Ohio has failed to run a fair election.
  Mr. Speaker, we are now over 4 years beyond the nightmare of Florida 
in the 2000 election. I chaired the Democratic Caucus Election Reform 
Committee. We traveled all over this country. We held hearings. I 
worked with Members of this House to pass HAVA, Help America Vote Act. 
Yet, is there anyone who can say we have a fair election system or this 
is the best we can do?
  The 2004 election in Ohio and elsewhere revealed that enormous 
problems remain in our election systems and HAVA simply does not 
address those problems. It is stunning to me that in the 21st century 
we continue to use horse-and-buggy procedures to conduct our elections. 
It is amazing but true that in many jurisdictions we use more 
sophisticated technology to run the daily lottery than we devote to our 
election system. Incredibly even in those few jurisdictions that have 
moved to electronic voting to avoid the problem of chads and punch 
cards, we do not require a verifiable paper trail to protect against 
vote tampering. If an ATM machine can give each user a receipt that 
that user can reply upon, then a voting machine should also be able to 
give a receipt.
  Mr. Speaker, the issue before us is not whether the problems in the 
Ohio election were outcome determinative, although they could have 
been, it is whether the State has met its obligation to provide every 
voter with an equal opportunity to vote and have his vote counted. We 
must not allow these egregious violations to be trivialized. There is 
no constitutionally acceptable level of inequality in access to voting 
in Federal elections.
  Mr. Speaker, there is no conceivable justification for disqualifying 
a vote for President or Senator on the count that a legally qualified 
voter shows up to cast his vote in the right State but the wrong 
precinct. Why could we not count that voter's ballot? The voter's 
intent is clear. There is no question as to the voter's right to vote 
for the President of the United States or Senator. We can ensure that 
the voter does not cast a provisional ballot in more than one location.

                              {time}  1515

  Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, elections are divisive activities in our 
communities, in our States, and in our country. After an election, and 
after the divisiveness, there needs to be a period of healing to bring 
our communities, our States, and our Nation back together. I think John 
Kerry was very graceful in his concession to George Bush to begin the 
healing process in our country so that when we the Congress come back 
to work, we have an opportunity to come back together to do the 
people's work.
  That healing period over the last several months has been interrupted 
by an activity without merit. I think the proceeding today will cause 
great harm to this institution and great harm to our country at a time 
when we should be coming together to get ready to do the serious work 
the American people sent us here to do.
  I regret that. The Constitution clearly gives the responsibility for 
running elections to the States. All the States have their rules and 
regulations. In Ohio we have heard clearly, it is a very bipartisan 
process, two Democrats, two Republicans in each of the 88 counties. I 
have not heard one election official in any of the 88 counties, 
Democrat or Republican, raise any concern about the outcome or the 
fairness of the election that occurred in their counties.
  If we really want to have a debate about how elections are run, that 
debate ought to occur at each of the 50 State legislatures where they 
in fact ought to look at what happened in their State. They ought to be 
making adjustments. But the election officials are doing the best they 
can, and I do think that what is happening today is really an 
indictment of the good work of many of those people in our States.
  So I would ask my colleagues, let us get this behind us, quickly; and 
let us come here to do what the American people sent us here to do.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to my colleague and friend, the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Oxley).
  (Mr. OXLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OXLEY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to associate myself with the remarks of my good 
friend and colleague from Ohio. I am amazed at how many experts on Ohio 
election law we have in this Chamber. I had no idea that so many 
Members from all over the country would have such a working knowledge 
of the Ohio electoral process. My friend from Ohio and others have 
explained it quite well how we work very well on a bipartisan basis. 
Indeed, our election laws in Ohio are quite adequate to the task 
despite the fact that we had a huge number of voters, an unprecedented 
number of registrants, and some adjustments to the new voting system; 
but I think we, by everybody's estimation, did quite well.
  I know my friend from Michigan had a tough November with the Buckeyes 
beating the Wolverines and, of course, earlier in November with the 
loss of his Presidential candidate; but we should not try to overturn 
the presidential race any more than we should try to overturn the 
outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan game despite what my friend from 
Michigan might want. This is a time, as my friend from Ohio said, for 
reflection, for healing, for getting on with the business of the 
Nation.

[[Page H119]]

This exercise, unfortunately, has distracted our country from that 
worthy goal. For that, I am truly sorry.
  Ms. KILPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I ask to address the House for 5 
minutes.
  The SPEAKER. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Michigan for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. KILPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, whether we like it or not, on November 2 
across America, tens of thousands of people were unable to cast their 
vote. Many voted and their votes were not counted. I rise to support 
the gentlewoman's effort from Ohio. I thank her very much. Our United 
States Constitution gives us the opportunity and the right to represent 
the millions of people that we represent daily to be on this House 
floor today. This is their right to speak through us on what happened 
to them on November 2. The rules of the House of Representatives allow 
us as elected representatives, representing 700,000 plus people apiece, 
the right to be on this floor at this time. This is the only way as we 
represent those people that we might express their dismay that they 
felt on November 2. As our leader said, this has nothing to do with 
overturning the election. This is why we are sent here to represent, 
and that is what we are doing.
  Regardless of what we have heard the last hour and a half, we the 
Members on this side of the aisle object to the process that failed 
many Americans on November 2. Long lines, cold, in the rain. It was in 
Ohio that we talk today; but Michigan, a neighboring State, had many 
problems. I was in my voting area called down to count the votes after 
the polls closed. All day long we had reports of intimidation, of men 
in suits intimidating my voters, asking for identification every time 
they went to vote all day long. But they stayed in line, they pressed 
forward, and they voted.
  Something was very wrong on November 2. When the polls closed at 11 
o'clock that night, November 2, and we were there overlooking the vote, 
men in suits were touching my vote counters, touching our ballots. I 
went on TV, live TV, the 11 o'clock news and said, That is a felony. 
You cannot touch our counter. You cannot touch our voters. You cannot 
touch the ballots. It could have been Michigan, but you chose Ohio; and 
I am here to stand with you today.
  Something is very wrong with our voting process. Every vote must 
count. Every vote must be counted. We have got to fix this, and I thank 
the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney) for his efforts, but we have got more 
work to do.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. 
Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, nothing is more critical to the 
foundation of our democracy than the guaranteed right to vote. In the 
2004 Presidential election, there were voters in every State, including 
the pivotal State of Ohio, who were denied that right; and each time it 
happened, the foundation is weakened. That is why I join my colleagues 
today in objecting to the counting of Ohio's electoral votes. I commend 
my colleagues in this House of the people and the Senate who are 
raising this objection for their courage, and I am proud to join them.
  There is little disagreement that irregularities did occur. The 
question is what are we going to do about it. It is simply not 
sufficient to tell the losers in this election to get over it, or to 
accuse them of sour grapes, or to say we are doing the best we can. It 
is our patriotic duty to stand up for every voter no matter his or her 
race or party affiliation and demand that Congress act to expand voter 
protection and guarantee voter rights.
  Once all the facts are determined, a national demand for electoral 
reform must force Congress to finally finish the job begun under the 
Help America Vote Act, HAVA, including voter-verified paper trail. We 
cannot simply sit back and accept the results as if nothing happened or 
possibly illegal activities had taken place in precincts throughout 
Ohio. Those Ohio election officials who denied voters provisional 
ballots, a portion of the voting reform bill that I championed, must be 
held accountable along with those who allowed machines to be tampered 
with, eligible voters to be purged illegally, and voters to be 
intimidated.
  This is our chance to demonstrate to our citizens and the world that 
Americans are constantly working to perfect our own democracy.
  Ms. KILPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Gene Green).
  (Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, just for history purposes, I 
think in the 1960s we might have heard the same thing when we had the 
Voting Rights Act that needed to be passed by this Congress.
  I rise today to address an issue that is at the core of our 
democracy: our ability to ensure that each vote cast by an American is 
counted.
  Voting irregularities have been a major concern in our country for 
decades In October 2002, this body passed the Help America Vote Act 
(HAVA) in order to eliminate voting irregularities and restore 
integrity and reliability to our electoral system. However, these new 
systems have not been without flaws. Software errors used in Florida's 
2002 election lost over 100,000 votes, and at least 15 states, 
including Texas, reporting irregularities in their equipment throughout 
our most recent elections.
  Under HAVA, this body provided billions of dollars to the states to 
replace old lever voting booths and punch card voting machines that 
produced the infamous ``hanging chads'' in Florida with more high-tech 
machines. However, this new technology conceals the most important part 
of the election process: the recording and counting of votes.
  While there are no federal elections being constested in Texas, there 
are three State House elections that are being reviewed including one 
in my hometown of Houston. All of these election contests were brought 
by Republican candidates even though there are Republican county clerks 
and the Secretary of State is a Republican. While the process of 
contesting election results in our country is a peaceful process, I 
question how much faith the American people have in our ability to 
accurately report election results. Surveys leading up to the 2004 
Presidential election indicated as many as 42 percent of Americans 
anticipated problems with our voting system and they were right.
  I strongly belive voting standards should call for a paper trail in 
case a vote needs to be audited. Without such requirements, even having 
uniform standards would not enable us to accurately rely on a final 
vote count without a paper trail. Several states including my home 
state of Texas do not have the ability to print a ballot for 
verification purposes. The inability to conduct a complete audit of 
elections results is bad public policy and it's detrimental for our 
democrary.
  Americans deserve the ability to confirm their vote and our democracy 
depends on the accuracy of our election process. It is time for this 
body to require that each voter receives verification that their vote 
was accepted and counted. No election is perfect, but we all deserve an 
election system that enables us to correct errors when they occur.
  This country served as a guide to Afghanistan in their historic 
elections on October 4 of last year and now, we are assisting Iraq to 
make their first open election in history a success on January 30. If 
we are to serve as the world's model of democracy, we must ensure that 
every vote is counted, and if need be, is able to be recounted 
accurately and fairly. We cannot serve as the model of democracy if our 
own democratic process is flawed
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  (Mr. PORTMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, Americans turned out in record numbers and 
their votes have been counted. President Bush won with more votes than 
any other Presidential candidate in the history of our great country. 
In Ohio, in fact, the votes were counted and then recounted, and 
President Bush won by over 118,000 votes in my State.
  No election is ever perfect. They never are. But there is absolutely 
no credible basis to question the outcome of the election. That is what 
is going on here today. I heard my friend from Georgia (Mr. Lewis) say, 
this is about the right for every vote to be counted. No one on this 
side of the aisle will disagree with that. We could not agree more. 
That is why we have HAVA. That is why we are going to refine it 
further. That is why we need to continue our work, as many speakers on 
our side of the aisle have said, to be sure that every vote is indeed 
counted.
  But that is not what this objection is about. This objection from the 
other

[[Page H120]]

side of the aisle, and I am going to quote one of my colleagues who 
said, it is about ``massive and widespread voter irregularities in the 
State of Ohio.'' Not so.
  I also read in the challenge lots of irresponsible conspiracy 
theories about what happened in Ohio. I was there. It did not happen. I 
also heard today from the other side of the aisle that no one has 
answered any of these questions. That is wrong.
  One of the concerns that has been raised time and time again, most 
commonly raised, is that in Warren County, a district that I represent 
and a city that I represent, that somehow there was not a fair election 
because people were locked out. Yes, the media was locked out in the 
Warren County board of elections. It happened. But here is Jeff 
Ruppert, a lawyer for the Kerry-Edwards campaign who was inside and saw 
nothing unusual: ``It was as clear and open as it could possibly be,'' 
he said. Other witnesses included, of course, the Democratic members of 
the election board and several Democrats who were hired to help count 
the votes.
  As has been said time and time again in Ohio, we have got a pretty 
good system. It is totally bipartisan, two Democrats, two Republicans, 
every single board in every county of our 88 counties in our great 
State.
  This is not the time, ladies and gentlemen, to obstruct the will of 
the American people. It is time to get our work done. It is time to 
govern, not to object. Let us be clear. This is not Americans forcing 
their will on the American people. This is the views of Ohioans that 
have been clearly expressed. Every objective observer agrees. In fact, 
every newspaper in the State of Ohio agrees. Every editorial page 
agrees.
  We have heard some quotes today. Here is one I love from the 
Cleveland Plain Dealer. It says: ``The 176 Democrats who sit on Ohio's 
88 county election boards pondered their jurisdictions' results, 
accepted their subordinates' good work, and are now turning their 
energies toward the future. Are they all dupes in some Machiavellian 
Republican scheme? Or do they simply have a firmer grasp of reality 
than that displayed by a handful of unrelenting zealots still ranting 
in the January rain 8 weeks after the election?''
  Maybe we should look at some other States. Again in Ohio, President 
Bush won by over 118,000 votes. John Kerry won New Hampshire, but by 
9,200 votes. John Kerry won Minnesota, but by only 98,000 votes. John 
Kerry won Wisconsin, but by only 11,300 votes.
  I want to thank my Republican colleagues today for not raising 
objections to those results in those States. We need to move on. I hope 
what we will do today, Mr. Speaker, is that we will vote 
overwhelmingly, Republicans and Democrats alike, just as the other body 
has just voted. I am told the vote was 74-1 to turn down the objection 
in the United States Senate. I hope we will come together as Democrats 
and Republicans today to vote down this objection, not to continue this 
cynical political ploy to try to somehow delegitimize the Presidency of 
the United States and his election, but rather to move forward and get 
on to the very important work that we have before us today.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to my colleague, the gentleman from Cincinnati, 
Ohio (Mr. Chabot).
  Mr. CHABOT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, let us face it. This is nothing more or less than an 
attempt to sow doubt on the legitimacy of this President. It is an 
attempt to weaken President Bush, and it is unfortunate because we have 
much work to do in this House and in the Senate putting this country on 
the right track.
  On November 2, 2004, George W. Bush received a majority of the votes 
cast in this country, including the State of Ohio, the State that I 
happen to be a Member of this House. As a Congressman from Cincinnati, 
Ohio, I had an opportunity to go to dozens of polling places, both in 
urban areas in my city of Cincinnati and also in suburban areas. I have 
talked to many, many people; and most people agree that this election 
was conducted professionally and fairly and freely.
  News sources reporting on the elections have said that few mainstream 
politicians doubt President Bush's victory. However, rather than 
certifying the 2004 election in accordance with the Constitution and 
Federal law and starting the work that we were elected to do, we are 
forced today to engage in essentially partisan debate by our colleagues 
across the aisle. That is most unfortunate.
  A nonpartisan group such as electionline.org that pushed for election 
reform placed Ohio at the top of the list. Let us get back to our 
business.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Illinois is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, the most basic and fundamental 
principles of any democracy are equal opportunity, equal protection 
under the law and guarantee of the right to participate, to have that 
right protected and to have that participation count.
  Unfortunately in the last two Presidential elections, an increasing 
number of elections across the country are being marred with 
allegations of manipulation, chicanery, trickery, intimidation and 
outright illegal acts of fraud, thievery, and violence.

                              {time}  1530

  All of these acts and actions have served to undermine confidence in 
our electoral system, disrupt the process of normalcy, and are 
beginning to shake the very foundation of our democracy.
  Mr. Speaker, Thomas Paine once said, ``The right of voting for 
representatives is the primary right by which all rights are protected. 
To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.'' Therefore, Mr. 
Speaker, based upon an inordinate number of allegations suggesting 
gross voter rights allegations and misconduct, I join with my 
colleagues and object to counting the State of Ohio's electoral votes 
and urge that we pass a strong Voting Rights Protection Act to guard 
against any further attempts to manipulate and erode our democracy.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia 
(Ms. Norton).
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  If we are the democracy we say we are, we must show it today by 
taking on the astonishing problems in our national system of elections 
that can no longer be blinked away. Ohio's often brazen irregularities 
bring forward this debate, but the Buckeye State is only the poster 
child for the nationwide system of voting that has been discredited in 
the eyes of millions of voters. I watched the long lines nationwide and 
here in the District with both exhilaration and pain, exhilaration that 
finally we were getting what we asked for, with so much enthusiasm for 
voting that people were standing in line the way they do for million 
dollar lottery tickets; pain that long lines would surely discourage 
many voters, particularly first-time voters, people of color, young 
people, and many others who wanted to believe that voting could matter 
in their lives. The long lines in the District were especially poignant 
because citizens were waiting for hours to vote for a Member of 
Congress who herself could not cast a vote for them in this House.
  Ohio's close and contentious vote speaks for the country about 
virtually all the problems of the last election, from voting machine 
access to voting intimidation and the absence of national standards for 
the basics. It will take time and bipartisan determination to make us 
proud of our elections. Until then, one reform could begin the process 
of restoring confidence in our elections. If all else fails, voting 
machines, polling place controversy, confused or partisan election 
officials, a provisional ballot that, if valid, will count, can help 
heal voting flaws until we enact a real cure. We have got a failsafe 
for almost everything else, from bullet proof vests to backups for 
computers. Let us fix our system this year, including with failsafes 
for voting to save our democracy.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. I yield to the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, functional democracy requires 
that the citizens have confidence in an election process and of course 
confidence that all legitimate votes will be counted. Clearly the State 
of Ohio is not able to provide such confidence.

[[Page H121]]

  First, there is a significant unexplained, uninvestigated difference 
in exit polling results and the reported election results. There are 
specific unresolved allegations of other election problems, 
particularly the long lines in some precincts that were caused not 
because of an unanticipated voter turnout but because of insufficient 
voting machines in the precinct. Other allegations were widespread and 
none of these allegations was investigated.
  I know, Mr. Speaker, that this objection is somewhat awkward because 
it does not have the apparent support for the candidate involved, but I 
believe it is our responsibility to ensure that election results meet 
the spirit and letter of our Constitution and that we have confidence 
in the process by demonstrating that voting schemes and irregularities 
are not ignored.
  Mr. Speaker, I would hope that we would take this in consideration as 
we review this election return so that this does not happen again.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  (Mr. BUTTERFIELD asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the challenge.
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues for this 
opportunity to debate this very important issue. In Ohio there is a 
bipartisan system at the county level. However, every board of election 
member serves at the behest or discretion of the Secretary of State, 
Kenneth Blackwell, who, in fact, was the co-chair of the Bush campaign.
  I want to go on to say that, for example, Secretary Blackwell issued 
a directive to local boards of election mandating rejection of voter 
registration forms on 80-weight paper. He issued a directive which 
ultimately was reversed which resulted in confusion and chaos among 
counties with regard to provisional ballots.
  But be that as it may, the objection today is raised because there 
are irregularities across this country with regard to voting and we as 
a Congress have an obligation to step up to the plate and correct them. 
All voters ought to be allowed to vote early. There should be 
established a national holiday for elections to bring attention to the 
importance of voting. We should require those working at the voting 
booth to be fairly compensated, adequately educated, and sufficiently 
supported such that the job importance will be elevated. We need to 
provide them equipment, whether it is punch card, electronic, whatever 
it is, that it be fully tested, fully calibrated, and that there be a 
paper trail.
  What happened in Ohio may well have been repeated across this 
country; yet that is no excuse for us to push the irregularities behind 
us and go on with the business of the day. This is an important enough 
issue that all the people across America want us to address it, they 
want us to deal with it, and they want us to correct it.
  I thank all of my colleagues for giving me an opportunity to be 
heard, for giving us an opportunity to address the issue.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all the Members of the 
House who have stayed here with us, who have participated in the 
debate, who have shared their views, as different as many of them are, 
because this is the way we work.
  This debate, I think we all know, will not change the outcome of the 
November election. But we do know that out of today's debate, the 
Congress will respond to the challenge that has been raised here in 
connection with a better system of voting, not just for Ohio but for 
everywhere. A challenge has been raised here this afternoon to hold 
true bipartisan hearings to get to the bottom of not just what went 
wrong in Ohio but around the Nation on Election Day. This day, the 
first time in our history, that since 1877 this law has been used in 
which the Senate and the House have come together to say that an 
objection has enough merit to keep us here in this discussion.
  Join us. Enact real election reform and give the citizens the right 
to an operative provisional ballot and give all voters a verifiable 
paper trail. We should never fear this debate in the Congress, and I 
hope that today we have a fair debate and that 4 years from now, Mr. 
Speaker, we have an election that all our citizens can be proud of.
  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to claim the remainder of the time.
  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for the remainder 
of the time.
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, can I ask how much time that is?
  The SPEAKER. In the tradition of the House, the gentleman from Texas 
is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, what is happening here today is amazing but 
not surprising. Mr. Speaker, what we are witnessing here today is a 
shame. A shame. The issues at stake in this petition are gravely, 
gravely serious. This is not just having a debate. But the specific 
charges, as any objective observer must acknowledge, are not. That is 
because the purpose of this petition is not justice but noise.
  It is a warning to Democrats across the country, now in the midst of 
soul searching after their historic losses in November, not to moderate 
their party's message.
  It is just the second day of the 109th Congress and the first chance 
of the Democrat congressional leadership to show the American people 
what they have learned since President Bush's historic reelection, and 
they can show that, but they have turned to what might be called the 
``X-Files Wing'' of the Democrat Party to make their first impression.
  Rather than substantive debate, Democrat leaders are still adhering 
to a failed strategy of spite, obstruction, and conspiracy theories. 
They accuse the President, who we are told is apparently a closet 
computer nerd, of personally overseeing the development of vote-
stealing software.
  We are told, without any evidence, that unknown Republican agents 
stole the Ohio election and that its electoral votes should be awarded 
to the winner of an exit poll instead.
  Many observers will discard today's petition as a partisan waste of 
time, but it is much worse than that. It is an assault against the 
institutions of our representative democracy. It is a threat to the 
very ideals it ostensibly defends. No one is served by this petition, 
not in the long run. And in the short term, its only beneficiaries are 
its proponents themselves.
  Democrats around the country have asked since Election Day, and will 
no doubt ask again today, how it came to this. The Democrat Party, the 
party that was once an idealistic, forward-looking, policy colossus. 
The New Deal, the Marshall Plan, the Great Society, the space program, 
civil rights. And yet today one is hard pressed to find a single 
positive substantive idea coming from the left.
  Instead, the Democrats have replaced statecraft with stagecraft, 
substance with style, and not a very fashionable style at that. The 
petitioners claim that they act on behalf of disenfranchised voters, 
but no such voter disenfranchisement occurred in this election of 2004 
and for that matter the election of 2000.

                              {time}  1545

  Everybody knows it. The voters know it, the candidates know it, the 
courts know it, and the evidence proves it.
  We are not here to debate evidence, but to act our roles in some 
scripted, insincere morality play.
  Now, just remember: pre-election memos revealed that Democrat 
campaign operatives around the country were encouraged by their high 
command in Washington to charge voter fraud and intimidation regardless 
of whether any of it occurred. Remember, neither of the Democrat 
candidates supposedly robbed in Ohio endorse this petition. It is a 
crime against the dignity of American democracy, and that crime is not 
victimless.
  The Democrat leadership came down to the floor and said this is a 
good debate; we ought to be having a debate on this issue.

[[Page H122]]

  This is not a normal debate. This is a direct attack to undermine our 
democracy by using a procedure to undermine the constitutional election 
that was just held.
  If, as now appears likely, Democrats cry fraud and corruption every 
election regardless of the evidence, what will happen when one day 
voters are routinely intimidated, rights are denied, or, God forbid, an 
election is robbed? What will happen? What will happen when, God 
forbid, this quadrennial crying wolf so poisons our democratic 
processes that a similarly frivolous petition in a close election in 
the future is actually successful, and the American people are denied 
their constitutional right to choose their own President?
  Mr. Speaker, Democrats must find a way to rise above this self-
destructive and, yes, plain destructive theory of politics for its own 
sake. A dangerous precedent is being set here today, and it needs to be 
curbed, because Democrat leaders are not just hurting themselves. By 
their irresponsible tactics, they hurt the House, they hurt the Nation, 
and they hurt rank-and-file Democrats at kitchen tables all around this 
country.
  The American people, and their ancestors who invented our miraculous 
system of government, deserve better than this. This petition is 
beneath us, Mr. Speaker; but, more importantly, it is beneath the men 
and women that we serve.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, to 
do the right thing. Vote ``no,'' and let us get back to the real work 
that the American people hired us to do.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I strongly believe that every vote should 
be counted. There were obviously irregularities in the Ohio vote and I 
urge that they be thoroughly investigated by this Congress and the 
Department of Justice. We have an obligation to resolve the problems 
that have been documented. However, I would have voted against the 
motion because I do not believe this to be the proper occasion to 
address this important issue.
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, the debate today is not about contesting the 
results of the last November's election. Today's debate cuts to the 
essence of our democracy--the founding principle of our country--the 
right to vote. Clearly, the right to vote is dependent on the assurance 
that all voters have access to the polls and that all votes will be 
counted. But since the presidential election in 2000 the American 
public has grown increasingly wary of the accuracy and integrity of our 
elections, and I applaud my colleagues for their efforts to bring focus 
to this issue. It's essential that we bring attention to the serious 
problems facing our electoral system.
  It's up to Congress to restore confidence in our elections, and I 
call on all Members to make this a priority in the 109th Congress. The 
2000 Presidential Election spurred a series of reforms, and Congress 
took important first steps to improve our system of voting. I was proud 
to cosponsor the Help America Vote Act, which did much to upgrade our 
electoral process and create national standards for conducting 
elections. However, I'm disappointed that subsequent efforts to 
increase the security and reliability of our Increased Accountability 
Act in the 108th Congress, I supported requiring verifiable paper 
trails for all voting machines, a step that would provide a significant 
boost to voter confidence and allow for expedited recounts. 
Unfortunately, this legislation was not considered prior to the 2004 
election, and the House majority leadership refused to even bring it up 
in committee. This issue must be revisited and legislation should be 
promptly passed in the 109th Congress.
  Democratic elections are the foundation of all democracies, and 
thousands of Americans have died--and continue to die every day--for 
the right to vote. The United States of America should set the standard 
for fair and accurate elections, and the reported irregularities tell 
us that we continue to fall short. One need not believe in conspiracy 
theories or maintain that the outcome in Ohio was invalid to recognize 
that we still suffer from serious shortcomings in our electoral 
process.
  I urge my colleagues not to let this opportunity slip buy. We must 
promptly pass electoral reforms that will ensure that the results of 
our elections are beyond reproach and accepted by all voters.
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, I regret that I was not able to attend 
today's vote regarding the objection to the November 2004 electoral 
college results in Ohio. This recorded vote was not expected and came 
up at the last minute. I was unable to return for the vote in time due 
to bad weather in the Midwest that resulted in more than 1,000 flights 
being delayed or cancelled. Due to the problem with flights and a prior 
family commitment, I was unable to travel back to Washington, DC from 
Michigan. Had I been in attendance I would have voted ``no'' on 
agreeing to the objection.
  However, I have very serious concerns about the voting irregularities 
that occurred in Ohio. I believe those problems have not been properly 
addressed by Ohio's Secretary of State, who also served as the State's 
Republican Party leader.
  It is my hope that these specific problems will be further 
investigated and that by the 2008 presidential election our Nation's 
electoral process will be more fair, more open and more accessible than 
it was in 2004.
  Mr. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Speaker, Ohio was granted an opportunity 
today not afforded to my home state of Florida in 2000, and for that I 
am thankful. I express my gratitude to Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs 
Jones of Ohio and Senator Barbara Boxer of California for raising this 
objection, but I feel that we must now move past the documented voting 
irregularities that plagued the State of Ohio.
  The purpose of this objection is not to change the outcome of the 
2004 Presidential election, but to raise awareness to the difficulty 
faced by thousands attempting to cast their ballots for President in 
Ohio. Following the 2000 election, the people of America were promised 
sweeping electoral reforms aimed at preventing problems like those that 
happened in 2000, but those promises were only partially kept. This 
body let the voters of this country down, and we simply need more 
reform. There is still too much room for error in our election law and 
we must be earnest in addressing these lapses.
  We know that elections are not perfect, but no American should be 
castigated for raising questions or concerns when valid voting problems 
arise. Only open debate on this issue will solve these problems; only 
accurate information will quell rumors and conspiracy theories that 
question our country's sacred democratic tradition.
  As we are all aware, the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine's recent 
presidential elections were called into question. After the first vote, 
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle condemned this 
election in a foreign country as fraught with irregularities and 
intimidation. Yet some of these same Members rise in apparent 
indignation when irregularities are discussed in our own elections in 
our own country. They do not want to talk about the voting problems in 
Ohio. Yet these problems are real, and they deserve the attention of 
the American people. They provide compelling reasons why the Congress 
must address election reform in the first session of the 109th 
Congress.
  The Help America Vote Act of 2002 was a good start, a necessary first 
step, but it was inadequately funded and unevenly implemented. More 
attention is needed. We must ensure that all voting machines have a 
paper trail that will ensure a proper recount can be conducted. We must 
eliminate conflicts of interest among those who administer our State's 
elections. No Secretary of State should serve as a Presidential 
campaign State co-chair as was the case in Ohio this year and in 
Florida in 2004. We simply must have independence, uniformity and 
accountability in all elections across our great republic.
  These lapses, inconsistencies, lack of resources and conflicts of 
interest are, Mr. Speaker, worth discussing.
  Again, I thank those who brought this objection. These two Members of 
great courage and integrity have given this country a platform for 
reform. Only a proper review of our voting processes will stop these 
kinds of electoral abuses, and I urge the House leadership to make this 
effort an immediate priority of the 109th Congress.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, a functioning democracy requires 
that the citizens have confidence in its election process, and of 
course confidence that all legitimate votes will be properly counted. 
We saw the importance of this principle in the recent Ukraine national 
election and in the Washington State Governor's election.
  Clearly, the State of Ohio is not able to provide such confidence. 
First there is a significant, unexplained and un-investigated 
difference in exit polling results and the reported election results. 
Then, there are many specific, serious, unresolved allegations of 
voting irregularities in Ohio. For example, strong evidence exists to 
indicate that in some predominately Black precincts, voters had to 
stand in line to vote for as much as 10 hours due, not to an 
unanticipated voter turn out, but to a clearly insufficient number of 
voting machines at the precinct.
  Other allegations include evidence that numerous requests for 
provisional ballots were improperly denied, that the counting of 
provisional ballots violated the Help America Vote Act and that there 
were over 90,000 ballots cast which were set aside as spoiled ballots 
without justification. Not one of these allegations was officially 
investigated.

[[Page H123]]

  Now I know that this objection is somewhat awkward because it does 
not have the apparent support of the candidate involved, but I believe 
it is our duty and responsibility to assure that election results meet 
the spirit and the letter of our Constitution and that we instill 
confidence in the process by demonstrating that voting schemes and 
irregularities are not ignored.
  Mr. MEEKS of New York. Mr. Speaker, although I will not file an 
objection to the counting of Ohio's electoral votes, I rise today to 
acknowledge the voting discrepancies and irregularities that occurred 
in the State of Ohio in this past presidential election.
  As is evident in my colleague John Conyers's voting rights status 
report, Ohio has failed to provide the opportunity for its citizens to 
have equal access and opportunity to cast their vote and have that vote 
accurately counted.
  Many voters were denied provisional ballots and some eligible voters 
were improperly purged. Others were given erroneous information as to 
where and when they could vote. The State provided insufficient 
resources to minority precincts, resulting in long lines that caused 
delays up to 10 hours, forcing some voters to have to leave those lines 
to tend to personal obligations.
  There were rampant incidents of voter intimidation, deceptive phone 
calls and fraudulent fliers on official looking letterhead.
  The lack of a verifiable paper trail by some of the electronic voting 
machines contributed to a questionable vote count.
  Clearly, Ohio's election officials, including Secretary of State 
Blackwell, have questions to answer regarding these disturbing 
irregularities.
  How can we encourage free and fair elections in Iraq, a country that 
may soon become a fledgling democracy, when we can't ensure free and 
fair elections in America after 200 years of democracy.
  As a Member of Congress it is my duty to uphold the right of the 
people to have free and fair elections of their government officials. 
It is my hope that this Congress will work together in the coming 
months to enact real election reform that will restore America's 
confidence in the electoral process.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Tubbs Jones and 
Senator Boxer and Representative John Conyers for forcing this 
institution, and thus our Nation, to debate the quality of our 
democratic voting process and to consider whether it meets the 
expectations of its people.
  If we are to form a more perfect union, we must dedicate ourselves to 
forming a more perfect voting process.
  Four years ago, this Nation shuddered at the weakness of our ballot 
process, and vowed to improve it.
  But in some respects, it was weakened further.
  The ballot was weakened when votes were allowed to be cast without a 
printed record.
  The ballot was weakened when the vote took so long that voters had to 
choose between voting and missing a day's work.
  The ballot was weakened when provisional ballots were not honored.
  We must confront the fact that electronic voting machines that do not 
provide a ``print our'' are a black hole.
  We can do better. Our ATM machines give receipts in return for cash. 
It is clearly not a technological barrier to provide a receipt in 
return for a vote.
  This is America. We are the incubator for democratic evolution. We 
are a beacon to the free world. Ohio had special problems this time, 
but they are problems we can fix, and when we fix them in Ohio, we will 
have made the progress in 2005 that we failed to make over the last 4 
years.
  I am voting to support this challenge to the certification of Ohio's 
vote as a legitimate and constructive beginning to a more perfect 
democracy and a more perfect union.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, this debate is not frivolous. This is not 
about sour grapes. This is not about conspiracy theories. This is about 
the central act of democracy.
  Here in the House of Representatives all members have been elected. 
Some of us have been elected in recounts.
  What are recounts? They are independent checks of the tally.
  Reliable knowledge is verifiable knowledge. As my colleagues know, I 
am a scientist. It is a principle of scientific thinking that one 
person's claim must be subject to independent confirmation or 
correction.
  I agree with Senator John Kerry. We should today award Ohio's 
electoral votes to President Bush. I believe President Bush got more 
votes in Ohio then did Senator Kerry. I believe it. I cannot confirm 
it. No one can confirm it.
  Consider electronic voting machines. If there was an error between 
the voter casting the vote on the touch screen and the recording of an 
electronic signal in a memory bank, no one will ever know. It might be 
a software error; it would not necessarily be a malicious conspiracy. 
But if the vote is recorded incorrectly, no one will ever know.
  I ask my colleagues, can anyone say he or she knows that the actual 
vote is what has been presented to us? The answer is no. None of us can 
say this knowledge has been independently verified. It is not reliable 
knowledge unless it is verified knowledge. This is not a philosophical 
fine point. Americans don't want to and should not have to take the 
results simply on faith. The electronic machines used in Ohio and most 
other States are not designed to be verifiable. Recounts are 
meaningless.
  Self-government works only if we believe it does. A loss of 
confidence in our system is fatal to a democratic republic such as 
ours. That confidence has been eroded over the years and has taken some 
body blows in recent years.
  We need a major effort to shore up our democracy.
  Americans are a trusting people, but we demand evidence. We demand 
verification.
  We are also a pragmatic people, and so we in the House will not upset 
the apple cart today. Without doubt we will endorse the electoral votes 
presented to us today. But we should not be satisfied. Republicans 
should not be satisfied. Democrats should not be satisfied. The reason 
is not that President Bush got more votes. The reason is that the 
knowledge of President Bush's majority is unreliable knowledge.
  Anything of value should be auditable. Votes are valuable. Each voter 
should have the knowledge that the vote is recorded as intended. We are 
talking today about the heart of our democratic republic.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today, not with the hope 
of overturning an election, but with the hope of overturning a system 
that has for too long failed to guarantee every American their most 
basic right, the right to vote.
  Our very democracy was founded on the essential right of citizens to 
have a voice in their government. As Members of Congress we are sworn 
to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which includes the 
13th and 19th Amendments, and I am quite frankly saddened that such a 
debate today breaks down along party lines. Each and every one of us as 
Americans should stand to defend this right, to protect and guarantee 
that every citizen, black, white, male, female, Democrat or Republican, 
has the opportunity to cast a vote.
  As representatives we should not fear the will of the people; we 
should not fear a debate here on the floor of the House seeking to shed 
light on and improve our voting system, rather we must fear any threat 
to our right to vote. We must take seriously any allegation that would 
deprive any citizen of this right, let alone the serious and widespread 
allegations that are being make in Ohio.
  The debate today is not about the election of George W. Bush, rather 
it is about the integrity and the future of our voting system. Today we 
are challenging ourselves to do better. We are challenging ourselves to 
examine our voting system, to get to the bottom of what went wrong in 
Ohio and around the Nation on Election Day. We need to hold hearings. 
We need to conduct an investigation and we need to pass legislation 
that puts in place specific federal protections for our federal 
elections, especially in the areas of auditing electronic voting 
machines and casting and counting provisional ballots. We must be 
willing to hold the same light on our election system that we hold on 
nations such as Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Iraq. How can we serve as a 
model for democracy, when our own citizens lack faith in our democracy?
  That is what today is about, restoring faith in our system. This can 
not be accomplished by simply accepting the status quo and allowing 
opportunities such as today to pass without objection. The only way to 
change an injustice is to stand against it. Mr. Speaker, this is why I 
rise today. We must not accept the status quo, rather we must challenge 
ourselves to do better. This is what we do as Americans and this is 
what I am challenging us to do today.
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of the 
2000 election, in which my congressional district witnessed the 
discarding of 27,000 votes, I am displeased to see that the Congress is 
here again today, 4 years later, continuing to confront many of the 
same problems we faced in the previous election. Many Members of 
Congress here to voice their own concerns, as well as echo those of 
citizens across the county, are engaging in floor debate to publicly 
enunciate their doubts and worries with respect to the veracity and/or 
fairness of the 2004 election. The goal of my colleagues is not so much 
to systematically overturn the 2004 election results, but rather, to 
bring about honest and open debate today to the House floor. Clearly, a 
formal challenge to the election's outcome could not change the 
results, but what it can do is to at least force both Chambers to 
engage in open debate and

[[Page H124]]

speak clearly about the serious flaws we have experienced in our last 
two presidential elections. I believe this debate is beneficial for our 
democracy, particularly in light of recent events that went on in my 
State in Florida, as well as apparent discrepancies in Ohio.
  With respect to the Ohio vote count, I find the objections stated by 
my close friend and colleague, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to 
be most disturbing. According to her press statement, among the 
numerous discrepancies in her state, perhaps the most egregious 
included: ``large percentages of rejections among provisional ballots, 
numerous problems with voting machines, and significant flaws in 
registration processes and procedures.'' These very serious concerns, I 
believe, deserve to be discussed and debated by the Congress, in an 
open public forum in full view of the American public.
  In addition, I would like to enumerate numerous other discrepancies 
that were contained in a report put out by the Judiciary Committee 
entitled, Preserving Democracy, What Went Wrong in Ohio, about the 2004 
elections:

       The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented 
     long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of 
     thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters.
       Mr. Blackwell's decision to restrict provisional ballots 
     resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, 
     of thousands of voters, again predominantly minority and 
     Democratic voters.
       Mr. Blackwell's widely reviled decision to reject voter 
     registration applications based on paper weight may have 
     resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in 
     time for the 2004 election.
       The Ohio Republican Party's decision to engage in 
     preelection ``caging'' tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 
     predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a 
     negative impact on voter turnout.
       The Ohio Republican Party's decision to utilize thousands 
     of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and 
     Democratic areas likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of 
     legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became 
     discouraged by the long lines. Shockingly, these disruptions 
     were publicly predicted and acknowledged by Republican 
     officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican 
     Party, admitted the challenges ``can't help but create chaos, 
     longer lines and frustration.''
       Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent voters who requested 
     absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis 
     from being able to receive provisional ballots likely 
     disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands, of 
     voters, particularly seniors. A federal court found Mr. 
     Blackwell's order to be illegal and in violation of HAVA.
       Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained 
     anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands 
     of votes that have yet to be accounted for:
       There were widespread instances of intimidation and 
     misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 
     Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and 
     the Ohio right to vote. Mr. Blackwell's apparent failure to 
     institute a single investigation into these many serious 
     allegations represents a violation of his statutory duty 
     under Ohio law to investigate election irregularities.
       We learned of improper purging and other registration 
     errors by election officials that likely disenfranchised tens 
     of thousands of voters statewide. The Greater Cleveland Voter 
     Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County alone 
     over 10,000 Ohio citizens lost their right to vote as a 
     result of official registration errors.
       There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast 
     for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be 
     inspected. The problem was particularly acute in two 
     precincts in Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of 
     over 25 percent each--accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who 
     stood in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for 
     president.
       There were numerous, significant unexplained irregularities 
     in other counties throughout the state: (i) in Mahoning 
     county at least 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown 
     number of Kerry votes to the Bush column; (ii) Warren County 
     locked out public observers from vote counting citing an FBI 
     warning about a potential terrorist threat, yet the FBI 
     states that it issued no such warning; (iii) the voting 
     records of Perry county show significantly more votes than 
     voters in some precincts, significantly less ballots than 
     voters in other precincts, and voters casting more than one 
     ballot; (iv) in Butler county a down ballot and underfunded 
     Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received 
     more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential 
     candidate in history; (v) in Cuyahoga county, poll worker 
     error may have led to little known third party candidates 
     receiving twenty times more votes than such candidates had 
     ever received in otherwise reliably Democratic leaning areas; 
     (vi) in Miami county, voter turnout was an improbable and 
     highly suspect 98.55 percent, and after 100 percent of the 
     precincts were reported, an additional 19,000 extra votes 
     were recorded for President Bush.
       Third, in the post-election period we learned of numerous 
     irregularities in tallying provisional ballots and conducting 
     and completing the recount that disenfranchised thousands of 
     voters and call the entire recount procedure into question 
     (as of this date the recount is still not complete):
       Mr. Blackwell's failure to articulate clear and consistent 
     standards for the counting of provisional ballots resulted in 
     the loss of thousands of predominantly minority
       Mr. Blackwell's failure to issue specific standards for the 
     recount contributed to a lack of uniformity in violation of 
     both the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clauses.
       The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted 
     that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in 
     numerous counties to provide ``cheat sheets'' to those 
     counting the ballots (Preserving Democracy, What Went Wrong 
     in Ohio, A Report Put out by Democratic Judiciary Committee 
     Staff).

  Moreover, in my State of Florida, the problems that surfaced 
regarding the 2004 election related more to pre election 
irregularities. Examples are plentiful, examples include: Duval County, 
where I had to personally fight to get additional early voting 
locations in the county so citizens could vote early if they so 
desired; in Orlando, along with many of my Florida colleagues, I 
demanded a Department of Justice investigation into police misconduct 
and voter intimidation, in which the Florida Department of Law 
Enforcement officers intimidated elderly members of Orlando's black 
community, wherein armed plain clothes police in Orlando went house to 
house to question, or rather intimidate, dozens of elderly African 
American voters in their own homes. It is not surprising to me that 
many of the people that were questioned were volunteers in get out the 
vote campaigns. Lastly, we saw once again that the Florida elections 
supervisors were on the verge of incorrectly purging thousands of 
Florida citizens from the voting rolls, an action which fortunately was 
never completely carried out because of a CNN lawsuit requesting to see 
the names on their list.
  Let us remember that during the 2000 elections, in my district alone 
(Duval County) there were approximately 27,000 ballots that were spit 
out by faulty machines. A disproportionately large percentage of these 
votes came from City Council Districts 7, 8, 9 and 10, primarily 
African American residential areas. Even more disturbing to me was that 
the Supervisor of Elections' office didn't release these figures to 
local officials until after the 72 hour deadline had passed. As a 
result, there were no legal avenues to demand a recount.
  Moreover, it often goes unpublished that Florida Governor Jeb Bush 
spent $4 million of taxpayer money to purge a list of suspected felons 
from the rolls across the State: but whether or not this list was 
accurate was of little importance to Governor Bush. Apparently, it was 
the responsibility of the accused citizen to correct his or her status. 
Only later did we learn that the reason many of the people were 
incorrectly purged (estimates go as high as 50-57,000) was merely 
because their name was the same as, or similar to, one of the purged 
felons. For this reason, during the 2000 elections, some of the local 
election supervisors went so far as to refuse to purge names from the 
list of their voter rolls because, they argued, `they did not have 
faith in how the state compiled its list of disqualified voters.'
  Moreover, as part of a grassroots effort to encourage voters, 
particularly minorities, to get out to the polls, I organize motor 
voter drives. Yet during the last election, many voters, especially 
African Americans, were wrongly purged from registration lists, and 
many who had signed up at state motor voter vehicle offices never had 
their voter registration fully processed. As a result, these voters 
were disenfranchised as well. It is for this reason that provisional 
balloting is so important (wherein if a voter has not re-registered 
after moving within the same county, he or she may cast a provisional 
ballot at the polling place of their current residence). Unfortunately, 
to this day, the state of Florida STILL does not completely follow 
through with provisional balloting because, in Florida, if one casts a 
provisional ballot in a voter precinct which is not their own, their 
vote will be discarded.
  To close, I reiterate that I strongly support today's Floor 
discussion, and pledge to continue to do everything within my capacity 
as a Member of Congress, and as the Democratic Party's Voting Task 
Force, to improve our voting system to ensure that everyone's vote is 
counted in future elections, and that our democracy remains just that, 
a democracy, not a plutocracy ruled by the elites.
  Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Speaker, many have suggested that those of us 
committed to seeing a complete and accurate count of the Ohio vote in 
this past November's Presidential race should simply ``just get over 
it''.
  Well this Member of Congress has sworn an oath to ``uphold and 
defend'' our nation's Constitution, and I do not believe that our 
commitment to Democracy is anything we should ``get over''. In fact, 
our commitment to democracy is something I believe we must deepen and

[[Page H125]]

expand until this dream is transformed into a reality for every citizen 
of this nation.
  But democracy is not to be achieved by an investment in the latest 
computer technology (even if computers can help us administer our 
elections). It is not achieved by rhetoric and flags, pomp and feel 
good myths of what a great nation we are.
  Democracy will only be achieved by listening closely to the intention 
of the voters and hearing clearly from them what a great nation they 
wish this to be.
  I'm afraid that has not happened in Ohio nor likely in other states 
this year.
  Predominantly African-American precincts and campus precincts saw 
localized shortages of voting machines leading to long lines 
frustrating would-be voters who left for work without casting a ballot. 
Precincts in affluent, white and Republican suburbs did not suffer such 
problems.
  Phone calls and fliers targeted African American voters sending them 
to vote on the wrong day at the wrong locations.
  Long-time voters ``disappeared'' from voting rolls.
  Voting machines ``defaulted'' to Bush votes regardless of which 
candidate the person voted for.
  People were forced to vote provisionally if they were in the right 
county but the wrong precinct. Sometimes the right precinct was 
literally only one table away.
  And as we did in Georgia--I'm sorry to say, too many voters in Ohio 
cast ballots on machines running trade secret protected, proprietary 
software, which produced no contemporaneously voter verified paper 
audit trail of their votes, leaving voters intentions subject to 
untraceable electronic manipulations.
  The Green and Libertarian Presidential candidates demanded a recount 
because the stories of vote suppression and manipulation were so 
blatant. Three thousand volunteers and six thousands contributors came 
together to make that recount possible.
  But Secretary Blackwell, charged with providing for free and fair 
elections for the people of Ohio fell short. While the law requires 
that precincts be selected randomly for spot checks, many counties 
hand-picked precincts in violation of the law.
  Ohio law requires that a discrepancy between the machine count and 
the hand count in a spot checked precinct lead to a full recount by 
hand of the entire county. But these hand recounts were not conducted 
as required.
  The integrity of the recount itself was put at risk by lax security 
for the ballots and the voting machines, which failed to maintain a 
chain of custody for election materials.
  Credentialled observers were denied an opportunity to meaningfully 
observe the recount process, were threatened with eviction for asking 
questions and completed their work still unable to assure the voters 
that the certified results accurately reflected the collective 
intention of the voters in their counties.
  The Ohio Secretary of State failed to provide adequate and uniform 
standards for the conduct of the recount.
  Perhaps as disturbing as anything else, was that Ohio Secretary of 
State J. Kenneth Blackwell mixed his non-partisan duties to the voters 
of Ohio with his partisan duties as the co-chair of the his state's 
Bush Re-election campaign.
  We need:
  A Constitutional right to vote;
  Uniform standards for the conduct of elections and recounts;
  A contemporaneously produced voter verified paper trails for 
electronic voting machines;
  An end to the use of trade-secret protected, proprietary software for 
voting machines;
  Independent election commissions (or administrators) to oversee 
elections. (No campaign officials should ever again be placed in charge 
of counting or overseeing the vote); and
  The abolition of the Electoral College, replacing it with popular 
vote using Instant Runoff Voting.
  As can be learned at votecobb.ord, the recount documented wide spread 
evidence of fraud, the obstruction of legitimate votes (especially 
those cast by African Americans and young people), and computer voting 
machine manipulation. The Ohio recount was tainted by a lack of 
cooperation, the failure to follow consistent standards, and conflicts 
of interest by Republican election officials.
  A constituent of mine from Chamblee Georgia wrote that ``If Senate 
Democrats remain silent on Thursday, and we see a repeat of their 2000 
endorsement of a manipulated election, the Democratic Party will have 
abandoned all claims to be the opposition. Americans who care about 
democracy and fair elections should understand such silence as an 
endorsement of the kind of Republican election engineering we witnessed 
in Ohio and of the Bush agenda.''
  The founders ratified our Constitution, but under popular protest 
very quickly adopted a set of amendments demanded by the people. Among 
those first changes to our governing Constitution were two Amendments 
designed to ensure that our nation would continue to serve the people 
of this nation. The First Amendment guarantees our right to petition, 
speak, write and assemble: in short to organize politically to change 
our form of government. The Second Amendment was adopted to ensure the 
``security of a free State.'' If we cannot protect the sanctity of the 
vote and those First Freedoms, we risk leaving our citizens no choice 
but to reach for the Second Amendment in their own defense.
  There have been 1,341 U.S. soldiers, including twenty-nine Georgians 
and two from my district that have so far lost their lives in our 
occupation of Iraq. I grieve with the families for their loss. But what 
are we to do when we attempt to export democracy abroad when we can't 
seem to even produce it at home.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, today it is with a respect of my 
past ancestors that I rise to list my name with my fellow colleagues, 
who have come to address the disenfranchisement of many voters who were 
unable to cast their votes in the most fundamental exercise of 
democracy--voting for the President of the United States.
  As the sole member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the only 
woman to serve on the Committee on House Administration, I have 
received numerous letters from constituents and citizens whose outcry 
is of faulty equipment and irregularities in this last Presidential 
election.
  Mr. Speaker, the breadth and depth of what occurred in Ohio 
surrounding this past Presidential election is astounding and naturally 
calls into question the validity of our electoral process.
  However, the larger picture requires that we must engage a debate of 
our voting process as it represents the bedrock of our democratic 
society.
  The Judiciary Committee, under the request of Congressman John 
Conyers, found that voter registration applications were incorrectly 
rejected; registered voters were wrongfully purged from the rolls; 
inadequate numbers of voting machines were used resulting in voters 
waiting hours to vote; and voter intimidation and misinformation was 
insidious at voting sites. This caused the disenfranchisement of 
thousands of voters across the country.
  Mr. Speaker, I represent the voices of my constituents in the 37th 
district of California who are calling on this Congress to fully fund 
the Help American Vote Act. I have also called on the President to 
fully fund HAVA to remedy the ill-fated processes and procedures that 
currently exist.
  Our country cannot be seen as the example of democracy in the world 
when there are lines of voters wrapped around the corner unable to vote 
and exercise this fundamental right.
  We must do everything in our power as a representational body to make 
sure that every voter votes and that every vote is counted. We must 
reform our election process so that the outcome of future elections 
will not bring us again to this same place.
  I will continue to call for further hearings that will help alleviate 
the irregularities in voting, and put into action the implementation of 
voting best practices.
  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, the American electoral system is the 
paragon of democracy for the world. Therefore, we must hold ourselves 
to the highest standards when we conduct elections. There can be no 
doubt about the outcomes, no questions about fairness or fraud. Where 
there is even a whiff of impropriety, we have an obligation to act, and 
in a bipartisan manner.
  The fundamental underpinning of our democracy is our guarantee that 
every citizen has the right to vote. Over the last 225 years we have 
worked slowly, but steadily, to expand this right. We have corrected 
grievous injustices that once prevented too many of our fellow citizens 
from having a voice in our democracy. Despite these efforts, sadly, we 
have had serious evidence of improprieties in both of the last 
Presidential elections. In 2000, the disenfranchisement of Florida 
voters took that election all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 
2004 Washington State gubernatorial election took over 6 weeks to 
resolve, and the Ohio voting process gives rises to grave concerns.
  In Ohio, and other states, voters in far too many precincts faced 
significant obstacles when they tried to vote. Ten-hour lines to vote, 
a lack of sufficient ballots, wrongly purged or inaccurate voter 
registration roles and miscalibrated voting machines are unacceptable. 
These actions not only call into question the integrity of our election 
results, they deprive individuals of the right to vote that too many 
people have fought and died to protect.
  We should have learned our lesson after the 2000 election. I 
supported and co-sponsored strong voting reform legislation, including 
the Help America Vote Act. This was the most

[[Page H126]]

comprehensive package of voting reforms passed by Congress since the 
Voting Rights Act of 1965. It marked a first step, but only a first 
step in modernizing our electoral process nationwide.
  While Congress did pass legislation, the 2004 election shows that we 
have not gone far enough to restore integrity to the process. We cannot 
continue to ignore this problem. We cannot allow Americans to be 
unjustly deprived of our fundamental right to vote or of anyone to 
doubt the outcome of our elections. Congress must develop a 
comprehensive and bipartisan solution to the problems that still plague 
our system.
  I commend the gentlewoman from Ohio for raising this issue, and 
commit to work with her and the rest of my colleagues in our continuing 
quest to assure that all Americans' votes are counted.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, as even the sponsors of today's challenge 
to the Ohio vote acknowledge, the protest is not intended to try to 
overturn the results of the 2004 election. President Bush won the state 
of Ohio and the popular vote.
  However, like in 2000, the most recent election was marred by 
multiple irregularities, allegations of fraud, and technical 
challenges. Today's debate provides an important opportunity to discuss 
on the House floor our continuing concerns about the integrity of our 
electoral process, which has been called into question by the last two 
Presidential elections.
  Others have mentioned many of the specific concerns about the process 
in Ohio. Many of these problems were seen in other states as well. In 
response to the widespread problems, I wrote to the Government 
Accountability Office in November requesting an investigation of these 
irregularities and a review of whether tougher federal voting standards 
are necessary to resolve them. While Congress did approve election 
reform legislation in response to the problems in 2000, more needs to 
be done to restore the integrity of the electoral process.
  One of the most blatant shortcomings is the lack of a paper trail for 
many electronic voting machines. In 2003, I cosponsored legislation to 
rectify this problem. Regrettably, the Republican Congress refused to 
act on it. So we headed into this last election knowing that electronic 
votes could not be verified or recounted manually. Damaged machines and 
programming errors have actually expunged all records of votes in 
isolated instances. That is unacceptable. I will continue to pressure 
the Republican leadership to allow a vote on this issue.
  In addition, I asked GAO to review the need for open-source computer 
code for these machines. The new technology must be accessible for 
review and audit. The voting public must be certain that the system 
cannot be manipulated, and that their vote is recorded properly and 
accurately regardless of what system they use.
  And, I asked that the investigation review the need for uniform and 
simple standards for counting provisional ballots, registering voters, 
and identification requirements at polling places. I believe strong 
federal standards in these and possibly other areas are necessary for 
federal elections. The varied standards from state to state, and even 
within states, seriously endanger the integrity of our elections.
  We need to insure the integrity of our electoral process is 
absolutely beyond question. Until we fix the problems mentioned today, 
we will never be able to say with confidence that every vote has been 
counted, and counted correctly and fairly. Election reform must be a 
top priority of the 109th Congress.
  Mrs. DAVIS, of California. Mr. Speaker, the 2004 election is over, 
and the results are in. I am not here today to dispute which candidate 
won the election. I join my colleagues today in expressing concern, 
however, about the irregularities that have been documented from the 
election in Ohio.
  Mr. Speaker, we can argue all day about what did or did not happen 
with the election in Ohio, the procedures that were or were not used 
there, or about the voting machines. The issue we are addressing today, 
however, is the fundamental right of every American to vote. I am not 
challenging the outcome of the past election today. What I am 
challenging is the fact there are people in America who have been 
denied the right to vote. And that, Mr. Speaker, is wrong.
  People from around the world watched the State of Ohio with great 
interest on Election Day. Widespread reports of irregularities and 
waiting times in excess of 4 hours were extremely troubling to all of 
us.
  I just returned from the Ukraine, where some of my colleagues and I 
had the privilege to observe the second election there. As we are all 
well aware, incidence of irregularities, voter intimidation and fraud 
during the first Ukrainian election were widespread and well 
documented. People from all over the world watched both of the Ukraine 
elections. And we have all been deeply moved by the success of 
democracy there. The triumph of the Ukrainian people's will has been 
profound.
  Mr. Speaker, a success for the democratic process like the one we 
just witnessed in the Ukraine doesn't just happen on its own. It takes 
the courage and conviction of a country's citizens to rise up and 
challenge what they feel is wrong. If the people feel that 
irregularities or intimidation have taken place, they must stand up to 
it. They must shed light on it. They must insist it be prevented from 
ever happening again.
  Much of the international community, including the United States, has 
contributed money, training and resources to help build democracy in 
countries like the Ukraine. Having the opportunity to go to the 
Ukraine, and to witness the process first hand, was an incredible 
experience for me and for my colleagues who were with me. To see the 
people in the streets, and to observe their profound sense of 
satisfaction with the election was very powerful. It was clear to all 
of us who were there that the Ukrainian people had come to believe that 
people truly are empowered to challenge injustices when they occur.
  Mr. Speaker, I cannot escape the parallels we should draw between the 
issue we are addressing today and my experiences during the Ukrainian 
elections. In large numbers, the Ukrainian people took to their 
streets--not to support a particular candidate--but to support 
democratic principles and the right for each person's vote to be 
counted fairly and unencumbered. I am heartened that America has been 
able to offer assistance to countries like the Ukraine in establishing 
democracy. What we must realize, however, is that America may indeed 
have a few things to learn from their experience as well.
  Mr. TIBERI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my disappointment 
with where we are today and what this process has become. I'd like to 
start by pointing out just a few facts.
  County boards of elections in Ohio are bipartisan--made up of two 
Republicans and two Democrats. These individuals routinely put in 12-15 
hours a day for 3 months to oversee elections in Ohio. I've spoken with 
Democratic members of the boards of elections in the counties I 
represent. They too have expressed disappointment. In fact, not one 
board of elections official has raised complaints.
  In fact, Franklin County Board of Elections Chairman William Anthony 
has gone so far as to label those making these wild charges ``a band of 
conspiracy theorists.'' By the way, Anthony is also head of the 
Franklin County Democratic Party. I know him personally, as I do others 
who serve on the boards of elections in the three counties I represent.
  Democrat or Republican, they badly want their candidates to win. But 
above all else, they want to ensure that everyone eligible to vote has 
an opportunity to do so, and that each vote is counted accurately.
  Were there problems? Certainly. Long lines, not enough voting 
machines, these are things we can discuss. But, we must also 
acknowledge that these are problems that occurred across the board--
urban and rural, Republican and Democrat.
  The Republicans and Democrats who served on each county board of 
elections decide on the placement of voting machines jointly. I don't 
think the Democrats would agree to a plan that would cost their 
candidates votes by shifting machines away from where their supporters 
cast ballots.
  Second, there were lines everywhere because of unprecedented turnout. 
As The Columbus Dispatch pointed out after the election, the busiest 
places to vote were not in the urban areas of Columbus, but in the 
suburbs.
  All editorial boards of the major newspapers in Ohio have said what 
we are doing today is over the line. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 
``The election horse is dead. You can stop beating it now.''
  Everybody talks about how partisan this town has gotten. I wonder 
why--look at how we're starting the 109th Congress.
  In closing, I'd like to say a few words to boards of elections 
members--and all other elections workers--that they might not have 
heard recently:
  Thanks. Your hard work is appreciated.
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Speaker, several members have mentioned the 
inconvenience that many voters may have experienced on voting day by 
having to stand in line to wait their turn to vote.
  I want us to put that inconvenience into a proper perspective. It 
goes without saying we should eliminate any barrier to voting that we 
reasonably can eliminate. That said, one day last year the Afghan 
people got up early one morning, put on their best clothes and set out 
to vote for the first time. They left the safety of their homes to vote 
at the express threat to their safety and very lives. They were 
threatened with being shot and killed or maimed by bombs. In addition, 
many stood in line all day to vote.
  I believe we should look to the Afghan people for an example of how 
to fulfill our responsibility to vote.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I've been rather mystified over the 
reaction to the recent election by many Democrats. Since the November 
election, when a political opportunity

[[Page H127]]

arises, some on the other side of the aisle shout out words like 
``fraud'' and ``sham.'' If they aren't doing that they demean what the 
people in the red states did on Election Day and call them insulting 
names.
  If this all seems to be the reaction of a shell-shocked party who has 
lost any vision and has moved to a vicious attack cycle--it is. The 
hard truth is that 58 million people voted for President Bush. And the 
even harder truth is that the majority of this country voted for 
President Bush, no matter how you try to confuse it. No proven 
allegations of fraud. No reports of widespread wrongdoing. It was, at 
the end of the day, an honest election.
  My concern with this protest, is its overtly partisan nature. I 
notice that my colleagues are quick to criticize the vote in Ohio, a 
state that the President carried. Yet we have heard little about 
potential problems with voting in states that Senator Kerry won. Rumors 
of voter problems have been reported in states other than Ohio, 
including my own state of Pennsylvania. But the focus today seems to 
only be on a state carried by President Bush; and that leads me to 
believe that today's protest is about the outcome not about the 
process.
  I believe a good deal of the reason for the last election is the 
failure of the left to produce a vision. And with an opportunity to 
regroup, take responsibility and work hard; they have walked away to 
the comforting shoulder of smear attacks.
  I say let's move on to do what we were elected to do, make positive 
change in this country. It's time we put partisan politics behind us.
  The SPEAKER. All time has expired.
  The question is, Shall the objection submitted by the gentlewoman 
from Ohio (Mrs. Jones) and the Senator from California (Ms. Boxer) be 
agreed to.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 31, 
nays 267, not voting 132, as follows:

                              [Roll No. 7]

                                YEAS--31

     Brown, Corrine
     Carson
     Clay
     Clyburn
     Conyers
     Davis (IL)
     Evans
     Farr
     Filner
     Grijalva
     Hastings (FL)
     Hinchey
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kucinich
     Lee
     Lewis (GA)
     Markey
     McKinney
     Olver
     Owens
     Pallone
     Payne
     Schakowsky
     Thompson (MS)
     Waters
     Watson
     Woolsey

                               NAYS--267

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Andrews
     Bachus
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bean
     Beauprez
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boustany
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Butterfield
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp
     Cantor
     Capito
     Carnahan
     Carter
     Case
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chandler
     Chocola
     Cleaver
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Costa
     Cox
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Cubin
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     DeLay
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     English (PA)
     Etheridge
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Foley
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gibbons
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Green (WI)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Hall
     Harman
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastert
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Herseth
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Holt
     Hooley
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Israel
     Istook
     Jindal
     Johnson, Sam
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Keller
     Kennedy (MN)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kildee
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kuhl (NY)
     Larson (CT)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     Marshall
     McCaul (TX)
     McCollum (MN)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McGovern
     McHenry
     McHugh
     McKeon
     McMorris
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Melancon
     Miller (MI)
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy
     Murtha
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Oxley
     Pastor
     Pelosi
     Pence
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Portman
     Price (GA)
     Price (NC)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reyes
     Reynolds
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ross
     Rothman
     Royce
     Ryan (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Sabo
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanders
     Saxton
     Schwartz (PA)
     Schwarz (MI)
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Sherman
     Sherwood
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Snyder
     Sodrel
     Solis
     Spratt
     Strickland
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Tierney
     Turner
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Van Hollen
     Visclosky
     Wamp
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wolf
     Wu
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                            NOT VOTING--132

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Baca
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldwin
     Bass
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Bono
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Cardoza
     Coble
     Cooper
     Costello
     Crowley
     Cunningham
     Davis (TN)
     DeFazio
     Delahunt
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Edwards
     Emanuel
     Eshoo
     Everett
     Fattah
     Flake
     Forbes
     Ford
     Fossella
     Frank (MA)
     Gallegly
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gonzalez
     Goode
     Granger
     Graves
     Gutknecht
     Hefley
     Higgins
     Hinojosa
     Holden
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Issa
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Kind
     Kolbe
     LaHood
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Leach
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Maloney
     Matheson
     McCarthy
     McDermott
     McIntyre
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Mica
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Moran (KS)
     Neal (MA)
     Ortiz
     Otter
     Pascrell
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pickering
     Rangel
     Rogers (AL)
     Rohrabacher
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Schiff
     Serrano
     Shays
     Shimkus
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Souder
     Stark
     Stearns
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Terry
     Thompson (CA)
     Towns
     Udall (CO)
     Velazquez
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Weldon (FL)
     Wexler
     Wilson (SC)
     Wynn


                      Swearing in of Member-Elect

  The SPEAKER (during the vote). Will the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Norwood) please come to the well of the House and take the oath of 
office at this time.
  Mr. NORWOOD appeared at the bar of the House and took the oath of 
office, as follows:
  Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the 
Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and 
domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; 
that you will take this obligation freely, without any mental 
reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and 
faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which you are about 
to enter, so help you God.


                      Announcement By the Speaker

  The SPEAKER (during the vote). Under clause 5(d) of rule XX, the 
Chair announces to the House that in light of swearing in the gentleman 
from Georgia (Mr. Norwood) the whole number of the House is adjusted to 
430 Members.

                              {time}  1702

  Messrs. HALL, MORAN of Virginia and CUMMINGS changed their vote from 
``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Ms. McKINNEY changed her vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the objection was not agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Speaker, due to official travel today with the 
House Armed Services Committee, I was unable to cast my vote on the 
challenge to the Electoral College tabulation of votes for President 
and Vice President of the United States. Had I been present, I would 
have voted to sustain the objection to the Ohio electoral votes.
  Stated against:
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidably absent for the rollcall 
vote today on challenging the Ohio electoral vote. Had I been present, 
I would have voted ``no'' on rollcall 7.
  Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I would respectfully request that 
today's Record reflect that I was in my home State of Oregon attending 
a longstanding official event

[[Page H128]]

when I learned of the vote relating to Mrs. Jones of Ohio's objection 
to the certified results of the Electoral College balloting in the 
State of Ohio and was unable to return to Washington, DC in time for 
today's vote. I would like the Record to reflect that had I been 
present I would have voted ``nay.''
  Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidable detained and therefore 
unable to cast a vote on rollcall No. 7. Had I been present, I would 
have voted ``no.''
  Mr. SHAYS. Mr. Speaker, on January 6, I was conducting oversight in 
Southeast Asia of tsunami disaster relief efforts and, therefore, 
missed one recorded vote.
  I take my voting responsibility very seriously and would like the 
Congressional Record to reflect that, had I been present, I would have 
voted ``no'' on recorded vote No. 7.
  Mrs. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker, because of illness, I was not present on 
the vote on agreeing to the objection on the Ohio electoral vote on 
January 6. Had I been present, I would have voted ``nay.''
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidably detained and was unable to 
vote on rollcall 7. Had I been present, I would have voted ``no'' on 
this measure.
  Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidably detained and missed 
rollcall No. 7. Had I been present, I would have voted ``no.''
  Mr. BASS. Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, January 6, 2005, I regrettably 
missed recorded vote 7. Had I been present, I would have voted ``nay.''


                          personal explanation

  Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I had to fly back to Wisconsin 
for a military funeral and missed rollcall vote No. 7.
  The SPEAKER. The Clerk will now notify the Senate of the action of 
the House, informing that body that the House is now ready to proceed 
in joint session with the further counting of the electoral vote for 
the President and Vice President.

                          ____________________