GOP Voter Suppression in Ohio
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 03:28:44 PM EDT
Here's one such incident that's been exposed in Ohio:ELECTION BOARD THROWS OUT 976 CHALLENGES BY REPUBLICAN PARTY
GOP Challenger Barbara Miller Could be Indicted on Felony Charges
AKRON, Ohio - The Summit County Board of Elections abruptly threw out 976 challenges of voter eligibility by the Republican Party today after Barbara Miller, the challenger, revealed that she did not have any personal information about the eligibility of any of the challenged voters.
Instead, Miller said that her challenges were based on a list of "undeliverable mail" given to her by the Republican Party. The list was based on a GOP mailing sent to registered voters throughout the state of Ohio.
After Miller presented this as her evidence, Russell Pry, Summit County Election Board member, told her that she could be indicted for signing a sworn challenge without any personal knowledge about the eligibility of the voters. Miller's reaction was to plead the Fifth Amendment.
Catherine Herold, the first voter challenged at the hearing, told the board that she believes that she was on the undeliverable list because she "refused the letter when she saw that it came from the Republican Party." She and many others expressed anger that their eligibility had been challenged - which could force them to vote by provisional ballot on Nov. 2.
"This is an outrage," Herold said. "I feel as if I am being called a liar for claiming to live at my address."
The Summit County Board of Elections has indicated that they plan to call in the Department of Justice to conduct a criminal investigation of the challenges.
Following is an excerpt from a transcript of today's hearing (for email copies contact Emilie Karrick). Catherine Herold and Neil Klingshirn, attorney for several of the challenged voters, are available for interviews.
Click on the extended entry to read the
EXCERPT FROM TODAY'S SUMMIT COUNTY ELECTION BOARD HEARING:
Catherine Ann Herold, who lives at 238 30th Street Northwest, Barberton, Summit County, Ohio; is that correct?
MS. MILLER: I did.
MR. PRY: And have you ever been to that residence?
MS. MILLER: No.
MR. PRY: Do you know Catherine Ann Herrold?
MS. MILLER: No, I don't.
MR. PRY: You have indicated in this challenge form that the person - that you believe that she does not live at that residence; is that correct?
MS. MILLER: That's correct.
MR. PRY: And what is the basis for you making this challenge?
MS. MILLER: 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.
MR. PRY: 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.
MR. HUTCHINSON: Yeah, give it a try.
MR. MORRISON: I'm going to enter an objection.
MR. JONES: Can we have you name?
MR. MORRISON: Yes. Jack Morrison. I've just been informed by Mr. Pry that an indictment may flow out of this, and therefore I'm instructing Ms. Miller to exercise her privilege against self-incrimination. She will not answer any further questions.
MR. PRY: There's no basis for this challenge.
MR. JONES: Since she's here, we're going to allow Ms. Herrold share with us -- thank you, Ms. Miller.
MS. MILLER: May I sit down?
MR. JONES: Yes.