Ohio’s 2004 Presidential Election Records Mysteriously Disappear Again

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Exactly two years ago, Mark Crispin Miller, writing for Harper’s, presented a highly detailed and shocking report of the presidential election shenanigans that took place in Ohio in 2004. There is no way anyone can read this collection of facts and still believe that the election in Ohio was honest. Everything from violation of Ohio’s own election laws to destruction of ballots to intimidation of voters is clearly documented.

The news media, however, paid little attention to Miller’s report, and the Democratic Party paid even less attention to it. Almost a year later, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote a similar story for Rolling Stone, and for some reason, liberals paid more attention to that piece, in most cases, behaving as though the Miller story had never seen the light of day. But in no time at all, even the Kennedy story faded away.

Earlier this week, Steven Rosenfeld, writing for AlterNet, reports:

Two-thirds of Ohio counties have destroyed or lost their 2004 presidential ballots and related election records, according to letters from county election officials to the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner.

The lost records violate Ohio law, which states federal election records must be kept for 22 months after Election Day, and a U.S. District Court order issued last September that the 2004 ballots be preserved while the court hears a civil rights lawsuit alleging voter suppression of African-American voters in Columbus.

Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell was sued in 2006 by a community organization in Columbus for allegedly conspiring to prevent African Americans from voting in the 2004 election. The current secretary of state is Jennifer Brunner, the woman who discovered the missing records in the spring.

Though it is unlikely that anyone will be able to prove that the records were intentionally destroyed, there has been a clear pattern of obstruction, evasion and lawlessness in the Ohio election Republican community. Possibly the worst part of this story, however, is that hardly anyone will even learn about the destroyed records, and even fewer will care.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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