As two BOE workers go to jail. Why won't the county prosecutor let us pursue other cases in Ohio?
After the recent convictions of two Cuyahoga County Board of Election (BOE) workers for felony recount tampering, Republican County Prosecutor Robert Batchelor is stonewalling efforts to investigate similar well-documented charges in Coshocton County, Ohio.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections’ third-ranking employee and an assistant manager were each convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct and a misdemeanor count of failing to perform their duties during the 2004 recount. The convictions stemmed from the secret pre-counting of precincts prior to the lawfully required open recount. The convicted election workers only allowed the pre-counted precincts that matched the official results to be used in the recount. This caused the special prosecutor to tell the jury that the election recount was “rigged” in Cuyahoga.
Testimony and eyewitness reports document similar activity in several Ohio counties regarding the illegal rigging of the 2004 recount.
The Green and Libertarian parties brought the Ohio 2004 recount after Democratic hopeful John Kerry conceded with nearly a quarter of million votes uncounted in the state. Under Ohio law, county boards of elections must set a “time and place fixed for making a recount” and “in the presence of all witnesses [who may] may be in attendance, shall open the sealed containers containing the ballots to be recounted and shall recount them.” The sealed ballot containers are to be opened in front of BOE officials and recount candidates may “attend and witness the recount and may have any person whom the candidate designates attend and witness the recount,” under ORC 3515.03.
It is illegal to secretly pre-count recount ballots. The BOE can’t do a pre-count of ballots for whatever reason, secretly, after the certified vote goes to the state and after there has been a mandate for a statewide recount.
What happened in Coshocton County before the 2004 recount also appears to be a clear violation of Ohio law and could be damning for the Coshocton County BOE.