Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, November 3

State Sen. Fedor (D) Sounds Alarm About Blackwell (R) and 32 Voting Memory Cards

Tapping into a deep reservoir of justified paranoia about election integrity, State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) is asking what Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) did with 32 absentee ballot scanning machine memory cards for almost a month at the beginning of the year. In a press release, Fedor announced that she sent a letter to Blackwell asking why 32 memory cards were delivered to his office last December and held onto for almost a month before they were distributed to Montgomery, Lucas and other counties:
“We cannot find a record of any other Secretary of State having voting equipment delivered to their offices,” Fedor said. “Following recent reports detailing how vulnerable these memory cards are to viruses and vote-changing files that can otherwise go undetected, this raises many additional concerns about the integrity of our elections.”

Ohio law prohibits any election machinery from being tampered with, impaired or otherwise changed in any way prior to an election. Moreover, no unauthorized person may possess any election machinery or accessories.

This discrepancy was discovered during the examination of public records requested by Senator Fedor following the 2006 primary election. E-mails between the Secretary of State’s office and the memory card manufacturer, Diebold, stated that payments to Diebold were postponed pending the delivery of all voting equipment to the purchasing counties. Payments to Diebold were delayed for nearly a month while the memory cards sat undelivered in the Secretary of State’s office.

“This raises numerous questions and deserves a full investigation,” Fedor stated. “If the cards were changed for any reason, the law was broken. If they were delivered there by mistake, why were they not delivered to the counties more expediently? We must find out what happened in that month the memory cards were in the Secretary’s possession. The integrity of our elections depends on the answer to that question.”

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