Less than 24 hours away from the election and the s*** has hit the fan in Ohio, Cuyahoga County to be specific.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting trouble with the elections scanning/counting machines.
The Diebold machines can’t seem to scan the ballots correctly. This problem occurred last year in May during the primaries causing elections officials to count by hand, took days to get the official results.
In the run up to this election, officials have been testing the machines with the help of Diebold technicians and while the machines work with blank paper...they can’t accurately scan folded test ballots...
That’s a problem because elections officials all around the state got the go ahead to begin scanning absentee ballots so that they can be counted after the polls close tomorrow.
Since most absentee ballots come into the board of elections via mail...they are all folded...and the machine can’t handle the folds.
Word has it that some 100,000 absentee ballots have been received and must be scanned by tomorrow. The last time this happened only 17,000 absentee ballots were at issue and the resultant hand count took a week.
Secretary of State and wannabe governor Ken Blackwell went to court to keep counties from scanning the ballots before election day stating that would be counting votes. But elections officials successfully argued before a judge that scanning absentee ballots was only adding data to the computers that will do the actual counting on election day. So the scanning of the ballots actually began this past weekend.
The scanning has been proceeding smoothly in Hamilton county which is an overwhelmingly republican area located in southwest Ohio on the Ohio River and has Cincinnati as its major city.
Cuyahoga County is in northwest Ohio on Lake Erie and has Cleveland as its major tenant. It is overwhelmingly democratic.
Usually Hamilton and Cuyahoga cancel each other out. It’s been like that since I’ve been able to vote...that’s going back nearly four decades.
If Diebold can get the scan/vote right in predominantly white and republican counties...why doesn’t it work in less than white and democratic counties?
Same company...same machines...aren’t they?
Other counties are bracing for trouble too such as what happened in a Columbus suburb named Minerva Park in 2004. The once prosperous neighborhood is now very poor, jobless and 80% black.
The lines were long....nobody budged...they held places for those who had to leave and take care of business....they chatted and waited to cast their ballots....The area was heavily anti-Bush and anti-republican and very vocal about it.
But somehow....some way.....despite the people and the way they were talking that day....Minerva Park went heavily for Bush over Kerry in 2004 to the surprise of the everyone in Ohio.
There is a quiet investigation still going on in Ohio....a recount of 2004, ballot by ballot.
Although he was within his legal rights to do so, Ken Blackwell was prevented from destroying the 2004 ballots by the courts. An independent watch group is slowly sifting through those ballots as we speak.
As I’ve been saying...... Democrats and minorities; don’t count your chickens just yet....the fix is in Ohio and has been for a long time.
It’s just waiting to jump up and bite us in the ass again.