Glitches in electronic voting in the Columbus area should move all legislatures to demand paper receipts for voting machines. Without such a paper trail, no true recount can ever be done. Note that no Diebold electronic voting machines were employed in Ohio.
Clear efforts at voter suppression and intimidation were well handled by the courts and election officials. Dirty tricks occurred across the state, including phony letters from Boards of Elections telling people that their registration through some Democratic activist groups were invalid and that Kerry voters were to report on Wednesday because of massive voter turnout. Phone calls to voters giving them erroneous polling information were also common. Attempts to subvert our right to fair elections must be investigated and prosecuted when possible.
The official tabulation of votes for Ohio will begin on Saturday and will include four categories not reflected in the unofficial count: provisional ballots, late absentee ballots, overseas military and overseas civilian. If the difference between George Bush and John Kerry is less than one quarter of one percent after the official tally is completed (about 16,000 votes) an automatic recount occurs under Ohio law. If the margin is greater than one quarter of one percent, a candidate can request a recount at an expense to the candidate of $10 per precinct. Because there are approximately 12,000 precincts in Ohio, the recount would cost about $120,000, before legal fees. A recount would entail a visual inspection of every punch card ballot.
I believe we must pursue every lead which raises questions about the integrity of the electoral process. Our work may not change the outcome, but it will demonstrate that beyond our commitment to our candidates, we have a higher commitment to our democracy.
The above cartogram shows red versus blue states drawn not relative to topography, but to number of inhabitants. Lifted from here.