Ohio Recount Mismanagement Case Moves Forward
by Catherine Komp
More than a year after the 2004 general election, indictments against county workers suggest the Ohio recount was not conducted legally.
Apr. 19 – During both the 2004 presidential election and subsequent recount in Ohio, elections observers reported hundreds of problems and irregularities in precincts across the state. But while top-ranking officials have avoided repercussions, one county prosecutor is going after mid-level elections workers in Ohio’s biggest county, accusing them of illegally fixing the recount.
While some voting-rights activists welcome the indictments of three county workers as an opportunity to expose flaws in Ohio’s polling system, some criticize the investigation for failing to hold state leaders and top-level elections officials accountable. Instead, activists are turning to lawsuits over Ohio’s recount procedures to force state officials to repair fundamental defects in the system before the next election.
Last week, Special Prosecutor Kevin Baxter issued formal charges against Jacqueline Maiden, the third and highest-ranking Cuyahoga Board of Elections employee to be indicted by a grand jury. The state has charged Maiden, a former elections coordinator, along with ballot director Kathleen Dreamer and Rosie Grier, an assistant manager of ballots, with violating six counts of Ohio election law, two of them felonies.