Monday, December 27, 2004

Under Oath? Not for Them.

He's the "War President." He's the highest ranking public official. What do these two statements have in common? They are both actual legal arguments against testifying under oath. The first was used by Bush to avoid being caught for perjury. Now Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's leader in foot dragging where investigation into Ohio's less than stellar election performance says he shouldn't have to testify under oath either:
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has requested a protective order to prevent him from being interviewed as part of an unusual court challenge of the presidential vote.

Blackwell, in a court filing, says he's not required to be interviewed by lawyers as a high-ranking public official, and accused the voters challenging the results of ``frivolous conduct'' and abusive and unnecessary requests of elections officials around the state.

Citing fraud, 37 people who voted for president Nov. 2 have challenged the election results with the Ohio Supreme Court. The voters refer to irregularities including long lines, a shortage of voting machines in minority precincts and problems with computer equipment.
Gee, why would old Kenneth suddenly be worried about having to testify under oath? Could it be that a presidential candidate who barely lost a questionable Ohio vote has filed in federal court? Although you'd never know it due to the media coverage the SCLM is not giving it, the Kerry/Edwards campaign has joined the legal proceedings in Ohio:
This afternoon, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election. The motions were filed in the matter titled Yost et al. v. Delaware County Board of Elections and J. Kenneth Blackwell (Civil Action No. C2-04-1139) with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The document is titled "Motion Of Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. For A Preservation Order And For A Leave To Take Limited Expedited Discovery."

The purpose of the motions is twofold: A) To preserve all ballots and voting machines pertaining to the Yost matter for investigation and analysis; and B) To make available for sworn deposition testimony a technician for Triad Systems, the company that produced and maintained many of the voting machines used in the Ohio election. The technician has been accused of tampering with the recount process in Hocking County, Ohio, though other counties are believed to have also been involved. Any officers of Triad Systems who have information pertaining to said tampering are likewise subject to subpoena for sworn deposition testimony.

If the judge in this case allows these motions, and these individuals are served with subpoenas for deposition, the information disclosed under oath could have a major effect on the case. Likewise, judicial approval of these motions will open the door to forensic analysis of both the ballots cast and the machines they were counted on. If tampering took place, such an analysis could reveal it.
This could get interesting, if only for making Blackwell sweat as he comes up with really good excuses for the long lines... in Democratic precincts, the lack of voting machines... in Democratic precincts, and the higher percentage of spoiled votes... in Democratic precincts.