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wolf smilingMarch 19, 2008

Mark Crispin Miller just wrote, What really happened: lockdown in Warren County, OH, 2004. I led the team of 6 activists who went into Warren County to photograph the ballots (punchcards) and signature books, after the 2004 election fiasco in Ohio.

(Going by memory now – with much apology to anyone whose name I forget, this team was made up of Bob Pohowsky, Jo Anne Karassek, and another Bob, all from Cincinnati; and, I believe, Victoria Parks and Stuart Wright from Columbus.)

Two members of the Board of Elections, along with the Director gave us all a tough time.  First, they made us wait despite our appointment to be there and photograph the records.  They wanted to interrogate us first.  I kept deflecting their hostilities, practicing non-attachment.

But finally, in a burst of anger, one Board member (a Democrat), demanded, “Why are you here?  Is it because of the lockdown?”

I looked at him across the room and smiled sadly, “To be honest, yes.”

That seemed to be what they wanted. The Board member stormed out of the room and didn’t return.

The Director then left to get the boxes of election records.  When she came back, she and another worker stacked the requested records on the table facing us and began passing out one precinct’s records to each team.

The room was set up with long folding tables, forming a large square.  Citizens sat on the outside of the tables, with our camera equipment, and election workers sat on the inside, handling the ballots we shot.

After several minutes, Bob Pohowsky noticed they had brought out records from a different election.  I immediately questioned the director who smirked, and apologized. 

We all turned in what we had been working on, and she left to get the correct records. 

They must have a pattern of shifting boxes as their motives dictate.