Two Cuyahoga County elections officials were indicted Tuesday on charges of not handling ballots correctly during the recount of the 2004 presidential election, the (registration-restricted) Plain Dealer reports Wednesday. Excerpts follow -- caught by BradBlog.com.
Kathleen Dreamer, manager of the board's ballot department, and the assistant manager, Rosie Grier, were each charged with six counts of failing to follow Ohio laws that spell out how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount.
The most serious charges carry a maximum of 18 months in prison.
Erie County Prosecutor Kevin J. Baxter conducted the investigation at the behest of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, who recused himself from the case because his office represents the elections board.
The charges stem from a complaint first raised last December by Toledo lawyer Richard Kerger, who watched over the recount on behalf of two third-party candidates.
Kerger charged that elections officials failed to randomly select precincts that were supposed to be counted by hand and compared against ballots tabulated by a machine; conduct test-runs before witnesses; and investigate discrepancies between vote totals.
Cuyahoga County's four elections board members said the "allegations are based on interpretation of procedures, not on any suggestion of fraud."
Originally published on Wednesday August 31, 2005.