2005-01-07-Barbara Boxer-Ohio Election
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the new deputy Democratic whip in the Senate, made a symbolic protest of the presidential election results in Ohio, forcing a two-hour debate in the Senate before that body voted 74-1 yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 6) to certify President George W. Bush's re-election victory over Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
Boxer's objection echoed one made in the House of Representatives by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Democrat representing the Cleveland area. The House voted 267-31 to certify President Bush's victory.
Before objecting to the
certification of the results in their respective chambers, the congresswoman and
the senator held a news conference explaining that while they did not challenge
President Bush's re-election, they wanted to focus attention on voting
irregularities that had occurred in the Ohio election in order to build support
for election reform legislation.
did voters in Ohio wait hours in the rain to vote? Why were voters at
Kenyan College, for example, made to wait in line until nearly 4 a.m. to vote
because there were only two machines for 1300 voters? Why did poor and
predominantly African-American communities have disproportionately long waits?
Boxer paid tribute to Tubbs Jones for initiating the protest. She noted that the congresswoman previously had served as a judge for 10 years, and before that was a prosecutor for 8 years. In 2002 Tubbs Jones was an inductee into the Women's Hall of Fame, and "I am proud to stand with her in filing this objection."
Tubbs Jones said the Congress should enact legislation that would:
•"Allow all voters to vote early—so that obligations of employment and family will not interfere with the ability to cast a vote.
a national holiday—Election Day—to bring attention to the importance of the
•"Provide equipment—whether it is
the traditional punch card or the more modern electronic machines that are
property calibrated, fully tested for accuracy, and provide a paper trail to
ensure a verifiable audit of every
—Donald H. Harrison