Democrat Election Official Manipulated Ballots, Witnesses Swear : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Democrat Election Official Manipulated Ballots, Witnesses Swear

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Carol Roberts, the fiercely-partisan Palm Beach Democrat county commissioner deliberately mishandled ballots to give Al Gore a boost in the hand recount, five different witnesses swore in affidavits filed with a federal court. A member of the county elections canvassing board, Roberts, who hobnobbed with the Vice President and vigorously supported his candidacy, is accused in the filings of asking a Democratic observer to the count whether ballots should count and that she "twisted the ballots and poked her finger directly in sections of, and aggressively handled the ballots,” according to today’s Washington Times.

John Grotta, an observer at the recount swore in his affidavit that on one occasion Roberts looked at a ballot and said: " 'Unfortunately, the corners aren't detached,' as she was referring to a ballot that would have been a vote for Vice President Gore."

The charges against Miss Roberts "is not a witch hunt," Mark Hoch, administrator for the county's Republican Party told the Times.

"We have complaints coming out of the woodwork, and most of the things we look at are unsubstantiated," Mr. Hoch said. "Carol Roberts, though, can be seen as truly partisan."

In the affidavits, which were filed Wednesday, witnesses swore election workers were reluctant to reassess votes despite observers’ protests. In one case cited in the affidavits, a worker refused to recount a stack of ballots that contained Bush votes, according to Mark Klimer, an observer.

Klimer's statement accused Roberts of picking up ballots from a stack that was to be assessed later by the entire board and mixed them in with a stack of Gore votes.

He also said the ballot evaluation was inconsistent. Some ballots judged as Gore votes did not meet the agreed standards for a valid vote, the West Palm Beach banker swore.

Yesterday Klimer told the Times he was in the counting room for 4 and 1/2 hours on Saturday. A Republican, Mr. Klimer said his interest was not partisan: "I was there to make sure it was fair."

"Beyond a shadow of a doubt, what I saw is the absolute truth," Mr. Klimer said.

-- Uncle Bob (, November 16, 2000

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