Blackwell/Ohio Diebold Controvsery

Emma Best filed this request with the Secretary of State of Ohio.
Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Ohio Open Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

All materials related to the Diebold scandal . The controversy has been described thusly:

Ohio State Senator Jeff Jacobson asked Blackwell in July 2003 to disqualify Diebold Election Systems' bid to supply voting machines for the state, after security problems were discovered in its software, but was refused.[citation needed] Blackwell had ordered Diebold touch screen voting machines, reversing an earlier decision by the state to purchase only optical scan voting machines which, unlike the touch screen devices, would leave a "paper trail" for recount purposes.

On April 4, 2006, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Blackwell "owned stock [83 shares, down from 178 shares purchased in January 2005] in Diebold, a voting-machine [and ATM] manufacturer, at the same time his office negotiated a deal" with the company. After discovering the stock ownership, Blackwell promptly sold the shares at a loss. He attributed the purchase to an unidentified financial manager at Credit Suisse First Boston who he said had, without his knowledge, violated his instructions to avoid potential conflict of interest.

When Cuyahoga County's primary was held on May 2, 2006, officials ordered the hand-counting of more than 18,000 paper ballots after Diebold's new optical scan machines produced inconsistent tabulations, leaving several local races in limbo for days and eventually resulting in a reversal of the outcome of one race for state representative. Blackwell ordered an investigation by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections; Ohio Democrats demanded that Blackwell, due to his prior role in acquiring the Diebold equipment as well as his status as the Republican gubernatorial candidate in this election, recuse himself from the investigation due to conflicts of interest, but Blackwell did not do so.

For additional reference, please see:

https://web.archive.org/web/20110523081657/http://www.dispatch.com/live/contentbe/dispatch/2006/04/04/20060404-A1-01.html
http://www.vindy.com/news/2006/apr/04/improper-stock-buy-reported/
https://web.archive.org/web/20070927192653/http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=285016&Category=13

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

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