In Ohio and elsewhere – One person, one vote!’

The Bush-Cheney campaign crowed after the Nov. 2 election that they won fair and square. Yet the stench left by their voter suppression tactics in Ohio and elsewhere hangs so heavy that the Rev. Jesse Jackson compared it to the infamous theft of the 2000 election in Florida.

“In Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Youngstown, Cleveland where I was, you had Blacks standing in line for six hours in the rain. That’s a form of voter suppression,” Jackson told Newsweek. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell “may have had to deliver for Bush-Cheney and he got a lighter rap than [former Florida Secretary of State Katherine] Harris. Ohio may have been more stacked than Florida.”

There is the lack of a verifiable paper trail, and there is evidence that some of the electronic voting machines in Ohio may have been tampered with. John Kerry could have picked up many thousands more votes, and some think could have won the election.

Bush strategist Karl Rove speaks of imposing a “generation” of right-wing Republican domination using these tactics in flagrant violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

This year the nation will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that victory. There will be a reenactment of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. It is high time that we rededicate ourselves to the principle, “One Person, One Vote,” to the struggle for voting rights paid for with the blood of many martyrs. Some of the Voting Rights Act’s most important protections must be extended in the face of ultra-right opposition. There will be a growing fight for democratic, electoral reform and a voting system that guarantees that every vote is counted. This is a fight we can and must win.

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