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House Hearing on 2004's Lessons Sheds No New Light on Flawed Election

Old arguments and explanations abound about the last presidential election.
 
 
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A House hearing today on the lessons of the 2004 presidential election broke no new ground before adjourning for a vote.

Republican ex-election officials from Ohio and their counterparts of the he House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties said the 2004 election, most notably in Ohio, was well-run, and said the real problem was fraudulent voter registrations. One GOP-friendly witness called for the Department of Justice to investigate ACORN, the low-income advocacy group, raising a rash of long-ago debunked accusations of partisan electioneering.

On the Democratic side, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers asked Ohio's former Republican Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, what was his reaction to the extensive outcry of unfair election practices that were documented in books, movies and sworn testimony from members of the public, including Republicans. Blackwell answered that he ran a "good but not perfect election" and dismissed the efforts of grassroots election integrity activists who documented his partisan management of the election.

"There are a lot of people with the imagination akin to (the author) Jonathan Swift," he said. "Just because someone makes a film or makes a charges doesn't make there are facts to it."

The testimony was due to resume later in the day when former Justice Department attorney Hans von Spakovsky was due to appear. In his role at the DOJ, he shifted the department's traditional focus of defending voting rights to a policy of policing voter roles to guard against mostly non-existent voter fraud. The result was a DOJ Voting Section that selectively enforced the nation's voting laws for most of the Bush admionistration.