Democrats called Monday for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to remove himself from an investigation into what went wrong with the primary election in Ohio's largest county.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said Blackwell should step aside because his office is responsible for the rules that govern county election boards that had scattered problems last Tuesday, including poll workers who did not know how to turn on new electronic voting machines. Blackwell, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, faces too many conflicts of interest to properly oversee the probe, Redfern said.
"It's a silly request," said James Lee, a spokesman with the secretary of state's office. "The people of Ohio twice elected Ken Blackwell to serve as secretary of state. He will continue to serve."
Blackwell asked the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Friday for an investigation of voting glitches during the county's first attempt at electronic voting using Diebold Inc. touch-screen and optical scan systems.
I am more than a little tired of Democrats blaming Republicans for their screw-ups. Living in a city (Columbus) and a county (Franklin) that is dominated by Democrats, I had to laugh when Ken Blackwell was blamed for the long lines (and every other kind of dastardly deed) during 2004's contentious presidential election.
It is Democrats that control the machinery (literally and figuratively) of your local polling place -- not Ken Blackwell. While it is true that Blackwell is charged with overseeing elections, he has little power. Federal, state and local laws determine how and when elections are held; the Secretary of State is merely a bureaucratic official with limited discretionary power.
After the Katrina debacle (where gross corruption and sloth by state and local Louisiana officials led to hundreds of deaths) was blamed upon racism and President Bush, I will never again stand by and let Democrats blame Republicans for the incompetence of Democrat officials and the bankruptcy of liberal ideas.