Psst! Fellas … Bush still won state of Ohio

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

Seven weeks later and guess what? George W. Bush still won the state of Ohio in his run for president.

On Tuesday with 85 of 88 counties reporting, Bush's lead in the official recount under way had only dropped by 243 votes, according to an Associated Press survey of the counties.

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In case the weeks of post-election bickering have blurred your memory, Bush still has a more than six-figure lead over his challenger, Sen. John Kerry.

Election officials from both major political parties have conceded that the reports of widespread voting problems appear to be fictitious.

But for the conspiracy theorist and pot-stirrers among us, reason and the consensus that no major problems occurred are not reason enough to stop the allegations.

Political instigator the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy accused the Bush and his minions of "high-tech vote stealing." They filed a lawsuit which is still pending.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., called for the FBI to investigate alleged vote tampering - as if Ohio State University football fans needed another reason not to like Michigan. For its part, the FBI says it has not determined whether or not it will open an investigation - which sounds to us like they're saying "no thanks" to Conyers' invitation to stir.

We've now officially recounted. We've triple-checked all of the voting machines in question. All of that scrutiny resulted in a net change of only 243 votes. That amount of change is too small for our simple calculators to handle.

So is all of the fuss worth it? Well, it would be if the naysayers and doubters would eventually believe the truth and move on. Unfortunately, the problem is, all too often, people such as Jackson and Conyers only pop up when they smell they can get some publicity by throwing a little mud. Who cares if the mud they throw gets thrown on the apparently innocent election workers of the state?

We do. And we hope eventually the nation will stop giving credence to people who continue to stir up anger and doubt with such false claims about such a serious issue.