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Top Ohio judge urged to reject vote challenge

Published Aug. 24, 2005

President Bush's re-election campaign asked the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday to throw out a challenge of the election in this swing state, saying the case resembles "a poorly drafted script for a late night conspiracy-theory movie."

The court filing was made as the Rev. Jesse Jackson held a rally before hundreds of people in Columbus to support the challenge and urge the U.S. Senate to debate Ohio's results on Thursday when Congress is in joint session for the official tally of electoral votes.

Thirty-seven Ohio voters who filed the challenge are asking Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to set aside the election results. Some of the voters are suspicious of Bush's victory over Sen. John Kerry, while others say hourslong waits in heavily black neighborhoods caused voters to leave in frustration without casting a ballot.

Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell said there's no reason to prolong the election.

"Jesse Jackson can complain, grandstand, whine, stamp his feet all he wants," said Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo. "It's not going to change the results of Ohio's election or how voters cast their ballots on Nov. 2."

It is not known when the chief justice might rule on the challenge.