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Ohio poll workers convicted

January 25, 2007|From the Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Two election workers were convicted Wednesday of rigging a recount of the 2004 presidential election to avoid a more thorough review in Ohio's most populous county.

Jacqueline Maiden, elections coordinator of the Cuyahoga County Elections Board, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct by an elections employee. They also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure to perform their duty as elections employees.

Prosecutors accused Maiden and Dreamer of secretly reviewing preselected ballots before a public recount on Dec. 16, 2004. They worked behind closed doors for three days to pick ballots they knew would not cause discrepancies when checked by hand, prosecutors said.

Ohio gave President Bush the electoral votes he needed to defeat Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry in the close election and hold on to the White House in 2004.

Maiden and Dreamer will be sentenced Feb. 26.

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