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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stop the vote!

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 3:32 PM

Uncle Tom Blackwell and Jim Petro may have lost the election, but they're waning days of power, they're still determined to fail spectacularly at their jobs. Their latest tactic: Attack the guy who helps people vote. Subodh Chandra, Cleveland's former law director and unabashed elections geek, has spent the last few months working to ensure that the least among us — immigrants, the homeless, people without iPods — could vote. This small detail of democracy is important to him. And, unlike the rest of us, conversations featuring the words "provisional ballot" don't bore him to tears. But Blackwell and the gang aren't a fan of our local crusader. He's a threat to their kingdom, which is fast crumbling. (He also has a suspiciously foreign-sounding name.) So last week, they tried to have Chandra held in contempt of court for ... get this ... sending an email. In the days leading up to a November 17 deadline for counting votes, Chandra was hearing reports from around the state that elections employees were giving the wrong information to voters who wanted to make sure their provisional ballots counted. So he sent a mass email to the elections boards, urging them to, um, follow the law. It seemed like a noble thing. But according to state leaders, it was against the rules. Because Chandra was involved in an elections lawsuit with the state, he shouldn't be talking directly to the boards. Luckily, federal Judge Algenon Marbley didn't take the bait. After Chandra apologized, Marbley refused to hold him in contempt. — Lisa Rab

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