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Election workers convicted of manipulating 2004 U.S. presidential recount

Election workers convicted of manipulating 2004 U.S. presidential recount

Two election workers were convicted Wednesday of manipulating a recount of the 2004 U.S. presidential election to avoid a more thorough ballot review in Ohio's most populous county.
Ohio gave U.S. President George W. Bush the electoral votes he needed to defeat Democratic Senator John Kerry in the close election and hold on to the White House. However, a special prosecutor did not claim that the workers' actions affected the election's outcome.
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 of an elections employee. They also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure of elections employees to perform their duty.
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.
Defense attorney Roger Synenberg has said the workers were following procedures as they understood them.
Kerry gained 17 votes and Bush lost six in the county's recount.
Maiden and Dreamer, who still work for the elections board, face a possible sentence of six to 18 months for the felony conviction. Sentencing is Feb. 26.