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3,000 Dead Voters Still Registered In Miami Valley

Published: Thursday, October 30, 2008 @ 1:39 PM
Updated: Friday, October 31, 2008 @ 10:51 AM

On November 4th, we will be voting for President of the United States and other important political offices. But will some people be voting who shouldn't be?

A month-long investigation involving WHIO-TV and its sister stations around the country, found thousands of dead voters still on the active state voter registration rolls. We also found that some voters mysteriously voted long after their deaths.

In the Miami Valley alone, we found 3,856 dead voters still registered. Approximately 22 of them voted from beyond the grave.

George and Jean Watts of Beavercreek were stunned to find out that their deceased daughter Nancy, voted in the March 4th primary. Jean Watts said, "I couldn't believe it. She's been dead almost two years."

How did we get the results of our investigation? We compared death records to Ohio's voter registration list.

The Boards of Election in Ohio purge dead voters after they get the information from the Department of Health and the state's deceased records list. Steve Harsman, Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections said, "If a person dies and we're not notified, they'll stay on our poll list, our voter registration list, for a period of time until they're purged under federal laws."

In graveyards from Atlanta, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Orlando, we found dead people still registered to vote. Florida: 1663 dead voters in 8 counties near Orlando Georgia: 1636 dead voters and dozens cast a ballot after death California: 5,982 dead voters still registered in 9 counties around Oakland. Pennsylvania: 9,000 dead people on the voter rolls in the Pittsburgh area.

No one can explain how dead people remain on the active rolls for years or how they vote from beyond the grave. We asked a local election officials if these are simply paperwork errors or something more sinister like voter fraud? Steve Harsman explains that true voter fraud is more rare than mistakes.

Harsman said, "In most cases, it's human error. That Boards of Elections will go in and delete the wrong person, or not delete them, or get their records mix-matched. "

Ohio requires identification to register to vote and to cast a ballot. But, it doesn't have to be a picture I.D. All you need is something as simple as a utility bill or a bank statement, anything with your name and address on it.

In Seattle, Jane Balogh was outraged that all you needed to vote was a name on a utility bill. Balogh said, "That is so lax, that my dog could vote."

So, Jane put her dog's name on her phone bill and signed a voter registration card with a picture of his paw print. The dog, Duncan McDonald, was registered and sent ballots!

Balogh said, "This is a serious matter because like I say, our democracy is truly at risk."

Jane was prosecuted and has paid a fine and performed community service for violating election laws. However, she believes she proved her point.

For a look at Ohio's voter registration rolls, log onto the Secretary of State's website.


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Oxford resident plans to challenge Boehner in 2014

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

OXFORD — Tom Poetter announced this week he will run for Congress in next year’s midterm election and while he may not meet incumbent John Boehner during the campaign, Poetter does plan to meet with as many residents of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District as he possibly can.

Boehner has swept to re-election with 60 percent or more of the votes every time and last year, was unopposed. Poetter wants to offer a Democratic alternative and a challenge to the status quo.

Poetter, an Oxford resident for 17 years and an education professor at Miami University, said Boehner has a history of not campaigning and not appearing at voter events, while assuming re-election.

“When I talk to people in the district, the issue of presence comes up,” Poetter said. “I’ll be on the ground talking to people about things that are important to them. I’m not a Washington politician. I’m not a local politician. I will serve two years and if people like what I do, they will re-elect me.”

Poetter said Boehner’s past election domination makes any attempt to unseat him look futile, but he does not let that deter him.

“It looks ominous on paper but we’re not afraid of that. It’s a big step and I did not take it lightly,” he said. “Speaker Boehner has a war chest. People across the country are expressing interest. It will take a national and regional effort. This is really a big, big district, gerrymandered to cover rural areas.”

Poetter said the recent government shutdown cost the country $24 billion and left the country’s security compromised. It was something that could have been averted if Boehner had allowed the issue to come to a vote. That has left some 8th District voters disenchanted and Poetter said he wants to represent those people.

“Really, they took the step of shutting down the government of the greatest nation in the world to satisfy the wants of a small number of people,” he said. “What happens when somebody is 24 years on the job and the company melts down? They get severance and told to leave.”

Poetter is a native of St. Mary’s, Ohio and graduated from Heidelberg University in business and English in 1985. He played baseball there, but is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame with the 1984 basketball team that went to the Sweet 16. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1988 and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1989.

That began what he and his wife, Chris, call their three-year series — three years as he taught at Culver School, three years in Bloomington as he earned his doctorate at Indiana University and three years teaching at Trinity in Texas.

That ended when he got the job teaching at Miami University and they moved back to Ohio, closer to both of their families.

“I’ve been at Miami 17 years now,” he said. “This is home.”

He led the Miami Partnership office for 10 years, opening new opportunities for the Talawanda teachers and students, as well as Miami faculty and students. It was those experiences melding the varied interests of those involved into a cooperative effort that he points to as a valuable political tool.

Poetter said he has learned much from the politics of university life and enters this campaign with an eye toward talking to as many district residents as possible and talking about leadership and working together in Washington, which is something he feels is a strength.

“Voters will have a lot of responsibility in November ‘14. They have to decide whether to do business as usual. Speaker Boehner can kick the can down the road and be an embarrassment to the nation and not make decisions on spending priorities, especially as we are making our way out of costly wars,” Poetter said. “We need to grow the economy again and be a strong and peaceful nation again. The percentage of debt is dropping. The economy is showing signs of improving.”

Poetter said he refuses to make a quick answer to questions just to please a questioner. If necessary, he said, he will ask for time to consider a question and get back to the person concerned with an issue.

“Leadership is not just about decision-making. It’s about dialogue and consensus-building. It’s about authenticity and working together. It takes time and involvement. I can make a decision, but an informed decision,” he said. “I’m going to be present. I do not take that lightly.”

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Local man missing for 3 weeks found

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 @ 5:28 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013 @ 5:28 PM

An older man, missing since the fourth of July, has been found three weeks later.

Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, July 4th., 79 year-old Donald Cooper left his daughter’s home on Beech Tree Court and hadn’t been heard from since that time.

Cooper is a diabetic and concern from his family grew because he was without his medication.

We have requested information on Cooper’s condition and where-a-bouts during the time he was missing. We will update this story as we receive further details.

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Supercomputer unveiled at Wright-Patt

Published: Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 9:12 PM
Updated: Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

Military leaders cut the ribbon Monday on a $25 million supercomputer that’s fast — really fast.

In fact, Air Force officials said the supercomputer known as “Spirit” is able to complete 15,000 trillion calculations every second, making it 36,000 times more powerful than your average PC.

Spirit is named after the B-2 Stealth bomber and is reported to be the seventh fastest in the United States and the 14th fastest computer in the world, according to the base.

WPAFB officials said the computer will allow scientists to virtually perform complicated and expensive weapons tests.

“Instead of going out there and blowing something up, we can simulate it,” said Lloyd Slonaker, head of the supercomputer project. “We save a lot of money that way and we can take a look at the different options available to us.”

The ceremony held at Area B’s Information Technology Complex was hosted by Maj. Gen. William McCasland, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

— Staff Writer William Garbe is a senior at the University of Dayton.

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Protesters march along Fairfield Road to bring bus stops for workers

Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 3:48 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 3:48 PM

Well over 100 protesters came out to show their support in favor of RTA busing to the Fairfield Commons Mall area.

At 12:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, a group formed from the members of Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (LEAD) at the corner of North Fairfield Road and Colonel Glenn Highway to start a protest march on North Fairfield Road over the I-675 Overpass toward the Fairfield Commons Mall.

The organization wants to bring attention to what they feel is a need for RTA bus service to three new stops.

LEAD’s Civil Rights complaint with the Federal Department of Transportation found Beavercreek in violation of Title VI.

LEAD members state the new bus stops would bring access to jobs, education and health care.

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