Ohio’s 2004 Presidential Election Records Mysteriously Disappear Again

Exactly two years ago, Mark Crispin Miller, writing for Harper’s, presented a highly detailed and shocking report of the presidential election shenanigans that took place in Ohio in 2004. There is no way anyone can read this collection of facts and still believe that the election in Ohio was honest. Everything from violation of Ohio’s own election laws to destruction of ballots to intimidation of voters is clearly documented.

The news media, however, paid little attention to Miller’s report, and the Democratic Party paid even less attention to it. Almost a year later, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote a similar story for Rolling Stone, and for some reason, liberals paid more attention to that piece, in most cases, behaving as though the Miller story had never seen the light of day. But in no time at all, even the Kennedy story faded away.

Earlier this week, Steven Rosenfeld, writing for AlterNet, reports:

Two-thirds of Ohio counties have destroyed or lost their 2004 presidential ballots and related election records, according to letters from county election officials to the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner.

The lost records violate Ohio law, which states federal election records must be kept for 22 months after Election Day, and a U.S. District Court order issued last September that the 2004 ballots be preserved while the court hears a civil rights lawsuit alleging voter suppression of African-American voters in Columbus.

Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell was sued in 2006 by a community organization in Columbus for allegedly conspiring to prevent African Americans from voting in the 2004 election. The current secretary of state is Jennifer Brunner, the woman who discovered the missing records in the spring.

Though it is unlikely that anyone will be able to prove that the records were intentionally destroyed, there has been a clear pattern of obstruction, evasion and lawlessness in the Ohio election Republican community. Possibly the worst part of this story, however, is that hardly anyone will even learn about the destroyed records, and even fewer will care.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.