Although right-wingers will relegate the following tale to their "tin foil hat" file, I advise everyone else to read this story carefully. This account strikes me as quite credible -- and quite frightening.
Katrina Sumner is a key recount activist in Ohio. Along with Joan Quinn, she was the first to report on Blackwell's outrageous (and illegal) decision to lock down the ballots in Greene county. Sumner also helped release the story of the ballots left in an unlocked building.
At the time she wrote the following, I was trying to reach her. I'm glad I didn't get through -- she must have been quite frightened at that time, and might not have reacted well to hearing the voice of a stranger. (I did manage to reach a helpful associate of Quinn's.)
Sumner's words need no further introduction...
Referencing Greene County BOE:
You all know the first press release that I submitted here and since then there have been unofficial releases (meaning they were not previously viewed by representatives of each presidential party working on the recount efforts and their lawyers) from the two that were helping me in Greene County. Since the original release you may know that the Greene County BOE was left unlocked from Friday, November 10th, 2004 at 4:30pm by Greene County BOE directors (as they stated to Link TV by mistake???) until Saturday at 12:30pm when Xenia Police had a contractor come and lock the doors. Prior to them arriving we found the doors unlocked (at around 10:15am) and looked inside to see why. Now there are volunteers surveilling the BOE around the clock to make sure there is no foul play going on.
Last night I spoke at a meeting where Susan, Bob, Jesse and the Rainbow Push group, among others were, by request of Cliff Arnbeck. At the end of that meeting I gave my affidavit to Cliff that will be used with the case presented this morning in Columbus, and for further action in Greene County (which will come later). The two others will appear at the hearing today to give testimony so I’m sure you will be able to read their testimonies at some time. Below you will find the affidavit in part below.
Katrina Sumner, having been duly sworn and cautioned, states and affirms as follows:
1. On Thursday, December 9, 2004 I sent Joan Quinn and Eve Robertson, (two volunteers I chose to work with me on the recount efforts) to the Greene County BOE to review public voter records that would reflect precincts that I had been investigating since November 3, 2004.
2. At 3:30pm on Friday, December 10, 2004, while completing their work, Joan contacted me and acknowledged that the information found during reviewing voter logs coincided with the information I gained from investigating, along with what I had suspected. Joan asked me what should be done at that time. I decided that all those voter files should be copied for each precinct, as allowed.
3. Joan asked the Director of the BOE about getting copies and the cost for all precincts. As I listened over the phone, the director said it would be a thousand dollars for the copies. I discussed it further with Joan and asked her to go ahead and request the copies then. We then ended the phone conversation.
4. Shortly after Joan called me again stating that the director called to the Secretary of State’s office and spoke with Pat Wolfe, Adminstrator of Elections, and was told that all public voter records should be immediately locked down. Joan aked me what to do and I told her to stay there and I would makes some calls and see what could be done.
5. When I returned the call back to Joan she then told me that the County Prosecutor stated to the Director of the BOE that she was not to go against SOS Blackwell’s office and that the recrds were to be removed from the volunteers. Joan stated to me that the director took one of the books out of the hands of Eve Robertson.
6. I then told Joan I would be on my there. When I arrived at the BOE Joan and Eve had left and the office was clsed. I then reached the two volunteers by phone and they returned, and we spent the evening dscussing the issues that happened.
7. We spent the evening discussing these ssues at the home where the two volunteers were staying. Once I left to go home, I decided to drive back by the BOE to see if everything would be ok there after what had happened earlier. When I drove by, the office was completely dark, the parking lot empty, and all looked fine.
8. The following morning we decided to meet in order to continue canvassing the precincts of Greene County. Joan and Eve arrived first at the BOE and called me at 10:15am stating the door to the BOE was unlocked. I was just around the corner and told then I’d be right there.
9. Upon arriving I noticed a single light on inside that was not on the night before, at 10:30pm. I asked the two if they had turned on the light and they said not.
10. We decided we would look in to see if anyone was inside and if everything was ok. Walking inside it appeared nobody was inside so we walked around calling out to anyone who could’ve been there. We had no replies.
11. We came out and spoke in front of the side door about what to do. It was suggested to me that we should also look downstairs where the ballots were in case someone was down there. This seemed reasonable to me since I was under the impression that some counties were beginning their recounts on that Saturday.
12. We then went in again and went down to the end of the hall, through a door, down steps, and into another door in the basement leading to the room where the ballot boxes were stored, ballots in open boxes, challenge letters, and the books that been taken from Joan and Eve the day prior were fully in the open view.
13. This concerned me since it appeared obvious to me with the light being turned on between 10:30pm and 10:15am that someone must have been inside during the night and had access to all of this.
14. We returned to our cards then and began making calls to people to see what to do about this situation and have the police called.
15. About thirty minutes later the police arrived and searched the building. They returned to the outside stating there was no forced entry and everything appeared untouched and intact. They called to a contractor to come and lock the door.
16. A truck appeared witht he name on the side of Shawnee Air & Heating. The man spoke with the police, did somethng to the door in order to make it lock, and then the police and contractor left.
17. Approximately fifteen minutes later the BOE director came with a couple others. At the same time two media presence came. They came along with us to speak to the director of the BOE. She stated that the door was accidentally left unlocked Friday when the employees and her self left at 4:30pm. She staed that nothing had been touched and everything inside was secure.
18. I asked her if anyone would have been able to get to the ballots and she stated no, sayign the door at the bottom of the stairs was locked. I asked her several tmes that question because we knew the door was unlocked when we were in there prior to anyone arriving.
19. She told us once again on camera that it was locked. She allowed us all to follow her downstairs and view the room. After that we left and she said she would be seeing me on Wednesday for the recount.
20. After this situation had happened I was requested by Cliff Arnebeck to find volunteers or people who would be paird to secure the building until further notice. I was told to have two volunteers at mst around the clock to make sure it remained secure.
21. I was unable to get anyone so late on a Saturday, but offered to stay myself. At around 11:00pm I was talking to Colby from the Cobb campaign when the upstairs lights (that were then on) went off and the downstairs lights went on, and then turned back again. I put Colby on hold and tried to see if there was anyone inside through the blinds however I couldn’t see anyone.
22. Colby and I discussed whether it may be that the lights are on a timed trigger of sorts. I continued to watch to see if anyone would come out of the building, but did not see anyone. However, I couldn’t watch both doors and a partially underground walkway going from the BOE to the building behind it.
23. Not much longer a sheriff came out and he said if I didn’t see anyone then there was nothing one would do, waned to know precisely what I was doing there and who requested me to be there. I explained the situation to the Sheriff and he told me he had no idea of the situation of the building being unlocked preciously and that, after a call, his station knew nothing of it. The Greene County Sheriff then left.
24. About twenty minuters later the sheriff returned and asked for my driver’s license, called it in, then gave it back shortly after. The sheriff had no idea of a recount, and was not aware that there was any contest to the election. I remained at the BOE until 10:30am Sunday until I was relieved by another to take a shift.
Sworn and subscribed to Cliff Arnebeck on the 12th day of December 2004.
LATER FOLLOWUP EMAIL
Thank you so much!!!!
Each encouraging word is like a block of strength right now. Last night I was returning from Columbus and was scared out of my mind. First I’ve been getting calls from a man that has been able to tell me each and every place I’ve been or roads I’ve been traveling on (a group of 3 other women heard this while driving me to meet Jesse Jackson and Cliff Arnebeck last night, having the call on speaker). Then while driving back I was ran off the road by two dark blue Suburbans(?), bigger than 4 runners anyway, with dark tinted windows. They came up behind me with their brights on and then one came to the side of me and ran me into the ditch off I-70. I saw as they sped away that one had a Maryland license plate, but in the heat of it all I couldn’t get the plate number or even see the plate of the other one. It’s becoming apparent to me that someone is not liking what I’m doing. So thank you much cause I truly need the encouraging words.