Weekend Mailbag

November 7 2004, 8:38 AM

We've only been blogging for a few weeks, but we've already seen a significant increase in the site's traffic. Thanks to all of you that have made 5280.com part of your daily surfing. We welcome your feedback on the stories we cover here. We'll regularly post your comments. Here's a sampling of the mail we've received thus far: Name: Carol Comment: I think that all the first-time candidates should be heartened that they did so well with so little name recognition. Kudos to Miles and Conti. Try again, Matsunaka. Never give up. Especially since I think that the next four years will signal a great change in America, and not towards the radical right wing.

Name: Lila Comment: Anne Coulter probably bashed Karl Rove in an effort to hide the fact that she knows that Rove is actually the evil genius behind Bush's slimy election win. Dirty tricks by all. Name: Mark Rathgeber Comment: I saw this mentioned on C-SPAN last nite. In 2003, the CEO of Diebold stated he would deliver Ohio to the Republicans.

COLUMBUS -- Democratic leaders want a major Republican fund-raiser blocked from becoming the state's new voting machines supplier, saying his presence puts in doubt the fairness of all Ohio elections. Wally O'Dell, CEO of Diebold Inc., this week sent out letters to central Ohio Republicans asking them to raise $10,000 in donations in time for a Sept. 26 Ohio Republican Party event at his home. His company, which specializes in security and election machinery, is one of three under consideration to supply new, electronic voting machines to replace punch card machines still in use in 71 Ohio counties. House Minority Leader Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, and Senate Minority Leader Greg DiDonato, D-New Philadelphia, on Tuesday petitioned Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to drop O'Dell's company from the list of potential suppliers, saying his presence could undermine Ohio's entire election system. "The whole point of this upgrade is to ensure fairness," Redfern said. "The inevitable appearance here is of a pay-to-play system." In his invitation O'Dell states his support for the Republican Party and notes he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year."

Who would have thought Ohio would have mattered? Sounds like Florida all over again, except no paper trail.