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Kerry Team Seeks to Join Fight to Get Ohio County to Recount

Wednesday, December 1, 2004; Page A08

Sen. John F. Kerry's presidential campaign asked an Ohio judge yesterday to allow it to join a legal fight there over whether election officials in one county may sit out the state's impending recount.

A pair of third-party presidential candidates, who said that reports of problems at the polls on Election Day are not being addressed, are forcing the Buckeye State to recount its entire presidential vote. But David A. Yost, a lawyer for Delaware County, just outside Columbus, won a temporary restraining order last week blocking any recount there. He told the Columbus Dispatch that a second count would be a poor use of county resources. President Bush won the mostly Republican area handily, unofficial results show.

Lawyers for the Kerry campaign asked to join Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and the National Voting Rights Institute in the fight to force the county to participate in the recount. "If there's going to be a recount in Ohio, we don't want it to exclude Delaware County or any other county that might decide to follow Delaware County's lead," Kerry lawyer Dan Hoffheimer said. "It should be a full, fair and accurate recount."

Bush won the critical battleground state by approximately 136,000 votes, a victory that also won him a second term.

Cobb's lawyers filed papers yesterday asking a federal court to take over the case, which is scheduled for state court.

-- Brian Faler

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