Last week concluded a process that, in retrospect, was bound to unfold after President Obama launched the White House petitions website: A petition calling for a recount of the 2012 election, citing concerns about voter fraud, received enough signatures to warrant a White House response, which denied the request and affirmed that “this election was decided fairly and democratically.”
The petition response addresses the voter fraud charge on the merits. “You say that one county in Ohio has 98,213 eligible voters — we guess because that’s the number of people of voting age living in Wood County according to the 2010 Census,” the White House team notes. “But according to the Ohio Secretary of State, Wood County actually had 108,014 registered voters at the time of the 2012 election. And of those registered voters, only 64,342 cast a ballot in November—not 106,258. Of the votes cast, President Obama won 50.98 percent, which is a great deal less than 108 percent. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney won 46.17 percent of the vote.”
The petition response did acknowledge that, “in a nationwide election in which more than 125 million Americans cast ballots, there are always going to be irregularities and complaints,” but turned that into an argument for President Obama’s preferred election policies.
“It’s unacceptable that citizens in many states had to wait in lines that lasted hours before they could vote, for instance, and the President made this clear in his Inaugural Address,” the response says.
The White House team also suggested that the call for a recount threatened to disenfranchise Obama’s supporters. “You don’t have to support President Obama or his vision for this country,” the response states. “But you have to acknowledge that all Americans, even those with whom you disagree, have the right to help to set our nation’s course.”
Red Alert Politics’ Melissa Quinn noted on Saturday that “it took the White House more than seven months to respond, much longer than it look to gather the required 25,000 signatures.” The petition received 73,500 signatures.