Two third-party presidential candidates say they’ve raised enough money to file for an official recount of the vote in Ohio, which President Bush won on Nov. 2 and where some observers claim there were irregularities and fraud in the election.

Green Party candidate David Cobb announced today that the $113,600 needed to file for a recount had been raised, “with the vast majority in the $10-$50 range,” said his media director, Blair Bobier. The fund-raising effort began on Thursday.

“Thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in Ohio,” Cobb said in a statement.

The Green Party has been working with the Libertarian Party – both parties were on the ballot in Ohio – in securing a recount. Both Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik say they’ve demanded that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who co-chaired this year’s Bush campaign in Ohio, recuse himself from the recount process.

Said Bobier: “The Ohio presidential election was marred by numerous press and independent reports of mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and the targeted disenfranchisement of African-American voters.”

The Ohio vote will be certified on Dec. 3 at the latest, Bobier told WND. He says the candidates can file for the recount once the vote is certified.

The Electoral College votes on Dec. 13, so it is unclear whether or not a recount would be completed by then.

“But,” commented Jonathan Turley, a professor of constitutional law at George Washington University,” those votes are not opened by Congress until Jan. 6. So there is still time to challenge the results in Ohio. …”

A demand for a recount in Ohio can only be filed by a presidential candidate who was either a certified write-in candidate or on the ballot in that state.

Bush won Ohio by a vote of 2,796,147 to John Kerry’s 2,659,664. Despite reports of irregularities and outstanding provisional ballots, Kerry conceded Ohio and the election on Nov. 3.

Badnarik received 14,331 votes in Ohio and Cobb, as a write-in candidate, received 24 votes.

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