Charlotte, NC — The Reverend Jesse Jackson brought the Ohio delegation to its feet Thursday morning, calling for a record-breaking voter registration drive to avoid what he called "the thievery" of Ohio votes in the 2004 presidential election.
The civil rights leader lead the delegation in a call-and-response pledge: "We deserve the right to vote, and deserve the right for our vote to count."
Thursday is the last day of the Democratic National Convention, but Jackson cautioned that Democrats: "You can win but still lose, if we don’t stop the thievery."
Jackson focus on two areas of worry: Early voting and voting day irregularities. by a federal judge on August 31, but Jackson cautioned Democrats to look beyond that decision, and to remember the controversies around the 2004 presidential election.
The 2004 election in Ohio was marred by irregularities, and at the time Jackson was a vocal critic of that election's handling.
The Ohio delegation rose to its feet and cheered when Jackson exhorted them to focus on the next month. "We must have the most massive voter registration in the next 30 days that Ohio has ever seen, and then …. use that vote to win in November," he said.
When he wasn't focused on getting out the vote, Jackson turned his attention to the GOP, and what he said motivates them.
"They want to sink the ship just to destroy the captain," Jackson said, speaking of President Obama and the economy. "And we deserve better leadership than that."
On the Tea Party, he said: "This is Fort Sumter Tea Party, not the Boston Tea Party. It has deep roots in ideology. This is a states’ rights, Fort Sumter Tea Party, fundamentally anti- [our] views about racial justice, gender equality, and … worker rights."
Jackson's appearance capped a week of big appearances for the Ohio delegation. As Governor Ted Strickland told the delegation Thursday morning at the same event, "Throughout this convention, there's not been a state mentioned as often as Ohio."