Will Kerry stand up? Will any Democratic Senator stand up?

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Will Kerry stand up? Will any Democratic Senator stand up?

Post by admin » Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:16 pm

From MoveOn.com
When Congress reconvenes this Thursday to ratify the 2004 Presidential election, Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) will object to the vote count in Ohio, and if even one Senator joins him, Congress will have to debate the widespread voting problems that have been exposed. Nobody expects this election to be overturned, but it's time in this country to seriously grapple with the issues of voting rights, un-auditable computerized voting, and the suppression of minority votes.

Call your Democratic Senators today and ask them to join Representative Conyers in challenging the 2004 voting process. With your support, they can step forward and force this important debate.

In November's election, Americans in inner cities were prevented from voting by eight-hour lines. Local officials changed the rules on which votes were count
ed. Technicians were allowed to tamper with balloting machines unsupervised. We've attached an editorial by Rev. Jesse Jackson with more details below.

The winners of these tainted elections assert that their outcomes didn't depend on the fraud. But even in sports, referees call penalties and enforce the rules, whether or not the game is at stake. Nowhere in the Constitution does it describe some acceptable level of denying Americans their votes. When Congress meets this Thursday, January 6, we'll have a good opportunity to make it clear that Americans want every vote counted, period.

A sound democracy depends on elections that everyone, winners and losers, can agree were held fairly and honestly. America doesn't have that now, and it's got to change.

Thanks for everything you do,

--The MoveOn PAC Team
January 5th, 2004
____________

Senators should object to Ohio vote
January 4, 2005
BY REV. JESSE JACKSON

http://www.suntimes.com/output/jesse/cst-ed
t-jesse04.html

This Thursday in Washington Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the senior minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, will formally object to the counting of the Ohio electoral vote in the 2004 presidential election. If any senator joins him, the counting of the vote is suspended and the House and the Senate must convene separately to hear the objections filed, and to vote on whether to accept them.

The grounds for the objections are clear: The irregularities in the Ohio vote and vote count are widespread and blatant. If the Ohio election were held in the Ukraine, it would not have been certified by the international community.

In Ohio, the gulf between exit polls and counted votes is vast and glaring. Blatant discrimination in the distribution of voting machines ensured long lines in inner-city and working-class precincts that favored John Kerry, while the exurban districts that favored President Bush had no similar problems.

Systematic efforts were made to suppres
s and challenge the new voters in Kerry precincts, whether students or African Americans. Some precincts were certified with more votes than the number registered; others were certified with preposterously low turnouts. Voting machines, produced by a company headed by a vowed Bush supporter, provide no paper record. Ohio's secretary of state, the inappropriately partisan head of the state's Bush campaign, has resisted any systematic recount of the ballots.

The systematic bias and potential for fraud is unmistakable. An in-depth investigation is vital -- and the partisan secretary of state has opposed it every step of the way. In this context, Conyers and his colleagues in the House are serving the nation's best interests in demanding an investigation of the irregularities in Ohio, and objecting to business as usual in counting the vote.

If Harry Reid, the new leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, has any sense, he will lead members of the caucus to support their colleagues from the
House and demand a debate that will expose the irregularities in Ohio. If Kerry wants to establish his continued leadership, he will stand first to join with Conyers and demand a debate.

Will the debate overturn the outcome of the election? That is doubtful, although the irregularities in Ohio suggest that Kerry may well have won if a true count could be had. But the debate is vital anyway. This country's elections, each run with different standards by different states, with partisan tricks, racial bias, and too often widespread incompetence, are an open scandal.

We need national standards to ensure that we get an honest count across the country. National standards, accompanied by a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote for all Americans, will be passed only if leaders in the Congress refuse to close their eyes to the scandal, and instead stop business as usual.

Conyers, Reid and Kerry will face harsh criticism for violating what might be called the Nixon precedent. Wh
en Kennedy beat Nixon by a few thousand votes in an election marked by irregularities in Illinois and Texas, Nixon chose not to challenge the result. Gore essentially followed that rule after the gang of five in the Supreme Court disgraced themselves by stopping the vote count in Florida. But the effect of the Nixon precedent is to provide those who would cheat with essentially a free pass. Particularly when the state officials are partisans, they can put in the fix with little fear of exposure so long as they win.

So Conyers will step up, accompanied by other courageous members of the House. They will object to the count and demand a debate. To force that debate, they need only one member of the Senate to join them. Reid should lead the entire caucus to join them. Kerry should stand alone if necessary to demand clean elections in America.

If America is to be a champion of democracy abroad, it must clean up its elections at home. If it is to complain of fraudulent and dishonest election practice
s abroad, it cannot condone them at home. But more important, if our own elections are to be legitimate, then they must be honest, open, with high national standards.

The time has come to stand up for clean elections, and to let it be known that massive irregularities will not go unchallenged.

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Post by admin » Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:31 pm

I have just found out that Senator Kerry will not stand up and challenge the Ohio vote. Surprise, surprise!

I realize that it's damn if he does, damn if he does not. Of course, Kerry goes at lengths denouncing the grave irregularities that happened in Ohio. But the safer course, in this American democracy, is to pretend to put up a fight, but without any teeth behind it.

Senator Kerry will not get my vote again under any circumstances. The Republicans are having their cake and eating it too. Until we get a New Democratic Party with real backbone, I will go back to lending my support to a Labor or other independent party.

I don't care if the person that I vote for will likely never end up the winner of the U.S. Presidential Elections. My dissatisfaction for having voted for Kerry has nothing to do with the fact that he did not win the Presidency. It has to do with his support of the fakery of Georges W. Bush.


Eight years ago in January, Barbara Jordan died. This January 1 2005, Shirley Chisholm followed. Peace to their souls! It occurs to me that Black Women pols are much more likely to speak truth to power than any other group. May one day they lead the rest of us, cowards, to the path of a real and meaningful democracy.

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Post by admin » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:25 pm

[quote]It occurs to me that Black Women pols are much more likely to speak truth to power than any other group. May one day they lead the rest of us, cowards, to the path of a real and meaningful democracy.[/quote]
Well, pehaps I should just have said "women" instead of "black women"? I just wanted to give special recognition to the great courage of many Black Women who have served in the Congress of the United States of America!! A proud lineage, indeed. However, Senator Barbara Boxer rose to the occasion yesterday. I imagine that our own Marilyn Mason would have done so just as well. I wish Marilyn could have run for office. Here are the words of one courageous woman telling the truth in the face of the intimidation machine of George W. Bush.

[quote]Senator Boxer's Statement On Her Objection To The Certification Of Ohio's Electoral Votes
January 6, 20
05

For most of us in the Senate and the House, we have spent our lives fighting for things we believe in -- always fighting to make our nation better.

We have fought for social justice. We have fought for economic justice. We have fought for environmental justice. We have fought for criminal justice.

Now we must add a new fight -- the fight for electoral justice.

Every citizen of this country who is registered to vote should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted, and that in the voting booth of their community, their vote has as much weight as the vote of any Senator, any Congressperson, any President, any cabinet member, or any CEO of any Fortune 500 Corporation.

I am sure that every one of my colleagues -- Democrat, Republican, and Independent -- agrees with that statement. That in the voting booth, every one is equal.

So now it seems to me that under the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees the right to vote, we must ask:
r

Why did voters in Ohio wait hours in the rain to vote? Why were voters at Kenyan College, for example, made to wait in line until nearly 4 a.m. to vote because there were only two machines for 1300 voters?

Why did poor and predominantly African-American communities have disproportionately long waits?

Why in Franklin County did election officials only use 2,798 machines when they said they needed 5,000? Why did they hold back 68 machines in warehouses? Why were 42 of those machines in predominantly African-American districts?

Why did, in Columbus area alone, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 voters leave polling places, out of frustration, without having voted? How many more never bothered to vote after they heard about this?

Why is it when 638 people voted at a precinct in Franklin County, a voting machine awarded 4,258 extra votes to George Bush. Thankfully, they fixed it -- but how many other votes did the computers get wrong?

Why did Franklin County officials reduce the
number of electronic voting machines in downtown precincts, while adding them in the suburbs? This also led to long lines.

In Cleveland, why were there thousands of provisional ballots disqualified after poll workers gave faulty instructions to voters?

Because of this, and voting irregularities in so many other places, I am joining with Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones to cast the light of truth on a flawed system which must be fixed now.

Our democracy is the centerpiece of who we are as a nation. And it is the fondest hope of all Americans that we can help bring democracy to every corner of the world.

As we try to do that, and as we are shedding the blood of our military to this end, we must realize that we lose so much credibility when our own electoral system needs so much improvement.

Yet, in the past four years, this Congress has not done everything it should to give confidence to all of our people their votes matter.

After passing the Help America Vote Act,
nothing more was done.

A year ago, Senators Graham, Clinton and I introduced legislation that would have required that electronic voting systems provide a paper record to verify a vote. That paper trail would be stored in a secure ballot box and invaluable in case of a recount.

There is no reason why the Senate should not have taken up and passed that bill. At the very least, a hearing should have been held. But it never happened.

Before I close, I want to thank my colleague from the House, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

Her letter to me asking for my intervention was substantive and compelling.

As I wrote to her, I was particularly moved by her point that it is virtually impossible to get official House consideration of the whole issue of election reform, including these irregularities.

The Congresswoman has tremendous respect in her state of Ohio, which is at the center of this fight.

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a judge for 10 years. She wa
s a prosecutor for 8 years. She was inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in 2002.

I am proud to stand with her in filing this objection.[/quote]

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