December 19, 2004

City of Berkley, California, Calls for Federal Investigation of Election.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Berkeley is the 1st U.S. City to Pry Open Votergate.

The text of Berkeley's Election '04 Resolution starts after the press
release, one third of the way down.

December 15, 2004
CONTACT: PhoeBe ANNE (sorgen)

Berkeley Pries Open Votergate, Calls for Immediate Investigation of
2004 Election.

Berkeley, California. December 15, 2004. At the regular meeting of the
Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night, half of the public speakers
expressed concern for democracy, given problems on Nov. 2
including minority and student vote suppression. By unanimous
consent, the Berkeley City Council adopted the "Resolution
Supporting the Request that the Government Accountability Office
Immediately Undertake an Investigation of Voting Irregularities in
the 2004 Elections." Drafted by Berkeley's Peace and Justice
Commission, the Resolution also lists 17 measures to improve

Outgoing Vice Mayor and civil rights champion Maudelle Shirek
agrees with District 3's newly elected Max Anderson that "It's
extremely important for the foundations of our democracy that every
citizen's vote is counted. Fraud or manipulation, whether not
counting votes or suppression of voters, should be of vital concern to

Councilmember Kriss Worthington stated, "Politically,
technologically and bureaucratically, undemocratic forces have
stopped America from counting every vote. We must demand justice
for purged voters, provisional voters and discouraged voters forced to
stand in line for hours. As the United States risks our soldiers' lives
to invade Iraq to 'spread democracy' it is tragically incomplete at

Ann Fagan Ginger, director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties
Institute, said the Resolution will be included in "Challenging U.S.
Human Rights Violations Since 9/11" to be published by Prometheus
Books by April. Sociologist Harry Brill spoke of his poll to determine
the number of disenfranchised Ohio voters who could not wait in
line for hours.

" directed, I created the vote fraud software prototype," swore
computer programmer Clint Curtis in a Dec. 6 affidavit, quoted by
Peace and Justice Commissioner PhoeBe ANNE (sorgen) at the City
Council meeting. Mr. Curtis had testified under penalty of perjury
that Tom Feeney, who later became Speaker of the House in Florida,
wanted "a voting program that could alter the vote tabulation in an
election and be undetectable." She also quoted Congressman Conyers,
ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, "...efforts to
audit poll records in Ohio are being obstructed by County Election
officials and/or Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell...such an action
appears to violate Ohio law." Commissioner sorgen made the
connection with the Resolution opposing corporate constitutional
"rights" that the City Council adopted in June. "Corporate dominance
is both the reason behind and the means to stolen elections."

Home of the free speech movement, Berkeley is known for tackling
injustices even if they are initially ignored by the mainstream. One
may watch a video of the meeting on the City Council's website. After
hearing the citizens speak, Mayor Tom Bates proclaimed, "Nothing is
more fundamental than a free, fair election. When you start
tinkering with that, it throws the whole system into disarray. I am
pleased that we are taking this stand." The Council then adopted the
Resolution by unanimous consent.


RESOLUTION Supporting the Request that the Government
Accountability Office Immediately Undertake an Investigation of
Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Elections

WHEREAS, Berkeley Municipal Code Section 3.68, establishing the
Peace and Justice Commission, states that the Commission shall "(A)
Advise the Berkeley City Council on all matters relating to the City of
Berkeley's role in issues of peace and social justice, including, but not
limited to support for ... self-determination throughout the world; (B)
Help create citizen awareness around issues of social justice; [and] (C)
Help develop proposals for the City Council in furtherance of the
goals of peace and justice, and help publicize such actions in the
community"; and

WHEREAS, Representative Barbara Lee, in calling for a swift and
comprehensive investigation of widespread reports regarding voting
irregularities during the presidential election of 2004, has stated: "The
right to vote and the right to have our votes counted are both
fundamental to our democratic system of government. As elected
representatives of the people, we hold a sacred responsibility to every
voter across this nation to ensure that their vote is counted and
recorded properly. We cannot, and we should not, accept any flaws in
our election process"; and

WHEREAS, Senator Dianne Feinstein, responding to a Berkeley
resident's inquiries, wrote in August 2004: "I strongly believe that any
violation of civil rights during the 2000 Presidential election, or any
election, for that matter, must be fully investigated," and wrote
November 16, 2004: "As it became clear in recent elections,
inadequate voting mechanisms can be detrimental to the integrity of
our electoral process"; and

WHEREAS, numerous voters in minority neighborhoods in various
parts of the country were disenfranchised; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Michael Hout, a nationally renowned expert on
statistical research, and a team of graduate students at the University
of California-Berkeley have published statistical analyses strongly
suggesting that irregularities in electronic voting machines in Florida
may have awarded 260,000 excess votes to George W. Bush from three
counties that used touchscreen voting; and

WHEREAS, paid hackers (specialists in breaking through computer
security) had little trouble casting multiple votes and taking over
machines' vote-recording mechanisms in a Maryland study, showing
convincingly that more security is needed for electronic voting,
including voter-verified paper trails; Stanford University computer
scientist and founder of David Dill said the risk of a
stolen election is "extremely high"; and University of Pennsylvania
researcher Dr. Steven Freeman demonstrated that deviations
between exit-poll predictions and vote tallies in the three critical
battleground states could not have occurred by chance, concluding,
"That so many people suspect misplay undermines not only the
legitimacy of the President, but faith in the foundations of
democracy"; and

WHEREAS, more than 53,000 persons have petitioned the United
States Congress for an open hearing on these issues and, if needed,
remedies, potentially including a nationwide audit, recount, or new

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of
Berkeley supports the request of United States Representatives
Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Jr., Jerrold Nadler, Robert Wexler, Robert
C. Scott, Melvin Watt, Rush Holt and several others "that the
Government Accountability Office immediately undertake an
investigation of the efficacy of voting machines and new technologies
used in the 2004 elections, how election officials responded to
difficulties they encountered, and what we can do in the future to
improve our election systems and administration."

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley
directs the City Manager to send a letter to the City's representatives
on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, in the State
Legislature, and in Congress expressing Berkeley's endorsement of
the following measures to improve access to and fairness of elections:

1. Democracy Day, a holiday for voting, or moving elections to

2. Early voting in all jurisdictions throughout the United States.

3. A voter-verifiable paper record of every vote cast.

4. Consistent national standards for security, including physical and
electronic security, of election systems, including tallying systems.

5. Mandatory, automatic recounts of a statistically significant
percentage of votes cast.

6. Public access to computer coding that operates election systems so
that such software may be widely reviewed by independent analysts.

7. Consistent national standards for the number of voting machines
and poll workers per 100 voters in each precinct, to ensure reasonable
and uniform waiting times for all voters.

8. A requirement that the top elected official responsible for
overseeing elections in each jurisdiction be elected in a non-partisan
race, and may not serve in any capacity in any political campaign
other than her or his own.

9. Uniform and inclusive voter registration standards.

10. Accurate and transparent voting roll purges, based on fair and
consistent national standards.

11. Uniform, reliable and voter-friendly standards for development,
distribution, collection, and counting of provisional ballots.

12. National standards for ballots that are consistently clear and
minimize likelihood of voter error.

13. Fair and uniform rules regarding requiring voters to produce
identification to register or vote.

14. Protections to prevent minority vote suppression such as Election
Day challengers turning away qualified voters or needless slowing of
voting in minority precincts.

15. In all jurisdictions, rescinding laws that disproportionately
disenfranchise minorities, such as prohibitions on allowing former
felons to vote once they have completed their sentences.

16. Consistent, national standards for distribution and return of
absentee ballots to ensure timely receipt of ballots by the voters,
timely return of voted ballots to election officials, and voter privacy.

17. Requiring that sample ballots be provided to all registered voters
in every election.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Berkeley
directs the City Manager to send copies of this Resolution to Alameda
County Registrar of Voters Bradley Clark, California Secretary of State
Kevin Shelley, California Senate Majority Leader Don Perata,
California Assemblymember Loni Hancock, United States
Representatives Barbara Lee and John Conyers, Jr., United States
Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour.


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