One of the only Democratic leaders who has truly understood, and acted upon the understanding, that no true election reform can proceed from sweeping the misdeeds of 2000 and 2004 under the rug, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., is working to ensure that what happened then never happens again. He deserves the support of every single American -- Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, or whatever -- who believes in the concept of democracy. The following is a message Congressman Conyers has sent to all those who wrote to him about the election of 2004:
After the 2004 Presidential election, you contacted my office concerning the number of problems surrounding the election, especially in the States of Ohio and Florida. The Committee’s email system was overwhelmed with letters relaying election-related problems and issues. Please accept my apologies for the long delay in responding to your email. My office has never before received such a large volume of correspondence and we have been working diligently to respond to the tens-of-thousands of concerned citizens who wrote to me.
I would like to update you on the election reform work that has been done since the last election. First, in December 2004, I convened a Democratic forum both here in Washington, DC and in Columbus, Ohio to hear first-hand accounts from voters. Second, my colleagues and I have written a number of letters to Ohio state election officials, the Department of Justice, the General Accountability Office, and several of the voting machine companies requesting information to uncover the extent of the voting problems. Third, my staff released a report, “What When Wrong in Ohio”, which was the basis for challenging the certification of the Ohio electors on January 6, 2005. On that day, I joined a number of my colleagues during this floor debate to voice the election concerns many of you shared with me, and to challenge the Congress to enact meaningful election reform so that our next election will be one all of our citizens can be proud of.
We have not yet completed our search for the truth in Ohio and in Florida, and we have just begun to fight for serious changes to the way we conduct federal elections. To that end, I am proud to have introduced, H.R. 533, the Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act, (VOTER Act ) as a means to comprehensive election reform on a national level. This legislation mandates a voter verified paper ballot, allowing each voter to confirm their vote before their ballot is cast, and requires every state to establish a same day registration process, permitting any eligible citizen to register and participate in a federal election on election day. The VOTER Act also calls for increased protections of your civil rights, uniform standards for absentee and provisional voting, and early voting opportunities in all 50 states. Sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd on behalf of the Senate Democratic Leadership, the VOTER Act represents a renewed commitment to an electoral process that is both just and crystal clear.
While I look forward to fighting for these changes, the simple passage of Inauguration Day cannot make me forget the past. I continue to press both the Department of Justice and the Republican leadership to investigate Ohio voting irregularities and bring to justice those who would defraud the public of their most basic rights. My staff is continuing the investigation we began last November. “What Went Wrong in Ohio” was a status report. I expect to release a final report in several months. The election is over but election reform efforts will continue until we can ensure that every vote is and will be counted.
Election reform is one of the many issues facing the Judiciary Committee and our Nation. I’d like to communicate with you more regularly about some of these issues. If you would not like to receive these news updates, please unsubscribe.
Again, thank you for your email concerning the past election. I appreciate having the benefits of your views on this important issue.
John Conyers, Jr.
John Conyers, Jr.
House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff
B-351-C Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515