December 31, 2004

Calling all Bay Area citizens: Monday, January 3rd -- 12:00 Noon -- Presentation of Petition to Sen. Boxer -- Be there!


Don Goldmacher



--Civic Groups Urge U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to Join
Congressional Leaders In Challenging 2004 Election Results

--Support from the U.S. Senate is Needed to Sustain Congressional Challenge

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., December 31, 2004—Concerned citizens and organizations will present thousands of voters’ petitions to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer at her San Francisco office during a public press conference and rally on Monday, January 3, at 12 noon. They will urge Boxer to challenge the results of the November 2, 2004 presidential election before Congress on January 6, 2005. Key organization leaders will personally present the petitions to Boxer’s deputy at a meeting inside her office. Rev. Jesse Jackson will also lead a rally that day to challenge the vote in Columbus, Ohio.

Challenge Requires Senatorial Support
Support from a U.S. Senator is a key step in the challenge process, which requires support from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. If at least one member of each house makes a written challenge when the Congress meets in joint session on January 6, 2005, Congress members will return to their respective chambers and conduct a time limited debate going on record with charges of voter suppression and intimidation.

Representative John Conyers, the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, recently announced that he and several other members of the House will object to the counting of the Ohio Electors on January 6th, when Congress meets to ratify the votes. Conyers is expected to focus his efforts on the following Senators: Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Clinton, Conrad, Corzine, Dodd, Dorgan, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin, Inyoue, Jeffords, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Mikulski, Nelson (FL), Jack Reed, Harry Reid, Rockefeller, Sarbanes, Stabenow, Wyden and Obama.

“We expect several members of the House to call for a challenge, but without a single supporter from the Senate, Congress cannot act,” said Don Goldmacher, Chair of Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club’s Voting Rights Task Force. “This is the scenario we faced after the last election – memorialized so well in “Fahrenheit 9/11” – when no U.S. Senator stood up to support members of the Congressional Black Caucus. We can’t let that happen again. As Jesse Jackson has said, ‘we are not whining for a lost election, but crying out for a fair one’.”

Detailing evidence and testimonials of voter suppression and intimidation at the press conference will be the following civic and political leaders:

DOLORES HUERTA—United Farm Workers Co-founder and civil rights leader;

WALTER RILEY—Labor/Civil Rights Attorney, East Bay Votes;

MARGOT SMITH--Gray Panthers,

MICHAEL EISENSCHER--U.S. Labor Against the War;

MAX ANDERSON--Berkeley City Council, 1st Municipal Voting Rights Resolution;

TIM PAULSON, Executive Director, San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO;

MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.

The speakers will address numerous accounts of voter suppression, irregularities, machine error and fraud in several key states. Problems encountered in Ohio include waits as long as eleven hours at polling places; shortages of poll workers and voting machines; electronic voting machines that malfunctioned; election-counting discrepancies; voters being directed to the wrong polling place, and uneven policies governing the use of provisional ballots. In Florida, questions persist regarding fraud as well as irregularities in counties that relied on paperless electronic voting machines. In New Mexico, there is ample evidence that approximately 21,000 undervotes occurred in heavily Democratic precincts on machines that are known to produce faulty counts. A recount would certainly have overturned the election outcome.

Citizens are encouraged to attend, wave signs and show their support for the presidential election challenge. Participants can get to Boxer’s office at 1700 Montgomery Avenue, San Francisco, by public transportation. Many are planning to walk to Boxer’s office starting at 11am from the Embarcadero BART station.

E-Voting Problems Hurt Democrats and Republicans Alike

Speakers will address other recent instances of irregularities in the electronic voting system, including the Washington State gubernatorial race where the results recently shifted in favor of Christine Gregoire, the Democratic challenger, after voting officials discovered that electronic voting machines incorrectly tallied 500 votes for Dino Rossi, the Republican in the race. Rossi is now calling for a state-wide revote.

“It’s interesting that Republicans are willing to look at e-voting problems when the results go against them,” said Goldmacher. “Last week, Rossi told voters that the ‘uncertainty surrounding this election process isn't just bad for you and me - it is bad for the entire state,’ and that ‘people need to know for sure that the next governor actually won the election’. Those are the exact concerns that voters have about the 2004 presidential election. We urge all political parties to advocate the same principles of fairness to all elections.”

To carpool from the Palo Alto area, meet at the park and ride at Page Mill Road and 280 at 10:30am. For more information, contact Cheryl Lilienstein at (650) 380-6080.

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