Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Every Vote Should Count!

Voting in Democracy is invaluable. Unfortunately, recently the system has been under attack. This bill, I think, will work to deal with some of the problems. I don't think it deals with everything that needs to be done. But, it is a start. Do with it what you will. Democracy is in trouble and we need to make every effort to move toward more transparency. I am publishing the whole email here to make it as simple as possible.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and others recently unveiled a sweeping federal election reform bill, the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 (H.R.939/S.450). This bill is what we've been working toward since November 2, and it needs your support now. The Count Every Vote Act addresses an impressive number of the problems that Election Protection volunteers documented in 2004, and there's good reason for that. People For the American Way and the Election Protection coalition advised the bill's authors after spending weeks and months pouring over the incident reports and voter testimonials that Election Protection volunteers helped gather. We were proud to showcase these efforts and to be among the handful of organizations asked to speak at the bill sponsors' press conference.

This bill is proof that Election Protection's hard work to protect voters' rights does pay off, but it is also a reminder that we have unfinished business.

This legislation faces an uphill battle in Congress. The first step is getting a strong, bipartisan group of senators and representatives to co-sponsor it. Urge your members of Congress to sign on to the Count Every Vote Act immediately! http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=16842&action=1887

Or call your members: Rep. Charles Rangel (202) 225-4365 - Sen. Charles Schumer (202) 224-6542 - Sen. Hillary Clinton (202) 224-4451

Forward this alert to your friends and ask them to support the Count Every Vote Act. We need to get out of the gates quickly and build momentum around this bill for two major reasons.

First, because of the breadth of the reforms proposed by the bill, we are sure to meet resistance. It took two full years to pass the last federal election reform bill, the Help America Vote Act, and 2004 proved just how inadequate those reforms are.

The second reason is time. The bill sets the goal of implementing these overdue reforms in time for the November 2006 federal elections. To realistically meet that goal, we must create a groundswell of public support that makes the Count Every Vote Act into a must-pass priority this year.

The Count Every Vote Act is a truly ambitious proposal for giving all Americans the fair, free and transparent elections they deserve (see the summary below). This is comprehensive legislation, and it deserves our whole-hearted support -- yours, your friends', and your Congressional delegation's.

Tell your members of Congress to get on board and co-sponsor the Count Every Vote Act.

Despite our incredible efforts, tens of millions of voters were outside the reach of Election Protection in 2004. No voter is outside the reach of this landmark bill. To expand participation and restore faith in our elections system, we must pass the Count Every Vote Act -- a bill that you, in effect, helped write. Please continue the fight for fair elections by taking action today.

Thank you,Ralph G. NeasPresident
P.S. - You can support our efforts to help pass this legislation and restore faith in our elections system with a contribution at: http://pfaw.kintera.org/counteveryvote

P.P.S. - Here is a summary of the reforms proposed in the Count Every Vote Act of 2005.

More Accountable and Accessible Voting SystemsThe Count Every Vote Act would:
1. Require that all voting systems produce a paper record that can be verified by the individual voter and that would constitute the official record for any recount;

2. Require a mandatory recount of voter-verified paper records in 2 percent of all polling places or precincts in each state;

3. Set minimum standards for the number of voting systems and poll workers at each precinct, and require that every precinct have at least one machine that can provide audio and pictorial verification and that is accessible to language minority voters;

4. Establish new security standards for voting equipment manufacturers, including a ban on using undisclosed software and wireless communications devices in voting systems.

More Opportunities for Citizens to Register to Vote and Cast Their BallotsThe Count Every Vote Act would:1. Allow voters to register and cast a ballot on election day;2. Require states to provide in-person early voting opportunities before Election Day;3. Prohibit states from demanding excuses from voters who request absentee ballots;4. Give voters more options for proving their identity to election officials;5. Prohibit election officials from rejecting voter registration applications that are missing information which has no effect on the specific voter's eligibility.

Discourage Partisan Manipulation and Deceptive Practices in ElectionsThe Count Every Vote Act would:1. Make certain federal election campaign activities off limits to chief state election officials and top-level executives and owners of voting system manufacturers;2. Require states to act in a uniform and transparent manner when attempting to purge voters from state registration lists;3. Provide for the prosecution of those who engage in deceptive practices to keep people from voting in federal elections.

Expand the Right to VoteThe Count Every Vote Act would:1. Require states to allow ex-felons who have completed their prison, parole and probation terms to register and vote in federal elections.

Ensure That All Votes Are CountedThe Count Every Vote Act would:1. Require that provisional ballots be counted state-wide, allowing voters who are registered in a state but cast provisional ballots in a wrong precinct to still have their votes counted for all eligible federal races.

Call your represenatives and senators and make a difference. If we are a democracy we need to be a democracy.

Act Now.


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