Florida in 2006: Never Again

If you could go back in time and prevent the Florida election debacle of 2000, would you do it?

 I think we all would. And yet, six years later, 18,382 electronic votes were lost in Florida last week – partisan election officials deny any machine failure, and it’s hardly being reported. If this were a presidential election, the country would be up in arms. And I can tell you, I am.Common Cause is working around the clock in Florida as we speak, while at the same time ramping up a major campaign to GetItStraightBy2008.  Time is of the essence. In just weeks, many decision-makers will have moved on.

 The current debacle follows thousands of documented problems with machines. Make no mistake, our leaders are testing the waters – do they need to make this a priority? Is there a public outcry? Thousands of you have said “Yes!” But it’s not enough. You can help us clear up this mess and make sure the presidential election in 2008 doesn’t turn into an even worse disaster.

Starting TODAY we’ll be working to ensure a clean election in 2008.

  • First things first: In Florida this week, we’re collecting affidavits, calling for independent investigations, and speaking out in local and national media.
  • In the long term: We’ll pass federal and state legislation for the security and accuracy of ALL voting machines, including a paper trail and random audits.
  • We’ll stop the barriers to registration and voting that disenfranchise groups.
  • We’ll pass laws to hold officials accountable and stop partisan activity.
  • We’ll build a rock-solid coalition of grassroots groups to fight for voting rights.

The time is now.  An official recount and audit are underway in Florida – but those won’t get to the root of the problem. Thousands of people missed out on exercising their basic rights. You can’t recount votes that weren’t recorded in the first place. We have the solutions. We have the energy. But we don’t have much time. Nothing less than the fundamental act of civic life is at stake. Here’s your chance to say “I did what I could” – not “I could have done more.”

Sincerely,

Chellie Pingree,
President Common Cause

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