Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Baker-Carter Commission Cont'd

From Rep. John Conyers Blog:

Conyers Endorses Voting Recommendations of Election Reform Coalition
Led By Progressive Dems of America

I have been closely following the formation of the Baker-Carter election commission, with some concern. As readers of this blog know, I wrote to former President Jimmy Carter, about these concerns. I hope to have a meeting this week with the leadership of the Commission to discuss these concerns in more detail and ascertain whether there is any room to work together on this vital issue.

In the meantime, a group of organizations, many who helped to bring about the Ohio election challenge (and led by the Progressive Democrats of America), have issued their own challenge to the Commission. I wanted my blog readers to know that I issued the following statement today, which I think pretty much speaks for itself:

"I wholeheartedly support and endorse the recommendations of the Progressive Democrats of America election reform coalition, which includes Code PINK, Velvet Revolution, United Progressives for Democracy and Global Exchange. I have heard from thousands of progressive activists, along with traditional civil rights groups, who are very concerned about the direction of the Baker-Carter Commission. I have previously written to President Carter expressing my concerns about his co-chair, James Baker III, who for me -- and many, many other voters will forever be remembered for his role in disenfranchising Florida voters, particularly minority voters and the elderly, by stopping the counting of votes in the 2000 Presidential election. This weekend, additional information has come to light in the alternative media about other advisors to the Commission and the witnesses chosen for its first hearing. To many, the deck seems to be stacked against traditional civil rights concerns and voter verified paper ballots, and in favor of wealthy corporate voting machine companies and Right wing operatives who have advocated Jim Crow-style tactics, such as partisan challengers at the polls and new and needless voter ID requirements. An early signal of that this Commission's policy agenda would go a long way toward allaying the fears of many, fears that I share."

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