WASHINGTON -- December 24 -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, along with Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and a coalition of grassroots organizations from across the nation, announced plans for a Pro Democracy Count Every Vote Rally, in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, January 3, 2005.
The rally, which will be held at the Capitol Theater, 77 S. High Street, across from Ohio State Capitol, begins at 2 p.m. Coalition partners include Progressive Democrats of America, Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Moveon.org, the anti-war coalition United for Peace and Justice, Ohio State Senator Joyce Beatty, CASE Ohio and others.
Organizers said the rally, which is being held just days before the Electoral College convenes to confirm the election results, is an effort to keep the spotlight on the deepening investigation of voter irregularities that occurred in Ohio during the Nov. 2nd presidential election as well as to give birth to a new Pro Democracy Movement.
The vote recount in Ohio is underway. The election challenge lawsuit has been filed. Subpoenas are being prepared. Depositions are being planned. Hearings spearheaded by Congressman John Conyers are bringing forth new evidence of voter machine manipulation. And now Sen. Kerry has joined in the recount fight. We must have a thorough investigation of voter irregularities and the voter machines BEFORE Congress certifies the Electoral College vote on January 6th said Rev. Jackson.
January 3rd will be the beginning of a new Pro Democracy Movement in America, said Rev. Jackson. Forty years ago, the Voting Rights Act was passed as a result of an independent, mass civil rights movement. We will carry forward that tradition in 2005, and continue the fight to count every vote and make sure every vote counts.
During the rally, organizers said, they will continue to seek the thorough investigation of voter irregularities and the voter machines. More than half of the votes cast in Ohio and the nation were recorded on electronic voting machines owned by Republicans with no audit trail. The groups want forensic computer analysts to investigate the machines.
Tim Carpenter of PDA, explaining why PDA has joined the cause said "We cannot expect to promote democracy around the world when we cannot even guarantee the right to vote in the state of Ohio. There are outstanding lawsuits, testimonies, and growing data proving votes were deliberately suppressed in Ohio. Until these issues can be fully aired by a Congressional investigation, we ask that Senators of conscience stand with the many members of the House who will contest the vote." PDA has initiated an online petition effort urging Senators to stand with the House Representatives, challenge the vote count, and avoid a repeat of the 2000 silence from the Senate. http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=6770366
Rev. Jackson concluded, We need a one person, one vote democracy the direct election of the President that will motivate a 50-state campaign inclusive of the entire nation, not just 20 battleground states. Thats why we support Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.s (D-IL) bill, which calls for a constitutional amendment on the right to vote for all US citizens presidential elections with one set of rules where the individual right to vote is protected by the US Constitution.