|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
OCTOBER 29, 2004
|CONTACT: PAX Christi USA / NAACP
Johnny Zokovitch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Voter Intimidation, Missing Ballots in Florida Counties Set the Stage for International Observers
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- October 29 -- Thirty international observers preparing for their delegation to witness the elections in Florida circled intimidation of voters on their observation checklists as news reports Thursday focused on a challenge list of nearly 2,000 voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Fla. A team of international observers from the Voting Justice Project of Pax Christi USA (www.paxchristiusa.org) and the NAACP (www.naacp.org) are set to document their observations at polling precincts in Duval County.
A BBC Newsnight investigation revealed a document containing the list which was obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters. A Tallahassee election supervisor stated that the only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on Election Day.
This is the exact kind of situation that our team of international observers is being trained to document, said Dave Robinson, executive director of Pax Christi USA. The existence of such a list points to the very real possibility that we will again see voters in Florida denied their fundamental rights as citizens of this countrythe right to vote. Our international delegation of observers will make sure that such intimidation is thoroughly documented and reported.
Problems were also being reported in Broward County, where thousands of absentee ballots had not reached voters homes. The international delegation is also set to observe in Broward County.
Our international observers are getting a crash course this week in all the things that could go wrong with the election process, said Robinson. From all of the problems in the 2000 election to these missing ballots to problems with electronic voting machines, theyre understanding just how important their presence can be in helping to assure a fair, open election on Tuesday.
Pax Christi USA and the NAACP will be bringing international election observers from 15 countries to observe polling stations in four Florida counties which were at the center of the controversies of the 2000 electionDuval, Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade. The delegation will hold a press conference on Monday, November 1, at 7:00 a.m. at the Mizell Cultural Center, 1409 NW 6th Street in Ft. Lauderdale.
For interviews or further information on the Voting Justice international election observers delegation, contact Johnny Zokovitch at email@example.com or 352-219-8419 or NAACP Department of Communications at 410-580-5125.
For a complete list of international election observers and biographies, go to http://www.paxchristiusa.org/news_events_more.asp?id=633.
Pax Christi USA is a section of Pax Christi International, the international Catholic peace movement with consultative status at the United Nations. Its membership includes over 800 Catholic parishes, 700 religious communities and 130 U.S. Catholic bishops.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nations oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are frontline advocates for civil rights, social justice and equal opportunity under law.