WASHINGTON -- January 10 -- Green Party leaders enthusiastically thanked Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Oh.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and all the Representatives who stood up to challenge Congress's certification of the 2004 national election on January 6, and called on Democrats to join Greens in pushing for election reforms.
Greens also praised their presidential candidate, David Cobb, who initiated the Ohio and New Mexico recounts with the help of Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik after John Kerry conceded quickly -- despite promises to ensure that every vote would be counted.
"We're especially grateful to Sen. Boxer, whose objection forced Congress to address, at least for two hours, the widespread reports of obstructed and altered ballots cast by thousands of African Americans, young people, and other voters in Ohio," said Peggy Lewis, California Green and co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "We also thank Rev. Jesse Jackson, other progressive Democrats, and people of all political persuasions who care about democracy, for supporting David Cobb after he
launched the recount efforts."
Greens noted that Mr. Kerry, who sat on $51 million in unused campaign funds that could have been used to address the irregularities, flip-flopped on his support for the recount and decided not to join the challenge to the certification.
"In effect, Senate Democrats voted 74 to 1 on January 6 against fair elections and accurate vote counts, with Sen. Boxer the lone dissenter," said Jody Grage Haug, Green Party co-chair and Green from Washington, where Greens challenged Sen. Maria Cantwell to join the dissent and vote yea, or lose the support of progressive voters in 2006 (Sen. Cantwell voted nay). "Sen. Boxer -- just barely -- saved Senate Democrats from a repeat of their appalling silence during the certification of the 2000 election, which was dramatically captured in Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11.'"
Green Party members warned that obstructed and engineered votes are now a permanent part of our national elections, that Americans no longer know if our leaders are legitimately elected, and that most elected Democrats would rather suffer defeat than address the corruption of the U.S. elections.
Greens have called for several measures to ensure fair and accurate elections:
- Paper ballots to verify every vote cast on a computer voting machine
- Equitable distribution of voting equipment
- Removal of biased partisan officials from supervision of vote counts (e.g., Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who chaired the Bush/Cheney campaign in Ohio) and removal of partisan bias from the election system
- Standardization of the right to vote in national elections, replacing the wide variations in voting rights from state to state
- Expanded public scrutiny and accountability to prevent future obstruction of legitimate votes
Greens also call for clean election laws; instant runoff voting and proportional representation; public financing of campaigns; removal of the two-party-owned corporate-funded Commission on Presidential Debates from control over the debates; greater access to our publicly-owned airwaves for political candidates and forums; and repeal of ballot access laws designed by Democrats and Republicans to hinder third party and independent candidates.
"The failure of Democrats to pursue reforms after the 2000 Florida election debacle ensured that similar manipulations would take place in 2004," said Illinois Green Marc Sanson, who also serves as national Green Party co-chair. "Voters who are registered Democrat should ask their Senators why they didn't stand up with Sen. Boxer, Rep. Conyers, and other Congressmembers -- and if they don't get a satisfactory answer, we invite them to join the Green Party."
"Republican politicians, several Democrats, and most of the media dismissed the reports of election irregularites as conspiracy theories and Internet rumors, without investigating them any further" added Mark Dunlea, member of the Green Party of New York State. "If we don't address election problems now, we'll see another engineered election in 2008, and obstructed and altered votes in a lot more states."
Greens thank national Green presidential candidate David Cobb, who initiated the recount, and Sen. Boxer, Rep. Conyers, et. al. for objecting to the 2004 election certification, and ask: Where were the rest of the Democrats?