Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Press Release: VCC Calls For Rejection of CA Special Election Results
Media Contact: Dave Berman, Voter Confidence Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Voter Confidence Committee Calls For Rejection of CA Special Election Results
The Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) of Humboldt County, California, an election reform and watchdog group, announced today it will not accept as conclusive any results from the special statewide election called for Nov. 8 by Governor Schwarzenegger. Citing the election reform platform of the Voter Confidence Resolution, the VCC maintains that this election will be held under conditions that do not ensure an outcome that is conclusive beyond all question and indicative of the will of California voters.
"Until corporate money is removed from elections, voting systems are no longer privatized, and vote counting is not done in secret, election results in America can't be seen as beyond question," said VCC principal Dave Berman. "And until these deficiencies are remedied in California, how can we possibly have a basis for confidence in election results?"
The Voting Systems and Procedures Panel is scheduled to meet in Sacramento on Thursday June 16th to rule on certification of voting equipment made by Diebold and Elections Systems and Software (ES&S). Diebold has been under heavy scrutiny for alleged employment of felons, internal memos discussing programming loopholes, partisan fundraising activities of executives and dozens of examples of vote tally discrepancies.
ES&S is partially owned by Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. ES&S machines counted over 80% of the votes that first put Hagel in office in 1996. Combined, ES&S and Diebold count over 80% of the votes in U.S. national elections and are run by brothers Bob and Todd Urosevich.
"We can choose to allow these blatant conflicts of interest, or we can recognize that sensible laws prohibit them," says Berman. "Isn't it bad enough that private corporations are counting our votes in secret? Does it make any sense to use these machines when they don't even meet requirements established by the state of California?"
In April, 2004 the CA Secretary of State's office issued a report stating that counties throughout the state, including Humboldt, were using machines lacking state certification, federal qualification, or in some cases both.
The Voter Confidence Committee is encouraging other public interest groups to support the Voter Confidence Resolution by lobbying their local City Council for its passage. "We must refuse to accept elections held under conditions that can't and don't ensure conclusive outcomes and a basis for confidence in the results reported," says Berman.
"When we begin to make this stand community by community, We The People will have begun the process of ensuring the Consent of the Governed," Berman added. "This doesn't need to be controversial. Elections must be transparent, fairly executed, and lead to unanimous agreement about the outcome. The system must be beyond question, period."
Voter Confidence Committee website
Voter Confidence Resolution
Facts on Diebold
Facts on ES&S
Facts on corporate ownership of election machines
April 2004 CA Secretary of State report