Thursday, July 21, 2005

Voter Confidence Resolution ADOPTED By Arcata, CA (First in Nation)!!

Shortly before midnight on Wednesday night the City Council of Arcata, CA became the first in the nation to adopt the Voter Confidence Resolution. Illustrating that current conditions ensure inconclusive election outcomes, the resolution concludes that the Consent of the Governed is not being sought and should not be assumed or taken for granted. As other City Councils follow suit, the question asked repeatedly will be: Has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET? This is the frame that will develop cumulative impact, taking a "not if, but when" posture so that a "last straw" will inevitably create a Tipping Point.

The Voter Confidence Resolution was adopted on a 3-2 vote with the support of Harmony Groves, Dave Meserve and Paul Pitino. Councilmembers Meserve and Groves previously served as a subcommittee tasked with revising the resolution for its eventual public hearing. Stealing one of the talking points I had planned for my public comment, Meserve noted that he and Groves had made no changes, calling the statement "perfect."

Mayor Michael Machi and Councilmember Mark Wheetley cast dissenting votes. Wheetley acknowledged my efforts to contact him and apologized for not getting back to me. He conceded he hadn't really gotten his head around the obvious importance of the document though he did recognize the election problems and our comprehensive election reform platform. Ultimately he wanted to see the County Supervisors weigh in (seems likely passing this resolution will get their attention). Machi was consistent with his many prior votes against using the Council to make statements or take stands. This was despite saying he personally found no fault with the resolution itself.

Passing the Voter Confidence Resolution has been a goal directly targeted and pursued through the GuvWurld blog since its inception on April 3, 2004. I also give a lot of credit and thanks to the Voter Confidence Committee, a group I co-founded in February 2005 with Scott Menzies and Mark Konkler.

Immediate next steps are circulating this blog entry to my e-mail lists and posting it on some message boards. In the morning I'll begin circulating a press release locally, nationally and internationally. From there, the bigger picture will be encouraging election reform advocates all over the country who will work toward passing their own version of the Voter Confidence Resolution patterned after Arcata's which is held up as a template.

For now, the message Washington D.C. will ignore is: WE DO NOT CONSENT.



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