Thursday, January 06, 2005

Cameron Kerry on Counting Every Vote

Carmeron Kerry has an op-ed in today's Boston Globe. He notes that the facts of the election have not changed from the time of his brother's concession, with the provissional and uncounted ballots being insufficient to change the result. However, there remain many questions which will continue to be examined:
John Kerry, the Election Protection Coalition, and the Democratic National Committee will document inequities, voter suppression, and irregularities and continue the fight to reform the voting process. It is time to make vote suppression a violation of civil rights laws and adopt national standards that ensure that all voters have equal access to voting machines and ballots without the kinds of technical obstacles that call to mind Jim Crow laws. And trust in the system requires that it be transparent; whether inside local election board offices or inside the code of electronic voting machines, the counting of votes has to be public and nonpartisan.

Next time the electoral votes are tallied, every American citizen should be able to know that his or vote has counted.

7 Comments:

Blogger Grant The Intern said...

While John Kerry's brother and Kerry's party seem to be, on the face, interested in an investigation of the vote in Ohio I have a hard time believing that either John Kerry or his party are truly of the mind that there is something to be done.

In an official e-mail from the John Kerry campaign, John Kerry states, "I want every vote counted because Americans have to know that the votes they stood in line for, fought for, and strived so hard to cast in an election, are counted. We must make sure there are no questions or doubts in future elections. It's critical to our democracy that we investigate and act to prevent voting irregularities and voter intimidation across the country. We can't stand still as Congressional leaders seek to sweep well-founded voter concerns under the rug."

This would seem to say that John Kerry is himself going to stand up with members of Congress to protest the election results in Ohio and ask for an investigation of the vote there. But in that same e-mail John Kerry tells his constituents, "I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors."

Why, if John Kerry is truly interested in investigating the vote in Ohio, would he not stand in formal protest of the Ohio Electors? This seems to be a contradiction. If John Kerry wants to investigate the inconsistancies in the Ohio vote why would he not stand up in "formal protest" of the election results?

The answer comes from the same e-mail. John Kerry is not interested in finding out what happened in Ohio because "our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election." Is that really what John Kerry believes an investigation should be about? I hope that is not the case!

The vote in Ohio was flawed. Fraudulent even. Laws were broken, votes were stolen. So John Kerry has no chance of winning. Fine. But he can stand up for every Ohio vote that did not get counted. He can stand for every disenfranchised voter in America by asking for a full investigation of the vote in Ohio.

Why should I fight for the disenfranchised if the man that we fought so hard for won't stand up with me? I yet again get a sense that the Democrats and Republicans are the same. There appears to be no difference what-so-ever. I am disgusted with John Kerry and I wish I could take back my vote.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Kerry didn't take part today as he is not in the country.

If he was here, one more vote would not have mattered. Ohio is just one small of the fight for election reform. Actually, those who concentrated so much on Ohio might have made the actual fight more difficult by identifying voter reform with a Quixotic battle to overturn an election as opposed to being a battle for principles which could obtain bipartisan support.

I'd much rather see Kerry in Iraq as he could be more useful in opposing Bush's foreign policy. Remaining here would not have accomplished anything.

1:13 PM  
Blogger IFK Editor said...

I agree Ron, and would add the following.

Debating the electoral results in Ohio is procedural only. It won't change a thing as the GOP has enough support to vote Bush in regardless

If Kerry was there the media focus would be on him not voter reform, which is what all dems agreed it should be about. Kerry's presence would play like democratic sour grapes and only give the GOP attack machine more fodder.

As Kerry stated, having the debate is important and will help the Democratic cause as Kerry has promised to introduce legislation to mandate federal election standards. He wants the focus on REAL voter reform.

Also, Kerry asked his supporters to contact GOP Majority leaders who are responsible for allowing bills to be voted on. Without hearing from voters the bill won't be brought to the floor.

That's an important step that no ammount of venting at today's electoral debate will bring about.

Think long term, not 24 hours.

IFK Editor
www.independentsforkerry.org

1:55 PM  
Blogger IFK Editor said...

I agree Ron, and would add the following.

Debating the electoral results in Ohio is procedural only. It won't change a thing as the GOP has enough support to vote Bush in regardless

If Kerry was there the media focus would be on him not voter reform, which is what all dems agreed it should be about. Kerry's presence would play like democratic sour grapes and only give the GOP attack machine more fodder.

As Kerry stated, having the debate is important and will help the Democratic cause as Kerry has promised to introduce legislation to mandate federal election standards. He wants the focus on REAL voter reform.

Also, Kerry asked his supporters to contact GOP Majority leaders who are responsible for allowing bills to be voted on. Without hearing from voters the bill won't be brought to the floor.

That's an important step that no ammount of venting at today's electoral debate will bring about.

Think long term, not 24 hours.

IFK Editor
www.independentsforkerry.org

1:56 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

I agree that it might have been more difficult to proceed with today's protest if Kerry was there. I suspect he intentionally did not want to be present so that such an effort could proceed on its own merits without being distracted by personal coverage of Kerry.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Grant The Intern said...

You have all misunderstood what I said and why I think Kerry should stand up and call for an investigation.

I DO NOT think Kerry should ask for a recount, it wouldn't help anything. I DO NOT think Kerry should portray this as a chance for him to win the electoral college, because he would still not have the popular support of the American people. I DO think Kerry needs to frame this issue as the first step towards electoral reform. How can we reform US elections if we don't ever find out what is wrong in the first place?

Kerry has ceded the election to Bush. Even if there was a recount in Ohio he would still not win the state. But he can and MUST ask for, ney, DEMAND an investigation into the fraudulent voting practices in that state. And he must do it as the first step toward electoral reform. If there is no investigation of Ohio, if it is left alone like Florida 2000, there will be no footing for electoral reform!

If Kerry stands silent on Ohio but tries to push reform of US elections to the Senate he will be laughed at. Why? Because there will be no evidence to support the money that would be needed to create a universal system for elections in America. We lost the chance to create a universal voting system in 2000 because no one in the Senate had a soul. It looks like we will lose the chance at electoral reform in 2005 because, yet again, no Senator has a soul. Not a single member of the party with the most to gain and NOTHING to lose, the Democrats, is willing to stand up and demand an investigation into the acitivities in Ohio.

This is why the Democrats are the dying party and why the Republicans will be in charge for another four years: Republicans take risks and win, Democrats stick with the status quo and lose. Is that really what you want from this party?

3:48 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

The point is that yesterday was not the way to judge Kerry's actions on election reform. He has already had a team of lawyers in to investigate, and we will hear more from him in the future. However, strategically this is best done as something totally separate from the type of challenge conducted yesterday.

While I sympathized with them and wished them well, yesterday was a side show which may have done more harm than good, and Kerry was very wise to stay away. For example, from today's First Read:

Only time and polling will tell, but we wonder if something happened yesterday beyond Democrats' clear discomfort with the dispute of the results, and with the GOP's arguable overzealousness in rejecting the claims -- that electoral reform moved a notch away from being an issue of concern to the general public, and one step closer to becoming viewed as a partisan Democrat issue touted by liberals and minorities.

4:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home