Berkeley Pries Open Votergate, Calls for Immediate U.S. Election Investigation

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The day after electors cast votes at state capitols nationwide, at the regular meeting of the Berkeley City Council, half the public speakers expressed concern for democracy, given problems on Nov. 2 including minority and student vote suppression.

The day after electors cast votes at state capitols nationwide, at the regular meeting of the Berkeley City Council, half the public speakers expressed concern for democracy, given problems on Nov. 2 including minority and student vote suppression. By unanimous consent, the Berkeley City Council adopted the "Resolution Supporting the Request that the Government Accountability Office Immediately Undertake an Investigation of Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Elections." Drafted by Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission, the Resolution also lists 17 measures to improve elections.

Outgoing Vice Mayor and civil rights champion Maudelle Shirek agrees with District 3's newly elected Max Anderson that, "It's extremely important for the foundations of our democracy that every citizen's vote is counted. Fraud or manipulation, whether not counting votes or suppression of voters, should be of vital concern to all."

Councilmember Kriss Worthington added, "Politically, technologically and bureaucratically, undemocratic forces have stopped America from counting every vote. We must demand justice for purged voters, provisional voters and discouraged voters forced to stand in line for hours. As the United States risks our soldiers' lives to invade Iraq to 'spread democracy' it is tragically incomplete at home."

Sociologist Harry Brill spoke of his poll to determine how many Ohio voters were disenfranchised due to long lines. Ann Fagan Ginger of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute will include the Resolution in her book "Challenging U.S. Human Rights Violations Since 9/11."

"...as directed, I created the vote fraud software prototype," swore computer programmer Clint Curtis in a Dec. 6 affidavit, quoted by Peace and Justice Commissioner PhoeBe ANNE (sorgen) at Tuesday’s meeting. Mr. Curtis had testified under penalty of perjury that Tom Feeney, who later became Speaker of the House in Florida, wanted "a voting program that could alter the vote tabulation in an election and be undetectable." She also quoted Congressman Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, "...efforts to audit poll records in Ohio are being obstructed by County Election officials and/or Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell...such an action appears to violate Ohio law." Commissioner sorgen made the connection with the Resolution opposing corporate constitutional "rights" that the City Council adopted in June. "Corporate dominance is both the reason behind and the means to stolen elections."

Home of the free speech movement, Berkeley often tackles injustices. After hearing the citizens speak at the Tuesday night meeting, Mayor Tom Bates proclaimed, "Nothing is more fundamental than a free, fair election. When you start tinkering with that, it throws the whole system into disarray. I am pleased that we are taking this stand." The City Council then adopted, by unanimous consent, the "Resolution Supporting the Request that the GAO Immediately Undertake an Investigation of Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Elections." It is posted on the web at http://www.berkeleyresolution.blogspot.com

Contact: PhoeBe ANNE (sorgen) 510-528-9428

or Steve Freedkin 510-595-4626

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PhoeBe ANNE sorgen

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