Contact: Karen Renick, 512/496-7408, Voterescue.org
Marcelo Tafoya, 512/698-4824, LULAC District 12
Attention: Political Assignments Desk
Austin, Texas, September 5, 2010
LULAC, TX and NATIONAL, Pass Resolution Supporting
Hand-Counted Paper Ballot Elections!
Gray Panthers, Green Party and VoteRescue Also in Support
Coalition Petitions Commissioners Court for Public Hearing
a bold move to put elections back into the hands of the people and to
break the grip of corporations on the voting process, the League of
United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) passed a Resolution for "Open and
Honest Elections with Hand-Counted Paper Ballots" http://www.lulac.net/advocacy/resolutions/2010/rescivrig06.html at
their National Convention this summer according to a recent
announcement by Marcelo Tafoya, Director of LULAC District 12 that
covers Travis and Williamson Counties, as well as six other Central
The LULAC resolution - also approved earlier this summer at the LULAC Texas State Convention - was submitted to both gatherings by Fidel Acevedo, the Co-Chair of LULAC District 12's H.O.P.E. program. Now, Mr. Tafoya and Mr. Acevedo wish to join with their coalition partners, the Gray Panthers, the Green Party and VoteRescue, to present the LULAC Resolution to the Travis County Commissioners Court and air their list of grievances about the paperless electronic voting system used in Travis County. The groups will also demand hand-counted ballots for the voters in Travis County.
"All votes cast in Travis County are being counted secretly behind closed doors with no possible way for public observation of the actual counting process. This is wrong, The doors being used today to shut the public out are no longer wooden with hinges and locks, but are now made of circuit boards, invisible electromagnetic impulses and millions of lines of software code," stated Karen Renick, Founder and Co-Director of VoteRescue, in a letter the coalition sent to all of the Travis County Commissioners earlier this week requesting a public hearing. To date none of the Commissioners have responded, so the 4-group coalition and other supportive citizen groups will be going to Citizen's Communication this coming Tuesday, September 7, 2010, to publicly repeat their request for a hearing.
It has been nearly two years since the Travis County Commissioners Court directed the County Clerk, Dana DeBeauvoir, to convene a study group to delve into the growing level of serious concerns about the use of electronic voting machines, as well as undertake a comparative risk analysis of the different voting system options, including hand-counted paper ballots.
four partners in the coalition going before the Commissioners Court
next week were participants in the study group that concluded it's
series of official meetings in October 2009. The Clerk
just recently postponed for several more months the delivery of the
group's overall report to the Commissioners, delaying public discussion
until after the November elections. Clint Smith, who represented the
Gray Panthers on the study group and Bill Stout, who represented the
Green Party, along with LULAC and VoteRescue, find this delay of a
unacceptable. Mr. Smith has consistently been pointing out the direct violations to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that the continued use of these machines present. Contacting the Department of Justice's Voting Rights Division for an investigation of voting rights' violations is being considered by the coalition.
All four groups have also submitted a "Report of Alternate Findings and Recommendations" which strongly challenges the conclusions of the County Clerk-generated report. The Clerk made it very clear to the study group that electronic vote counting will continue in one form or another in Travis County during her tenure. http://www.voterescue.org/FINAL_TC_ESG_Report_of_ALTERNATE_Findings_and_Recomendations_4-2-10.pdf
In an historic decision last year, the German Federal Constitutional Court (the equivalent of our U.S. Supreme Court) banned the use of electronic voting in German elections by ruling that a publicly observed count is a constitutional requirement and that no "specialized technical knowledge" can be required of its citizens to exercise their right to vote and know their vote was counted as cast.
LULAC, Gray Panther, Green Party and VoteRescue spokespersons will be available to speak to the press in the lobby outside the Commissioners Court immediately following the Citizens' Communication period on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. Citizens' Communication typically begins around 9:30 am.
If you're not a member and would like to join, go to http://groups.google.com/group/ElectionIntegrity and click on the "join" link at right. For delivery and suspension options, use the "Edit my membership" link.