FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, California
Current conditions in the U.S. election system have shattered confidence in election results. StandingForVoters.org, a project of VelvetRevolution.us, calls upon candidates for any public office to prepare to demand recounts, file lawsuits, or take other actions necessary should election processes or results raise suspicion. The site calls on candidates to take the "Standing For Voters Pledge."
"Candidates ask voters to stand up for them by donating money, volunteering, voting. Now it's time for candidates to commit to Standing For Voters," says project coordinator Emily Levy. In some states, only candidates can request a recount. However, in recent elections, candidates have shied away from challenging even obviously incorrect election results supposedly because they didn't want to be called 'sore losers. "Signing the Standing For Voters Pledge is a clear way to tell voters that care that all votes are counted ‑ and counted accurately ‑ and that candidates will do everything in their power to ensure that the elections are held to the highest standards." says Levy.
Signers of the Pledge and the more robust "Super Pledge" are provided with an emblem to post on their campaign websites, announcing, "I am Standing For Voters. I took the (Super) Pledge." "This Seal of Approval," says Levy, "is based on their word candidates. And any candidate who puts the emblem on their website should expect the voters to hold them to their commitment."
StandingForVoters.org presents information about why elections must be scrutinized, outlining possible election problems including voter disenfranchisement, electronic voting machine breakdowns, and loss of precinct vote totals "since they are often transported on [an electronic memory card] that fits easily into a pocket." Resources for candidates include information on various types of election challenges. Additionally, voters are shown ways to encourage candidates to take the Pledge.
Although Standing For Voters is being rolled out at the Democratic Convention, the program is open to candidates of any party as well as nonpartisan candidates, such as the first "Super Pledger," Ellen Brodsky. A candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, Florida, Brodsky was eager to sign onto the program, saying, "You can count on me to speak about fair, accurate and transparent elections in every breath I take."
According to StandingForVoters.org, recent election challenges initiated by candidates have included this year's New Hampshire primary recounts called for by presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich (D) and Albert Howard (R), and Congressional challenges in 2006 by Florida candidates for the House of Representatives Christine Jennings and Clint Curtis, both of whom are running again this year. The Florida primary takes place today. Curtis has signed the Standing For Voters Super Pledge.
Candidates and voters can find out more about challenging elections, and candidates can pledge their commitment at StandingForVoters.org. Organizations are invited to endorse the program by emailing info@StandingForVoters.org.