Send thanks to Jones and Boxer.
We did it! Yesterday, on the floor of Congress there was actually a debate about our electoral system! The heroes of the day were two superwomen: Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who spearheaded to objection on the House side; and Senator Barbara Boxer, who was the SOLE senator willing to vote against certifying the Electoral College votes.
"It is on behalf of those millions of Americans who believe in and value our democratic process and the right to vote that I put forth this objection today," said Congresswoman Jones. "If they are willing stand at the polls for countless hours in the rain as many did in Ohio, then I can surely stand up for them here in the halls of Congress..."
CODEPINK was active throughout this process, making thousands of calls to our representatives, hosting rallies outside Senator Boxer's offices in California, helping to get a busload of fantastic local organizers from Ohio to Washington DC for yesterday's vote, and participating in the "Defend Democracy, Support the Challenge" rally and march from the White House to the Capitol, with speakers such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and our own Medea Benjamin.
We ended the day at the office of Senator Boxer, singing her songs of thanks for stepping forward. Although the initial results of the electoral vote were eventually certified after hours of debate, the issue of "electoral justice" (as Boxer referred to it) has made its way into the minds and agendas of our nation's leaders.
Let's keep the momentum going!
1. Call Congresswoman Jones (202-225-7032) and Senator Boxer (202-224-3553) to say thank you on behalf of CODEPINKand say we look forward to working with them on electoral reform legislation.
2. Apply political pressure for electoral reform on your members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, over the next couple of weeks when they are back home, including meetings or, if a meeting is resisted, some kind of public action at their office. Demand that they support the call by Democratic House Judiciary Committee members for these two things: "1) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (2) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people's trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws."
3. Support our Voter Bill of Rights. Please sign the bill and pass it on to friends, family, co-workers and community partners www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?list=type&type=21. Take it to your city council and get them to adopt some of the various points (or the bill in its entirety) or take it to your community meetings as a starting point for discussions.
In the coming months, we will be working with our allies in Congress to develop an "omnibus" piece of legislation that would bring together many of the issues in the Voter Bill of Rights, and develop a strong grassroots lobbying effort to build support for this and other electoral reform legislation.
So let's keep moving forward and pushing for an electoral system we can be proud of!
Onward and upward,
Andrea, Carol, Claire, Dana, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Tiffany
January 7, 2005 www.codepinkalert.org