Sunday, November 21, 2010

ARCHIVES: Voter March Press Release - Grassroots Group to Demand Voting Reform (May 19, 2001)

Voter March
New York, NY 10163

Louis Posner, Anne Keith, Katherine Florey



New York, NY-- On Saturday, May 19, 2001, individuals from coast to coast
will gather for the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy. There will be
an East Coast march/rally in Washington, DC and a West Coast in San
Francisco, California. The DC event will be held at the West Capitol steps
and adjacent area of the National Mall including First to Third Streets from
12:00 noon to 5:30 pm (ET). At 12:00 noon there will be a circular march
past from the West Capital steps past the U.S. Supreme Court, followed by
speakers and entertainers at 1:00 pm. West Coast marchers will gather at
Justin Hermann Plaza at 10 am and march to the Civic Center Plaza for a
rally from noon until 4:00 pm (PT). The purpose of the march is to demand
critically needed voting reforms, to call for a full investigation of the
irregularities in the 2000 election, and to protest the illegitimate
President's service to the right wing agenda during his first 120 days in
office. Political commentators will share the stage with prominent
activists and entertainers voicing their outrage over the latest
presidential election. The event is sponsored by Voter March, a grassroots
group formed in the response to the debacle of the last presidential
election. Part of the growing Pro-Democracy movement, Voter March is an
entirely volunteer organization that staged the very successful Inaugural
Day Voter March in DC's Dupont Circle on January 20 of this year.
Information about both events can be found at the Voter March website,

"We expect the crowd on May 19 to be as diverse as the one at the inaugural
protest-male, female, old, young, gay, straight, black, white-- many of them
'first-time' protesters," says Voter March Chairman Louis Posner. "The
indignation over the Supreme Court's highly partisan decisions is
wide-spread and cuts across all social lines. Voter March continues to grow
as more and more people commit to ensuring that the rights of voters can
never again be trampled on."

As with the January protest, there will be bus convoys to the DC event from
New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and many other
cities. The San Francisco event will have large groups traveling from Los
Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Nevada and many other Western cities.

As part of the May 19 events, Voter March will present a platform calling
for a Voters' Bill of Rights that includes:
1) Strict enforcement and extension of the Voting Rights Act, to prevent the
disenfranchisement of voters, and full investigation and prosecution of
2) User- friendly voting, requiring funding to replace old and unreliable
machines to ensure that every vote is counted fairly and accurately;
3) Establishment of real campaign finance reform and a ban on special
interest campaign contributions;
4) Abolishment of the Electoral College and its replacement with a majority
rule election, or substantial reform of the electoral system to allow for
proportional representation;
5) Increasing voter participation in elections by eliminating bureaucratic
hurdles, registering citizens to vote and reducing the voter apathy that
results in half of the eligible population not voting.

The Voter Rights March will also be protesting Bush's right wing agenda that
is drastically turning back gains in environmental protection, separation of
church and state, world peace initiatives and other civil rights and social

An internet-based grassroots advocacy group founded in November of 2000,
Voter March is not funded or controlled by any other organization. Voter
March organizers are all volunteers.

1 comment:

  1. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be equal and counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    Now 2/3rds of the states and voters are ignored — 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states, and big states like California, Georgia, New York, and Texas. The current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states, and not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution, ensure that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Voter turnout in the “battleground” states has been 67%, while turnout in the “spectator” states was 61%. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO-- 68%, IA --75%, MI-- 73%, MO-- 70%, NH-- 69%, NV-- 72%, NM-- 76%, NC-- 74%, OH-- 70%, PA -- 78%, VA -- 74%, and WI -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE --75%, ME -- 77%, NE -- 74%, NH --69%, NV -- 72%, NM -- 76%, RI -- 74%, and VT -- 75%; in Southern and border states: AR --80%, KY -- 80%, MS --77%, MO -- 70%, NC -- 74%, and VA -- 74%; and in other states polled: CA -- 70%, CT -- 74% , MA -- 73%, MN – 75%, NY -- 79%, WA -- 77%, and WV- 81%.