VoterMarch was founded on November 14, 2000, by Louis Posner and Chris Acosta from New York City, and Bob Rogers and Les Souci from Washington, D.C., to organize American voters who wanted to express their opposition to the recount irregularities of the 2000 presidential election. Louis Posner was the National Chairperson. As an Internet-based, not-for-profit grassroots group, VoterMarch fought for voter rights, electoral reform and a progressive agenda. By early 2001, VoterMarch had built an online community of activist members, with more than 60 state and local chapters, and over 10,000 individuals enrolled in VoterMarch email lists and egroups.[See, VoterMarch Archives, Press Release on Voter March Grassroots Group, April 15, 2001] VoterMarch is headquartered in New York City and included affiliate chapters VoterMarch DC, Seattle VoterMarch, and Voter West.
Nationwide VoterMarch Protests
VoterMarch organized major national demonstrations to protest the disenfranchisement of voters in presidential election 2000 in Florida and the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore.
Counter-Inaugural Protests (Jan. 20, 2001)
On January 20, 2001, counter-inaugural demonstrations in Washington, D.C. against President George W. Bush, were organized by the
Inaugural Protests Take Shape Published on Thursday, December 21, 2000 in the Washington Post, by David Montgomery and Arthur Santana, Common Dreams]
Rent-a-Mobs Descend on D.C, Insight on the News, 2001]
BBC reported "There are a lot of moderate-thinking Americans out there wondering how we got to this point - not only why Bush is president, but why his cabinet nominations are so far to the right," said Bob Rogers of the group Voter March. Voter March is part of a coalition of groups, including the National Organization of Women and the National Action Network, that have called for Saturday to be a non-violent 'Day of Resistance' to the presidency of Mr Bush." [See, Bush: Who's Protesting and Why, BBC News, January 20, 2001]
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported "Bush may be president, but I know that when he goes to sit in the Oval Office for the first time, he's going to look out the window, and see and hear us," said Bob Rogers, a founder and organizer of yesterday's Voter March, a nonpartisan group protesting voter disenfranchisement and championing reforms to the Electoral College. "I don't want to personalize this," Rogers said of Bush. "I'm not going to scream 'Hail to the thief,' as others may do. But I will say, 'Respect the presidency,' because during this election, it was not respected." [See, Inauguration Protests Largest Since Nixon in 1973 Published on Sunday, January 21, 2001 in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Common Dreams, by Angela Couloumbis]
Thousands Take to Street to Protest, Daily News, Bowling Green, AP, Jan. 2001] [See, Inauguration Protests Largest Since Nixon, The Victoria Advocate , January 21, 2001] [See, Thousands Take to Street in Protest of Inauguration, The Southeast Missourian, January 21, 2001] [See, Gore Returns to Private Life, The Tuscaloosa News, AP, January 21, 2001]
Thousands of people turned out in the cold, rainy weather for VoterMarch's Counter-Inaugural protest to Bush's Inauguration and the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters in Florida and the partisan Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore. Speakers included Mike Malloy, talk show host; Patricia Ireland, President of the National Organization of Women; Louis Posner, founder of VoterMarch; and Granny D, campaign finance reform activist. [See, VoterMarch Archives: J20 VoterMarch Rally Speakers (January 20, 2001, Washington, DC, Dupont Circle)]
Voter Rights March (May 19, 2001)
On May 19, 2001, VoterMarch organized thousands of protesters for the Voter Rights March in Washington DC at the West Capitol steps.][See,VoterMarch ARCHIVES: Press Release for Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001 Grassroots Group to Demand Voting Reform at Bi-Coastal Event]
Speakers included Robert Borosage, founder of the Campaign for America's Future; Ronnie Dugger, Founder of the Alliance for Democracy;Philip J. Berg, American activist attorney; and Hilary Shelton, Director, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Washington DC Bureau. [See, VoterMarch ARCHIVES: The New American Democracy, By Ronnie Dugger] [See, VoterMarch ARCHIVES: VoterMarch VOTER MARCH TO RESTORE DEMOCRACY and VOTER RIGHTS, Wash. DC, 5/19/2001
The Democrat Underground reported: "The Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy had several specific purposes behind its inception: to bring attention to the fact that the November election was a catastrophe and that election reform is a moral American imperative, to point out that some 180,000 votes have yet to be recounted in Florida despite a requirement for same inked into the books of the Sunshine State's laws, to cast a glaring light upon the scurrilous actions taken by the United States Supreme Court on December 13, 2000.... We heard from Lou Posner, one of the central organizers of the march, who looked like a blue-suited roadie for Crosby, Stills & Nash, but had the eyes of an assassin with his mark in the gunsight. We heard from Bob Kuntz of OralMajorityOnline.com, who declared his candidacy for the governorship of Florida and delineated all the reasons why Jeb Bush had to go. We heard from a woman who had been an observer during the recount, and she bore witness to the mob action and calumny that motivated this march...Soon enough, the moment arrived. The signs and banners were hoisted, and the crowd formed into a long column as we began our march to the Capitol steps. I took a spot at the vanguard, just behind the main Voters Rights March banner and next to an elderly group bearing a loud sign that read, "WWII Veterans Against Bush." An older woman with a bullhorn became the chant leader; she looked and sounded like a union organizer with many marches under her belt. In front of us all, a man bore a huge American flag, and another man made sure that none of us marched in front of it. The flag was to be first." [See, A Report form the Voter Rights March M19 Democratic Underground, May 22, 2001, by William Rivers Pitt]
Footage from Louis Posner's speech [See, VoterMarch Archives: Speech of Lou Posner, founder and chair of Voter March at the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy] at the West Capitol steps was seen on the political documentary film, Florida Fights Back: Resisting the Stolen Election.[See, Florida Fights Back: Resisting the Stolen Election (2003), The New York Times, Movies,]
Voters' Bill of Rights
As part of the May 19 events, VoterMarch presented a platform calling for a Voters' Bill of Rights that included:
* Strict enforcement and extension of the Voting Rights Act, to prevent the disenfranchisement of voters, and full investigation and prosecution of offenders;
* User- friendly voting, requiring funding to replace old and unreliable machines to ensure that every vote is counted fairly and accurately, and monitoring of electronic voting;
* Establishment of real campaign finance reform and restrict the use of "soft" money campaign contributions;
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;
* 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.
Voter Rights Speaking Tours (2001-2002)
VoterMarch organized speaking tours throughout the United States and supported many publications and films on voter reform, including the documentary film, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, by film director Robert Greenwald. [See, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, a film by Richard Ray Pérez and Joan Sekler | Top Documentary Films | 2003]
During 2001 and 2002, VoterMarch organized speaking tours in New York City and Voter West in California for prominent attorney and author Vincent Bugliosi, who wrote the New York Times Best Seller, The Betrayal of America - How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President. [VoterMarch ARCHIVES: | Vincent Bugliosi Speaking Tours Organized by Lou Posner of Voter March ] VoterMarch also organized speaking tours in 2001 and 2002 throughout the United States for Greg Palast, the award winning BBC investigative reporter, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance. Palast exposed the purging of thousands of eligible voters, mostly African Americans, from the voter rolls in Florida.[ VoterMarch Archives: | Greg Palast, BBC Reporter and Author of Best Seller] Finally, VoterMarch promoted and distributed Counting on Democracy about the Florida election recount of 2001 by media critic and film producer Danny Schechter, and narrated by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Louis Posner, human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, Greg Palast and Danny Schechter were speakers at the Hamptons International Film Festival, featuring Counting on Democracy.[Counting on Democracy, ITVS | Counting on Democracy]
Protests Against the Iraq War
2004 Presidential Election Controversy
During the 2004 presidential election, VoterMarch protested against irregularities in voting and in the use of suspect computerized voting systems and machines.[See, Stolen Election 2004 Blog]
Tax Wall Street
VoterMarch has continued its voter rights campaigns in 2012 with the Tax Wall Street educational blog and in joining Greg Palast's Billionaires and Ballot Bandits Action Groups.