[saymaListserv] Fwd: Voting Crisis in Miami-Dade
Michael Austin Shell
bright_crow at mindspring.com
Tue Sep 10 22:45:25 JEST 2002
>Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 03:53:20 -0600
>To: whitlock at bigsky.net
>From: Kay Whitlock <whitlock at bigsky.net>
>Subject: Voting Crisis in Miami-Dade
>Friends, please take a moment to read this. This is extremely
>serious. AFSC has actively participated in this historic gay rights
>ballot contest, working closely with other partner organizations of the
>National Religious Leadership Roundtable, Save Dade, and the National Gay
>and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). We prepared sermon talking points for
>clergy in the Miami-Dade area, several AFSC representatives recently
>participated in a faith rally and door-to-door canvassing effort in Miami,
>and we met with Miami Friends on this matter. Several Friends joined in
>the canvassing effort and attended the rally. Miami Friends Meeting has
>posted updated information regularly on their website and sent electronic
>bulletins to members.
>I note that I was present in 1977 at the first Miami-Dade ballot
>initiative launched by the Christian right; I was chair of the national
>lesbian rights task force for NOW and did public speaking and telephone
>canvassing. Most of the speaking I did was in Jewish synagogues. In
>1977, our greatest, in fact, our only clear "wins" were in precincts that
>were heavily Jewish. As you know, we lost that vote. The stakes are very
>high this time.
>I note that there is much more to be said about all of this.
>Stay tuned. AFSC may be speaking out on this soon.
>Tuesday, September 10, 2002
>Ballot Debacle Again in Florida Election: NGLTF Demands Investigation into
>Apparent Voter Fraud
>NGLTF Communications Department
>ngltf at ngltf.org
>MIAMI, FLORIDA - In today's Miami-Dade election that featured a historic
>gay rights ballot measure, registered voters have once again been denied
>the right to cast votes. Rampant breakdowns in new touch screen voting
>machines, failure to open polling places in a timely manner, untrained
>personnel, and refusal by election officials to provide paper
>"provisional" ballots when voting machines have malfunctioned have left
>voters and observers alike stunned and angered.
>Worst of all, numerous complaints have been registered by voters who went
>to the polls to vote NO on the anti-gay ballot measure, but were prevented
>from doing so. In some precincts, there was no ability to vote on any
>initiatives. In others, voters have complained that when they voted NO on
>the anti-gay ballot measure, YES votes appear to have registered instead.
>Many polling places were not operative until after 1:00 pm, more than 5
>hours later than the scheduled 7:00 am.
>"In 2000, African Americans in southern Florida were denied the right to
>vote and to have their votes counted. In 2002, the gay and Jewish
>communities are facing the same inexcusable fate," said Lorri L. Jean,
>Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
>While irregularities have been reported in precincts countywide, Miami's
>Jewish and gay communities have been disproportionately hit by voter
>machine malfunction and other irregularities. These communities represent
>some of the strongest opposition to a measure on the ballot that, if
>passed, would remove discrimination protections based on sexual
>orientation from the County's human rights ordinance.
>"How many times must historically oppressed communities be denied the
>right to participate in elections under the watch of Jeb and George W.
>Bush?" demanded Jean. "Hundreds and potentially thousands of people in
>Miami-Dade have been unable to vote today because of malfunctioning
>machines and then have been provided no alternative means of voting. This
>is not a partisan failure, this is a leadership failure."
>"After the last Florida voting fiasco, Jeb and George Bush promised the
>American public that they would make every vote count," Jean continued.
>"They have had two years to create a system that guaranteed full
>participation in the democratic process to all people and, as we now know,
>they have failed to deliver on their promise."
>Therefore, NGLTF is demanding that the Governor employ all available
>communication devices and personnel at the state's disposal to let voters
>know that voting hours have now been extended until 9:00 pm and to
>encourage them to return to the polls.
>"Further, we are demanding full and immediate investigations by the
>Governor's office and the U.S. Department of Justice into the failures of
>the Florida election system so that the gay community and indeed all
>Floridians will never again be denied that opportunity to vote and have
>those votes counted," Jean concluded.
>The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has worked to eliminate prejudice,
>violence and injustice against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
>people at the local, state and national level since its inception in 1973.
>As part of a broader social justice movement for freedom, justice and
>equality, NGLTF is creating a world that respects and celebrates the
>diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully
>participate in society.
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