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Twenty-Three U.S. House Members Send Letter in Support of VR's "Divestiture for Democracy" Recommendations!
3/21/05: Twenty-Three U.S. House Members Sign On to Voting Machine Company Letter!


NEWS RELEASE: MARCH 21, 2005

TWENTY-THREE U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS SIGN ON TO
WATERS/CONYERS LETTER TO VOTING MACHINE COMPANIES!

State "very strong position" that companies must
adopt standards or government funding should be withheld!

Members convey "moral and patriotic duty" to implement standards
set forth in Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign.

Sending a clear signal to the nation's voting machine companies, 23 U.S. House of Representative members signed on to a letter authored by Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. John Conyers demanding transparency and accountability from the private companies which now run the public function of America's electoral system.

The letter, which was sent to colleagues last Thursday, was signed and sent late last Friday. It outlines -- in no uncertain terms -- the position of the 23 members of the U.S. House who signed on that all government funding via the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) should be withheld from the companies that do not comply with the standards originally set forth in VR's February 21 letter to the companies.

From Friday's congressional letter:

"For the sake of our democracy, we believe you have a moral and patriotic duty to help eligible voters participate in and trust our electoral process. That is why we are urging you to adopt these common sense principles as expeditiously as possible.

"It is our very strong position and belief that only firms that abide by these principles deserve funding under the Help America Vote Act. We will do everything in our power to see that non-complying firms do not receive such funding."

The letter was signed by the following U.S. House members:
John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Sam Farr (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), William D. Delahunt (D-MA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Robert Wexler (D-FL), James Oberstar (D-MN), Raśl Grijalva (D-AZ), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), George Miller (D-CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).

The representatives have asked for a reply from the companies no later than April 15, 2005. A copy of the complete signed letter is posted below.

As well, Mr. Conyers, the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary committee and second-longest serving member of the House, notified Velvet Revolution Co-Founder, Brad Friedman, informing us of this latest Congressional effort. He spoke of his continuing commitment to the fight which VR began in our February 21, 2005 letter to the companies urging them to immediately announce their intentions to adopt the recommendations set forth and which we feel are urgently necessarily in order to begin restoring confidence in American  democracy and its voting system. That letter is also posted below.

The Velvet Revolution "Divestiture for Democracy" Campaign, allows 60 days for the companies to announce their intentions for adopting the standards or face a massive divestiture effort to be launched against those companies (and their affiliates and clients) that choose to ignore the steps which so many Americans find necessary to restore confidence in America's electoral process.

Here is the letter which was sent late last Friday to the 9 major American voting machine companies: [PDF version available here]

Here is the letter that Mr. Conyers sent to VR: [PDF version available here]

Mr. Conyers previously endorsed VR's "DV4D" campaign on March 2nd. And last week, Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb, sent his own letter to America's Voting Machine Company strongly endorsing VR's campaign.

VR has been asking the citizenry to join us in the campaign by donating to VR (we are currently funded solely by citizen contributions!) and by sending an email to the companies stating their support for this campaign (we've set up a page to send email to all 9 companies in less than a minute!).

For more information on Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign, please write to DV4D@VelvetRevolution.us or Media may contact publicist Ilene Proctor at (310) 271-5857.

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