Candidates Nationwide Called Upon to Challenge Suspicious Elections
From a press release by Emily Levy, Project Coordinator for StandingForVoters.org
Current conditions in the U.S. election system have shattered the basis for confidence in election results, according to StandingForVoters.org, whose website launched today. Standing For Voters, a project of VelvetRevolution.us, calls upon candidates for any public office to prepare now to demand recounts, file lawsuits, or take other actions necessary should election processes or results raise suspicion. The site calls on candidates to take the "Standing For Voters Pledge."
"Candidates ask voters to stand up for them by donating money, volunteering, and through their votes. Now it's time for candidates to commit to Standing For Voters," says project coordinator Emily Levy. In some states, only candidates have standing to request a recount. "In recent elections, we've seen candidates shy away from challenging even obviously incorrect election results supposedly because they don't want to be called 'sore losers.' Signing the Standing For Voters Pledge is a clear way to tell voters that you care that all votes are counted and counted accurately and that you will do everything in your power to ensure that the elections are held to the highest standards. Even if you don't win your election, you can champion the cause of democracy."
Signers of the Pledge -- and the more robust "Super Pledge" -- are provided with an emblem to post on their campaign websites, announcing, "I am Standing For Voters. I took the (Super) Pledge." "It's not exactly the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval," says Levy, "because we offer the emblem to candidates based on their word. But any candidate who puts the emblem on their website should expect their supporters to hold them to their commitment."
StandingForVoters.org presents information about why elections must be scrutinized, outlining possible election problems including voter disenfranchisement, electronic voting machine breakdowns, and loss of precinct vote totals "since they are often transported on [an electronic memory card] that fits easily into a pocket." Resources for candidates include information on various types of election challenges. Additionally, voters are shown ways to encourage candidates to take the Pledge.
While Standing For Voters is being rolled out at the Democratic convention, the program is open to candidates of any party as well as nonpartisan candidates, such as the first "Super Pledger," Ellen Brodsky. A candidate for Supervisor of Elections in notorious Broward County, Florida, Brodsky was eager to sign onto the program, saying, "You can count on me to speak about fair, accurate, and transparent elections in every breath I take."
According to StandingForVoters.org, recent election challenges initiated by candidates have included this year's New Hampshire primary recounts called for by presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich (D) and Albert Howard (R), and Congressional challenges in 2006 by Florida candidates for the House of Representatives Christine Jennings and Clint Curtis. Jennings is running again this year. Curtis signed the Standing For Voters Super Pledge (although he lost the primary election race against Suzanne Kosmas).
Candidates and voters can find out more about challenging elections, and candidates can pledge their commitment at StandingForVoters.org. Organizations are invited to endorse the program by emailing info@StandingForVoters.org.