About the Campaign: Why We Work on Election Reform
This is a teachable moment, an opportunity we must seize to emphasize the need for meaningful electoral reform. The new Congress offers a strategic opening to build momentum and take bold and comprehensive action — but this will not come about without progressives building a groundswell of grassroots support.
On Election Day 2006 more than 18,000 votes in Florida’s District 13 Congressional race seem to have simply disappeared.
The disenfranchised represent 1 in every 6 Sarasota County voters who went to the polls. The state certified the election for Republican Vern Buchanan — by a razor-thin margin of less than 400 votes. A farcical “test” of ten of the iVotronic voting machines in use that day shed no light on the mystery.
People For the American Way Foundation’s Election Protection team was on the ground in Sarasota when this undervote occurred and we have since mounted a strong legal, media, grassroots, and Capitol Hill campaign on the voters’ behalf.
There is no time to lose. Florida voters — and those in many other states — will again go to the polls this November using the same flawed machines. The question comes: How many votes will be lost then?
Through careful research, litigation, communication, and public education and mobilization, PFAWF’s Democracy Initiative will help inspire and support the kind of leadership needed to fix our broken electoral system and restore government by the people. But we must move now, with the requisite resources, if we are to put the needed changes in place in sufficient time to ensure fair, not flawed, elections in November 2008.