Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Live from Chicago: More on the DNC's new election protection program

Here's an excerpt from a press release sent out by the national Democratic Party outlining the new election protection program that Governor Dean spoke of last night:
As the 42nd anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act approaches, the Democratic National Committee today announced its unprecedented 50-state election protection effort to prepare for the 2008 election.

When signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson said that the "right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies."

But nearly 42 years after the signing of this legislation, the right to vote is still under assault.

Through its 50 State Strategy, Voting Rights Institute and National Lawyers Council, the DNC is conducting an in-depth nationwide survey to collect critical data on voting practices and procedures at the local level.

The goal of the project is to map the often confusing and complex sets of administrative practices and decisions governing election administration in every state. Working with local election boards, the DNC is examining the election mechanics in each state, flagging potential problems and election administration issues that threaten to deprive citizens of their right to register, vote and have their vote counted.

Once these issues are identified, the DNC will work to resolve potential problems well in advance of the 2008 election.

Election laws, while written on the federal and state level, are often subject to interpretation at the local level.

This decentralized process results in varied administration and supervision of the elections themselves, which can be potentially problematic considering that in 2008, there will be at least 13,000 elections run by localities.

No organization has ever undertaken a project of this magnitude. This project is made possible through the DNC's 50 State Strategy, which has had staff on the ground in every state for almost two years.

With very specific questions, the survey covers topics such as voter registration, centralized voter databases, voting systems and absentee voting, provisional balloting, polling place procedures and Election Day preparation.

This survey is just one part of a comprehensive program on the part of the DNC to ensure that every American's right to vote and have that vote counted is protected. Data collected from the survey will be analyzed to determine the needs of each election locality and next steps for strengthening the election process in that locality.

In addition to this project, the DNC will continue its efforts to resolve the identified issues throughout next year, continue to organize its network of lawyers in the states through the DNC's Voting Rights Institute/National Lawyers Council and will run the most extensive voter protection program throughout the country for the 2008 general election.
The national party has already come a long way after just two years of leadership under Chairman Dean. Our message to him is simple: Keep up the great work.

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