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Green Party Denounces Irregularities in Florida Vote.

Outlines proposals to make electoral system more democratic, Monday, November 13, 2000 Palm Beach Governmental Center Courtyard, 301 N. Olive Street, Palm Beach, Florida

A national Green Party delegation that arrived in Florida on November 11 to examine voting irregularities and monitor the Palm Beach County recount expressed concern over the numerous obstacles voters in Florida encountered on November 7. "People are now well aware of the terrible confusion the butterfly ballot caused," said delegation leader Medea Benjamin, who was the Green Party California Senate Candidate, "but they are less aware of serious problems in other parts of the state, particularly those faced by members of the black community."

The Green Party delegation heard from black voters who complained of having to show two forms of ID, their names not appearing on the register, being refused a second ballot if they had made a mistake on their first one, and polls closing while they were still waiting in line. Black men who had never been arrested were accused of being felons and therefore ineligible to vote. The Greens denounce these irregularities, as well as Florida's law denying felons the right to vote for the rest of their lives, a policy that has disenfranchised one-third of the black men in Florida.

The Greens call on the nation to use this opportunity to clean up the many injustices in our electoral system and make it easier for the disenfranchised to participate. These include:

* abolish the electoral college; elect president by direct, popular vote of the majority of voters, using a system of instant run-off voting;

* on-site, same day voter registration;

* restore full voting rights to those convicted of crimes once they have completed their sentences;

* full public financing of campaigns to get big money out of politics;

* form national and state-wide Independent Debate Commissions that encourage third party participation;

* access to public airwaves for all parties during campaigns;

* move toward a system of proportional representation that would make it easier for third parties to be represented in government.

"Now is the time to engage in a nationwide cleansing of our electoral process to make it cleaner, fairer and infinitely more democratic," said Benjamin.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:Racial Blind Spot Continues to Afflict Greens.
Next Article:GPUSA Calls for Pro-Democracy Reforms.

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