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Letter from Sen. Jeff Bingaman from NM

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Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:33 PM
Original message
Letter from Sen. Jeff Bingaman from NM
I wrote him before Jan 6 to ask him to support John Conyers. I didn't hear back until just now. Here is the form letter he sent (didn't address me personally).

Dear :

Thank you for contacting me regarding the reports of
irregularities in this past election and the ratification of the election results. I appreciate your taking the time to write.

I strongly agree with you that it is crucial for our elections
to maintain the highest level of integrity, and I remain concerned
with reports of voting irregularities that occurred during this past
election. As you probably know, a few Democrats from both the
House of Representatives and the Senate opposed the certification
of the Ohio electors during the certification of the presidential
election results on January 6, 2005. This forced both chambers to
debate for several hours the validity of the Ohio electors and other
reported voting irregularities. Though the recount in Ohio and
these hours of debate did not change the result of the election, I
believe it is important to understand the extent of the voting
irregularities, such as longer wait times at polling places in certain
precincts, faulty instructions given by poorly trained poll workers,
electronic voting machine malfunctions, and the procedure for
casting and verifying provisional ballots. We must then make the
necessary changes to ensure that every vote is properly counted.

That said, without additional information indicating that the
results would have been different and without the support of
Senator John Kerry, I did not think it was appropriate to object to
the Ohio electors. I regret that I was not able to attend the debate
because I was in southeastern Asia as part of a Congressional
delegation trip to, among other things, visit regions struck by the
tsunami. I did, however, support the request by Representative
John Conyers and other members of the House of Representatives
to the General Accountability Office (GAO) asking for an
investigation of the 2004 election. The GAO has agreed to
examine the security and accuracy of voting technologies, the
distribution and allocation of voting machines, and the counting of
provisional ballots. I look forward to the results of this report, and I believe that the 109th Congress provides the opportunity to
reexamine and improve election procedures.

As you may know, after the widespread problems that
occurred during the November 2000 elections, Congress passed the
Help America Vote Act (HAVA) as part of an effort to improve
the administration of federal elections. This legislation sets
mandatory election standards and requirements for voting and
voter-registration systems and provides funding to states to better
facilitate voting and prevent abuse of our election system.
Additionally, this act requires states to develop an interactive,
computerized, statewide voter registration list that, when
coordinated with Federal records relating to death and identity, can
be used to prevent voter registration fraud.

Of course, as provided in the Constitution, elections
continue to be administered by the states. Still, the Department of
Justice (DOJ) is charged with enforcing Federal election laws and
working with civil rights leaders, state and local election officials,
and U.S. Attorney Offices prior to Election Day to ensure that
citizens' voting rights are protected. Also, to assist states in
making responsible decisions about voting procedures and
technology, HAVA created a new federal agency, the Election
Assistance Commission (EAC), which is responsible for the testing
and certification of voting system hardware and software and
carrying out grant programs. Unfortunately, the EAC has been
limited due to inadequate funding in the President's budget. I
believe that adequately funding the EAC will allow it to provide
better technical guidance and to conduct studies on important
election administration issues.

With regard to a possible recount in New Mexico, I respect
the right of political candidates to request a recount. That said,
because the difference between the votes for the presidential
candidates exceeds what in state law would require a recount, New
Mexico taxpayers are not required to pay for it. Still, should the
political candidates be able to afford a recount, I believe valuable
information could be gathered from it and could contribute to
improving election procedures. In closing, people must be
afforded the right to vote and those votes must be accurately
counted. I appreciate your concern about this important issue, and,
as the Senate considers election reform legislation during the 109th
Congress, be assured that I will keep your comments in mind.

Again, thank you for writing. Please continue to share your
ideas for election reform with me and to inform me of other issues
important to you and your community.


United States Senator
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Looks like a political cop-out to me.
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OKthatsIT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Recount in NM was pointless bribery
Diebold does not have a tabulator issue. The state demanding $1.4mil from the Green Party and Libertarians was criminal and felt more like a bribe to me than and practical need. After all, a recount would simply be the same of the same.

Diebold is paperless, no activities are recorded in each machine, a given machine is programed to 'switch' if there's a Dem vote to a Rep vote. The obvious is the obvious. Diebold is criminal.

This company should be indicted. They rigged Georgia and California. Only the courts can stop these contracts made by Bush/Rove criminal strategists, for its obvious that the House of Reps wont intervene.

Its disgusting.
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LeahD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm waiting for a response from Bingaman
after writing to him January 5th. I also wrote him in November and asked that he support Conyers. He responded quickly, and this is an excerpt:

"...I am concerned with documented stories of voting irregularities. While it appears that these irregularities would not have changed the result in any given state, I believe it is important that every vote is properly counted. I understand that several members of the House of Representatives have asked the General Accountability Office to investigate the efficacy of new technologies used in the 2004 election and how election officials responded to difficulties they encountered. I look forward to the results of this report and will continue to monitor this issue and advocate for responsible changes that increase voter confidence."

In November, and again on January 5th, I wrote to Senator Domenici (R) and Representative Wilson (R) and haven't received a response from either.
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rdmccur Donating Member (622 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Got the same letter.
I have sent him a reply telling him (again) that I am convinced that there was widespread fraud in the last election and provided him with a couple of websites to visit to find out more (these are predominantly exit poll analyses which I consider to be the only strong evidence that is needed to convince anyone who truly understands them).
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