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National NOW Times >> Spring 2008  >> Article

NOW PAC Calls on DNC to Count Florida's Votes

Photo by Melody Drnach

NOW PAC joined national and Florida allies at this April 30 protest outside the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., demanding that Florida's Democratic primary votes be counted.

On April 30, the NOW Political Action Committee joined national and Florida allies in a rousing protest outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Headquarters -- calling on the party to count that state's primary votes now.

Also present were LULAC -- the League of United Latin American Citizens, Florida Voters League, Florida Demands Representation, Southern Leadership Coalition and local Florida civil rights leaders.

"We live in a nation where our young women and men have been sent to Iraq to fight for democracy, while here at home 1.7 million voters in Florida are disenfranchised," said NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy. "Where is the fairness in this process? Despite much misinformation in the media, Florida Democrats did not choose to move their primary earlier the Republican-majority legislature did that, and they did it over the active opposition of the Florida Democratic Party. The Republicans knew exactly what they were doing. They were trying to damage Florida Democrats, trying to strip them of their rightful delegates, and the DNC should not help their scheme succeed."

"It was a cynical maneuver," said Gandy. After the election debacle of 2000, Florida adopted electronic voting machines and Florida Democrats badly wanted to pass legislation requiring a "paper trail" for electronic ballots. So Republicans included the Jan. 29 early primary in that critical election bill, hoping that Democrats would kill the election protection bill, rather than risk losing their delegates.

Photo by Melody Drnach

"Democratic legislators tried to amend the legislation to hold the primary on Feb. 5 instead of Jan. 29, but they were outnumbered by Republicans. It is grossly unfair for the DNC to punish Florida Democrats for the willful actions of Republicans who were intent on causing them harm," said Gandy. "We encourage the DNC Credentials Committee to work with state and party leaders to resolve this matter, count the votes, and get back to the issues that will ensure that the Democrats are back in the White House in January 2009."

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