Friday, April 22, 2005

Surprise! The Republicans aren't funding the federal voting agency 

Billions to Republican contributors like Diebold and ChoicePoint to install voting machines that can't be audited, but nada, nothing, zip, zilch, to ensure the integrity of the voting system.

I wonder why?

First Chair of Voting Commission Resigns, Criticizing Government
The first chairman of a federal voting agency created after the 2000 election dispute is resigning, saying the government has not shown enough commitment to reform.

DeForest Soaries said in an interview Friday that his resignation would take effect next week.

Though Soaries, 53, said he wanted to spend more time with his family in New Jersey, he added that his decision was prompted in part by what he called a lack of support.

"All four of us had to work without staff, without offices, without resources. I don't think our sense of personal obligation has been matched by a corresponding sense of commitment to real reform from the federal government," he said.

Sheesh, they can't even buy the guy a desk? And get this! The guy is a Republican and a Baptist minister!

Soaries is a Republican former secretary of state of New Jersey who was the White House's pick to join the Election Assistance Commission, created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to help states enact voting reforms.

A Baptist minister, Soaries was confirmed by the Senate in December 2003 and elected the independent agency's first chairman by his three fellow commissioners. His term as chairman ended in January 2005 and since then he's stayed on as a commission member.

"It's bad enough to be working under extremely adverse circumstances, but what throws your thinking into an abyss, as it were, is why you would be doing that when, for instance, you have to beg Congress for money as if the commission was your idea," Soaries said.

Envisioned as a clearinghouse for election information that would make recommendations about technology and other issues and distribute $2.3 billion to states for voting improvements, the commission initially couldn't afford its own office space. The commissioners were appointed nine months later than envisioned by the Help America Vote Act, and of a $10 million budget authorized for 2004, the panel received $1.2 million.
(via AP)

Weird. Maybe the Republicans just forgot, or something?

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