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Press Release No. 8 (Voting Reform Initiative)

An Announcement of the Honest Voting Act of 2005 Initiative Petition Drive
PRESS! PRESS! PRESS! PRESS! PRESS! PRESS! PRESS!

June 12, 2005

CONTACT INFO:

HANK RAMEY,
Major Organizer
Recall Arnold Movement
Owner, Grassroots-CA-OH-FL
21845 Grand Terrace Rd., #23
Grand Terrace, CA., 92313
TEL.: (909) 872-1826
hankramey (at) hotmail.com
www.angelfire.com/biz/hankramey/page4.htm
recallarnold.blogspot.com

Dot, Moderator
Grassroots-CA-OH-FL
wwwdothello (at) yahoo.com

GRAND TERRACE, Calif.-California liberal progressive activists are announcing that an initiative drive to put the California Honest Voting Act of 2005 Initiative on the Ballot has commenced. The Official “Title and Summary? has been issued by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s Office on June 7, 2005. The Deadline to obtain over 600,000 signatures is November 3, 2005. The initiative, if enough signatures are obtained, will be on the JUNE 2006 Ballot at the earliest.

Hank Ramey, whose prior foray in any initiative was a failed Initiative in 1990 in Bell Gardens, regarding an Amendment to the General Plan is planning with a message board and others into circulating the Honest Voting Act for more likely the June 2006 Ballot.

“We don’t think that we would get on this November’s Ballot?, Ramey said, “even if any of Arnold’s ((Schwarzenegger) Initiatives did qualify for the November Ballot. We are OPPOSED to all of Arnold’s Initiatives, because he favors hospitals, businesses, and far-right educational activists. We believe at Grassroots-CA-OH-FL (standing for Grassroots-California-Ohio-Florida) that the Democrats and Greens should recall Arnold, and send a message to the minority Republican Party that we want progressive changes in California Government, and we will not have a Governor who curries with the REAL special interests. Hell, we didn’t like Gov. Gray Davis for being the Dialing for Dollars Governor!?

The Title and Summary reads:

“ELECTIONS. ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Prohibits electronic voting in any election, except in counties already operating electronic voting machines if machines generate voting receipts, the software source code is a public record, and local election officials regularly count 10% of paper record. Requires all votes be hand-counted by registered voters summoned for elections duty like jurors. Allows paroled felons to vote. Prohibits peace officers from preventing voters from voting absent suspicion a crime will be committed. Permits voter registration until election day; expands polling hours. Bans restrictions on mail voting. Reduces maximum precinct size to 400 voters. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: This measure would have the following major fiscal impact: Increased local government costs to administer elections, potentially totaling in the tens of millions of dollars annually.?

The Honest Voting Act of 2005 would ban any new uses of voting machines, but would require Counties with existing machines to require a paper trial on the existing machines. Those Counties would also require poll workers to randomly count at least 10% of the ballots at least four times during election day.

Ramey also needs $477 to have the Notice of Intention to Recall Gov. Schwarzenegger published in the San Bernardino Westside Story Newspaper. “ I cannot start recalling Arnold yet until I get the Notice published as a ‘Legal Notice’.?

Ramey will be requesting the following amounts for proposed initiatives to go on either the June or November 2006 Ballot:

• $150 for an initiative to require Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign a Proclamation to require the withdraw of all California National Guardsmen from Iraq and Afghanistan. (Ramey’s Withdraw Initiative has been endorsed by the Riverside Area Peace and Justice Action, and they have pledged $50 for this initiative.)
• $200 for an initiative to raise the Minimum Wage to $10 per hour plus cost of living adjustment.
• $200 for the Andy Stephenson Act of 2005 initiative which reintroduces Proposition 72, the health care Referendum which was narrowly defeated last November.
• $200 for an initiative to partially replace the Secretary of State with a State Board of Elections.
• $200 for an initiative to institute Instant Runoff Voting similar to that used in San Francisco.
• $200 for a yet-to-be drafted initiative that would lower Community College tuition to zero, and also lower tuition at the California State Universities, and University of California.
• $200 for a yet-to-be drafted initiative that would allow non-Citizens to vote (This will only be introduced in California.)

Most of the reforms were hashed out in the Grassroots-CA-OH-FL Yahoogroup, as well as in the CASE_OH Yahoogroup. “We are trying to avoid the problems Ohio and Florida had in 2000 and 2004,? Ramey said, “If California adopts this Initiative, other States would follow. We are also trying to Initiative campaigns started with similar provisions in Ohio and Florida.?

In Ohio, an initial petition with 100 signatures is needed before Grassroots-CA-OH-FL could start with similar initiative in Ohio. In Florida, they need proponents, which is hard to come by.

“Given the urge by Republicans to force us to have electronic voting by fiat,? Ramey said, “we would need to educate voters to get voting reform initiatives in all States where the initiative process is available. Where it’s not available, we will try to get States like Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, and Oklahoma to vote for a Constitutional Convention, even though Oklahoma has an initiative process.?

As to Florida, “in light of the Terri Schiavo case,? Ramey explained, “the attempted gutting of the Minimum Wage Initiative, and the wholesale gutting of the Initiative Process, Florida also needs a Constitutional Convention yesterday.?

The full Honest Voting Act of 2005 Initiative Petition is located at:

www.angelfire.com/biz/hankramey/page16.pdf

ADDENDUM

ELECTIONS. ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Prohibits electronic voting in any election, except in counties already operating electronic voting machines if machines generate voting receipts, the software source code is a public record, and local election officials regularly count 10% of paper record. Requires all votes be hand-counted by registered voters summoned for elections duty like jurors. Allows paroled felons to vote. Prohibits peace officers from preventing voters from voting absent suspicion a crime will be committed. Permits voter registration until election day; expands polling hours. Bans restrictions on mail voting. Reduces maximum precinct size to 400 voters. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: This measure would have the following major fiscal impact: Increased local government costs to administer elections, potentially totaling in the tens of millions of dollars annually.

We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of California, residents of ___________________________________ County (or City and County), hereby propose amendments to the Constitution of California and petition the Secretary of State to submit the same to the voters of California for their adoption or rejection at the next succeeding general election or at any special statewide election held prior to that general election or otherwise provided by law. The proposed constitutional amendment reads as follows:

THE HONEST VOTING ACT OF 2005.

First-Section 4 of Article II of the Constitution of California is amended as follows:

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE II, SECTION 4

SEC. 4. (a) This Section shall be named “The Honest Voting Act of 2005?.

(b) Neither the State of California nor any County shall be allowed to purchase, operate, and authorize the use of any voting in any Federal, State, County, City, or other election by electronic means, but the Legislature shall authorize the use of paper ballots, as of the effective date the amendment of this Section is adopted by the voters. The People find and declare that all computerized touchscreen voting machines can break down, they are very expensive, and they are not easily distributed in an equal manner to all voters. This does not affect Counties that have already purchased, operate, and authorize any voting by electronic machines, but use of those machines shall be subject to subdivisions (c) through (e).

(c) In Counties that already purchased, operate, and authorize any voting by electronic machines, each vote from each of those machines shall contain a receipt of each vote made by the voter.

(d) On election day, there shall be a Precinct Board containing five Members who are in the Registrar of Voter Service defined in Subdivision (i). At least four times a day, a different Member shall count and tally at least 10 percent of the receipts from the electronic machines, but shall not disclose the results of each tally until the receipts and tallies are turned over to the Office of the Registrar of Voters.

(e) The software source code of each electronic machine shall be a public record, and shall not be exempted under Government Code Section 6254 or any other law or statute.

(f) The Legislature shall prohibit improper practices that affect elections and shall provide for the disqualification of electors while mentally incompetent or imprisoned.

(g) All persons shall be allowed to register or re-register to vote up to election day.

(h) Nothing shall prevent the voter from voting by mail, if only the voter or a relative not beyond the third degree of relationships so mails his or her vote to the Registrar of Voters of the County.

(i) All votes shall be hand-counted by registered voters who appointed in the same manner as petit jurors under the supervision of the Registrar of Voters. The master rolls shall be randomly selected from the voter registration rolls, driver's license records, and real estate records for each County. Those called for an election shall be selected in order from a Registrar of Voters service list on paper, and filed by January 1 of the year of selection. Requests for excuses shall be in writing, which would be for (a) illness or injury, (b) financial hardship, (c) on a previously scheduled vacation, and/or (d) a temporary or permanent disability; all to the extent the previous reasons would interfere with Registrar of Voters service. Excused absences shall be granted in writing, stating the name, the excuse, and when was the excuse granted. No employer can terminate for the required performance in doing Registrar of Voters service. No counting of the votes shall be given to persons not selected for Registrar of Voters service or to private corporations.

(j) Each County shall be divided up into precincts of no more than 400 voters each.

(k) No voter shall be mislead by any election official, any person engaged in Registrar of Voters service, any member of the precinct board, any member(s) of any political party, or any supporter or opponent of any candidate or any initiative or referendum as to when
and/or where he or she can vote, who could vote, and any qualifications as to voting or voter registration.

(l) No voter shall be denied his or her right to vote on the basis of race, gender, orientation, religion, or previous condition of servitude or incarceration.

(m) Any voter who has previously voted at a previous address, but has moved from a prior address shall be entitled to register to vote and vote at the new precinct. All votes from voters that have moved before election day who refuse to vote at the new precinct will not have their vote counted, unless a provisional ballot is required to be given to the voter to be cast.

(n) Only the members of the precinct board or if none, the chief election officer of the County, may disqualify a voter before he or she may cast a vote, and only then, if required by law, may allow the voter to vote by provisional ballot.

(o) The voter shall not be prevented by way of arrest from voting, nor shall any peace officer shall prevent the voter from going to his or her polling place unless there is a reasonable belief or suspicion that the voter will engage in any illegal activity.

(p) All Counties, and in municipal elections, all cities, shall provide for enough absentee ballots, provisional ballots, paper ballots, and all other election materials at each polling place, provided, that each polling place shall have in excess of 125% of their supplies. If there is a need for a County, city, or a Registrar of Voters needing assistance, other Counties, cities, and Registrar of Voters may assist the County, city, or Registrar of Voters so requesting.

(q) All polling places shall be opened at 7 o'clock ante meridian and shall close at 10 o'clock post meridian, and shall not allow any more voters after that time, unless the voters are already in line at the time of closing. In each polling place in any election, there shall be two precinct boards, one operating between 7 o'clock ante meridian and 2 o'clock post meridian, and the other shall operate between 2 and 10 o'clock post meridian. Persons serving on Registrar of Voters Service shall be divided among both precinct board shifts, and the third group shall be used after hours to hand-count the ballots.

(r) Any violation of this section shall be reviewed by mandamus, quo warranto, or by way of elections contest and the court of competent jurisdiction may declare that the person receiving more elected votes to be the winner, whether any measure is approved or rejected, or may require another election. If any of the provisions of this Section is violated, or the election results were obtained by way of fraud, the costs and attorney’s fees, including the costs of any recounts, shall be assessed to the County conducting the election where the provisions of this section was violated or where the fraud occurred. This section is expressly applied to all elections for Federal and statewide offices, and for Members of the Legislature. In any proceedings regarding violations of this section, any contestants or petitioners shall have a right to secure all voting records, and all discovery under the Code of Civil Procedure and California Rules of Court shall be permitted.
 
 


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