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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 78, No. 9, October 2002

Making Our Voices Heard — Making Our Votes Count

733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005
202/347-3020,  fax: 202/347-2522
Website:, E-mail:

President's Corner
Candidate's Forum
Election 2002: Urgent Call for Member Assistance
Member News
Emergency Preparedness Topic of October 28 Brown Bag Dialogue
International Relations Committee Announces Speaker for October
"Globalization: Who Should Make the Rules?"
Election of the U.S. President: Upcoming Position Review
Fall Opening Luncheon — Sept. 19, 2002
Health Care Committee
Education Committee
Global Warming Revisited
LWV Honors the 82nd Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Mayor Williams Asked to Fund Half of The New York Times Ad on District Voting Rights in Congress
DC Primary Elections September 2002
Unit News: October Units — DC Elections, 2002
October Unit Meeting Schedule
Calendar, October 2002
Letter to the House of Representatives on Election Administration Reform

President's Corner

The Annual Opening Luncheon was fortunate to have two members of the Federal City Council as speakers. Mr. Kenneth Sparks, Executive Vice President, ruminated on the history of the Council and the current activities, i.e., The National Music Center, Charter School Resource Center, and the Anacostia Waterfront. Mr. Robert Liberatore, Vice President, discussed his role as liaison to the federal and DC Government.

SOARING TOGETHER is a membership recruiting campaign starting September 9 through November 15, 2002, to strengthen the League. LWVUS is asking every League to add ONE new member to its rank. SOARING stands for Simultaneously done at all League levels, ONE New Member added per League, Actively ASKING others to join the LWV, Recognition and Celebration.

The League honors the 82nd Anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women citizens the right to vote. Kay Maxwell, President of the LWVUS, feels that League leaders all across our nation are continuing the fight to improve and reform our election system for the benefit of benefit of citizens regardless of gender, age or ethnicity.

A briefing and forum on the Status of Human Rights for Women Around the World will be held at the United Nations in New York City on October 8. Kay Maxwell will join the speakers to share her thoughts on human rights for women.

OUR Thanks to Hawaii that proclaimed August 2002 District of Columbia Voting Rights Month. Two states and six cities have also passed resolutions endorsing full Congressional voting for D.C. Citizens.

We commend the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics for the exemplary work in recent weeks: the conduction of the petition hearings, preparation for the elections, the implementation of the election and finally the closure, i.e., counting of machine results and write-in ballots. Several of our League members participated as observers on election night and the late counting of the write-in ballots.

Our decision on the priming of the Voters Guide hinges on the fact that numerous printed guides have been distributed in the District. There is a feeling that DNet would supplant the written guide. — E. Patricia Hallman, President

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Candidate's Forum
6:30 pm
Citywide Council Candidates Including Council Chair

Martin Luther King Library
Denise Rolark Barnes
(Editor, Washington Informer and DC League member)
DC Federation of Civic Associations & LWVDC

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Brown Bag Dialogue Monday Oct 28
11:30 am -1:30 pm

Barbara Childs-Pair, Deputy Director, DC Dept of Emergency Preparedness
1730 M St., NW, SUITE 1000

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In the November 5 General Election DC voters will cast their ballot for Mayor, Chairman of the DC Council, At-Large and Ward 1, 2, 5 & 6 Councilmembers, President and School Districts III & IV Members of the Board of Education, Delegate to the US House of Representatives, US Senator (Shadow) & US Representative (Shadow), and the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. Candidates for each of these positions have been invited to participate in the League's electronic Voters Guide called Democracy Network or DNet for short.

League members are needed to contact the candidates and invite them to participate in DNet. We will furnish you with information, a script, and a list of candidates to contact. Contact the League office at 347-3020 if you can help with the telephone calling. — Elinor Hart, Co-chair. Voter Services, Sheila Willet, LWVDC DNet Manager

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MEG AYLWARD, a member of the League of Women

Voters who was active in the campaigns for home rule and for Congressional Representation for the District of Columbia in: the 1960s and 70s, died on August 21 at the Collington Episcopal Life Care Center. Born in Pittsfield, Mass., she graduated from Vassar College, was a caseworker for the Family Society of Boston and later a social worker for the American Red Cross in Washington. From the 1940s to the 1960s, she traveled with her husband, a Foreign Service officer, to postings in Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 1976, she was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, where she lobbied other Democratic delegates in behalf of Congressional Representation for DC.

Editors note: Contrary to statements in Washington newspapers, Meg did not support or lobby for Statehood during the 1970s; rather, she is well remembered in the DC League as an ardent, articulate, and energetic proponent of Home Rule and Congressional Representation during the unsuccessful campaign for a constitutional amendment in behalf of that cause, which would require support of 2/3 of the State legislatures.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Doris Y. Boehly and Edward M. Levin.

CONTRIBUTIONS: We gratefully thank and acknowledge contributions from: Julia Cuniberti, Margaret R. Fox, Dr. George & Karyn Gill, Naomi Glass, Elizabeth Martin, Ruth W. Miller, Carol Ragsdale, Marilou M. Righini, Leona Rumsey, Louise Steele, Joy R. Simonson, and Mary Weiler.

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Monday, October 28th from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 1000 is the date, time and place, of this month's Dialogue. We are fortunate to have as our guest speaker, Barbara Childs-Pair, Deputy Director, DC Dept of Emergency Preparedness.

Our discussion is to stimulate information about constructive "warnings" and appropriate responses. Be prepared to challenge the changes. In the current environment are we prepared for the changes? — Anna Marsh, Brown Bag Dialogue Coordinator

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Plus new meeting time and place

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday. October 22nd, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sumner School 1201 17 St.. NW. Our speaker will be Ambassador Jonathan Dean, Adviser on International Security Issues at the Union of Concerned Scientists and former president of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. Amb. Dean will speak on unilateralism and, multilateralism, particularly as they relate to the US and the UN. We think this is a very timely topic, particularly in view of the Administration's request that the UN consider a resolution authorizing action against Iraq for failure to comply with UN sanctions.

As noted in the September VOTER, the IR Committee has changed its meeting time and place to accommodate those League members with job commitments. All League members are welcome, as are guests. For information about the October meeting, contact Susan Rao or Anne Porowski. — Susan Rao (636-1688) & Anne Porowski, (364-0557), Co-chairs

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The Citizens for Quality Civilization Globalization Committee, chaired by DC LWV member Susan Rao, and the Office of the University Chaplain at American University, are cosponsoring a forum on "Globalization: Who Should Make the Rules?" at the Kay Spiritual Life Center on Thursday, Oct. 10th from 12-1:30 PM. Dr. David North, former assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor and spokesperson for the U.S. Department of the Interior, is confirmed and the US Chamber of Commerce has been invited to participate. Lunch is available for $5. To RSVP, please contact 202-8853320 or e-mail — Susan Rao (636-1688)

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The 2002 Convention of the LWVUS agreed to review the League position on the election of the President as part of an on-going effort to update all LWVUS positions in turn. Why was this position chosen for review? The election of 2000 turned our attention to the Electoral College. Some League members nationwide were surprised to discover that the League has long called for its abolition, acting under our position (adopted in 1970 and revised in 1982) which states that the direct-popular vote method of electing the President and Vice President is essential to representative government.

In preparation for our own review of the position next spring, you may wish to do some reading, starting with the 12th Amendment to the Constitution (1804) on electing the President. You should also read Chapter 3 of How Democratic is the American Constitution? prepared from a series of lectures given in 2000 by Robert Dahl, Professor Emeritus at Yale University and past president of the American Political Science Association (four copies are available in the DC Library system). In addition to this chapter on the electoral college, you will want to read further in this book, which questions our widespread habit of regarding the Constitution as a sacred icon. While you are thinking about the Constitution, check out Article 1 Section 8 to refresh your memory about the power of Congress to exercise exclusive Legislation in all cases whatsoever, over what became of the District of Columbia, an issue not raised by Professor Dahl. If the icon issue interests you, please call me. — Sheila Keeny (966-1692), Vice President, National Program

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Over 70 members and guests attended at Sumner School Museum at 11:30 a.m. President Patricia Hallman presided. She introduced former presidents Ruth Dixon, Naomi Glass, Sheila Keeny, Grace Malakoff, Anna Marsh, and Leona Rumsey and special guests Nick Barbash and his mother and Stuart Schorr. Reggie Yancey presented Mr. Barbash with a plaque in appreciation of his having won the American Legion oratorical contest for which he chose the topic "Taxation without Representation." Elinor Hart introduced Kathy Sinzinger, the editor of THE COMMON DENOMINATOR.

President Hallman introduced the two speakers from The Federal City Council - Mr. Kenneth Sparks, executive vice president, and Mr. Robert Liberatore, vice president. Mr. Sparks summarized the history of the organization, a 501 (c) 3: it was founded in 1954 on a Pittsburgh model. Its members are business, professional, educational, and civic leaders. A former president was Robert Dole, Senate Majority Leader and vice presidential candidate, who epitomizes the requirement of the organization president--being a national figure. In contrast the chairman is always a local businessman. The ongoing staff of six is augmented for specific projects--i.e. Metrorail and the Convention Center. Based on a report done by the MacKenzie Group Washington The Federal City Council foresaw the current imbalance between D.C. revenue and expenses. It is supporting efforts to redesign the present convention center into an evening entertainment complex, build a National Music Center, find a way to alleviate the traffic congestion around the White House, redevelop New York Avenue and South Capitol Street, develop the Anacostia River front, get a major league baseball team here, and until recently make 2012 a D.C. Baltimore Olympics site. It maintains the Charter School Resource Center.

Mr. Liberatore said that FCC took as its responsibility getting the federal government and D.C. to work together. He reviewed the financial problems and solutions for the District from 1997: assumption of the "state" functions by the federal government, a steady increase of 6% to 8% in revenue each year until 2002, when income has been flat. 60% of spending in the District, which has the highest tax rate in the US, is for education and health care. 2003 has a projected deficit of $325,000,000. Most workers here are not residents, and much of the property may not be taxed. He saw the possibilities for overcoming the financial crisis as (1) Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton's proposal that the federal government pay 2% of the income tax lost to Maryland and Virginia residents who work here-$400,000,000; (2) the federal government pay D.C.'s portion of Metrorail--$160,000,000; (3) the federal government pay for roads used primarily by Maryland and Virginia residents--$30,000,000; (4) the federal government increase by 5% its share of Medicaid expenses--$60,000,000. None of these options did he think would be considered until the mayor and City Council greatly reduced the budget.

Answers to questions posed by members were: 1) The White House would resist re-instituting a federal payment; it prefers "bricks and mortar." 2) The mid-90's MacKenzie report resulted in founding of DC Agenda. 3) The Anacostia River front development has evolved along with the Georgetown and Navy Yard river front developments and the consideration of the area around RFK Stadium. 4) Full voting representation in Congress is too politically divisive for FCC to support. 5) Someone such as Alice Rivlin, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Trade will need to work on the current District deficit. — Kathy Schmidt*


Foodbome diseases caused by bacteria include: Botulism, Campylobacteriosis, E. coli infection, Salmonellosis; and Shigellosis. To avoid these diseases, NIH recommends food preparers: Wash hands before preparing food; Wash hands, utensils, and kitchen surfaces with hot soapy water after they touch raw meat or poultry; Cook beef & beef products thoroughly, especially hamburger; Cook poultry and eggs thoroughly; Eat cooked food promptly and refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours after cooking; Wash fruits 8 vegetables, especially those that will be eaten raw; Drink only pasteurized milk and treated surface water; Wash hands carefully after using the bathroom, changing infant diapers, or cleaning up animal feces.

The interests of the Health Care Committee are many and varied. Join us on the 4th Tuesday at 12:30 pm at the DC League office. — Natalie Howard (882-8762) Chair

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For almost a decade, throughout our nation, one question dominates many discussions, "Do charter schools measure up?" The Education Committee will use the July 2002 AFL-CIO publication Do Charter Schools Measure Up? The Charter School Experience After 10 Years to study the charter schools in the District of Columbia. Focus will include financial and academic accountability in schools both those charted by the District of Columbia Public School Board and by the Public Charter School Board. The Committee invites comments from League members. We welcome your ideas at the next Education Committee meeting on Wednesday, October 9 at 10 am. — Constance Tate (882-0387) & Gladys Weaver (554-3055), Co-Chairs. 

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Challenged by the Great Decisions global warming program of last spring, the DC League invited Dr. Steve Fetter, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and Associate Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, to speak at the opening Brown Bag Dialogue on September 13. His talk centered on "What do we know, and what should we do?"

Dr. Fetter reported that numerous studies conducted around the world by reputable scientists have established without a doubt that the composition of the atmosphere has changed dramatically in the last hundred years. During this period, the amount of carbon dioxide is up 35% from the amount in pre-industrial atmosphere, as identified in air collected from ice core samples. In fact, carbon dioxide is at the highest level in hundreds of thousands of years. These developments coincided with a rapid increase in human use of fossil fuels in vehicles, heating and electricity production together with widespread deforestation, and an increase in farm animals and farming.

Whether or not the result will be a long-term change in our climate is not as firmly established, but researchers are fairly confident that it will be. The surface temperature (the lower atmosphere) has risen by one degree Fahrenheit since direct measurements were taken beginning in the 1850's, and the sea level is now 6 inches higher than it was then. There is a moderate to high level of confidence that these rises are due mainly to human activity, although the relative contribution of various factors remains uncertain.

The effects that climate change will have on humans and ecosystems are highly uncertain, but could be catastrophic. Rising sea levels could inundate large areas of seaside cities all around the world and drown small island nations. Climate would change faster than ecosystems could adapt. Forested areas that have existed for centuries would die, and some major crops would decline. Fish that need colder waters would not find them. Perhaps the most worrisome possibility is the collapse of the Gulf Stream as a consequence of the melting of the Arctic ice pack, resulting in a steep drop in temperatures in northern Europe - an effect that apparently occurred at the end of the ice age. Given that it is all but certain that fossil fuel use plays the major part in atmospheric warming, and that we are not likely to run out of fossil fuels (which include vast supplies of coal and oil shale) in the foreseeable future, how can humans reverse what humans cause? There are some alternatives: solar collectors, wind power, water power, and more ample use of nuclear power. Most of these at present are limited by cost or other environmental considerations. In order to be in a position to react as the true extent of the problem emerges over the next several decades, Dr. Fetter strongly recommended substantially increased research and development to reduce the cost of alternative energy sources. He suggested funding this by a small tax on fossil fuel use which would also encourage more efficient use of these fuels. —Hope Marindin

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On August 23"' the League of Women Voters issued a press release that praised the 82nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women citizens the right to vote. The League took note on the occasion of this anniversary that nearly two years have passed since election 2000 and our federal lawmakers have yet to pass legislation that will help to remedy our broken election administration systems.

"The League's founding members led the charge in 1920 to pas the 19th Amendment and secure the right to vote for all women," states President of the League of Women Voters Kay J. Maxwell. "Today, eight-two years later, League leaders all across our nation are continuing the fight to improve and reform our election systems for the benefit of all citizens regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity, continued Maxwell. To read the full press release, please visit 

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In a September 16, 2002 letter, Joe Grano, president of the Rhodes Tavern - DC Heritage Society asked Mayor Anthony, A. Williams to fund one half of a proposed ad in The New York Times regarding the District's lack of voting rights in Congress. The full-page ad showing the petition for DC Voting rights, a list of 200 prominent signers, along with a short commentary would cost nearly $40,000. The proposed ad would run on, or around Nov. 5th - Election Day. The theme would be that while millions of Americans prepare to vote for a new Congress, 575,000 of their fellow Americans are unjustly denied this precious right.

Mayor Williams was the first person to sign the petition for DC voting rights in Congress on Feb. 2, 2001. It was submitted to the office of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert on June 7,2002. On September 6, the Mayor told Grano in front of a large group of the Mayor's supporters in Chevy Chase, "Joe, I am going to keep my promise to you to raise one million dollars for voting rights." To date, Grano has not received a response to his letter.

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After the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) decision that petitions submitted for incumbent Mayor Anthony Williams were insufficient to place his name on the ballot, Mayor Williams and Reverend Willie Wilson announced they were running as write-in candidates.

Counters: On Tuesday, September 10, counters were assembled in BOEE offices for orientation and briefing. The counters came from all over the city, recommended by the precinct captains where they had worked at the regular elections. Fifty counters worked in 25 two-person teams. BOEE staff, along with Chairman Benjamin Wilson, supervised the distribution of one box of ballots at a time to each team, along with a tally sheet on which the count could be written. The tally sheets were color coded: blue for Democrats, yellow for Republicans, pink for the Statehood-Green party, and preprinted with the names of candidates printed on the ballots. Each tally sheet heading had a space for the precinct and date, with the count proceeding through the wards and precincts in numerical order, 141 precincts in all. Counters were instructed in training to try to compare views on ballots where some confusion was created, and to call the staff supervisor assigned to their table to remove the problem ballot and place it in an envelope marked to identify the precinct from which it came. Few such ballots were found; some combined the names of the two write-in contenders, as in "Willie Williams" or "Tony Wilson". After removing the tear-off slip at the bottom of ballots where they had not been removed, Counters sorted the ballots into piles by party and by candidate, before counting them and banding them into packets of ten. 

Observers: Observers representing the two main candidates, other civic groups and parties in the District (for example, the DC Republican Committee) and the DC League of Women Voters received accrediting nametags, and circulated among the counters. Near the end of the count on Thursday, the original limit of two counters per candidate was raised to five.

Election Results Announced September 12

Several Leaguers and teams of observers from the write-in campaigns of Willie Wilson and Anthony Williams remained as BOEE Chairman Benjamin Wilson announced the results on Thursday afternoon, September 12. He answered many questions relating to the fact that Mayor Williams received the winning number of votes in both the Republican and Democratic Parties. He explained that this situation occurred in another major election when Dave Clark received nominations in both the Statehood and Democratic parties for the same office. The Board requires the candidate in these cases to notify them in writing within a day after the count is announced, if the candidate wishes to change party registration and appear on the ballot as a candidate of the other party. IN that case, the Board will order the printing of the name on the ballot for the party to which the shift was made. However, if the candidate does not wish to change registrations, the name will appear on the ballot for the party in which it is registered at the time of the announced count. In the case of the party for which the double winner does not wish to run, the Board declares that there is no winner. Any candidate wishing to run on that party ballot must then conduct a write-in campaign in the general election, regardless of any votes received in the primary. League members who volunteered as observers on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were: Frances Gemmill, Mary Hammond, Grace Malakoff, Leona Rumsey, Louise Steele, Alice Stewart, Diane Wilber, Sheila Willet and Barbara Yeomans.

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What happened? What's coming?

Review of Primaries : Bring your experiences in the primary voting. What can we learn from them? Then, Preview of General ;elections: What about the Board of Education elections The ANC elections? What about the ballot issues? We know of only one so far but there may well be others filed before the unit meetings. We'll have informal "pros and cons" to discuss with you.

Bring your ideas to the unit meetings. Are there ways in which our electoral process can be improved? Let's discuss the ideas and perhaps share them with the powers-that-be.

A second evening unit has been added for the convenience of our members who work in the daytime. It will be meeting at the Irish Channel Restaurant and Pub, 500 H St., NW. One block from Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro Stop and various Metrobus stop. There is on-street as well as paid lot parking available. — Naomi Glass

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9:45 am, Southwest Unit, Call Leona Rumsey 863-7484 for location. 
12:45 pm, Northwest Day Unit, @ IONA Senior Services, 4125 Albemarle St., NW, Cochairs: June Bashkin 337-0949 & Barbara Kemp 362-4529
6:30 pm, In-Town Evening Unit, at the Irish Channel Restaurant & Pub, 500 H St., NW in Chinatown, 1 block from Gallery PI/Chinatown Metro. We will reserve tables for the meeting. Members can chose to eat or not. Please call Sheila Willet by 3 pm on the 29th at 347-3020 if you plan to attend. 


9:45 am, Upper 16th Street Unit, at the home of Paula McKann, 4709 16th St. NW, 829-0656 


9:45 am, Chevy Chase/Ingleside Unit, in the Lounge @ 3050 Military Rd., NW. Co-chairs: Ruth Allen 362-8953, Leslie Dunbar 364-6457, Joan Wilson 237-6264
7:30 pm, The Evening Unit, at the home of Naomi Glass, 5533 33rd St., NW 686-0124

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CALENDAR — October 2002

    1 2 10:00 am, LWVDC Board Mtg. 3 4 5
6 7 12:30 pm, Unit Council 8 Nov. DC Voter Deadline 9 10:00 am, Education Comm. 10 12-1:30 pm, Globalization: Who Makes the Rules? 11 12
13 14 15 Unit Meetings; 9:45 am, Southwest; 12:45 pm, Northwest Day; 6:30 pm, InTown Evening 16 Unit Meeting, 9:45 am, Upper 16th St. 17 Unit Meetings; 9:45 am, Chevy Chase/Ingleside; 7:30 pm, Evening 18 19
20  21 6:30 pm, Candidate Forum, MLK Library 22 12:30 pm, Healthcare Comm
6:30 pm, IR Comm. Speaker Mtg.
23 24 25 Nov. DC Voter mailed 26
27 28 11:30 am, Brown Bag Dialogue on Emergency Preparedness 29 30 31    

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September 12, 2002

TO: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
FROM: Kay J. Maxwell, President
RE: Election Administration Reform

The League of Women Voters urges you to ensure that this Congress passes comprehensive election reform legislation that includes enforceable federal requirements and that does not roll back existing protections for voting rights.

Already, the American people have had to wait too long for Congress to begin to fix the nationwide problems exposed by the 2000 election. Now, with Florida again experiencing problems in the 2002 primary, the need for federal action is even more apparent.

We believe that clear and effective national requirements are needed in three key areas. First, voting systems standards will protect against high voting machine error rates and enhance access for persons with disabilities. These standards also will assure that voters can verify and correct their ballots, as well as be notified of overvotes. Second, a national requirement should assure that voters can receive provisional ballots. This fail-safe system means that if a voter's name is not found on the registration list at the polls, or if other problems occur, the voter can still cast a ballot that will be counted if the voter's eligibility is confirmed. Third, statewide computerized voter registration lists should be required. This facilitates removal of duplicate registrations across jurisdictions, provides greater assurance that names will be on the rolls, and streamlines administration while combating possible fraud.

To be effective, however, national requirements must be enforceable. To ensure that basic protections are fulfilled, enforcement mechanisms must be part of the federal legislation.

It is also vitally important that existing protections against discrimination and erroneous purging of voters not be turned back. Disturbingly, House conferees made an offer in July that would undermine the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act while reinstating the discredited practice of purging eligible voters if they choose not to vote.

America deserves an election system that will protect the most basic and precious right of all citizens in a democracy - the right to vote.- Each citizen's right to vote, and to have that vote fairly counted, is at stake. We urge you to seek enactment of strong election reform legislation.

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