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Greens support decertification of voting machines, call for greater reforms to restore 'voter confidence,' including giving 17-year-olds, immigrants right to vote

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (August 8, 2007) - Secretary of State Debra Bowen's decertification of several voting machines late Friday is, in fact, only a modest first step in restoring democracy and voter confidence in California, said the Green Party of California today, urging the SOS to go even further in reforming the state voting system.

"Secretary of State Bowen was correct to limit the use of hackable voting machines, which have raised questions about the validity of individuals votes. There should be auditable paper trails for electronic voting machines and public access to the data and software on the computers that record and count votes," said Tom Bolema, a member GPCA Media Committee.

Greens have urged, for years, that other measures, other than questioning faulty and non-transparent voting equipment, should be taken to restore voter confidence, discourage voter apathy and bring more democracy to elections

"It is no secret that our democracy is in crisis here. Voter turnout last year set a record low, and for the past decade the average turnout of eligible voters in non-Presidential election years hovers around 40 percent," said Forrest Hill last year during his campaign for Secretary of State on the Green Party ticket.

The California Green Party approved a resolution at its state convention in May calling for the lowering of the minimum voting age to 17. Greens also support giving undocumented immigrants the right to vote, especially in local elections where immigrants work and live.

The Green Party promotes proportional representation, encourages the use of ranked choice voting - which has been approved by voters in Oakland recently with Green Party financial backing - and true campaign financing reforms, including public financing of campaigns.

"Instant Runoff Voting allows voters more freedom to choose among all candidates, regardless of party. Our antiquated winner-take-all voting system discriminates against non-major party candidates and discourages citizens from voting for candidates they truly support," said Dr. Bob Vizzard, the co-coordinator of the GPCA Electoral Reform Working Group.

-30-

Contacts:
Crescenzo Vellucci, State Press Office, 916.996.9170,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles), 310.270.7106,
Dr. Bob Vizzard (Sacramento), 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff (Southern California), 310.422.2211,
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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