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Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »

The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Election Reform Law Disenfranchises Voters

A New Report from The Century Foundation Finds the Election Reform Law That Was Supposed to Improve the Voting Process is Being Used to Disenfranchise Some Voters


NYC, N.Y., 10/20/04-In 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to respond to the presidential election debacle of 2000 and improve the voting process. The new law-while considered by many to be less than ideal-had broad bipartisan support and promised to be a first step toward improving elections and expanding accessibility to voters who had been historically disenfranchised.
Yet, in a new report, "Playing Games with Democracy," Tova Andrea Wang, senior program officer and democracy fellow at The Century Foundation, reveals that in many jurisdictions around the country, the law is being implemented in ways that will disenfranchise voters rather than ensure that every eligible citizen can vote and that every vote is counted.

"The fears many harbored about the effects of the voter identification provision are being realized," Wang says. "Moreover, even parts of HAVA that few objected to or that were not much noticed are now being applied in ways that pervert the law's original overarching purpose. At every point in the process, from voter registration to vote counting, some administrators and politicians are now exploiting HAVA to prevent Americans from exercising their right to vote."

In the report, Wang takes us through the voting process and presents the obstacles that confront the voter at every turn. She also details all of the lawsuits occurring around the country, from Ohio to Florida to Colorado that challenge these barriers.

The new obstacles and lawsuits discussed in the report include the use of technical requirements in the voter registration forms to disqualify applications; the deliberate destruction of voter registration applications; inaccurate felon purge lists; attempts to disenfranchise students; abuses of new voter identification requirements; restrictive rules regarding the casting and counting of provisional ballots; hurdles confronted by overseas voters; problems with voting machines-both new computerized ones and the old punch card machines; and instances of possible voter intimidation already occurring before most polls have even opened.

In discussing these largely new and unforeseen impediments to voting that have arisen, Wang says, "No one believed that the Help America Vote Act would solve all of our problems, and indeed it should be remembered that many of its provisions do not even kick in until 2006. Clearly, however, the law was not supposed to make matters worse. It is sad to note that it is the actions of some administrators and elected officials that threaten to make this one of the most troubled elections in U.S. history-again."

The report is available online at It is part of The Century Foundation's ongoing work on election reform and the Help America Vote Act. Tova Wang is available for interviews and backgrounders on this report and other issues related to election reform and the 2004 elections. Please contact Christy Hicks at or (212) 452-7723 for more information.

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation