Friday, June 06, 2008

Let Every Vote Count in Fairfax This November

This press release just came from Leslie Byrne's campaign:

Byrne Asks Election Board to Hand-Count All Absentee Votes, Calls on Fellow Candidates to Join Her Effort

Fairfax, VA – Former Congresswoman Leslie Byrne today delivered a formal request to Robert K. Sparks, Chairman of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, asking the Board to hand-count all paper absentee ballots in the 11th congressional district Democratic primary to ensure accurate tabulation. Byrne made this request in response to a notification of problems stemming from the printing of the absentee ballots, which have resulted in some cases of legitimate ballots being initially rejected by the ballot reader. Byrne believes that hand-counting all paper absentee ballots is necessary to prevent votes from being misread or overlooked.

Byrne is also calling on her fellow candidates in the Democratic primary race to join her in requesting a hand count. She feels that this issue bridges the divides between candidates.

"I firmly believe that every absentee ballot must be counted fairly and accurately, and a hand count is the only way that we can ensure that it happens. I cannot imagine any candidate in this race disagreeing with that view," said Byrne.

In her letter to the Board of Elections, Byrne emphasized the importance of guaranteeing the constitutional right of every citizen to vote. She feels that a democracy cannot function unless the people believe that election results reflect their choices, and she will actively work with the Board and with her opponents to ensure that there is no doubt about the accuracy of the results in the primary on June 10.
In addition to this wise precaution, now might be the time to also discuss a paper trail even for the touch screen voting machines that Fairfax County uses. If we really want to make sure every vote counts, we must address the issue of unreliable voting machines and the need for a paper trail to verify votes, especially in the event of close races, where there are recounts.

You don't have to have malfeasance to have a malfunctioning machine.


Anonymous said...


In Virginia, a Key Primary
Our choice on the Democratic congressional ballot: Gerald Connolly

Saturday, June 7, 2008; A14

WITH THE DECISION by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R) not to seek reelection from Northern Virginia's 11th Congressional District, Democrats are eyeing the vacancy as one of their more promising prospects for picking up a seat this fall. The 11th District, comprising a chunk of Fairfax County and part of Prince William County, has been increasingly friendly territory for Democrats during this decade. Mr. Davis, with the advantage of long years in local government before moving to Congress, is one of a vanishing breed of moderate Republicans who have been able to keep winning there.

His departure set the stage for a spirited, at times venomous, primary campaign among four Democratic candidates, two of whom are experienced public figures: Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Leslie L. Byrne, whose political résumé includes stints in Virginia's House of Delegates and Senate, a post in the Clinton administration and, from 1993 to 1995, a term in the U.S. House representing the 11th District (she was defeated by Mr. Davis).

On the primary ballot on Tuesday, the clear choice is Mr. Connolly, who, as the senior elected official in Virginia's most populous jurisdiction, has been a nimble, energetic advocate for Fairfax County. A member of the county board for 13 years and a formidable civic activist before that, he has been a force in shaping policy in Northern Virginia and regionally.

Mr. Connolly is not universally beloved; he can be thin-skinned and hardheaded. But there is no denying his dedication and effectiveness on a range of issues affecting the region, including climate change, transportation and affordable housing.

Ms. Byrne has backing from unions and other progressive groups. But her sharp-elbow tactics have injected a toxic note into most of the campaigns she has run, raising doubt about her ability to work cooperatively on regional issues in Congress.

The Washington area's congressional delegation has a tradition of bipartisanship; Mr. Connolly is a better bet to fit that mold.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Thank you for pointing that out to me. I believe I answer it in today's post, above this one.