ACLU Responds to Appeals Court Decision Allowing California Recall Vote to Go Forward

September 23, 2003 12:00 am

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Statement of ACLU of California, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, NAACP California State Conference of Branches and Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES -- We are disappointed by the Ninth Circuit's decision allowing the Oct. 7 recall election to go forward. We remain firmly convinced that using voting equipment officially declared by the state to be obsolete, in a number of counties with a high concentration of minority voters, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act.

Indeed, we continue to believe that the geographical and racial disparities at issue in this case are far more troubling than the legal claims presented in Bush v. Gore. As a result, we remain deeply concerned over the fairness and accuracy of California's October 7 election. We can only hope, along with all Californians, that it will not turn into another Florida debacle.

With the election just two weeks away, we do not believe we should prolong the uncertainty any longer. At this point, it is important that the candidates, the campaigns, and the voters know that the election will be held on a date that is certain.

Therefore, we have reluctantly decided to accept the Ninth Circuit's verdict and will not ask the Supreme Court to review the decision. We will, however, press forward vigorously with our national campaign for election reform and will fight to ensure the fairness and accuracy of all voting procedures in every future election, including the 2004 Presidential contest.

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