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Voting Official Seeks Election Cancellation Process In Case Of 'Terrorism'

DeForest B. Soaries, chairman of a new federal voting commission, says the government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again.
Voting official seeks process for canceling Election Day over terrorism

Friday, June 25, 2004

BY ERICA WERNER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON - The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.

Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.

Soaries was appointed to the federal Election Assistance Commission last year by President Bush. Soaries said he wrote to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in April to raise the concerns.

``I am still awaiting their response,'' he said. ``Thus far we have not begun any meaningful discussion.'' Spokesmen for Rice and Ridge did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Soaries noted that Sept. 11, 2001, fell on Election Day in New York City - and he said officials there had no rules to follow in making the decision to cancel the election and hold it later.

Events in Spain, where a terrorist attack shortly before the March election possibly influenced its outcome, show the need for a process to deal with terrorists threatening or interrupting the Nov. 2 presidential election in America, he said.

``Look at the possibilities. If the federal government were to cancel an election or suspend an election, it has tremendous political implications. If the federal government chose not to suspend an election it has political implications,'' said Soaries, a Republican and former secretary of state of New Jersey.

``Who makes the call, under what circumstances is the call made, what are the constitutional implications?'' he said. ``I think we have to err on the side of transparency to protect the voting rights of the country.''

Soaries said his bipartisan, four-member commission might make a recommendation to Congress about setting up guidelies.

``I'm hopeful that there are some proposals already being floated. If there are, we're not aware of them. If there are not, we will probably try to put one on the table,'' he said.

Soaries also said he's met with a former New York state elections director to discuss how officials there handled the Sept. 11 attacks from the perspective of election administration. He said the commission is getting information from New York documenting the process used there.

``The states control elections, but on the national scale where every state has its own election laws and its own election chief, who's in charge?'' he said.

Soaries also said he wants to know what federal officials are doing to increase security on Election Day. He said security officials must take care not to allow heightened security measures to intimidate minority voters, but that local and state election officials he's talked to have not been told what measures to expect.

``There's got to be communication,'' he said, ``between law enforcement and election officials in preparation for November.''

homepage: homepage: http://www.freep.com/news/latestnews/pm20449_20040625.htm
address: address: The Associated Press via Detroit Free Press

Hehehe... 04.Jul.2004 16:13

Tony Blair's dog

"I think we have to err on the side of transparency to protect the voting rights of the country."


wasn't that what happened back in 2000?

my prediction. 04.Jul.2004 23:07

uuu

King George's buddies will blow up several thousand people in the streets of NYC in September again, blame "the terrorists," and declare a "state of emergency." They won't actually suspend the elections. They'll just put thugs with machine guns on the way to all the polling booths, to make sure no unsavory "security risks" make it to the polls -- just like Florida in 2000, except a little more thorough. I mean, look how well it worked last time. Why take chances doing something really way out like "suspending" elections, when all you have to do is "secure" them?

umm... 05.Jul.2004 07:40

eek

"Such guidelines [for supsending the election] do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel."

I think there's a reason for that.

Also, yeah I should know better, but WHY aren't the Dems going after this story (and the e-voting fraud) instead of wasting their energy on Nader? Are they TRYING to throw the election?

eek, 05.Jul.2004 10:21

zero_sum0g

The Democrats could care less. They didn't raise a whimper on the occasion of the 2000 judicial coup - you won't hear a peep out of them in this case either.

Hell, they have multitudes of grounds for impeachment of the whole Bu$h administration, yet won't even discuss it. They know their place.

heh, it was a rhetorical question 05.Jul.2004 15:12

eek

Everybody should know by now, the dems're completely spineless. "Pragmatism", my ass.

Freudian Slip? 11.Jul.2004 18:14

Anonymous ??

Soaries said his bipartisan, four-member commission might make a recommendation to Congress about setting up guidelies.

"guidelies" ??? Is this some kind of Freudian Slip?

Is anyone surprised 12.Jul.2004 13:04

Joematrix

After 2000 I "predicted" that the next election would likely not occur. That was well before 9/11. It is clear that this group of "new world order" people have their agenda down pat and have enough control of things not to worry much about how the people might respond. Hell, people get more upset about gas prices than they do about the government being taken by illegal means.

We do in fact get the government we deserve.

The Hitler way is the way to go! 15.Jul.2004 17:24

Scared Guy

Hmm, let's recall, how did our good old buddy Hitler do it in those shiny years back then?

1. Wait until 10% of people got jobless and promise to improve the situation after the upcoming election
2. Faked a couple of votings in the election so he became the leader of the country
3. Pretended another country (poland) had attacked his country
4. Scared people and changed a couple of laws on personal freedom and added some on national 'security'
5. Started a war
6. Started another war
7. Scared people some more and changed some more laws
8. recontinued at 2.

Anything looks known to you here?

Cancelling an election is an act of terrorism 15.Jul.2004 23:38

Steve Anderson

Cancelling an election is, in and of itself, an act of terrorism.