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PACE New Mexico and others join Voting lawsuit

'For Immediate Release

What: PACE New Mexico and others join the Lopategui vs. Vigil-Giron lawsuit. Santiago Juarez, Executive Director of PACE New Mexico and other community leaders to speak. Attorneys to plaintiffs respond to the Governor’s election reform initiative.

When: Thursday, January 12, 2006, 1:30 PM

Where: The Rotunda - New Mexico State Capitol Building.

January 11, 2006, Santa Fe- Six plaintiffs are to be added to the Lopategui vs. Vigil-Giron lawsuit in a motion to amend the complaint to be filed January 12, 2006. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin use of electronic voting systems responsible for inaccurate and unverifiable results in the last election and before. The new plaintiffs are PACE New Mexico, Voter Action New Mexico, Linda Yardley from Taos Pueblo, Joyce Bartley of Albuquerque, Marilyn Ernest of Las Vegas, and Michael Withnall, also of Las Vegas. Mr. Withnall is legally blind and joined the lawsuit due to his desire for equal access to verifiable voting. “As a visually impaired voter, I have always had difficulty with voting and am strongly in favor of paper ballots that voters like myself can mark and verify with a voter assist device. Only paper ballots are truly verifiable and auditable. I believe I should be entitled to the same access to verifiable voting as a non-visually impaired voter”.

PACE New Mexico - the Progressive Alliance for Community Empowerment - helped with voter registration across the state and particularly in South Albuquerque which saw high numbers of undervote rates when voters voted on electronic voting machines versus low undervotes on paper ballots form those same precincts. “We have been on the sidelines of this issue way too long. Speaking as a lawyer, the evidence is overwhelming that something is awry. We cannot justify our presence in the community requesting democratic response if we cannot assure them and ourselves that our votes will be counted in a way that is accurate and verifiable .” said Santiago Juarez, Executive Director of PACE.

Voter Action is a project of the International Humanities Center

Contact: Holly Jacobson / Voter Action 206 769 7185
Santiago Juarez / PACE New Mexico 505 927 2734

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