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Honorable XXX XXX
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. XXX

I am contacting you today on behalf of a large, growing coalition of grassroots organizations composed of Americans who are seriously concerned about the upcoming federal election.

Whether voiced aloud or kept inside, the concern most shared by Americans today about the election can be best described with these two questions: "Do we really want 50 Floridas erupting simultaneously in November?" and, perhaps more importantly, "If we allow this to happen, will our country actually survive such a crisis? Voters Unite! and our coalition partners believe that the majority of Americans unhesitatingly answer the first question, "NO!", and answer the second with a quieter "no" that reveals their dread and despair.

It is not hard to step back and see what is causing such a high level of unease about the upcoming elections: (a) the extreme polarization in our country today, (b) the rapidly growing skepticism about electronic voting, (c) the legions of attorneys being amassed by both major parties, and (d) the abundance of lawsuits that have already been filed in recent months. We look like a nation preparing to go to war with each other, which is a very sad and sobering thought.

But there is a very sound solution for averting this pending national crisis: hand-counted paper ballots for Federal races. Our immediate goal, therefore, is to convince a majority of the members of Congress from both parties to quickly enact an emergency measure that codifies this transparent voting method for all Federal races in the upcoming November election.

The proposed measure is named the "Federal Paper Ballot Emergency Act of 2004" and it states quite simply:

Federal Paper Ballot Emergency Act of 2004
(1) All votes for Federal offices (President, Vice President, Senators, Representatives) shall be cast on paper ballots for the November 2004 general election.

(2) All such votes cast in person (including early voting votes) shall be hand counted from the original ballots at the polling places where the votes were cast, and the manual count shall constitute the official count of the votes.

(3) Hand-counted, polling place totals for all Federal offices shall be prominently posted at the polling places before the ballots are transported to the central facility.

(4) In any jurisdiction where votes for Federal office are cast on punch card or optical scan ballots and also counted by machine, the machine totals for Federal offices shall also be posted at the location where the votes are machine-counted.

(5) All absentee votes for Federal offices shall be cast on paper and hand counted from the original ballots at a predetermined, publicly-announced place and time, and the totals shall be prominently posted at the central election office immediately on completion of the counting.

(6) This act is effective on the date of enactment.

I strongly believe that Congress must do whatever is possible to prevent this pending national meltdown in November. Nothing short of passing this legislation and assuring its swift implementation will avert the civil disruption that will occur if nothing is done.

I understand that this emergency measure is not a permanent solution to the election system crisis. In fact, it is very modest but, at the same time, quite powerful in protecting the 2004 vote count and assuring the country of an unquestionable election outcome. I submit the argument that this measure will actually encourage Americans to vote with the confidence that their vote will count, thereby increasing voter turnout. And certainly, this will reduce the potential millions of dollars in lawsuits that could delay the election results and create unprecedented chaos, not only for the U.S., but for the rest of the world as well. This is certainly not the predicament in which we should be in these "post-9/11" times.

Because the fall election is only two moths away, this effort must move very quickly. The first crucial hurdle is to find bi-partisan sponsors for this legislation in both the Senate and House. Since I am a constituent of your congressional district, I am most pleased to invite you to be one of the original sponsors of this bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. With the anticipated outpouring of letters, e-mails, faxes, and calls from our large multi-faceted group of supporters to all members of Congress, I believe an overwhelming majority of your fellow House members will sign on once the bill is introduced.

I would very much like to meet with you in person to discuss your vital part in this historic effort to stop this run-away election train.

Sincerely yours,


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