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Greens: Enforce 14th Amendment's 'Right to Vote' Provision.


October 18, 2004

Scott McLarty, Media Coor., 202-518-5624, cell 202-487-0693,
Nancy Allen, Media Coor., 207-326-4576,
Michele Tingling-Clemmons, co-chair, Black Caucus, 202-397-2277,
Asa Gordon, Chair, Electoral College Task Force, D.C. Statehood Green Party, 202-635-7926,


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States has endorsed a statement calling for enforcement of the 14th Amendment's guarantee that voters enjoy equal protection and treatment in their representation by the Electoral College. 

In the statement, Greens demand "that apportionment of Electoral College votes reflect the actual votes within states." The statement addresses the failure to enforce Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the lack of democracy in the state-based winner-take-all apportionment of Electoral College votes. The text of the position statement is appended below.

"It took nearly a century to enforce Section 1, the equal protection provision of the 14th Amendment. Let's not let another century pass to enforce Section 2, the right to vote provision," said Asa Gordon, executive director of the Douglass Institute of Government, chair of the D.C. Statehood Green Party's Electoral College Task Force, and member of the party's national Black Caucus. "This is the civil rights issue of the new millennium."

Greens note that the 14th Amendment was enacted after the Civil War to ensure equal protection for all citizens, especially for African Americans newly freed from slavery. By the late 19th century, the 14th Amendment was instead used to protect business interests, after the Supreme Court extended the legal status of 'persons' to corporations.

The equal protection guarantee in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was enforced after the reforms of the civil rights movement, but Section 2 has been ignored -- especially in 2000 when obstruction of votes (especially those of many African Americans) by Republicans resulted in Florida's Electoral College votes going to George W. Bush.

"The Green Party's Black Caucus has endorsed this effort to democratize the electoral process knowing fully and personally the impact of being denied our franchise," said Michele Tingling-Clemmons, co-chair of the Black Caucus and D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate for City Council (Ward 7) in Washington, D.C. "The blatant disregard of our voting rights in 2000 in Florida illustrates the critical importance of enforcing this constitutional protection. We urge all Americans who care about fairness of our elections and the future of our republic to join us in calling for these reforms."


The Green Party of the United States supports efforts to address presidential Electoral College abuses, democratize the electoral process, and ensure that voters enjoy equal protection and treatment in their representation by the Electoral College.

The Green Party calls on the U.S. government to enforce Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was originally intended to correct the disenfranchisement of African Americans following emancipation.

This Amendment is a mandate for the reduction of state representatives to the United States Congress and the Electoral College, proportionate to the disenfranchised class of its citizens' deprived of the Constitutional 'right to vote' in national elections.

The Green Party demands that apportionment of Electoral College votes reflect the actual votes within states.

The Green Party holds that awarding Electoral College votes on a 'winner-take-all' basis constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of the right of all American citizens to have their votes counted, effectively disenfranchising them and violating Section 2 of the 14th Amendment.

The Green Party of the United States encourages all public policy organizations and political parties that champion democratic electoral rights to support this demand and affirm that every vote be counted.

U.S. CONSTITUTION, 14th Amendment, Section 2 (excerpted): "...[W]hen the right to vote... is denied... or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens... in such State."


The Green Party of the United States
1711 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

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