Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Activists express frustration

[media-credit name=’AJ Maclean’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]Rally_AM_400[/media-credit]More than 200 people attended a “rally for disillusionment” at the state Capitol Wednesday night, emphasizing the need for the United States to “return to democracy.”

The rally was comprised of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry supporters, Green Party members and others discouraged with the current state of politics in the country. These people used the rally as an opportunity to vent their frustrations about what they called “corrupt” politics, the two-party political system and the need to ensure every vote is counted.

Ben Manski, a coordinator and former co-chair of the Green Party, said rallies similar to the one in Madison took place across the country Wednesday. Manski said every vote must be counted in Ohio as long as the margin is less than the number of ballots remaining to be counted.


“We have not conceded our democratic rights,” Manski said. “We believe in democracy. We believe in voting rights.”

Mike McCabe, director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said he was concerned with what he considers a waning state of democracy.

“We can all agree at the bare minimum, every last vote should be counted,” McCabe said.

“It doesn’t matter what John Kerry said [Wednesday], we can’t concede our voting rights.”

Future investigations would indicate the truth about what really happened in Ohio and Wisconsin, according to McCabe.

“If we didn’t learn this in 2000, we have to learn in 2004,” he said.

McCabe said he is troubled because of the low percentages of people who have confidence their votes would be counted. He said there is a “crisis of confidence” in the election system needing to be addressed.

McCabe added he is worried with the low number of competitive races at state and local levels. He said many elections are “rigged” because representatives re-draw districts making it impossible to unseat incumbents.

“Ballots give us no choice in who represents us,” McCabe said.

Moe Williams, the head of Veterans for Peace in the Madison Area Coalition, said he is angry Kerry conceded so early and is unhappy about the two-party system.

“I haven’t been this pissed off since I went to Vietnam and found out it was a lie,” Williams said. “Be damned with both parties. It’s time to get people in who represent everyone.”

University of Wisconsin freshman Mac Hannon said he did not feel the election was stolen, but he was upset the Republican Party remains in power.

“I’m really fed up with one party controlling the entire government,” Hannon said.

Hannon added he worked for Kerry’s campaign and agreed with Williams that the senator should have waited longer to concede the election.

“I felt betrayed that Kerry conceded so early,” he said.

Many people attended the rally to find hope for the future of the political system. UW sophomore Bill Anderson said the political system is “corrupt and undemocratic,” but added the rally gave him hope.

Erica Christensen, who is on the executive board of UW College Republicans, said in a phone interview to amend the electoral process, people need to do more than talk about change.

“If they don’t like the Electoral College — if they don’t like the voting system — they need to do more than complain,” Christensen said. “If they honestly think there’s a better way, let’s hear it.”

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