Progressive Politics for a New CenturyGrassroots Democracy
GREEN CANDIDATE WINS NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENT
The Green Party of Mississippi is proud to announce that its candidate for Election Commissioner in Hinds County District 5, Jan Hillegas, has received the endorsement of the Jackson Free Press. The entire text of the endorsement can be read at www.jacksonfreepress.com.
In its statement of endorsement, the Free Press stated, "[W]e are endorsing Green Party candidate Jan Hillegas....She has fresh ideas that we believe will be good for this position." Jan has worked for many years on behalf of the people of Mississippi. She has spoken out about the need for security and a voter-verifiable paper trail in all voting machines. She also has spoken out in support of Instant Run-off Voting, an election reform that could increase citizen and candidate participation and save millions in tax dollars by eliminating run-off elections. She will serve the people of Hinds County as an energetic Election Commissioner and will raise the level of public awareness and discourse about election issues.
Further, the Jackson Free Press noted, "This is a good opportunity to elect a qualified third-party candidate in Mississippi, and we support Hillegas’ bid." John M. Wages, Jr., State Chair, noted, "We greatly appreciate the endorsement by the Jackson Free Press, and we thank all the people who have expressed their support for our undertaking. Judging from the reception I've gotten in my own campaign in Lee County, the Green Party may not be a third party much longer. Green values are Mississippi values. We have a vision for the future, of a time when people will enjoy a higher quality of life by every measure. We have chosen to begin with these three Election Commissioner races because clean elections are crucial to that future. Elections are the vital heart of our democracy, and our elected Commissioners will safeguard the vote in the letter and spirit of the law. They will always be a voice for change that puts the people of Mississippi first."
The Green Party looks forward to presenting additional highly qualified progressive candidates at all levels in future Mississippi elections. If you believe we can do better, if you believe Mississippi can have a bright future, if you want change that cuts to the root of the problems we face, we want to hear from you.
Green Party of Mississippi Presents
September 3, 2004
The Green Party of Mississippi announces that 3 candidates will appear on its ballot line in the November election, in addition to its Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. In 2003, the Green Party nominated Sherman Lee Dillon for Governor. Mr. Dillon's candidacy introduced issues that otherwise would not have been discussed. Our 2004 candidates for Election Commissioner likewise will draw attention to voting issues.
Green candidates for Election Commissioner, if elected, will conduct the business of the office in a nonpartisan manner. They will push for Election Commission meetings that are open to the public and that actively seek community input. They have pledged to seek ways to increase voter registration and turnout in their districts. They also intend to speak out regarding the new voting machines that Mississippi will begin to implement in 2005, as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Current specifications call for the machines to produce a voter-verifiable paper trail. That's good, but the people of Mississippi must insist that this requirement not be compromised because of cost or any other reason. Furthermore, the new machines should be able to tabulate the results of instant runoff voting (IRV). Mississippi should become the first state in the nation to adopt IRV for all elections. Our governor and legislature are working to eliminate 65,000 of our poorest citizens from Medicaid to save money; IRV could save the state millions of dollars by eliminating costly run-off elections.
"In the process of collecting signatures on my petition to run for Election Commissioner, an amazing number of people told me they were not registered to vote. If you don't vote, you're letting someone else make decisions for you ¾ decisions like your taxes, the quality of your children's schools, the upkeep of your roads, and the cost of a driver's license," noted John Wages of Tupelo. "The right to vote is one of the most important rights of citizenship," said Victor Fleitas, candidate for Election Commissioner, 4th District, Lee County, "Register and vote!
The Green Party looks forward to presenting additional highly qualified progressive candidates at all levels in future Mississippi elections.
Green Party Candidates in November 2, 2004 General Election
Victor I. Fleitas for Election Commissioner, District 4, Lee County
Mr. Fleitas has been practicing law in Tupelo for 8 years. He served in the United States Air Force Reserve from 1986 to 1992 and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law with honors. He currently serves on the State Executive Committee of the Green Party of Mississippi.
Jan Hillegas for Election Commissioner, District 5, Hinds County
Jan Hillegas is a longtime human rights and peace activist in Hinds County. She served on the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee for 8 years, specializing in trying to improve the election process for voters. In 2002, she was a founding member of the Green Party of Mississippi.
John M. Wages, Jr. for Election Commissioner, District 3, Lee County
Mr. Wages is a native Mississippian who graduated from Tupelo High School in 1978 and earned degrees from Mississippi State and Johns Hopkins Universities. He worked in medical research for 20 years and founded two biomedical research companies. He returned home to Lee County in 2001 and is now a consultant, teacher, farmer, and writer. He is Chair of the Green Party of Mississippi.
David Cobb & Pat LaMarche for President & Vice President of the United States
David Cobb, from Eureka, California, and Pat LaMarche of Maine, have been active in Green Party politics for many years. Their campaign will speak for our values: American values like peace and democracy, and Mississippi values like local control and social justice.
JAN HILLEGAS for HINDS COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONER, District 5
September 3, 2004
I’ve just come from filing the necessary statement and certified petitions to qualify as a candidate for the Hinds County Election Commission for District 5 in the November 2nd general election.
Election commissioners have the responsibility of preparing the voting places, machines, poll workers, and materials so that every voter’s choices are counted and every election day is as voter-friendly as possible. As a member of the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee from 1992 to 2000, I worked hard for improvements in the election process, but I was not successful. Today, I am asking voters in Hinds County District 5 to give me the opportunity to work as a member of the Election Commission to make those improvements.
The easiest improvement would be for the Hinds County Election Commission to announce its meetings in advance, so voters can observe the processes and discussion of issues. I’ve been told that the next meeting of the Election Commission will be held on Monday, September 13, at 10 AM, at the Commission’s office on the ground floor of the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson. I encourage all concerned citizens to attend if you can, to take a look at what the Commission does and how it does its very important work that affects all voters.
Our Hinds County Election Commission purchased electronic voting machines not long ago, without a process of citizen input. There is a growing realization nationwide that, while electronic machines may be voter-friendly, they are computers and can be manipulated to alter and steal the votes of unsuspecting voters. I call on those who are concerned about whether their votes will be counted correctly to work with me on a voluntary paper ballot exit poll in one or more precincts on November 2 that can be compared to the official machine vote.
I have already started to meet with community associations and hope to hear from any organization or group of friends in District 5 who would like more information about the Election Commission and my candidacy and want to be actively involved in helping me do the best job possible as your District 5 Election Commissioner.
I’m now a member of the Green Party of Mississippi, which has had ballot status here since 2002. Long-term goals of the Green Party include campaign finance reform, instant runoff voting, and automatic voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences and court supervision. Let me introduce two colleagues in the Green Party who are candidates for the Lee County Election Commission - John Wages, our State Chair, and Victor Fleitas, also a member of the State Executive Committee.