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Clinton in Florida: The Right To Vote and Be Counted, Is the Battle Since Slavery

May 21, 2008 (EIRNS)—With her speech today in Palm Beach, Sen. Hillary Clinton has also placed Floridians' Constitutional right to have their votes fully counted, in the long progress of ending slavery and winning the right to vote for Black Americans and women. Clinton was speaking to senior citizens, some of whom lost their votes in the Florida recount debacle in the 2000 Presidential election.

She did it while making clear she is continuing until the Democratic National Convention, if necessary, to win this fight for Florida and Michigan, and calling on Sen. Barack Obama to join it.

On slavery or the right to vote: "In each successive generation, this nation was blessed by men and women who refused to accept their assigned place as second-class citizens ... The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery, and ensure that freedom came with the full right of citizenship."

On the Constitutional principle: "We have certain core rights that no government can abridge, and these rights are rooted in, and sustained by the principle that our Founders set forth in the Declaration of Independence. That a just government derives its power from the consent of the governed, that each of us should have an equal voice in determining the destiny of our nation."

On the Florida disenfrachisement of 2000 — by corporate purging of public voter lists, Wall Street lawyers' disruption of recounts, and Supreme Court overrule: "We believe that the outcome of our elections should be determined by the will of the people. Nothing more, nothing less. And we believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000 when, right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when you're votes aren't counted and a candidate with fewer votes is determined the winner.

"I believe the Democratic Party must count these votes. They should count them exactly as they were cast.

"Some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules. I say that not counting Michigan and Florida is changing a central governing rule of this country—that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their votes should be counted."