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Opening Day Considered a "Major Success" by Government, Consumer Groups

Washington, DC /DenounceNewswire/ -- 29 June 2003 -- Striking back against politicians from every point on the political spectrum, American consumers came out in force on Friday, registering more than 1.2 million names to the new national do-not-vote list on its opening day.

"We're tired of the lies, the greed, the power-grabs, the media, the war, you name it," said Galen Kendrick, chairman of the Why Bother foundation, based in Bethesda, MD. "The elections are decided by lobby and corporate money anyway, who are they trying to kid."

At times, the donotvote.gov website's servers were so busy, consumers had to wait for hours before the home page appeared on their browsers. "It was almost as bad as standing in line to vote," says Kendrick.

"We figured we'd have a big response, but this demand was way beyond anything we planned for," admitted Blanche Daffney, a spokesperson for the Federal Elections Commission, an agency which recently received major budget cuts and massive layoffs as part of the White House's "Shape Up or Ship Out" program. However, the agency was able to get more servers online by mid-afternoon in time for the evening activity.

The do-not-vote service enables American consumers to decline to vote in any future elections, be they local, state, or national. Any political parties, candidates, or other organizations who attempt to contact people registered through the service are liable for a $1,000,000 fine or life imprisonment, whichever comes first. The service automatically removes voter registration records which for many states means these individuals will no longer be able to participate in a jury --- a fact that critics claim is the real reason so many people are signing up to sign out.

"It's the beginning of the end of democracy as we know it," says Steve Stalgia, director of Americans for Democracy, a special interest group which fought hard to prevent the do-not-vote list from going on-line. "By signing up on this list, people are under the delusion that becoming permanently disqualified from jury duty is a good thing."

President George W. Bush and Senator Chuck Hagel, who together originally sponsored the do-not-vote program, dismissed the criticism as un-American. "We're giving the people what they want," Bush said.

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