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Sept. 25th, 2001

Ballot Eaters in Court - will eat subpoenas   

Edmonton - Three ballot eaters will appear in court tomorrow, charged with eating their ballots a full ten months ago during the last federal election. The three belong to the Edible Ballot Society, which has members across Canada dissatisfied with the lack of genuine democracy in our electoral system.

The society has also learned that more of its members will be charged, perhaps as early as this week, while the investigation of other society members continues.

The three alleged ballot eaters intend to eat their subpoenas in front of the court house to show their distaste for the criminalization of dissent expressed by Elections Canada in vehemently pursuing the case. They expect the subpoeanas to be just as unpalatable as ballots, and so, they will eat their subpoenas in a banana smoothie.

"Ironically, Elections Canada has once again demonstrated how shallow democracy is in our country. Even those who engage in the most symbolic acts of dissent face prosecution," said Marika Schwandt, one of those who has been charged. "Meanwhile, those in government who continue to undermine democracy, go unchallenged."

During their court appearance tomorrow, the ballot eaters will be demanding that Elections Canada complete their investigation before their court case proceedes. Elections Canada is refusing to disclose which ballot eaters are yet to be charged, and the Society has found it impossible to mount a defense without this information.

Other ballot eaters need to know if they will be charged so that they can share legal expenses, and a common defense.

"This bizarre investigation has been hanging over our heads for almost a year," said Angela Davis, 26, who is one of the targets of the investigation. "The situation is Kafka-esque. We would like to get on with our lives."

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts are getting underway to support the Ballot Society's Legal Defense and Kitchen Appliance Fund. The experimental music collective "Smoothie Concoction", as well as DJ Bean Bizniz, have already offered to hold a benifit concert for the group. Those with extra cash can also make a donation by emailing wrench@tao.ca.

UPDATE: Election's Canada has decided to prosecute each ballot eater separately. That could mean 10-15 inidividual trials, all before different judges. Presumably this is to make sharing the cost of a single lawyer impossible, however, it will also make the trials unbelievable expensive for taxpayers.

If you wish to ridicule the bizarre actions of Elections Canada, you can write to them at 257 Slater St. Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0M6, or email them at through their web page here.



For more info email edibleballot@tao.ca.

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