November 4, 2004: Headlines: COS - Togo: Elections2004: The News-Press: Francois Boko decided to come to Southwest Florida at the invitation of his friend Naples attorney Steve Grogoza, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo to watch the elections process in the United States

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Togo: Peace Corps Togo : The Peace Corps in Togo: November 4, 2004: Headlines: COS - Togo: Elections2004: The News-Press: Francois Boko decided to come to Southwest Florida at the invitation of his friend Naples attorney Steve Grogoza, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo to watch the elections process in the United States

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-21-111.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.21.111) on Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 2:41 pm: Edit Post

Francois Boko decided to come to Southwest Florida at the invitation of his friend Naples attorney Steve Grogoza, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo to watch the elections process in the United States

Francois Boko decided to come to Southwest Florida at the invitation of his friend  Naples attorney Steve Grogoza, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo  to watch the elections process in the United States

Francois Boko decided to come to Southwest Florida at the invitation of his friend Naples attorney Steve Grogoza, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo to watch the elections process in the United States

Election impresses Togolese official

He hopes to incorporate policies in homeland
By DENES HUSTY III
dhusty@news-press.com
Published by news-press.com on November 4, 2004

One observer of the elections in Southwest Florida on Tuesday night said he came away with a greater faith in the democratic process.

Francois Boko, 39, wasn't an observer for either major political party or one of several attorneys hovering around the Collier County elections office to make sure there was no voter fraud.

Boko is the minister of the interior and security for the West African nation of Togo.

His country a former French colony became a democracy in 1991.

Togo is still fine-tuning its electoral process, Boko said.

So he decided to come to Southwest Florida at the invitation of his friend Naples attorney Steve Grogoza, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo to watch the elections process in the United States, Boko said.

What impressed him the most and what he intends to incorporate into Togolese process is the way minor disputes about votes and procedures are handled here, Boko said.

Issues such as which absentee ballots will count and which ones won't because they weren't signed or dated or for some other infraction are settled here by the local canvassing board with observers of both major parties, Boko said.

In Togo, even minor issues regarding the election process are handled by the courts, he said.

"The most impressive thing to me is that when there is a problem, there is a way to resolve the problem publicly. That gives confidence in the system," Boko said.

He said he also learned that while people may disagree about politics, they can walk into the polling place, cast their votes and walk out and still be friends.

In Togo, fights sometimes break out in polling places, Boko said. He said all Togolese polling places are staffed with armed police officers.

The Togolese interior minister said he'll incorporate what he learned here into the elections process in his country, where there are some 3 million voters.

There is also something about elections that United States officials can learn from Togo, Boko said.

In Togo, there is a centralized computer base listing every registered voter, which makes it easy to stop people who try to register twice in different areas, Boko said.

Grogoza who was a voluntary observer for last year's presidential election in Togo said he may return to observe the parliamentary elections.





When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: The News-Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Togo; Elections2004

PCOL14607
57

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: