Funny how the people complaining now didn't mind having one party control all three branches during the many many years that party was the Democrats.
I can't think of a single reason to not have such a hotly contested election be counted as carefully as possible.
I can think of at least three right off the top of my head:
1) It isn't possible. Many of the remaining uncounted ballots in Florida are simply too vague, too screwed up, to determine with any degree of certainty what that invididual's intended vote was. To attempt to do so is an art at best, not a science, and the conscious and unconscious biases of the counters will come into play. (Note that in many other countries - Britain for one - all the overvotes/undervotes would have gone into a box called "spoilt ballots" and been detroyed almost immediately, precisely so that this sort of false "interpretation of voter intent" can not be attempted.)
2) It's already been proven that more than 537 fraudulent ballots were cast in Florida; that covers the spread. Because it's impossible to tell which individual ballots were cast by people ineligible to vote (or who voted more than once) it will be impossible to know "who really won."
3) There were at least two other states where the vote was as close as it was in Florida, and several others where it was a little wider but still close enough to be contestable, and it involved enough electoral votes to have mattered. Gore "won" those states, but the Bush campaign chose not to contest the results so that the mess wouldn't have ended up three times as large as it already was (and, admittedly, to also make him appear above the fray). In order to truly know who got the most votes, we'd need 100% recounts in those states as well. A Florida recount is not enough.
Oh, wait, make it four.
4) The article doesn't state it explicitly, but strongly hints, that the paper is examining all the dimples and pinpricks and deciding for themselves whether they're "legitimate" or not. Thus the "results" will be completely unreliable. It's going to be interesting when all the various media "recounts" are done in a few weeks and they all have different numbers.
Oh, one more for good measure, why not.
5) The posts here so far show that most people aren't interested in actually finding out the truth, they just want to be able to say "our side won" as convincingly as possible. Those who read the article will discover that the paper has made this "announcement" even though they've only assigned to Bush or Gore 1,878 of the 5,533 rejected ballots. So at this stage the entire article is meaningless.
Also, by the way, the reason the state has those "arbitrary" deadlines for final certification in the first place is so that someone is eventually declared the victor and the fighting doesn't go on forever. When a race turns out to be that close, someone has to get picked over someone else, even though each recount would have enough of an error factor to conceivably throw the result to a different candidate. Thus the deadline. Practically every other election in American history has been played by these sorts of rules, so the "fairness" of the ultra-never-ending-recount-from-Hell in only this one case is questionable at best. Lord only knows how many politlcal races in the past may have ended differently if only all the rejected ballots had been pulled out and had their "intent determined."posted by aaron at 11:24 PM on December 30, 2000
That's not what the Tampa Tribune is doing, at least not in the quoted article. They state flat out that Bush got 879 of the bad ballots and Gore got 999, with no breakdown of dimples, chads, or anything. And they strongly imply that they made the count themselves, even if other media organizations got to see the ballots at the same time they did.
Props to ZachsMind for one of the more hysterical rants (in both senses of the word) I've seen about this entire election.posted by aaron at 12:36 AM on December 31, 2000
Everyone "counting" them by hand has. (Thus providing one more reason why such recounts cannot be truly accurate.)
What votes each elector *said in public* that they cast, and *what is actually on the ballot* can and may be two different things...
The ballots were counted and certified by each state before being transmitted to Washington. You may view JPEGs of the electoral college certifications of each state on this page from the National Archives. It is over. There will be no surprises.posted by aaron at 11:22 PM on January 2, 2001
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