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The Secret Vote That Made Bush President
September 9, 2001 11:16 AM   Subscribe

The Secret Vote That Made Bush President Credit actually goes to Drudge who put this up on his site. The irony in this story was the Russian judges telling Supreme Court justices that "in Russia, we would never allow judges to pick the President."
posted by Rastafari (66 comments total)

 
What a difference ONE day would have made. This, of course, proves that the decision was purely political. And no, I'm still not getting over it.
posted by Rastafari at 11:20 AM on September 9, 2001


Hmmm, looks like somebody's trying to sell a book.

"What a difference one day would have made" sounds like a major rationalization in someone's angry mind.

Oh, by the way, Bush still would have won the rerererererecounts even if the decision had gone the other way. So get over it or don't, we don't care.
posted by aaron at 11:30 AM on September 9, 2001



The full Newsweek story is here.

aaron-- that's still undetermined, especially given the blatant illegalities uncovered with overseas ballots. Remember, Bush lost to Gore by half a million votes overall, so if he wants to claim any legitimacy, it must come from a flawless adherence to the legalities of the system. So far, I'm not seeing it.
posted by NortonDC at 11:49 AM on September 9, 2001


Oh, by the way, Bush still would have won the rerererererecounts even if the decision had gone the other way.

I disagree with your assertion. Bush, you may recall, won by less than 600 votes, and subsequent inquiry by mainstream media has led to mixed conclusions. The point, anyway, of this article is that REGARDLESS of who would have won -- Gore won the majority vote, BTW -- the process should have been allowed to play itself out WITHOUT any interference by the Supreme Court for EITHER side.

What would you have said if the Supremes would have ruled for Gore? You'd probably be screaming bloody murder.
posted by Rastafari at 11:50 AM on September 9, 2001


vincent bugliosi's the betrayal of america: how the supreme court undermined the constitution and chose our president might be a good point of reference. i heard an interview with him yesterday on this is hell.
posted by kliuless at 12:16 PM on September 9, 2001


Folks, in baseball there are two rules that every player learns:

1. The umpire is always right.
2. If the umpire is wrong, see rule #1.

Once the umpire makes his call, you let it go and continue playing. It's history and it's time to get on with it.

Bush is the President. It no longer matters how or why he got the office, what's important is that he did get it and was sworn in. Let it go. Rehashing the 2000 election won't change anything.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:22 PM on September 9, 2001


Steven Den Beste--Your assertion is wrong. Inability to affect a change in the current occupant of the White House does not mean inability to change the future occupant, nor does it mean inability to affect the role played by the current occupant.

Knowing what happened, and keeping it foregrounded, frames current events and makes repeats less likely. Finding and knowing the truth has value, for now and for the future.
posted by NortonDC at 12:29 PM on September 9, 2001


i still think it's important, at least from a historical perspective (to find out how it happened!) and if anything it should be the supremes who should be impeached, at least according to vincent bugliosi.
posted by kliuless at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2001


oops, what nortonDC said.
posted by kliuless at 12:37 PM on September 9, 2001


Once the umpire makes his call, you let it go and continue playing. It's history and it's time to get on with it.

In football, the referee's decision is also final, within the context of the match. But the FA Referees' Panel can ensure that a particularly shoddy ref doesn't get the chance to make the same mistake again.

And just to stamp on that analogy a little more: since when do MLB players get to appoint next season's umpires?
posted by holgate at 12:40 PM on September 9, 2001


steven: the part you are missing is that if an "umpire" or any other official in sports makes a mistake on a call it is usually later reviewed by a higher committee which examines that call again so the same mistake doesn't happen again.

i'm not saying the supreme court decision was right or wrong but i find fault w/your let it go and continue playing comment. if you just let every decision that might be questionable just continue w/o going back and considering it and understanding it then you'll continue to allow history to repeat.
posted by suprfli at 12:42 PM on September 9, 2001


steven: i forgot to ask you...where does this whole thing stand on your whole "ten year rule?"
posted by suprfli at 12:45 PM on September 9, 2001


especially given the blatant illegalities uncovered with overseas ballots.

If you're talking about the military votes, there weren't really any illegalities. There were probably some soldiers who sent in votes after Election Day, yes. But according to the law, the only thing that matters with those ballots is when they arrived, not when they were sent. Federal law says those ballots must be accepted by the state for up to ten days after Election Day. Florida's own rules said otherwise, but the federal law trumps it. So sending out such ballots late might have been tacky, might have been against the general spirit of the rules, but it was legal.

In any case, I don't recall those media conclusions being so mixed. I thought they only came up with one or two scenarios in which Gore could actually have pulled ahead, and they were the two least likely possibilities.

Remember, Bush lost to Gore by half a million votes overall, so if he wants to claim any legitimacy, it must come from a flawless adherence to the legalities of the system.

Well, yes, to a point (see next graf), but who is the final arbiter of what constitutes flawless adherence to the legalities of the system? The United States Supreme Court.

As for legitimacy, what Bush (or Gore, or any elected official) wants to claim as legitimacy doesn't matter. What matters is what the citizens accept as legitimacy. As we can see, Bush is safely ensconced in the White House, performing all the duties required of the president (yeah yeah, insert joke here). The Congress is in session, and all 535 members accept him as the legitimate leader, even if some of them don't like it. There are no riots in the streets. Our government, our society, function as normal. Even those of you that are completely livid about the outcome are not out there attempting a violent overthrow of the United States Government (unless there's something you're not telling me). Thus, the Bush presidency is legitimate. If the Chairman of the JCS were to carry out a successful coup tomorrow, and the public accepted it, he too would have legitimacy.

Regarding the half-million votes Gore scored over Bush - I know this is going to be a controversial statement, but it's my theory: There was a massive, massive get-out-the-vote drive by the Democratic Party on Election Day, especially in mostly-black precincts. They called it "knock and drag," where paid workers would do practically anything to get every registered Democratic voter to the polls. And this strategy worked very well, in terms of getting actual votes cast. What it did not do, however, is create a mass of Democratic voters that actually cared that much one way or the other. I think this is why the response Democrats got during the post-election fight was so much lesser than you would have hoped for (or at least why it was so much less that I was expecting to see). I also think it's why Bush's approval ratings have been between 50-60% almost the entire time so far. The Dems got, I'm guesstimating, several million people to the polls that wouldn't have bothered to show up of their own volition, thus Gore won the popular vote. But after that lever was thrown or hole punched, those several million immediately fell back into their normal "who cares about politics anyway" roles. And Gore was left with that many million less who really cared about wanting him to win. And again, those several million are perfectly happy considering Bush the legitimate president.

The point, anyway, of this article is that ... the process should have been allowed to play itself out WITHOUT any interference by the Supreme Court for EITHER side.

Not all of the article (actually, several articles on this one topic) says that. This article contains the argument that best matches my beliefs: That the Florida Supreme Court so blatantly rigged the vote-counting process in that state that the US Supreme Court had to take this case on to stave off a truly unfathomable constitutional crisis, in which any state would have been free to throw equal protection to the wind and rig every election from now until the end of time.

What would you have said if the Supremes would have ruled for Gore? You'd probably be screaming bloody murder.

For the first couple days, sure. But I would have read the opinion, as I did this one, and then, as I said above, I believe Bush would have won anyway.

As for Bugliosi, this article completely deflates all six parts of his argument, in just a few short paragraphs. (Actually, most of those six claims are also made by everyone else critical of the decision, so it's a must read.)
posted by aaron at 1:18 PM on September 9, 2001



With regards to the umpire/soccer ref analogy, what you're saying is that bad decisions can be appealed to what are essentially the sports equivalents of the Supreme Court. At some point, the buck has to stop and a FINAL decision must be made. If the FA Referees' Panel decides that ref wasn't so shoddy after all, can the players keep on appealing up further infinite levels until they get the decision they want?
posted by aaron at 1:23 PM on September 9, 2001


Rastafari: What investigations have turned up mixed results?

I started off taking your statement at face value, but some quick research (example) seemed to show pretty conclusively that Bush won under practically any reasonable circumstances, including a favorable decision by the Supreme Court! I found only two circumstances under which Gore has a plausible lead: If the "clean punch" standard (advocated by Bush?) had been applied, Gore has a theoretical 3 vote lead in Florida. Of course, due to potential errors in the study, that's much smaller than the margin of error and is not conclusive either way. Alternatively, if "every excluded paper bearing some kind of mark next to any candidates name had been counted", then Gore has a theoretical lead of 784 votes. Come on, looked at objectively that's a bit of an absurd standard, don't you think? In other words, under every conceivable standard of review, excepting only these two, Bush won the election.

Even the Newsweek article NortonDC links to says that "Various news outlets have combed through the state's ballot wreckage... and found no conclusive evidence that the count was wrong".

Unless I"m missing something, you've got to really want Gore to have won in order to believe that the election was "stolen" in any meaningful sense. Looks like some pretty strong denial to me, but maybe I don't have all of the facts yet. Maybe this election was just too close to call conclusively?

(Incidentally, rastafari, if I"m not mistaken Clinton didn't win the popular majority either the first time around. That's not relevant to this discussion. The fact that you brought it up seems to show some bias on your part, IMO.)

the blatant illegalities uncovered with overseas ballots.

We've discussed this before. Sure, Bush pushed hard, but he did nothing illegal and a national election was on the line. I'm no stranger to partisan blindness, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't fault Gore for doing the same thing.

The Times study found no evidence of vote fraud by either party... The investigation found no support for the suspicions of Democrats that the Bush campaign had organized an effort to solicit late votes.

As to this specific thread, this "news" story is nothing more than a promotion for this guy's book. The big news? Souter thinks that he almost persuaded Kennedy. Hardly a "secret vote".
posted by gd779 at 1:27 PM on September 9, 2001


Having reread some comments, I withdraw my jab at rastafari regarding the popular vote. I didn't properly understand his point.

Also, on further reflection I'm not quite sure what Newsweek is saying about who would have won Florida. The statement that I quoted was a bit unclear. In any event, while I couldn't find any reasonable standard under which Gore would have won the recount, I welcome any contrary information.
posted by gd779 at 1:38 PM on September 9, 2001


aaron--there weren't really any illegalities

Bullshit.
In Clay County for instance, ballots with no witness signatures were accepted, as well as ones without signatures across the seal of the envelope. Two faxed-in ballots -- albeit ones that arrived by Nov. 7 -- were even added to Bush's tally. "That's not the normal protocol," says Stephanie Thomas, assistant supervisor of elections in Clay County. "The law is you don't count faxes. But it was up to the canvassing board, and it was their determination to accept them."

Contrary to Florida law, Collier County accepted overseas ballots that were not signed, dated or postmarked. Escambia County accepted some overseas ballots clearly postmarked after Election Day. So did Santa Rosa County, which also counted five ballots that arrived after the 10-day post-election window allowed by the state for overseas ballots. It also accepted ballots arriving after Nov. 7 that carried a U.S., not an overseas, postmark -- even though all absentee ballots mailed from within the U.S. are supposed to arrive by Election Day. Meanwhile, Pasco County waived the state law requiring that an absentee ballot only be counted if there is a request for it on file.
-Salon


I like this part: Regarding the half-million votes Gore scored over Bush - I know this is going to be a controversial statement, but it's my theory: There was a massive, massive get-out-the-vote drive by the Democratic Party on Election Day, especially in mostly-black precincts.

This is the part where the defender of the Republicans denigrates "get out the vote" efforts. Cute. What makes this seem reasonable? Well, they're black. Did we really expect you to value the legal expression of their political will? (especially when there are illegal votes from the military to defend)

They called it "knock and drag," where paid workers would do practically anything to get every registered Democratic voter to the polls. And this strategy worked very well, in terms of getting actual votes cast. What it did not do, however, is create a mass of Democratic voters that actually cared that much one way or the other.

"I don't think those blacks are as politically involved as me, so it's OK to ignore them. And they're black."

I think this is why the response Democrats got during the post-election fight was so much lesser than you would have hoped for (or at least why it was so much less that I was expecting to see). I also think it's why Bush's approval ratings have been between 50-60% almost the entire time so far. The Dems got, I'm guesstimating, several million people to the polls that wouldn't have bothered to show up of their own volition, thus Gore won the popular vote. But after that lever was thrown or hole punched, those several million immediately fell back into their normal "who cares about politics anyway" roles.

More of the same.

And Gore was left with that many million less who really cared about wanting him to win. And again, those several million are perfectly happy considering Bush the legitimate president.

Unsupported.
posted by NortonDC at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2001


"in Russia, we would never allow judges to pick the President."

Of course they wouldn't! Wasn't it Joseph Stalin who said said, "He who counts the votes, decides?"
posted by RevGreg at 2:06 PM on September 9, 2001


NortonDC: Have you got any other evidence to back up your claims of illegal handling of ballots? A proclamation by Salon (back in December when much was riding on public perception and the facts were less clear) that some votes were handled in an unusual and possibly illegal manner isn't exactly persuasive to the objective reader. Especially since the (much more recent and comprehensive) Times study showed no evidence of illegality.

Just inviting you to defend your position a bit better.
posted by gd779 at 2:34 PM on September 9, 2001


(Incidentally, rastafari, if I'm not mistaken Clinton didn't win the popular majority either the first time around. That's not relevant to this discussion. The fact that you brought it up seems to show some bias on your part, IMO.)

Regarding Clinton, he may not have a won a popular majority --51%-- but he did get more votes than Bush and Perot in 92, and Dole and Perot in '96. How exactly is that bias on my part? Do you have numbers showing that he didn't? That is what I'm talking about. In Clinton's case, the votes matched the electoral college. In Gore's case it didn't!
posted by Rastafari at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2001


RevGreg: Did Stalin say that? Answer: Almost certainly not.
posted by raysmj at 2:39 PM on September 9, 2001


gd779--If you've got something to present that directly refutes the evidence I've already presented, then do it. If you were honestly "Just inviting me to defend my position a bit better" you would have done in an email prompt, rather than a public challenge.

Rastafari--Clinton won the plurality both times. Bush lost the plurality to Gore.
posted by NortonDC at 2:40 PM on September 9, 2001


Hey, how come that site looks so much like Salon?
posted by donkeymon at 2:41 PM on September 9, 2001


Having reread some comments, I withdraw my jab at rastafari regarding the popular vote. I didn't properly understand his point.

Sorry, I didn't read that part. I just read the above part and commented. So sorry about that.
posted by Rastafari at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2001


Ah yes, the old liberal standby: When you can't refute an argument, call your opponent a racist.

By the way, Norton, you're completely wrong. I wasn't denigrating the knock-and-drag efforts at all, or in any way claiming such votes somehow "count less" than those cast by people that showed up at the polls of their own volition. I was only pointing out how such actions led to the situation where we have a voting population that technically supported Gore, but in the end couldn't get that worked up about electoral college rules causing Bush to be the legitimate president.

But hey, fuck you for trying.
posted by aaron at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2001



Contrary to Florida law...

As I made quite clear in my original post, federal law trumps Florida law.
posted by aaron at 3:05 PM on September 9, 2001



here's the exerpt from david a. kaplan's book the accidental president with an 'inside look' at the reasoning behing the justices' decision. he specifically singles out kennedy as the one who "picked the president." apparently kennedy didn't feel congress was up to the task and took it upon himself to resolve the situation, however hasty and inconclusive it might seem, for the good of the country.

man, the other newsweek article mentions two supreme court dramas next year. maybe they'll help raise the profile of any nominations that take place, which i guess makes the senate races that much more important.
posted by kliuless at 3:21 PM on September 9, 2001


aaron--As I made quite clear in my original post, federal law trumps Florida law.

This is another false assertion. Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution states that "each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors." All relevant amendments to the Constitution concern broadening the opportunity to participate and do not impose any requirements for procedure. This is another aspect of what makes the Supreme Court's decision so clearly political.

Come on, here's another chance to abandon the "principles" of the Republican party and argue for federal supremacy in state matters. Have at it.

And regarding race, I restated your own argument. If it looks ugly, that ought to tell you something.

Let me know if your naked grab at victim status here distracts from the lie that there was nothing illegal going on with overseas ballots.
posted by NortonDC at 3:22 PM on September 9, 2001


You're the one falsely crying "racism!"and yet I'm the one "nakedly grabbing at victim status"? Hoo boy. I've seen some real whoppers on MeFi over time, but this one takes the cake. Yes, you restated my argument, by taking an utterly minor descriptive detail - one that really has no direct bearing on the argument at hand - and attempting to portray that detail as the argument itself. It's an embarrassingly transparent ploy on your part, and it's not working. Rational people know that the knock-and-drag happened mostly in black precincts because the Democratic party apparatuses in those precincts have, over the years, become by far the best-run ones in America. (If you'd read the article I linked to, which is from The New Republic, BTW), you'd understand this.) Any other bizarre inferences you may take from it are products of your own mind.

Come on, here's another chance to abandon the "principles" of the Republican party and argue for federal supremacy in state matters. Have at it.

GOP principles do not mean "States Rights Uber Alles" in every possible scenario to ever appear under the sun. Besides, if you're going to make that argument, you better ante up some reason why the Democrats didn't abandon their "principles" by arguing for state supremecy.

"...each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors."

Yup. The Legislature. Not the state Supreme Court.
posted by aaron at 3:35 PM on September 9, 2001



You left out a part:

"Let me know if your naked grab at victim status here distracts from the lie that there was nothing illegal going on with overseas ballots."
posted by NortonDC at 3:39 PM on September 9, 2001


If the FA Referees' Panel decides that ref wasn't so shoddy after all, can the players keep on appealing up further infinite levels until they get the decision they want?

Right up to Plato's Ideal sphere, aaron. Or at least, off into the civil courts. Though often at a cost to one's playing career, and there's the rub.

My second analogy, I think, is more telling than the first: in this election, the winning player gets to name the presiding umpires at tomorrow's game, including which of today's officials gets to make the big calls. And it's that vested interest which sets the teeth on edge.

Whatever you think of Bugliosi's arguments -- and to be honest, I prefer Dershowitz's "shoe on the other foot" line, which points out the jurisprudential game of Twister played out in the majority opinions -- the title of his original piece points to the fallacy in your main argument. "If it prosper, none dare call it treason." You're telling the people who are complaining that they should stop complaining, because no-one's complaining? You are Officer Barbrady and I claim my five dollars.

Anyway, in 2004 Bush's legitimacy will be judged dating from 20th January 2001; that he started from the shitheap means he just has to work that bit harder to wash away the stink.
posted by holgate at 3:41 PM on September 9, 2001


aaron: The Democrats never made giving more power to the federal government (or more importantly, giving it such power at the expense of the states) a central, specific part of their platform, as the GOP did with state's rights under Reagan and the Contract with America. The irony's still there, certainly, in re to the positions taken by both sides, since plenty of Dems. did curse the "state's rights" thing due to federalism's failure in regard to the protection of civil rights. Plenty also argued in the immediate Post WWII era that the large scale was the way to go and failed to respect the states enough afterward. Congressmen from the party forgot, it sometimes seemed, that the states existed.

That said, with the Dems., the irony and cynicism's just not as thick. Plenty of Democrats still ran and held office at the state level during the years, and there were activist governors among them. The last Democratic presidents were both governors. LBJ started the practice of giving states large block grants, albeit with more strings attached than under Reagan, which forced many state legislatures to professional. So it's hard to make the blanket accusation that the Democrats consistently made a point of being against state power.
posted by raysmj at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2001


aaron: Wasn't it the conservative wing of the GOP, now dominant, which always made a bigger deal about "principles" to begin with? Yep.
posted by raysmj at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2001


1) Bush did not have "'standing to sue.'" In equal-protection cases "the aggrieved party, the one who is being harmed and discriminated against, almost invariably brings the action." However, it was not the supposedly disenfranchised Florida citizens who brought the action, but Bush who "leaped in and tried to profit from a hypothetical wrong inflicted on someone else." Bush was not the plaintiff and he did not sue. It was Gore who brought the contest lawsuit and Bush who appealed. Moreover, it is absurd to suggest that a candidate has no interest in or cannot be aggrieved by constitutionally impermissible procedures for counting votes.

Gore brought the contest lawsuit because Florida Secretary of State (and coincidentally co-chair of the Bush campaign in Florida), was refusing to conduct hand-recounts in an election too close to call with innumerable voting irregularities. It was the Supreme Court majority that employed the Equal Protection Clause in its final ruling, not Gore in his contest. Bugliosi is merely pointing the absurdity of this argument had Bush been the plaintiff. Berkowitz's counter-argument here is entirely irrelevant. And yes, it would be "absurd to suggest that a candidate has no interest in or cannot be aggrieved by constitutionally impermissible procedures for counting votes". This, of course, would only be the case if there were constitutionally impermissible procedures for counting the votes being employed. The ruling against further hand-recounts was as if to say: "to avoid the possibility of impermissible procedures, we will just stop any procedures from happening at all". Wow, why did we bother having an election in the first place?

2) Bush v. Gore denied "the right to have their votes count at all" to tens of thousands of citizens who cast undervotes (ballots on which no vote for president was detected). In fact, ballots, including those designated as undervotes, were counted twice by machines, once in the original tabulation, and then a second time, as required by Florida law, when the margin between Bush and Gore was found to be less than .5% of the total votes cast.

In fact, those ballots containing undervotes were counted twice by the machines as not counting. That's why they're called undervotes. The machines could not detect a vote for one reason or another, hence the need for hand-recounts. This is more than just fun with semantics I assure you.

3) Bush v. Gore "sets forth a very simple, noncomplex proposition-that if there are varying standard to count votes, this violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." Actually, Bush v. Gore sets forth a complex proposition, that if in a statewide hand recount under the supervision of a single judicial officer varying standards between counties and even in the same county are employed, and also if some ballots that did not contain a valid machine readable vote for president are manually recounted (the undervotes, which estimates put at 60,000) but not others (the overvotes, on which machines detected multiple votes for president, which estimates put at 110,000), and also if partial recounts from some counties are included in the final-vote totals, and also if the manual recount is conducted by untrained and unsupervised personnel, then these problems, when taken together, violate the minimum requirements of equal protection.

Wow, that IS complex. Why not just have a statewide recount with a single uniform standard? The answer: because there were not uniform ballots. The existence of non-uniform ballots necessarily means that there will be non-uniform counting standards across separate counties. The two are not mutually exclusive. Does this mean that a full recount could not take place? I don't think so. There could be general guidelines followed pertaining to chads, pencil marks, overvotes, etc.

4) "The simple fact is that the five conservative Justices did not have a judicial leg to stand on" because their previous precedents provided no support for their ruling. In Reynolds v. Sims (1964) a malapportionment case cited by the majority (which Bugliosi dismisses as irrelevant but does not discuss), the Court ruled that state voting districts which elect representatives to the legislature must have roughly equal populations. In so holding the Court explained that "the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen's vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise." This important precedent is applicable to the case of Bush v. Gore, though it requires an argument by analogy (which lies at the heart of legal reasoning) to see why. Using varying standards to count votes in different counties and even in the same county, and manually recounting one category of votes that could not be read by machines but arbitrarily declining to recount by hand another category that also was not machine readable dilutes the weight of those votes subject to stricter standards and those arbitrarily excluded from the manual recount.

Again, why not have a statewide manual recount???? That's what Gore was asking for (admittedly, he was not at first).

5) The equal protection theory was wildly overbroad, because "to be completely consistent the Court would have had no choice but to invalidate the entire Florida election, since there is no question that votes lost in some counties because of the method of voting would have been recorded in others utilizing a different method." Justice Souter, who in dissent concluded that the Florida recount gave rise under the Equal Protection Clause to "a meritorious argument for relief," distinguished the constitutional issues that arise in the use of different machines in place to count votes before Election Day from those that surround the use of varying standards for recounting votes by hand after the election: "It is true that the Equal Protection Clause does not forbid the use of a variety of voting mechanisms within a jurisdiction, even though different mechanisms will have different levels of effectiveness in recording voters' intentions: local variety can be justified by concerns about cost, the potential value of innovation, and so on. But evidence in the record here suggests that a different order of disparity obtains under rules for determining a voter's intent that have been applied (and continue to be applied) to identical types of ballots used in identical brands of machines and exhibiting identical physical characteristics (such as "hanging" or "dimpled" chads)."

Yes, some disparity would probably exist -- it's called human imperfection. Is this is to say we should forgo hand recounts because of it? According to that reasoning, then, there should never be hand counting of ballots at all. Interesting, but I don't buy it seeing that this is how the overwhelming majority of elections on this planet are conducted.

6) A "multiplicity of problems" afflicted the Court's decision to shut down the manual recount. Most importantly, since federal law merely provided a safe harbor for electors chosen by December 12 but was not mandatory, nothing should have prevented the majority from ordering the Florida court, as urged by Justices Souter and Breyer, to devise a uniform standard and proceed with the recount. In its December 11th opinion, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's vacating of its November 21st opinion (extending the protest period by 12 days), the Florida court on no fewer than four occasions indicated that Florida law recognized December 12 as a binding deadline for choosing electors. In refraining from ordering the remedy contemplated by Justices Souter and Breyer, the majority plausibly saw themselves as deferring to Florida law.

Wow, that was convenient. I guess Scalia and Limbaugh-listening Thomas wanted to stay at least a little consistent with their nonintervention of state issues rhetoric.
posted by MindRave at 6:12 PM on September 9, 2001


aaron: Oh, by the way, Bush still would have won the rerererererecounts even if the decision had gone the other way.

The Web site Unknown News has followed the media recounts religiously, compiling the numbers to get the most accurate picture of who got more votes. In its count, Gore wins by 502 votes. If you can find holes in the numbers, please do. At the very least, looking over the Unknown News data should eliminate your certainty that Bush would have won any recount.

aaron: Ah yes, the old liberal standby: When you can't refute an argument, call your opponent a racist.

I'm trying to be charitable, but I see no way to view your theory other than racist.

How else can we view the allegation that several million Gore voters from mostly-black precincts are so disinterested in politics they only voted at someone else's urging and were then immediately ready to accept Bush as president?

Even if we assume you're a naif who is honestly ignorant of the racial import of your theory, it's a laughable premise. African-Americans are the least likely group of Gore voters to accept Bush as the legitimate president. Bush received an astonishingly small percentage of their vote -- 8 or 9 percent, if I recall correctly.

If there are really several million Gore voters who immediately accepted Bush's legitimacy, it's much more likely to be due to the country's stable political system and the large number of people who were undecided in the final weeks of the election.

Both of those things would encourage people to support a president even if they chose the losing candidate. Americans like a winner, and many of them are patriotic enough to rally behind a president simply because he's president.

Besides, after watching too many of the Frank Luntz Election 2000 focus groups on MSNBC, I see no reason to single out African-Americans for political disinterest and stupidity. Those traits seem to cross all gender and class lines in the U.S. electorate without prejudice.
posted by rcade at 8:06 PM on September 9, 2001


The existence of non-uniform ballots necessarily means that there will be non-uniform counting standards across separate counties.

Oh look, deja vu all over again. Does it also follow as necessary that there be non-uniform counting in the same county? Because that was one of the key problems going on in Florida.

By the way MindRave- as to your assertion that Gore wanted a state wide recount, somebody should have told his attorneys because they specifically argued against the need to count the over counts. In fact Gore only asked for a statewide recount when it became clear that they would not prevail in the selective recounts that they hoped (in vain as it turns out) would be more favorable to the Gore cause. So, if you want to blame anybody for that blame the Gore team, as I believe the Florida Supreme court would have advanced that idea if Gore hadn't argued against it.

How else can we view the allegation that several million Gore voters from mostly-black precincts are so disinterested in politics they only voted at someone else's urging and were then immediately ready to accept Bush as president?

That might make sense if the original argument was that they were disinterested because they were black, but I think it's more truthful to say that they were black simply as a side effect of where the democrats were pulling them from. They were disinterested for the same reason the other 48.8% of registered voters were uninterested. A substantial amount of the American populous doesn’t really care who the president is.
posted by willnot at 8:29 PM on September 9, 2001


willnot: If you know anything about voting and election boards in America (see: Election 2000 outcome), you'll know that there are countless mistakes made in the elections process, including registration, so the real turnout is most likely much higher. There are dead people on the rolls. People have moved, and forgotten to change their registration. Entire states have no form of registration whatsoever. Also, if people vote, why does it matter to you or anyone else whether they were intensely interested or not? As if anyone could know for certain anyway.
posted by raysmj at 9:06 PM on September 9, 2001


raysmj - it doesn't matter at all to me. rcade said that the only way to take an assertion by aaron was as a racist statement. I disagree that that is the only way to take the statement and I merely suggested an alternate read.

I didn't think that aaron's argument was very compelling, but I didn't think it could only be construed as racist either.
posted by willnot at 9:22 PM on September 9, 2001


Listen up. Especially you conservatives. George Bush or Al Gore may have won by 1 vote, or 1,000 votes or 1,000,000 votes but here's the crux of the whole thing and the truth Republicans will not admit: Count all the votes. Simple. Count them. Not in a Newsweek, Time, NYTimes, or FoxNews story. They should have been counted in Florida by Florida's election boards. So Bush wins, So Gore wins. The principle remains: Count all the fucking votes. Instead we had these tools in the Supreme Court stop people from counting votes.

That is and will remain to be, the problem.
posted by owillis at 9:25 PM on September 9, 2001


I'm trying to be charitable, but I see no way to view your theory other than racist.

I see several other ways to view it. One way is that it's one end result of logic. Why the jump to accuse aaron of racism? Why not argue it out first? Maybe it comes down to different information, or trusting different sources? Jumping the gun to point to racism is lazy.

I don't agree with him--my sticking point is the poor clearing of voter rolls w/r/t felons. But I don't think he's racist for not believing that funny stuff went on.
posted by claxton6 at 9:40 PM on September 9, 2001


That might make sense if the original argument was that they were disinterested because they were black, but I think it's more truthful to say that they were black simply as a side effect of where the democrats were pulling them from.

Then why bring up the race of the voters at all, if it had no bearing on his theory?
posted by rcade at 9:53 PM on September 9, 2001


Then why bring up the race of the voters at all, if it had no bearing on his theory?

willnot explained why quite clearly: The article I referenced was about influencing black turnout. Plus, of course, the inconvenient fact that nowhere did I ever claim that the votes of said people were in any way less valid because of the way they were obtained.

At this point, you're just resorting to semantics and insults in order to bait. No thanks. Everyone else understands what I meant, and I'm done dealing with that angle unless someone has a legitmate debate point to bring up about it. Besides, we've finally reached the point where almost nobody believes it when a liberal cries "racism!" anyway, because they've done it falsely so many times that's become a complete joke.

aaron: Wasn't it the conservative wing of the GOP, now dominant, which always made a bigger deal about "principles" to begin with? Yep.

Well, I certainly thank you for admitting publicly that principles mean far less to the Democratic Party.

The principle remains: Count all the fucking votes.

Close, Oliver. The principle remains: Count all the legal fucking votes.
posted by aaron at 10:04 PM on September 9, 2001



It's not really fair to assume that people who don't vote don't care, since election day is Tuesday and it's not equally easy for every person to find the time off and daycare and assistance or whatever they might need to get to a polling place. Nor is it fair to assume that those who aren't directly involved in politics don't care, or that Gore voters who didn't participate in protests or other actions consider Bush legitimate.

It's also not fair to assume that aaron is racist for leaping to these conclusions. It's safe to say the majority of Americans are apolitical if you go by voter turnout vs. eligible voters.

In any case, I'm more concerned about the way the Democratic party manipulates the black community at every election -- every turn, even -- than about aaron making some vaguely problematic generalizations. What are we talking about here, anyway?
posted by sudama at 10:09 PM on September 9, 2001


Close, Oliver. The principle remains: Count all the legal fucking votes.

That goes both ways.
posted by owillis at 10:31 PM on September 9, 2001


since election day is Tuesday and it's not equally easy for every person to find the time off and daycare and assistance or whatever they might need to get to a polling place

A couple minutes to decide the future of your country? I don't think that's asking much. If you don't vote you don't care.

I'm more concerned about the way the Democratic party manipulates the black community at every election

I resent your innuendo that blacks are mindless automatons to be controlled by the "great white father". Do you feel rich white men are also "manipulated" by the Republicans every election? People do have free will you know.
posted by owillis at 10:35 PM on September 9, 2001


That's right owillis, and if the counting doesn't produce enough votes for the one you want to win, you just keep changing the rules as to what constitutes a vote.

In fact since the intent of the voter is the determining factor, let's take it to its logical end. If marking the ballot so that the machine can read it isn't the bare minimum needed to register a vote, then why should you even have to cast a vote? I mean if I was going to go and vote, but I got lost or I couldn't get childcare or whatever, then why should I be disenfranchised? As long as I can get to my local election board before the new president gets sworn in, and tell them what my intent was then it should count. I mean at least in that case there is no ambiguity as to what my intent really is.

Right?
posted by willnot at 10:39 PM on September 9, 2001


Plus, of course, the inconvenient fact that nowhere did I ever claim that the votes of said people were in any way less valid because of the way they were obtained.

That has nothing to do with the subject of whether the theory is racist, racially insensitive, inappropriately racial, or whatever other term you're willing to hear without trotting out tired dittohead bromides about liberals.

Let's remove you entirely from the theory you proposed, and pretend it was posted anonymously or posted by the most rabidly liberal person on MetaFilter. I still think it's a racist theory, because there's no good reason to involve race in what was suggested.

Is this just another liberal throwing the word "racist" around? Maybe, but I'd like to hear that from someone who doesn't use the word "liberal" as a catch-all bogeyman that describes any idea, person, or proposal he dislikes.
posted by rcade at 10:50 PM on September 9, 2001


That's right owillis, and if the counting doesn't produce enough votes for the one you want to win, you just keep changing the rules as to what constitutes a vote.

I'm going to make a guess here and assume you're referring to Democrats. However, if you had taken a real look at what happened here in Florida, you'd see that you could say the same thing about the GOP.

It's disheartening to see so many people stick to the same talking points that Jim Baker and others were using during the recount controversy, as if no information had come to light since then. At this point, if the best argument you can muster is a generalization about counting every vote or cheating in a recount, why bother?
posted by rcade at 11:00 PM on September 9, 2001


Rcade – My opinions aren’t formed by talking points or spin doctors. I watched the trials, and I read the opinions. I saw one of the people in charge of the recounts admit in court that the standard for what constitutes a vote changed over time. I believe, as did 7 of 9 US Supreme Court Justices in a decision that transcended party lines, that there is a fundamental problem of fairness with that.

Similarly I believe, as did 5 of 9 US Supreme Court Justices, that a suitable remedy could not have been fashioned and executed in time. This was a sick election that was rightfully put out of its misery. I don’t care for the person that got in. I would very, very marginally have preferred Gore over Bush, but I’m aware of no additional information that has come to light since November/December to change those facts. If I have missed something, please point me to it.
posted by willnot at 11:27 PM on September 9, 2001


willnot: If marking the ballot so that the machine can read it isn't the bare minimum needed to register a vote, then why should you even have to cast a vote?

Jayzus... as slippery slope arguments go, that's pretty damned lame. Okay, for starters as has been said the law in Florida was "the clear intent of the voter". What that meant was the source of much struggle in that November, to be sure. However, previous cases in Florida had established precedent for "clear intent", to mean that any way for determining who the voter was casting their vote for, if anyone in a particular race that election. As one example, previous election law cases in Florida had shown that if you marked the ballot with a pen instead of the #2 pencil as clearly described in the rule for voting, and the machine discarded it for that reason, a review by human eyes should be done to determine the clear intent of the voter and allow that vote. Others have detailed many other cases (and the law in the State of Texas that Bush signed into law) which essentially reinforce the notion that if you can look at a ballot and see a clear pattern of voting (all dimpled, all two-corner chads, punching the hole next to a candidate's name and writing in their name as well, or whatever) that suggested the clear intent of the voter, the vote should count. Why is that so hard to understand? It's the law

The Constitution gives the right to determine the electors to the State Legislatures- which in turn have written state laws saying that the electors will be determined by popular vote. Most states also include laws that have evolved to deal with disputes in elections, Florida being one. Resolving these disputes is the job of the Court system in that state, and the Florida court was faced with some conflicting statutes about when to allow counting and when to certify the election- and attempted to sort them out, something courts have been doing since friggin' 180- goddamn-3 in Marbury vs. Fucking Madison. The SCOTUS' long-standing practice was to not involve itself in state- law disputes- yet here they are stopping the voting with no good reason. There's no evidence that the Florida Court ruling was unreasonable or flew in the face of existing case law- but there is such evidence on the part of the SCOTUS, who are normally strict state's rightists who believe in law as precedent and principle and not as in Bush v. Gore declare their ruling to apply only to that case and not be precedent in any other cases. Gee whiz, that's odd...
posted by hincandenza at 11:31 PM on September 9, 2001



Besides, we've finally reached the point where almost nobody believes it when a liberal cries "racism!" anyway, because they've done it falsely so many times that's become a complete joke.

I've been accused of the broad brushstroke myself in my time. But this is such an insubstatiated claim, I'm leary to guess what kind of country aaron and other republicans like him want to live in? Conservatives, we know, favor freedom. Freedom for them to hate, trip, spit on, and cheat the opponent. Only adversaries learn. They plot. They imagine a day while watching Nebraska shellac Fresno State 84-3, when they can deem, at will, their own agendas and put them into place. When they will observe with pathetic glee, the demise of their enemies who once had them under thumb and nobody fucking cared.

But. . .

Is this democracy? Is this freedom for anyone?

Fuck no. It's the hideous state of the "Free World"--as America so fondly refers to itself as the leader.

True, forward looking, humanitarian justices would have recognized this and would have inacted the old cliche, "drastic times call for drastic measures". They would have called for, recognizing the great American political rift expanding in front of their very eyes, a fair and exacting process to rectify this so rare of rare occasions. Instead, like a peddler with only so much of the wonderful elixir the people clamor for, they say, "First come, first served."

Is the corruption so in their favor that they cannot imagine a time when their political enemies can muster and use the same deceit to quash them? Or is it they wish to further the current move to create the great Oligarchy of the United States of America? A country with no room for debate, difference of qualm? A country where minorities of all the available definitions are wrong and they in the robes are perpetually right?

If this is not what they really wished for, then a fix to this momentous election and any that should arise like it in the future would have been addressed then (12/12/00), bypassing the simmering hatred between the sides, and the country would have stayed intact. It would have set an example. It would have proven that we are one country. Sadly, this is not the case.
posted by crasspastor at 12:02 AM on September 10, 2001


aaron: You know, or at least you should, that the whole "principles" thing comes from Edmund Burke, and refers to voting on principle rather than on the passions of the moment or even what your constituents think. No member of Congress in his or her right mind ignores the constituents, regardless of talk about "principle." No self-respecting member is going to yak about principle when it comes to saving his or her own ass either, or getting the bill he or she wants through, unless it is the last possible option.

And you know why? First, because "principle" is a buzzword by now. If you must toss aside your career, it's for the ultimate good of the country, or the Constitution and justice, etc. But politics is most often why one should forget about principle, and it's often noble to do so. The founding fathers did so in fashioning out compromises on the document the Supreme Court interpreted in the Bush v. Gore decision, for instance.

Federalism talk falls into this category - ignore the principles talk, try to recall what side the person talking about principles is on. Something very similar was going on in the fight over Election 2000.
posted by raysmj at 12:30 AM on September 10, 2001


owillis: My car was in the shop ecently during a municipal election. I voted anyway, since the precinct was less than a mile away. However, I had to through 93 degree heat, with the extra benefit of Deep South humidity. Not everyone is located so close to a precinct, and public transportation will not take anyone to one so fast. Yes, I had time to think about how to get to the polling place, but I might not have been so lucky in other circumstances.

For instance, what if the following happens to a person: 1) the precinct locale is changed from where the newspaper said it would be; 2) my car breaks down during the day; and 3) I go the precinct during my lunch hour and there is a long line, forcing me to go back to work. It happens all the time.

Sometimes if you don't vote, you don't care. Other times, you care, but no one else cares about whether you care.
posted by raysmj at 12:38 AM on September 10, 2001


make that: I had to walk through 93 degree heat. Also, at least partially down a steep drop on the way to a building next to a riverbank, with no sidewalks lining the road. Took more than a couple of minutes, for certain.
posted by raysmj at 12:45 AM on September 10, 2001


aaron--Close, Oliver. The principle remains: Count all the legal fucking votes.

me--blatant illegalities uncovered with overseas ballots
In Clay County for instance, ballots with no witness signatures were accepted, as well as ones without signatures across the seal of the envelope. Two faxed-in ballots -- albeit ones that arrived by Nov. 7 -- were even added to Bush's tally. "That's not the normal protocol," says Stephanie Thomas, assistant supervisor of elections in Clay County. "The law is you don't count faxes. But it was up to the canvassing board, and it was their determination to accept them."

Contrary to Florida law, Collier County accepted overseas ballots that were not signed, dated or postmarked. Escambia County accepted some overseas ballots clearly postmarked after Election Day. So did Santa Rosa County, which also counted five ballots that arrived after the 10-day post-election window allowed by the state for overseas ballots. It also accepted ballots arriving after Nov. 7 that carried a U.S., not an overseas, postmark -- even though all absentee ballots mailed from within the U.S. are supposed to arrive by Election Day. Meanwhile, Pasco County waived the state law requiring that an absentee ballot only be counted if there is a request for it on file.
Let me know if your naked grab at victim status here distracts from the lie that there was nothing illegal going on with overseas ballots.

If you sincerely want to back away from the racial shitstorm you called down, I suggest you start by addressing this point, which, despite your claimed disinterest in race, you have failed to do.

Conversely, should you care to keep mixing it up on race in an attempt to hide the failure of your other arguments, I am fully prepared for that, too.

Up to you, aaron.
posted by NortonDC at 4:51 AM on September 10, 2001


Were ballots handled illegally? Let's examine Norton's basis for claiming that some were:

A) Norton has claimed that some ballots were handled illegally. His "proof" is an old Salon article from waaay back in early December, which posits that Florida law may have been broken. He has largely ignored aaron's assertion that federal law trumps state law.

B) The most comprehensive study to date (conducted by the NYTimes) concluded that absolutely no illegal behavior occurred. Norton has been asked to provide more evidence to back up his position. He has elected not to do so.

Norton, of course, is using an old tactic: yell something loud enough, often enough, and with enough force, and people will begin to believe you. He repeatedly screams this conclusary phrase: distracts from the lie that there was nothing illegal going on with the overseas ballots. I guess he hopes that if he does that often enough, people will start to believe him and he'll avoid having to actually provide some persuasive evidence of illegality.

I've enjoyed the insight that Norton has brought to previous discussions. But, unless he has more evidence to present, he just doesn't have grounds to approach this issue with as much vitriol as he has.
posted by gd779 at 6:48 AM on September 10, 2001


me--Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution states that "each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors." All relevant amendments to the Constitution concern broadening the opportunity to participate and do not impose any requirements for procedure.

aaron's only response was to emphasize the state legislature's role in that and devalue the state court's role. Well, normally I expect adults to have to a basic understanding of the roles of the branches of the US government, but clearly there are exceptions, so I'll elaborate. Yes, the US Constitution leaves the procedure of elections to state legislatures, just like I indicated before, and just unlike what aaron indicate before. Once the legislature creates law to establish procedure, it falls to the state courts to interpret the state law.

States. Got it?

aaron made an assertion that nothing illegal had happened with overseas ballots. I pointed to evidence that illegalities did occur. aaron, and you, gd779, have failed to address the particulars of that evidence, and proceeded as if it had never been presented.

You calling it unpersuasive does not make it so. Nor does ignoring it make it go away. At the moment, the illegalities cited remain unchallenged. The fact that the illegalities have remained unchallenged is why I have not provided any further evidence. That which remains unchallenged does not require additional support.
posted by NortonDC at 7:28 AM on September 10, 2001


Norton: Okay, help me to understand what you're saying here. If I'm following, your first point is that the states have the right to determine their own election procedures. You are presumably making the point that the Supreme Court shouldn't have interfered. Without discussing that conclusion, how does that prove that there was any misconduct with respect to how the ballots were handled?

At the moment, the illegalities cited remain unchallenged...That which remains unchallenged does not require additional support.

I hardly think you're in a position to say that. Here's why:

A) The "illegalities" were determined to be illegal not by the courts, but by a Salon reporter during a time when Salon had an interest in shaping public perception
B) The "illegalities" were determined to be illegal way back in early December, when the facts were fairly unclear and the whole situation was emotionally charged. Recent investigation of the facts has turned up no further evidence of illegality (unless you know something that I don't?).
C) Sorry to be so repetitive, but the most comprehensive study to date has concluded that nothing illegal occurred.

I admit that I'm not following all of the logic in your last post. Am I missing something? Where's the evidence?
posted by gd779 at 7:45 AM on September 10, 2001


The Supreme Court took away the Florida court's authority to interpret its own state election laws, gd779. If the only evidence you'll accept in this matter is a court's judgment, good luck finding a venue that will hear the case to your satisfaction.

For the rest of us who aren't waiting for the courts, the press has reported copiously on illegalities in absentee voting. The New York Times backed up Salon's December report -- in a July story on ballots that arrived in Florida after Election Day, the paper found that 680 of the 2,490 overseas ballots failed to comply with state election laws.

More from other sources, in case you'd like to discredit the Times also. Seems like clear evidence of illegality to me -- and I didn't even get into little brother Jeb sending a letter to Florida voters under a state seal (illegal) encouraging them to vote absentee without telling them it's only legal to do so if they can't be at the polls on Election Day.
posted by rcade at 12:44 PM on September 10, 2001


rcade: Thanks for the help, but I'm going to ask for some more.

Truth is, the NY Times did not find that 680 out of 2,490 overseas votes failed to comply with state election laws. The Times found that 680 out of 2,490 votes were questionable (5th paragraph down) and concluded:

The Times study found no evidence of vote fraud by either party. In particular, while some voters admitted in interviews that they had cast illegal ballots after Election Day, the investigation found no support for the suspicions of Democrats that the Bush campaign had organized an effort to solicit late votes.

Yes, the Bush camp pushed hard to get liberal treatment of anticipated Bush votes. But they did it legally, though hard work and good lawyering. I'm no stranger to partisan blindness, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't see anything wrong had Gore tried the same thing.

Of the other sources that you cite, all but the Washington Times are cited specifically to the same study that is the basis of the NY Times story, and which was commissioned by the NY Times itself (example). Thus, I defer to the NYTimes' conclusion that the Bush campaign did nothing illegal. As for the Washington Times, arbitrariness doesn't necessarily equal illegality.

To keep this in context, the reason this issue is so important is because, absent a significant effort to get illegal votes, it appears to me that Bush would have likely won the election even if he had lost in the Supreme Court.
posted by gd779 at 1:40 PM on September 10, 2001


The Resident is not legit. At least if he wasn't a corporate stooge, this debate would have faded a while ago. But he is a corporate stooge, so the debate will go on until the next election. Especially if the economy continues to tank.

I vote for expelling Florida from the Union. PLEASE.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:56 PM on September 10, 2001


You're confusing voter fraud and illegality. You asked for, and received, evidence of votes that were counted illegally. It's absurd to state that those votes are legal simply because Bush's lawyers got canvassing boards to count them.

To keep this in context, the reason this issue is so important is because, absent a significant effort to get illegal votes, it appears to me that Bush would have likely won the election even if he had lost in the Supreme Court.

Rather than trying so hard to expand the definition of legality to mean "anything my candidate got away with," spend some time at Unknown News. Counting legitimate votes from media recounts in a consistent manner, the site finds a 500-vote Gore win.

Incidentally, I love the argument that the Florida recount was so flawed the Supreme Court had to end it and give one candidate the state's 25 electors. If a state can't competently handle an election, why count its votes at all?
posted by rcade at 2:22 PM on September 10, 2001


Sorry, all, I saw Unknown News the first time it was linked, should have read through it then before posting again. I will do so now, though I probably won't get through it all before this thread is gone. Thanks for the link, rcade.

Rather than trying so hard to expand the definition of legality to mean "anything my candidate got away with,"

But that's what legality is! By definition, something is legal when a court has made a legal determination regarding the facts as applied to the law. When you say it's illegal, all you're saying is that it's inconsistent with your understanding of the law. But we follow legitimate processes well ahead of time to give certain people the right to make that determination -- unfortunately, you're not one of those people. To put myself in your shoes, I think that abortion is both wrong and inconsistent with a proper understanding of the principles of law, but even I don't claim it's illegal.

Besides, I don't have a candidate in this fight. I couldn't care less who it turns out would have won; I'm just interested in the truth.
posted by gd779 at 3:18 PM on September 10, 2001


By definition, something is legal when a court has made a legal determination regarding the facts as applied to the law.

By that line of reasoning, it's not illegal to murder someone if you never get caught.

Since no court has ruled on the 680 out of 2,490 absentee votes in question, all we have are the Florida statutes. The Times and other sources spell out how those ballots fail to comply with the statutes. I'm not sure what value there is to avoiding the word "illegal" here, but we seem to have driven everyone else off, so one of us should turn out the lights.
posted by rcade at 4:38 PM on September 10, 2001


I'm still following. No one, not gd779 and not aaron, has so much as attempted to disprove the specific allegations of illegal ballots that I highlighted. All gd779 was able to muster was that it was reported in Salon, and that people cared. Having failed to challenge the evidence on the basis of anything other than his own emotions, no further support was required (though your citations were enlightening, rcade).

As it stands now, I am completely comfortable with my original assertion that there were blatant illegalities with the overseas ballots, and entirely comfortable with the status of that assertion in the context of this discussion: it stands without substantive challenge.
posted by NortonDC at 5:20 PM on September 10, 2001


*click*

Goodnight, everyone!
posted by gd779 at 5:49 AM on September 11, 2001


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