Re: The Recent Election

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 21:51:37 MST

At 1:50pm -0800 2/22/01, Brian D Williams wrote:
>From: Neal Blaikie <>
> >something wrong with his ballot when he began to use it. He took
>>it up to a poll worker (probably a Democrat :-0) to point out the
>>problem and was basically told "too bad." This caused him to have
>>to choose between either voting for a candidate other than the one
>>he had intended to vote for, or not having his vote count at all.

This has been commonly reported in our local Florida papers. There
were so many people making mistakes that they quickly realized that
they would run out of ballots. They stopped giving out ballots for
corrections. People were stuck with the choice of throwing away
their entire ballot or submitting most of their votes with at least
one wrong vote on it.

>Last I knew the majority of the uncounted absentee ballots were
>from the military, and it was the dems who tried to prevent their
>inclusion, so this would not have changed the outcome.

There were a lot of technicalities argued on both sides.
Technically, absentee ballots without postmarks must be thrown away.
Military mail usually does not have postmarks, so military absentee
ballots usually get thrown away. The Republicans wanted to ignore
this bad rule and allow the military ballots to count (because they
tended to favor Republicans). On the other side, technically,
write-in votes for Al Gore are thrown out because you aren't supposed
to write-in a candidate if they have a punch-hole. Republicans threw
these ballots out while Democrats wanted them counted.

Under Florida State law, the "voter intent" is supposed to override
all rules and determine the vote. However, both parties argued for
"voter intent" where it suited them and against "voter intent" where
it did not suit them. Neither party really wanted to count all the
votes. Both parties filed multiple lawsuits to stop vote counting in
some sector they disfavored.

> >of black voters being turned away at the polls due to rather
>>suspicious technical snafus, and various other problems, and to me
>>we have a highly suspect election.

This also has been widely reported in local papers. Apparently, a
lot of police districts set up police roadblocks in front of black
polling places and arrested anybody with an outstanding warrant. In
other districts, they put an officer at the polling place who then
arrested anybody showing ID who had an outstanding warrant.

Another snafu that has been reported was that the state accidentally
disqualified anybody who had ever been arrested instead of just
removing convicted felons. Statistically, this affected blacks more
often than whites.

A third issue was that driver-license registrations from black
districts seemed to have been lost. Everyone who registered to vote
at certain driver license stations were told that they were not

One story that popularized the problems was a local black college in
Orlando that bussed their entire student body to the registration and
later to the polls. Not one of their students was allowed to voted.
Every one had been disqualified due to some snafu somewhere.

>Individual claims should be investigated. Some of the claims were
>erroneous however. After the democratic initiated telemarketer
>campaign was launched, the number of complaints was considerably
>higher than the number of votes cast for example.

I doubt that this is statistically possible. The voter turnout was
very high, certainly a majority. Even if every single Democrat in
the county called in to complain, they could not outnumber the total
number of voters.

> >My statement about us not really having a president
> >was just me tossing off a personal opinion

Look for more controversy when the media-initiated vote counts show
that Al Gore actually received more legal votes than Bush. I don't
know if it is being reported at the national level yet, but a few of
the counties have already reported finding hundreds of legal votes
for Gore that were mistakenly thrown out. A lessor number of votes
are being found for Bush, but Gore is over 1000 votes ahead with only
a few counties reporting. One county reports that over 900 Gore
votes were thrown out by a Republican-run canvassing board because
they also punched the hole for Al Gore, and that was two votes for
President. (Note that this required hand-counting the votes to find
these and remove them since the machine-count originally counted
these as a Gore vote since the machines don't read the write-in vote!)

Although we may be sick of this topic, the controversy is not over.
I believe that history will record that Bush was legally installed
after Gore won the election because the counting mechanism was in

Harvey Newstrom <>

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