Re: The Recent Election

From: Chris Russo (
Date: Mon Feb 26 2001 - 17:04:45 MST

At 16:44 -0500 2/26/01, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
>At 12:03pm -0600 2/26/01, Chris Russo wrote:
>You have to read these recount reports carefully. This is not the
>Miami-Dade county recount results. This particular article only
>looked at the 10,644 ballots that were undervoted in Miami-Dada
>country. They wanted to find out if the specific disruption caused
>by GOP staff members flying to Miami to start a riot could have had
>an effect on the election.

C'mon, Harvey, is that a fair characterization? Jesse Jackson and
Rep Wexler(D) were the first ones in the news down there that I saw.
It seemed that Jesse Jackson was with protesters on the street of
Palm Beach County before James Baker even arrived in Florida.

Furthermore, even the Democrats on the Miami-Dade canvassing board
are on the record as saying that there was no "riot". There were no
arrests. They made no decisions out of fear of GOP protester

The Democrats were looking at a loss, so they sent in their team of
lawyers to put all the pressure they could on the courts and
canvassing boards to try to obtain a win.

The Republicans were pushing in the opposite direction with their
lawyers, working for decisions that would preserve the Bush lead.
What were the Republicans supposed to do, sit on their hands while
the Democrats were busting their humps to pull out a win?

It was a power struggle - initiated by the Democrats and finished by
the Republicans.

I could be equally one-sided and say, "They wanted to find out if the
specific disruption caused by Democrat staff members flying to Miami
to convince their operatives to change the rules - after the vote
took place - had an effect on the election."

The article noted that they even counted the votes according to the
most liberal rules of "what is a vote". Rules that the canvassing
board members were publicly on the record as being *opposed* to
before this presidential election.

> They determined that this particular subset of the recount would
>not have disrupted the entire election.

Well, the article also factored in the results of the recounts in
other counties that Gore's team had requested. This particular
"subset" is the subset of what would have happened if Gore had gotten
everything he asked for. Following the rules of the election plus
some rule bending just for Gore, Bush still won. It's a rather
significant view of the data to be rhetorically denigrated as just a

>This sample is too small, too localized, and too specific to one
>type of ballot to predict the results of a county-wide recount or a
>state-wide recount. I think such predictions are merely guesses
>until we actually count all six million Florida votes.

Oh, we'll never know a precise count. Even if we count all the votes
in all the counties, what do we do about the 1,200 felony votes that
are in there? What do we do about all of the multiple votes?


    "Ninety-year-old Cora Thigpen voted twice in the presidential
     election -- and would have liked to have voted more.
     ``If I had voted a half dozen times, I would have voted
       every time for Al Gore,'' the North Florida resident said."

The whole thing was a big nasty mess, and the actual count has been
one-way hashed. We'll never find out what would have happened if the
voting system had been perfectly fair.

Arguing that we'll ever have anything *but* "guesses" is nothing but
an exercise in baseless speculation where everyone will see what they
want to see. As usual, history will depend upon who writes the
history books. The facts are gone forever.


Chris Russo

"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought 
or deed, I will gladly change.  I seek the truth, which never yet 
hurt anybody.  It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance 
which does harm."
              -- Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS, VI, 21

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