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  •  Gore won Florida (here we go again...) (none)
    with apologies to everyone for whom this is old news but I guess we have to keep setting the record straight.

    My dominant memory of the reports about the private recount was of people being angry about misleading headlines claiming "Bush would have won anyway" when the truth was more complicated.

    Someone once wrote on this blog that more people will believe a simple lie than a complex truth.  Oh yeah, that was me!

    Here is a link to the recount article to which I believe you refer.  If it asks for a login, try kos@dailykos.com and password dailykos.

    Relevant excerpts are below, with all emphasis mine:

    misleading opening paragraph:

    comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year's presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.

    sounds cut and dried, doesn't it?   But wait...

    the consortium, looking at a broader group of rejected ballots than those covered in the court decisions, 175,010 in all, found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full statewide recount of all the rejected ballots.

    and

    The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to "count all the votes."

    the "Bush won in all but one scenario" argument, a Rushbo talking point that is repeated ad nauseum by the right, is contradicted by this:

    The study, conducted over the last 10 months by a consortium of eight news organizations assisted by professional statisticians, examined numerous hypothetical ways of recounting the Florida ballots. Under some methods, Mr. Gore would have emerged the winner; in others, Mr. Bush.

    and the kicker,

    An approach Mr. Gore and his lawyers rejected as impractical -- a statewide recount -- could have produced enough votes to tilt the election his way, no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent.

    The so-called "overvotes" told the story, especially in precincts where presidental candidates appeared on more than one page of the ballot.  In Duval County, sample ballots prepared by Republican Supervisor of Elections John Stafford incorrectly instructed people to vote on every page.  (His programming background makes it plausible that Stafford did this with deliberate intent to confuse and deceive voters.)  As a result:

    In Duval County, for example, 20 percent of the ballots from African- American areas that went heavily for Mr. Gore were thrown out because voters followed instructions to mark a vote on every page of the ballot. In 62 precincts with black majorities in Duval County alone, nearly 3,000 people voted for Mr. Gore and a candidate whose name appeared on the second page of the ballot, thus spoiling their votes.

    and

    More than 113,000 voters cast ballots for two or more presidential candidates. Of those, 75,000 chose Mr. Gore and a minor candidate; 29,000 chose Mr. Bush and a minor candidate. Because there was no clear indication of what the voters intended, (really?  who are they kidding?) those numbers were not included in the consortium's final tabulations.

    and

    In Palm Beach County, 5,310 people, most of them probably confused by the infamous butterfly ballot, voted for Mr. Gore and Patrick J. Buchanan. The confusion affected Bush voters as well, but only 2,600 voted for Mr. Bush and another candidate.

    People are not supposed to be disenfranchised for stupidity and confusion.  By any reasonable standard of "intent of the voter," thousands of those overvote ballots should have been counted for Gore.

    But none of those votes are even needed to make the case.  There were thousands of voters, presumably with English literacy/fluency problems, who both punched out the box for Gore and also wrote Gore next to the words "WRITE IN CANDIDATE".  Yet they were all automatically rejected in the machine count and the machine recount.  This is such a common mistake that Florida law already indicates that such votes are to be counted:

    Florida Administrative Code 1S-20031(7) An overvote shall occur when an elector casts a vote on the ballot card and also casts a write-in vote for a qualified write-in candidate for that same office. Upon such an overvote, the entire vote for that office shall be void and shall not be counted. However, an overvote shall not occur when the elector casts a vote on the ballot card but then enters a sham or unqualified name in the write-in space for that same office. In such case, only the write-in vote is void.

    Elsewhere in the law it states that a person who is already on the ballot is an "unqualified name" for a write in:

    ... a candidate who is listed on the ballot cannot also be a "qualified write-in candidate" for the same office. [Florida Statutes 99.061 (4)(b)]

    Under those conditions, the write-in is voided but the punched out vote is supposed to be counted.  That is Florida law RIGHT NOW.  Those votes alone win the election for Gore under any reasonable legal definition of determining the intent of the voter.  But they can only be discovered with a hand count.

    And of course all this disregards the tens of thousands of (mostly black) people who didn't get to vote at all because they were illegally purged from the voter rolls for having names similar to those of convicted felons...

    Gore won Florida.  Period.  Crooked local Republican officials stole the election, either with Jeb's knowledge or with Jeb agreeing to look the other way while various questionable tactics were pulled out of the woodwork.  If the S.Ct. had been more interested in getting at the facts according to existing state law than in rushing to judgment for a Bush presidency this would have been uncovered by proper legal means at the time.

    This is why Gov. Dean says we need to elect more Democrats to local level offices like supervisor of elections... and statewide offices like Secretary of State.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 12:20:24 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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