What IS going on in florida?

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I'm at work at the moment, and the only news that I am getting is from this forum, and from radio news broadcasts.

the latest news had two conflicting reports, neither of which have been reported in any detail here.

The first is that the Democrats have asked for an injunction declaring many of the absentee ballots out of order.

The second is that that some democrats among the vote counters have been accused of deliberately altering and/or miscounting votes in favour of Gore.

What is happening?

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), November 18, 2000



The latest news on the election is usually at the following link...


...but the two items you mentioned don't seem to match what's currently at ABC.News.com. Let me dig a little more and see what's out there.

-- The (
election@of.2000), November 18, 2000.


WIRE:11/18/2000 18:57:00 ET

WRAPUP 9-Bush lead in Florida grows, tempers flare

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov 18 (Reuters) - Republican George W. Bush's lead over Democrat Al Gore expanded to 930 votes in Florida on Saturday as the Texas governor"s team charged the Democrats with "distorting, reinventing and miscounting" voter ballots in their drive to put Gore in the White House.

Eleven days after the Nov. 7 election, the decision on who will become the 43rd president of the United States hinges on rulings next week by the state Supreme Court, which will decide on the legality of manual vote counts in several counties. The vice president"s backers hope that Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties -- all Democratic strongholds -- can produce enough extra Gore votes to squeak out a victory.

Political analysts say it is possible, but it will be close. "Literally, every ballot counts. We"re down to that," said Lance deHaven-Smith, associate director of the Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University. As of Saturday, Bush was creeping ahead in the total vote tally. According to figures released by Florida"s secretary of state, Bush increased his 300-vote lead by 630 votes after all of the state's 67 counties filed results from overseas ballots, many of them from military personnel.

Bush gained 1,380 votes, while Gore polled 750. But a new controversy erupted over some 1,400 absentee ballots rejected because they lacked proper postmarks, signatures or envelopes, and the Bush campaign accused Gore supporters of trying to distort the vote. The new figures brought Bush's total lead in the state to 930 votes.

But 11 days after the election, Bush could still not declare victory; nor could Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certify the results. An order issued on Friday by the state Supreme Court effectively froze the situation until it could hear arguments on Monday on whether hand counts under way in Palm Beach and Broward County and about to begin in Miami-Dade County could be included in the state total.

Harris, a Republican, had ruled earlier this week that counties which missed Tuesday's statutory deadline for election returns could not have their hand recounts included. But the state's top justices, all appointed by Democrats, overruled her pending further argument on Monday.

On Saturday, lawyers for the Gore campaign presented their case for manual recounts to the court, submitting a 62-page brief arguing that the recounts are essential to guarantee each citizen's right to vote and have that vote counted. Republicans, also due to submit a brief ahead of Monday's court date, argue that the hand recounts are fundamentally flawed, unfair and inaccurate.


The winner of Florida"s 25 electoral votes will win the Nov. 7 presidential election. But the Bush campaign said the entire process was now subject to serious doubt. Bush communications director Karen Hughes said: "We now have clear and compelling evidence from eyewitnesses that this manual recount process is fundamentally flawed and is no longer recounting, but is distorting, reinventing and miscounting the true intentions of the voters of Florida."

The Bush campaign presented Montana's Republican Gov. Marc Racicot to make their case that ballots were being dropped, damaged, stuck together, abused and misplaced and that Democratic officials were changing and manipulating the rules of the count. "There is something obviously that is terribly, terribly wrong with what has been occurring. ... This is a process that is completely untrustworthy and this is what the campaign was warning about from the beginning," Racicot said. He also called the Gore campaign unpatriotic, accusing Democrats of mounting "a statewide effort to throw out as many military ballots as they can" and junking between 900 and 1,100 votes cast by military personnel.

"The vice president"s lawyers have gone to war against our servicemen and women," he said. Gore spokesman Chris Lehane said the Bush camp was injecting "raw, crass, partisan politics" into the situation. "The Gore campaign wants the will of the people to be reflected accurately and completely, which will be guaranteed by a manual recount, while the Bush campaign is trying to do everything possible to stop that from happening," Lehane said.

Democrats also challenged votes in heavily Republican Seminole County, where Republican officials are alleged to have helped fill out some missing details in some ballots.

Miami-Dade County election officials, meanwhile, decided to begin a manual recount on Sunday of all 654,000 ballots cast in Florida"s most populous county, which could take up to three weeks to conclude. The election board decided on Friday, by a 2-1 vote, to conduct the full manual recount. Each recount team has a Democratic counter, a Democratic observer, a Republican counter and a Republican observer.

-- The (election@of.2000), November 18, 2000.

Raw news wire feeds...


-- The (election@of.2000), November 18, 2000.

Associated Press top news...


-- The (election@of.2000), November 18, 2000.

Results of Yahoo! news search on 'Florida' in reverse chronological order...


-- The (election@of.2000), November 18, 2000.

And then of course there's always CNN...


-- The (election@of.2000), November 18, 2000.

Many thanks for all the links. The Newsday link appears to carry items that line up with what I have heard on the radio over here. Its almost comical the way that one branch of the media can put a totally different spin on a story yet use exactly the same information as everyone else.

What ever the outcome BOTH parties in this election are acting very immature, and neither deserve to lead the largest democracy on earth. Perhaps the offer from the Monarchy may not be such a joke after all.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), November 18, 2000.


While your take is pretty good, I wonder what you would recommend that a "mature" candidate do? Concede? How does this help our country?

I admit I have to laugh and how the precise letter of the law is regarded -- to be followed where it helps (exact deadlines for recounts), and to be a matter of discretion when it does not (postmarks on military ballots).

There is only one principle that either party is following and both are following it. That's the Lombardi principle -- "Winning isn't everything, it's the ONLY thing."

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), November 18, 2000.


I'll tell you what is REALLY going on down here. One of the Democrat party members who was counting ballots was observed trying to poke her fingernail through a ballot. A Democrat was found with a voting machine in his car. A Democrat admitted that during the machine recount chads were flying from the machine "like popcorn". Ballots that were actually votes for Bush were found in a pile set aside as votes hand counted for, and ready to be credited to, Al Gore.

What is really going on down here is sleazy.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 18, 2000.

Hey Unc,

Have yaw'll heard any of these or related stories through people that you or somebody you know knows,or are they stories ran in the media? Or possibly substantiated by people ya run across? Just curious if it's common knowledge down there and blurbs we hear about up here.You are a little closer to ground zero.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 18, 2000.


Local news, local radio. Make no mistake, the Dems are doing EVERYTHING they can to get Al enough votes.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 18, 2000.

hee hee hee Just saw an article on yahoo that said the Dems are being accused of eating the chads!

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), November 18, 2000.

Malcolm: While your take is pretty good, I wonder what you would recommend that a "mature" candidate do? Concede? How does this help our country? -- Flint

Flint, your response does make me smile because I do not believe that I can define a "mature" candidate. It seems to me that just by wanting to be a politician that a person has automatically shown that they are not qualified for the post they aspire to.

Perhaps the best that either candidate could have done was to simply sit back and let the procedures set down run their course. Obviously that is too much to expect, particularly from what I am hearing about the actions of the Dems.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), November 18, 2000.

Unk, I'm not calling you a liar or anything, but with the heavy-duty security they have down there and Repubs watching every single ballot, I find it hard to believe that what you said is happening. What program are you listening to, Rush Limbaugh? It sounds like partisan propaganda from the right.

-- hard to believe (got.any.dirt@on.the.repubs?), November 18, 2000.


US politics as usual.

What makes it different this time is that people are paying attention to the abuses. The video cams on are full feed.

I predict that Gore will be the next POTUS because he has hired the best criminals to help him gain this powerseat.

What goes on behind closed doors?

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), November 18, 2000.

I have heard similar stories but if they are true then why aren't the Republicans videotaping it? Such blatent fraud should be easy to document.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), November 19, 2000.

The guy on the lower right is a Republican lawyer looking for Bush's hole. Somehow I don't think much would slip past that guy.


-- (watching@every.step), November 19, 2000.

Hi guys. I live here (in Miami-Dade) and I have no idea what is going on. All I can say is to pray.

-- JoseMiami (josenmiami@yahoo.com), November 19, 2000.

To whomever,

The worst I have seen reported or alleged to the Republicans is that they are objecting to too many ballots and are trying to slow the process down to a crawl. I have NOT heard of any attempted cheating by Republicans, which is not to say that it hasn't happened.

I am reporting what I am hearing locally, take it for what it is worth.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 19, 2000.

Thanks Unk,

Ya know how it is when your'e on the outside looking in,we allways want the *real* scoop.

Personally,I don't trust either one of'em any further than I could throw'em,if that.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 19, 2000.

Mr. DeeDah, you apparently have lived in Florida for some time and I am curious if this current fiasco is embarrassing to your fellow Floridians? I realize that a certain segment of the population could care less but you seem to be a person of character and thoughtfulness.

-- Wizard (onedirector@email.msn.com), November 19, 2000.

The guy on the lower right is a Republican lawyer looking for Bush's hole.

Uh, if he's looking for his hole he's definitely looking in the wrong place.

Sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

-- Mr. Happy (x0x@cdo.net), November 19, 2000.

BOTH of these men have 4 and one half inch dick's.

Have they been checked for cancer?

-- snuff. (Home@in here.com), November 19, 2000.

Who is paying all these lawyers to look at holes? Hope it isn't us.

-- (hire.proctologists@they're.cheaper), November 19, 2000.


From talking to other locals the consensus is that folks around here are sick to death of the dirty political infighting. Keep in mind that the elections board in Palm Beach DENIED a hand recount to a Republican who lost by 11 VOTES eight weeks ago in a run-off election, and that the so-called dimpled chads were NEVER counted in hand counts until 4 days ago! The rules have now changed because Gore needs votes. The partisan politics is giving most people here a VERY bad impression of the process.

But I must say that very few seem embarrassed by what is happening, disgusted would be a better word. Most of the folks I've talked to seem to feel that if this was happening in any other state you would be seeing the same sort of things.

Overall, when I ask people what they think some of them erupt in anger, but mostly I am getting a lot of bemused smiles, shaking heads, and shrugging shoulders.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 19, 2000.

"the so-called dimpled chads were NEVER counted in hand counts until 4 days ago!"

Friday November 17 4:29 PM ET Texas Law Allows Voter ``Intent''

By NATALIE GOTT, Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas' manual recount law permits county officials to determine whether a voter intended to select a particular candidate on a punchcard ballot - a rule that Gov. George W. Bush (news - web sites) has protested in Florida, saying it is subjective.

Texas state law also allows county officials to count ``pregnant chads'' - part of a punchcard ballot that has an indentation but was not punched all the way through - as a vote.

Chads are the little bits of paper that are dislodged from punchcard ballots during voting. Indented chads have been at the center of debate between Republican Bush and Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) over manual recounts of the presidential vote in Florida.

The Bush campaign has objected to the manual recounts, saying they lead to election officials having to reinterpret the results of the election and the intentions of voters by subjective, rather than objective, means.

Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett said Friday that the difference in Texas is that the state has uniform election rules statewide, whereas Florida does not.

``We allow for only one recount and we do provide standards for those 14 counties that still use the punchcard ballot,'' Bartlett said.

The rules in Texas have not caused any problems or challenges from candidates, said Anne McGeehan, director of elections at the Texas Secretary of State's office.

The rules say that in the event of a recount, a ballot may not be counted unless:

- At least two corners of the chad are detached.

- Light is visible through the hole.

- An indentation on the chad from the stylus or other object is present and indicates a clearly ascertainable intent of the voter to vote.

- The chad reflects by other means a clearly ascertainable intent of the voter to vote.

The rules were adopted in 1993, before Bush took office as governor. Bush signed a law in 1997 that said a manual recount is preferred to an electronic machine recount to decide close elections.

-- (newsflash@for.repubertarians), November 19, 2000.

WTF does that have to do with Palm Beach procedures? Should I worry about Alaska's election laws too?

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 19, 2000.

"Should I worry about Alaska's election laws too?"

Yes you should, particularly in a national election. Unk, a national election means that all 50 states are included, and what happens in each of the 50 states will have an effect on the entire nation, as we now see in Florida. Understand?

Though it appears to be hopeless to clear our way through the endless jungle of corruption in the state of Florida under the governance of "Jeb", do not despair... this is why America is the greatest nation in the world. We are about to witness the beauty of our system in action, and how it works to keep our country united as our forefathers intended.

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule to establish uniform standards in all states... and like a cold slap in the face to "Dubya", the legislation he passed into law in his own state will be used as an example of how the centuries-old tradition of inspecting each ballot by hand is the "Constitutionally-correct" thing to do, ensuring that each individual's voice will continue to be heard.

Any true Libertarian like yourself will undoubtedly be thrilled to discover that the voice of the people cannot simply be swept under the rug by corrupt Republicans, even in Florida. Enjoy the show. ;-)

-- (united@we.stand), November 19, 2000.

You aren't very bright are you? Let me try it again. Why would I need to worry about Alaska's election laws when we are talking about a recount in FLORIDA? Hello? Are you awake in there? If the recount was actually in ALASKA then I might be concerned with the laws there, likewise if the recount was in Texas I would pay attention to what the law says in Texas. See how that works?

I doubt it.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 19, 2000.

In other words, hypocrisy is okay, as long as you do it in a different state. Hee heee heee hee!! That's cute Unk!

Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court will buy it?

-- (try@again.later), November 19, 2000.

Sorry for saying that you are not very bright, it is obviously much worse than mere dullness, you are also dishonest. Or are you in fact so stupid as to think that Texas law actually does apply to Florida elections?

I wonder if the Supreme Court will "buy" that! LOL!

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 19, 2000.

Not meaning to cause a flury, but have not seen any Gore Stickers, on any vehicle, in my neighborhood. All Stickers, support Bush Camp. And won't we take them to task. Gore, such a wimp, and he, his Blond Cheer leader stupid wife. If they had some decorum, we could forgive them. Ye-Gats, they have none.

-- My Story and (I@sticking.com), November 19, 2000.

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