I ask again, is this wise? We have people protesting about being disenfranchized, people questioning the process of the ballot count in Florida, and so on and so forth. If Bush goes through with the STOP the COUNT, these questions won’t go away. Instead it makes him look like a despotic ruler who’s trying to supress the elections because the results (which aren’t in yet) hasn’t gone his way. It also makes it seem that he may have something to hide. This is the one action that may undermine his ability to perform his duty as president, should he be the victor. Why is he doing this, committing political suicide?
I am a little concerned that this will “look bad”. But I do think that Gore will pick and pick and pick at ballots at only the highly Democratic counties, until he conjures up enough votes to tip the election in his favor. And this bothers me. If Gore wants to keep picking and picking and picking, then Bush should be able to pick several highly Republican counties in Florida, and pick and pick and pick away as well. I’m sure there were plenty of votes that he has lost, because of some innacuracy in counting. After all, this is all about an accurate count - so why can’t Bush have a shot at a hand count in multiple counties? We should go through EVERY county in Florida with a fine-toothed comb. Not just the highly Democratic ones.
As it is, we’ve had TWO counts, Bush is still ahead. And as I have heard from the media, hand counts are not very reliable. So as Scylla says, it’ll just provide a different result, not necessarily a more accurate one.
Scylla, I think you might be missing my concern of tactics that’s going on here. Yes, both could use every legal remedy at their disposal, but it doesn’t mean you should. Because of the suspicion of foul play.
Al Gore is treading the water dangerously close with the multiple recounts in democratic counties. However, Bush will be in more dangerous waters with the stop order. Perception and image is the key here. Right now the perception is Gore is trying to uncover the truth and the only thing a stop order does is to legitimize that perception of Gore and make it look like Bush has something to hide. And I don’t think Bush wants to be in that position.
I do worry that this will “look bad” for Bush. But I personally think that if you are going to do a hand count, EVERY county should have it. EVERY county undoubtedly has innacuracies that could be uncovered by a hand count. (If the hand count is actually accurate!) And by picking ONLY the Democratic counties, Gore is not actually looking for an “accurate” count, he is looking to pick up enough votes in ONLY highly Democratic counties. I don’t think he’ll want a hand count in highly Republican counties, because odds are, more Bush votes would be uncovered there. For this reason, I don’t blame Bush for wanting to stop the hand count.
Bush is successfully managing to force everyone into the assumption that he’s won. In New Mexico, the margin is at 119 last I checked: Gore over Bush. They’re going to do a recount regardless of whether Bush asks for it or not. In Fla, we’re down to around 300, Bush over Gore. Remember, absentee ballots have not yet been counted, and the election has not yet been certified. It’s only been four days since the election, hardly a big delay in a contest as amazingly close as this one. Granted, the absentees usually go to the Republicans, but anyone who says they can predict anything about this contest is lying.
Bush is acting ridiculous and making himself look ridiculous by circulating names for his Cabinet when the election remains undecided in so many states. Oregon will probably recount too, because the margin is so close there. His effort to stop the recount in Florida is too unreasonable for words. A margin of 300 cries out for absolute certainty, especially since his brother - let me repeat that, his brother is governor of that state. The count in Florida has to be utterly, absolutely, and completely beyond reproach.
W had better start learning the value of humility, quickly.
Last I heard, Bush was ahead in N.M. by 14 votes, or so. I’m sure that will change, one way or the other, real soon.
The hand count is something that the Gore camp requested, ONLY in a few key Democratic counties. From what I understand, a recount (by machine) is something that is automatically done when the vote count is really close. But a hand count is not automatically done. (But I could be wrong on this.) The fact that this hand count is ONLY being done in a few key Democratic-heavy counties does concern me. Obviously it concerns the Bush camp too. It looks to me that Gore wants to “pick and pick and pick” at these ballots, until he can find more votes for himself. His best chances of doing this are in highly Democratic counties.
Bush’s brother, the Governor of Florida, has removed himself from the whole process of the recount.
Yes, Bush could be far more low-key about planning his Presidential administration. But from what I’ve heard, BOTH camps have been planning for their possible administration, for quite a while. These kinds of things take time - gotta get a head start!
However, Seminole County in Florida did a hand recount at the request of Republican officials. They found 98 net additional votes for Bush. This should be good reason for a statewide hand recount, instead of a injunction against it.
Yes! I mentioned that in my first post! That would probably look better, and there would not be this obvious slant towards Democratic-heavy counties.
However, a state-wide hand count sounds like an absolute NIGHTMARE. But it is preferable to just picking and choosing counties that you think will favor you, and only you. Which is what it looks like Gore is doing.
I guess we were just talking past each other. I do see that you mentioned it (and Scylla alluded to it) in your first post.
But is it wise to try and stop the recount?
And I just readthis Salon article as to why there might be a run for hand counts in Democratic counties downstate. there the ones that use this punch card ballot that seems to have royally screwed up the election (ie incomplete punches, not the butterfly design). The upstate counties (which tend to be more Republican) use more hi-tech methods of voting.
A hand recount, as required to be performed by Florida law, is a sampling of some precincts within a county. If the sampling shows results that warrant braodening the scope, then the hand count can be extended ot the entire county.
A had recount by law is performed in a rom open to both public and press. Two independent observers must agree on teh vote recorded on each ballot. Representatives of both campaigns may be present during the count.
Now, can someone please tell me where the “inaccuracy” will arise from this method? How about “party bias”? It seems, rather, the method most assured of obtaining a reliable and accurate count of the valid ballots cast.
There is absolutely nothing stopping Bush from asking for recounts in any county he wishes.
The decision to have a hand recount is entirely at the discretion of teh local canvasing board.
The counties Gore has asked to be re-examined all showed significant differences in count between the two maxhine counts. It is unreasonable to accept either machine count as accurate, given that thee results were not reproducible despite supposedly identical input. Palm Beach County, for instance, showed a difference of 809 votes between the two counts: more than twice the margin currently separating the candidates.
The counties which favored bush in Florida have not shown such discrepancies. This does not prevent Bush from asking for a recount in those counties, but it removes one compelling reason for the canvasing board to agree to the request. Bush may, of course, supply other reasons should he have them. Perhaps Bush should seek a recount of Duval County, which voted for Bush by a 60%-40% split and showed a swing of 200 votes between counts.
The position that Gore has “picked and chosen” counties where a recount will favor him presupposes that in those counties valid ballots for Gore were not counted properly. If that is the case, then a recount is not only warranted, it is ethically demanded. The freedom to vote means nothing if a valid ballot can be discounted simply because it is inconvenient to count it correctly.
The position that the Gore campaign has asked for a recount only in counties that voted heavily democratic is also misleading. The vote in Dade County split roughly 53%-47%. In Valusia County, the split was 54%-46%. Broward County and Palm Beach County did vote heavily for Gore.
As already discussed a little, a more accurate thread title would be “Stop the RE-re-count.” It may be good politics for the Bush folks to continue to let the Gore team count until they get tired, but one can hardly blame Bush for being wary of having this thing dragged out.
Also, and I mentioned this elsewhere, there is the definite human element of error to consider in a hand re-count, especially concerning the so-called disputed ballots. According to what I’m hearing on CNN, the hand counter would have to determine voter intent by looking at “hanging chards,” incomplete holes, pencil markings, or other subjective criteria. There may be instances where two holes are punched and someone will have to decide if one hole looks more correct than the other. I would hope that ballots such as these would be thrown out, but given the circumstances, who knows?
Given the methods as I understand them, a statewide hand re-count would have to take several weeks. Each ballot must be reviewd by at least 3 people, and I think one of those has to be a judge. 6 million ballots to review. How many of these review boards would need to be set up? One for each county? Aieeee.
Those talking about Jeb and fraud in the same sentence are doing a great disservice to the process. There is no fraud here. Confusion, yes; but “The fix is in?” Come to me with your proof, I say.
It would also seem to suggest that many counties would have voter discrepancies, not just the ones Gore wants recounted. If one county gets a hand-recount, ALL counties get a hand-recount. After all, it’s ethically demanded to do so
Perhaps you could explain the logic behind this statement. The presumption that Gore votes were undercounted in some counties does not imply that the reults in every county were inaccurate.
That said, if Bush wants hand recounts in every county, he is certainly free to request them. (Didn’t I say just that above?) The individual canvassing authorities will then decide whether the hand count is warranted.
Perhaps we cross-posted. I gave a (relatively) complete picture of how a hand recount works (as presented by election officials to PBC residents–sorry, no electronic link). I see no place in the process where human judgment is likely to introduce more error than the machine “noise” which has marred the machine counts in several Florida counties.
Human judgment is not a bad thing. Both the requirement for individual assessments to agree and the openness of the process help to minimize the subjective error. There is no similar mitigation for errors in the machine count. Recognition of this, in fact, is the very reason that the hand recount exists as a provision of Florida election law.