Gore's Settlement Proposal

According to the Atlanta Constitution this morning, Gore has offered to agree to a statewide hand recount in Florida. Both campaigns would renounce all lawsuits, and would agree to abide by the results of the hand recounts.

What could be more fair?

Any objections, Bush supporters.

I’d say Bush is going to look pretty bad if he rejects this.

I have an alternate compromise solution.

Give one of them a sword and shield, and give the other a net and trident, and let them duke it out, a fight to the death.

At the end, we’d have a clear cut winner (the one who’s still alive) PLUS the added attraction that we’d know that our winner did, in fact, have some level of competence is something. Which is more than we learned from the debates.


Yah, I object. It’s stupid. It’s not meant to be accepted. It’s a response to Bush’s settlement offer of no handcounts and accept the absentee data when it comes in so Gore doesn’t look bad. Now each party has a settlement position on the table, and each can claim the other is stonewalling.

If Bush accepted this, Gore would probably have a heart-attack.

Right now, Bush is winning. Why would he give this up?

And according to the news this morning (WTOP 1500 AM; a CBS affiliate, IIRC), there is no official offer from the Gore camp- this is just a trial balloon being floated by some staffers.

So at this point, not even Gore is offering to abide by these terms.

The Bush position is that hand counts are inherently subjective. As an example, in Palm Beach County, they decided to count a vote if one corner is detached. In the other (I forgot which) they required that two corners be detached. Even in PBC, there was some rule changed in mid count regarding this and similar issues.

From the perspective of Bush, the offer is in effect saying, “well you won one method of counting, now let’s put that aside and abide by another method of counting which you may or may not win.”

No dice, if you have the option.

Unfortunately it appears that Democrats control the judicial branch of Florida Governent. So the Bush hand is not looking too strong right now.

Gore’s settlement sounds reasonable, if you set up reasonable guidelines for the recount. Like the workers get a ten minute break every hour and work no more than four hours at a time.

I mean, have you seen the PBC recount? These people were working 14 hour shifts and looked bleary eyed and exhausted. Being tired no doubt increases the likelihood of errors. And we’re trying to get 100% accuracy here.

Also, there should be clear and ubiquitous rules about what constitutes a vote, depending on the type of ballot.

Other than that, if that’s what it will take to make all parties happy, as a Bush supporter, I’d agree to it. It does seem a bit silly, but at least the nation would be relieved to get the process out of the courts.

I think the proposal is smart strategy from the Gore camp.

Bush comes across looking like he’s afraid of the hand count. By extension, it looks like he’s afraid that he didn’t really get a majority of votes, but is willing to disregard that possibility for the sake of clinging to victory.

As for hand counts being inherently subjective, why did Bush sign the Texas law giving hand counts preference over machine counts? Changing his position now makes him look even worse.

…And the Bush Camp responds with a concrete proposal. If their smart the dems will wait and see how the court rulings go. If they are not favorable, they’ll offer a counterproposal: Let the handcounts proceed through the absentee ballot deadline.

The Bush camp would probably agree.

Bush can’t agree to it, because Baker has said that hand counts are subjective, people are biased, people make mistakes, etc., and on top of that they have sued (unsuccessfully) to STOP the hand count. The Bush camp has not been playing this wisely.


No handcounts are goin on in PBC now, and their is currently a 5pm deadline for certified results. Bush is winning.

Anyone got a cite on this? This is the second time I’ve heard this one, but there was no backup in the other place I saw it either.

Also, even if Bush did sign something, that doesn’t necessarily imply support; it may have simply meant he was neutral on it and was yielding to the wisdom (such as it was) of the legislature, or was against it, but thought its supporters could override his veto, and he wanted to save his political capital for something more important.

And, if he did support such legislation, it might’ve contained specific standards for judging whether a mark counted as a vote. Although this is a bit iffy - chances are Texas is like most other states I’ve lived in, with different voting mechanisms in every county. And if that’s so, then it’s unlikely that the Lege, as Molly Ivins calls it, wrote such standards for each voting system.

So as much as I hate to put in a good word for Bush, that’s what you’d have to know, to accuse him of hypocrisy here: that he actually supported legislation that made hand counts the ultimate authority, and that said legislation didn’t say a whole lot about standards for judging the worthiness of each ballot.

Until we know that, we’ve got to assume the honesty of his current stance. He may have only arrived at that position in the past week, but if he didn’t have a prior, conflicting position on the issue, he’s still morally entitled to form one now. It may be self-serving (what - a politician doing something self-serving? I’m shocked, shocked, to hear of such a thing), but it wouldn’t be hypocritical.

The offer is a hollow ploy, as is the offer from the Bush camp. Neithe position represents a “compromise”. Each represents a candidate offer to “settle” for the procedure they feel will give them the Presidency.

A pox on both their houses.

From this thread:

On that thread you will also find my response to the "he’s only a hypocrite if he actively supported the legislation argument. Remember, he opposed teh manual recount on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.

Go to USA Today and you can find a map showing which method each county in the USA uses. (Scroll down about one-quarter of the page and click on the link “Voting methods around the country.”)
Texas uses five different methods, though two methods are used by only one county each. The most-used method (by county and population) is optical scan. (Like state lotteries, I guess.) Second-most used is paper ballot, but the counties that use those are little-populated, rural counties in West Texas. Third-most used is the infamous punch-card ballot, though Harris County, (Houston) is the largest user of punch-cards. (El Paso County and Bexar County [San Antonio] also use punch-cards.)

Now, when I rank each method, I’m going by number of counties. It’s possible that more PEOPLE, but not more COUNTIES use punch-cards, given that three of the most-populous counties use punch-cards. (Dallas County, second-most populous, uses optical scan.)

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS: Except for one county, the entire state of Illinois uses punch-cards.

Most California counties use Datavote, a different type of punch-cards.

The entire states of New York and Connecticut use lever machines. Austin, Texas, also uses them.

Only 1.4% of the national population uses paper ballots. (Which leads credence to the claim that few Texans use them.)

The entire state of Oklahoma uses optical scan. (The same is true of Alaska and Hawaii. I also have the print version of this map; the online version does not include AK and HI. I wonder why.)

Most of New Mexico and Kentucky use electronic voting.

Dex, I place my bet on W in this one. Gore would start bitching about improper environmental regulations, and get stabbed before he could finish the sentence.

OTOH, a less violent approach might be to get the two of them up on stage, have 'em pull down their pants, and may the best man win!

RTF, to answer your other question, Texas does have standards for manual counts of punch card ballots:

Sounds remarkably similar to the standards being applied in Palm Beach County, does it not? Texas uses the same “intent of the voter” standard as PBC.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the PBC voting commission borrowed the language of the Texas statute to insulate themselves from criticism from the Bush camp.


From what I’ve read, the PBC counters used one detached corner (though they may have switched back and forth on this). The other county involved required two corners. Also, PBC was, at one point, using light alone as a sign of intent until the Republicans protested too much. The Texas rules seem alot stricter.

I think your post makes the Bush point. In Texas, there are strict and clearcut rules on what constitutes a vote. In Florida each County Board gets to make them up for themselves on the fly, with the election on the line.

Just a wacky suggestion…because its the right thing to do?

Are you saying here that Bush should dig in his heels and fight on every front to keep any further counting occuring anywhere, under any circumstances, because he’s go the lead? Because if so, may i say it is a fortunate thing you are not one of his advisors.

I have been noting with satisfaction the turn in the tide of public opinion, which is, in the long run, going to be even more important than legalities and who ultimately becomes president. It’s going ot matter very much HOW they do so.

Gore was the one on the hot seat last week. In fact, around Friday, even I was having tiny doubts about how he was handling the situation, and just how far he dared push it. Then Bush went to court. And that was a very, very foolish move. Especially since pretty much everyone agrees that their chances of winning were almost non-existant, since they were trying to stop a lawful recount provided for in Florida statutes…by going to the Feds no less. Incredibly bad move.

Now they might win because an EXTREMELY partisan and biased SOS has decided to exercise her discretion to stop what the majority of American support, and probably hand the presidency to Bush in the process. Extra-super-duper bad move. Gore offers a recount of everybody. Bush says no. More bad moves…they seem to have an endless supply. Gonna make a bitchen prez! :rolleyes:

But hey, it doesn’t bother me. If I have to endure his nasty little smug face for the next four years, it will be a pleasure to do so as he struggles mightily to get a single thing done, watches in horror as the congress goes to the Dems, and is booted out on his ass in 4 years, having been a lame duck the whole time. not to mention 4 years of the jokes, editorials, and some outright accusations that he stole the presidency.

Then again, he’s so incredibly stupid, he probably wont’ have the sense to be ashamed.



I detect a slight partisanship in your last post. :slight_smile:

In all fairness I don’t think that a statewide handcount is the right thing to do (unless of course the purpose is to get Gore elected.)

We’ve argued this thing to death, and I’d hope you might agree that there are legitimate resevations to such actions.

So far, the Gore party hasn’t accused the SOS as making a prejudiced decision. I think this is wise. It is my understanding that the ability of the SOS to extend the deadline is specifically for natural disasters and such. The SOS isn’t interpreting anything. She’s following a law and not granting an extension. The Democrats are arguing that the importance of the election is equal to a hurricane or something and therefore she should. It’s kinda weird on both sides.

A couple of points:

First, the manual recount law in Texas was part of an omnibus election reform bill - If Bush felt the bill ‘on balance’ was good for the state, he may have signed it even if he honestly felt that manual recounts were not necessarily a good thing.

Anyone who has followed politics for any length of time knows how riders can get attached to bills that the governor or president really wants - it’s how pork gets passed, amongst other pet bills that a politician might have.

That said, I doubt that Bush ever had an opinion one way or another regarding hand counts - his current ‘attitude’ is no doubt pure expediency. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that, if it happens to be correct.

The whole thing is turning into a circus, and Gore is just as guilty as Bush of taking the ‘low road’. Let’s see - the Gore camp always took the position that everyone should just follow Florida law. Well, Florida law does not allow for recounts past 5 PM today. The Broward county election officials lawfully decided not to continue their hand count (by a vote of 3-1, with two of the three voting to stop counting being Democrats).

In both cases, the Gore camp is now suing. They want the first law overturned because it doesn’t ‘make sense’, and they want the decision of the Broward elections committee overturned as well. Is this not completely hypocritical on their side?

Adding to the shenanigans - a Republican judge has been forced to recuse himself because ‘someone’ overheard him say, “I’m doing my bit to put a Republican in the White House”. He claims to have never said it, and believes that this is a smear job. His replacement is, of course, a Democrat.

This whole thing is turning into a banana republic slugfest, and neither candidate is taking the ‘high road’.