Legitimacy Poll, sorta.

Okay, we’ve been beating this thing within an inch of its life. In a manner of speaking.

First of all, lets clarify a few things that I think would otherwise come into contention here: there is a specific standard for the hand count, and it was written in 1990, and it is very straightforward. Is any corner of the chad detached? It’s a vote. That’s the legal standard that has existed since 1990 in Florida. Additionally, there are legal standards for requesting hand recounts, you can’t do so just because you like the political demographic of a particular place and you hope to find more votes. In this case, the three counties being hand counted are all punch ballot counties that have demonstrated high rates of error. That is the standard, it has been met. It is a fortunate accident that these counties are Democratic.

So everything that is going on is legal, it is already written into Florida law, nobody changed the rules to make it go their way, and we gotta accept it, at least for the purposes of this poll, if not in real life.

Given that…

I got to thinking…let’s envision the following scenario:

4 counties recount. Gore adds enough votes to win. Bush adds votes as well, but not enough. The absentees come in overwhelmingly for Bush, but not enough to make him the winner. So after everything is tallied, Gore wins Floridas electoral votes.

At the same time, Bush or the automatic laws of various states have triggered recounts in 4 or five other states. While Bush picks up a few, he doesn’t pick up enough. Gore becomes president. All the activities above are completely provided for by law.
Now let’s look at scenario #2:

Bush wins in the injunction he has requested in federal court to stop the hand count. This effectively stops any further re-counting. He becomes president.

This is, in fact, the two possible scenarios we are faced with, so this isn’t a purely academic exercise.
The poll is this:

Which scenario produces, in your opinion, the more LEGITIMATE president? Please explain your answer.

that doesn’t change any legalities, but I think it does need ot be remembered:

Gore was on his way to tell the nation he lost. He had already told Bush. The secretary of state of Florida called him and told him not to do so because he might actually have won, it was just too close to call. So Gore did not create or think up this situation on his own.

Additionally, the FIRST recount was MANDATED by Florida law, so Gore had to wait for that. IN THAT COUNT, and while it was going on, the problems, errors, and huge differences arose that prompted this, the FIRST AND ONLY recount that Gore has REQUESTED.

Minor quibble…what I heard was that it was a Gore campaign person (in Florida?) who logged on to the Dept of Elections website (which is under the Dept of State there) and saw that the margin had dramatically narrowed from the some 30,000 votes that was still being reported by the networks to some hundreds of votes. I don’t think the Secretary of State in Florida was personally involved.

What about the scenario where the hand count goes forward and Bush is the winner when all is said and done?

Well, given that about half of us seem to feel that the recount is called for (actually, most polls on TV seem to put it at 65% or so overall. At least for now) it would seem that the overwhelming number of folks would feel his presidency was legit at that point, don’t you think? So let’s confine it to the scenarios I outlined.

stoid…Maker Of The Poll

Dammit, 21 of you have read it, but nobody has answered it!

Play along! (Or are you taking the time to really come up with a thoughtful and honest answer? That would be cool.)

I’d say that the scenario where there are no more recounts would produce the more legitimate president, as in the other scenario, some counties (all of which Gore won) have their votes counted more. Either recount the entire state or nothing, I say.

No, I don’t think there should be further recounting. There is too much of a risk of fraud or even human error. It is also unfair to only hand recount the counties Gore is ahead in, and not the ones Bush is ahead in. Furthermore, when all the absentee ballots are in nationwide, Bush might very well have a majority of the popular vote.

I’m with waterj2.

It should be a consistent recount.

Either all counties get recounted by hand, or all recounted by machine (which has already been done), add in the absentee, and stick with that amount.

I think to a lot of people, this hand recount of certain Gore-selected counties only sounds very partisan. Remember, there was a highly Republican county that had even a higher amount of errors (ballots being rejected) than in Palm Beach. I suspect that many more Bush votes could be picked up in that county, if a hand count were to be carried out there. The Bush camp made a grave error in not requesting a hand count there, IMO. I hope they can still get the hand recount in that county.

nah i think they needed to do it in 72 hours. and they didnt. So IMHO its only fair that they either get the chance or stop the counting where gore did it.

Clearly, the Bush camp made a tactical error here (unless they win their court injunction). However, if it is at all legal to allow them to extend the hand recount to other counties that Bush wants, I would be in favor of it because it would lend a greater sense of legitimacy to the result. (However, what I have heard is that these heavily Democratic counties are amongst the only ones that use the punch ballot that seems to be particularly prone to being undercounted when counted by machine…But, this is all hearsay.)

If Gore wins only by legally out-maneuvering the Republicans in asking for certain recounts, then he has no hope of legitimacy with me. I am sick of this game of “whoever brings the best lawyers wins”. The votes have been counted twice by machines. Machines are non-partisan, they make mistakes but equally among all the votes. Unlike the Democrat morons (I’m sorry - “Election Officials”) in Palm Beach county who so far have:

  1. Had the same problem with the ballots 4 years ago, but did nothing to fix it.

  2. Approved the ballots used this year in advance with no apparent concern for their clarity or legality.

  3. Couldn’t figure out how to judge the recounted ballots on Saturday until they were hours into the count. Then came up with such an obtuse explanation I thought I was watching a MAD TV sketch.

  4. Have now called for a complete hand recount of over 400,000 machine ballots that could take weeks (months?) to accomplish. They made this decision in a meeting broadcast live by CNN after midnight that would have made one of Castro’s cabinet meetings look like a New Hampshire townhall. No discussion of the very real fact that the Florida state election commission continues to announce that all counties in Florida MUST have their results to the Sec’y of State’s office and certified by 5PM Tuesday. Or they don’t count. Period! Hand recounts included. I see yet another court visit looming just over this issue.

We have the fate of our democracy in these people’s feeble hands? God help us all.

Thank you Al Gore. I may never forgive you…

I just read in Yahoo that Bush actually lost votes in the latest Palm Beach recount. I wonder how that can happen.

The suspicious but wise part of me says that the longer we allow these ballots to be handled the more chance there is for partisan interference with the results.

I pray it ain’t so, but I wonder how you lose votes.

Comparisons to 1960 Chicago are making more sense to me.

Well, as I explained in the “Am I the Only One Enjoying this” thread, this is being erroneously portrayed.

Here’s some simple facts:

Gore/The Dems have been working completely within the law since the very beginning. They have not done a single thing that was not backed 100% by Florida law, right down to the tiniest detail of how the hand counting would be determined. (very clear to me, BTW, I don’t know why all these GOPers are struggling with it. It was written in 1990, and says that if any corner of the chad is detached, it’s a vote. Period. It’s been expressed different ways, but that’s the bottome line. You may not LIKE it, but it is the rules) Absolutely every move they made has been completely with consistent with all the state laws dealing with exactly what should be done if this situation arises.

BUSH, on the other hand, has done two things: called for the laws to be disregarded, and the orginal count to simply be accepted. (Okay, understandable, if cheesy) and the other act has been to TRY AND THWART THE LAW!! Not only are they trying to thwart the law, they are doing it by stepping right over the state (This from a guy who said for months that he believed that the states should make most of the decisions for themselves and the Federal government should stay the hell out of it) and going stright to the Feds. Like a whiny child who doesn’t like Mom’s rules so goes running to Dad to override them.

So one guy is, if you prefer, exploiting the law, and the other guy is trying to break it (void it, ignore it, whatever…he is looking to NOT play by the rules)

I think that both of them are acting a little less than statesmanlike, but I’ll take the guy who plays by the rules over the guy who tries to have the rules set aside any time. Why wouldn’t you?


Absolutely. There is nothing illegal about filing a lawsuit. No rules have been broken.

Concerning following the rules: I guess you didn’t watch the last debate. I admire a selective memory that can forget about things like that and campaign finance improprieties.

There are a lot of arguments that can be made here. I wouldn’t try this one.

How soon we forget “No Controlling Legal Authority”

The Dems constantly bring new and interesting meanings to the word “chutzpah”.

Bill to Al, “Ah so Grasshopper, you have learned well”

Since we’re talking about THE LAW - when Palm Beach doesn’t have its vote count completed by Tuesday 5PM, will they try to have the rules set aside?

Well, I am no expert on Florida election law, and I assume that neither are you. So, since there are apparently two different laws that are leading to contradictory outcomes … I.e, one that is specifying when and how a manual recount can/should be done and another saying when the vote tallying must be completed by, I assume we will need some interpretation of the law (or maybe it is already obvious…and we just don’t know it). My guess is that Tuesday by 5pm law is an attempt to avoid unnecessary delay and that if they are working in good conscience to do a count as quickly as possible, that deadline isn’t written in stone. (My main reason for guessing this is that it would seem to make sense and that, except for a few diehard Bushies, I haven’t heard very much talk of this deadline … But who knows?)

One more point…Since they seem to be doing the recount by precinct and then updating the results of the total count based on the revisions to each precinct’s count, it is not inconceivable that by Tuesday at 5pm, Gore may have gotten enough votes from the updated count to give him some sort of reasonable lead in Florida (i.e., one large enough that it is unlikely to be swung back by the absentee ballots from overseas).

I, for one, hereby go on record as saying that I hope that the interpretation of that deadline law is that the count continues anyway because that seems like the fairer interpretation to me.

I’m seeing on the news now that Volusia and Palm Beach couties are planning to SUE The Sec’y of State to extend the deadline. I was responding to the notion that it’s only the Bushies that are using the courts to set aside existing election law. It’s the Gorians that are setting us out on this uncharted presidential election course of not accepting the first and second counts. Furthermore, they aren’t ruling out taking it past the official Florida certification like the Bushies are. To me that is frightening.

BTW, Palm Beach has declared they are doing a full hand recount, not extrapolating based on a sampling of precints. It would take a court ruling to use extrapolated numbers rather than actual counts - a very rare occurence.

i would go with:
a. machine recount (already done)
b. manuel count of all ballots rejected by the machine.(these ballots have not been counted by any thing or anyone yet.)
c. add in all absen. ballots that are received by nov.17th to the mix of a and b.
d. legitimate winner declared in florida.

what i am a bit curious about is: why doesn’t bush have a lawsuit going in new mexico to stop the hand count there? would a federal court be able to stop a hand count in one state yet not stop it in another?