who to blame -- Jeb or the Dems in Miami-Dade and Broward?

Janet Reno blames Governor Jeb Bush for the voting foul-up in certain counties. Bush says it’s the responsibility of the county election officials. Who’s right?

Neither. It is typical new technology SNAFU exacerbated by local conditions over which neither accused group has complete control.

However, you can’t have a political fight without pointing fingers and each needs to be able to point to the “other guy” come the actual November election.

Who absolved Republican pinup girl Katherine Harris ? Wasn’t she the state official responsible for seeing that the vote was fixed ? With, charitably, two monumental screwups on her watch there’s a definite trend developing here. Why didn’t Bush can her after the first debacle ?

pssst Squink, KH ain’t the Sec’y of State in Florida anymore

Didn’t a lot of the poll workers just up and quit with, like, mere days to go? That would result in having a lot of untrained staff on duty. Specially bad if the decision was made to wholesale switch every polling station to the new ballot systems. (Where I live we’re switching our system, but we’re taking our sweet time at it, using by-elections, local primaries and the like to phase it in – at first only in some wards – before giving it the big run in 2004).
Harris left her post earlier this year (but AFTER the date she was supposed to, that’s another story) to pursue further political goals.

I say neither. The fault lies with the ballot design(s) and those who approved them (lots of people had a hand in those decisions, I wager). Hopefully they will have changed to a clearer ballot state-wide by the time 04’ rolls around.

December, as tomndebb pointed out, at least part of the problem was due to new machines. Other problems are mentioned in this article from a local newspaper:

Florida spent untold amounts of money updating the election equipment all over the state after the presidential election debacle. Each county received millions and millions of dollars. The local election supervisors, however, were responsible for how it was spent. So that’s where the bulk of any blame should lie.

In the two counties in question, they had new equipment, but had not trained their poll-workers sufficiently in how to use the new machines. In some precincts the workers didn’t even know how to turn on the equipment. And so on.

With regard to Squink’s question about Katherine Harris, she is no longer Florida’s secretary of state. But, no, she wasn’t fired; it’s better(?) than that. Shortly after the presidential election furor died down, she was promoted into a job in the federal government. (“Thanks for the good work!”) After she left, the position was filled by a man who had held the post during an earlier administration.

But as for this election glitch, I don’t think there were any political shenanigans on the Governor’s part. Just the opposite, as word came in of problems developing on election day, he did what he could to help the situation. One thing was to extend the voting hours in order to help offset reports of some precincts opening late. And so on.

Personally, I think God is trying to say something to the nice people of Florida. :wink:


Hey, she already fixed one election. How many more do you want?

::d&r like a bat out of hell::

AFAIK the new machines were adopted statewide, and all the other election boards coped without any problem. So, the source of the problem sounds local to me.

I think we can blame small people for this one, not the big guns.

One election monitor actually went home with a box of ballots (I guess the computer prints something out) when the person supposed to collect them didn’t show up. Some maintainance or quality control guy must have fouled up, because a ballot printer jammed. And perhaps alot of the confusion about using the touch screens could have been cleared up if the people working the polls knew how to explain something that frickin’ simple.

Seems to me, some people are just idiots and can’t operate a simple voting mechanism. Make it simple and easy, and barring technical difficulties anybody should be able to vote. They’ve made it that easy, people are still complaining. Maybe we need to accomodate those idiots by having someone help them vote, but that would lead to manipulation of the result by the poll workers. Frankly, if you’re too stupid to figure out a touch screen, I’m glad your vote doesn’t count. Disenfranchise the stupid, I say…

…of course, I’m a monarchist, so take that with a grain of salt.

If the machines work in the Democratically controlled canvassing board counties, the Ds do not have an issue to run on which stirs up their base.

If, OTOH, they screw up the process they can blame it all on Jeb and mobilize their base. “It’s 2000 all over again! Light the torches!” I love it. Jeb cannot possibly do anything to prevent the tactic, and he has to shoulder the blame as the state’s chief executive.

P.S. Jeb kept the polls open two hours longer to try to fix any ‘disenfranchisement’ issues. (I note now that YBY mentioned this. It’s still true.) But, as per usual, they did not get the word in parts of Dade and Broward.

The bright side: compared to other South American elections, it went pretty well.

Shout out to my homie: YiBaiYuan. O-Town – boy bands and theme parks – er, why do we live here?

The thing is, if Jeb were going to fix the election, he would have had Reno win. He’d much, much rather run against her.

Yes, it sure does sound local. Those counties sound awfully familiar from the last debacle. (As an aside, I wonder how it went in PBC? Is Pat Buchanan now the Democratic candidate for Governor of FL, or did they all just nap right through the election? :slight_smile: )

So are the voters, pollworkers, election supervisors, etc., in Miami-Dade and Broward monumentally, and perhaps, willfully, stupid?

Or do some people coughliberal democratscough have some kind of agenda down there?

Beagle, you ask, “Why do we live here?”
Perhaps it’s because there is so much amusement to be had watching the antics of the recently-arrived Floridiots who thrust us into the news time and again.

Oh, and I loved the comparison to South American elections. LOL.

Milroyj, Yes, a significant proportion of that area of the state IS, shall we say … intellectually challenged. The heat just goes straight to the brain. Plus, we haven’t told them, but there’s something in the water. :wink:

My uncle, bless his soul, said that many of the florida Democrats aren’t Democrats at all, but Republicans in disguise. The mayor of Miami switched. They botched the two elections and the post election of 2000. The Republicans didn’t have to do any more than what teh Democrats did to themselves.

Its Florida. The whole damp state is like that. What other state could lay claim to thousands of Jews for Buchanan? Not even Texas is that nuts. And when you’re crazier than Texas, you are weapons-grade crazy!

People in Florida seem to come in three varieties: old people, people on drugs, and old people on drugs.

Clearly, a state may not secede, that has been established. But can it be expelled?

Many of the pubbies in this thread seem to be arguing that it’s only the responsibility of those in power to take care of voting in “their” districts. At last check, the election officials are supposed to at least attempt to be non-partisan, and the state officials that implemented the changes were supposed to make sure that things had a reasonable chance of working in all districts, not just the districts were people vote the way they like.

All districts had both Republican and Democratic primaries. IIRC Jeb had some minor opposition. The local election board controlled the elections in that district. That is, one district board controlled both the Dem and Rep primaries.

The districts that got screwed up happened to have Democratic election boards. I would assume that the same voting problems affected the Republican primary in those particular districts. However, since the Republican Gubinatorial primary wasn’t competitive, nobody cared.

Some of the above is based on how things are done in NJ. If the details differ in Florida, please correct them.


It’s all Harris’ fault! If only she had stuck out her term as our chief elections official, saved the other 49 states the misery of seeing her surgically reconstructed face on CSPAN, could she have made damned sure Reno won.

On a serious note, it seems that it’s only acceptable to be ignorant if you’re a republican.

FTR, not all counties used touch screen voting. Here, we used the same paper ballot we used when our votes didn’t count in '00; tear-off ballots that the voter completed the arrow next to the name of the voter’s candidate of choice and then fed into a machine by the voter. Mine worked perfectly. My wife’s ballot was torn at the perforation on top (done by the poll worker) and the machine wouldn’t take it. She had to fill out a special Pink Slip and they stapled it to her ballot. We think her vote counted.

I’d love to blame Jeb, but since his daughter’s a crackhead, I’ll cut him some slack. FTR Jenna and Barbara still ROCK!!