[Announce] Fw: Making a difference in the Florida ballot controversy
announce-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
announce-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Fri Nov 10 14:50:26 CST 2000
Begin forwarded message:
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 03:00:36 -0800
From: "Paul Loeb" <paulloeb at bigfoot.com>
To: "Randy Stoecker" <randy at coserver.sa.utoledo.edu>
Subject: Making a difference in the Florida ballot controversy
randy at comm-org.utoledo.edu
As you may know, it looks like 22,500 Al Gore votes were lost in Palm Beach
County because the ballots were so confusing that people either voted for
Pat Buchanan by accident (3,500) or punched the names of both Gore and
Buchanan (19,000, causing their ballots to be discarded and not counted).
You can get an excellent summary of the situation at
08.html or http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/09/politics/09PALM.html
Whether the Palm Beach County citizens get a chance to have their real
preference counted may depend on us, and their votes will decide the
election. Whether you voted for Gore or Nader or even George Bush, to allow
22,000 people to have their votes nullified is a terrible assault on
democracy. So I hope you'll speak out to challenge it.
As if fraud and denial of votes don't matter, some elite opinion makers are
already suggesting that Al Gore be "a grownup" and accept the current
results, despite at least 22,500 voters being denied their voice. RW Apple
did this in today's New York Times
(www.nytimes.com/2000/11/09/politics/09ase.html). So did Evan Thomas of
Newsweek on MSNBC. But neither they nor Al Gore have the right to surrender
the votes of the people in Florida who went to the polls in good faith. We
need to challenge their arguments with the voices of ordinary citizens whose
democratic rights are being denied.
Whether the issue is resolved by the courts, the Congress, a bi-partisan
election commission, or a negotiated compromise, public opinion is critical,
just as it was during the impeachment hearings. So you need to have your
voice heard as loudly as possible.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
[Send this message to as many friends as possible:]
Contact the Democratic National Committee, demanding Gore resist the
pressure to concede. Democratic National Committee
DNC, 430 S. Capitol St. SE Washington, DC 20003, 202-863-8000 [email by
going to www.democrats.org/contact/index.html]
Don't know how much longer it will be up, but CNN/Talkback has been running
a poll, which is probably worth voting on, though highly unscientific
Phone, fax or email your local and national elected officials, Democrat and
Republican, reminding them that the integrity of our political system is at
stake, that this goes beyond narrow partisanship, and asking them to
publicly speak out.
Send the same letters to your newspapers, and to newspaper editorial boards,
asking them to take a stand.
Demand that your local newspapers and radio and TV stations keep covering
the issue and covering it visibly. The stakes are too high not to.
Contact local political and civic groups (Sierra Club, unions, the PTA,
churches and temples, Planned Parenthood, the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs,
League of Women Voters) and ask them to take a stand and get their members
to speak out. The more organizations get involved, the more voices we'll
have, and the stronger the citizen pressure will be. Again, this goes beyond
Call in to talk radio stations, even conservative ones, and remind them how
outraged they'd be if more than 22,000 votes for Bush had been discarded in
their state and it made all the difference.
Call the department of Justice, Voting Section and Civil Rights Action,
voicing a formal complaint and demanding a revote. The number is (800)
253-3931, option 4.
If you know people in Palm Beach County, encourage them to join the lawsuit
and to tell their stories to the press. To do so, they should contact the
Gore legal campaign at 615 340-3296 and leave their number.
Organize rallies and creative vigils with as broad participation as
possible. You could even target visible local branches of Republican
Keep the issue alive!!
Two key Democratic Congressional leaders who might help in putting pressure
Congressman David Bonior FAX (202) 226-1169
Congressman Richard Gephardt FAX (202) 225-7452
Main phone for Congress and the Senate: (202) 224-3121
PS-A couple straightforward solution on the contested ballots:
Election officials have the tallies for the precincts where the ballot
problems occurred. They also have the records of every voter who voted.
They can simply rerun the election in those precincts allowing only those
people who voted before. They would then replace the total votes originally
submitted from those precincts with the new totals. And they wouldn't have
to re-run the entire state of Florida. There's ample precedent from when the
courts forced Miami to re-run their corrupt mayor's election a few years
The other option, a more complicated backup plan, would be for a bi-partisan
team of officials to contact every voter and have them sign a sworn
affidavit as to who they voted for between Gore and Bush. Because more than
22,000 votes were discarded, the results would certainly diverge sharply
from the vote totals. This would be a way of demonstrating how much the
corrupted ballots matter, and building pressure for people to be allowed to
vote again. In the meantime, registered voters in the county could even sign
a petition saying they voted, they want their vote to count, and demanding
the opportunity to correct this.
The judges could look at the ballots discarded for punching two holes, and
figure that if they punched Gore and Buchanan, at least half would have gone
to Gore, or 9,000 votes. Given the current spread of just over 200 votes,
even 10% of the 19,000 would make Al Gore the winner.
Election officials could also do the same thing for the other contested
areas in Florida, like Wakulla County and Volusia.
We're not just talking about who will be president. We're talking about the
legitimacy of our democracy.
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