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Bush not elected

Palm Springs County, Florida, election 2000

Republicans don't want the votes in Florida to be recounted, because they may have lost.

They don't want Palm Springs County to have a revote, because if that happens, they know they've lost.

But it seems that the ballot in that county was illegal.

"(101.151) To vote for a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot place a cross (x) mark in the blank space at the right of the name of the candidate."

— That's Florida law, as reprinted in the International Herald Tribune in an article by Philip B. Heymann, a Harvard University professor and former attorney general in the Clinton administration.

He argues that Palm Springs County's voters are due a revote, and it seems to be a reasonable idea.

It appears that a ballot that was distributed only in that county was made in a nonstandard form, to make it easier for visually-handicapped voters to read; the result was just opposite. Indeed, many sweet old ladies accidentally voted for Patrick Buchanan, when their intention was to vote for Al Gore.

There is enough doubt about the legality of the ballot that was used in that county that the matter needs to be investigated, and the investigation must not be derailed by Republicans.

I must admit it's with a certain perverse joy that I watch Republicans — Republicans! — shuffle and scramble all over themselves to deny a state's right (a state's right!) to its own laws. This is no mere matter of decency and human respect... This is a state's right, so key to a Republican's talking points. Florida law, of course, provides remedies for elections errors.

Republicans stand to win or lose a huge prize by the outcome of this matter. They must be expected to mess around in the most insidious and heinous activities to secure the presidency for their boy.

If a recount is not effected, and in fact — I'm inclined to believe — if a revote is not done in Palm Springs County, then this vote will be undemocratic, and America's true basis will be irreparably damaged.

I believe that. I also believe (in full disclosure) that the Republican party is brimming and seething with the kind of evil that really hurts people. That's just my feeling.

I am also (more disclosure) invested in issues that I feel would be better served by a Gore stewardship than one of a dull-witted, vicious, and oil-drenched Bush.

But I really feel that it is apart from that that I cannot escape the feeling that American democracy is on trial here.

If an individual's vote truly counts — in other words, is tabulated and respected equally — America needs to figure out what to do about Palm Springs County.

I believe that.

— 13 November 2000, Amsterdam the Netherlands

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