? asked in Politics & GovernmentElections · 9 years ago

Why did the Democrats drop their case for voting irregularities in Florida when Bush won? Was there a backroom?

deal betweem the twp parties, or was there insufficent hard proof to present in court?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    USA Today, a corporatist publication owned by Gannett, did in fact make the claim that Andy states: I read the article at the time it came out. Subsequent research, however, shows that Gore did in fact win: a Texas firm sympathetic to the GOP and contracted by Katherine Harris improperly (http://rangevoting.org/PalastFlaFelons.html) disenfranchised almost 200,000 voters as ex-felons. Since over half of these were African-Americans, these votes alone would have put Gore over the top. But there was much more: over 100,000 butterfly votes in a county highly sympathetic to Gore were thrown out, even though the intention of the voter was often quite clear. And there was more, according to a study performed under the auspices of Rutgers University (http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~gpomper/FloridaRecount...

    "Greater distortions in the Florida election came from ballots that were cast but not counted...The revised count operated under the restricted court rules...no presidential preference had been included in the official state report by Secretary of State Harris and Governor Bush. The legally prescribed recount did not look at "overvotes" - where more than one candidate was selected...If included, Bush would gain up to 35,631 votes, the ballots that included him as one of the multiple choices, but Gore would gain 80,775, and Gore would be the new President..

    Ballot Design. The 113,000 "overvotes" were...on Palm Beach county's "butterfly" ballot and Duval county's two-page ballot. Legally, these ballots...did not...show a preference for only one candidate. Still, some judgments could be made. For example, a ballot in which Gore's name was written in, as well as punched, would be counted as a vote for [Gore]... If this reasonable interpretation were in force, although not in keeping with legal standards, Gore would have [won].

    Electoral Machinery. Older voting machines...An estimated 120,000 votes were lost due to...machine errors, concentrated in areas where voters were poorer, black, or elderly Jews - all groups likely to support Gore.

    Even more modern machinery, optical scanners, sometimes worked to Gore's disadvantage. 'In...counties that transport ballots to the county seat to be tallied, black voters were almost four times as likely as whites to cast uncounted "overvotes.'

    Disenfranchisement. The final influence on the vote was from...persons...not allowed to vote. This loss of the franchise disadvantaged Gore. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission concluded that 180,000 voters had been denied their right to vote. Of this number, 54 percent were African Americans, who would surely favor Gore overwhelmingly.

    A considerable proportion of those denied the ballot were ex-felons, who had been scrubbed from the voting rolls by a vigorous, but often inaccurate, effort of ...Harris. Persons were excluded...on the basis of incomplete identification..even when their alleged felonies...occurr[ed] in the future."

    Regarding why the Democrats dropped the case, I do not see that they had any choice after the Supreme Court ruling that effectively stopped the recount. This 5-4 decision was clearly unnecessary and, in my opinion, political. Note the following comment by Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School ( )--and notice that I am backing up my arguments and facts:

    "The Florida courts, in short, had more than three weeks to complete their recount when the Supreme Court cut them off. And the Florida Court’s entire conduct suggests that it was eager to continue. In asserting otherwise, the majority of the Supreme Court was engaging in an act of ‘interpretation’ without any basis in law – as the four dissenters took pains to note."

    Of course, the Democrats could have sought support from all-important usually Democratic Dade County, had it not been for Elián González (remember the little boy who was sent back to his father in Cuba while Clinton was President?):

    "Mayor Alexander Penelas of Miami-Dade County has taken hands-off stance on manual recount of presidential ballot in county, reportedly as result of Clinton administration's handlng of Elian Gonzalez affair; was vocal Vice Pres Gore supporter when Gore begain his presidential campaign in winter of 1999; photo" (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timesto...

    The Cuban community in Miami is still angry at González' having been sent back.

    But no, in the absence of any evidence at all the the contrary, I doubt that Gore or any representative of the Democratic Party was involved in a backroom deal with Bush or the Republican Party. And when I say absence of evidence, I mean zilch. What did Gore or the Democrats ever get that could be interpreted as a concession for not having contested the voting irregularities as you and I wish that that had?

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  • andy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Um, hate to say this, but USA Today and other news outlets did recounts in all ways possible and Gore lost them all. It is also funny how the Democrats signed off on the butterfly ballot then complained after they lost the election that it was too confusing. I could go on, but the Democrats were the ones who brought the initial lawsuit in the Florida courts. They even took a State matter to the Supreme Court that said it was a State issue.

    The funniest thing was the Democrats trying to explain that people who voted for Nader actually meant to cast their vote for Gore and got the the names confused.

    I hate to say this, but since the 2000 election, I have seen the Democrats do anything to win then complain when they lose. I mean, in 2004, when college students who place of voting was their parents home voted in small college towns causing huge lines in Ohio the Democrats complained that these small towns should have known that 5 times the number of voters would vote in their area even though they have never done this before.

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