Ballot-Count Scenarios in Bush-Gore 2000
Re “Bush Still Had Votes to Win in a Recount, Study Finds,” Nov. 12: No recount or re-recount of Florida’s votes can possibly quantify the votes--possibly thousands--that George W. Bush lost in the conservative western Florida panhandle due to the media’s blunder in calling Florida for Al Gore an hour before polls closed. If the media had not manufactured this story a year ago, there would have been no doubt about Bush’s victory. The same media now dredge up the same nonstory a year later. Are the war in Afghanistan, terrorism on American soil, escalating Palestinian terror and the economic recession not keeping the media busy enough?
Even if true--and a careful reading of the article shows that Al Gore could just as well have won--in no way does this right the wrongs committed by the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9. Halting the recounts, as Justice Antonin Scalia did, was wrong both morally and legally. The right approach would have been to allow the recounts to continue, then rule later on their validity as evidence (which courts do all the time).
Of course, Scalia should not have intervened at all. As in the 1824 and 1876 elections, Congress alone should have resolved a disputed presidential election. This is what the Constitution mandates; the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction. What distresses me the most is that so many people say that Bush might have won anyway, and he’s doing a decent job, so everything’s fine. This “results trump process” approach, taken to its logical conclusion, means that we should dispense with future elections and just let the Supreme Court wisely appoint our leaders for us. Democracy in action, eh?
Thomas E. Braun
More people in Florida tried to vote for Gore than Bush; if some of Bush’s rules were followed, Gore would have won; if Gore’s rules were followed, Bush would have won; in eight different recount scenarios examined by the National Opinion Research Center, Gore would have won in four and Bush would have won in four.
None of these facts justifies the headline, “Bush Still Had Votes to Win in a Recount, Study Finds,” an assertion immediately contradicted by the subheadline, “An exhaustive ballot review indicates more people tried to vote for Gore, and he might have won had pending reforms been in effect.”
This does seem to be a case of bias, albeit in the opposite direction from that decried by most media critics. Perhaps the left-leaning, liberal press has diabolically disguised itself as pro-Republican.
Of course, all of this would be moot if there was serious consideration being given to abolishing the electoral college, since Gore decidedly won the national popular vote. But then, why should we in California complain that each of our votes counts only half as much as votes cast in New Mexico?