Ododita on 11 Nov 2000 16:12:15 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]


For Posting.

-O.D. Odita


By Josť Perez

People watching the dispute now underway in Florida about the count in
last Tuesday's election should take note of what happened in the recount.

Bush's vote increased by a few hundred, while Gore's went up by a couple
of thousand.

It may seem, well, unusual for the number of votes for the two
candidates to have changed in virtually every single jurisdiction when what
is involved is mostly a machine recounting of punch-card ballots, but
election experts say there is nothing unusual in this.

It is often the case that when a voter pushes the stylus through the
card, the pre-perforated area there does not cleanly separate from the card.
These so-called "hanging chads" then often cause the machines to misread the
card as a non-vote. But all the motion and rubbing involved as the cards go
through the machines a first time and then a second time often succeed in
displacing the "hanging chad." Thus, when this kind of voting technology is
used, the votes tend to increase on the recount.

But now comes the interesting part. The increase in Gore's vote was about
three times the increase in Bush's vote. This cannot explained by the
"hanging chad" phenomenon, for there is no reason for there to have been
such a disparate impact on two candidates who got virtually the same number
of votes. Assuming there were equal numbers of "hanging chads" for each
candidate, and thus they would have cancelled out, the decrease in Bush's
lead from about 1800 to 300 in the recount is a clear indication that at
least some differential underreporting was involved in the original counts,
i.e., fraud. This most likely happened in the counting of the absentee
ballots rather than in misrepresenting the counts reported by the card
reader machines.

Where could such a thing have happened? Well, in the last mayoral election
in Miami, a judge found that there had been massive and systematic electoral
fraud, and ordered a new vote. An appeals court agreed, but determined that
the appropriate remedy was to throw out the absentee ballots (where most of
the graveyard vote was concentrated) and thus awarded the election to the
person who had been the loser on election night.

The clear evidence of fraud shown by the recount, as well as the penchant
for stealing elections the Miami political machines have shown historically,
are being studiously avoided by the official Democrats, as to get into that
is to, quite literally, open a can of worms.

Instead they have chosen to ask for a manual recount of the votes in the
four most heavily Democratic counties. They know such a recount, if honestly
conducted, is likely to increase Gore's totals, as assuming, for example,
that out of 100,000 votes, there are still 2,000 "hanging chads," and that
Gore beat Bush in those areas by a 60-40 margin, then this would result in
1200 additional votes for Gore, and 800 for Bush, a difference of 400,
putting the vp just barely over the top.

Not surprisingly, three of these counties controlled by Democrats have
agreed to the recount. The fourth is Dade County, which is dominated by the
gusano mafia. There the local officials are resisting the demand for a
manual recount, an indication that they fear the election in Dade County
won't stand up to close scrutiny. They are undoubtedly hoping the recount in
the other counties will make their own recount unnecessary.

The Bush campaign understands what is going on just as well as Gore's camp.
That is why they're moving ahead trying to pretend that he actually won on
Tuesday in Florida, when everyone who has followed the matter closely knows
that the confusing West Palm Beach ballot cost Gore more than 10,000 votes,
possibly twice that, and that if a judge follows the state law, there will
be a ruling that what happened in West Palm substantially affected the
outcome of the voting. The number of annulled presidential votes was 19,000,
more than 4 percent, whereas it is usually less than 1%. Simply assigning
the "extra" annulled votes to each candidate in proportion to the vote
received by that candidate in each precinct, or in proportion to the
county-wide vote, would put Gore over the top.

So Bush is trying to create a "groundswell" of bourgeois public opinion
against any closer examination or re-examination of the actual votes, and
threatening to demand recounts in other states where there was a close vote.
The problem for him is that the two stances are contradictory. You can't
insist that Bush won it fair and square on Tuesday and all this lawyering
and protesting and recounting is just sour grapes, and at the same time have
your lawyers filing protests in several other states demanding recounts.

They are in an especially awkward situation in Florida, where to counter the
likely increase in Gore's vote from a manual recount in the areas that went
for the Democrat, Bush would have to do the same in his strongest areas, but
that would involve recounts in most of the smaller counties, so it would
come across that Gore quite modestly asked for a recount in just the few
counties where there were believed to have been problems, but Bush did so
wholesale AFTER having endorsed the vote previous vote tally when, all of a
sudden, Gore went into the lead.

Bush's main hope is to steamroller his opponent and the bourgeois press with
the idea that, enough is enough, no election is ever 100% letter perfect,
etc. Whether that will work remains to be seen.

Either way, the new administration that takes over in January is likely to
be in a greatly weakened political condition. The Republican control of the
House and Senate is hanging by a thread. If Gore becomes President, he will
be seen by the Republicans as having done so through the trickery of
insisting that every last vote be actually counted, when all politicians
know that you're supposed to accept, especially at the national level, the
first rough-and-ready totals of election night as Absolute Truth, like Nixon
did when Boss Daley's political machine stole the 1960 election from him in
Illinois.If Bush gets it, he will be widely perceived as having gotten there
after losing the popular vote nationally, and winning in the electoral
college thanks only to chicanery in the state where his brother is governor.