West Palm Beach, Florida Ballot
Started it All

"Ballot mix up may have Gore votes sent to Buchanan by mistake"
19,120 ballots Disqualified for double-punching
10,000+ disqualified for no votes recognized by computer

WHAT
really went on in this race?


Butterfly Ballot Controversy

voting perspective
Click to enlarge

* See how ballot looked from voting-booth perspective *
This is a Macromedia Flash animation matching a video demo on CNN. (Available again)


 Special from Archives:
 FreeRepublic:  Conservative forum reports Palm Beach Double-Punch Ballot Stats:  
    These involved 19,120 ballots that were disqualified.
    Stats suggest: 70-90% were by Gore supporters; 7-14% by Bush supporters.


Layman's Guide to the Supreme Court Decision - Mark. H. Levine - superb
Myths About the Results of the Election
The Spiritual History of Chad - Helen Kennedy
Lengthy Recount of Ballots Battle
Election Timeline - via graphics
The Legal Challenges (Explained)
Chronology of dispute in Florida
If the Vote Were Flawless...Gore by 23,000~ votes


National Vote: Gore Wins by 539,947 votes
12/15/00 - Earlier chart breakdown  and  story

** Yahoo News:  InDepth Coverage**


For * Latest Post-Election Updates.*
12/21
Newsday:  Gore wins national vote by 539,947 votes
NYT:  Clinton Departs in Regulation Rush
Time:  Transition appointments:  Bush keeping conservatives happy?
Observer:  Blacklisted, disbarred, disappeared Gore voters - (12/10)
Newsday:  Lost Innocence - Susan Isaacs
Miami Herald:  Punch card problems: ignored for years - no equal protection there (12/17)

12/20
ChicagoTrib:  Media Recount Criticized as Undermining Bush
WashPost:  Bush and Clinton Meet - Summary of the week
WashPost:  Media Count Nets Gore 130 Votes - (12/19)
LAT:  Be of Good Cheer, Dems; All Isn't Lost
Spokesman-Review:  Some hope ballots can be sealed for 8 years - (12/14)
AP:  Poignant Florida Recount Undervote Glance - frozen in halted state. (12/9)

12/18
WSJ:  John Fund frets about newspaper study of ballots next week.
NY Post:  Mario's priest deems his electoral talk immoral
NY Post:  Electors gathering to cast votes - details
The Nation:  Rehnquist's intimidation of minority voters in 60s, Congressional testimony

12/17
Reuters:  Justice O'Connor Upset when Gore was reported winning on Election night
Spokesman-Review:  One last diabolical twist for election 2000? - possible havoc
Texas' Molly Ivins:  Forgive but don't forget - stolen elections
UPI:  Staffers quit firm over attempt to switch electors
The Australian:  No electoral switch likely
AP:  Electoral College Now the Focus - (published 12/14)
AP:  Only 29 states and DC met Elector deadline- published 12/13)
Seattle Times:  Gore would have to accept electoral switch - pub'd 12/12)
US Newswire:  Thousands contact electors to switch votes
Danzinger: Bush's Dream Supreme Court - published October.

12/16
E&P  Chad Enough?Major Newspapers plan to recount ballots next week
NY DailyNews:  Keeping Electors in Line
NYT:  Dismal Failure of Reason - Lewis

12/15
Chicago Sun-Times:  His Finest Moment: the speech of a lifetime
Boston Globe:  Election's noblest moment: concession by its biggest vote-getter
NY DailyNews:  Al Parties Like a Winner
OrlandoSentinel:  Florida House Speaker apologizes for calling Gore "a loser"
NYT:  Medal of Honor: Gore takes a bullet for the country
LAT:  The US Supreme Court makes a mockery of the law
Salon:  Dismissing notions of truth/justice in favor of kin/loyalty
LAT:  No such thing as objective, value-neutral judging in constitutional cases
LAT:  Never Again Will We View the Judiciary as Nonpolitical
LAT:  Nightline, et al, flooded with violently-expressed e-mail
LAT:  Voter response to USSC End-Recounts decision
GWB:  Miami Dade protestor photos identified as Congressional Republicans

12/14-15
USA Today: Gore's speech - nothing short of presidential
FoxNews:  Gore Bows Out Graciously
Salon:  Immaculate Concession - Jake Tapper
NY DailyNews:  Crafting the speech
Salon:  Bush's Texas speech - invited only Democrats agreeing with him
Boston Globe:  Gore declined new appeals by attorneys - details not in NYT
NYT:  An End to a Quest
NYT:  Concession on slate-"Deadline" Helped Seal Gore's Defeat
Boston Globe:  A Cynical Supreme Court
NYT:  The Stealth Decision: How the Justices dropped it and hid
Boston Globe:  Court: not just political but partisan, not just ideological but personal.
Salon:  Supreme Court to democracy: Drop dead - Kamiya
MSNBC:  The U.S. Supreme Court: Layers of Corruption
WashPost:  Politics Over Principle: Lawless, immolation of the Court
LAT:  US Supreme Court delayed Equal Protection decision to affect the end
WashPost:  New Equal Protection clause takes away fundamental voting right
Chicago Sun-Times:  GOP won by planting seeds of deception - Ebert
BBBR:  Alan Hale's Open Letter to Presidential Electors
WashPost  Will Supreme Bias fear "irreparable harm" and seal the Florida ballots?

12/13
Salon:  Gore's speech   Bush's speech
Guardian/Observer:  Judges as politicians - A raw seizure of power - "The high court
    "may have done nothing less than invalidate the entire US electoral system."
AP:  Justices in Hiding: Stealth 5-4 Opinion
AP:   High Court Ruling May Taint Court
AP:  Handing the presidency to Bush - Dissents:"an uncommon hostility"; Family-ties
St.Petersburg:   GOP-led campaign targets Justice Anstead - GOP mindset
ABC:  Gore faces ultimate decision
WashPost:  Door may be opened to thousands of challenges of vote-counting procedures
LAT:  Justices' 5-4 Split Is Deep Gash
Boston Globe  Court rules for Bush with strong dissents
ChicagoTrib  Court, as right arm of Bush, forces Dec. 12 certification w/o recounts
WashPost:  Full Text of Decision in HTML
    DISSENTS:  Stevens     Ginsburg
FoxNews:  Fla.Supr Crt Clarifies Ruling extending Certific'n Deadline
MSNBC:  Layers of Corruption and the tarnished Bush
"...the Court's sacred Dec. 12 deadline is a fiction. As David Greenberg has repeatedly pointed out,
in 1960, Hawaii arranged for its Electoral College votes to be switched when it was determined that
Kennedy, not Nixon, had won a carefully audited count after the vote had already been certified.
The only true deadline for getting a full count finished is the day of the actual vote,
Jan. 6, when the Electoral College actually meets to choose the president."


12/12
NYT:  On the dangers of legislatures choosing electors
NYT:  little passion for the overarching themes of democracy
Miami Herald:  Ballot Issues brought to Light

12/11
Dec.18=Real Deadline; Dec.12 is deadline for "Safe Harbor" - non-challengable slates.
NYT:  US Supr Crt intervened with a clumsily wielded hammer
NYT:  Sandalow: an unmistakably partisan decision without any foundation in law.
MSNBC:  "I'm here to stop the vote" - Bush-Cheney's Bolton '
    '...That's when the officious middle-aged lawyer from Washington appeared, like a
    federal revenuer who had just discovered a still making moonshine.
  "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the vote," John Bolton proclaimed.

AP:  Supr Crt Arguments Conclude. Fed case? Court to recommend recount stds?
CNN:  The US Supr Crt arguments / Scalia's two attorney sons connected to Bush
WashPost:  [USSC] conservatives seem hellbent on putting Bush in the White House
NYT:  The US Supreme Court did a disservice to the nation's tradition of fair elections
LAT:  decision to stop hand counts was "openly political logic"
LA Times:  GOP Could Be Courting a Disaster
NYT:  Hand-count net gains claimed by both camps
Slate:  Oyez, Oy Vay - Press coverage on the Stay on hand counts
WashPost:  Slim Majority Wants Count Resumed
TheObserver:  SOS Harris used error-riddled blacklists to cleanse voter lists
WashPost:  Bush's cousin on how he and FoxNews called Bush Fla.winner
Progressive: USSC's Rehnquist - a life spent challenging minority voters?
Slate:  What's the Ultimate Fate of the Florida Ballots

Transcripts (ONE-page full ones, for searching ease)
CNN     NY Times     MSNBC - requires Acrobat Reader - for offline use
Audio
MSNBC - On-Demand audio highlights     NY Times - full audio     CNN - full audio


12/10
CNN TV:  US Supr Crt announced ballots will stay put, in spite of Wall St. Journal rpt.
WSJ reported US Supr Crt Takes Custody of Ballots [Orig'l word'g "impounded")
MSNBC:  The day democracy was defeated
CNN TV:  Boies will do U.S. SC arguments, using recent Florida SC case experience.
NYT:  Democrats stunned and angry over US Supreme Crt interference
NYT:  High Court Fractures, Exposes the Seams
WashPost:  High Court helps Bush keep the actual vote secret
NYT:  Very divided court halts count in blow to Gore and U.S.

12/9
AP:  Remarks by David Boies and Ron Klain - long, detailed press conference
AP:  Supreme Court May Settle Election
Reuters:  U.S. Supreme Court Halts Florida Recounts
TV: 8 JUDGES to do the counting in Leon County, all active
ChicagoTrib:  A phone call, a pause, a simple 'we won'
BostonGlobe:  Gore/Bush camps:  A day of political joy, agony
NYT:  Bush camp: a Sense of Weary Disbelief
NYT:  A lightning bolt - the court acted boldly and wisely
NY DailyNews:  Eleventh-hour ruling jolts Al Gore back to life
Pensacola:  Some overseas ballots ruled valid - possibly 600 or more
WashPost:  Democrats more statistically likely to have mismarked ballots
ChicagoTrib:  More details of the various county situations
NY DailyNews:  Recounts must be done tomorrow;  600 military ballots to be counted
ChicagoTrib:  How to count the ballots? Sauls recuses himself; Lewis oversees
NYTimes:  Florida Supreme Court announcement - text
BostonGlobe:  Recount is ordered - summary of day's events

12/8
NYT:  Judge Sauls was demoted by Fla.Supreme Crt. Autocratic. Overruled often.
WashPost-Dionne  Double Standard - Heads, Bush wins;  Tails, Gore loses
Miami Herald:  A report from an official chad-observer

12/7
NYT:  Tough Questioning from Florida Justices in Ballot Case
WashPost:  Questions of law and fairness in an election as close and important as this
CNN:  Fed.Appeals Crt denies GOP request to throw out hand recounts.
WashPost:  Florida Legislature Ready to Intervene
AP:     GOP Fla.Legislature to Pick Electors if Gore count is ahead
WashPost:  Two Absentee Ballot Cases Argued in Fla.Courtrooms (with transcripts)
NYT:  Judge Sauls's mystifying failure to review ballots, and misreading of state law
WashPost:  For the Lawyers, It's a Dream--And a Nightmare
NYT:  Keep them out of the voting booths (see Salon's article below)
Salon:  Original article : Florida's flawed "voter-cleansing" program (12/4)

12/6
CNN:  Absentee ballot lawsuits
AP:  Seminole recounts
LA Times:  Official Testifies GOP Absentee Applications were Fixed
NYT:  Cheney - Keynesian twiddler and fine-tuner

12/5
UPI:  Saul ruling clashes with Fla. Supreme Court
AP:  11th Circuit Hearing Bush Appeals re recounts (yes, still)
NYT:  NY Times calls for FSC to order hand recounts
WashPost:  Back to Florida
NYT:  Next stop, Florida Supreme Court
NYT:  Gore team not optimistic but working on briefs for FSC appeal

12/4
NYT:  Sauls denies Gore's Challenge of Vote
UPI:  USSC ruling analyzed by UPI's Legal Affairs Correspondent
TEXT of  US SC Decision or alternate copy at conservative-forum site
NYT:  
Moment of High Drama - Bush expert admits problems with Votomatics
AP:  Bush expert: "You need...manual recounts...where you have a very close election."
MSNBC:  Bush expert admits hand counts are advisable "in very close elections."
NYT:  Votomatic: Undervotes 5 times higher than for optical scan machines
Time:  "Players behind the 'spontaneous' protest" preceding shutdown of handcount
The Observer:  America in the grip of Bush's 'Iron Triangle'

Click here for OLDER Articles.


ASSERTIONS by Bush camp and follow up:
    CLAIM: Cook County, ILL uses the butterfly ballot, mixing candidates
     FACT: Not so. Bush camp's says they received "bad information."  
                All candidates for one office are on the same side of the page.
                - From Nightline: 11/10/00

    CLAIM: Florida used same ballot in 1996
     FACT: They used it previously for issues but not for candidates.


West Palm Beach ballot
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.
Click for another view
BEST view, from voting-booth perspective (animated) and
from voting-booth perspective (still-image)
Sun-Sentinel story

According to polling place volunteer Susan Engel, this is the problem many seniors had with the ballot used in West Palm Beach:
    Gore/Lieberman were listed in the # 2 spot.
    But the circle to be punched for Gore/Lieberman vote was # 3.

Many, seeing that Gore/Lieberman were # 2 on the list, counted down two circles and punched # 2, paying no attention to the graphic (arrows) or seeing them as general indicators to the column of circles to be punched.

Here's an animated graphic of the misalignment (arrow to circle) from the voting booth perspective.

    Add'l complications: Some thought then that the 3rd circle was for Lieberman and punched that too. These would have been among the 19,120 disqualified ballots.
    By Florida state law for paper ballots, to be adhered to in machine ballots "where practicable" and per the voting brochure instructions, the circle should be to the right of the candidate's name and not on the left as it was for Buchanan.

Also, by Florida state law they are to be listed in the order of votes received, but Buchanan is listed higher than Gore/Lieberman and his punch-circle is #2. This is said to be illegal and a basis for the court challenge, not to mention anti-intuitive for the voter.

Since complaints were made at the polling booth and the number of votes for Buchanan in West Palm Beach was abnormally high, it's obvious they were confused by the ballot.

Buchanan vote anomaly, from democrats.com

The Florida state pamphlet (following state law) instructs the voter to choose the candidate by selecting the circle at the Right of the name.

    NEWER:  19,120 ballots in West Palm Beach were disqualified/nullified and not counted on election day, due to having two punches made for President, which matches the reports of confusion - some realizing they may have punched the wrong circle.  Due to high turnout, a rushed voting process (5-minute max for entire ballot) and, with some people, just embarrassment, they did not get new ballots and reported their confusion to Election officials when they got home.

    19,120 ballots thrown out is considered an unusually high number. TV reports tonight identify these as coming mostly from African-American communities, involving about 15% in West Palm Beach County.

    As of Nov. 11, midnight, with 67 of 67 counties completing their recounts, Gore was behind Bush in Florida by only 327 votes (1,700+ before the recount started with all counties counted) out of some 6 million.

    It should be noted that Representative Robert Wexler showed Larry King and others the urgent yellow 8-1/2" x 11" sheet sent by the election officials to the polling staff in the afternoon on Election Day warning them that they had been receiving complaints about confusion over the ballot and that instruction would be necessary in connection with the presidential voting.

Sources: AP, Washington Post, NY Times, L.A. Times, Florida Sun-Sentinel

Andrys Basten



Things you can do:  Updated 12/20/00.

    1.   As needed, WRITE/Call  TV Networks and
            appropriate newspapers

            instead of just one another.
              Get  E-mail and Phone contact info here

Try the National Media Guide - the aggressive Christian Coalition's useful feature
    2.   Join the Justice in Florida Campaign - "a continuing
          grassroots campaign to defend the integrity of the
          electoral system"

    4.   Join the Declaration of Independence Boycott of Florida

    5.   Monitor events via TrustThePeople site.

    6.   Take a look around the WorkingForChange site

    7.   Monitor (slow-loading) TrustThePeople site and
          Democrats.Com.

Dec. 8:  FSC Ordered hand counts
Dec. 9:  USSC, Fearing Hand Counts, Stopped them
After the Election, there was one constant.
Gore dared to want normal hand counts, as in Texas (where the standards allow mere indentations) and where Bush signed the law stating hand counts are preferred in close elections; as in New Mexico where Bush benefited from one briefly in November, as in Massachusetts which BANNED punch card ballots due to their unreliability, as in states everywhere, including Florida, where Bush benefited from hand-counts the day after the election, and Oregon where they are mandatory in close elections.

But Bush-Cheney, in the most cynical act I've seen in presidential politics, decided on a grim, irrational but transparent agenda to portray hand counts as something only tricksters do, to try to make us think that dimpled ballots were checked this year for the first time, when they are actually a common part of the process in Texas and everywhere else.

Why?  Bush couldn't afford a hand count of the thousands of ballots whose partial punch-throughs are not 'seen' (and therefore not counted by the machine. These are the "disregarded." To regard them at all -- to count the votes that can be seen -- is to lose the election. This is the kind of mentality that proclaimed itself president-elect and a transition team.

Bush decided to "trust" the machines;  sheltered, he may not have encountered the ones that don't "see" dollar-bills which humans see clearly when trying to get change. Machines are, for Bush, more reliable than humans, an idea counter to all election practice.

We saw Bush's willingness to "unite" when, during a time Gore led in the popular vote and even led in the electoral college balloting during contesting of the close Florida results, Bush didn't think to give Gore and his voters a dollop of credit instead of treating Gore as a "Sore Loserman" and with impatient dismissiveness and charges of 'stealing' an election.

December 8 - the people finally received, for a few hours, "authorization" to count the ballots which had never been hand-checked after rejected as 'undervotes' - the result of the usual punch card machine problems as well as the known failure of these machines which can merely dimple the topmost columns, to which the inventor of the punch card machine testified at the Nov. 24 hearing in W.Palm Beach.

    What were Bush and the U.S. Supreme Court afraid of, while not worrying whatsoever about ballot and ballot-machine inequities between the counties?  Long-time studies (and Bush's expert witness) testified to not only known machine problems and a need for hand-counts to read disqualified votes in a close-election, but also an error rate 3 to 5 times higher than for optical scanner ballots, leading to unduly large numbers of undervotes, leaving those voters disenfranchised relative to richer counties.

11/30/00 Update (Revised 12/20/00):
The Bush brothers (and father) and the Florida Legislature openly planned to select Bush Electors even if Gore won via a court-ordered handcount. If  (without the highly criticized Supreme Court Decision that chose the 43rd president)  they had needed to counter a Gore vote-win,
    Bush would have lost the popular vote by about 540,000.
          (and did)
    Bush would have lost the electoral vote by Law.
Nevertheless, brother (and father working daily with Baker) would have openly helped GWB grab the presidency anyway, because they felt the presidency was due their family and the Republican party.

  This is the character, integrity, and respect for law that had been promised us.

Be sure to check out:
Myths About the Results of the Election
    Fantastic
The Gore Exception - Guide to The Decision     Superb


       

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