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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS: Opinion on Bush's Win?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 11/8/2000 12:41:00 PM  

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(29 messages)


>James Harris, the Socialist candidate in question, has 589 votes
>in the tally from yahoo.com. I was monitoring this tally fairly
>continuously last night as it became clear that the election would
>be decided in Florida, and I never saw any large number of votes
>for this candidate. I wonder where CBS got this "interesting"
>factoid that he got 10,000 votes in one county?
>
>>We're looking here at some massively serious allegations of vote fraud,
>>intimidation, and more.
>>
>>The GOP has literally tried to steal the election.
>
>I seriously doubt it. =20

Here's the specific information. =20

FROM CBS NEWS:

While the nation waited, Democrats raised concerns about irregularities i=
n
several Florida counties. Democratic Party lawyers said ballots in Palm B=
each
County were illegally configured, causing some voters to be confused by t=
heir
choices. In Miami-Dade, Broward, and other counties, the Gore campaign wa=
s
concerned about delays in the delivery of ballot boxes to counting places=
.=20

As a symbol of the controversies surfacing around the state, the election=
s
supervisors' office in Volusia County was wrapped in yellow police tape.=20

"There are some serious questions about the accuracy of the Florida vote,=
and
we're prepared to seek a strong enforcement of Florida election laws," sa=
id
attorney Ben Kuehne, a Democrat who played a legal role in the overturned=
Miami
mayoral election in 1997.=20
=20
CBSNews.com Legal Analysis=20
If there is a legal challenge, it clearly will be a case where the judge =
will
immediately drop whatever else he or she may have on the docket to fast t=
rack
this through the legal process.=20

This way, an ultimate decision from the courts comes before mid-December,=
when
the Electoral College is scheduled to meet to implement this vote.=20

If the recount doesn't go the vice president's way, it will be awfully to=
ugh
for his team to successfully challenge the count in court.=20

The Democrats will have to make a compelling and precise case of voting
irregularities; they will have to identify specific individuals willing t=
o
swear that they either weren't permitted to vote or didn't vote their
intentions because of voting problems.=20

If after the recount Governor Bush's lead is smaller than the number of
specific incidents of voter irregularities the Gore folks can point to, t=
hen I
think it becomes more likely that there will be a legal challenge.=20

But if Bush's lead is greater than the sum of that second number, we eith=
er
won't see a challenge or we will see an unsuccessful one. =E2=80=94 CBSNe=
ws.com Legal
Analyst Andrew Cohen=20
=20
=20
One controversy involves an oddly drawn ballot that confused some voters =
and
may have caused them to vote for Pat Buchanan instead of Al Gore, the For=
t
Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported in its Wednesday's editions.=20

Hundreds of irate Palm Beach County voters, fearing they or their friends=
voted
for Buchanan instead of Gore, besieged the county election department on
Tuesday and Wednesday with complaints about the ballot, the paper reporte=
d.
Buchanan received 3,407 votes in Palm Beach County, far more than neighbo=
ring
areas such as Broward County, where he got 786, and Miami-Dade County, wh=
ere he
got 561. In Precinct 162G, the Lakes of Delray area where Gore received o=
ne of
his highest vote totals in all of Palm Beach County, a county high of 47 =
voters
picked Buchanan, too.=20

Another possible balloting quirk was in Volusia Country, where James E. H=
arris,
an obscure Socialist candidate, polled 9,888 votes out of his statewide t=
otal
of 10,471.=20

State Democratic Party officials raised concerns that a computer error ma=
y have
caused the outsized ballot for Harris in Volusia County, south of Daytona=
Beach
on Florida's East Coast. In other counties, Harris received 0, 1, or 2 vo=
tes.


FROM ABC NEWS

But Democratic Party officials say they=E2=80=99re concerned about numero=
us reports
of irregularities in Florida voting that may cost Vice President Gore eno=
ugh
votes to lose the election. (if you witnessed one tell us)
According to Bob Poe, Chairman for the Florida Democratic Party, rep=
orted
irregularities include many accounts of confusion on balloting in Palm Be=
ach
that may have caused some voters to select unintended candidates.
But they also include, he said, lesser known reports of possible vot=
er
intimidation in certain African-American precincts and possibly thousands=
of
lost votes due to a possible computer glitch.
=E2=80=9CThere are a lot of questions here, there are a lot of angry
Floridians,=E2=80=9D Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jenny Back=
us said
today. =E2=80=9CPeople are talking about taking away somebody=E2=80=99s c=
onstitutional
right to vote, there are thousands, literally thousands of reports of
irregularities.=E2=80=9D=20
Jesse Jackson said he got calls on Election Day complaining that bla=
cks
had difficulty voting in Florida and other southern states. Jackson said =
some
voters were told there were no more ballots, or that polls were closed. =E2=
=80=9CWhat
we need is not just a recount by hand, but also a thorough investigation,=
=E2=80=9D
Jackson said.=20
Intimidation Alleged=20
Poe told ABCNEWS.com Democrats had received reports of intimidation of vo=
ters
in the largely African-American precincts of Wakulla County on the Florid=
a
panhandle.
Reports suggest =E2=80=9Chighway patrol troopers were stationed outs=
ide of those
precincts with lights flashing and ticketing people,=E2=80=9D he said. =E2=
=80=9CIt was
bizarre, it was like going back into the early 1900s,=E2=80=9D he said.
=E2=80=9CEven in a tiny town like Wakulla and those African-American=
precincts,
that could account for the 2,000 [Gore votes] right there,=E2=80=9D he sa=
id.=20

Vanishing Votes in Volusia?=20
Poe also said party officials are concerned thousands of votes for Gore m=
ay
have been omitted from the Democrat=E2=80=99s vote total in Volusia Count=
y, a largely
African-American community located on the east coast and central part of
Florida.
According to a Volusia County official, a problem was found with a
computer disk that contained results from a particular precinct, but coun=
ty
officials have not yet said specifically what the impact was.
Poe said Democrats had received reports of an instance in which a
preliminary voting count this morning for Gore in Volusia County, reporte=
d by
Florida election officials, actually decreased by about 10,000 over time,
before climbing again.=20
=E2=80=9CNow that might have been a typo, who knows,=E2=80=9D he tol=
d ABCNEWS.com.
=E2=80=9CStranger things have happened in Volusia County.=E2=80=9D
The alleged decrease may also have been detected by Miles Gibson, a =
Ph.D.
candidate and instructor at the University of Virginia, who says he recor=
ded
2,716,995 votes for Gore in Florida at 2:06 a.m. this morning and then
2,707,798 votes for Gore at around 2:15 a.m., while following a national
newscast.
=E2=80=9CI can=E2=80=99t certify these numbers, but I was paying ext=
remely careful
attention,=E2=80=9D Gibson said.
Michael McDermott, a Volusia county court judge said today there is
nothing to indicate Volusia=E2=80=99s unofficial vote count is flawed or =
that
appropriate procedures were not followed.
The county=E2=80=99s election Canvassing Board met today to discuss =
the matter
and the judge directed that three members representing the Democratic and
Republican parties be present.
Officials have begun recounting all of the county=E2=80=99s votes an=
d expect to
be finished by close of business Thursday.
McDermott also ordered Volusia=E2=80=99s election office secured, Th=
e Associated
Press reported. It was sealed with crime tape, and all ballots were locke=
d in
the office vault.
=E2=80=9CWe will be doing everything it takes to make sure the publi=
c has full
confidence in the ballot count here,=E2=80=9D McDermott said.
=E2=80=9CWe=E2=80=99re hearing all sorts of things. Right now we=E2=80=
=99re trying to sift
through what=E2=80=99s true and, you know, this is the most bizarre thing=
I=E2=80=99ve ever
seen,=E2=80=9D said Poe.=20


Democratic Party officials also have said sample ballots handed to F=
lorida
voters by volunteers as they entered the polling places in precincts in P=
alm
Beach listed the candidates in a different order than what voters saw in =
the
voting booths.
Democratic National Committee officials say voters complained ballo=
t
holes for Al Gore were so close to that of Pat Buchanan that many voters
weren=E2=80=99t sure who they had voted for.=20
The result, they said, was voters who referenced the sample ballots =
to
cast their votes may have voted for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan w=
hen
they thought they were voting for Gore.
The Democratic National Committee said it started receiving complain=
ts
from voters that the actual ballot was very confusing. Basically, voters =
said,
the hole punch for Gore on the ballot was so close to that of Buchanan th=
at
many voters weren=E2=80=99t sure who they had voted for.
=E2=80=9CBy Gore there were two holes =E2=80=A6 I had to figure out =
which one,=E2=80=9D said
voter Lena Fransetta. =E2=80=9CI asked one of the ladies for help and she=
didn=E2=80=99t
know. When I left I figured out I voted wrong.=E2=80=9D=20
Another voter, May Cohen, said, =E2=80=9CI don=E2=80=99t know if I v=
oted wrong =E2=80=A6
Republicans had only one hole, Gore-Lieberman had two. I think I did righ=
t, but
it was very confusing.=E2=80=9D=20
DNC officials reacted immediately by calling the county supervisor, =
trying
to put up signs, or designate a phone number for those who felt they may =
have
voted the wrong way. The director of Florida=E2=80=99s Division of Electi=
ons, Clay
Roberts, said there was nothing wrong or unlawful with ballots in the sta=
te.
DNC at one point also claimed nine ballot boxes were missing in Brow=
ard
County, which boasts approximately 220,000 voters, but later reported the=
boxes
were recovered and were being counted.
They said they had no information on how the boxes were lost or how =
they
were found. Ed Cast of the Florida Elections Committee said the boxes wer=
e
never really missing. =E2=80=9CThere was a slight mishap, but they have b=
een sitting
at the supervisor=E2=80=99s office,=E2=80=9D Cast said.
Still, the DNC in Florida has indicated it will send lawyers to file=
a
court petition for a recount if there is a controversy over the outcome.=20

GOP Investigating Reports=20
Republican National Committee spokesman Tom Yu said party officials were =
aware
of the reports of voter tampering and irregularities and that they were
investigating.
=E2=80=9CI=E2=80=99ve heard rumors but I can=E2=80=99t confirm any o=
f those rumors yet and I
think at this point our people are looking into those rumors and trying t=
o
track down if they are true,=E2=80=9D Yu said.
In response to the reports of voter confusion at Palm Beach, Yu warn=
ed
against jumping to any conclusions about rumored voting irregularities.
=E2=80=9CWe=E2=80=99re investigating the irregularities and if those=
irregularities do
exist then, let=E2=80=99s find the source and try to rectify them,=E2=80=9D=
he said. =E2=80=9CAt
this point I think it=E2=80=99s an investigation that we don=E2=80=99t wa=
nt to raise any
undo excitement that isn=E2=80=99t warranted. We are looking into any of =
these
irregularities and if they do prove to exist, the proper action will be
taken.=E2=80=9D=20

Voting Shenanigans Elsewhere=20
DNC spokeswoman Backus said Tuesday some New York voters were turned away=
from
some polling places, discouraged from voting altogether, and possibly con=
fused
into voting unintentionally for a candidate they didn=E2=80=99t really wa=
nt.
However, given the large victory margins for Democrats in New York, =
it is
unlikely any alleged tampering had any impact on the races.
Backus also said the DNC=E2=80=99s Web site was hacked Monday night =
and that its
e-mail server crashed because it received a large wave of messages. The s=
ystem
was back up and running by 10 a.m. Tuesday.
=E2=80=9CThis just brings shame to the election process,=E2=80=9D sh=
e said.
Hackers also targeted the GOP=E2=80=99s Web site. Hours before polls=
opened, RNC
spokesman Yu said, the GOP=E2=80=99s site was replaced by a lengthy anti-=
Bush tirade.

While saying his message was not endorsed by either party, the
unidentified hacker left a link to Gore=E2=80=99s campaign site and wrote=
, =E2=80=9CGeorge
W. Bush would make a great president for those states which traffic not s=
o much
in decency but bigotry. Not acceptance but hate. Not love but fear.=E2=80=
=9D=20

Possibly More False Information=20
Democratic Party officials also alleged voters were intimidated and misin=
formed
before entering voting booths in states including Missouri, Michigan, Iow=
a, and
Kansas. Democratic officials relayed unconfirmed reports from Iowa of sen=
ior
citizens receiving telephone calls telling them they could not vote unles=
s
specifically registered for the election.
=E2=80=9CThis isn=E2=80=99t true,=E2=80=9D said Backus. It=E2=80=99s=
=E2=80=9Cdesigned to confuse
seniors and keep them from voting for Al Gore =E2=80=A6 We won=E2=80=99t =
stand for it and
challenge the other side to stand up as well.=E2=80=9D
In West Virginia, according to officials, voters were receiving call=
s from
a Republican phone bank in California falsely telling them Sen. Robert By=
rd,
D-W.Va., had not endorsed Gore.
In fact, said Gore National spokesman Doug Hattaway, =E2=80=9Cit=E2=80=
=99s the first
time he has endorsed a Democrat for president since 1964, when he endorse=
d
Lyndon Johnson.=E2=80=9D
In an incident not described by Democratic officials, Kansas=E2=80=99=
state
government is looking into telephone calls made to some residents giving =
false
information about the state=E2=80=99s election laws, according to The Ass=
ociated
Press.
Democrats had reported getting recorded messages Monday night incorr=
ectly
telling them they must bring voter registration cards to polling places t=
o be
allowed to cast a ballot, the AP reported.
The campaign of Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat seeking re-election in=
the
3rd Congressional District, had contacted the FBI this morning about the =
phone
calls.=20
Moore=E2=80=99s office played the message for the AP: =E2=80=9CFailu=
re to comply with
election law is serious business, so make sure you have your card and do =
it
right.=E2=80=9D=20

Attempts to Extend Poll Closings=20
Meanwhile, Democrats in various states Tuesday night tried unsuccessfully=
to
get polls to stay open later to accommodate long lines of voters. In St. =
Louis,
just an hour before polls were set to close, a judge ordered them to stay=
open
three hours past their closing time =E2=80=94 until 10 p.m. local time =E2=
=80=94 to
accommodate the heavy turnout.
Democrats who sought the extension cited long lines and a shortage o=
f
booths, ballots, judges and other equipment. Judge Evelyn M. Baker said t=
he
Board of Election Commissioners =E2=80=9Cfailed to live up to its duty to=
the voters
of the city.=E2=80=9D
However, 45 minutes after the ruling, a three-judge panel in the Mis=
souri
Court of Appeals overturned Baker=E2=80=99s decision and ordered the poll=
s closed at
once. Similar filings to keep polls open were denied in Madison and Milwa=
ukee,
Wis., Portland, Me., and Detroit.=20
jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
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