Recount 2000

May 26, 2008 Published under Democracy and Freedom (or lack of), United States

I am a staunch independent and find partisan politics to be too narrow minded in general, but if just 10% of Recount, HBO’s telling of the 2000 election Florida contest between Bush and Gore is true, one has to be

completely disgusted at the dirty way in which the Republican party, particularly Katherine Harris as the Secretary of State of Florida, handled things.  Determination and tenacity are to be admired, but Harris seems to have patently broken all laws and principles, particularly when she paid $4.3 million dollars to Database Technologies (DBT) to compile a list of felons who would not be eligible to vote according to Florida law, but then in an effort to expand on possible disqualifications that would veer against minorities, particularly African-Americans, she went on to instruct DBT as follows:

Obviously, we want to capture more names that possibly aren’t matches and let the supervisors make a final determination rather than exclude certain matches altogether… 

This was supposed to be a nod to expand on the list of purged voters.  And it worked.  The purge list included felons and "anyone whose name happens to be similar" to the felon’s name, most of them law-abiding citizens that should have been given the right to vote but were turned back at the door.  Willie D. Whiting was a Pastor with no criminal record, but he was turned back because his name was similar to felon Willie J Whiting.  In Leon County, of 697 names the state gave him, the supervisor found after the fact that there were only 23 actual felons, and hundreds of others were in the meantime unjustly denied.  In Miami Dade, the supervisor actually complained the list had clear mismatches but was told that even if there weren’t clear matches, the people should be turned back.  In the end, the list blew up to 20,000 voters, almost half of which were were African-American.

The worst part is nobody could do anything about this in 2000 because the votes had not been cast and so could not be brought back in.

People were fighting over 140 or 300 dimpled chads here and there, while thousands of voters were just turned back.

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