Tuesday, November 28, 2000 Volume 66, Issue 69



The continuing electoral conflicts devalue the voting process

Brian L. Broussard

The Florida Supreme Court ruling does not surprise me in the least. The media and Florida's court system are exceptionally biased in the favor of Vice President Al Gore. Everyone knows that, and if any one denies this, it is wishful thinking with a heavy dose of naiveté. 

Short of total collusion and an all out conspiracy, I don't think two prominent groups could work more blatantly hand-in-hand to any greater degree with the hopes of changing the outcome of a presidential election.

The individuals holding the power to make decisions are all decidedly Democratic, and it should not be viewed, in my opinion, as a coincidence that the rulings to date have heavily favored Gore to the point that everyone watching knows that the election is being wrestled away from Gov. George W. Bush and handed to Gore on a silver platter by his party affiliates in the courts.

I don't want to cast dispersions on possible cognizant misconduct by the Democratic judges, but party loyalties run deep, convoluting judgments and affecting decisions subconsciously.

The chaotic deterioration of the election is one of the most repugnant sights I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing. The hypocrisy displayed in the whole "recount" process is astonishingly sickening.

I have heard, more times than I can count "It's the will of the people, all the votes should count."

This assessment just isn't true in the Gore camp. For Gore, and all his supporters, the only votes they want to count are the ones that will allow him to beat Bush. How anyone can, with good conscience, try to argue the merits of a secret ballot insinuating that the intent of the voter can be determined is ludicrous.

It is impossible to determine the voters' intent even on legally executed ballots. A vote for Bush could be a vote for Bush, or a vote against Gore. A vote for Ralph Nader could be a vote for Nader or a vote against the normative establishment.

For a judge to listen to such a trivial and inconsequential argument as to allow ballots because arguable intent can be discerned should be impeached and disbarred from ever practicing law again.

I am proud of my participation in the election process and have no qualms letting anyone know whom I voted for. If the tone of the article did not make it explicitly clear, I will -- I voted for Bush.

If the Gore camp truly wanted to embrace the "will of the people" and ensure that each and every vote counted, they would not have selected just three heavily Democratic counties to mandate recounts. 

They would have said, "We need to have a hand count of the entire state of Florida because we feel every vote should count!"

Better yet, the Gore camp should have demanded a hand count for the entire nation, you know, to ensure every vote counted. I know, it sounds as if I am being flippant toward the recounts.

I am not against recounting the votes at all. I am against a specifically targeted recount with the sole purpose of manifesting a higher vote count for the loser of the election.

A standard for counting ballots had been established previous to this election. The parameters dictated for allowing recounts were also set before the presidential elections, but it seems the laws are not being followed in their true spirit.

The necessary conditions for declaring a ballot valid have changed three times already, with the Gore camp wanting to include ballots with indentations, not even perforated chads. These are not legitimate ballots, and the intent of the voter cannot be determined with any degree of accuracy, nor should any court declare such a ballot valid.

What about the 1,000 absentee ballots that were summarily dismissed because the postmark on the envelope did not meet the Nov. 7 deadline as stated by law? Do you think Gore is expending any energy to lobby to include those votes?

Of course he isn't, because he realizes a great number of those votes, possibly an overwhelming majority of them, will be for Bush.

So much for the election process in America, it really is a disheartening experience.

Broussard, a senior political science major, 
can be reached at blbroussard@pdq.net.

To contact the Opinon Section Editor, send e-mail to dccampus@mail.uh.edu

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