- “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the
votes decide everything.”
In justifying recounts of recounts of recounts in Palm Beach County,
the Clinton-Gore Democratic machine explained that they just wanted to
ensure “that all votes were counted.”
“It just wouldn’t be fair,” the lawyers and spinmeisters explained,
“to deny some people their constitutional right to participate in the
But that was then. That was a friendly county — with lots of
Democratic votes. That was a county that, statistical science indicates,
would continue to deliver a higher percentage of votes to Al Gore than
to the opposition on each successive recount.
Notice how the rules changed, again, when it came time to count the
absentee ballots from overseas?
In some counties, half or nearly all of the ballots were rejected,
many of them military ballots that didn’t have postmarks on coordinated
challenges by Democrats. In Orange County, for example, 117 of 147
overseas ballots were rejected on such grounds.
“The party of the man who wants to be the next commander-in-chief is
trying to throw out the votes of the men and women he will be
commanding,” charged Jim Post, a Republican lawyer in Duval County,
where 107 ballots were rejected.
“We had a lot of ballots with no postmarks so we had to declare them
invalid,” said Dick Carlberg, assistant elections supervisor in Duval
None of this was an accident or coincidence. It was part of a
deliberate strategy to deny overseas servicemen a say in who will be the
next commander in chief. Earlier last week, Mark Herron, a Tallahassee
lawyer helping shepherd Democratic presidential election lawsuits
through the local courts, sent a five-page letter to Democratic
attorneys throughout Florida giving them tips on how to lodge protests
against overseas ballots.
Such protests must be lodged before the ballot is taken out of the
envelope. The letter, given to the Associated Press by a Republican
source, focused on protesting military ballots, which are assumed to be
heavily in favor of Bush, and included a section on military postmarks.
Republicans circulated a letter dated Friday from Navy Capt. E.M
DuCom, deputy director of the military postal service, who said military
mail is required to be postmarked. But he added, “There are instances
when time constraints do not allow for proper postmarking/cancellation
of the mail. The last flight may be departing the ship and the mail has
to get on it.”
Ed Gillespie, a Republican strategist working for Bush in Florida,
said 110 of 113 write-in ballots, mostly from military forces, were
invalidated by officials in Miami-Dade County. He said more than half
were thrown out because they had no witness or witness address listed
but “the form doesn’t indicate that a witness is necessary.”
Counties had until noon Saturday to report their results to Secretary
of State Katherine Harris, who will not be able to certify the election
until after the Florida Supreme Court meets today to hear arguments
about ongoing hand recounts in South Florida.
But the latest battle was over the overseas ballots.
“There are more attorneys than there are ballots,” said Bob Edwards,
chairman of the Republican Executive Committee for Walton County, where
five votes were tossed out, including those of four people who had
already voted absentee.
These actions by the Clinton-Gore Democratic Party political machine
in Florida illustrate the ends-justify-the-means philosophy that we’ve
witnessed in this White House for eight long years. It’s time for a
fresh start. It’s time for a house-cleaning. It’s time to sweep out the
liars and cheaters and crybabies once and for all.
I think it is poignant, indeed, that the U.S. servicemen, who have
been abused and taken advantage of by this administration more than any
other group, will get the last laugh by casting what could be the
deciding votes against Al Gore. They’ll get their way despite the
cheating and lying and rule-changing in midstream.
Do I think things will be much better under George W. Bush? Not on
your life. But, I will say, it’s hard to imagine how they could be any