Somewhere on A1A...

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Two Cents on the Recall... from a Floridian

The ACLU is trying to delay the recall election because:

the same machines at the center of the controversy surrounding the contested 2000 presidential election in Florida, will needlessly and unlawfully disenfranchise African-American, Latino, and Asian-American voters in counties where such machines are still in use.
I really don't understand. How does a ballot card disenfranchise voters? Isn’t the idea of this lawsuit a bit condescending?

The real problem with any ballot in California will be the number of candidates. In the 2000 election, here in northeast Florida alone, there were over 20,000 ballots rejected because of over-voting. That is, in at least three primarily minority precincts, primarily minority voters, were told by minority poll workers in primarily democratic areas to make sure to vote for someone on every page. Sadly, many… probably over 20,000… followed those directions. They followed directions without knowing or realizing that there were TWO pages of Presidential candidates. In punch card ballot terms they voted twice for President and the ballot was uncounted. So was the punch card the problem? How many pages will the California ballot be? How many screens on a touch screen?

Was it the punch card ballot that caused the over-votes? Certainly there was a disproportionately large problem in the minority precincts, but were they disenfranchised because the ballot was a punch card?

Even though some voters in Florida probably did take the election away from Al Gore, those voters were overwhelmingly Democrats. The problems the Democrats here in Florida complained about in 2000 were almost entirely self-inflicted. As much publicity as the hanging chads got on National TV they were only a very small part of the problem.

Maybe it does take a little (marginally) more intelligence to vote accurately with a punch card ballot than it does to vote with a touch screen monitor. That is assuming the touch screen keeps you from over-voting. But is that really cause for legal action by the ACLU?

The Chicago Boyz have more.


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