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Member since: 2001
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There was no provision in Florida's state constitution for a statewide recount

The only way Gore could have received one would be through permission of the Governor (and we all remember who that was) or by court order. The Florida Supreme Court did order the statewide recount, and it should have had the last word. The Constitution clearly delegates the right to run Presidential elections to the states, and each state must outline its election laws in the state constitution. The Supreme Court jumped in and took the appeal from the Florida Supreme Court.

The "Republican rules" referred to in this thread was the older version of the rules which had been amended about two years earlier. The revised rules were the ones that Gore referred to in selecting a small number of counties for a sampling recount. Gore used the right rules; Bush illegally used the old ones because the Bush operators thought it was to his advantage.

Two years prior to Election 2000, a candidate for mayor was elected I believe in Miami (but I could be wrong) whose opponent hotly contested the win, saying the "winner" had stolen the election. The issue went to court. After a long trial, the "winner" was declared the loser, and the "loser" took over the mayoral seat. And that is why Florida revised its election law so it would never face this type of embarrassing situation again. Little did it know ....

The Supreme Court tried to justify stopping the recount by two laws: the Safe Harbor Law, a law passed centuries earlier when the states sent their slate of electors to Washington to be counted BY PONY EXPRESS. Often the riders and the horses did not get going until too late to reach DC by the time of the vote. Thus we received the Safe Harbor law to prevent a more timely dispatch of votes. In the year 2000, when slates were dispatched via more expeditious methods than by pony express, this law was one of the main laws used to stop the recount -- the potential violation of the Safe Harbor deadline.

The second law regarding equal protection of the vote was also cited as a reason for stopping the recount. Should Gore prevail in the recount by having votes not counted the first go-around but included in the second round tallied which made him the winner of the election, that would be less than fair to the original voters whose votes were first counted. The thinking stated was that a greater weight would be given to votes picked up in Round 2 than Round 1, and that would not be fair to the original voters. So the Supreme Court disallowed the recount on that equal weight issue. In handing the election to Bush*, the Supreme Court essentially offset the votes of nearly 500,000 people nationwide, the approximate popular vote win Gore achieved over Bush.*

If this sounds crazy to you, it is due to the fact that the whole thing was just that. As I said above, the Supreme Court had no authority to overrule the Florida Supreme Court, and this judgment handed down by it was based on political preferences as opposed to following the supreme law of the land.

And that is exactly why Bush was considered by many to be illegitimate, the protests happened at his inauguration, and this very website sprang into existence. I will always be thankful for the creation of DU because it carried me and many others through the deep, dark years of the Bush* selection.

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