Response to open letter to the "Bring Them Home" group

John, I don't have a huge amount of time here so this answer will have to be briefer than I'd like: I'm not arguing with the law in Florida that doesn't allow felons to vote (I certainly don't agree with it, but it is the law). However that is not the issue here - the issue is that people who were not felons were illegally prevented from voting. The law was exploited and used to manipulate the electoral register. The numbers do indeed vary, but even if they are way below the 57,700 mark that doesn't make what happened any less serious. I cannot accept that this was all a big mistake - human error doesn't explain away the fact that people of a certain ethnic origin were discriminated against. Furthermore, Bush and Harris WERE TOLD by elections officials that something was wrong and yet they specifically ordered Database to continue carrying out their orders - because they knew damn well the effect that those orders would (and did) have, i.e. to disenfranchise a large number of voters who would mostly have voted Democrat. <> You're right of course there. But the "match" criteria were deliberately "widened" from what would have been normal in such a task. Names did not have to be even very similar - I can't remember the exact details off the top of my head, but the match criteria were changed from names varying by two letters to names varying by three letters (I could be a couple of letters off here!). That kind of fiddling alone leaves a huge margin for "error". Whatever you may think about the match criteria, and however unfair they were, the really serious issue surrounding this of course is that such a disproportionate number of black/hispanic voters were "matched". If the criteria alone were just inaccurate or badly chosen, how come so many white people who should have been "matched" were not?? Something I forgot to mention in my last post - why were most of the antiquated, worn-out voting machines (which were more likely to confuse voters and lead to mis-cast ballots) placed overwhelmingly in "black" counties?? Again, human error cannot explain this - there was obviously a conscious and deliberate decision behind it. <> You're spot on there - his totals were declining steadily as the recount progressed, and by the afternoon of the 9th December the unofficial tally showed Gore to be just 60 odd votes behind: at which point the (mostly Republican/right wing) Supreme Court judges hastily stepped in and stopped the recount. Very convenient timing for Mr Bush. <> The reason I pointed out the overseas ballot is because of the contrast in the way in which Bush and Harris dealt with this issue compared to the ex-felon issue. While they were apparently so zealous and eager to make sure not a singly ex-felon voted, and made the margin of error for this so wide that they also knowingly disenfranchised tens of thousands of innocent voters, how come they were so eager to let as many questionable overseas votes as possible be counted? I'm sure you know how strict the overseas voting procedure is - all ballots must be clearly signed and dated and/or postmarked on or before election day. So why did Katherine Harris suddenly decide that ballots "are not required to be postmarked on or prior to" election day? The New York Times investigation showed that around 340 ballots had no evidence of being cast on or before election day, 180 or so were postmarked in the US, around 90 lacked witness evidence... the list of flawed ballots goes on, and yet every single one of them was counted. Human error or faulty procedures again just doesn't explain it. Why so strict with one lot of potential votes (mostly Democrat) and yet why so relaxed with the overseas (mostly Republican) ballots? The fundamental difference between our opinions on the 2000 election is that you think it was an unfortunate "mistake" while I think there is clear evidence of conscious, deliberate decisions to disenfranchise Democrat voters while favouring the flawed ballots of Republican voters. I think we should probably agree to differ, because otherwise we're just going to end up going round in circles (besides which we're clogging up the original thread with an unrelated issue). <> Yes - you got to cast you vote, but tens of thousands of other people didn't. Whether it was by "mistake" or deliberate policy, it amounts to the same thing - the election was not democratic, and therefore Bush's appointment as president was not democratic. Maybe you can appreciate then, why so many people find America's policy of "bringing democracy" to the Middle East just a tiny bit hypocritical.

Created By: Rachel Hicks