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§ Free Ashleigh. Child abuse in Fla.The sordid facts from Florida that imprisoned a 3-year-old child for nearly 4 years!
8 OCT 2004. Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A lawsuit demanding touch-screen voting machines be made to produce paper records won't be heard until Oct. 18, a judge ruled Friday, raising doubts that any significant changes to the system used by about half of Florida's voters will happen before the November election.

Touch-screens dealt a blow. A state report in 2003 showed that there was a higher percentage of undervotes in counties using touch-screen machines than in counties using optical scanners, which rely on marked paper ballots. Miami Herald.

July 9, 2004. Documents detail more voting machine flaws.
"A host of flaws never before publicized are not expected to be fixed."
Miami Herald — Additional articles, information, click here.

Political Briefing: Edward G. Robinson Speaks from the Void on Florida Politics

Florida Keys, Fla. Remember "Key Largo," the 1948 trapped-on-a-Florida-island thriller that starred Edward G. Robinson as a gangster (what else?) and Humphrey Bogart as the good guy?

If not, herewith is a snatch of the dialogue, Robinson to Bogart:

"Let me tell you about the Florida politicians. I make them. I made them out of a whole cloth. just like a tailor makes a suit. I get their names in the newspaper, I get them some publicity and get them on the ballot. Then after the election, we count the votes. And if they don't turn out right, we recount them. And recount them again. Until they do."

A HOOT! National Lampoon: The US Supreme Court and Florida Law

NEW — Here they go again. 1 Aug.2002. Florida elections officials and political candidates are confused about another election. And once again, the controversy involves Katherine Harris, who is leaving her post as Florida secretary of state to run for Congress.

Bush Spent More on Fla. Recount. 27 July 2002. New York Times. The Bush campaign spent $13.8 million to win the Florida recount vote, roughly four more times than the Gore's $3.2 million the IRS shows. In addition to paying for lawyers, phones and campaign staff salaries, the Bush campaign paid $13,000 to Enron Corp.and $2,400 to Halliburton Co. for the use of their jets and a federal investigation is now underway. Also, A federal judge rejected efforts by the Bush administration to resist handing over documents related to a White House energy task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. Also see internal link.

NEW: 25 June 2002. Deadlock on Florida lawsuit over 2000 election

Who Really Won Florida?

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 — The comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots solidifies George W. Bush's legal claim on the White House — it concludes that he would have won under the ground rules prescribed by the Democrats.

But the analysis does not diminish the heartbreaking might-have-beens for Al Gore. It suggests that more Floridians intended to vote for Mr. Gore but were deterred, in some cases by ballots that were confounding even to elderly voters who are accustomed to having five bingo cards going at once. (No wonder networks reported on election night that, based on polls of voters leaving the polls, Mr. Gore had won Florida.)

The reality, therefore, is that Mr. Bush's victory in the most fouled-up, disputed and wrenching presidential election in American history was so breathtakingly narrow that there is no way of knowing with absolute precision who got the most votes.
The New York Times.

Ballots Cast by Blacks and Older Voters Were Tossed in Far Greater Numbers. The New York Times

August 8, 2001 Data Permanently Erased From Florida Computers. An independent examination of four computers used by Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state, and her aides during last fall's presidential recount has found evidence that the machines were used more extensively than either Ms.Harris or her spokesman had acknowledged.New York Times

16 July 2001. Democrats Seek Inquiry on Florida Vote Count. New York Times

15 July 2001. How Bush Took Florida: Mining the Overseas Absentee Vote. New York Times.

7 June Florida Governor Calls Commission Report on Election Biased. New York Times

5 April. The examination of disputed Florida presidential ballots reported by The Miami Herald and USA Today demonstrated not only how difficult it is to count ballots with ambiguous markings. It also showed how hard it is to find the ballots that produced the Florida postelection chaos. New York Times.

WEST PALM BEACH -- 11 March 2001 - Confusion over Palm Beach County's butterfly ballot cost Al Gore about 6,600 votes, more than 10 times what he needed to overcome George W. Bush's slim lead in Florida and win the presidency, The Palm Beach Post's ballot-by-ballot review of discarded over-votes reveals.

Who won? Votes aren't sacred. Also, on-going.Miami Herald series, 'The Florida Count, What went wrong." The whole shmagoo - you figure that out!

12 Jan. Jeb Bush vetoed a $100,000 voter-education measure in Fla.

28 Dec., "Blacks' votes were discarded at higher rates, analysis shows," reports the Miami Herald

19 Dec. INSPECTING THE VOTES: Florida Ballots Are Getting New Scrutiny, by the Media. Link to The New York Times

Herald, Knight Ridder review Broward ballots
Accounting and consulting firm retained to tabulate the results

Wouldn't you just know it ...

Florida, at a cost of over $600 million, has replaced voting machines across the state. Gov. Jeb Bush, at a news conference, stated that the previous problem was the VOTING public.

Since then, a think tank of the nation's newest and brightest minds from all across the United States was formed to address this very confusing issue, and a new voting box was designed.

Actually, the cost was $32M and Jeb Bush's Florida still can't get it right!.

Link to National Lampoon: The US Supreme Court and Florida Law

Many of us in Florida proudly believed that Florida came through when the state's supreme court ordered a recount. We hoped that our reputation as a Banana Republic would fade, that a more honest government was on the horizon. That exoneration would commence. And then came the US Supreme Court.

Justice Stevens said the court's action "can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land.''

His dissenting opinion, also signed by Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, added: "It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law.

Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.''

12 December 2000

On the Supreme Court's Decision to Halt the Recount ordered by Florida's Supreme Court

"The split between the two camps on the high court was complete, with Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the minority, arguing that granting the stay might well "be tantamount to a decision on the merits." He added, "Preventing the recount from being completed will inevitably cast a cloud on the legitimacy of the election."

The New York Times,10 December 2000

12 Dec.,10:30 PM EST The US Supreme Court wimps out, speaks with forked tongue, votes along political factions without larger consideration of the American people. George Bush is "assigned" the presidency on a technicality. Winning at any cost is more important to him than will of the people. What a very sad and dismal day for America.

Miami through the eyes of a native. This site author lives in Miami. This is her account of a most historical day from a local perspective. Participating in the Miami rally described below, she carried signs that read: – Why has Florida incarcerated a five-year-old child? Ask Jeb Bush. Why did Bush try to shut down the ExtraLove site?

Will Florida’s Reputed "Banana Republic" Antics Reach Out from the White House?

2 Dec. Miami, Fla. Just hours after oral arguments were heard by the US Supreme Court regarding Florida's vote case, several hundred of Miami’s Gore supporters swayed to the beat of "We are Family" under a glorious tropical sky. A stream of politicians, labor, civil-rights and religious leaders rallied about 1,000 Al Gore supporters at Miami-Dade County's Government Center Friday to call for their votes to be counted. Miami’s afternoon protest coincided with a morning rally led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Among a sea of red signs reading "This is America. Count Every Vote," speakers in Miami donned the podium and spoke of the disenfranchisement of Florida voters. In a single case testimony, one South Florida attorney told of her frustration in being denied to vote because her name wasn’t on a printout. She had her voters registration card, yet no one at her South Dade precinct checked the computer before the 7 PM deadline.

Similar situations were recorded across the state. Speakers noted that in police in Tampa stopped and questioned black voters as they entered and exited polling places. Potential first-time voters — particularly college students -- who registered prior to the Oct. 11 deadline were prevented from voting because their registration forms were not processed in time.

"Every American has to have confidence that his or her vote counts. That's why we're gathered here today," said U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek, (D-Miami). Meek also noted that in a Tallahassee, GOP legislators were gearing up to select presidential electors pledged to Republican George W. Bush.

As reported in the Miami Herald, "In a historic and politically explosive decision, Florida’s Republican-controlled committee Thursday voted for a special session of the Florida Legislature to name the state's electors -- a move Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman called "a terrible mistake for our country.''

Meanwhile, as Miami’s demonstration got underway, a verdict from Tallahassee came down from the Florida Supreme Court unanimously rejecting a long-shot request by Gore's lawyers for the immediate recount of those 12,300 ballots. The Florida Supreme Court also rejected a request from Palm Beach County voters who asked the justices to toss out the county's controversial " butterfly'' ballots and order a countywide revote that almost certainly would have helped Gore.

In another development, Fort Lauderdale’s Sun-Sentinel Friday edition reported that an analysis of election data showed a disproportionate number of rejected presidential votes in South Florida — from Homestead to Riviera Beach —came from African-American and Caribbean neighborhoods.

One-third of the disqualified votes, 22,807 in all, were concentrated in mostly black zones where at least 8 percent of the votes for president went uncounted, data from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties show. A few communities for seniors in Palm Beach were also affected.

Of the rejected votes in those problem precincts, almost 17,900 would likely have gone to Vice President Al Gore, data shows. By comparison, 4,474 would likely have gone to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The disqualified votes include both "undervotes," those recorded as no vote by counting machines, and "overvotes," those with two punches for president.

On Thursday, The Miami Herald reported that hundreds of Florida felons voted illegally on Nov. 7. "Tainted votes -- found in a review of nearly half a million votes cast in 12 Florida counties -- provide evidence that the presidential race was influenced by thousands of ineligible voters. Nearly six million voters in Florida's 67 counties cast ballots," the Herald reported.

In yet another development, contrary to public statement, The Miami Herald reported that security was a big concern on day Dade cut its recount.

As the disputed presidential election continues, many believe Bush will be the declared winner. But in an election mired by legalities, his legitimacy will be questioned. This reporter's concern lies with the ties to chicanery. If Florida’s Banana Republic antics stretch beyond the state’s sordid turf into the very halls that govern our country, then a perilous scenario awaits us. Rule by feigned legitimacy is most precarious, indeed.

Recounts from Literary Voices
Dr. Seuss takes a look at election recounts:

I cannot count them in a box
I cannot count them with a fox
I cannot count them by computer
I will not with a Roto-Rooter
I cannot count them card-by-card
I will not 'cause it's way too hard
I cannot count them on my fingers
I will not while suspicion lingers
I'll leave the country in a jam -
I won't count ballots, Sam-I-Am.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Listen, my children, don't dare ignore,
The midnight actions of Bush and Gore
In early November, the year ought-ought,
Hard to believe the mess they wrought.
Two billion bucks of campaign bounty
All came down to Palm Beach County.
What result could have been horrider
Than the situation we found in Florider?

Edgar Allen Poe on election 2000:

Once upon a campaign dreary,
one which left us weak and weary
O'er many a quaint and curious promise of political lore
While we nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a yapping,
As of some votes overlapping,
energy-zapping to the core
"'Tis a mess here," we all muttered,
as the network anchors stuttered,
Stuttered over Bush and Gore.
Could there be another election
with such a case of misdirection,
One with such a weak selection,
yet fraught with tension to the core?
Quoth the ravers, "Nevermore."

Britain's Edward Lear's limerick:

There once was a U.S. election
That called for some expert detection -
How thousands of pollers
Could become double-holers
Then claim they had no recollection.