Voting irregularities at the Florida polls....... : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hubby and I were up until the wee hours of the morning, listening to our local NPR radio stations, then WLW, a Cincinati AM station. The announcer working there about 2 or 2:30 AM in the morning stated that the Democrats were politicin' WAY inside the leagal 500 feet that is legal at the polls. There were reports of the Democratic workers turning away voters that they thought would vote Republican. Anyone heard about this? Of course, NPR didn't say a peep about it.....

-- Leann Banta (, November 08, 2000


That's the first I've heard of them turning anyone away.....This is crazy. With all of these allegations against the dems do you think we might have to do the election over?

-- Doreen (, November 08, 2000.

..and of course,

Someone called the police and filed a complaint, with witnesses, names and addresses...

Someone called the election commission and filed a complaint, with witnesses, names and addresses.

And the radio announcer at WLW was able to reveal the names of these reliable and verifiable sources.

RIGHT!?!?!?!?! Or is this another sour grapes story?


-- Craig Miller (, November 08, 2000.

Howdee! I was out in da woos, hunten wit me frends, dear hunten. I notes a biggggg cer comen down de rood. these bigg men get out of de cer an say, boy u gota vote. I is hunten an i ain't got tim. So dez promuss a 12 pak of bush beer. I sez ok, dey tel me to vote fur gggggooorrre. i gets to da pol an i fergets da nam of da guy i spose ta vote fer. i looks an see thay a voten fer faverites beer. i vots fer bush. i hope dey doint want dey beer bak.

-- Richard V.Miller (, November 08, 2000.

Gore concedes defeat, then calls back to resind his concession......... Would you call that getting caught in another lie?

-- Jay Blair (, November 08, 2000.

I heard something this morning about voting irregularitiesin two counties in Florida. I don't know the details. A guy I talked to this morning said he heard that W and al gore got in a "heated discussion" when al gore called the second time and his last words in the conversation were, "well, you don't have to get snippy!"

-- Shooter (, November 08, 2000.

Shooter, Do you think he's been neutered?

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, November 08, 2000.

Election fraud in Florida is nothing new. It has been going on for at least 18 years that I have personal experience with. First time I tried to get the media and government involved. Still have quite a file from all the phone calls, letters, etc. That one ended up with an FBI agent telling me, "I've got two years to go to retirement. If you think that I'm going to take on a federal judge, you're out of your mind. My advice to you, forget it!" The second time, the wife and I went undercover as poll workers. When I caught the poll deputy adding punchcards to those already in the machine, I was threatened with arrest for "interferring with an election". Read the book "Vote scam" for a better picture of the elections process in Florida. The wife and I moved here from Nebraska and it was just as bad there.

-- john and pat james (, November 08, 2000.

Please People, Let the chips fall where they end up. Even if you think their cow chips. Please, just accept the final count in good graces. No matter who wins.

I heard there was 90,000,000 turned out. If your guy or mine lose by a couple a hundred in Fla. Don't get tweaked.

Be gracious in victory or defeat. I'm disappointed it's even close. Oh well, so sad for me.

REMEMBER!!!! Don't ever let anyone tell you your vote doesn't count!! There is going to be a lot of folks in Fla. wishing they had gone to the polls, no matter who wins. John

-- John in S IN (, November 08, 2000.

I think that it's very funny that only Democrates had problems with the ballots in Florida. I"m sure that Republicans and independants had to use the same ballots. I believe that the winner of the popular vote should be president , but until we change our flawed system Gore, needs to be a real man and accept the results. And no it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the nation for a part of florida to revote knowing the results that are in.

-- Del (, November 09, 2000.

The latest one today I heard now is that 19,000 ballots were thrown out because of the double punching of those weird ballots with the arrows on them. When people realized their mistake they punched a second hole to mark what they really meant. That made their votes invalid and they were tossed. Some of the voters asked for help and were refused it. This whole thing is getting messier and messier. I suppose the silver lining in it all is we are now learning what problems there are with how ballots are handled. Maybe it will result in some changes. One I would like to see is that each state have the same ballot for all of their counties. They could just change the names to reflect the proper candidates and issues but they should all basically look the same. I really think it should be a nationwide requirement that they all look the same, i.e. check off blocks in the same place, etc. but I doubt that the states would ever agree to it. There will be a lot of lessons learned from this whole thing.

-- Colleen (, November 09, 2000.

The "butterfly" ballot is used all over Florida.

Only this county is claiming that it was confusing and that they misvoted.

This same ballot has been used in Illinois for years (Chicago Districts).

No one has ever been confused by this ballot in Illinois.

This is the same ballot used in Missouri.

No complaints about confusion in Missouri.

-- William in WI (, November 09, 2000.

It seems that 15,000 ballots were invalidated because they were double punched in this same area of Fl. in the 1996 election. Voter fraud or voter incompetence? Maybe if they made the ballot a 5 X 5 grid and gave each voter a BINGO dauber they'd have better luck.

-- ray s (, November 09, 2000.

I like the Bingo analogy! Anyway, a senator from Florida was just on teevee and said a couple of things about this butterfly ballot that I thought were interesting:

1) The sample ballot was indeed mailed out to the voters for their review prior to the election. However, the holes (and the alignment, therefore) of the candidates to the corresponding hole to punch) were NOT PUBLISHED in the sample ballots. No holes showing on the sample ballot. No way for folks to have the opportunity to get "pre- confused." So why would they speak out in protest prior to going into the voting booth? Since this seems to be the germane issue, it does seem to lend credibility to why there might have been real confusion.

Additionally, the Presidential portion of the ballot was the ONLY PART of the ballot that had this unique format. The rest of the races, issues, were not this way. Why? Don't other races in the same county on the same ballot have have mutliple candidates too?

Now, consider the fact that 19,100 ballots from ONE county had to be thrown out b/c they contained ballots that had mutiple (two) punches made for a Presidential office. That is SO far out of whack for the number of ballots in the same county that had to be tossed b/c of the other races with the same situation (~3,000). (19,100 vs. 3,000 same county.) It pretty much becomes obvious that it was only the Presidential part of the ballot that was confusing.

Yes, people should have paid more attention to what they were doing in the booths. Maybe they should get better trifocals. Maybe they shouldn't have felt flustered in the midst of all those people glaring at them waiting in line to vote. But why did they not make the same percentage of error on the other election races on the very same ballot? Perhaps because the ballot was poorly designed? What do you think? You folks in FLorida, chime in here! I live clear across the continent and am going by what I hear on teevee!!

(btw, I am well aware that the person who was responsible for the design and implementation of the ballot is a Democrat and a woman. )

2) In addition, the law of Florida states the order in which the candidates must be listed (WA state has a law like that, as well as other states, I am sure.) The way that appeared on the real ballot was: Bush, Buchanan, Gore. It seems it should have been: Bush, Gore, Buchanan. That reason alone should keep the issue in the legal playing field for a while. SHeesh.

I really would like to get this election over with! But I have to sit back and reflect on the rights of voters, too, so it's not just the recount which is of interest to me.

I talked to several folks last night (of political affiliations of at least three parties). We all said (independently and had a subsequent good laugh about it!!!) that we though we were living in Western Hemisphere countries to the south of us, based on this recount stuff. One said Chile, one said Nicaragua, and one said Mexico . It really isn't funny, though, is it?

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.nte), November 09, 2000.

Heard a speaker on WPR last night -- he said that by law, cited how it was determined (altho I don't recall at the moment) that Gore's name had to be listed second on the ballot and was listed third, which may have caused some of the confusion because of the butterfly printing, his name was printed second on the right, but you had to punch the third hole. Seems to me this was a botched ballot, whoever did it, and that there would be some legal grounds to have the vote recast there.

-- Julie Froelich (, November 11, 2000.

OK folks here goes.I live in Fl and have used the butterfly ballot. The ballot could certainly be improved but is really not confusing. Everyone in the known universe knows(or should know) that double punching invalidates a ballot.In Fl you can ask for and get a new ballot if you make a mistake.There is help available at all polling places.Believe me,"Good Ole Jesse" would be marching all over Fl if anyone were refused help.That same ballot has been in use for years including the last presidential election. Most of what you are hearing is just plain CR_P!

-- JT Sessions (, November 11, 2000.

I am realy getting nervous about all the recounting in Florida. I think each time they visit the ballots there is room for corruption. I think a federal judge should end the recounting in the country not just Florida. Certify the counties that can drop the rest and declair a winner. Believe me the voters of any county left out will not allow thier officials and fellow voters mess up again. I wouldn't suggest such a thing ,but I feel that it's such a mess that it realy can't be fixed. At least not well enough for the rest of us to trust. Like the old saying " I don't care how many times you cut that board it's still going to be too short." and maybe Palm Beach County will learn the other old saying " Measure twice cut once." in other words better preperation would have avoided the whole mess.

-- Del (, November 12, 2000.

I voted in Palm Beach County, FL and many people who were holding their mismarked ballots in their hands asking for a fresh one were refused. Why were they mismarked? The instructions said to punch the hole to the right of the candidates name. Buchanan name was on the far right of the ballot and his hole was to his left, neatly centered to the middle of the Gore/Lieberman slot on the left. Gore /Lieberman's hole was to the BOTTOM right of their space. The Florida Law states that the punch shall be to the right of the name and several, not just Buchanan, presidential candidaates had punch holes to their left. And it wasn't democratic poll workers turning away voters. One of my coworkers had to get real vocal that she could see her name on the registration lists and threaten to come back with a policeman before the poll woorker went "oops! there is your name after all " and let her vote. And she is a Democrat. There were a lot more complaints locally that people whose names were on the registers were not allowed to vote because poll workers didn't see those names. Most of those who were refused would be assumed to be Democratic, so don't assume that Bush would've have a bigger lead if this hadn't happened. Now don't go flaming me! All I know is what I see here with my own two eyes. There WAS a problem in voting is this county. And that is the truth. And I don't envy those who have to fix it.

-- Mitzi Giles (, November 12, 2000.

Thanks for proving my point. Palm Beach was and is a mess. Its being reported on TV that Palm Beach has a long track record of messing up thier elections. Believe me if we decertify them they will get it right next time. You would be hard pressed to find a county in the country that didn't have soom spoiled ballots. Do we hand count the whole country. And we had people confussed in every polling place in the country and the poll workers assisted as best that they could. Face it there comes a point when you can help or undo just so much. Believe me the rest of us in the USA are not going to stand and let Palm Beach recieve special concideration . Not fair to the other millions of people who got it right. As for the charge that the poll workers denied you new ballots or instruction I say BULL S**T. I'll never buy that. So lick your hurt feelings and get it right next time.

-- Del (, November 12, 2000.

Please forgive me, as I am usually a most understanding person, but I can not for the life of me understand why after all these years Palm Beach has not fixed their problems with voting. Are they not a wealthy enough community to invest money in an acceptable way to vote? I live in a small community of Tennessee and have never had any trouble with voting. The machine is very simple and very clear. Surely, if our small community can do it, then they can to. And if we had had that much trouble before, we would have fixed it by now. No sympathy here.

-- Annie (, November 12, 2000.

To bad the cure for most of the irregularities in florida don't work for elections but the end result would have been the same. I am talking about exlax and metamucil. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (, November 15, 2000.

Let's say that the way we vote is this: You write the name of the President on a piece of paper and you must use black ink. Then you put the slip of paper into a ballot box, where it eventually goes to get counted.

Let's say that a bunch of people aren't paying attention/seldom pay attention, or couldn't tell the difference between a black ink pen and a blue ink pen. They vote and turn their ballots in to be counted in BLUE ink.

Let's say the election is for someone to be elected KING. Let's say that the winner will rule absolutely. One King Candidate is going to have peace, and the other King Candidate is going to make war, or kill all firstborn sons or something. (Point is to make the outcome of the election extremely critical, not to make assumptions about our current candidates.)

Now...the will of the people has been expressed. However, some people voted in blue ink. Should something this IMPORTANT be thrown out because of the color of the ink on the ballots? Or should the time be taken to count them by looking at the ink color? And... then fix the way that the counting is done in the future, so that next time it doesn't matter what color the ink is? (because you are not going to change people's behavior! They will continue to vote in different colors of ink. Just the way people are.)

There is no consideration for re-voting, since it would indeed be unfair to all involved (they can see the probably outcome.)But there are existing ballots that can be counted using both ink colors as valid criteria.

Why do the black ink advocates think that something this IMPORTANT should not be resolved by taking additional time for counting the ballots? They still have an existing leader in charge until January, and plenty of time to work it out. And big stakes, according to the people's idea of what a King should be..

Kind of like: How many of you forgot your #2 pencils for tests at school. Did the teacher give you one anyway? Or did you flunk the test for not remembering to bring your pencil?

-- sheepish (, November 15, 2000.

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