WOULD YOU BELIEVE?: Democratic Party directed a telemarketing firm on Election Night to begin calling thousands of voters in Palm Beach, Fla., to raise questions about a disputed ballot and urge them to contact local election officialsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Dems Call Fla. Voters About Ballots
By John Solomon Associated Press Writer Friday, Nov. 10, 2000; 9:39 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON BB Faced with a cliffhanger election, the Democratic Party directed a telemarketing firm on Election Night to begin calling thousands of voters in Palm Beach, Fla., to raise questions about a disputed ballot and urge them to contact local election officials.
The Democratic National Committee paid Texas-based TeleQuest to make the calls Tuesday night B while polls were still open B alerting voters in the heavily Democratic enclave in Florida of possible confusion with the ballots they cast.
"Some voters have encountered a problem today with punch card ballots in Palm Beach County," the script for the call said. "These voters have said that they believe that they accidentally punched the wrong hole for the incorrect candidate."
"If you have already voted and think you may have punched the wrong hole for the incorrect candidate, you should return to the polls and request that the election officials write down your name so that this problem can be fixed," the script said.
The firm took the names and numbers of voters who said they may have cast an errant ballot, providing the Democratic Party a list of about 2,400 voters in the county who thought they may have misvoted.
If voters were about to go to the polls, the script called for the caller to instruct them to "be sure to punch Number 5 for Gore-Lieberman" and "do NOT punch any other number as you might end up voting for someone else by mistake."
Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jenny Backus said the party had been making traditional get-out-the-vote calls all over the country Tuesday, but shifted gears in Palm Beach after hearing local news reports about possible voter confusion.
"Once we were informed by local news accounts of the magnitude of the problem with confusion about the ballot, we shifted our scripts to make sure that people who were voting were aware of the questions and confusion around the ballot," she said.
The maneuver indicates that long before Americans awoke to the reality of the Florida ballot dispute, Democrats were already mobilizing voters there. The concern has focused on Palm Beach, where 19,000 ballots were disqualified and hundreds of voters have said they mistakenly voted for Patrick Buchanan while trying to vote for Gore.
Within hours of the phone campaign, hundreds of Democratic voters had called election officials in Palm Beach to complain they may have been confused by the ballot and voted for the wrong candidate.
Some Palm Beach County voters have filed lawsuits seeking a new vote.
The outcome of the dispute is key because George W. Bush is leading Gore by a mere 327 votes after a statewide recount. The winner of Florida will lay claim to the electoral votes needed to become the nation's 43rd president.
The calls indicate that Democrats were concerned about Palm Beach problems even before they knew Florida's vote would end in a razor-thin margin, said American University political science professor Candice Nelson.
"To the extent there have been accusations that Democrats didn't cry foul until they realized Wednesday that Bush may have won, this cuts the other way," she said.
Nelson and other political and legal experts said the calls were perfectly legal but could have contributed to what appeared to most Americans to be a spontaneous explosion of concern in Florida the morning after the election.
"I think those kinds of calls make perfect sense," Nelson said. "In terms of people getting riled up, it would be a tactic that might energize voters who might otherwise not have realized they may have mistakenly voted for the wrong candidate."
One Florida Democrat said Republicans would take similar action had the tables been turned.
"They'd be fighting this thing tooth and nail for months and months," said Wayne Brewer, 45, of Juneau, Fla.
"They knew they ... lost, and now they want to win on an assumption," he said, speaking outside the government center in West Palm Beach.
Wade Scott, an account manager with TeleQuest, said Democratic Party officials contacted his company shortly before 6 p.m. EST Tuesday to make the calls.
With only an hour to go before Florida polls closed, his company mobilized all of its telemarketers to make some 5,000 calls in less than 45 minutes, Scott said.
"It was a very short burst of calling for our industry," Scott said. He said only about 100 of the voters in Palm Beach it contacted hadn't voted, and about 2,400 felt they may have made a mistake on the ballot.
B) Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
[A HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20001110/aponline213957_000.htm">SLEAZY Democrats Started the Crap Stirring
-- Ain't Gonna Happen (Not Here Not@ever.com), November 10, 2000
SLEAZY Democrats Started the Crap Stirring
-- Ain't Gonna Happen (Not Here Not@ever.com), November 10, 2000.
The same response I gave in another thread....
With only an hour to go before Florida polls closed, his company mobilized all of its telemarketers to make some 5,000 calls in less than 45 minutes, Scott said. ''It was a very short burst of calling for our industry,'' Scott said. He said only about 100 of the voters in Palm Beach it contacted hadn't voted, and about 2,400 felt they may have made a mistake on the ballot.
If this sample is representitive of the whole county, then it appears that almost 50% of all voters made an error in their votes, and not just the people who may have voted for Buchanan. This wold indicate that around half of those who did vote for Gore actually intended to vote for someone else (perhaps Bush or Nader), and around half of those who voted for Bush actually intended to vote for either Gore or Buchanan.
Surely the only thing to do is to let the vote stand AS IS and ignore any unintended errors.
-- Malcolm Taylor (email@example.com), November 10, 2000.
Your logic sounds extremely flawed. What sample are you talking about?
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 2000.
He's talking about the phone calls. OUt of 5,000 calls made by the democrates...2,500 people said they felt they had made a mistake. Since the calls were at random to the people of that county..if you use this figure as a base...HALF the people were confused and think they voted wrong...and that would be REALLY screwed up...because more than half the people DID vote for Gore..heh...therefore..some of them didn't mean to...or someone is lying..or I don't know what..DAMN!
I follow ya, Malcolm
-- kritter (email@example.com), November 11, 2000.
This sounds familiar. Spot (create?) a potential problem. See if exposing it becomes usefull. Ace in the hole so to speak.
Allow a parallel: Medicare funded HMOs are on the ropes. Medical care costs rise at 6% (drugs at 15%) a year. Refuse to fund Medicare payments to those HMOs beyond 2% per year since '97. Contentedly sit back and await the crisis that will force federally determined healthcare for everyone. This scenario requires some republicans beholding to the drug & insurance companies to pull off but the prize is worth it and a few bad pubs are always easy to find. Rant off.
-- Carlos (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 11, 2000.
You simply don't understand. If your candidate WON, then justice has been served and any effort to subvert the result, for any reason, runs contrary to the purpose and spirit of the electoral process,
However, if your candidate LOST, the of course justice has been thwarted for any and every reason you can find, and the situation simply MUST be rectified. In the interests of justice and fairness, of course, and for no other reason.
America is not known for graceful losers, regardless of political party.
-- Flint (email@example.com), November 11, 2000.
Those calls were made in Palm Beach, the county with the flawed ballots! How do you go from there to saying it applies to the whole country?? And how do you conclude that people who wanted to vote for Bush voted for Gore, when Bush's hole was first, and Gore's was third???
Sheeesh, Republicans. I swear, they cannot do anything without throwing in their extreme bias.
-- LOL (firstname.lastname@example.org!), November 11, 2000.
"Democrats started the crap stirring"
Thousands of US citizens are deprived of their vote because of an obvious flaw in the ballot system. They are urged to bring it to the attention of their local government so that they will not continue to be deprived of their constitutional rights, and you call that "crap stirring"?
I guess all of you right-wingers who want to keep your guns are just a bunch of "crap stirrers" too, and you should just be told to got to hell and forget about your rights.
-- (Ainemail@example.com), November 11, 2000.
You missed the point. Honest.
-- Carlos (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 11, 2000.
"If you have already voted and think you may have punched the wrong hole for the incorrect candidate, you should return to the polls and request that the election officials write down your name so that this problem can be fixed," the script said...
But... but... if you "THINK" you may have punched the "wrong" hole for the "incorrect" candidate, might that not also mean that you possibly managed to punch the "right" hole for the "correct" candidate -- even if you didn't mean to? Cousin Greever sometimes THINKS he's the real heir to the throne of England, but that doesn't mean they let him ride the polo ponies in the Royal Stables.
Thing is, a lot of these poor, poor, pitiful, "disenfranchised" people -- young and old, yuppie and non-yuppie, black, white, red, orange, and green -- probably can't even remember what they had for breakfast that morning -- much less whether the hole they punched was 1/4" up or a 1/4" down from where they thought they punched.
-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 11, 2000.