22,000 votes thrown out in Bush's County taints Plam Beachers claim

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The annoucnement that Duval County, in the upper Eastern portion of Florida, threw out 22,000 double-bunched ballots styled differently than the infamous "butterfly" ballot used in Palm Beach County ends any realistic challenge Deomcratics have over infalidated ballots in contested Palm Beach.

Duval County, which George W. Bush won by 44,000, cast less than 300,000 votes overall, making the 19,000 contested ballots in Palm Beach pale in comparison.

It's clear now that with 270,000 Palm Beachers successfully using the ballot in favor of Gore and with grade-school children across America demonstrating the "butterfly" ballot is not that confusing, that Gore's only chance to determine the "will of the people" is through continued recounts.

The question is, in the interest of determining that will, will the Gore camp also call for a manual recount in Duval county, which wold likley favor Bush? Don't count on it.

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Duval tosses 22,000 votes Unusually high rate to draw closer look

By David DeCamp Times-Union staff writer

Nearly 22,000 Duval County votes for president were nullified after voters chose more than one candidate, the supervisor of elections confirmed Friday, resulting in an unusually high strikeout rate.

Supervisor John Stafford and his spokeswoman, Susan Tucker Johnson, attributed the voided presidential votes to a ballot listing 10 presidential candidates over two pages. Voters, they said, probably picked a president on page one, then voted again on the second page. Just the presidential portion of the ballot would then be thrown out, not the entire ballot.

The ballots tossed were more than found in Palm Beach County where the focus has been intense.

-- Buster Collins (Hiway441@aol.com), November 11, 2000


I'd like to know what kind of ballots were used by Duval County. If they used the fill-in-the-bubble-with-a-pencil-mark ballot, "mark-sensing" - as mentioned in a previous thread - may be responsible and a hand recount is in order before the votes are trashed.

-- Fair (Is@Fair.com), November 11, 2000.

Apparently, the presidential candidates were listed on two pages, with one on top of the other. And it was a bunch ballot. That means you could possibly punch for two candidates at one time. A far worse design than Pam Beach.

-- Buster (Hiway441@aol.com), November 11, 2000.

Maybe we should take up the offer of Fidel Castro to send observers to our elections as it appears we couldn't find our ass from a hole in the ground.

-- sick and (tired.of it@ll.com), November 11, 2000.


"Overcounts," where people pushed more than one candidate, will probably not be recounted. They want to recount "undercounts," where no candidate is read by the machine, and a legitimate single count can be discerned. As for overcounts getting a legal hearing, that's separate from the actual manual recounting process.

-- Clarifying (what@mess.com), November 11, 2000.

It is true that double-punched ballots will not be factored in to the final vote tally in Florida, but we must remember, the Gore camp is calling for a "full an accurate count of the votes in Florida." So long as it is in Democratic Party strongholds.

We're not hearing how these voters in Duval County were "disenfranchised." Certainly their ballot was equally confusing as the ballot in Palm Beach, if not more. What about the "will of the people" in a county that Bush carried with almost 60% of the vote?

My point is this. Don't for a minute think this is about the will of the peopleof Florida. It's all about being the victor. Neither party is able to claim the moral high road anymore. It's going to be strong- arm tatics and pressure from the candidates own party, either yea or nay, that will decide who the next president will be.

-- Buster Collins (Hiway441@aol.com), November 11, 2000.

"Our Electorate Is Dumber Than Your Electorate" doesn't seem to be the kind of message the Chamber of Commerce will be putting on brochures anytime soon.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 11, 2000.

Buster, once again, it was the GORE CAMP that wanted a fair count of this county, and the GOP that blocked it. Read this -- it shows that the Dems are PO'd about getting bad or dishonest information from a GOP staffer about what was going on. The GOP doesn't even want to accurately count their own strongholds! Must be pretty scared.

More Florida ballots said disqualified


Nov. 11, 2000 | JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- About 26,000 ballots with more than one presidential candidate or no candidate marked were disqualified in Duval County and never counted, election officials said Saturday.

Duval County is as solidly Republican as Palm Beach County is Democratic. Texas Gov. George W. Bush carried Duval County by more than 44,000 votes. Officials said there was no way to know how the nullified ballots affected the race between Bush and Vice President Al Gore.

In Tuesday's vote, 21,942 ballots were nullified when voters punched their ballots for two candidates for president. An additional 4,967 did not vote for president or did not punch the ballot hard enough for their vote to be registered, said Susan Tucker Johnson, a spokeswoman for Duval County Supervisor of Elections John Stafford.

The disqualified ballots represent about 9 percent of the 291,626 cast Tuesday.

The ballot Duval County used was of a different design than the disputed "butterfly" ballot used in Palm Beach County. In Duval County, 10 presidential candidates and one write-in candidate were listed on two pages. At the bottom of the first page, in larger, bolder type, voters were instructed to turn the page for more choices in the presidential race.

Voters, Johnson said, probably picked one candidate on the first page and then voted for another presidential candidate on the second page.

Mike Langton, chairman of the northeast Florida Gore campaign, reacted angrily to news of the 26,000 nullified votes. He said he had learned of them too late to ask for a manual recount, which under Florida law must be requested within 72 hours of the election.

He said Stafford had told him only 200 to 300 votes were nullified. Johnson said Langton had misunderstood what Stafford had said.

"I sure as hell would have requested a manual recount if I had known 27,000 votes were nullified," Langton said. "We were harmed because we didn't find out in time to ask for a recount."

"He (Stafford) was either incompetent or he was purposely misleading," Langton said.

"I don't know what is going on, but it rises to the level of hanky- panky," Langton said.

Langton said he had notified the state and national Gore campaigns of the situation.

Mike Hightower, who represents the Bush campaign in northeast Florida, said earlier the problems were voter error and not mistakes on the part of election officials.

He did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

-- Dirty Tricks (by@GOP.com), November 11, 2000.

Morning yall

I had the opportunity to vote using the Duval County ballots. Not confusing at all. My question to the folks that voted on the 1st AND 2nd page of the ballot - what were you voting on on the 2nd page???? Just punching holes to be punching holes???

Moral to the story - idiots abound......


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), November 13, 2000.

I wonder why Langston presumes the Gore camp was harmed. There's a broad miss-assumption here that all uncounted votes would go for Gore.

Nonetheless, the views of the "people of Florida" will never be truly known. We will have a court-appointed president.

-- Buster Collins (Hiway441@aol.com), November 13, 2000.

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