Gore's Best Asset - Seminole County

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Absentee Ballot Fraud in Seminole County

In Seminole County, Florida, GOP representatives entered election offices and selectively completed 4,700 requests for absentee ballots from Republicans; incomplete requests there from Democrats were rejected. The case goes to trial in Circuit Court on November 29.

The election supervisor in Seminole County, Sandra Gourd, goes on trial next week in Florida circuit court for inviting GOP workers to fill in 4,700 incomplete GOP absentee ballot requests while rejecting incomplete Democratic absentee ballot requests. A similar absentee ballot fraud case in 1997 resulted in the ouster of Miami Mayor Xavier Saurez, who admitted this month handling GOP absentee ballot forms in the 2000 election.

Earlier this year, Florida Republicans mailed out thousands of reply requests for absentee ballots to GOP voters that left blank the voter ID number required by Florida’s anti-fraud election law. Gourd, a Republican, contacted GOP County Chairman James Stelling, who provided two workers to camp out in her offices for several days and fill in the missing voter ID numbers. But Gourd did not process similar incomplete requests for absentee ballots from Democratic voters and refused to allow Democratic officials the same opportunity to complete them. Florida law requires the voter, a family member or guardian to complete all information on the absentee ballot application.

In a parallel case, Xavier Suarez was elected mayor of Miami in 1997 with the help of 400 absentee ballots that proved fraudulent. A Florida District Court later threw out all 5,000 absentee ballots in the contest, which had gone 2-to-1 for Suarez, and awarded the mayorship to Suarez’ opponent. A separate 1998 court ruling granted Florida judges broad authority to invalidate elections if fraud or even unintentional error results in a flawed outcome.

In Seminole County, Bush also won the 15,000 absentee ballots cast by a 2-to-1 margin. Disqualification of the 4,700 selectively completed GOP ballots, or all 15,000 if these could not be identified, would provide the margin of victory for Gore.

Ousted Mayor Suarez, elected last September to the Executive Committee of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, made a stunning admission November 8th to interviewer Evan Shapiro of FEED Magazine. Suarez said that he “helped fill out absentee ballot forms and enlist Republican absentee voters in Miami-Dade County” for the 2000 presidential election.

“Dade County Republicans have a very specific expertise in getting out absentee ballots,” Suarez told Shapiro. “I obviously have specific experience in this myself.” Kendall Coffey, a lead attorney in the Suarez election misconduct case, found Suarez’s statements deeply troubling given his past “systematic and massive absentee ballot fraud.”

Former Florida GOP chairman Tom Slade said that the Seminole lawsuit could be the Democrats “biggest asset” in the election contest. Indeed, disqualification of the 4,700 selectively completed GOP absentee ballot requests or all 15,000 if these cannot be identified would swing Florida for Gore. Both the Suarez case precedent and Florida law mandate such a remedy for this selective and illegal intervention to boost GOP votes.

A broader pattern of GOP voter fraud in Florida?

While the facts of the Seminole County case are not in dispute and the mandated legal remedy should win Florida for Gore, it is still of historical interest to consider whether the events in Seminole were part of a larger pattern of voter fraud benefiting GOP candidate George Bush in Florida. Answers are as yet elusive, yet it is reasonable to raise this question based upon the following allegations, background and precedents.

Dozens of reports allege harassment and intimidation of black voters and improper denial of voting privileges to blacks in Miami, Tampa, Tallahassee, Hillsborough County, Volusia County, and other areas of Florida.

The London Times reported that the FBI was asked to investigate allegations that thousands of mainly black supporters of Al Gore in Miami were given ballot papers that had already been marked for rival candidates, and that up to 17,000 ballots had been tampered with.

In Duval County, 22,000 punch card ballots, or 7.5% of the vote, was disqualified due to multiple punching, predominantly in Democratic precincts. This was twice the rate of disqualification for overvoting as occurred in Palm Beach County. In response to a query from a Democratic official November 8th, the Republican Duval County supervisor of elections reportedly estimated that there were only a few hundred overvotes after he had already accurately reported the correct figure of 22,000 to Tallahassee, raising the question again as to whether ballots had been altered to disqualify Gore votes.

-- GOP (Voter@Fraud.com), November 25, 2000


With this type of sleight of hand and dirty tricks, I have to laugh at the Republicans who claim that the Democrats are trying to "steal" the election. Who's fooling whom?

-- GOP (Hung@Themselves.com), November 25, 2000.

Is it true that the GOP is hung? Mmmmmmmmm, Dubya ya stud-muffin ya.

-- (Lorelei@lubricious.lips), November 25, 2000.

Thank you for the interesting link. How come we haven't heard much of this in the press?

-- Old Softy (old@softy.com), November 25, 2000.

Do you really think that January 20, 2001 will be Bill Clinton's last day in the office of Prez??

It is daily becoming more apparent that he has no intentions of turning over the White House. This "election" is more of a farce every day. To most people it sounded crazy two weeks ago when I said Bill will not leave; soon it will become apparent to most of you.

We will see.

-- Imaginative (I know it @ll.com), November 25, 2000.

Old Softy, Newsday is reporting it.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), November 25, 2000.

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