greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Well, it appears to be over, but not settled. Unfortunately the U.S. Supreme Court judgement did not settle the specific Constitutional issue between the Florida Legislature ability to created election laws and their Supreme Court to have any review of them.

Positive things will come out of this. I suspect each state will review their own election laws in light of what happened in Florida. They will also try to upgrade and standardize voting and recount procedures.

Likely with a Republican administration, several of the U.S. Supreme Court justices will retire; however, new confirmations will face an equally divided Senate.

This too will pass.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 13, 2000


I am thankful and hopefull that this is over and that Bush still has the lead. I hadn't given up yet, still praying that He would be put into office. And yes I do hope that all the states look at their problems and get control of them.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), December 13, 2000.

It already has had an effect here in Alabama. I saw on the evening news, there is a special election happening in one of the counties and the officials are checking those machines like Santa checking his list, so that they spit out mismarked ballots for immediate correction by the voter.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), December 13, 2000.

Punch card ballots are going to be around for quite a while yet. I am not a computer techie, but it wouldn't seem that difficult for someone to invent a card reader attached to a PC screen, which has been programmed to the current election ballot. You stick in your card and it detects no problems with it. The ballot is returned with a notice to proceed to the next station. If a problem is noted, such as no vote for an office, it asks if you intended to make a vote for that race. If you say no, it returns the ballot with a notice to proceed to the next station. If it encounters a problem, such as voting for four when you were limited to three, it gives the ballot back with a notice to proceed back to the processing center to receive a new ballot. Neither hardware or software would seem complicated. If the software was built into the reader, about all you would need is a screen with some yes or no buttons on the reader.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 13, 2000.

Want to send the message that you want your country back and rights protected? Send the reps a teabag! Found this while surfing: www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a37513d55aaa.htm

-- Epona (crystalepona2000@yahoo.com), December 13, 2000.

Ken, we already have machines that do what you suggest. They are called vote scanners and have been in sucessful use for several years in many places.

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 13, 2000.

Epona, you may not agree with the results, but the system is working just like specified in the Constitution. (Maybe could do with a lot less lawyering.)

-- (stalkingbull007@AOL.comJLS in NW AZ), December 13, 2000.

In this day of a Lordly Vice - President and the minions of groveling lawyers it is very refreshing to have an Honorable Judge who believes in and is a student of The U.S. Constitution of this United States Republic.

The following is excerpt from CNN;

"(Leon County Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls, whose ruling against the vice president was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court, "felt his opinion had been upheld," his wife, Cindy, said. "We feel good there's closure for our country." On Tuesday night, Mrs. Sauls told CNN that he felt the ruling by the state's high court was unconstitutional. "I don't see why the court has the power to do that," the judge's wife quoted him as saying. "They are going against the Constitution of the U.S. I've got to recuse myself. I can't in good conscience go forward when I feel everything within me says it's against the (U.S.) Constitution.)"

Me again: It is no secret I voted for Gov. Bush and yes, I am a registered Democrat. However; this too shall change. As the true colors of the New Democratic party has jump to the forefront, of the ME, ME, ME, and nothing for the good of our country, then we all should re-register our affiliation with any party of choice other than Democrat.

I for one,(and I encourage all who are true believers of The Constitution of The United States and Republic for which it stands), Send to the Leon County Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls a holiday greeting card with a Big Thank You; for being there when America was being knock and drag through the mud.

And Thank You Countryside, for this Forum. JR

-- JR (jr3star@earthlink.net), December 13, 2000.

Where is the rioting in the streets almost guaranteed by Jesse Jackson?

Speaking of him, it doesn't seem like he has any visable means of support, yet shows up where and when he wants to (basically anywhere there is a TV camera). Where and how does he live (modest apartment or luxury home in the burgs driving a Mercedes)? Do his children attend public or private schools?

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 13, 2000.

Ken, it sounded to me like Mr. Jackson was saying that there would be some sort of racial unleasantness. To me, it sounded a bit like balckmail (no pun intended). Kinda like he was saying, "Do it our way, or BAD things are gonna happen." I didn't apreciate it a bit. That's the sort of thing that sets my stubborn streak WAY up.

-- Leann Banta (thelionandlamb@hotmail.com), December 13, 2000.

I think Jackson has lost much of his influence with the minority population, if he even had much to begin with. The reason he shows up so much is he is pretty well their only well-known spokesman and knows how to orate. If Larry King wants a minority spokesperson, who do they call but Jackson. Maybe Bush should let him sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom. I do worry though Bush carried such a low percentage of the minority population (ten percent I think) when the Republican party seemed to be making inroads with middle-class minorities.

Gore in his concession speech looked and sounded flat out tired. Even his attempts at humor come out as without emotion. I will be very, very suprised if he is the next Democratic Party standard bearer.

Open question: Will Bush W. be a one-term President, as was his father?

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 14, 2000.

The question as to whether George W, is a one term president will depend on how he does with his four years. As to doing poorly with minorities, I was listening to a radio talk show on my way to work, and it sounds like the Democrats were using scare tactics on the minorities to keep them from voting for Bush (or any other non-Dem. candidate). One Hispanic fellow called in, and he was so scared his voice was shaking -- made me want to get hold of the Democrats responsible and do some shaking of my own!! I hope time will convince these poor people that they've been lied to -- it isn't good for the country to have a large segment of the population literally scared to death of what's going to happen to them with the new President -- and this man was saying just that. He, and the people he knew, were scared to death of Bush being president. And I suppose if there are any hate crimes in the next four years (and it's not likely that there won't be; there are always stupid people), they will be used to further fan the flames of fear and divide the country. Tactics like that are making me lose any respect I might have had for the Democratic party.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), December 14, 2000.


One aspect which needs to be kept in mind is the importance of their church to many minorities and the great influence their minister has in their lives. How many non-minority ministers speak out on social issues and/or deliberately try to inflame their congregations with their great oratory? Most of the leaders of the NAACP have been ministers and it is the Reverend Jesse Jackson. If minorities would truely see themselves as equals, the roles of these ministers would be diminished, so they somewhat have a vested interest in keeping the pot stirred up.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 14, 2000.

Well Sheeesh!!! Nobody has said anything about our President-elect!!??

CONGRATULATIONS BUSH FANS! Your guy won. Well, I guess officially next week on the 18th, but....

Best wishes. I didn't catch either speech last night, but I heard they were both good. Let's hope we all learned something from this and can keep working on making the country a better place.

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), December 14, 2000.

I think we were waiting to see if it really was it! I heard Gore say he wasn't going to call Bush back a second time to take it back, so I quess this is it. I was wondering if Clinton was going to un-do the supreme court because he is still president till the 20th. Someone told me he could do that. I read the speeches this moning on-line. I thought Bush said some good things, about prayer and God, for some. Of course I hope the Republicans serve more than 1 term.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), December 14, 2000.

I'm with you sheepish...

... I didn't vote for Bush, but now he's my representative on the world stage. He stressed bi-partisanship several times in his speech last night. I hope he can pull it off 'cause Washington is not Texas. There are several conservative Republicans that are not happy to see him coming, as well as liberal Dems. But, it's time to close ranks. There's a heck of a lot of work to do. HAIL TO THE CHIEF!


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), December 14, 2000.

It occured to me that after Jan 20th, Clinton and Gore will be gone, the House will be Rep controlled and the Senate also, by one vote. With Bush as the president, I ask you...


I mean, who 'ya gonna pick on?


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), December 14, 2000.

For now I don't expect to repost the thread when this one runs its course, since events seem to have been settled. That said, I think it did serve its purpose in keeping political discussions to one thread.

Not that the repercussions from the Florida voting won't go on. Under the Freedom of Information Act a lot of folks have filed request to look at the under-voted ballots themselves. Here we are going to come down to, if 20 individuals/organizations look at the same 40,000 some ballots, there will be 20 different findings, which can vary widely. The standard seemed to be one team could examine 300 ballots an hour. That will rack up a lot of hours, particularly for the county election offices since one of their employees has to be the one to display each ballot.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 14, 2000.

The next 4 years will show if "W" will be a one term prez. His speech was short, to the point and well presented (after all he had plenty of time to practice). Now we see if he lives up to his words. I voted for him this time and I'll vote for him next time, however, his performance during this first term will decide for me if I vote for him to have a second term or vote for him to leave. He has tapped some very fine talent for his cabinet.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), December 14, 2000.

Heard al's speech. Probably the best I'd ever heard him give. Hope he meant it. He was very gentlemanly. Had he delivered his speeches in that manner over the last year he'd of won. I'm glad it's all over.

BTW. I was wrong! Al didn't get it as I kept predicting. I apologise.

Craig, Lots of liberals to pick on. Their not going to go away. Only Clinton and Gore are going away, for now. Slick Willy's a young guy, why couldn't he make another run in 4 years? In the mean time we can pick on Daschle, Gephardt, Fat A** Ted Kennedy and his queer cohort Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Charlie Schumer and of course, Hillery.

Heck, We can laugh at the stupidity of the "Party that can't function when it has a majority in anything". The Repubs don't know how to act. Look how Slick Willy ran 'em around in circles. Should be entertaining. W/ any luck at all, total gridlock will ensue and save us from all these clowns causing any more damage. John

-- John in S. IN (jsmengel@hotmail.com), December 14, 2000.

Ken S, if you are willing I vote to keep a political thread. It gives a single place to look and you do not have to guess what the title means. Also I expect those folks in Washington will pull a few more damn fool things as we head into the new millennium.

As a sidelight, I would also like to see single threads for other topics, if they had a sponsor.

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 14, 2000.

John in S. IN, you said "Slick Willy's a young guy, why couldn't he make another run in 4 years? " The twenty second amendment specifically limits anyone from being elected to the office of the President more than twice.

Watch for him to try for the head, Secretary General, of the United Nations. Then with the smartest woman in the world as US President, we could all stop worrying.

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 15, 2000.

JLS, I thought it was limited to 2 consecutive times. Didn't think it was an absolute limit of 2. Guess I shoud look in my little copy of the constitution.

BTW, that was a $3.00 item from Backwoods home Magazine. Has the Bill of Rights also. Real good if you read it! Thanks for the corredction.John

-- John in S IN (jsmengel@hotmail.com), December 15, 2000.

John, I get my copies of the Constitution from the CATO Institute. It is a little 3x5 booklet. I usually buy them 100 at a time and give away during my travels to rural high school students, when appropriate.

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 15, 2000.

I personally feel disenfranchised, that the presidency and the democratic process were hijacked, that the Supreme Court of the US should not have interfered and it showed itself to be unable to rise above politics. I believe that if all the votes had been properly counted and Bush had won Florida in truth, I could have accepted that the people had spoken and were just fools, but as it is, I feel that we all have been disenfranchised, whoever we voted for. And I see no reason that anyone should be "gracious" about our right to vote being swindled. And I didn't even vote for Gore. If any of you Republicans and Gore-o-phobes are celebrating, think of this: imagine it was your guy, your party who were berated for wanting a full and fair accounting of the votes -- how would you feel? What would it mean to you? Because it could well be you next time.

-- snoozy (allen@oz.net), December 15, 2000.


I am going to pull a Clintonism, "What is the definition of fair?" Is it a recount of only heavily Democratic Party voter counties? Is it using a standard which, not only varied from county-to-county, but within Palm Beach County as the same three people counted, and likely between two tables in the same counting room in Tallahassee? I thought one of the most telling moments in the second U.S. Supreme Court presentations was when they asked Gore attorney Boise what the standard should be, and he couldn't answer their question!

OK, something I find interesting. John Quincy Adams was the son of John Adams. JQA lost the popular vote, but won the Electorial College. Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison. BH lost the popular vote, but won the Electorial College. George W. Bush is the son of George H. Bush. He lost the popular vote, but apparently will win the Electorial College. Thus, three of the four times this has happened, it was family-related.

Is there another family line warming up? The current Governor of Ohio is the grandson of William Taft.

Now on CNN is a press conference of Bush with Louisanna Senator Breaux. Bush apparently is interested in him as the Energy Secretary, but appointing him would upset the 50/50 balance in the Senate since he is a Democrat. George W. Think outside the box! How about calling the Republican governor of Louisanna and getting his agreement he will appoint whoever Breaux wants as his successor. Situation in the Senate and Louisanna doesn't change and Breaux can serve as Energy Secretary.

Lastly, what is the concensus of this continuing as a weekly dedicated thread until there is no longer an interest shown.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 15, 2000.

All of the properly cast votes were counted. Ballots that were not properly cast, were not counted. Votes are only votes when they meet the established criterion. I would have been very upset to have ballots cast that did not meet the established rules, so they could become "votes" under different rules than all other properly cast ballots that legally (under established rules that were properly followed)became votes.

BTW, established rules for the military, (lack of postmarks, due to the way mail is processed on bases, etc..) was attemped to be discounted by the very same dems.

Am I upset? No way. If my party would ever attempt what the democRATS attempted, I would be among the first of MANY republicans to shout to high heaven. Most of us supporters actually hold our republican leaders accountable, and with a much higher standard than we expect from the dems. Alot of republicans or people who vote republican simply to keep the socialist/dems out of office, do so not because we think so highly of the leaders themselves (although the House is pretty good), but because the party itself has a platform that upholds our conservative values. And for now, they are all we have.

This will be a test for the republicans now. If they stand on constitutional and conservative principles and pursue that agenda, I believe they will stay in power for some time. If they instead try to "coddle, woo, compromise and otherwise accomodate the socalist/liberal factions of our society, I believe they will be "gone in 60 seconds", so to speak. The libs hate conservatism and deep down would love to see conservatives silenced for eternity. Nothing less will satisfy them. Therefore, disengage from the opposition. They can either join with us or get out of the way. If what we do works, maybe they will see the light. If it does not, they can "NAAANAA, NA NANNAAA, all they want and be right.

I have seen evidence these last 8 years that dems will do anything to stay in power. They are corrupted and delusional. And their supporters stand behind them, offering lame excuses and ignorant reasonings. I pray those who align ourselves with the republican party, will overall, guard against this. We must hold our representatives to a high moral standard and be willing to bring down, from within, any who seek to obstruct the law. And never, never excuse inexcuseable behavior. If we lose our position of power because of this, so be it. We were not worthy to hold it to begin with. Those in positions of power in our representative form of government are a reflection of US. They are us and we are them.

Everything that could be said, can't possibly be said. I can list a whole bunch of area's that I am dissatisfied with in regards to the republican party. But I am willing to stand with them and pray they will serve constitutionally and righteously. We have to begin somehere. But man am I happy to see the Clintonistas go......(BIG GRIN!!!)Think I'll be running for cover now.....

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 15, 2000.

We had a very tight senate race here in Washington state, and we had a mandatory recount. The whole state. And that's what they should have done in Florida. That would have been fair. That prospect scared Shrub so much he did everything possible to stop it. Why? Did he know something he didn't want the rest of the country to know? And all you folks who act like voting is some kind of intelligence test -- it is not (surely we can all agree on that, given that there isn't an election anywhere where somebody doesn't shake their head and say "What bunch of idiots elected that guy?...") It is the right of every citizen to cast their vote and have it counted. It is in essence the political expression of our right to free speech. Who among you would say you don't deserve to be heard because you misspell, or your grammar is faulty, or you don't know the difference between its & it's? Or that what you have to say is less valid because your typewriter is old & wonky and a particular letter doesn't print properly? The number of votes by which it is averred that Shrub won is LESS THAN THE MARGIN OF ERROR of the voting machines. The manufacturers of the voting machines say themselves that handcounting is more accurate. Is not the truth of any importance?

-- snoozy (allen@oz.net), December 15, 2000.

I agree with Snoozy (aren't we lucky to live in a state that is fair?) but as a pragmatist, I say what's done is done, and we aren't going back. We can however, make a big effort to fix the problems (at least regarding the quantifying fairness of the machine counting.) Jeb Bush even knows this is enough of a problem that he is starting to talk about it now (he had better get it fixed before the next elections, or he is out the door in 2 years!)He is creating a task force to look into the election problems effective immediately.

As to the other disenfranchising problems, the Justice Department is starting to look into it. Better late than never, I guess. There's been enough empirical evidence to indicate that there are serious voting problems going on, notably in Florida, but elsewhere. These have to be addressed.

We just HAVE to fix this. And as to having the Supreme Court (5 justices appointed, and not even elected) decide the outcome of the election, well, we'll see what history has to say about this. Stick around...

Anyway, Bush is going to be our president, so we might as well get used to it. I lived through Nixon and Reagan. I can live through this, too.

(Snoozy, glad you didn't blow away in the windstorm last night! We lost power and I have been having phone/dial up problems all day. We had snow/hail, and the street is a sheet of solid white ice!)

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), December 15, 2000.


You seemed to have ducked the issue. I hereby challenge you to come up with a Florida statewide standard(s) which will meet the approval of the U.S. Supreme Court. Remember you have to make the standard(s) fit lever ballot machines, OCR ballots and punch card ballots, and all makes and models thereof. Don't forget the structure of the ballot themselves. Then the standard(s) have to be in so understandardable terms any reasonable person looking at them can determine precisely what they mean. Also remember the standard (s) needs to guarantee every single person who desired to vote equal protection under the law guarantee as it pertains to voting.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 15, 2000.

I would second Ken.

Also, in regards to "It is the right of every citizen to cast their vote and have it counted". Not true. We have laws that dictate a citizen's eligibility to vote. Those who are eligible to vote must then cast their ballot in accordance with the law. How can we make this portion of our elections any simpler? Follow the rules and your vote will be counted. I suggest if someone can't understand this, more than an IQ test is needed. Besides, this issue is really only a smokescreen. Chaos and confusion are the order of the day.

As to the "Who among you would say you don't deserve to be heard because you misspelled, etc...." I would suggest if the "rules" to post are in place prior to one's posting, and proper spelling, grammer, typo's, etc... are listed as reasons for your post being pulled, then, I do. Granted, I would not be able to post, as I make many mistakes when posting, but I knew the rules going in. No suprises. I can either get myself up to speed or go elsewhere. But to be "fair" to all those people who worked diligently learning proper grammer, spelling, etc.. I can hardly justify the forum "excusing" me, while holding all other poster's to the stated rules. Why have any rules/laws at all?

Fair is applying the SAME standard - rule - law - to EVERYONE. Exceptions may be dealt with under it's own, seperate standard - rule - law. (Such as handicapped parking).

Our laws are not based on our "feelings". We have standards in place that are to be appplied equally to all citizens, without these standards, chaos reigns. As we have seen.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 15, 2000.

From many of the replies I am guessing the national media focused only on those Palm Beach ballots that people mispunched. The problem is that in many other parts of the state, people did follow the rules and vote correctly, and their votes still were not processed. There are much more votes than just the Palm Beach and Miami votes that were an issue - other counties in Fla. had thousands upon thousands of votes that were cast correctly but not counted. That is what I find alarming. It took this close election to draw attention to a problem that has existed in Fla. for quite a while. In many of the counties the problem is the old machines, that are long past their retirement date. In Fla. each county is responsible for buying their own election equipment, etc., so that leads to the problem we had with so many different types of voting equipment, and some counties not being able to afford new machinery. (Which leads to another isue we have in Fla. that leads to major problems - so many people have second houses down here, and use Fla. to claim residency, b/c of hometead, cheap taxes, etc. that whenever counties put forth issues that may cost money, those who don't live here full time vote no, b/c they don't want to pay anything, and don't live here full time to see the results.) Anyway, I hope that anyone who says everyone who followed the rules, votes correctly, etc. should have their vote counted should be alarmed, b/c many votes go uncounted, and many of them were cast correctly. Machines just didn't pick up the count - and not b/c the chad may have fallen out since election night - in counties that have other voting methods votes were not counted. There was also a lot of what I can only call corruption down here in Tallahassee and Florida on the parts of both the Democrats and Republicans. Both sides have lost my vote with the way they handled themselves. Both sides care more about their party and having control than the people they are supposed to be serving. Why was this such a humdrum election (until Nov. 7th)? B/c they have become almost one in the same party on so many of the issues. Anyway, if nothing else those of us in Tallahassee are glad it is over for the main reason that it got rid of the hundreds of reporters that were camped out across our town. - Julia

-- Julia in Tally (tofubiscuit@excite.com), December 15, 2000.

Sheepish -- no windstorm this side of the Sound...everything's A-OK except the hose is frozen and the ducks say I don't feed 'em enough.

Ken -- Given the great variety of voting machines/methods/systems, obviously a uniform standard must be used within the parameters of each method. By which I mean, punchcard type would have a standard which would most accurately acertain the intent of the voter, as would the pencil-marked type, as would each system. I don't have all the details of these various methods. The point is that there is a standard inherent in each method. Thousands of ballots were chucked because of machine error -- not because there was anything wrong with the way they were marked or cast. And we have several different types of voting machines/methods here in WA, too -- yet we managed to get the whole state counted and recounted, and we did not send mobs to disturb the counters, nor did either candidate snivel and have tantrums and scream "Say uncle! Say uncle!" and this race was almost as important - perhaps more important than - the presidential race since it balanced the Senate. There was no need for the US Supreme Court to stop the recounts ordered by the FL Supreme Court. Makes me wonder what Papa Doc Bush has on some of those justices...

And what about the absentee ballots that were so kindly repaired or FIXED, shall we more accurately say -- by Republican volunteers? Do you Republicans defend that kind of vote-tampering? Is that within the realm of all's fair in love and war and keeping Democrats out? That in the name of keeping out one group it's OK to pull the kind of shenanigans which the Nazi party used to take over in Germany, that we had in Daley's Chicago, in Tamany Hall, and which are common in newly-minted democracies places like India and Pakistan and elsewhere? Jeez, Wendy, don't let your hatred of Democrats (myself included) lead you to make a pact with the devil to sell out democracy itself.

-- snoozy (allen@oz.net), December 15, 2000.

Julia, thank you very much for that information. It's nice to be able to read reports from someone actually on site.

-- Joy Froelich (dragnfly@chorus.net), December 16, 2000.

Hey Snoozy, I don't hate you or the dems. I do despise what they uphold. Much in the same way I despise communism, facism, etc... Yes, I would give my all to defeat the dems (but I would not do ANYTHING, at any COST). There is a difference.

I'll get back here to respond to the other points later. I'm late as it is. Have a great day!

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 16, 2000.


In both of the hearings the Republicans admitted the Republican Party input voter number on the absentee ballot request forms after they were received happened. The question was, was it intentionally biased and did it rise to the level to void all absentee ballots. Both of the election officials said they would have done it for either parties and both judges found that, while there were improprities, they did not warrant throwing out all or some of the absentee ballots.

On standards. Even I can write them:

Level voting machines: No recount is possible since no document is produced. (The vote tally is just recorded on a counter on the machine.)

OCR/Paper Ballots. Both overvotes (the counting machine read too many votes for a race) or undervotes (no votes were recorded for a race) must be reviewed. If an overvote occurred because a voter filled in one blank, then chose to change the vote and didn't completely erase their mark, the blank most completely filled in will be counted as a vote. Other marks, such as check marks, circles or X's will be counted as a vote subject to the above for both overvotes and undervotes.

Punch card ballots. Both overvotes and undervotes will be reviewed. If an overvote has two completely punched out holes, no vote will be recorded. If it has one completely punched out hole and a hanging chad in another, only the completely punched out hole will be counted as a vote. No vote will be counted unless the stylex completely penetrated the chad to the point to where it is either completely removed or hanging by no more than two corners.

In both of the latter two situations, if there remains any doubt after review, the vote will not be counted for that race as the clear intent of the voter could not be determined beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now then, what stardards do you propose?

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 16, 2000.

Wendy, dear, although I have the utmust respect for your talents of erudition, methinks you have no idea how you sound to some of us. The rhetoric used by you (and a few others) when desribing Democrats in general or specific,comes across as DECIDELY hateful. I find it continually fascinating that those who spew these vociferous "anti" messages are most frequently the same people who thump their Bibles the most! Perhaps you all believe in catchin more flies with vinegar than honey?

I believe anger always comes from fear; and if this is so, the angriest of us are spending alot of time scared silly. I thought Jesus was about love and forgiveness and comfort and so forth. I am not feeling that your religion is giving you the peace of mind and loving heart that it could, but of course that is your business. The only reason I have made it mine, is because from my view you continually choose to denigrate others who do not view the world as you do, and I personally don't feel you should do that. I generally accept people and the world as it is; believe everything happens exactly as is was supposed to; but when I am around people who make sexist, racist,homophobic, etc remarks, I do not let it pass. I repectfully ask them to not do that in my presence, but hopefully never in an arrogant, condescending manner.

Enough of my blather...Just find it amusing every time Wendy posts another diatribe, and then ends it with GOD BLESS! :)

In hopes of respectful exchanges.....

Goddess bless,

-- Earthmama (earthmama48@yahoo.com), December 16, 2000.

Earthmama, darling, although I thank you for your kind compliment, I would suggest that I know perfectly well how I sound to some of you.

Perhaps a bit of an explanation is in order. I am 36. I have grown up in an era of political correctness. Specifically, it is bad (mean, hateful, unloving) to hold belief systems that include being "anti". As in, "I believe it is wrong for mothers to kill their babies, either in the womb or out". Viola - I am anti-choice. No, what I am, is against the killing of babies. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.

I made a conscious decision in regards to how I would communicate regarding these issues. Specifically, that I would no longer be cowed into using the pc-speak, so as not to offend and, horror of horror's be considered "hateful". Eegads, the worst of the worst. I decided to take my lumps. You'll not hear me complain in that regard. I decided that if the Lord tarry's and I live to be an old woman, I want to have a clear conscience. I do not want to be regretful that I was too afraid to stand for or against that which I should.

As to your comment concerning "anger always comes from fear", I would respectfully disagree. And add; that has been a very effective tool to diminish the argument of your opponent. Suggest they are afraid, therefore their position comes from a foundation of ignorance that leads to fear, ergo, it should be discounted. I would also add that if this be the case, and as you brought Jesus into the exhange, that when Jesus entered the Temple, he must have been VERY afraid. Geesh, all this time I thought he was VERY angry with what he saw. Righteously offended, even. Oh well, perhaps anger-management courses are in order.

Actually, I do not have a religion. What I do have, is the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Indeed, religion would not bring me the "peace of mind" and "loving heart" that you are concerned I may be lacking. And believe me when I say, that as bad as you think I am now, I was much, much worse before. Probably not in the way you would imagine though. It was due to my lack of Christ's love, that I was so likeable (grin), why bother? What do I care? If people want to believe a lie, who am I to suggest it is a lie? I may be less likeable now, but I am certainly more loving (in the eternal sense, not through my own goodness).

As to your suggestion that "I denigrate others who do not veiw the world as I do". Again, I would disagree. I am in complete oppsition to the democratic party, no question. I also oppose those who support the democratic party. I do and will continue to work against the democratic party. The means by which I do this is not set in stone. But for the moment I have done this through the republican party. That is really neither here nor there though, the point is - I can oppose you without hating you. But I will not delute the facts just so I don't appear arrogant or condescending.

I would like to add that when it comes to the things of God, my tone is much gentler. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to draw, we are only to offer the Good News! No amount of determination, grit or spit will convince someone of the salvation that can only come through Him. Although my worldview rests on the foundation of Christ and His Word, I do believe I am to fight the battle, clearly and without apology, in every area of life, including political. Yes, I am unashamedly a Bible-thumper. But I do not thump my Bible in your or anyone's face while debating politics. I rest on the principles found in God's Word to form my positions, personally, and go from there. But I do not insist you accept my positions. But I will work to see those positions win the day in the political arena. The fact that I am a born-again bible believing follower of Christ, does not preclude me from active citizenship in the land He placed me in.

In regards to my posting of "another diatribe" and ending it with God Bless. Actually, if you will notice, I have recently ceased doing this. Someone mentioned not throwing pearls before swine recently and I found this to be very good advice. My prayers of God the Father s blessings on the people of this forum are being made in silence.

I am curious about something, perhaps you could enlighten me? What standard is used to determine a "diatribe" from a regular opinion based posting? I consider myself neither bitter nor abusive. Passionate, unyeilding in certain area's and certainly ardent, but bitter and abusive I am not. Although I will grant you the Lord is working with me on patience.

A salute to respectful exchanges......

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 16, 2000.

Wendy, I have been following this thread since the start, and find your posts on this subject to be admirable. You come across very clear and you base your opinions on your values. Good for you. I haven't read any hateful comments from you but thats just my opinion. Your last post concerning hate and how some people use this label to silence others is dead on the money. Any way, what I'm saying is keep up the good work. Your opinions reflect mine and alot of other people I know, you just seem to be able to articulate better than most.

Ken S, if you keep this thread going, I'll continue to read it. I don't always participate because between you and Wendy, and some other participants, my views seem well represented and theres not much left for me to add. I like the way you stick with the facts instead of getting emotional. This is necessary for intelligent conversations.

I enjoy reading all the posts on this subject and look forward to more respectful exchanges.

-- Mark M in NC (MagicMark85@aol.com), December 17, 2000.

How about if we separate the religion and political threads again. I know they seem to get tangled up a lot, but I think it's worth it to try. (separation of church and state, eh?)

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), December 17, 2000.

I agree with sheepish on the separation of posts.

Ken, I have thought about the accuracy problem in our current voting methods (that is really plural). There are a number of ways the counting and verifying could be handled with an high accuracy rate, but how do you verify the voter is legitimate. The only way I see out of this little dilemma is a national ID scheme. Not sure I approve of that, although most countries in the world seem to have one.

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 17, 2000.

The accuracy has to be in both the Election Office (keeping voter rolls current) and at the voting place. Before I can vote I have to show either a voter card or photo id. I then have to sign the register with written name, signed name and current address. Plus sign the top half of the tear-off for the punch ballot. I think you are automatically dropped off the rolls if you do not vote in one of the past five elections.

To illustrate different voting processes, TN uses six different ones. 22 counties use the oldest style of mechanical voting machine to where voters pull a lever to record their ballot. 16 use a direct recording entry machine, to where voters push buttons by blinking lights on the ballot, then pull a lever to record the choices, which are automatically recorded on a computer chip in that machine. 21 use the punch card system. 26 use another kind of direct recording entry machine to where voters choices are auctomatically recorded on a computer chip inside the machine. 13 use the optical scan. Only one uses a touch screen screen which then records votes when a button is pushed.

Only two of these systems (OCR and punch card) produce an audit trail.

My county uses punched cards and election officials are very pleased with this process. However, they look at every ballot and pull off any hanging chad before it is run through the counting machines. But then, they only have to deal with just over 6,000 ballots. I ran into the Supervisor of Elections at the supermarket and asked her about dimpled or pregnant chaps. She said in her X number of years in her position she couldn't recall ever seeing a single one. Punched cards are far and away the cheapest method of voting, with a cost of about $.07 per voter. Computerized methods can run a couple of bucks per voter.

Problem is there is no statewide standard for voting methods. Each county chooses their own. When it comes down to patching the roads or improving the accuracy of the voting process, the roads take priority.

The mail-in ballot voting procedure used in Oregon just seems like it is rife for fraud. I can see parties hiring agents at colleges to buy signed but blank ballots. It doesn't appear the Elections Offices even took the trouble to put on the ballot envelopes they must be returned with an address correction if undeliverable at the cited address. However, I am sure Oregon learned a lot from their first try.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 17, 2000.

Mark, Thank You for your kind words.

Sheepish, just for clarity here, are you suggesting that we only post political posts on the "Political Chat Thread?" Or that we do not bring "religion" into what we post concerning politics on the "Political Chat Thread". I await your answer. Thanks.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 18, 2000.

Analysis in today's paper: Who stands to benefit from the last U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the long run? Answer: The Democratic Party. Reasons: Decision will be used by those in poorer counties, which tend to lean towards this party, to force states to upgrade voting equipment on the basis of equal protection. Also, tagging along will be enhanced/easier voter registration and records keeping, informing everyone where their polling station is and uniform polling hours.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 18, 2000.

I would just suggest that even though politics and religion are both intertwined in our lives, that we try to focus on the specific when we dedicate a thread to it. So in other words, if the thread is focused on politics, that we try to keep the topic about politics. I realize, as you do, that sometimes this isn't easy. However, it was suggested in another thread, I think Rebekah wrote, that maybe the off-topic conversation could better be addressed off-thread, perhaps by individual emails.

This is not an attempt to censor anyone's thoughts. I visit a lot of other forums. Staying on topic is a protocol that most other places more or less require. However, they have moderated forums where folks behind the scenes (sysops) can decide whether or not a post should be allowed to be included. I think we do a great job of moderating ourselves, so this is just a suggestion. I like how we have such varieties of responses. But this is a topic about politics. Whatever...

I think Kathleen very ably addressed the reason why her faith is so often included in her posts. I think most of us understand how critical that perspective is to those people of such strong belief. And I understand that you wanted to reply to Earthmama.

Just my $.02. btw, the Forum has that other thread going (still, I think) about what are considered Homesteading topics and there is discussion about how we talk about threads.

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), December 18, 2000.

Fair enough Sheepish. Good points and I appreciate that you recognized I was "responding" not simply "inserting" out of thin air. I am somewhat reluctant in regards to emailing back a response....I assume if someone posts for all to see, they are accepting of the fact that a response per the same avenue would be forthcoming. It may be a skewed perception on my part, but to email a private response might be perceived as "invasive". I choose not to do that. So my only recourse, if I choose to respond, is what I believe to be the appropriate avenue...this forum. Now granted, if someone has something pleasant, or to voice an agreement or offer encouragement, I think that is always welcome and would not be viewed as intrusive.

I too found Kathleen's comments very succent. She explained that very well. Sometime I would like to post something in regards to that very topic, "Is anything Extra-Christian?" As well as "The seperation of Church and State". But for now, I'll leave off.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 18, 2000.

Ken, a couple of reason I think a national ID system will be needed to regulate voting. 1) Affluent people live in more than one area and can easily vote more than once (mail in and actual polling place) 2) The problem of dead voters. 3) More registered voters than residents (may be related to 2) 4) Illegal voters, ie felons 5) False voting ID 6) Registering across two counties. There are probably other reasons, but taking all fraud out of our voting system is possible, not easy

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 18, 2000.


We already have a national identification number. It is known as the Social Security Account Number. If you have a job, you are required to have one. I suspect if you apply for government assistance you have to have one. If you claim children on your taxes, they have to have one (the first year they required this, something like seven million children disappeared.) If you are in the military it is your serial number. My health insurance company uses it as my member number. Since it is so widely used now, I don't see why it couldn't be used for voting purposes.

I maintain voters are entitled to a fair and equal voting process. They are not necessarily entitled to a 100% accurate one.

One rule I have found appliable to a variety of situations is: "The first 80% of results take only 20% of the effort." Once you try to go above 80% you start having to throw more and more resources for each percentage increase. In economics it is related to the law of diminishing returns. What should the accuracy goal be? 95%? 97.5%? 99.5%, recognizing that it may take twice the additional resources to move from 95% to 97.5% and four times the additional resources to move from 97.5% to 99.5%.

Punch card ballots are a very convenient and cheap way of voting (about $.07 per voter) and have an accuracy in the range of 97.5%. Using touch screen voting, you might approach 99.9%, but the cost per voter soars (and there is no individual output to have an audit trail.)

This is a hypethetical situation: Each computerized voting unit has to be reprogrammed by someone for each election. They write a program which is tested for accuracy several times before the election. However, they also write a well hidden subprogram into the system which is only used from 7AM to 7PM on the actual day of voting and tells the system to court every fourth vote for candidate A as a vote for candidate B. The subprogram erases itself at 7PM. How could anyone verify this happened?

At least the undervote ballots for Palm Beach Count have been quietly returned and are now being reviewed by several individuals, groups and organizations. Cost of $300 per hour is being split. I suspect if there are eight reviewers, they will be eight different results. Am much broohaa as Jesse Jackson made during the recount, he does not have a representative there.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), December 19, 2000.

Ken, I just have to throw in here how much I appreciate your posts on this topic. You are well informed and your suggestions are well thought out. The point in regards to voter error percentages is excellent, as is the computer ballot scenario. Kudos to you!! And thanks for your effort in this regard.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), December 19, 2000.

Ken, I agree with the cost idea. I have seen estimates that nationally the error rate in around 1.5%, others up to 4 or 5%. We really only become concerned about this as a result of close elections. I would like to see some of the glaring problems fixed and settle on an acceptable error rate as a nation.

Yes, the social security number has defaulted into a proto national ID number. The major problem with that is the lack of security. There is the possibility of widespread fraud as there is not a secure identification scheme in place, like finger print or eyeball scan.

Both features from above will need to be considered in the election voting debate, PROVIDED we don't move on to some other soundbite, It is difficult to get the average person's attention and keep it focused very long in the country. Just look how a simple subject drifts on these threads.

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), December 19, 2000.

Tennessee here! Proudly casting our 11 electoral votes for George W. Bush!

Sadly, Bob Beckel was able to turn one elector. Heh. The D.C. Gore elector got her idea from Mr. Beckel.

Bless Judge Saul's heart for knowing the right thing and doing it.

-- Wanda King (wanda7@edge.net), December 19, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ