Face it, Mr. Gore, the election is over
As I sit down to write about this post-election fiasco, it is now Dec. 5. Exactly 28 days have passed since we cast our vote in Douglas County. It will not be difficult at all to pencil out precisely what occurred during the final two months of the Year 2000 with regard to the presidential election. I will attempt to address what I believe are a handful of key issues that have been misstated over and over by the vice president and his army of legal soldiers.
All the votes have been counted! They were counted on election night, Nov. 7. Then, they were re-counted by the same machines … in some cases, an additional two or three times, not to mention hand counted in three predominantly Democratic counties one more time. Plus, a seven-member Florida Supreme Court – all Democrats – granted a counting extension! If this isn’t fair, I don’t know what is, Mr. Vice President.
It is a known fact that a five-page memo was circulated by one of Mr. Gore’s legal soldiers detailing prescribed criteria on how to disqualify our military votes from overseas. No matter what spin zone you’re in, Mr. Gore, whether it is Pacific Standard, Mountain or Eastern spin zone, you just can’t escape this element of your post-campaign fiasco. It is my understanding that the Department of Defense (Pentagon) knew that via regular USPS mail, these overseas ballots would not have arrived on time for certification. So, the Department of Defense expended taxpayer dollars and dispatched a military plane to retrieve these ballots. They did arrive before the Florida deadline, thanks to this effort. To conclude that 400 felon votes by prisoners should not be disqualified, while these military overseas votes must be disqualified not only lacks common sense, but it is difficult to find a word in Webster’s dictionary to describe this kind of action.
I would be remiss if I didn’t speak to the issue of ballot conditions with respect to chads, hanging chads, pregnant chads and dimples. Rather than take the word of some election guru 3,000 miles away in Florida, I spoke with Douglas County’s expert in this field, Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed.
Mrs. Reed has been involved with elections at the local level for some 20-plus years. She stated this so-called “new” ballot vocabulary, manipulated by the media in this year’s election, has been commonplace in every election for years. To the degree it has been over-exaggerated in this election is “very disturbing, to say the least.” Mrs. Reed also stated, “The ballot machines used in Douglas County are very similar to those used to count ballots in Florida.” The margin of error by these machines is minimal, in the one-hundredths of a percentage point. This translates into a 99.99 percent accuracy rate.
In closing, I would like to restate a couple of old cliches: “When the horse is dead it’s time to get off the horse.” Also, “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.” It’s over! Unfortunately, the vice president has not been feeling or hearing these messages 28 days after his post campaign election fiasco.
n Steve Weissinger is a Douglas County commissioner, representing District 1.