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Anyone who doesn't understand the US Presidential election yet... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Anyone who doesn't understand the US Presidential election yet... [Nov. 3rd, 2004|06:52 am]
Here's the story, as near as I can tell.

Bush is leading in Ohio by 130,000 votes.

The Ohio Secretary of State believes there are between 170,000 and 250,000 provisional ballots cast.

What's a provisional ballot? Well, when the state has screwed up, and is unable to determine if a person is eligible to vote, something that you'd expect *ANY* democracy to be able to determine, a provisional ballot is given. It's not counted immediately; there seems to be some confusion about whether it needs to be counted at all. The grand plan is that, if a provisional ballot turns out to have been cast by someone who is eligible to vote, *AND* who voted at the correct place (and polling places can be confusing in the US - sometimes the polling place right across the street from your house is not your polling place), it will be counted towards the total.

(Please note: if you're voting at the wrong place, and are properly registered, usually the friendly poll workers will give you directions to the nearest polling place. Notice how a minor glitch in registration, with the presumed 'safety net' of provisional balloting, could lead to ballots cast in the wrong place... and hence, discarded.)

The Republicans were trying to challenge voters, which may have led to a large increase in the casting of provisional ballots. (That the Republicans tried to get people off the rolls in Ohio, that the Secretary of State, who is a Republican, tried to reject registrations based upon it not being printed on the proper weight of paper - I suppose he thinks democracy is only worth the paper it's printed on! - are all on the record, and historical facts.)

Two news networks have called Ohio for Bush. If they are correct, he has enough electoral votes to win the election.

However, with a lead of 130,000 votes, and maybe 250,000 provisional ballots, it should be clear that the election is *not* decided yet... especially not if, as I'm sure the Democrats suspect, a super-majority of those 250,000 provisional ballots were cast by Democrats.

This even holds true if the lower estimates (of 170,000) hold true.

The question is, which votes will be counted?

There are more important questions in my mind, however.

What kind of man would want to win the Presidency without making double damn sure that every single valid vote *was* counted fairly?

Could you trust a man who doesn't want to make sure that he was chosen properly, in accordance with the will of the people?

What would it say if a man was more interested in winning, than in making sure the right man won?

The notion of "models" has been in my mind, recently. We can't ever know what a person is actually thinking; we can only guess based upon their behavior.

I have a feeling that we're going to see George W. Bush declare victory, and his supporters claim that a desire to count the votes is an attempt to steal the election.

See which model fits better... decent honorable man, who is double damn sure that every valid vote was counted, or power-hungry person who cares more for keeping his office than whether he won it fairly.

I don't know which model will fit his behavior yet. It might well be that he will play it straight this time, and demand the counting of every valid vote. But keep a cynical eye towards him. Remeber, this is politics, and politics is dirty.

[User Picture]From: lietya
2004-11-04 01:27 pm (UTC)
The problem I have with Bush, this time around, is that we already saw which model fit him in 2000; we saw him go to court to stop the recounts. There will always be question of whether he won that time "fairly" (particularly as later recounts showed that Gore won Florida). It actually appears that this time he took it fair and square, but I find it somewhat disconcerting that a) he's still not willing to count every vote and b) most media outlets are behaving as if we have no insight into his behavior other than what he does *this* time.

I think he won, but I still want to see the votes counted, just to be sure. 2000 was a fiasco - it's in his best interests too to see that this election, and this victory, is clean and aboveboard.
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