The Florida Electoral Conundrum of 2000

By Dean

T he results of the USA's presidential election of 2000 will never be completely determined. Any difference in the final vote tally is statistically insignificant, and a further recount of the votes would yield a similar, insignificant difference.

Furthermore, a continued vote recount without absolute standards would yield a different result every time such a recount is done. The machine separation of the undervotes into a separate stack does not guarantee absolutely that the vote was not counted in the first, or second or subsequent recounts. Even an absolute standard, carried out by machines or Human beings, would yield a different result in such a large set of votes.

What we are left with here is that the results of the Florida presidential election will never be known, and therefore the election itself is legally flawed, by reason of an obsolete punch card voting system used in some Florida counties.

This is the sad reality, we are left in a situation where the entire presidential election is in question, and will never be resolved by a vote count, for either party.

The next alternative is to have the Florida House elect or confirm a slate of electors. The politically knee-jerk reaction is to have all of the electors go in favor of the candidate with the most political influence, at the moment, on the Florida House, this being the Florida Governor's own brother, George W Bush.

Legally, the Florida House has the power to elect whichever slate of electors they chose. They can elect, if they so chose, a slate of electors that more closely reflects the result of the election itself.

Such a slate of electors would give Vice President Al Gore 12 Delegates, and Governor George W Bush 13. This is the only just and equitable way, and the only legal alternative, to the complete resolution of this conflict.

A second less perfect but viable alternative is to name an elector for each Representative before the US House, and one for each Senator, by party affiliation. Such a method is implemented in Maine, and is legally within the power of the Florida House to do so. .

If the Florida House persists in granting all of the electors to George W Bush, then the entire US House and Senate will eventually define the electoral result in a way that correlates directly with the composition of the House and Senate at the time. In other words, do it now or have it done for you,

Justice does not allow for a winner take all election in a situation where there is no clear winner. We must apportion the electoral votes from Florida in a way that reflects the outcome of the election, or at the very least, the party profile of the state, as represented in the US House and Senate.

The lessons that we will draw from this conundrum will be profound and long lasting. One can only hope that this is the end of the dominance of two business parties, and the emergence of a true, parliamentary and participative democracy.

If the candidate of the Green Party, and the true candidate of the Reform party would have been allowed to participate in the debates, we would not be in this situation.

 

Atlanta,
December 12, 2000

 

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