We’ve covered Al’s great speech (posted at Raw Story) in the week following, with these stories:
- “Al Gore’s Triumph Gives Us Reason To Fight On,”
- “Gore Video & Media Reactions,”
- “What Al Said,”
- “Al Gore Speech Live-Blogging,” and
- “Al Gore Speech: 9am PT/Noon ET.”
Today, here are three more, thanks to Howie in Seattle:
- “Warmer Al Gore finds a new stump” from the LA Times reviews Al’s performance in a 90-minute documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” and the reaction Al is receiving when he shows up at screenings.
- Howard Dean … “We fully stand by Al’s speech. He is a great American, and should have been President.”-quoted in comments in this post last night on Howard-Empowered People. Reader Advisory: There is also a photo of a young, shirtless Howard Dean.
- From Pacific Views: “When Al Gore spoke this week, he showed what we should demand of our leaders: honesty and forthrightness.
We know that in 2000, when Americans went to the polls to select a president, Al Gore won the popular vote. Furthermore, he won the Florida vote when all the overvotes were counted [PDF] (votes where someone selected Gore through the voting machine technology AND also wrote in his name). … continued below …
- … continued from above, from Pacific Views … Florida was legally bound to count those votes because their law specifically called out that votes were to be count where the intent of the voter could be discerned. And in the case of the overcounts that intent had NO ambiguity. The only reason the Supreme Court ruled that the equal protection clause was relevant was because the Florida Supreme Court did not provide a standard for counting votes where there was an ambiguity in whether the ballot expressed a certain vote or not.
The Florida Supreme Court has ordered that the intent of the voter be discerned from such ballots. For purposes of resolving the equal protection challenge, it is not necessary to decide whether the Florida Supreme Court had the authority under the legislative scheme for resolving election disputes to define what a legal vote is and to mandate a manual recount implementing that definition. The recount mechanisms implemented in response to the decisions of the Florida Supreme Court do not satisfy the minimum requirement for non-arbitrary treatment of voters necessary to secure the fundamental right. Florida’s basic command for the count of legally cast votes is to consider the “intent of the voter.” Gore v. Harris, ___ So. 2d, at ___ (slip op., at 39). This is unobjectionable as an abstract proposition and a starting principle. The problem inheres in the absence of specific standards to ensure its equal application. The formulation of uniform rules to determine intent based on these recurring circumstances is practicable and, we conclude, necessary.
So what did the US Supreme Court say about the overvotes so as to guarantee that the legitmate votes could not be counted? They noted that there were at least 110,000 overvotes outstanding, but because it would take too much effort and the election officials couldn’t use computers to discern the intent of the voter, these votes would have to be ignored for expediency’s sake.
Given the Court’s assessment that the recount process underway was probably being conducted in an unconstitutional manner, the Court stayed the order directing the recount so it could hear this case and render an expedited decision. The contest provision, as it was mandated by the State Supreme Court, is not well calculated to sustain the confidence that all citizens must have in the outcome of elections. The State has not shown that its procedures include the necessary safeguards. The problem, for instance, of the estimated 110,000 overvotes has not been addressed, although Chief Justice Wells called attention to the concern in his dissenting opinion. See ____ So. 2d, at ____, n. 26 (slip op., at 45, n. 26).
Upon due consideration of the difficulties identified to this point, it is obvious that the recount cannot be conducted in compliance with the requirements of equal protection and due process without substantial additional work. It would require not only the adoption (after opportunity for argument) of adequate statewide standards for determining what is a legal vote, and practicable procedures to implement them, but also orderly judicial review of any disputed matters that might arise. In addition, the Secretary of State has advised that the recount of only a portion of the ballots requires that the vote tabulation equipment be used to screen out undervotes, a function for which the machines were not designed. If a recount of overvotes were also required, perhaps even a second screening would be necessary. Use of the equipment for this purpose, and any new software developed for it, would have to be evaluated for accuracy by the Secretary of State, as required by Fla. Stat. §101.015 (2000).
Notice that the only reason the opinion said that computers needed to be used in this case was because Kathleen Harris, the Secretary of State, declared that they were required. Too bad a second screening (hand counting is illegal???) would have been necessary to figure out who really won the election. And now that we know that despite the numbers of people who were denied their right to vote, by just counting the votes where there was no ambiguity at all, Gore won the election. And we Americans have been foisted with a fraud who has used his presidency to damage our constitution, our good name and our future.
Avedon Carol has long written about the stolen election of 2000. This week she had an impassioned piece about why Al Gore should be the next president. My colleague, Marie, on the Left Coaster expressed the same sentiment as well. Today, I want to add my voice to those who believe that Al Gore should be our candidate in 2008. He has the courage and the wisdom to help undo the tragic consequences of turning our country over to a liar and a cheat who used his presidency to divide and plunder our country.”