Millions of dollars are now being raised for a public relations war between
the Democrats and the Republicans to determine the next president of the
United States. Will the outcome of the election be determined by ratings in
the polls? Will the present standoff be resolved by escalation and threats?
Or will the intention of the voters on election day and the right of the
states to choose their own electors actually matter?
Our involvement this week is essential in order to uphold the principles of
democracy. Propaganda is flying left and right. To combat this barrage, we
present a point by point analysis of some key myths in the media today,
substantiated with footnotes. Please read, copy, and forward to friends,
relatives and colleagues! Thanks!
1) Myth: Al Gore trails Bush by such a wide margin that a Bush
victory is inevitable and Gore should concede.
2) Myth: the number of "spoiled ballots" in Palm Beach County was
typical. In a press briefing televised live on all networks on 11/9/00, Karl
Rove of the Bush campaign compared the 14,872 invalidated ballots in the 1996
Presidential race to 19,120 ballots for President that were spoiled in this
3) Myth: The Palm beach ballot is definitely illegal due to the
presence of punch holes to the left of some of the candidates.
4) Myth: "The more often ballots are recounted, especially by hand,
the more likely it is that human errors, like lost ballots and other risks,
will be introduced. This frustrates the very reason why we have moved from
hand counting to machine counting." -- Former Sec. of State James Baker,
speaking on behalf of the Bush campaign at a press briefing televised by all
networks on 11/10/00.
5) Myth: The process is unfair because hand recounts were held only
in liberal areas of Florida, where Gore stands to pick up the most votes.
6) Myth: "Palm Beach County is a Pat Buchanan stronghold and
that's why Pat Buchanan received 3407 votes there. According to the Florida
Department of State, 16,695 voters in Palm Beach County are registered to the
Independent Party, the Reform Party, or the American Reform Party, an increase
of 110% since the 1996 presidential election" -- Ari Fleischer of the Bush
Campaign, 11/9/00. The 2,000 votes received by the Reform party candidate for
Congress indicate that party's strength in Palm Beach County (James Baker on
Meet the Press, 11/12/00).
7) Myth: If Gore (or Bush) ends up winning the popular vote, he
really should win the election even if he loses Florida and other states.
8) Myth: The Cook County, Illinois ballot from the home district of
Gore campaign chair Bill Daley is just like the "butterfly" ballot used in
Palm Beach County (reported by Don Evans, 11/8/00)
9) Myth: The election process in Florida outside of Palm Beach County
10) Myth: "No evidence of vote fraud, either in the original vote
or in the recount, has been presented." -- James Baker, representing the Bush
campaign on 11/10/00, in a Florida briefing.
11) Myth: It is highly unusual for judges to intervene after an
election. Since the designer of a disputed ballot in Florida is a member
of the party contesting the election, a legal challenge is impossible.
12) Myth: Richard Nixon's party in 1960 did the honorable thing in
not contesting the results of the election. 13) Myth: "Tens of thousands of U.S. Military personnel around the world
were unable to cast ballots for the first time in US History because
their Military Absentee ballots 'got lost in the mail.' In past
elections, the military voted 9:1 in favor of Republicans." -- Hal
Turner Radio Show, 11/12/00.
Fact: It is true that some overseas military ballots may not have
been delivered, but no evidence has been presented to indicate that
the situation is any different from past elections. With respect to
overseas military ballots arriving on time but after election day,
the total number in 1996 in Florida was actually only about 1,500,
based on 2,300 overseas absentee ballots overall, with
roughly 60% of them coming from people enlisted in the military.
Finally, Republican presidential candidates only received about 55%
of military absentee ballots in the 1992 and 1996 presidential
elections. Gore is likely to do better than Clinton, a draft evader
who was running in 1996 against Dole, a decorated military veteran.
In 2000 George W. Bush -- who avoided service in Vietnam and actually
lost flying privileges in the Texas Air National Guard -- is running
against Al Gore, a Vietnam veteran.
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- Additional Footnotes, References (the web links may change; please report
Myth 1: Time to Concede the Election
330 votes out of 6 million is 0.00550% of the vote. 1 vote out of 18 thousand
is 0.00555% of the vote. A margin of 0.500000% of the vote is the Florida
Myth 2: Number of Spoiled Ballots.
Article giving counts for invalidated ballots in 2000:
Odd ballot prompts allegations of widespread mistaken voting by MITCH LIPKA,
Orlando Sun-Sentinel, 11/9/00.
Myth 3: Ballot Definitely Illegal
Those Florida Ballots Were Clearly Illegal
Some Florida Ballots Illegal, Dems Say
Palm Beach Ballot Illegal, Demo Lawyers Say
United Press International Story: Eye doctors say palm beach ballot confused
voters, 11/9/00, filed from Ft. Lauderdale at 4:11:44 PM EDT.
Access to Voting for Disabled and Elderly Citizens
Myth 4: Hand Recounts Introduce Errors
Seminole County delivers edge to Bush in recount
Election Workers' Nightmare
William Galvin, interviewed on CNN, 11/8/00.
Texas State Law, HB 331 (also 212.005(d), Texas Election Code)
Hand recounts used in New Mexico, overturn Gore lead
Bush Signed Recount Rule in Texas
Myth 5: Selective Recounts are Unfair
Bush Team Prepares 'Scorched-Earth Plan'
Volusia Elections Votes for Manual Recount
Votes may be missed in Broward County
Myth 6: Palm Beach a Pat Buchanan
Stronghold Numbers Add Up to More Dispute
State of Florida Party Registration
Buchanan Says Disputed Florida Votes Are Gore's
Bay Buchanan strongly denounced the Republican spin:
Precinct-level Correlations Between Reform Party Candidate for Congress John
McGuire and all presidential candidates, analysis by Paul H. Rosenberg" based
on Palm Beach County data.
Myth 7: Candidate Should Win Without Electoral Majority
see the US Constitution.
Myth 8: Butterfly Ballots in Chicago
Too Cook ballot designer says his ballots are not like Florida's
Myth 9: Florida Respects Voting Rights
Jesse Jackson Questions Florida Voting
On Pencils Vs. Pens
NAACP Alleges Voter Suppression in Florida, Reuters, Wednesday November 8
Broward County Problems at Polls Prevent Hundreds from Casting Votes
Ballots Ran Out According to St. Petersburg Times
More Irregularities Alleged
Voting Scrutinized All Over Florida
Florida Ballot Quirks Scrutinized
Florida Cops Accused of Harassing Black Voters
Election Day Allegations Could Form Basis for Legal Challenges, Experts Say
Moving Toward a Lawsuit
Many Mistakenly Removed from Voter Rolls
Xavier Suarez Involvement in Absentee Drive
Florida Recount Continues As Lawsuit Threats Rise
NAACP Says Fraudulent Calls Surface in Florida (before election)
NAACP Alleges Voter Suppression in Florida
Voting Irregularities, Chaos Reported in Florida
Voters Statewide Say They Had Poll Troubles
Widespread Voting Irregularities Marred Presidential Results in S. Florida
After Bizarre Vote, Experts Question Whether Election Process Is Fair
Dade's Ballot System Delays Tally
New York Times, "African Americans Demand Revote"
Registered Voters' Names Failed to Appear on Voting Rolls
Myth 10: No Vote Fraud in Florida
Transcript: James A. Baker III on Fla. Recount, Nov. 10, 2000
Associated Press story was available as of 11/9 at:
Wall St. Journal Article
NAACP hears testimony of Florida voting irregularities Breed, Allen G,
Associated Press Wire, 11/11/00. (Hearings Televised on CSPAN, 11/12/00)
Pensacola Ballot Prompts Fraud Investigation
Cigarettes Distributed for Gore Vote
Gore camp demands FBI inquiry
Myth 11: Judges Stay Out of Elections
PHIL KUNTZ and DAVID S. CLOUD, "Neverending Election Draws Questions About
Electoral Process, Constitution," WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/11/00
Yale Law Students CAMPAIGN FOR A LEGAL ELECTION
Myth 12: Nixon Didn't Fight in 1960
It's a Myth That Nixon Acquiesced in 1960
The Fallacy of Nixon's Graceful Exit
Was Nixon Robbed? (October 16 article)
Senate History Interview (1987): The "Good Old Days" Were Not
"Illinois Republicans Lose", New York Times, Dec. 13, 1960, p. 23.
"Texas Recount Denied", New York Times, Dec. 13, 1960, p. 23.
Myth 13: Republican Absentee Advantage
Texas Air National Guard
See also: London Sunday Times, June 18, 2000, "Bush flies into an air force
cocaine cloud," online at
Rich Cowan (email@example.com) with
help from Paul Rosenberg, Dan Kohn, Jonathan Prince, Marc Sobel, subscribers
to the Red Rock Eater News Service and the electronic mail discussion
firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Yale Law School Student Campaign
for a Legal Election, 127 Wall Street New Haven, CT 06511 -- email@example.com