COUP WATCH: The Real Vote Count Summarized
The Bush campaign co-chair certified Bush the winner by 537 votes.
This included an additional 52 Bush votes from Republican-run Nassau County, which decertified its recount figures & went back to its first count totals in a vote-stealing process that involved replacing a member of its election board and calling a quick meeting to approve the reversal.
It also included at least 418 hand-recounted Bush votes from mostly Republican counties, which neither Bush nor Baker nor any other Republican operative has objected to.
This did not include 192 Gore votes from Palm Beach County (as of 5:30 PM, final totals have not been released yet.)
It did not include *any* hand recount from Miami-Dade, which had given Gore an additional 157 votes in a hand recount of about 1/6 of the ballots before it decided to stop and not do a hand recount, under the theat of Republican-organized mob violence.
Thus, 401 known Gore recount votes are *not* included in the 537 vote margin, leaving an actual margin of just 136, far less than anyone expects Gore would get if Miami-Dade conducted a full recount.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. In Seminole County, the GOP supervisor of elections allowed GOP operatives to illegally add voter ID information to roughly 4,700 absentee ballot applications. Because the ballots cast by those voters cannot be distinguished from other absentee ballots a local Democratic voter is suing the GOP supervisor of elections and others to have all 15,215 absentee ballots thrown out. This would cost Bush a net 4,797 votes, and give Gore a margin of 4,260 even without any of the other adjustments already mentioned.
There is a direct precdent for this case, a 1995 suit contesting the election for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. In tat case, the ballots tossed out resulted in the election of a Republican after federal courts in Mobile and Atlanta decided to void about 2,000 absentee ballots that weren’t witnessed or notarized as state law required. The Florida courts also fall under the Atlanta court’s jurisdiction on appeal and for setting precdent--which means that the decision in the 1995 case should control the decision of any federal court in considering this case.
This doesn’t even begin to consider the numerous voting rights complaints that have been made, involving minorities who were prevented from voting by various means. Nor does it consider the pending suit for a revote in Palm Beach County, where Buchanan got upwards of 1,700 votes intended for Gore, while perhaps 10,000 or more Gore votes were invalidated by double voting.
When all these irregularities are added up, it appears that an accurate count would put Gore ahead by 17,000 votes or more, perhaps even as many as 27,000 votes. That’s hardly an overwhelming mandate in a state with 6,000,000 votes cast. But it’s a far cry from a 537 vote loss.
It also shows that we're a *long* way from having counted every vote.