Advertisement
  1. Archive

WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF...

(Final edited version not provided for the electronic library. Please see micro film)

The U.S. Supreme Court hadn't stopped the recount

On Dec. 8, the Florida Supreme Court ordered counties around the state to do a hand recount of "undervotes" _ ballots where the machines did not record a vote for president.

The court also ordered state election officials to accept results from counties where recounts already had been completed (Palm Beach, Volusia, Broward, and 139 precincts in Miami-Dade).

It was up to each county to decide what would constitute a vote. More than half the counties that used punch card ballots said they would consider a vote if at least one corner of the tiny "chad" was dangling off the ballot. Some were more restrictive (two corners), others were willing to settle for just a "dimple."

Nine counties intended to review "overvotes" - optical scan ballots that had been disqualified for extra marks - to determine if the voter's choice was clear. And four counties refused to do any more counting.

As the recounts began that next morning, Bush led Gore by 195 votes.

At 3 p.m. on Dec. 9 the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the recounts to stop.

Florida outcome: Bush by 493 votes

...You counted all the ballots where the voter's choice was clear:

Gore supporters argue that the moral imperative and the legal standard for hand recounts is that votes should count if it's clear what the voter intended to do.

For instance, thousands of optical scan ballots were disqualified as overvotes because they had extra marks on them. Yet 3,491 of the disqualified ballots reflect no ambiguity at all: Votes were cast for either Bush or Gore and extra marks were made to emphasize the vote.

This standard also would count dimples on punch card ballots as legitimate votes. If this kind of review had been conducted statewide..

Florida outcome: Gore by 107 votes

You used the most restrictive standards during a recount

Bush argued that the because there is no specific statewide standard for recounting ballots, subjective judgments should not be made. Hence, he opposed examining any overvotes and he argued that only punch cards with the "chad" poked completely off the ballot should count.

Florida outcome: Bush by 273 votes

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement