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You Canít Count What You Donít Have
American Association of Independent Voters ^ | 27 July 04 | Chris Shugart

Posted on 07/27/2004 4:14:04 PM PDT by Chris_Shugart

You Can't Count What You Don't Have

By Chris Shugart, 27 July, 04


It appears that We Wuz Robbed in Florida has made a comeback on the Democratic hit parade. This monotonous dirge from the 2000 election was John Kerry’s theme song a few weeks ago during a campaign stop in Broward County where Kerry declared to his supporters that “Every vote is going to be counted.” 

I’m sure Kerry’s tune struck a chord with Florida Democrats who have been trained to sing the phrase “stolen election” every time they hear the word “Bush.” On the first night of the convention Al Gore offered up his rendition of the one-note refrain, assuring his audience that they would “…make sure that every vote is counted.” While the “every vote must count” mantra may froth up some bitter Democratic voters, it remains largely a phony issue.

Rather than revivify old traumas, let’s just remember that that every vote does not count. For example, if a voter managed to vote more than once in the same election, you couldn’t count that vote. Voting twice is fraud, you see. But Kerry wants every vote to count.

A foreign citizen might be able to get away with casting a vote, but of course such a vote can’t be counted. It’s not legal. Or let’s say that you’re a U.S. citizen but you’re not registered to vote. Well, you can’t count that vote either. If you’re a citizen, but you happen to be under the age of eighteen, but you somehow managed to slip a voting card into the ballot box, that vote would have to be disqualified. Yet John Kerry wants every vote to count.

If your ballot specified that you vote only for one candidate, and you voted for two or more (inadvertently or otherwise), that vote would have to be nullified. If you neglected to vote for a candidate altogether, or you simply decided to leave a section blank, obviously that’s a vote that couldn’t be counted. (Only the state of Nevada gives the voter a “none of the above” option.)  

Although voter error isn’t the same thing as “disenfranchisement,” the terms are synonymous if you’re part of this year’s Democratic presidential campaign. For them, disenfranchisement has become a word to describe the mysterious existence of Republican plots to steal elections from the Democrats. 

I don’t have enough imagination to conjure up the necessary paranoia to properly articulate the disenfranchisement theory, but if I’m tracking it right, every time Democrats don’t get the votes they think they ought to have received, it’s because Republican operatives have unlawfully prevented it from happening.

Sometimes it’s best to humor a lunatic, so for the moment let’s pretend to take this nefarious Republican scheme seriously. First of all, Democrats claim that it’s primarily black voters who fell victim to disenfranchisement in the 2000 election. Yet the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division found no credible evidence that anyone was intentionally denied the right to vote.

Never mind the findings. As long as there are Republicans in office, there will be unhinged Democrats convinced that that elections are being stolen. It leads me to wonder if white voters have ever had their right to vote denied too. But I won’t speculate on that. I wouldn’t want to fire up the crackpot fringe into a conspiracy theory frenzy.

Rather than fixate on ridiculously off-the-wall scenarios, let’s look at a factual picture of voter turnout in the U.S. The Federal Election Commission tells us that in the presidential election of 2000, over 100 million eligible voters didn’t show up at the polls. That’s nearly half the voting age population. If you want every vote to count, as John Kerry seems to want, a lot of voters are going to have to show up first.

When a selected portion of blacks can’t get to the polls, Democrats glibly conclude it’s some kind of voting rights conspiracy. Meanwhile half the American voting population isn’t voting to begin with. Are they being disenfranchised too? Or is it only black voters? Well, according to the FEC, about 12 million eligible black voters didn’t come to the polls in 2000. Chew on that one for awhile, conspiracy buffs. Hey, if you’re going make hysterical political indictments, may as well think big.

A few Democrats have gotten so feverously alarmed about voting rights violations that they’ve expanded their delusion of intrigue to, quite literally, worldwide proportions. Twelve congressional Democrats recently sent U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan a request for international observers to monitor our November 2 election. According to their letter, they are “…deeply concerned that the right of U.S. citizens to vote in free and fair elections is again in jeopardy.” 

During a House debate, one Democrat went so far off the deep end, that her statement had to be stricken from the Congressional Record. Rep. Diane Watson, in a less than lucid moment, said about the 2000 election, “Florida cheated, and we are not going to allow it to cheat again.” Apparently unaware of her own buffoonery, she continued with her over-the-top criminations, describing the election results as “the United States coup d’etat,” and insisting that the Republicans “stole the election.”  

I like to think that most voters are smart enough to recognize lame political posturing when they see it. The Democrats Every-Vote-Must-Count melodrama is an amusing piece of burlesque, but it hardly qualifies as a legitimate campaign issue. But then, it probably wasn’t meant to be in the first place. I suspect that when John Kerry recites, “every vote is going to be counted,” what he actually means is that he wants every vote to be counted—for him.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bush; convention; cwii; democrat; election2004; gore; kerry

1 posted on 07/27/2004 4:14:06 PM PDT by Chris_Shugart
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To: Chris_Shugart


2 posted on 07/27/2004 4:21:25 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Chris_Shugart

Hey Kerry! You gonna count all those absentee ballots from our brave men and women in the service overseas, or are you going to have them nullified for not having a postmark like AlGore did in 2000?

3 posted on 07/27/2004 4:23:28 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Chris_Shugart

The basic humor behind the sentiment that 'our voters didn't understand the ballot (but everyone else's voters did) so we need to recount our votes' always amazed me.

I would never expect enough people esentially screaming 'yes, we're stupid!' Not a good strategy, I reckon.

4 posted on 07/27/2004 4:27:46 PM PDT by HitmanLV (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.)
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