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Arduous ballot review winds up today (YAWN !!)
St. Petersburg Times ^ | November 11, 2001 | Eric Deggans

Posted on 11/11/2001 7:30:55 AM PST by Brandonmark

Arduous ballot review winds up today

A consortium including the St. Petersburg Times labored for nearly a year to produce a detailed look at the ballots.
Some question the study's relevance in a time of war.

By ERIC DEGGANS

© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 11, 2001

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's an unprecedented double-check on democracy.

But even as the consortium prepares to publish its results tonight, one question dangles like a hanging chad:

Other than political junkies, will anyone care?

"There is a lingering curiosity to this story," said Matthew Felling, media director for the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank. "But given the current (focus on terrorism and war in Afghanistan), it's impossible this story could sprout legs. All of our attention is focused, not only outside of Florida, but outside of the country."

The list of news organizations on board includes the St. Petersburg Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Associated Press, the Tribune Co. (owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel, among others) and the Palm Beach Post.

The project will be released on some consortium members' Internet Web sites at 10 tonight and published in the St. Petersburg Times on Monday.

The goal: produce a detailed look at all the ballots tossed out during one of the most contentious presidential races in history.

Participants initially thought it would take a few months to complete. Now, nearly one year later, the results are ready for prime time.

Some may criticize publication of the recount results for undermining the chief executive at a time of war. But that criticism cuts both ways: Late last week, the St. Petersburg Times received more than 3,000 protest e-mails in a coordinated campaign by people suggesting the media was sitting on the results of the review.

Consortium members insist the recount remains relevant.

"Think of it this way: 175,000 ballots in Florida were tossed out in a controversial election decided by a razor-thin margin," said Neil Brown, managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times. "If we (the press) don't look at the ballots, who will?"

The goal, consortium representatives said, isn't to declare a winner.

Instead, the plan was to create a comprehensive database of all the rejected ballots, allowing each consortium member to analyze the data themselves and reach their own conclusions. (They would, however, consult each other to agree on some baseline numbers).

The survey will include undervotes (ballots where machines did not record a vote for president) and overvotes (ballots where votes for more than one candidate were recorded). On Monday, the database will be made available to the public online.

For journalists who build careers competing with other news outlets, this kind of close collaboration was alien territory.

"I've never heard of a thing where you work months on a project and your competitors have the story the same time you do," said Dan Keating, database editor for the Washington Post.

"In some ways, we're doing this more for history than any news cycle," added Keating, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who helped spearhead the recount project from its inception.

Even before the Sept. 11 attacks, the consortium faced serious obstacles: resistant elections officials, competition from a similar (consortium members say, less comprehensive) recount by the Miami Herald and USA Today, and the differing demands of its own members.

Concerns surfaced that results could be leaked by someone like cybergossip Matt Drudge. (During a consortium conference call last week, someone joked, "I called Drudge and he said he wasn't interested." "That's what we're afraid of," another voice retorted.)

Many decisions -- such as a Monday publication date to serve the Wall Street Journal, which doesn't print on weekends -- were no-brainers. Others, including how to allow the Associated Press to alert members without handing early recount information to CNN competitors such as MSNBC and Fox News Channel, took more discussion.

Eventually, newsmagazines such as Time and Newsweek bowed out, unable to bend their news needs and publishing cycles to suit the information embargo the consortium required.

And just as a mid-September publication date loomed, the terrorist attacks and war in Afghanistan forced another postponement.

Some wonder if this recount, coming at the heels of more than 15 other newspaper-led reviews of some of Florida's presidential ballots, would only add to the public's confusion over the 2000 election.

"They have sliced the data into so many pieces, they have virtually guaranteed . . . to leave people confused," said Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at the New Yorker who helped cover the election recount for ABC News and wrote a book about the event, Too Close to Call.

"The idea that there is some mathematical certainty out there is a myth," added Toobin, who nevertheless supports publication of the consortium's recount. "(Florida's election result) was, and is, a political process . . . and the Bush people just decided to get it done."

So why bother with another recount now?

"It's entirely possible that most readers may look at this and yawn," said Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief for consortium member the Los Angeles Times, months ago. "(But) I think we all felt we had a duty to go back and find out what the ballots say."

The project's genesis

Reporters started trying to recount the Florida ballots from the moment the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its Dec. 12 decision ending the election.

At the Miami Herald, then-assistant managing editor/metro Mark Seibel turned to a young reporter and told her to start gathering names and contact information for every elections supervisor in the state.

Before long, the New York Times had approached the Herald about a joint effort; the St. Petersburg Times' Brown, then president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, inquired about that group embarking on a recount.

The week of Dec. 19, Herald editors announced their conditions for collaboration with other outlets, insisting that they maintain control of the project.

"We were not interested in being part of a big organization that operated by consensus, because it would take too long," said Seibel, now managing editor at the Herald, which published its results in April.

The Herald's study of undervotes found that Bush would have won Florida, except using the most restrictive standard to count ballots.

"We felt it was important that we get it done while the Legislature was in session (to fuel election reform debate)," he added. "(Given the consortium's delays), it should be self-evident why we went our own way, now."

Wary of the sharp comments both sides traded in the press as the Herald/USA Today recount was published, consortium representatives now shy away from criticizing the Herald recount, which they say used less-thorough methods.

"(The consortium) survey will show in quite dramatic and comprehensive ways how the American system of elections failed voters," noted John Broder of the New York Times. "The Herald tried to answer the relatively simple question of who won. I think we're going much deeper than that."

Scrambling to find its own ballot reviewers, the consortium got a call from the National Opinion Research Center, a nonprofit survey research firm affiliated with the University of Chicago.

On Jan. 9, consortium members signed an agreement to work together on assembling the database, with the larger outlets agreeing to pay a larger amount of costs. (The St. Petersburg Times cites the newspaper's price tag at about $45,000). NORC began reviewing ballots Feb. 5.

One of the consortium's biggest challenges was actually getting the same number of rejected ballots each county reported after the first statewide machine recount Nov. 8.

Consortium members quickly learned there was little hope of getting ballots to match the number of rejected votes announced Nov. 8 -- approximately 176,000. Machine recounts to separate rejected ballots produced different numbers every time; when Duval County elections officials charged thousands of dollars to separate the ballots, the Herald filed suit to force their cooperation without fees.

In the end, NORC would review 175,010 ballots, obtaining nine fewer undervoted ballots than counties reported Nov. 8, and 1,427 fewer overvotes -- a difference of 1.25 percent.

The firm had three "coders" examine every undervote, making notes on the condition of the ballot, with a total 153 coders used overall (after a test with three coders, NORC used one coder to examine overvotes, because they were simpler to interpret). Extracting comments written on some of the coding sheets and the words written on some of the ballots resulted in further delays.

Another problem: Palm Beach Shores' Aaron M. Cohen, who said he worked as a coder for about two weeks analyzing ballots for NORC, wrote commentaries on the ballot recount for the Web site Democrats.com. A former trainer for the U.S. Census in Palm Beach County, he said his decision to speak out now shouldn't cast doubts on his coding work.

"A lot of the story remains untold about the election," said Cohen, who would like to see an investigation into the influence of malfunctioning vote machines. "Any attempt to use me to (discredit) the study says more about the people doing it than me."

Consortium members reported Cohen's commentaries to NORC, which investigated. (NORC, citing a confidentiality agreement, wouldn't reveal whether Cohen was a coder, but insisted the coding work was not tainted by ideological bias.)

A steering committee of editors in the consortium guided the process, communicating with each other via about a dozen conference calls and many more e-mails. Keating and the New York Times' Ford Fessenden, the project's other director, also spent lots of time traveling to Florida to train NORC coders, oversee the ballot sorting and more.

"Every single decision, we had to summon the tribal council, do the war dance and pray for consensus," Keating said. "The tradeoff . . . is that timeliness is not our thing. We are willing to take as long as it takes to get it absolutely right."

Suddenly, a bigger story

When they saw the July deadline come and go, the consortium decided to publish their stories Sept. 17.

Then came Sept. 11.

"We had a much bigger story to cover," said Kevin Walsh, AP's chief of bureaus for Florida. "Everybody involved with (the recount) got pulled away to cover" terrorism.

But others doubted the consortium's stated motives. Citing unnamed sources, the media industry Web site Inside.com reported Sept. 25 that consortium members had "a queasy sense that now is not the right time to publish information that could well question the legitimacy of the nation's commander in chief."

Stories in the Times-Union in Albany, N.Y., the Telegraph of London and Salon.com also accused the consortium of caving to concerns about undermining President Bush. And New York Times political writer Richard Berke wrote Sept. 23 that the recount "might have stoked . . . partisan tensions . . . but now seems utterly irrelevant."

One left-leaning Web site, www.actionagenda.com, even created a page allowing users to send a form e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times, Washington Post and other consortium members demanding they "release the results of the NORC Florida Ballot Study NOW!"

But e-mails exchanged among the steering committee reveal how the terrorist attacks disrupted some members, particularly the Wall Street Journal.

"Our New York offices are shut for the foreseeable future," wrote Phil Kuntz of the Journal in an e-mail Sept. 12. "It could be weeks, if not months, before we set foot in it . . . given that (the attacks) happened pretty much on the one street the newspaper is dedicated to covering."

Regardless of the reason for delay, the Center for Media and Public Affairs' Felling expects the recount stories to have little impact on Bush's position now.

"Bush's approval rating is at an impenetrable (near) 90 percent," he added. "Even if the recount study is bad news, it will barely make a dent."

Keeping results under wraps

Each news organization received CDs containing NORC's database on Nov. 3; NORC provided passwords to unlock the data the following Monday. To keep news outlets from spilling the beans early, consortium members are not allowed to call the Bush or Gore camps for comment until 4 p.m. today.

The AP will release stories to its members at 5 p.m. today, demanding that they not be used until 10 p.m. (Walsh declined to comment on what would happen if MSNBC or Fox News Channel broke the embargo; CNN did not provide a representative for comment).

At 10 p.m., newspapers also are expected to feature the stories on their Web sites and CNN is expected to start reporting the results. Newspapers also will print the stories in their Monday editions.

As the process nears its end, journalists who have worked months developing the project now find themselves reporting its results -- leading to unusual decisions about secrecy and what can be published.

Fearful of leaks, consortium members have tried to restrict the number of reporters at their own outlets who see ballot information. Consortium representatives have been told comments during recent conference calls are off-the-record; several representatives declined to comment specifically on last-minute wrangling with NORC over payment.

"When the media become a player in the story they're covering, it should always bring a certain discomfort," Felling said. "But if the government poured a million dollars into something like this, people would pause over that as well."

The cooperation involved brings another question: Could this lead to future media collaborations?

"It would be a temperate day in hell before we did this again, I think," joked Bill Hamilton, a projects editor at the Washington Post. "It's hard to imagine another situation like this one."

-- Information from Times wires and Times files was used in this report.

Media partners

Some of the nation's biggest and most prestigious media outlets came together to produce the Florida ballot review. Here's a list of participants.

The St. Petersburg Times -- avg. daily circulation: 312,695; owned by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg.

The New York Times -- avg. daily circulation: 1,109,371; owned by the New York Times Co., which also owns the Boston Globe and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, among other newspapers.

The Washington Post -- avg. daily circulation: 759,864; owned by the Washington Post Co., which also owns Newsweek.

The Wall Street Journal -- avg. daily circulation, 1,780,605; owned by Dow Jones & Co.

Associated Press -- reaches 15,000 media outlets worldwide, including newspapers, radio, television and online services. The news service is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative.

CNN -- reached an average 1,268,000 viewers during daytime programming in October; owned by AOL Time Warner, which also owns Time magazine, the WB network, HBO, Time Warner Cable and Bay News 9, among other media outlets.

Tribune Co. -- owns 23 television stations, 50 Internet sites and 11 newspapers nationwide, including the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Los Angeles Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Palm Beach Post -- avg. daily circulation: 157,829; owned by Cox Newspapers, which owns 17 daily newspapers nationwide, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Austin American-Statesman.


TOPICS: Front Page News; Miscellaneous; Politics/Elections
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When will this nonsense end!
1 posted on 11/11/2001 7:30:55 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: PhiKapMom
Wonder if this will end it.....or will they find yet another way to question the fact that George W. Bush IS the President of the United States?
2 posted on 11/11/2001 7:33:18 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
The only "lingering curiosity" exists on the part of leftist newspaper editors who set up this monstrosity. They had the Algore story written but the facts just got in the way.
3 posted on 11/11/2001 7:37:46 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
So true!

They can't deal with reality, so they are trying to create fiction as their own form of news!

4 posted on 11/11/2001 7:41:28 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
"Think of it this way: 175,000 ballots in Florida were tossed out in a controversial election decided by a razor-thin margin," said Neil Brown, managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times. "If we (the press) don't look at the ballots, who will?"

If the discarded ballots are so important why didn't they count the ballots that were tossed in the 49 other states.

By the way, the St. Pete Times is a liberal, leftist rag.

5 posted on 11/11/2001 7:48:54 AM PST by dawn53
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To: Brandonmark
When will this nonsense end!

When the ivory-tower-dwelling media goons finally succeed in driving away the last of their readers by attacking the President during wartime.

Get set for a huge influx of newbies :)

6 posted on 11/11/2001 7:54:58 AM PST by reformed_democrat
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To: dawn53
Back in the days when I was a daily reader of this leftist rag, Eric Deggans, the writer of this piece, was the TV critic.
No doubt he was promoted in the name of diversity.
BTW - he was a lousy TV critic, too.
7 posted on 11/11/2001 7:54:59 AM PST by EllaMinnow
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To: Brandonmark
If you will notice, all the sponsors of this witch hunt are the left-leaning towers of journalism, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal (Editorial Page only). I'll believe the results of this study only when George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Free Republic and my barber tells me it's true.
8 posted on 11/11/2001 7:55:27 AM PST by shortstop
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To: Brandonmark
When will this nonsense end!

It ended for me on January 20, 2001, when the new president of the United States was sworn in.

9 posted on 11/11/2001 7:58:54 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: shortstop
NORC, citing a confidentiality agreement....insisted the coding work was not tainted by ideological bias

Yeh right!

10 posted on 11/11/2001 8:00:52 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: SamAdams76
It ended for me on January 20, 2001, when the new president of the United States was sworn in.

As it did for me and most Americans....at high noon when George W. Bush said, "I do solemly swear..."

11 posted on 11/11/2001 8:03:35 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
It is not surprising that there is not one conservative paper involved here. These are the leftists of the leftists. My question is, what are we going to do about this as the news breaks in all newspapers and on CNN tonight and tomorrow? IMO, we cannot just sit here and complain on FR. It seems to me that there should be some sort of action by Bush warriors. To do nothing would be a sin - it is already a sin that they would do this to a President leading a war against those that killed our citizens on our homeland soil. There must be a response.
12 posted on 11/11/2001 8:05:46 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: Brandonmark
solemly

ooops....make that solemnly

13 posted on 11/11/2001 8:07:13 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
Good article. You might want to take a look at the poynter lead in stuff, too:
14 posted on 11/11/2001 8:14:24 AM PST by Nora
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To: Wait4Truth
I would anticipate that if the results are what they want you can anticipate a hue and cry from the folks at www.actionagenda.com: Action Leftists

On the other hand, if they are not what they want, they will be calling for more recounts.

I suspect that the White House or the RNC will not have any comment.

15 posted on 11/11/2001 8:15:13 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: reformed_democrat
When the ivory-tower-dwelling media goons finally succeed in driving away the last of their readers by attacking the President during wartime.

All the "concerns" expressed in this article have to do with the story's possible effect on Bush. The one comment about possible effects on the media claims that "it cuts both ways."

Have these guys read a poll recently? Are they so wrapped up in their little circles of liberal friends that they have no clue how the public is going to react to a media attack on the President of the United States when we have troops in action overseas?

This will look like the media is undermining Bush in front of the whole world, at a time when 90-some per cent of the American people are in High Patriotism mode. I know the New York-Washington media axis is out of touch with everyday Americans, but if they do this, it will one of the last things they do.

Memo to Brit Hume: You are about to become America's highest-rated news anchor. You have built it, and here they come.


16 posted on 11/11/2001 8:19:29 AM PST by Nick Danger
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To: Brandonmark
Do you suggest that we follow the White House and RNC and remain silent or should we bury the offending papers and CNN in phone calls and emails? Just looking for some direction since I am filled with anger at this moment. We know the results (in their estimation) will show that gore won. If they did not think he had, there would not be all of this plotting and secrecy and quiet glee and anticipation.
17 posted on 11/11/2001 8:22:25 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: Nora
Of course The Poynter Institute owns the St. Petersburg Times and will try to justify this waste of time.

BTW, I found at least one statement on Poynter's site of interest:"Researchers were required to pass eye exams.

My question is....were they required to pass objectivity exams, since this entire exercise in trying to determining voter intent is in the mind's eye of the beholder!

18 posted on 11/11/2001 8:23:07 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Nick Danger
Notice that they are releasing their data on Veterans Day while our country is at war. I find this potentially a treasonous act of trying to undermine our commander-in-chief and those who wear and have worn the uniform when we least need it!
19 posted on 11/11/2001 8:28:28 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
This won't end it -- am convinced that it will go on until 2004 as long as the clintons control any portion of the DNC, RATS.com, and UndergroundRATS.com. Bet you will find their fingerprints all over this recount effort especially since one of the people involved was writing for RATS.com -- the site I consider to be the mouthpiece of ms. clinton!
20 posted on 11/11/2001 8:29:34 AM PST by PhiKapMom
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To: Brandonmark
Forgot one thing! Did this recount include the military absentee ballots that were tossed? That seems to keep getting lost in all of this! Those were legitimate ballots not under or over votes but members of the press don't seem to want anything to do with those ballots! Would it be too bold to ask WHY? (as if I didn't know!)
21 posted on 11/11/2001 8:31:30 AM PST by PhiKapMom
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To: Wait4Truth
Do you suggest that we follow the White House and RNC and remain silent or should we bury the offending papers and CNN in phone calls and emails?

No, I am just saying that regardless of the outcome, there will probably be no official comment.

As far as those of us who care more about our country than the media, we should be outraged that in the middle of war is NOT the time to even be suggesting our commander in chief may not be legitimate, regardless of the findings of their ridiculous study.

22 posted on 11/11/2001 8:34:13 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: PhiKapMom
Did this recount include the military absentee ballots that were tossed?

I would LOL, except it's not funny since they obviously did NOT include the military ballots, especially ironic when we are at war!

23 posted on 11/11/2001 8:37:50 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
Good! Because I AM outraged and I expect that every freeper worth his or her salt will feel the same. I think we should react as one huge avalanche and contact everyone we know to do the same. I also agree with PhiKapMom about the hillary factor. The woman is pure evil - perhaps we should contact her, as well.
24 posted on 11/11/2001 8:40:07 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: Brandonmark
Of course they weren't required to be objective, don't be silly, LOL.

One thing that I am interesetd in is whether another ballot story will lead to any more interest in how ballots became overvotes - pre-punched for Gore or tampered with after casting?

25 posted on 11/11/2001 8:41:52 AM PST by Nora
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To: Wait4Truth
Late last week, the St. Petersburg Times received more than 3,000 protest e-mails in a coordinated campaign by people suggesting the media was sitting on the results of the review

I think we can do better than 3K emails!

26 posted on 11/11/2001 8:43:21 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Nora
I also wonder if they included the votes of New Yorkers who cast votes in both states?
27 posted on 11/11/2001 8:45:49 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
3000? A mere drop in the bucket...LET'S ROLL!
28 posted on 11/11/2001 8:48:18 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: Brandonmark
....or the votes of hundreds who illegally cast votes in Dade County?
29 posted on 11/11/2001 8:48:19 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
Personally, I think that Veterans Day in the midst of a war is a perfect opportunity to remind America how the democrats tries to disenfranchise military voters.
30 posted on 11/11/2001 8:50:49 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Wait4Truth
It might be interesting to use the liberals own mailing list to the media, by changing the message: Leftists email to release NORC results or maybe someone here could post the email adresses of the offending media.
31 posted on 11/11/2001 8:53:50 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: jwalsh07
Exactly! It shows just how dumb they are to do this on Veteran's Day. Of course, they hate the military so why would they give this any thought? We all need to gather up all the anger we still feel about Sept 11 and put it to good use in burying these newspapers and CNN with calls and emails. We must not let our President down!
32 posted on 11/11/2001 8:56:14 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: PhiKapMom
Let me see if I have this right! There were a set of rules and regulations in place before the election. But because the stupid morons in the state of Fl dont know how to read and wright we are supposed to care and change the rules after the fact to suit them. Weeeelllll There is a rule and law that says I caint beat the s--t out stupid reporters. But we realy need to change that law because I feel the need to do just that! Works for lme.
33 posted on 11/11/2001 8:57:14 AM PST by cksharks
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To: Brandonmark
"(.But) I think we all felt we had a duty to go back and find out what the ballots say."

In the end, NORC would review 175,010 ballots, obtaining nine fewer undervoted ballots than counties reported Nov. 8, and 1,427 fewer overvotes -- a difference of 1.25 percent.

WELL, it seems to ME that these organizations did not do their DUTY, after all.it seems to ME that they did the same thing the original election officials did...compensated for a flawed system the best way they knew how.

34 posted on 11/11/2001 8:59:29 AM PST by wildwood
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To: jwalsh07
from the Freeper archives November 18, 2000: General Schwarzkopf on Military Absentee Ballots

Let's Roll!

35 posted on 11/11/2001 9:01:07 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
Make than 10's of thousands in Dade county and millions nationally cast illegally by the rats. No need to look at that though doesn't fit their leftist agenda.
36 posted on 11/11/2001 9:03:16 AM PST by Leto
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To: Leto
Exactly!
37 posted on 11/11/2001 9:07:11 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
So the consortium consists of eight participants, seven of which are left leaning. Reminds me of the earlier recounts where the rats outnumbered the Republicans by a huge percentage.
38 posted on 11/11/2001 9:14:58 AM PST by alnick
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To: PhiKapMom
Forgot one thing! Did this recount include the military absentee ballots that were tossed? That seems to keep getting lost in all of this! Those were legitimate ballots not under or over votes but members of the press don't seem to want anything to do with those ballots! Would it be too bold to ask WHY? (as if I didn't know!)

Yes, I remember hearing a news story on December 12 (that was the date of the SC decision, right?) that a court had ruled that the military ballots which had been thrown out due to Gore's henchmen's dirty tricks were to be counted and added to the total. Then of course, the SC ruled, and the media dropped the ball on following up on the military ballots. So that was never done, and I'm sure that the consortium didn't do it either. Also, I'm curious if the consortium recounted Broward County. The "official" recount of Broward was so crooked that any recount of that county would add to Bush's numbers.

39 posted on 11/11/2001 9:21:43 AM PST by alnick
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To: Brandonmark
I am more than willing to help with this effort. My only problem is that I will be at the hospital for most of tomorrow with a relative having out-patient surgery. BUT, when I get home, I'm willing to keep the thread going for the rest of the day and night - I'll help herd the cats on FR! I honestly do believe that we must bury them in a blizzard of response - and you have listed a number of things to attack them with. LET'S ROLL!!!
40 posted on 11/11/2001 9:22:05 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: Brandonmark
Late last week, the St. Petersburg Times received more than 3,000 protest e-mails in a coordinated campaign by people suggesting the media was sitting on the results of the review.

300 democraps with 10 different emails or Al Gore with 3,000.

41 posted on 11/11/2001 9:23:56 AM PST by Zoey
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To: cksharks
(AP) November 2, 2047 Al Gore, onetime Presidential runner-up, held a press conference on the snaggy grounds of the CyberGenarian Retirement Village upon receipt of the results of the one millionth recounting of the Florida ballots. (Due to wrinkle obscenity laws, we can only show you an old 2-D file photo of Mr. Gore.)



Mr. Gore thanked the mediabots for attending his press conference. "Thank you for coming today to celebrate my gain of two more votes on the latest recount. Together, we are going forward into the second half of the twenty-first century knowing that I coulda won. I shoulda won. And God Willing, I'll live long enough to actually win the 2000 election."

This particulim recount, carried out by dembots under the strictest bipartisanbot scrutiny, was made particularlumly difficult by the fact that previous handlers of the primitik punched-paper ballots, almost all flesh-and-blood nonbots, left skin oils and dead body cell flakes upon the ballots which over time have encouraged the growth of wiffle, spold, and Muzak all over the ballots. "At times, the ballots are rendered completely unreadable by the appearance of many new, spurious holes. The most curink technology was brought to bear on the problem," said a member of the bipartisanbot commission.

For more details, please pounce your visowser to the hypertext links in this storylayer.
42 posted on 11/11/2001 9:24:25 AM PST by ChemistCat
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To: Brandonmark
Didn't read the article, 'cause I just don't care.
43 posted on 11/11/2001 9:25:03 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: Republic of Texas
That's the spirit !

When we lived in Minneapolis, I got so sick of the Mpls Star Trib I cancelled our subscription. Never felt better !

44 posted on 11/11/2001 10:03:13 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Republic of Texas
I just don't care

And I suspect this will be the reaction of at least 87% of the public....if not more!

45 posted on 11/11/2001 10:15:47 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
The only thing this story will prove is that liberals still believe that minorities and the elderly are stupid to vote. I don't care what results they claim this is the only fact that will come out.
That they spent a year evaluating spoiled ballots (nonvotes) also proves how serious they are in degrading minorities and the elderly.
46 posted on 11/11/2001 10:25:47 AM PST by Fearless Flyers
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To: Brandonmark; OLDWORD
Phil,

The base story, who won Florida, is deader'n a doornail. On the other hand, the story about the story may be of great interest to our "Red Zone" audience if, for instance, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, use the same data about these 171.000 "examined ballots" and reach opposite concusions about the result.

I know enough about election analysis that as soon as I can read one of the detailed articles on this, I can dope out what the assumptions are that the editors / reporters in that article used to reach their conclusions. I can then "reverse engineer" the article to reach the core data, and give an honest appraisal of what happened.

For example, the Consortium looked at "overvotes." These are ballots on which the voter made two or more choices for President. Both the ballots themselves AND the instructions posted on the walls, clearly said that for President, voters should "Vote for one." Never in the history of the United States has a ballot cast for two different candidates (in a one-person race) been counted as a single vote for either of those candidates.

Not only should every adult American understand that this is not a valid vote, every third grade student in the nation understands the point. You sit there at your little desk, with a handful of well-sharpened Eberhard-Faber # 2 pencils, and blacken little ovals on a computer-readable sheet. Every teacher in every classroom where the standardized tests are given, tells the students, "If you change your answer, be sure to erase your first mark completely."

Why is this done? To make it clear to nine-year-olds that there is only one answer per question permitted, and that two answers to a question is ALWAYS scored as a wrong answer. Bottom line -- if any of the Consortium members publish or broadcast "Gore won" articles using any "overvotes," they are saying that in counting ballots, voters who are dumber than nine-year-olds should "have their ballots counted, too." And that, my friend, is a steaming pile of "horse hockey," in Col. Potter's memorable phrase.

I am anticipating what the Times is going to publish, with my last comment. But if they print what I expect, the conclusion will be that their editors and reporters are blue bottle flies, swarming over that pile of "horse hockey" for reasons known only to themselves.

Congressman Billybob

47 posted on 11/11/2001 10:31:25 AM PST by Congressman Billybob
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To: All
"The Herald tried to answer the relatively simple question of who won. I think we're going much deeper than that."

It seems to me that the liberal media loves to shovel their nonsense deeper and deeper.

48 posted on 11/11/2001 10:32:10 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Congressman Billybob
Well said!
49 posted on 11/11/2001 10:34:45 AM PST by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark
When will they get over it? They botched it from the beginning with mainstream media collusion. (Read Bill Sammons' "At Any Cost.") It's so simple. Gore and his minions (including the impeached x-42 and assorted DNC vermin) tried to steal the election. They failed. End of story.
50 posted on 11/11/2001 10:45:34 AM PST by Allegra
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