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U.S. House is final word on seat (House May Declare Dem the Winner, Despite Vote Totals)
St. Petersburg Times ^ | November 17, 2006 | Anita Kumar

Posted on 11/17/2006 11:05:08 AM PST by RWR8189

WASHINGTON - If a recount in Sarasota fails to award Democrat Christine Jennings a seat in Congress, she has a final recourse: The newly Democratic-controlled U.S. House.

A little-known provision in the U.S. Constitution gives the House the final decision on who sits in its chamber.

House staffers have already been dispatched to Sarasota to monitor the recounts, and both candidates in District 13 - Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan - say they are aware that a disputed election could be appealed to Washington.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a South Florida Democrat working with Jennings, said she hopes it wouldn't come to that, but she wouldn't rule out anything that would help determine if voters were disenfranchised.

"All options are on the table," she said. "We're going to explore any available option."

Still, House members and political observers say either party would be reluctant to take up a case that would lead to partisan warfare.

"I can't imagine that would happen," said Rep. Ric Keller, R-Orlando. "I don't think you'd want this to be settled by partisan politics."

Though it has happened before.

In 1984, the House refused to seat an Indiana Republican who narrowly beat his Democratic opponent in a race marred by ballot problems.

Instead, the Democratic-controlled House ordered a recount using its own rules, handing the victory to the Democrat.

Weeks later, 179 Republican members stormed out of the Capitol to protest what they described as a stolen election.

Rep. C.W. Bill Young, an Indian Shores Republican who was in office during the Indiana vote, said he didn't much care for the House getting involved then and wouldn't care much for it now - particularly because the Democrats will take control of the House in January.

"We prefer the decision be made by voters in the congressional district," Young said. "I prefer that the Republican win, obviously, and the original count favored Buchanan."

Buchanan led Jennings by 377 votes after the first count. With a recount underway, both chose to attend freshman orientation for House members in Washington this week.

Jennings is challenging the result because touch screen voting machines in Sarasota County recorded that 18,382 people, or 13 percent of all voters, did not vote for either candidate, a rate much higher than in other counties in the district.

Members of seven voter advocacy groups Wednesday called for a new vote and an outside investigation into Sarasota's voting system. They planned to collect stories of disenfranchised voters at a meeting there today.

A recount of the touchscreen totals and optical scan absentee ballots was completed late Tuesday, giving Buchanan a 401-vote lead. A manual recount will begin today, and those results are expected to be certified by the state Monday.

Each candidate has 30 days from then to ask the House Administration Committee to investigate, which usually takes a few weeks to several months.

Since 1993, about 105 such cases have been sent to committee but only a handful have made it to the full House for a vote.

Usually the committee dismisses the case, though it could recommend to the full House that it order a new recount or new vote. The House could also simply refuse to seat the presumed winner, leaving the seat vacant or filling it with someone else.

As it tends to do for extremely close races, the committee has already sent a team of staffers, consisting of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, to monitor the recount.

In this case, any investigation and resolution by the House or its committee is virtually guaranteed to take place after the Democrats take over Congress in January.

Rep. Allen Boyd, a North Florida farmer who is co-leader of the Blue Dogs conservative Democratic group, welcomed Jennings to its ranks Wednesday and said he's hoping she'll be able to stay.

He said it's too early to start talking about the House making a decision in the election but if it does: "We're in charge. Absolutely she'll get a fair shot."

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: house; ushouse
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To: sauropod


21 posted on 11/17/2006 11:31:55 AM PST by sauropod ("Come have some pie with me.")
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To: Bigh4u2

OK, thanks. Boy how did they get that in there?

22 posted on 11/17/2006 11:32:17 AM PST by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker! (Welcome Home, son! You and your comrades are our heroes!))
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To: Old Grumpy

23 posted on 11/17/2006 11:34:45 AM PST by null and void ("Jihad" just means "[My] Struggle", but then again, so does "Mein Kampf"...)
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To: bnelson44

"Boy how did they get that in there? "

Very carefully.


24 posted on 11/17/2006 11:46:13 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: RWR8189
The Demon-rats will continue to show themselves for what they are.

In the end, if things keep going as they are, the people will cry for a King or will welcome a dictator.

25 posted on 11/17/2006 11:51:00 AM PST by Maeve
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To: RWR8189

Hahahaha! You people still vote?!

26 posted on 11/17/2006 11:51:04 AM PST by RobRoy
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To: RobRoy
There has already been one recount....Vern picked up a few more votes...Now there is another one..A hand recount...Also they are looking at 18,000 under votes...That is folks who did not vote for either....There claiming that many of those voted for the democrat..Becasue of the electronic machines in Sarasota county did not work propel....It is BS but that has not stopped the Dems from trying to steal another election...What they want is another election in this race here...If the cannot win once try again..The papers here in the letter to the editors are slamming the Dems even though both papers are liberal......It is a wait and see....They may get away with it...
27 posted on 11/17/2006 11:58:35 AM PST by RNO1 (POW's Never Ever Have A Good Day)
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To: FlipWilson
The dems will never give up power.

That's what I posted before the election: it will be mighty difficult to vote them out because the RATS will "legalize" fraud.

Now that we are out of the House, it has become the Out-House.

28 posted on 11/17/2006 12:03:13 PM PST by melancholy (Bella bint Pelusi, the Sneaker of the Out-House, she is a shoe-in!)
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To: Brilliant
"The question is whether the GOP would make a big issue out of it and ride the issue to an electoral victory in 08."

That would require that Republicans find the courage to stand up and fight back, something that to date, Republicans have failed time and time again to do, which has in no small part resulted in the situation they find themselves in today.

We can only hope that they have learned a lesson from this, and will now do what we've been trying to tell them to do for the past 6 years. "Stand up and fight back, you sissies"!

29 posted on 11/17/2006 12:05:14 PM PST by Nathan Zachary
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To: RNO1

They got away with it in our last governors race here in Washington.

30 posted on 11/17/2006 12:44:49 PM PST by RobRoy
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To: RWR8189

I don't know why they wouldn't take this up during the lame duck session first, if it comes to that.

31 posted on 11/17/2006 12:54:31 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: RWR8189
Bet the Republicans are too polite to react properly if she does steal it: make her life hell as long as she stays in the House.

If she says "my colleague so-and-so", tell her that so-and-so was elected, unlike her.

If they pass her in the hallway, say "F-ck you."

If her kid dies, say, "Hey, how's the family!"

If she gives a speech let there always be a heckler.

Let her regularly find her car keyjobed or her window smashed or her wall covered with crude drawings.

And that's not nearly as bad as what she's contemplating doing. If the Dems seat the loser, ever treating that loser as if she were just another member is grotesque. A one-time walkout isn't enough. Total disrespect forever isn't enough, but it would have to do.
32 posted on 11/17/2006 1:13:25 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (
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To: RobRoy

They are doing their best here..They are lining up the kooks to claim they voted and it did not count their vote....It is a total sham...They also brought in a guy who was responsible for trying to stop the military vote in the Bush and Gore election....There was a military group who protested today...I was not aware of it till to late or I would have attended....I am afraid it might happen...Vern is a huge millionaire and he will fight it......

33 posted on 11/17/2006 1:31:09 PM PST by RNO1 (POW's Never Ever Have A Good Day)
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To: RWR8189

I think there should be a measure to allow a second election in cases like this

if the machines were faulty then 18,000 people were disenfranchised unfairly

or simply, the 18,000 disenfranchised voters get a chance to re-vote

34 posted on 11/17/2006 1:44:59 PM PST by ChurtleDawg (kill em all)
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To: RNO1

It is TOTAL BS. There are plenty of races I intentionally undervote either because I don't know who I want to vote for, or because I want to "send a message" to someone. If *I* undervote a race, it's because I meant to. How DARE someone come along and claim I intended to vote it.

35 posted on 11/17/2006 1:50:04 PM PST by ichabod1 (Democracy = Anarchy)
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To: RWR8189
The Democrats may as well go ahead and give the election to their candidate...EVEN IF/WHEN THE REPUBLICANS GET CONTROL BACK, THEY WILL NEVER EVER TAKE REVENGE...

Aren't the REPUBLICANS STILL IN CONTROL OF BOTH CHAMBERS??? Why don't they just nullify the counts of the November 7 election, and decide the Democrats who WON on that day are UNFIT to hold office??? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

36 posted on 11/17/2006 2:01:25 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat
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To: Brilliant

The Republican leadership will never have the backbone to use the stealing of an election in this fashion to fight the rats. Thank you country club republicans for a party heritage of spinelessness.

37 posted on 11/17/2006 2:07:39 PM PST by Nebr FAL owner (.308 reach out & thump someone .50 cal.Browning Machine gun reach out & crush someone)
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To: ichabod1
This is not the first election around here with a large underfoot...I think the tone of the election made allot of folks not vote in this race...It is funny to watch how many liberal kooks that are turning out to complain there vote did not count.....I would like to run in a few to tell them how stupid they look....They are total liars and this is an attempt to steal an election down here...Not sure yet if it is going to work...The third recount will be done by Sat....Most of the votes left to count are military votes....Jennings is not going to win those.....I look for the totals to be higher for Vern by Sat.....She is already in Wash being given full benefits of the house by the Dems....She was allowed to vote for the leaders....There is going to be a court fight that may end in the Supreme Court before it is over or the Dems will simply award her the seat...She is going to have a hard time here though..It is not going over very well and I think if there was a re vote she would even lose larger......
38 posted on 11/17/2006 2:11:46 PM PST by RNO1 (POW's Never Ever Have A Good Day)
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To: All

Sorry I meant undervote.....Late in the day...Wes

39 posted on 11/17/2006 2:12:56 PM PST by RNO1 (POW's Never Ever Have A Good Day)
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To: RWR8189

Buchanan won. Period. End of story.

This is sore Loserman/Obragore nonsense all over again...

"If it isn't close, they can't cheat."

40 posted on 11/17/2006 3:45:03 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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