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In Florida, clearly posted instructions directed that a ballot should be inspected by the voter immediately after making his selections so as to verify that there were no confusing dimples or chips. For most of us, these instructions preclude any post-election controversy; but for others it is apparent the rules don’t apply.
So for those others, a mechanical vote verification unit should be immediately available for them to verify how their ballot will actually be read in the final count. Once their choices are verified by that second unit, there should be no endless litigation after the fact as to what their true intentions were because the voter themselves will have certified their own vote already. Jeffrey K. Jacob Corinna
America is in a sad state of affairs. Who would believe we could be in this situation?
I have seen some close elections, but usually one candidate will concede rather than put his country in such disgrace, as we see the votes have been counted in some places more than once. Someone made a blunder with the butterfly ballot; a simple ballot with the names and two circles by each one. All that’s needed is a simple line connecting the two. People had a chance to ask for help before they voted. They could recount votes all summer, but one would have no confidence in the results.
How can we have any confidence in someone who would put his country through what Al Gore is doing? It shows what company with the wrong associates will do. Gore has spent eight years with the wrong crowd and seems to carry on the same kind of government thinking. It’s time to clean house after eight years and fumigate the place and get on with business that will be affecting our nation for years to come. Gene Woodworth Houlton
At first, it seemed plausible that the breakdown in Florida’s electoral process might be due to ballot tampering by remote control from Chicago. There is ample precedent for that, but it seems more likely that many Floridians may have disenfranchised themselves by voting for a dead write-in candidate – perhaps for Jefferson Davis.
After all, Missouri voters have shown it’s possible to send a deceased senatorial candidate to Washington. In this era of posthumous elections, why not disinter the Confederacy’s late president and send him back to Richmond for another term?
Ah yes, our feeble attempts at humor are not funny. Our inability to choose a new president without a post-election power struggle, made possible by a candidate’s doubtful right of appeal to the judiciary, would seem contrary to the separation-of-powers principle embodied in constitutional law. Elections would seem to be inherently legislative in character and reserved to the states where voters reside.
If due to unavoidable circumstances, a state’s executive branch election officials are unable to determine the voter’s choice, the matter should be automatically referred to the state legislature for a final unappealable decision by the voters’ elected representatives. The candidates should be barred from making self-serving appeals to the judicial branch of state or federal governments. When the proper state official announces the election results, the loser should concede at once and fade into the political wilderness. If the loser refuses to concede, the electors should simply perform their duties according to law. The Electoral College should stay. It helps to preclude the “tyranny of the majority.” Carle G. Gray Sullivan