Originally created 12/17/00

Florida's counting law confusing 121700 - The Augusta Chronicle

For our democracy to work as well as it has an adversarial system is essential. However, when we are faced with the right and wrong of something, adversity should not prevail.

That leads to my point, which is that is that each time we heard an Al Gore supporter fielding questions, the supporter either did one of several things:

Changed the subject.

Said something slightly related or not related and never gets back to what he was asked.

Said a variety of things which are intellectually insulting.

Went into some twilight zone spinning words as children used to do toy tops.

Time and space allows me one example. Tim Russet asked a die-hard Democrat: Not counting Florida, 94 million other Americans used machines to make their presidential choice. If it was good enough for 94 million Americans the first time, why would it not be good enough for Floridians - regardless of how many times they choose to recount them?

At this point it began to spin.

The supporter said Florida law allows hand recounts because they are much more accurate and not subject to machine error.

Actually, Florida law allows recounts be done the way it was done the first time - by machine. Hand recounts are only allowed in special cases.

A fundamental ingredient to counting votes is to have a mechanism that does not care one way or the other about the outcome. The last thing Russet asked was whether or not the supporter knew that machine errors occurred not only in Florida, but the other 49 states as well and there has never been a bone of contention since any error (five to six percent) would not favor one candidate over another. At this point the rpm of the spinning top drastically increased.

Andy Chandler, Augusta

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