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And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (From here on, I’m going to try to remember to put political stuff in color, so you can skip it. I’ll keep financial stuff in the black.)

Nancy Brenner: ‘Are you aware that the GOP has asked for a hand recount in New Mexico saying that it is the only way to guarantee an accurate tally? It’s in Sunday’s New York Times.’

Bryan Norcross: ‘In the 1940s movie, Key Largo, Edward G. Robinson, playing the gangster, makes an interesting speech to Humphrey Bogart:

”Let me tell you about Florida politicians. I make them. I make them out a whole cloth just like a tailor makes a suit. I get their name in the newspaper, I get them some publicity and get them on the ballot. Then after the election we count the votes and if they don’t turn out right, we re-count them and re-count them again until they do.”

David Scheim, a writer who is no friend of the Bush clan, points us to this web site, for a summary of the Seminole County situation (the numbered footnotes refer to sources you can link to on that site):

  • At the invitation of Seminole elections supervisor Sandra Goard, two GOP operatives camped out in elections offices for 15 days, unsupervised, with access to files and a computer terminal.1
  • Goard’s staff separated out incomplete GOP absentee ballot requests from similar incomplete Democratic and independent absentee ballot requests.2
  • GOP operatives added voter identification numbers to 2,132 absentee ballot requests that yielded 1,936 actual votes, 95% for Bush.3
  • More than 550 similar Democratic ballot requests with missing information ended up in a discard box, rejected.4
  • Goard told two Democratic campaign workers5 and stated in a radio interview broadcast while GOP workers were filling in voter IDs6 that she would honor no absentee ballot requests that were missing this ID number.  She “emphasized that this was required by Florida state law.”7
  • Goard later denied the Seminole Democratic party the same opportunity to fix incomplete Democratic absentee ballot requests.8
  • Goard admitted she had never before allowed such activity to fix incomplete absentee ballot requests in her 23 years as county elections supervisor.9

Finally, should the Florida Supreme Court overturn Judge Sauls’ decision yesterday about the recount, or should some other court intervene on one of these matters, the Bush campaign might re-read this column by Anthony Lewis before commenting on the result.


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