Saturday, October 23, 2004

Every vote counts--I mean, zero’s a number, right?

40% of Albanians live on streets which don’t have names.

The motto of the dark comedy that is Election 2004 is “Now, We’re All Florida!” To ratchet up our embarrassment for our nation one more notch, read about it in a British newspaper. I like the description of Florida’s plan to deal with the manual recounts required by law as “staggeringly devious”:
The state will now permit analysis of the computerised machines’ internal audit logs in the event of a close race, she said, but if there is any discrepancy the county supervisors are to go with the original count. In other words: we will do recounts, but if the recounts change the outcome we will disregard them.
And the article presents a “nightmare scenario” in which the Supreme Court turns the election back to state legislatures, which technically have the right to appoint electors irrespective of how the electors actually voted. One update: the 6th Circuit is allowing Ohio not to count provisional ballots cast at the wrong precinct (which is a bad ruling based on a bad reading of the law, as I understand it). The number of people accidentally disfranchised will certainly be surpassed by the number deliberately disfranchised. People should not be prevented by petty loopholes and technicalities from voting for the people who will create future petty loopholes and technicalities.

On this subject, see also this NYT editorial.

Speaking of crappy elections, the Serbs in Kosovo boycotted today’s elections, almost unanimously.

Dick Cheney was inspired, evidently by the sign pictured behind him, to conjure up a world in which Kerry had always been president: the US would have “ceded our right to defend ourselves to the United Nations,” Saddam would have taken over the whole Persian Gulf, the Soviet Union would still be intact, and the Grinch would have stolen Christmas. Enchantment, indeed.

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