Tags: Upholding | the | Rule | Law

Upholding the Rule of Law

Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM

In what could be seen as a contest of ‘Can you top this?’ the news cycle in the Sunshine State is now being measured in hours, if not minutes.

Florida election law clearly requires the state’s 67 counties to certify their voting results on the seventh day following an election. This law is well-reasoned in its intent to prevent mishandling of ballots and potential vote-tampering.

That is why the compulsory "shall" rather than the permissive "may" was employed by the Florida legislature in crafting the language of the statute.

The only provision for hand counting, which

These criteria set a high standard for the Florida Supreme Court's likely review of the decision. Since the law requires compliance on its face, only an arbitrary act by the secretary could result in her decision being overturned. From the evidence known thus far, the present situation is not such a case, as she is executing the law she has been sworn to uphold.

And she would also be compelled to so decide if the parties were reversed.

Several things are sure to occur now.

First, Gore and his advisers will do the only thing they seem comfortable with: going right back into court to try to circumvent Florida law yet again.

Second, they will continue to impugn the reputation of the duly elected secretary of state, Katherine Harris.

Third, the clock is still ticking until the midnight Friday deadline for receipt of absentee ballots. These will be added to the total certified vote and should represent the final vote tally for the state, which will determine who gets Florida’s 25 electoral votes and the presidency.

There you have it; that sums up the current state of affairs.

Until tomorrow morning, of course, when it’s entirely possible yet another new wrinkle could emerge.

Stay tuned.

Visit the

Dan Frisa represented New York in the United States Congress and served four terms in the New York State Assembly.

E-mail Dan:

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In what could be seen as a contest of 'Can you top this?' the news cycle in the Sunshine State is now being measured in hours, if not minutes. Florida election law clearly requires the state's 67 counties to certify their voting results on the seventh day following an...
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2000-00-15
Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM
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