Tags: Votes | Counted | After | All?

GI Votes to Be Counted After All?

Monday, 20 November 2000 12:00 AM

Florida Attorney General Robert Butterworth late today issued a non-binding advisory opinion to each local election board that military ballots should be counted. This is a complete turnaround for the Democrat, a Gore Presidential Elector and State Chairman of the Gore campaign, who had, earlier in the process, improperly injected himself by issuing an official opinion - outside of his constitutional authority - encouraging hand recounts in the four Democrat counties.

The national public outrage has obviously had an affect on Butterworth, who has all of a sudden gotten "religion" on the issue. Of course as a statewide elected official, he no doubt had several sleepless days laced with horrific nightmares ending in his political demise.

Most observers agree this letter will have little or no effect on the status of the military ballots.

The problem began last week when Gore lawyer Mark Herron, paid by the Democrat National Committee, sent a five-page memo to Democrat lawyers throughout Florida, including erroneous instructions regarding postmark requirements, to disqualify as many military votes as possible as ballots from overseas were tallied in all 67 counties on Friday. Gore lawyers were sent to each location for the express purpose of mounting these objections.

Election law does not require a postmark for military ballots, only a date and signature, in direct contrast to the Gore-supported memo. This incorrect and improper misinterpretation of the law was the basis for successfully challenging, thus far, at least 1,000 military ballots.

Over the weekend, public outrage exploded at this disgraceful political move by the Gore campaign.

General Norman Schwarzkopf issued a statement on Saturday condemning this tragedy and the national presidents of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion expressed similar sentiments on behalf of their organizations as well.

Oddly misinformed himself, Gore vice presidential running mate Sen. Joseph Lieberman professed ignorance of the situation and amazingly refused to call for the inclusion of the military votes, by cowardly putting blame on local election boards.

His recalcitrance intensified, even when confronted on each of the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday about the obvious double standard such a position demonstrated, given the campaign’s rhetoric promoting the counting of all potential votes in recounts in three Democrat counties.

This sorry display by Lieberman only served to stoke the fires of public outrage, while protests were held in some two dozen cities over the weekend.

Today, even Florida Democrats have begun to publicly question this misguided and underhanded Gore effort. Both Sen. Bob Graham and State Attorney General Bob Butterworth issued statements questioning the wisdom of this disgraceful tactic attempted by team Gore.

Keep a close eye on this explosive issue, separate and apart from the proceedings before the Florida Supreme Court today, as this is a major public concern which won’t be forgotten and won’t go away.

In fact this, more than any other of the host of Al Gore’s reprehensibile tactics, has already come to symbolize the appalling lack of ethics and morals he demonstrates on every issue he touches and in everything he does.

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

• Nov. 20, 9 a.m. – KJSL radio in St. Louis, Mo.

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Florida Attorney General Robert Butterworth late today issued a non-binding advisory opinion to each local election board that military ballots should be counted. This is a complete turnaround for the Democrat, a Gore Presidential Elector and State Chairman of the Gore...
Votes,Counted,After,All?
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2000-00-20
Monday, 20 November 2000 12:00 AM
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