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Voice: No legitimacy to Gore victory theory

January 03, 2001

Much has been written of late regarding the theory that "Bush stole the election." The idea that Gore was the winner of Florida's electoral votes has never been anything but a theory. The "Gore victory" theory began to crumble when the statistics themselves did not verify the projection of large numbers of additional votes for Gore in the hand recounts.

On the morning the Florida Supreme Court ordered hand recounts of the under-votes to begin again, I was watching CNN coverage of the actual counting of under-votes. In that 15-minute sampling, the majority of the cards were ruled to be "no vote" ballots. Of the cards ruled to be votes, six were for Bush and two were for Gore. This recounting sample led me to think the recount might not be going the way some had projected.

Later that morning when I again tuned into CNN and heard that the U.S. Supreme Court had stopped the recounting process, I was interested in another bit of statistical information being reported. CNN reported in the Miami-Dade County ballots there had been approximately 9,000 under-votes to be hand-counted. There was a projection that at least 600 votes for Gore would be discovered in those under-votes. However, when the counting had stopped only 3,000 plus of those votes had been counted (a little over one-third of the total under-votes in Miami-Dade they reported) and the results were disturbing for the Gore camp. Of the counted votes Bush had picked up 90, Gore had only picked up 52 and over 3,000 votes had been "no vote" ballots.

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A recent acquaintance of mine who was living in Miami until about six months ago helped shed some light on this finding. My friend pointed out the large Democratic voter population in Miami had lost confidence in Gore as a result of his deviation from his party's stand during the Elian Gonzalez saga. If you remember, Gore stated he thought the boy should have his day in court, but the president and Justice Department were standing firm that he should be returned to his father.

For right or wrong, Gore lost his Miami votes when he took a position against his party, thus explaining so many "no votes." (My friend tells me the Cuban vote in Miami is also always Republican)

The point is statistically the hand recount was not showing Gore picking up the projected votes necessary to take the electoral votes in Florida. In fact the statistics were showing proportionately Bush was picking up more votes than Gore was picking up in the hand recount, and that most of the under-votes were in fact "no votes." So unless new statistics (not dreamy projections) arise, let the numbers show the electoral votes in Florida went to the correct candidate and this talk of stealing the election by "sore losers" be stopped.

BETSY RIEHLE

El Centro

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