Overseas ballots: Gore on the defensive

By Salon staff

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 21, 2000 8:08AM (EST)

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Of course many of the overseas ballots were rejected. Given the circumstances of the election, one would expect that these ballots would be scrutinized in the interest of fairness and compliance. It would have been naive to simply accept these ballots as legitimate simply because they came from military personnel. They are, after all, soldiers, not saints. I am not even a U.S. citizen, but I think Bush is being silly protesting this.

-- Carmel Powers

I live on Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and I voted for Gore by Florida absentee ballot. I followed the instructions carefully and mailed my ballot well in advance of the deadline. According to my county election supervisor, my ballot was counted.

I enjoyed your article, but I feel that you should have mentioned the mayoral election in Miami that caused these strict laws regarding absentee ballots to be passed. Republicans were found to be stuffing the absentee ballots, and a few are in jail for it now. There is a good reason to require witness signatures and postmarks and be sure the ballots are mailed by Election Day. Since you don't have an actual person showing up at the polls, there is a lot of room for "mischief" in absentee ballots.

-- Mary Czach

Here in Australia, there was the possibility for those whose ballots arrived early to take the ballot to the U.S. Consulate to have it taken with all the others by FedEx directly to the U.S.

As far as I can tell, that means that those ballots would not have had postmarks. Hence, they would have been automatically disqualified.

Another election irony: One of the safest means of transport for the ballot would have erased its validity.

-- Michelle Stein-Evers Frankl

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2000 Elections Al Gore George W. Bush