For the past week, the Gore campaign has been saying that the Florida Supreme Court would be the final arbiter of this election. But now that they didn't get a decision exactly to their liking, the Gore campaign is backpedaling and saying that they will leave all their options open.
In response to inquiries about whether dimpled chads can be counted as votes, the Florida Supreme Court cited the Hartke case in Illinois, but the Illinois case didn't talk about dimpled chads at all. It involved hanging chads, the standard that these three counties began using and the standard that they are now seeking to change. o There has been a lot of talk about statutes in Texas governing manual recounts. In Texas this would all be over because Texas only allows one manual recount, and it has very clear and objective standards. The first of those is when you see light coming through, and the second of those is where you have a hanging chad. It's only in the third instance that the statute in Texas speaks about any consideration of a dimpled chad, and it doesn't say that a dimpled chad can be considered standing alone. It says it can be considered only where it also is accompanied by a clearly ascertainable intent of the voter to vote.
With its decision, the Florida Supreme Court has decided to 'change the rules in the middle of the game.'
The Florida Supreme Court has now assumed the role of both the executive and legislative branches. They effectively rewrote statutes that had been enacted by the Florida Legislature and took over responsibilities that rightly belonged to the Florida Secretary of State.
This decision by seven Democrat justices completely politicizes the vote-counting process by putting the fate of this election in the hands of the six Democrats, two independents and only one Republican that control the Canvassing Boards in the counties conducting manual recounts.
In a transparent attempt to overturn the results of this election, the Gore campaign is now trying to rewrite the rules in three counties that are still conducting manual recounts.
Statistical experts have said that under the current standards, Gore will not get enough votes to overcome Governor Bush's lead. So now the Gore campaign is looking to change those standards in the middle of the process.
The Gore campaign wants to count ballots that have only a slight indentation. No hole in the ballot is necessary. No single loose corner is necessary. Not even seeing any light through the ballot is necessary. This lenient standard has been proposed solely for Democrats to invent enough votes to overturn the election.
Ten years ago, the Democratic Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County issued a guideline about how ballots should be counted that stated, "But a chad that is fully attached, bearing only an indentation, should not be counted as a vote." Now Democrats want to unfairly change those rules.
The Gore campaign knows that the only way to get the votes they need is to keep changing the rules. This is unfair and unacceptable. This election must be decided by the rules that existed on Election Day, not the rules rewritten by the Gore campaign in a politically charged environment two weeks later.