Disenfranchising Florida would have disastrous results. Any future candidate of either party could stage a "confusion" and contest elections in those states where he or she was losing, only to have them then be thrown out. This would raise the electorate's cynicism even further, bringing a potential chaos to our future political landscape. And for David Talbot to suggest that Gore won the popular vote, and who cares about the Electoral College, only serves to add ammunition to the Republican cause, which suggests that Democrats don't care about the law, and only want to win. Shame on you, Mr. Talbot, shame!
-- Thomas Erdmann, M.D.
I find David Talbot's proposal to now end the Florida election process to be very timely and also very self-serving. Now that it is apparent that Gore will lose not only the Florida electoral vote, but may also lose in the Supreme Court's review of the manual recount, it is the perfect time to call the process over. Then there is that little thing about those people in the military. How dare they think their vote should count?
Fortunately, there is a thing called the U.S. Constitution and laws that provide for the Florida Legislature and/or the U.S. Congress to intervene in the event of a true stalemate. Alas, these two avenues are also not likely to go Gore's way. Yes, let us call the whole process off and award the presidency to Gore. What a great idea and a true reflection of the American way. Not.
-- Robert Franke
As a Florida resident who voted in a county whose vote tallies did not change in any of the recounts, I am quite averse to the idea. I believe that this would be akin to taxation without representation. Perhaps if the IRS would agree not to collect taxes from any Florida resident for the next four years this would be acceptable.
In all fairness, the reason that there are so many problems in the counties which are perpetually recounting their votes is a failure to modernize their voting equipment. Here in Leon County, where we have optical ballots, the ballot boxes will not accept an improperly filled-out ballot. Therefore, we have not had the problem of questionable votes. In addition, the optical ballots are easily read in the case of a manual recount. Perhaps the counties which currently use punch card ballots should switch to optical ballots.
-- John Pavan
I agree with the solution that Florida just be left out of the electoral voting because it is tainted and there has been a reasonable doubt as to who the clear winner is. If Gov. Bush had not been afraid he was not the winner he would have not objected to the hand count. Therefore the election should be decided on the rest of the country and leave Florida out. The only other fair way would be to split the votes, 12 for each candidate. Either of these will give the election to Vice President Gore. He also has won the popular vote so the will of the people would prevail.
-- Florence J. Brock
David Talbot has hit the chad squarely on the head. It is time for the nation to cry out that the Florida vote is sullied and untrustworthy. It has proven to be impossible to recount with any level of accuracy or efficiency. A revote is out of the question. The only fair and expedient solution is to toss the Florida vote out.
What about a class-action lawsuit by voters in every state, demanding the U.S. Supreme Court nullify Florida for disgracing our collective fair and accurate vote? I feel that Florida should be dismissed from the next election cycle as well. The next election should be a probationary trial run for Florida. If they pass the trial, they would be allowed to vote again in 2008.
Until then, I also urge the good people in the other 49 states to boycott Florida. Punish them for the pain they have caused. Show them that there is a price to pay for holding us as political hostages. Let the citizen-led embargo on Florida tourism and business begin.
-- Trip Allen