Kerry beefs up special forces

Published October 21, 2004 4:06PM (EDT)

While there is plenty of reason to be concerned about GOP-backed election fraud tilting the game on Nov.2, John Kerry and his team are assuring the electorate that they won't pull an Al Gore if the final numbers are up for grabs like they were in 2000. The Associated Press reports:

"The Democratic vice president prematurely conceded the 2000 race to George W. Bush, then had to retract his concession after aides said Florida wasn't lost. He never declared victory, an omission Kerry's advisers -- many of whom worked for Gore -- now believe created a sense of inevitability in voters' minds about Bush's presidency. Gore didn't plan for the legal showdown, though few could have predicted it before Election Day. And he watched as Bush seized political advantage during the 36-day recount by publicly discussing a transition to the White House.

"Not this time, promise Kerry's advisers. If there is doubt about the results, they will fight without delay.

"Six so-called 'SWAT teams' of lawyers and political operatives will be situated around the country with fueled-up jets awaiting Kerry's orders to speed to a battleground state. The teams have been told to be ready to fly on the evening of the election to begin mounting legal and political fights. Every battleground state will have a SWAT team within an hour of its borders.

"The Kerry campaign has recount office space in every battleground state, with plans so detailed they include the number of staplers and coffee machines needed to mount legal challenges.

"'Right now, we have 10,000 lawyers out in the battleground states on Election Day, and that number is growing by the day,' said Michael Whouley, a Kerry confidant who is running election operations at the Democratic National Committee."

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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