Letters to the Editor

The Palm Beach ballot was not flawed: What is happening in Florida will go down in history as one of the most corrupt elections in the history of the United States ("Down For the Recount," November 16). I am a Republican and a native Texan, and I voted in Texas for George W. Bush. To say that I am biased misses the point. I am 54 and have voted all of my adult life. I have seen many elections go the other way. Clinton/Gore is on the top of my list of disappointments.

The Democrats were certainly not unhappy with the results when Kennedy won the electoral votes. For an election that is run by Democrats to be overturned by Democrats and pushed through by mob rule is unbelievable! I feel any change in this election in Florida due to a hand count will be viewed by the majority of the nation and the world as nothing short of fraud! I cannot and will not respect Al Gore if this count is overturned and he ultimately wins this election. He is a sore loser who refuses to abide by the Constitution.

This confirms he is not a man of character. Further he is setting an example for our young people that, if you do not like the rules, you can break them. He and his supporters, including the mob of ignorant people in the streets, are looking for a way to allow Gore illegally into the White House. Floridians need to wake up, stand by our Constitution, and follow the same rules the rest of the nation has followed.

The excuses about the [Palm Beach County] ballot are ridiculous and a joke. Our nation needs someone in office who can win or lose with dignity. That certainly is not Al Gore.

Lucy Keller
via the Internet

It wasn't just flawed, it was a morass: I live and vote in Palm Beach County. I have a B.A., a music certification, and teach children and adults. I am a writer and consider myself intelligent, articulate, and well educated. I would like to set the record straight about a few things that are being distorted or misreported in the national media.

I believe that what is happening in my county, on one level, is simply a mirror of our collective consciousness on the presidential voting process in the United States. On a metaphysical plane, I can see how all of this turbulence is actually a clearing away of some of the gray area so that light can come in, and I look forward to the positive changes that will result.

Please know that our community is hurting, divided, and searching for enlightenment and truth. We need and deserve your compassion and your prayers, not your judgment as to whether we are selfish or "holding the rest of the country hostage." It is very important to us that our votes be counted, that we are able to vote for the candidate we thought we were voting for, and that fairness prevails.

The last time I checked, the electoral college does not meet until December. Before then perhaps we can all hope the specter of fraud that has been alleged in Palm Beach County will be either proven or disproven, so that healing can begin. One important piece of news you may not have heard is that the design of our ballot is indeed illegal. The candidates are not listed in the order that is mandated. I can tell you that voting on that ballot was confusing. I checked it three times and still felt uneasy.

The sample ballot that was sent to us prior to the election was printed on 8.5-by-11­inch paper and did not include the holes that were on the actual ballot. Therefore there was no way to know beforehand how the holes lined up and that a vote for Gore was actually the third hole and number 5, not the second hole and number 4.

Contrary to what you might have heard, this is not sour grapes. Complaints about this ballot started coming in to the elections board, the Democratic Party, and the local media starting about five minutes after the election began and continued all day. The elections office sent out a memo as soon as they could, and our one lone liberal media voice, Randi Rhodes, got the word out on her radio show on WJNO-AM (1290). But for many it was too late.

Not only was the ballot confusing, but many districts had three pages of presidential nominees, not just two pages. In two counties the congressional candidates were left off of the ballot. Several locked ballot boxes were found after the fact, uncounted and forgotten. Many voters found that they had been mistakenly listed as ex-felons and could therefore not vote. In addition many voters who registered directly through Tallahassee did not receive their voter registration cards.

Many black voters throughout this state found their right to vote was also blocked in various ways. At a rally Monday led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, many opponents brought bullhorns and interrupted the proceedings so that it was impossible to hear what was said. In addition they yelled racial epithets and other taunts.

The figure of 19,000 votes thrown out for either overvoting or undervoting is incorrect. The correct number is closer to 30,000. Please hold our communities here and across the country in light and love.

Arianna Rose
via the Internet

Slow down and count to 10... or 10,000: Fairness vs. expediency. All citizens, especially federal and state employees, have a responsibility to ensure fair elections and to make certain that every registered voter has a chance to have his or her vote count. This "butterfly ballot" issue in Florida has negated many votes. This is not right!

This election has been important because it has renewed and reinforced the importance of every single vote and every voter's responsibility to participate. To now say that, due to a badly laid-out ballot, in a state run by one candidate's brother, some votes won't count will tarnish the election and negate much of the positive impact on future elections.

I strongly urge everyone to make sure this does not happen. I can understand the urge, in the name of expediency, simply to accept the decision of Florida voters after the final recount. I repeat, this is not good for the future of our country. We should insist these wronged voters somehow get a chance to have their votes counted before a decision is made on our next President. Fairness is an American ideal. Let us ensure that it is applied fully to this election.

Matt O'Keefe
via the Internet

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