An Election Nightmare Just Waiting To Happen
October 18, 2004
Take a mental journey with me to Election Day 2004 for just a moment.
It's November 2, 2004 and all the polls have closed from Florida to California. Millions of Americans have cast their ballots for the candidate of their choice and are glued anxiously to their television sets to learn of the outcome of one of the most important elections of their lifetime, as the 2004 presidential election has been so frequently dubbed.
As the numbers start rolling in from the East Coast and political analysts and news commentators begin to track the red states for President George W. Bush and the blue states for Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, a string of strange events begins to unfold.
Legal protests over so-called irregularities in voting and voter suppression and intimidation emerge and soon dominate the election night news coverage. Hoards of attorneys representing both of the major party campaigns are dispatched to these areas within moments and the madness begins to ascertain who is the rightful winner of the 2004 presidential election.
At this point, it certainly appears the controversial 2000 election that centered around the state of Florida will be pale in comparison to the expected challenges to the upcoming presidential election nationwide.
Adding fuel to this likely fire, the Kerry campaign and Democratic National Committee has literally gathered tens of thousands of lawyers on their side to protest the election results where needed, especially in areas where the popular vote is expected to be close.
In fact, the Kerry campaign and the Democratic Party will have over 7,000 attorneys and trained legal volunteers in Florida alone on election day to challenge the election results!
In addition to Florida, the Kerry campaign legal team is expected to have a heavy presence in New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin and Oregon where the margin of victory between Bush and Al Gore in 2000 was as small as a few hundred to just a few thousand votes.
Responding to this effort by the Kerry campaign to prepare legally to contest the election results, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman recently said, "We're working to train lawyers [on behalf of the Bush campaign] to make sure they understand the rules" of the election in case legal battles ensue. And they surely will.
Because there are many Democrats who still believe that President Bush "stole" the 2000 election from Gore or was "appointed" to commander-in-chief by the U.S. Supreme Court, the 2004 election will undoubtedly see its fair share of lawsuits seeking revenge for what happened four years ago.
If this happens as expected, then a very bad precedent will be set for future presidential elections if every precinct where the vote is close in the United States is contested. While I agree that every legal vote should be counted, it is yet another issue entirely to protest every little polling place where the results are tight. This micromanagement of the electoral system is anti-American because it is predicated on an inherent distrust of the system to work in democratic elections.
But then we have another problem entirely in Colorado.
The sudden decision by the secretary of state last week to allow unregistered voters to vote because of confusion over voter registration drives and alleged voter fraud has many crying foul already. And, as if that was not bad enough, then there is the ballot measure that would split the state's nine electoral votes if voters decide to pass the measure. In a close election, this could easily swing the election to either candidate where just a few electoral votes could be the deciding factor.
As if things could not get any worse, a newly-revealed plan by the Kerry campaign and the DNC was leaked last week on the Drudge Report that finds them actively advising their attorneys to "launch a preemptive strike" on election day by claiming voter intimidation, even if none exists. Scary implications indeed!
The DNC source for this plan proclaimed the Democrats will be doing this because "we all know the Republicans are going to try to steal the election by scaring people and confusing people."
While Americans unwittingly learned what a "hanging chad" and "dimple ballot" were in the days and weeks following the 2000 presidential election, they will likely become very familiar with various legal terms beginning November 3 and indefinitely until the winner can be declared.
And this is why this is an election nightmare just waiting to happen!