Subject:  Who is lying about Florida law?

I'm probably covering plowed ground but here goes.

TV talking heads are spewing opposite spins on Florida law. Also in play is the typical "losing" lawyer tactic to muddy the water. Man o man, I love the internet. Now an honest-to-God copy of the law in question is just a few clicks away. In a matter like this we don't have to rely on the profit-driven press for objective reporting. The object being spun is right there in black and white (your colors may vary.)

It seems to this layman that the Florida law on protested elections is short and not very difficult to understand. (There is a copy below.)  Descriptions of the law made by republicans and most newscasters are very different from what is actually written in the law.

Its difficult enough to figure out whats really going on when you have to decipher the spin from opposing sides. More and more it seems that there is a third spin from the media. They emphasize aspects of the story that make for the tightest horse race and the most addictive daily cliff-hanger.

After reading the law, especially parts 4 and 5, I'd like to know how the republicans can keep a straight face when they say that they have the law on their side and that Gore has no lawful right to receive a recount. The next logical step is to say that Gore is trying to steal the election. How many times have you heard that on the news?  Contrast that with the number of times you've heard the press refer to Gore's rights as are described in Florida law.

As I finish this email I hear Tim Russert on the TV misstating the law about what happens if Florida's electors are not chosen by the time the Electoral College votes. Of course he erred on the side of continued confusion and best horse race --- a vote in congress.  I'll have to check it out but I'm pretty sure I'm right. Its happened before and whoever gets the majority of votes from the Electors that show up to vote is the next President. Russert is such a whore its embarassing.

This is the address of Florida web site:

Click  Here

The 2000 Florida Statutes

Chapter 102 - Conducting Elections And Ascertaining The Results

 102.166  Protest of election returns; procedure.--

 (1)  Any candidate for nomination or election, or any elector qualified to
 vote in the election related to such candidacy, shall have the right to
 protest the returns of the election as being erroneous by filing with the
 appropriate canvassing board a sworn, written protest.

 (2)  Such protest shall be filed with the canvassing board prior to the
 time the canvassing board certifies the results for the office being
 protested or within 5 days after midnight of the date the election is
 held, whichever occurs later.

 (3)  Before canvassing the returns of the election, the canvassing board

 (a)  When paper ballots are used, examine the tabulation of the paper
 ballots cast.

 (b)  When voting machines are used, examine the counters on the
 machines of nonprinter machines or the printer-pac on printer machines.
 If there is a discrepancy between the returns and the counters of the
 machines or the printer-pac, the counters of such machines or the
 printer-pac shall be presumed correct.

 (c)  When electronic or electromechanical equipment is used, the
 canvassing board shall examine precinct records and election returns. If
 there is a clerical error, such error shall be corrected by the county
 canvassing board. If there is a discrepancy which could affect the
 outcome of an election, the canvassing board may recount the ballots
 on the automatic tabulating equipment.

 (4)(a)  Any candidate whose name appeared on the ballot, any political
 committee that supports or opposes an issue which appeared on the
 ballot, or any political party whose candidates' names appeared on the
 ballot may file a written request with the county canvassing board for a
 manual recount. The written request shall contain a statement of the
 reason the manual recount is being requested.

 (b)  Such request must be filed with the canvassing board prior to the
 time the canvassing board certifies the results for the office being
 protested or within 72 hours after midnight of the date the election was
 held, whichever occurs later.

 (c)  The county canvassing board may authorize a manual recount. If a
 manual recount is authorized, the county canvassing board shall make a
 reasonable effort to notify each candidate whose race is being
 recounted of the time and place of such recount.

 (d)  The manual recount must include at least three precincts and at
 least 1 percent of the total votes cast for such candidate or issue. In
 the event there are less than three precincts involved in the election,
 all precincts shall be counted. The person who requested the recount
 shall choose three precincts to be recounted, and, if other precincts are
 recounted, the county canvassing board shall select the additional

 (5)  If the manual recount indicates an error in the vote tabulation
 which could affect the outcome of the election, the county canvassing
 board shall:

 (a)  Correct the error and recount the remaining precincts with the vote
 tabulation system;

 (b)  Request the Department of State to verify the tabulation software;

 (c)  Manually recount all ballots.

 (6)  Any manual recount shall be open to the public.

 (7)  Procedures for a manual recount are as follows:

 (a)  The county canvassing board shall appoint as many counting teams
 of at least two electors as is necessary to manually recount the ballots.
 A counting team must have, when possible, members of at least two
 political parties. A candidate involved in the race shall not be a member
 of the counting team.

 (b)  If a counting team is unable to determine a voter's intent in casting
 a ballot, the ballot shall be presented to the county canvassing board
 for it to determine the voter's intent.

 (8)  If the county canvassing board determines the need to verify the
 tabulation software, the county canvassing board shall request in
 writing that the Department of State verify the software.

 (9)  When the Department of State verifies such software, the
 department shall:

 (a)  Compare the software used to tabulate the votes with the software
 filed with the Department of State pursuant to s. 101.5607; and

 (b)  Check the election parameters.

 (10)  The Department of State shall respond to the county canvassing
 board within 3 working days.

 History.--s. 9, ch. 18405, 1937; CGL 1940; Supp. 337(23-b); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s.
 5, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 30, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 24, ch. 57-1; s. 29, ch. 65-380; s. 27,
 ch. 77-175; s. 48; ch. 79-400; s. 15, ch. 89-348; s. 601, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 99-339.

 Note.--Former s. 100.25; s. 101.57.

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