It’s quietly no longer about hacking anymore. It’s about “recounting” the ballots. That’s after all what Jill Stein is paying for. While this on the surface is a Green Party show, Democrat party operatives are already on the move – not in places where Trump won, mind you – but in heavy Democrat controlled precincts of Philadelphia, Madison, Milwaukee, Detroit and Ann Arbor. Their search will be for “uncounted or rejected ballots” marked for Hillary Clinton. The Democrat Party playbook began to be written in Florida during the brutal 2000 recount effort and it was almost deployed in 2004 until John Kerry squashed it.
In the aftermath of the recount, the New York Times was part of a consortium of news outlets which analyzed the results and recounted the ballots. Their conclusion was that Bush won, but there were problems which Democrats would seek to capitalize upon in the next election
Democrats invested heavily in get-out-the-vote programs across Florida, particularly among minorities, recent immigrants and retirees from the Northeast. But their efforts were foiled by confusing ballot designs in crucial counties that resulted in tens of thousands of Democratic voters spoiling their ballots. More than 150,000 of those spoiled ballots did not show evidence of voter intent even after independent observers closely examined them and the most inclusive definition of what constituted a valid vote was applied.
The majority of those ballots were spoiled because multiple choices were made for president, often, apparently, because voters were confused by the ballots. All were invalidated by county election officials and were excluded from the consortium count because there was no clear proof of voter intent, unless there were other clear signs of the voter’s choice, like a matching name on the line for a write-in candidate.
In Duval County, for example, 20 percent of the ballots from African-American areas that went heavily for Mr. Gore were thrown out because voters followed instructions to mark a vote on every page of the ballot. In 62 precincts with black majorities in Duval County alone, nearly 3,000 people voted for Mr. Gore and a candidate whose name appeared on the second page of the ballot, thus spoiling their votes.
In Palm Beach County, 5,310 people, most of them probably confused by the infamous butterfly ballot, voted for Mr. Gore and Patrick J. Buchanan. The confusion affected Bush voters as well, but only 2,600 voted for Mr. Bush and another candidate.
If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin. For example, using the most permissive ”dimpled chad” standard, nearly 25,000 additional votes would have been reaped, yielding 644 net new votes for Mr. Gore and giving him a 107-vote victory margin.
Most observers feel that Gore’s fatal mistake was to only ask for recounts in four Democrat counties. They wouldn’t make that mistake again and their plans were revealed in a FOX News Sunday appearance by then Democrat operative Eric Holder. This from the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund.
But that’s the rub. Democrats are preparing to make aggressive media and legal arguments that almost all provisional votes must be counted, a reprise of their 2000 Florida rallying cry of “Count every vote.” Yesterday Eric Holder, a top official in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department, told “Fox News Sunday” that “if every vote is allowed to be cast, and if every vote is counted, John Kerry will be president within a day of that election.” Asked how he could guarantee that, Mr. Holder replied “you heard it right here” and repeated his claim.
What was Holder talking about? And how close was another recount?
Before John Kerry’s concession speech, his running mate, Senator John Edwards, implored supporters to “just wait a little longer.” Edwards obviously knew what Holder knew. Journalist Adam Stone, then writing for a small Westchester County New York daily had this republished in The DailyKos
Bush won Ohio by a vote of 2,796,147 to John Kerry’s 2,659,664, according to the official tally.
In a series of e-mail interviews with North County News two weeks ago, Kerry spokesman David Wade spoke about recount efforts led by a team of 17,000 lawyers that could trigger the removal of President George W. Bush from office.
Since then, under mounting pressure from alternative media outlets as well as progressive voices outside the Democratic Party, Kerry issued a statement to his supporters that left open the possibility that he could obtain–through a recount–the requisite electoral votes to seize the White House.
“Any president of the United States should make it a priority to count every vote in our country because every citizen’s full faith in the democratic process is critical,” Wade responded yesterday (Tuesday). “That’s why John Kerry and John Edwards built a voter protection team of lawyers around the country, lawyers who are today monitoring recounts and the counting of provisional ballots including Ohio and New Mexico. Every vote will be counted, and we Democrats aren’t afraid to fight to protect voters’ rights.”
A Kerry victory in Ohio would give the senator enough electoral votes to seize the White House.
In another signal the Kerry/Edwards team is increasing its involvement in the recount effort, a note was posted on the campaign website yesterday that called on supporters to contribute to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 General Election Legal and Accounting Compliance Fund.
“The Federal Election Commission has just granted our request to raise funds now to cover recount expenses,” the website states. “Your contribution to Kerry-Edwards 2004 GELAC will provide the resources to make sure we are prepared to win the post election day battles.”
Democrat operatives were obviously poised and in place to challenge the vote in any state. The statements by Holder and Edwards indicated that they were aware of them, too. Knowing that the Supreme Court had slapped down cherry-picking where they wanted recounts, a state-wide strategy was created. For whatever reason, the effort never got underway. My own feeling at the time was that Kerry didn’t want to put the nation through all that again emphasizing in his concession speech that “American is not only great, but it is good.”
Jill Stein is doing the dirty work for Democrats right now. Her unprecedented haul of $5 million in a few days isn’t coming from angry Green Party voters and the margin of victory in the three states Stein plans to contest is far less that the 130,000 Democrats were prepared to challenge in 2004. With many Democrats still convinced that George W. Bush stole two elections from them, a far more loathsome pol in Donald Trump is an easy target to rally against. What appears to be a unified voice from Democrat pundits against such an effort will quickly change if some operative uncovers “uncounted or rejected ballots’ in one of Wisconsin’s urban areas.