04 August, 2021

As Dirty As It Gets

American elections, absentee votes, Florida recount and all that chads

As Dirty As It Gets
Vice-president Al Gore has won but barring a last minute miracle, it is George W. Bush who will become the president. Behind this travesty lies a no-holds-barred struggle for power that has few, if any, parallels in the history of democracy. For the last two weeks, Governor Bush and his staff have known this. They have thus spared no effort to make sure Gore's victory does not get translated into a result. Only when I realised this did I begin to understand the twists and turns of the legal battle being fought in Florida and before the US Supreme Court.

The problem began on election night itself. With over 90 per cent of the votes in Florida counted and Bush comfortably in the lead, Gore was on his way to concede victory when he was stopped by his staff, who told him the lead was narrowing dramatically. In the end Bush won by just over 1,700 votes out of 6 million that were cast. The 25 Florida electoral college votes were his, giving him one more than the 270 needed to win. But the margin was small enough to make a vote recount mandatory. This recount was also done by...

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