As a history intern at a high school, the recent presidential election has become quite a teachable moment. We have scrapped our lesson plans and used the past few days as an opportunity to teach our students about the Electoral College and the election process.
However, what troubles me with the recent controversy over the dismissal of the 19,000 votes in Florida is this: America is a country based upon technicalities. So why are we considering letting these people vote again?
For instance, a police officer finds a large number of illegal drugs in a house. He takes them and arrests the person as a result. However, in court the evidence is struck down because the officer did not have a search warrant. That doesnt change the fact that the person arrested had the drugs. He did, but because of a technicality, he cannot be held accountable.
O.J. Simpson was acquitted of killing his wife based on technicalities. Therefore, the fact that people punched their ballots twice makes these ballots invalid. In a country with a legal system that decides critical life and death cases by using technicalities, why has Bush not been put in office? Technically, if you punch your ballot twice, your vote is invalid, regardless of who you wanted to vote for.
My question is that if 15,000 ballots were thrown out from the same county in the 1996 election, and now we have 19,000 ballots in the 2000 election in question from the same county, what is going on there? The situation in Florida is ridiculous. A ballot that violates Florida state law was drawn up by a Democrat and approved by the Democratic Party, and despite being confusing, was still voted upon. The fact that hundreds of citizens double-punched their ballots makes them invalid - end of story.
My stance on the issue will not change. And neither should the stance taken by the courts. With this election going to the courts, unless the nation is ready to change the rulings on thousands of cases ruled on technicalities, this election is over. Texas Gov. George W. Bush is president. I mean, since when has the presidency been a best of seven series, where Bush leads 2-0 after winning the first two elections?