Posted by: maboulette | August 26, 2012


English: , former member of the United States ...

With Florida once again expected to play a critical role in the upcoming presidential election, former Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham warned that the nation should brace for the possibility of a “strong second act” of another hanging chad-like controversy courtesy of the Sunshine State.

“I hope it won’t be worse than 2000 but it could be a strong second act on 2000 and we don’t need that,” asserted Graham in an exclusive interview this week.

During the 2000 election Florida’s 25 electoral votes hung in the balance of a recount process and court battle that made it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court before President George W. Bush was declared the winner over former Vice President Al Gore.

The election is destined to be remembered as one of the most closely contested presidential elections in American history and an enduring source of embarrassment for Florida voters.

Graham, who was the headline speaker at the “Funding Our Future” research symposium sponsored by the Florida League of Cities Center for Municipal Research and Innovation, said that the courts are now threatening to undo the progress that has been made in shoring up the state’s election process.

“My concern is that Florida has made a number of changes in its election laws since the last presidential election. One of those changes was to reduce the number of days and hours of early voting, which was a Jeb Bush idea that I think was very beneficial to the state,” insisted Graham.

“A federal court has said that is a violation of the Voting Rights Act to do what the Florida legislature has done because among other things, it is likely to have the most negative impact on people who are minorities, elderly people, working people — those who have the greatest difficulty of getting to the polls on election day itself,” he said, noting that five of Florida’s 67 counties will be operating to a different set of “standards” as a result.

“What we face in Florida is the prospect of five of our 67 counties who are under the Voting Rights Act having one set of standards,” according to Graham, who said that in the other 62 counties “each individual supervisor of election — has a wide range of discretion as to what to do.”

That could once again lead to bedlam in state ballot boxes, he said.

“We can have 60-plus different systems operating in Florida — and as we learned in 2000 — one of the things that makes you vulnerable to litigation, is if your election is not consistent and equal throughout the state,” he explained. 

Note:  S0 much for “American Exceptionalism” – greatest country in the world and we can’t even have honest elections!

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