Vote fraud and voter intimidation (apropos
JusticeStevens'refusal to stay the Sixth Circuit decision)
nelsonlund at erols.com
Tue Nov 2 13:05:02 PST 2004
I said nothing about the "intention" of the networks. I don't know what their intentions were, and I seriously doubt that you do either. As to your assertion that "[t]hey did their job," I do not agree that it is their job to broadcast falsehoods.
In any event, whether one wants to condemn the networks for what they did, or exonerate them, their actions fit Mark Tushnet's definition of "voter intimidation."
Andy Siegel wrote:
> I agree with you that the networks should hold off making projections until all the
> polling places in a given state have closed.
> Your broader implication that the networks called the race early and erroneously with
> the intention of altering the result belies the facts. The networks projected Florida for
> Gore b/c/ the exit polls showed that a small but sufficiently significant plurality of the
> voters in Florida left the polling place thinking they had voted for Gore. On that point,
> the polling was absolutely accurate. That the recorded vote total did not match the
> voters' intentions is the fault of lots of people (the designers of the butterfly ballot, the
> idiots/knaves who decided to use voting technology with much higher error rates in
> predominately minority areas, arguably the voters themselves). It was not, however,
> the networks' fault. They did their job. Those responsible for implementing our
> democratic process failed at theirs.
> --Andy Siegel
> On 2 Nov 2004 at 15:13, Nelson Lund wrote:
> > Mark Tushnet wrote:
> > >
> > > I would have thought that the term "voter intimidation" had a
> > > straight-forward meaning: actions that have the effect of deterring
> > > eligible voters from casting their ballots, either by misleading
> > > them into believing that they are not eligible to vote or by
> > > creating sufficient confusion at voting sites as to increase the
> > > cost of voting [such as the time spent waiting on line] beyond the
> > > point at which some eligible voters think it worthwhile to vote.
> > >
> > Under this definition of "voter intimidation," there were two striking
> > examples in the 2000 election. Although Secretary of State Harris
> > specifically asked the television networks to refrain from predicting
> > the outcome of Florida's election until the polls had closed in the
> > western part of the state, which is in the central time zone, all five
> > national networks falsely declared that Gore had won the state before
> > the polls closed in the western counties. Worse, all of these networks
> > also falsely and repeatedly announced that the polls had closed in
> > Florida beginning an hour before they had actually closed in the
> > western counties. Subsequent analysis indicated that these actions
> > cost Bush thousands of votes.
> > Nelson Lund
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