Law.com reports that “Both Sides [are] Girding for Another ‘Bush v. Gore'” during the 2004 general election.
In a program they call Protect and Promote the Vote, or P2TV, the Democrats are tapping thousands of volunteer lawyers in hotly contested states. They will watch polling places and be prepared to go to court. Even before Election Day, these lawyers will look out for attempts by voting officials to purge voter rolls or make it more difficult to register.
This effort to track the vote is an important campaign, but one that could backfire because it puts every vote in every state up for legal challenge, a strategy that, frankly, worked everywhere it was applied by the Republicans in 2000. Listen to how the Republicans spin this:
“Every American should get a chance to vote — but only once,” according to Christine Iverson, a spokeswoman.
The article, which I urge you to read, makes abundantly clear that for all the public agonizing over the problems in 2000, the Bush Administration has done nothing to prepare the nation to vote more completely or securely in 2004. There’s a lot of fluff in the story about “the Nader problem,” but Ralph is hardly the relevant issue. Rather, the fact that the Republicans are preparing to contest more elections, using their own machinations in 2000 as justification and accusing the Democrats, who are merely trying to ensure that the tens of thousands of voters turned away in 2000 get a chance to vote in 2004, of unfair electioneering practices, is the important point to take away.
Let’s be clear: If the election is going to be decided in the courts, again, there is something more fundamentally wrong than a voting technology problem. That eventuality, which seems increasingly certain to come to pass, means the neoconservatives have decided that their “revolution” is more important than fairness, which would be profoundly anti-democratic.
Americans should not be prepared to let judges decide the election, they should insist the votes be counted and counted until the people’s voice is clearly heard.