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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Get over it

 
 

“I want a recount.” These words should be an echo four years after the 2000 Florida crisis, sparked by former Vice President Al Gore. Unfortunately, the nightmare of uncertainty persists, with Democrats and anti-Bush Americans screaming voter-fraud conspiracies of all sorts. The evidence clearly shows most of these conspiracies were unfounded, but claims were so numerous that they showed up on an ABC News special. What has this country come to? It is for reasons similar to the 2000 and 2004 election crises that the rest of the world casts a shameful eye on the United States. There is not even enough integrity among Americans to accept defeat graciously. The left needs to retract its conspiracy theories from the public eye and accept that John Kerry lost the election. History will show that Florida legitimately went to President Bush, and logical reasoning will show that Kerry cannot win Ohio, even with provisional ballots.
Florida was the center of the previous election’s conspiracies. Many liberals still have not dropped the idea that Bush literally stole the election in 2000. Therefore, when Bush so easily won the state this time, they assume foul play must be at hand. The main conspiracy of 2004 is that votes initially cast for Kerry must have been changed to votes for Bush. The basis for such an outlandish notion spawns from the fairy tale that Democrats always vote Democrat. In other words, it cannot be possible that an overwhelmingly Democratic county voted overwhelmingly for Bush, as is the case for Lafayette County.
Lafayette has 3,750 registered Democrats and only 570 Republicans. Yet, Bush received 2,460 of the county’s votes to Kerry’s 845, according to a USA Today election chart. A claim of fraud is unfounded. A Republican landslide victory in a Democrat-majority county does not entail that some cheated. Furthermore, Lafayette has a history of voting Republican in presidential races. According to ABC News’s Jack Tapper, the county voted for Bush in 2000, Bob Dole in 1996 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. Except perhaps 2000, no such allegations of fraud were made in those elections.
Ohio is this election’s center of controversy. The main issue is the counting and rejection of provisional ballots. Lawsuits have been filed demanding recounts. One such suit is Schering v. Blackwell. Audrey Schering of Cincinnati “claimed in a lawsuit filed in federal court that Secretary of State Blackwell failed in his duty to provide consistent direction to county election boards on how to count provisional ballots,” as reported by journalist Jordan Green. “Schering contends that Blackwell’s failure violates the equal protection guarantee of the Constitution,” Green said.
Schering’s argument has no constitutional basis because provisional ballots are not mentioned in the Constitution. They are part of state election laws, and thus under state authority. States require their citizens to register by a certain date, assign them a precinct and require them to vote in that precinct. The main intention of issuing provisional ballots in Ohio is to allow registered voters the opportunity to participate if they no longer live in the precinct for which they are registered and have not updated said information, or voter’s name does not appear in his precinct’s voter list, despite proper registration by the voter. This information comes from Ohio Legal Rights Service.
Whether a person voting provisional ballot is eligible is the sole discretion of each county’s board of elections. When a provisional ballot is rejected, it does not become a constitutional issue. The somewhat ambiguous set of guidelines for counting provisional ballots is also not a constitutional issue. It does not violate some equal protection clause in the Constitution. States set election laws preventing voter fraud. These laws are not difficult to follow and generally consist of registering in one precinct within a certain time period and voting in that precinct. Denying a citizen’s vote because it is in the wrong precinct is not a basis for court action or government tyranny. Voters have the obligation to stay registered and update their information as it changes. Voting is a privilege. If one does not take it seriously, he does not have a constitutional right to challenge state election laws that are considered fair and constitutional.
It is quite obvious why provisional ballots have become such an issue. Democrats are demanding every provisional ballot to be counted because they think it could change the outcome of the election. Ohio issued 155,428 provisional ballots this year, according to Secretary of State Blackwell’s office. Counting every provisional ballot could give Kerry more votes, in theory. However, President Bush won by 136,483 votes. This means Kerry would need 88 percent of the provisional votes to defeat Bush. Kerry won around 16 of Ohio’s 88 counties. It is not logical to believe 88 percent of the 155,000 provisional ballots will all fall into those 16 counties.
President Bush won the election, and even Kerry has admitted there is no way he could take Ohio. Therefore there is no need or constitutional basis for a recount in Ohio.

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