Very well stated. Having once had someone vote using my name I have an understandably different view of voter ID - but agree that we must make sure people can get them.<quoted text>There are no "do-overs." The fact is that the RESPONSIBILITY for running the election campaign of 2000 fell on Gore's shoulders and he lost. He lost his own state, Tennessee, and he lost New Hampshire. And, you can check this out, even with losing Tennessee AND Florida, he would have won if he had simply won New Hampshire and he didn't, and New Hampshire is a swing state---so why didn't he win in Tennessee and New Hampshire?
Largely because of the Clinton-Lewinsky mess of course.
So who was responsible for Gore losing in 2000? Clinton. Could Ralph Nader have helped Gore by not running? Sure, but the fact is that Nader had his own political agenda and wanted to make his point---and that was baked into the cake.
A lesson of this MESS is that we have to think of a 50-50 election in somewhat broader terms. There actually have been state elections in which the two candidates received EXACTLY the same number of votes after a recount, and so what do they do? They flip a coin and the winner wins the election.
My suggestion is that in the future when a state's vote is within,say, one one hundredth of a percent of 50-50, it be assumed that it was tied, and the two candidates must flip a coin to determine who won. The reason of course is that re-counting and re-counting changes the actual vote. The vote is NOT determined by the ballots but by the biases (everybody has them even the people who try hard to be fair) of the people who are recounting the ballots. So, it is pretty easy to determine what the meaning of a "hanging chad" is, but it is very hard, a matter in which biases play a role, to determine what the meaning of a "dimpled chad" would be.
Situations like this are likely to occur in any elections that are within a tiny percentage of 50-50.
As for the illegal actions that kept people from voting in Florida. They were illegal, and the people involved should have been punished (they weren't), but our system does not allow votes to be given for the people who were prevented from voting. All that we can do is to try to prevent such things from happening again, and it seems to me, that there are states that are trying to make it happen again right now--purging their ballot roles and trying to make it hard for people to vote with voter-ID laws (and you notice that those laws never contain any provisions for getting poor people to the places where they can get the voter IDs---I wonder why not?).
I am reminded of a debate during one of the Florida recount studies after the election. It was actually proposed that - in all cases where the ballot was marked all for one party except for President we assume that the person intended to vote for that party's presidential candidate (talk about eliminating the impact of Nader and Buchanan!). Fortunately sanity prevailed in that instance