Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jimmy Carter

In the Washington Post yesterday Jimmy Carter said,

It was obvious that in 2000 these basic standards were not met in Florida, and there are disturbing signs that once again, as we prepare for a presidential election, some of the state's leading officials hold strong political biases that prevent necessary reforms.

Tell me Mr. Carter, how would you know this? I mean, you never bothered speaking to anyone in the Secretary of States office.
Alia Faraj, a spokesman for the Florida secretary of state, who oversees elections in the state, said Mr. Carter's column appeared to be based on out-of-date information about the state's progress in reforming its voting system.
"Former President Carter has been a statesman," Miss Faraj said, "but in this case, he did not reach out to the secretary of state to have a conversation with her and doesn't recognize all the reforms that we do have in place and have had in place since the 2000 election."

So, he didn't talk to the person or anyone in the department that runs elections in Florida and he ignored reforms that are already in place.

Let's see what else Mr.Carter said.
Four years ago, the top election official, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, was also the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney state campaign committee. The same strong bias has become evident in her successor, Glenda Hood, who was a highly partisan elector for George W. Bush in 2000. Several thousand ballots of African Americans were thrown out on technicalities in 2000, and a fumbling attempt has been made recently to disqualify 22,000 African Americans (likely Democrats), but only 61 Hispanics (likely Republicans), as alleged felons.

Now that seems bad but, what do those who run the elections have to say?
Miss Faraj said the state began a process to purge felons from the voter rolls, but the process was flawed and eventually abandoned.

Ah, so, they came up with a process to purge felons from the voters roll found out it was flawed and stopped using that process. Did Mr. Carter mention this in his article? No, he didn't.

He also said
The top election official has also played a leading role in qualifying Ralph Nader as a candidate, knowing that two-thirds of his votes in the previous election came at the expense of Al Gore. She ordered Nader's name be included on absentee ballots even before the state Supreme Court ruled on the controversial issue.

Yep, he's right. But let's look at it like a smart person would. Glenda Hood has a job to do. Her job is to make sure elections go off. A third party wanted their candidate on the ballot. There were questions as to whether that party had any legal standing in the state of Florida. She, doing her job, put said candidate on the candidate roll until it was resolved by the Florida Supreme Court. What did they say, put him on. Now, if Mr. Carter really has a problem with Nader being on the ballots, why didn't he criticise the FSC? Oh, wait, maybe it's because the FSC is a bastion of Democrats.
HE then says
It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation.

He is absolutely right but this is the same man who was a monitor in Venezuela. Chavez was losing 58% to 41%. The exit polling showed the same percentage. What happens? Chavez wins with 58% of the vote. What did Carter have to say? He said that the polling data was "erroneous information" and that the election was conducted fairly. Hmmmmm, okay.

Now, let's have an overview. He doesn't speak to those in charge of the elections. He makes inaccurate assertions about those same people. And he turned his head while someone the people didn't want as their leader became their leader again, through fraudelent means.

Tell me, I should take what this man says serious, why?