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Election Recount
by Bill Kimberlin

January, 2001

Kicking Rocks
     Charles Costello is the director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program, which has played a pivotal role in monitoring 29 elections overseas in the last decade. As a veteran of elections monitoring, he says...
     COSTELLO: An electoral system should have a strong element of finality to it. But I think if you look at case law, for example, in the courts and election experiences around the country, you do have a lot of cases you can point to where re-balloting has been done or where there is some new review of ballots as cast in which officials try to determine whether they should be counted or not. It's just never occurred anything like the situation we have now, where everyone can see that you have the potential in one county in Florida to possibly change the outcome of the race for president of the United States. It's unprecedented.
     There are arguments on both sides, and you have to weigh it very carefully. ... If you look at it from the point of view of the voters, the votes don't belong to George Bush and Al Gore. The votes were cast for them, but the right to vote and the right to have your vote counted properly belongs to citizens. If you have strong evidence that the vote count does not accurately reflect the vote of the electorate, then it seems to me there should be a chance to question it.


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