There has been plenty of outrage to go around this election season. So why would I need to look back and re-rage about the 2000 Election? Cause HBO made me. I watched their latest docudrama, “Recount” this past weekend. Chilling is the only word I’m left with after thinking about it all weekend long.
The story is done well and lets the viewer see it from all angles – almost impartially – but clearly leaning a little left as the main character is Ron Klain (played by the amazing Kevin Spacey). Klain hesitantly served as the main Gore operative in Florida during the grueling thirty-six days as the Florida vote count held the election and the nation hostage.
It told so many issues this average American was unaware of – like when the mandatory machine recount was called for by the CONSTITUTION of the State of Florida, SIXTEEN of the counties in Florida just didn’t do it – no reason given – JUST DIDN’T DO IT.
The fact that the Division of Elections, headed by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, asked an independent company to compile a “scrub-list” of convicted felons to be refused voting rights at the polls. Which seems reasonable and appropriate until we learn that Harris asked for any names similar to these convicted felons also appear on the list – resulting in over 20,000 eligible voters being on the list in “error” and denied their right to vote. As we know, with the outcome, 20,000 votes could have changed this election ten times over. Despicable, simply despicable. If Laura Dern’s portrayal of her is to be believed, it’s pretty obvious Harris was not the mastermind behind much. Talk about under-qualified and inept. She’s no Queen Esther, I’ll tell you that.
But I don’t want to tell too much – it should be required viewing for all Americans because this can never be allowed to happen again. Too bad it did happen again – four short years later in Ohio. Granted, completely different circumstances and players – but the end result is the same – the election was corrupted and compromised by people who don’t have the right to do this to our country. And this is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. This is a struggle for all citizens against the desecration of our nation’s honor.
It’s hard to watch this film and not ponder the implications of it’s ending during the last eight years in our country, in our world. I’m certain so much of what we face today would be different had Florida been handled better, with justice for all voters. I don’t know how we do it, but we must remove the partisan hand from elections – the CO-CHAIR OF BUSH’S FLORIDA CAMPAIGN was deciding this issue? In what universe is this acceptable? Maybe once upon a time we voters could count on the integrity and honor of our elected/appointed officials to do the right thing, simply because their character would not allow them to do otherwise. Those days are sadly gone.
Election Reform is the new black – tell all your friends, tell your elected officials, tell everyone you know that you’re mad as hell and your not going to let your government fall into the hands of those who play the game the best anymore. This is not a game – this is the future of our country and our votes (and ALL of them) are the ONLY DETERMINING FACTOR ALLOWED.
What happened to one voice, one vote? Please, America, this has to be the foundation of our electoral process – without it we fall into the abyss.