- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 25, 2000

Let's hope we never have to go through this again. Our next president will be determined by judges and, of all

things, lawyers. We might as well let the Teamsters Union stuff the ballot box. People who feel their vote could make a difference are now finding out that in many instances their vote is being reversed by a counter who has divined which candidate they really meant to vote for. There is no doubt that if we had 10 recounts we would have 10 different totals. The next president will hold office as the result of a verdict.

The media is giving the recount the same kind of attention they gave Elian and his Dad. Watching the recount is a lot like watching a bingo game in a nursing home. While I don't want to offend the elderly, the Democrats are the same people who circulated through nursing homes convincing Alzheimer's patients they should vote for Al. If there are so many questionable votes in just one state, what would a total recount of all states look like? Are we electing a president on a vote that is plus or minus a few million discrepancies?

As a result of the close vote in Florida, we found countless abuses in other states: Students in Wisconsin who voted five times and were astounded to find out doing so is a felony; a New York City socialite passing out cigarettes to the homeless to get the Democratic vote; and many arrests of people standing too close to the entrance of the polls urging people to vote for their candidate. While all this was going on, we had pompous incumbents telling us that voting is democracy in action. Huh?

If all that isn't bad enough, we are treated to the sight of Democrat William Daley, Mr. Gore's campaign manager from Chicago, whose father was elected mayor in a city where many voters resided in the cemetery. Doesn't that give you a warm feeling about how fair the recount is? Each side has brought in people they feel represent the integrity of their party: Warren Christopher on one side, and James Baker on the other. Even so, the recount is in no way non-partisan and is predominately in the hands of Democrats.

Americans go about their business knowing the outcome will have little effect on their lives over the next four years. There will be gridlock in Washington, and that may be a good thing for all of us. If Congress and the Senate aren't able to accomplish anything because of the bickering, it won't cost us anything. In fact, the less they do the better it is for your wallet. Four years of inactivity in Washington could spark another boom in the economy.

You have to hand it to an administration that has raised the price of cigarettes so high they can buy a vote with just a pack. It sure beats vouchers to the nearest beer hall. This election has been a great lesson to our children who must now realize how fragile the process is. They must also realize that while every vote counts, it may not be counted in the column the voter intended. Regardless, it's still better than a coup.

Dick Boland is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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