Florida Election Fiasco

Wonder if there’s going to be any real outrage over the latest Florida election fiasco, as described here in the Miami Herald and here in the Washington Post? Gov. Jeb Bush, who’d already been helping Janet Reno by running ads against her opponent (who might actually give Jeb a run for his money), helped a little more by extending voting for two hours. (Wonder if he’ll do the same in November?)

Bush and his Secetary of State (the one who replaced Katherine Harris after she resigned — after the deadline embodied in laws she was supposed to be enforcing — to run for a safe House seat) expressed outrage at the foul-up, just as if the Governor and the chief elections official had no responsiblity for it at all. (The Post reports that the Secretary of State had been told of the developing disaster in Broward County the night before, and refused to act.) Hasn’t anyone in Florida ever heard of a dry run?

It’s worked out perfectly for Buth, too: probably close enough for a recount, which will keep the Democrats in disarray for another couple of weeks. Not much hope that Reno, who looks as if she’s going to finish just a little behind, will do the right thing. All I can hope is that Democratic voters will stay mad about this, rather than getting resigned to it.

And what happened to the voting reform bill, anyway? Last I heard the House Republicans had it tied up in conference.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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