Banks County News
November 22, 2000
offers plea to Florida Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Florida must determine if indeed we are
the nation we contend to be on the world stage or that America,
the envy of every nation, has fallen to an irretrievable place
in its growth because even this branch of our government would
disregard its duty and contribute to the loss of "the integrity
and purity" of an election. (Bowman, 636 F2d at 1012)
To tabulate, [or] manual recount and count and count. ?
It is all about "integrity and purity" of the electionit's
all about 'tabula rasa'. Tabula Rasa: (Latin) a mind not yet
affected by experiences, impressions, etc. The Florida Supreme
Court must recognize that the solemnity and integrity demanded
by the election process that took place all across this great
nation on November 7 resulted in the elimination of hundreds
of thousands of ballots using the punch-card implementation along
The court's primary position must be to rule, not on the peripheral
issues such as butterfly ballots nor the statistical fallibility
of tabulation machines, but rather on a very plain issue without
dressings of political nature.
Tabulation or manual recounts: It is argued that manual recounts
in selected counties or even the entire state of Florida will
bring a fair resolution to this while ignoring the rejected ballots
of the rest of American voters also affected by this "antiquated
machine method" of tabulation.
We find ourselves along with the entire world focused on that
It can be argued that ballots were under voted, votes were rejected
by the tabulation systems in Florida and yes, individuals had
various experiences with respect to voting in this election;
however, this is not about FLORIDA, nor is what is before this
court about personal experiences.
This is about the integrity and purity of the election process
nationwide, not here in FLORIDA alone We are a UNION of
states. Today, the court in Florida has an opportunity to tell
the world the 'state' of that Union. They are all watching us.
Each state in the Union has legislatively written laws to deal
with the election process and today let us look at those
in particular that reflect on the tabulation of votes and the
re-tabulation (recount) of votes.
The Florida legislative branch has put into place a decision
tree to address a close election race. For the sake of brevity
we will not recount every word but look to the 'spirit' of the
process as this court is so inclined to remind us when we forget.
Let us outline the process as they are in the statute.
A: Tabulate (machine)
B: Tabulate (machine and software check)
C: manual recount
We see, that in succession, (A, B, or C) the preferred choice
is to TABULATE: OR, as the last resort, a manual recount is suggested
- an alternative if the first two fail.
To impartially ensure that the ballot of every punch-card voter
across the nation and Florida "is counted," we employ
"a process of counting" by way of machine-tabulation
that relies on the principle of "tabula rasa"
which only a machine can provide.
These machine-tabulations deliver the "integrity and purity"
demanded of the election process by ensuring that all cast ballots
(punch-cards) are treated in the same fashion with the same acceptance
or rejection NATION-wide without respect to race, sex, religion,
or political affiliation.
It is for this very reason that tabulation is the first and the
second preferred methods as outlined in the statues.
In the US v MCCRAINE (11th Circuit), we find election anomalies
and the court had this to say:
" the defendants argue that language in Bowman creates an
additional requirement that in order for us to have jurisdiction,
the fraud that is directed toward the state election must "affect"
or "corrupt" the outcome of the federal election. We
do not agree with this narrow reading of Bowman.
"The language in Bowman not only prohibits any fraudulent
activity that affects the outcome of a federal election but also
prohibits any activity that has the potential to affect the integrity
and purity of an election."
Therefore, THIS COURT MUST PROHIBIT ANY ACTIVITY including
these manual recounts: that have the potential to affect the
"integrity and purity" of the election - for Florida
and in this case the entire NATION.
Only "tabula rasa": a tabulating-machine not affected
by politics, prejudices, experiences, impressions etc. can provide
the integrity and purity demanded by this process.
Manual recounts as the third choice by Florida state statute
cannot offer the non-discriminatory protection required for every
voter's right across America including Florida that this court
has so strenuously in the past spoken for by invoking the "spirit
of the LAW" rather than the letter of the law
The Florida Statute with respect to the "recount" situation
has clearly not only provided for that protection in "spirit"
but also the "'letter of the law ".
We and the world have watched the manual recount process being
done and executed by minds (people) affected with personal experiences,
prejudices, and political persuasions.
There is no 'tabula rasa' found here.
How can this preserve the integrity and purity of the election
The court must rule to protect "the sanctity of every punch-card
voter's right and the election process" in Florida and across
the entire nation.
They must find that the second "recount' as required by
Florida law and carried out under the Statutes A and B, provided
the "election process' with the 'integrity and purity' it
The court must rule that as in the 11th circuit's Bowman reference:
it must prohibit the MANUAL RECOUNTS which have the potential
to affect the integrity and purity of this election. Anything
else shows the world that even this court is unable to act within
the principle of "tabula rasa" (without prejudice nor
political preference) and will bring to bear a strong blow by
the court upon every voter in America by maintaining the STATUS
QUO which has so far only served to further pervert one of the
most precious aspects of our republic.
We plead that this branch, so provided to us by the constructors
of this great nation, will use their position to act with the
discretion so desperately needed at this moment.
The jurisdiction of this court MUST extend this day to not just
the manual recount issue at hand but speak to the injury done
to the election process as a whole by a myriad of tactics. The
court MUST restore order and bring FINALITY at once.
Mark D. Lynch
The Banks County News
November 22, 2000
Take the keys,
While at the Autumn Leaf Festival in Maysville, I came upon an
A mother and her young daughter, eight or nine years old, were
standing at a MADD booth. They were looking intently at photos
on display. Though I was out of earshot, I watched as the girl
pointed to a photo and then looked at her mom.
I grabbed my camera and snapped the shot, wondering why they
were stopped here when there was all this other fun stuff around.
MADD had nothing to sell, nothing to give away.
So, I thought.
As I approached to get their names, I found myself looking at
200 faces. All of them had been killed over the years on Georgia's
highways by drunk drivers.
I looked closely at the faces...happy, smiling faces. Some at
the beginning of life, some near the end.
Lives taken because someone didn't have sense enough to hand
their keys over and let someone else do the driving. Lives taken
because a friend didn't stop him, or her, from getting behind
the wheel of a one-ton hurtling mass of metal.
I remember an adorable baby girl, not even a year old. A mischievous
three-year-old boy at his birthday party. A beautiful little
girl in a pink ballerina outfit. An attractive elderly couple.
Faces...all these faces...staring back at me.
I was deeply moved by the tragedy of it all.
I happened to strike up a conversation with the gentleman holding
down the "post."
For him the display meant far more than I could even have imagined.
We talked about how important the organization was and how the
photo display had come to be. How families from across Georgia
had sent a photo of their loved ones lost to a drunk driver.
Twohundred faces in all on that board, front and back.
As we talked, his voice began to break and tears filled his eyes.
He pointed and said simply, "That's my son. That's my nephew.
That's my son's best friend." All three had been killed
in a terrible collision years ago. Three young lives taken; three
families struggled to get through that first Thanksgiving, that
first Christmas without their boys.
His grief was still fresh even after all this time. Tears spilled
onto his cheeks. They began forming in mine. We hugged and cried
I got a glimpse of the pain that the family members of these
200 people felt and still feel. It's an awful burden they bear,
and will all their lives. Like this poor man.
I realized that this display did belong at this festival. And
I wished I had seen it at more. That young girl got the point.
It made a visible impact on her. The look of concern on her innocent
face...hard to forget. Her mom got the point. She didn't want
to imagine losing her child. I got the point.
The holidays are upon us. Happy times for families and friends
to get together and share love and joy. Keep your family and
someone else's happy and whole. Think before you take a drink.
You could be responsible for another face on that board.
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.
The Banks County News
November 22, 2000
Every day should
be a time to give thanks
"We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us
in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, that
we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts,
that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom
and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we
have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming
and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made
These words are as true today as they were in 1863 when president
Abraham Lincoln wrote them. People take their blessings for granted.
They expect to receive and seldom give.
In 1863, president Abraham Lincoln called on his fellow Americans
to take time to thank God for their blessings. He even set aside
the day that it was to be done. The president was concerned that
people had forgotten about God and what He had done for them.
Lincoln had the right idea. A time of thanksgiving was needed
then and it is needed now. But instead of just one day, every
day should be a day of thanksgiving.
Lincoln ended his proclamation calling for his fellow citizens
to join together in giving thanks for their blessings on a designated
Thursday in late November of each year. We ask our countians
to take time every day to give thanks for their blessings.