Election Reform Should Not Focus on Florida

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Monday, August 06, 2001

Election Reform Should Not Focus on Florida

President Bush received some election reform proposals from a committee chaired by ex-Presidents Ford and Carter and ex-Congressman Bob Michael, who presided over a permanent Republican minority in the house before giving way to Newt Gingrich.

The report is a joke, but Bush - seeking to change the tone in Washington - accepted it as serious work. Carter, who just days earlier had lambasted the president as a joke, warmly shook his hand and called him "my friend." No wonder so few have respect for the politicians in Washington.

The press focused on the Florida election, as if that was what precipitated the study. But what about the many problems with voting in places like East St. Louis, where a judge ordered polls be kept open in a heavily Democratic district, or the 5,000 felons who voted illegally (and mostly for Al Gore), or the usual dead people and other assorted ineligibles who were recorded as having cast ballots in Cook County, Illinois, home to Gore's campaign chairman Richard Daley Jr.? Any election problems ought to start with these problems. The election in Florida was decided constitutionally, as a Supreme Court majority properly ruled.