CNN reports that the Miami Herald investigated the latest “stolen election” theories regarding Florida in 2004, specifically that fraud occurred in Democratic counties that wound up going for George Bush overwhelmingly over John Kerry. The Herald’s recount of ballots from these counties will disappoint the tinfoil-hat brigade on the Left that remain convinced that Kerry really won Florida:
A newspaper’s review of ballots cast in three north Florida counties where registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans showed just what officials reported: The counties’ voters did on Election Day as they often do, voting for a Republican for president.
The Miami Herald review goes against Internet-fed rumors questioning whether there was a conspiracy against Sen. John Kerry in those counties. …
Reporters for the newspaper went over more than 17,000 optical scan ballots cast in three rural counties mentioned by doubters: Suwannee, Lafayette and Union. All three are overwhelmingly Democratic in registration, but chose President Bush.
No one has requested an official recount of the ballots in any Florida county, but the Herald got permission from the county registrars to review the ballots themselves. In all three counties, they found at most a couple of dozen ballots that had been discarded due to the optical-scan systems’ inability to read them, although the Herald felt that in some cases the voter intent could still be determined. The vote counts only changed a few votes in either direction, making clear that the results announced by Florida reflected the actual intent of the voters there.
Perhaps this will be enough to silence the Roswell faction of the Left regarding stolen elections, although I doubt that. It should, however, convince the rest of America that these people are delusional and somewhat dangerous to follow. They seem intent on undermining confidence in the electoral process either from a form of mental illness which makes them unable to recognize reality, or out of Machiavellian ambition to delegitimize American democracy. In either case, we need to make sure they remain marginalized.