AP Rewrites History: Al Gore Would Likely Have Won in 2000 If 'Undervotes' Counted

History is apparently subject to revision without notice and without basis at the Associated Press.

In an outrageous report primarily dedicated to the notion that Donald Trump's concerns about the November general elections possibly being rigged thanks to potential voter fraud "challenges (the) U.S. Democratic system" — but a whole host of leftist-inspired rigging efforts apparently don't — Vivian Salama at the Associated Press informed readers in a later paragraph that Al Gore, according to "several post-mortem reviews," "would have won" the 2000 presidential election if "undervotes" had all been counted.

Specifically, Salama wrote the following:

Claims of foul play in presidential politics are almost as old as the union. In recent times, voter fraud allegations received the most attention in 2000 when Democrat Al Gore lost to George W. Bush after a painstaking 36-day recount in Florida. The Supreme Court ended a statewide hand recount of "undervotes" - ballots that did not register as a vote. Several post-mortem reviews concluded that had the undervotes been counted, Gore would have won. ...

Salama's claim that "several post-mortem reviews" saying Gore should have won ignores the results of the only ones which were as comprehensive in scope as was humanly possible.

USA Today reported the following in May 2001:

Newspapers' recount shows Bush prevailed

George W. Bush would have won a hand count of Florida's disputed ballots if the standard advocated by Al Gore had been used, the first full study of the ballots reveals. Bush would have won by 1,665 votes — more than triple his official 537-vote margin — if every dimple, hanging chad and mark on the ballots had been counted as votes, a USA TODAY/Miami Herald/Knight Ridder study shows. The study is the first comprehensive review of the 61,195 "undervote" ballots that were at the center of Florida's disputed presidential election.

The Washington Post reported on the results of a media consortium-led review in November 2001:

Florida Recounts Would Have Favored Bush
But Study Finds Gore Might Have Won Statewide Tally of All Uncounted Ballots

In all likelihood, George W. Bush still would have won Florida and the presidency last year if either of two limited recounts -- one requested by Al Gore, the other ordered by the Florida Supreme Court -- had been completed, according to a study commissioned by The Washington Post and other news organizations.

But if Gore had found a way to trigger a statewide recount of all disputed ballots, or if the courts had required it, the result likely would have been different. An examination of uncounted ballots throughout Florida found enough where voter intent was clear to give Gore the narrowest of margins.

The study showed that if the two limited recounts had not been short-circuited -- the first by Florida county and state election officials and the second by the U.S. Supreme Court -- Bush would have held his lead over Gore, with margins ranging from 225 to 493 votes, depending on the standard. But the study also found that whether dimples are counted or a more restrictive standard is used, a statewide tally favored Gore by 60 to 171 votes.

Gore's narrow margin in the statewide count was the result of a windfall in overvotes.

Both reviews targeted the controversy over whether ballots were properly filled out and properly included or excluded based on how they were filled out.

Contrary to what Salama wrote, building a scenario where Gore might have won involved overvotes, not undervotes. I am aware of no credible, comprehensive "undervote" scenario under which Gore would have won.

Salama's "voter fraud allegations" contention is disingenuous. The major fraud allegations, with statistically supported evidence, pointed to tampering in Palm Beach County which overwhelmingly indicated that Gore benefited due to the voiding of thousands of votes originally cast for Bush.

All of this ends up being academic once one recalls that thousands of military ballots, which favored Bush by a roughly 2-1 margin, were arbitrarily excluded, should have been included, and would have added substantially to Bush's margin by more than enough to offset other matters raised.

As to the Trump "challenging democracy" meme, Salama must not think that armed Black Panthers standing watch at polling places in Pennsylvania in 2008 challenges democracy. She must not believe that Al Franken's 2008 Senate race "victory" which arose only because people who should not have been allowed to cast ballots were permitted to do so, challenges democracy. If she did, she would have cited these and other instances of results which "somehow" went to Democrats once militant leftist Secretaries of State and their recount crews stepped in.

As to the Democratic National Committee's blatant deck-stacking during that party's primaries this year, Salama's writes that it only involved "the candidate-selection process, not ballot box fraud." So that makes it okay? First, there is not universal agreement that there was no ballot box fraud in the Democratic primaries. Second, if a party is willing to rig its candidate selection process, how can it be unreasonable to believe that if they could, they'd try to rig the general election?

Recent videos released by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas demonstrate how easy it is, in the absence of a voter-ID requirement, to pretend that you're another registered voter and cast a ballot. That ability, combined with often easily available information about who hasn't voted in recent elections, would give those who want to commit fraud a wide-open field.

The people contending that Donald Trump's concern about a "rigged" election isn't valid are the ones "challenging democracy." The Associated Press, and Vivian Salama, are apparently quite comfortable being in that group.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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