News Release

The Florida Uproar: Deeper Issues


Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Cole is a leading specialist in constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A former two-term member of the U.S. Senate, Gravel used his position as a senator to officially release the Pentagon Papers and facilitated full publication as The Senator Gravel Edition, The Pentagon Papers (Beacon Press). He is author of Citizen Power and is currently leading Philadelphia Two, a group which works to bring about direct democracy. Gravel said today: “The situation in Florida shows that the polity is controlled by the factions or parties, which is precisely what the Founding Fathers feared most. They control things from the canvassing level, with the design of ballots, to the executive level with the Florida Secretary of State to the Florida Governor — the Republican candidate’s brother — to the Legislature, exercising party, political prejudice, to the gaggle of attorneys financed by the factions who are vying for power. It’s got nothing to do with the interest of the people. This points to the fundamental flaw of the representative system. The representative is committed to his own self-interest first and then the economic interest of those who finance his campaign. At best, the people’s interest comes third.”
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The Advancement Project reports that unprecedented numbers of African Americans were turned away from the polls in Florida on Nov. 7. Since then, two of the organization’s attorneys — Hair, a nationally recognized expert on voting rights law, and Browne, a civil rights attorney and activist — have been among a group of lawyers in Florida collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses for potential litigation. They are available to provide specific information regarding voter intimidation, African Americans denied the right to vote, and potential litigation.
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Professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College, Amy’s most recent book is Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting Systems. He said today: “Given the recent problems with the Electoral College system, the time has come to take a sober look at our entire electoral system and consider whether Americans would be better served by alternative electoral arrangements. One such alternative, used in several other democracies, is instant runoff voting, which eliminates the ‘spoiler’ problem and ensures that the winning candidate has the support of the majority of voters.”
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President of Rasmussen Research, Rasmussen said today: “In a poll we released today, we found that 60 percent of Americans say voter fraud and illegal activities played a role in Election 2000. Most, 58 percent, say that when election results are close there should be an automatic recount. When it comes to the Electoral College, 61 percent would like to see the president elected by all Americans in a direct, nationwide election; only 33 percent would prefer to have the Electoral College elect the president.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167