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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Story addition

April 6, 2001

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To the editor:

I am writing in response to the story printed in the Journal-World from the April 4 Miami Herald, reporting the "outcome" of the Florida media's recounts of contested presidential election ballots. The conclusion of this brief piece that Bush definitely won Florida was not consistent with what I have read elsewhere. When I examined the Miami Herald's Web site, I found out why. Several key sentences in that piece were not in the Journal-World's version (apparently, only the first sentence below was in the story that went out on the Knight-Ridder wire). In the Miami Herald, these sentences appear right after the statement that "under almost all scenarios, Bush still would have won."

"Indeed, in one of the great ironies of the bitter 2000 election, Bush's lead would have vanished only if the recount had been conducted under severely restrictive standards advocated by some Republicans.

"There is some ammunition in the review for Gore supporters though it requires calling into question the manual recounts in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

"The review found that canvassing boards in those counties discarded hundreds of ballots that bore marks no different from those on scores of ballots that were accepted as valid presidential votes.

"Had those ballots instead been counted as valid votes, allowing dimples, pinpricks and hanging chads, Gore would be in the White House today."

The article goes on to explain that these media recounts are far from conclusive, as do other analyses I have read. Your headline makes it sound like a done deal. If the Journal- World were a person's only source of information, that person would not know the whole story.

News syndication is a business like any other, and it is not uncommon for the Journal-World to reprint stories from other newspapers. I am not criticizing this practice, but I believe that our hometown editors have a responsibility to be balanced and fair, no matter what the original source of a story might be. If you would present us with all of the facts that can be reasonably ascertained, we could make up our own minds. We all, Republicans and Democrats alike, deserve better.

Andrea Zuercher,

Lawrence

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