Cover image for The Miami herald report : democracy held hostage
The Miami herald report : democracy held hostage
Merzer, Martin.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
ix, 302 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Added Uniform Title:
Miami herald.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JK526 2000 .M47 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



DESCRIPTION: The Complete Investigation of the 2000 Presidential Election Including Results of the Independent RecountThe Miami Herald presents an in-depth study of Florida's 2000 presidential election, drawing on the independent vote review conducted by the accounting firm of B.D.O. Seidman, and answering the question that millions of Americans are still asking:If the Supreme Court hadn't halted the Florida recount, who would be the 43rd President?Americans woke up on November 8, 2000 unsure who their next president would be.A population accustomed to knowing the outcome of electoral contests before the polls closed-and often much earlier than that-would endure another thirty six days of high-stakes political and legal maneuvering before the U.S. Supreme Court stopped recounts in the State of Florida, effectively sealing the race for Texas Governor George W. Bush.It was one of the closest elections in U.S. history.The loser, Al Gore, had actually won the popular vote.The winner, Bush, had taken the election with only one more electoral vote than was needed.Meanwhile, the attention of the American people shifted to Florida, the fourth most populous state in the Union, and one of the most diverse, divided, and fastest growing.Florida's 25 electoral votes would have put either candidate over the top and into the White House.But for those thirty-seven days, partisans from the Democratic and Republican Parties remained divided over the result of the Florida election, the outcome of the Presidential Race, and the future of America.Now, in The Miami Herald Report, one of the nation's most trusted newspapers investigates the organizational, technological, and institutional shortcomings that plagued the Florida election and resulted in one of the most bitterly contested transfers of power in American history.The Miami Herald, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on Miami's corrupt 1997 mayoral elections, delves into the deeply flawed 2000 contest, revealing:* That Florida election officials had known for decades that the state's obsolete punch-card ballots constituted a serious problem-yet 24 of the state's 67 counties still used them in 2000. * That not only were the motives of some public officials-entrusted with the fair outcome of the race-called into question, but also that Florida's Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, revealed in an email obtained by The Herald that she saw herself in Biblical terms as a defender of the unborn. * That votes were uncounted in disproportionate numbers in poor and minority voting districts-and that many registered American voters were prevented from voting altogether while droves of unregistered citizens, convicted felons, and non-citizens cast illegal ballots in the presidential contest.Including the complete B.D.O Seidman survey, The Miami Herald Report finally provides the answers that Americans have been demanding since the night of November 7, 2000.It also reveals that the shortcomings in the Florida electoral process turned up in dozens of other states, and that these shortcomings will need to be addressed-and soon-if Americans' faith in the fair outcome of their elections is going to be restored.AUTHORBIO: Martin Merzer is a veteran journalist with 28 years of experience.He and a team of more than two dozen reporters and editors researched this book.The Miami Herald's 1997 investigation of Miami's tarnished mayoral elections won the Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper and resulted in the overturn of the race's outcome.

Author Notes

Martin Merzer is a veteran journalist with twenty-eight years of experience

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

There's no smoking gun in the Herald's investigation into the 2000 presidential election morass, but there's a lot of ammunition. The newspaper's examination of the chaos in Florida will please partisans on both sides, as well as those looking for a little irony: Republicans will likely point to the finding that had Florida adopted the least stringent standard as the Gore camp wanted George W. Bush would have won; Democrats will note that if only the most cleanly punched ballots been counted as the Republicans pushed for Gore would have triumphed. Even though the desire to recount prompted this study, the book's strength lies in its profiles of the personalities that flooded our TV sets after the election. Theresa LePore Palm Beach County supervisor of elections who designed the "butterfly ballot" that confounded so many voters comes across as a victim of circumstances and a frenzied media; Secretary of State Katherine Harris is depicted as a wealthy crusader who cast the Bush-Gore battle in religious terms and compared herself to Queen Esther. Some of what is reported here is not new the previous failures of the punch card system, the failure of detailed instructions to get through to election workers, the accusations of civil rights abuses but it's told vividly and serves as a useful roundup to those who couldn't stomach following the blow by blow of the postelection campaign. And the commonsense recommendations that Florida and other states jettison the punch-card system in favor of newer (albeit imperfect) systems is difficult to argue with. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Perhaps enough time has passed since the settlement of the 2000 Presidential election for an objective analysis of the circumstances that produced one of the most controversial outcomes in American history. This book represents the first attempt at a comprehensive review of the Florida ballots by reporters of the Miami Herald and members of the BDO Seidman accounting firm. Teams of two visited the courthouses in each of the state's counties and examined the undercounted and overcounted ballots. The results have already been released through the media, but the lead author, a veteran journalist for the Herald, and his colleagues paint a more complete portrait of the presidential election in Florida. The reader learns what led to the design and approval of the butterfly ballot by Palm Beach County Election Supervisor Theresa Lepore, as well as an analysis of the e-mail traffic between Secretary of State Katherine Harris and leaders of the Republican Party. While nothing can change the election's outcome, the book concludes with valuable suggestions for improving the electoral process. Recommended for all public and private libraries, as it is likely to become a resource for understanding the events in Florida. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
1 "I Came Out of the Ballot Box Totally Confused"p. 1
2 Florida: The State of the Unionp. 19
3 Madame Butterflyp. 32
4 Known Defects, Lost Votesp. 51
5 Something Bad Is Happening Out Therep. 74
6 Dirty Registration Rolls, Tainted Presidential Votesp. 97
7 "We're Going to be Your New Voice"p. 111
8 Thou Art Come to the Kingdom for Such a Time As Thisp. 133
9 "How Can I Ever Top This?"p. 155
10 Undervotesp. 167
11 Overvotesp. 188
12 Solutionsp. 199
Appendix BDO Seidman Reportp. 221
How to Read These Chartsp. 225
State of Florida Reporting of Undervotes for Punch Card Countiesp. 231
State of Florida Reporting of Undervotes for Optical Scan and Manually Counted Countiesp. 232
County-by-County Chartsp. 233
State of Florida Under Votes with Multiple Markings in the Presidential Racep. 301
A Note from the Publisherp. 302