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The Daily Tar Heel

Fair Election Results, Not Speedy Decisions, Are Needed in Florida

I can understand the emotion generated by this presidential election. It will have repercussions for a generation or more, and all parties, understandably, want to come out the victor. It's far too easy, though, to simply want the drama to be over at the expense of getting an accurate result.

For example, in Thursday's article "Activists Urge Democracy, Cooperation," College Republican Justin Johnson says, "If the heavily Democratic Palm Beach was being recounted, then why not recount the rest of Florida, or even the rest of the country, to ensure validity?" to illustrate his point that it's time for the election to be over. This was just what was proposed by Vice President Al Gore and rejected out of hand by George W. Bush's camp. Gore asked for a full recounting of Florida, including the more conservative parts, and was denied by Bush's campaign.

There is a larger issue here. At hand is the question of whether we will rush to judgments despite certain things that deserve another look. In the face of widespread irregularities in Florida, including allegations of voter intimidation across the panhandle, can we as a nation afford not to take the time to look into what occurred? I agree, it would be easier to simply move on and declare a winner. I am like most people; I'm ready for the election to be over.

I firmly believe that it's more important to get accurate results than end the process quickly. We owe it to ourselves to take the time to ensure that the will of the people is reflected in the election's outcome.

Dan Harrison


Political Science

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