Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Ralph Nader - doing something useful?

After getting knocked around like a rag doll by Democrats since he decided to run again for President in this past election, Ralph Nader may actually be doing something that could bring a little bit of a smile to some Democrats' faces. He's asking for votes to be recounted by hand in order to see if there were any problems with the Diebold voting machines in New Hampshire.
"We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire," Nader wrote Secretary of State William M. Gardner. "These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5% to 15% over what was expected."

New Hampshire uses Diebold machines at 132 polling places. Gardner's office received Nader's fax at 4:59 p.m. Friday, one minute before the deadline. Under state law, if a candidate requesting a recount finished more than three percentage points behind, he must pay for the process. Gardner said that if the Nader campaign sends a check for $2,000 and promises to pay any additional charges, he will round up the ballots and initiate a hand count.

Spokesman Kevin Zeese said Nader was planning to send the check yesterday. "Either it will allay people's fears about the results, or it will open the door to looking at other states," Zeese said.
Democrats should be happy about this and here's why:
1) John Kerry can't ask for recounts because he already conceded and he doesn't want to look like a sore loser. Democrats asking for recounts would probably hurt the Democratic party in terms of PR. So this way, somebody is asking for a recount and it isn't the Democrats. Check.
2) As Zeese says, this could "open the door to looking at other states," which is what this is really about, right? I mean nobody cares about New Hampshire, but if New Hampshire is going to get a recount going in other places (Ohio) then this is helpful to Democrats.
3) I think it is pretty obvious that Nader didn't do anything to help Bush win in this election. The votes he got, and there were not many, were die-hard Nader supporters who would not have voted for Kerry no matter what. And while he accepted help and money from Republicans, where do you think that $2,000 check is coming from? Is that not delicious irony or what?

So while personally I am not really moved by the voting irregularities story, those Democrats who are should be ready to thank Ralph Nader for this move. And if they still hate him from 2000, at least they can maybe let a little bit of that go. Let's face it, life is too short to spend too much time hating Ralph Nader - it's just not worth it.

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