Florida Recount Website, January 17, 2001, September 29, 2003

This is Eric Rasmusen's website for analysis of the Florida 2000 presidential vote. This first page has a few notes, but it is mainly useful for its links to the following pages:
Two Views of Elections. There is an interesting philosophic difference between the Bush people, who say that a fair election is one that goes by predetermined rules, and the Gore people, who say that a fair election is one in which the desire of the majority of voters wins-- in particular, that if someone misvoted, they should have a chance to vote again, or that the electoral college should be ignored in favor of the popular vote.

The Gore position sounds better until you think about what it means.

First, defining "misvoted" is difficult-- and the arguments over it mean that the desire of a majority of clever lawyers and biased judges wins, not a majority of the citizens.

Second, it is not clear, by the will-of- the- majority logic, why we should exclude the desires of people who forgot it was voting day, or were out of town but forgot to get absentee ballots, or who just didn't care enough to find out how to register and vote. And what about people who admit they wanted to vote for Gore that day, but have changed their minds since then?

Third, allowing the rules to be changed is unfair to candidates who designed their campaigns to fit the rules. The Bush campaign thought we would retain the rule that spoiled ballots would not count, so it spent effort explaining how to vote to old people who might become confused, leaving less effort for TV ads. The Bush campaign thought the electoral college would be retained, and so it campaigned very little in California and New York. If the rules had been different, so, perhaps, would the results-- we can't know unless we entirely redo the election.


URL: Php.indiana.edu/~erasmuse/elections/rasmusen.htm. Indiana University, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Kelley School of Business , BU 456, 1309 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1701, (812)855-9219. 2000-2001: Olin Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Law School, (617) 496-4878. Comments: [email protected]