by James Bovard
The American Institute for Economic Research
This year’s presidential election is the fourth since 2000 to be marred by either widespread allegations of voter fraud or of foreign interference. Politicians and pundits have long counted on elections to wave a magic wand of legitimacy over the reign of whoever is designated the winner. But Americans are increasingly wondering if the endlessly-trumped “consent of the governed” has become simply another sham to keep them paying and obeying.
Twenty years ago, America was in the throes of a fiercely disputed recount battle in Florida. Democratic presidential nominee Vice President Al Gore won the national popular vote but the Electoral College verdict was unclear. Florida’s 25 electoral votes would give either Gore or Republican candidate George W. Bush the 270 votes needed to win the presidency. Six million votes were cast in Florida, and Bush initially had a winning margin of 537 votes. But the count was a complete mess.