The outcome of the presidential election could be decided by the Sunshine State—againby Diane Roberts / August 3, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in September 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
As the great baseball player and master tautologist Yogi Berra remarked, “it’s like déja vu all over again.” This year’s presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney threatens to become a replay of Florida’s inglorious election imbroglio of 2000, those heady five weeks when the state counted and recounted votes, chased butterfly ballots, and examined pregnant chads to figure out who had actually won: George W Bush or Al Gore. It was not an edifying spectacle. Jimmy Carter, the former president whose Atlanta-based Carter Center sends election observers to the likes of Paraguay, Nicaragua and East Timor, declared that the “basic international requirements for a fair election are missing in Florida.” Fidel Castro called Florida a “banana republic.” The rest of the world began to refer to the state as “FloriDUH.” The result of this year’s presidential election could come down to Florida once more and the way it is arrived at could be just as unsatisfactory as in 2000.