Tallahassee Democrat by Diane Roberts, Your Turn
March 9, 2019
Florida has a long history of screwy elections. We just can’t get our franchise-exercising act together. Last year was a mess: votes lost in the mail, badly-designed ballots and malfunctioning machines.
But it was nothing compared to 2000, the year the world learned to spell “Tallahassee.” With dangling chads and butterfly ballots, charges of minority voter suppression and uncertain totals, Secretary of State Katherine Harris swooping around comparing herself to Queen Esther in the Bible and assorted Washington bigwigs sucking up all the oxygen in town (not to mention hogging the best tables at Cypress), we had us a genuine constitutional crisis.
For five weeks no one knew whether the new president of the United States would be Al Gore or George W. Bush.
If you were around at the time, you’ll remember it was really rather fun watching Florida Supreme Court spokesman Craig Waters emerge from those silver doors on Duval Street with a dramatic ruling night after night, while reporters from the BBC, Agence France Presse and newspapers from New York to New Delhi jostled to get closer. CNN pretty much moved to town. So did scores of lawyers.