We just watched the movie Recount on HBO. It’s a dramatization of the events surrounding the contested Florida presidential election in 2000. It presented the point of view of both the Democratic and Republican recount committees, although it was definitely slanted in favor of the Democrats’ story.
At first, it reminded me unpleasantly of the overplayed dramatization Late Shift, but then it settled into its stride. I checked to see if the director or writer were the same from show to show – they were not.
I don’t recall the events surrounding that election all that clearly. Isn’t aging wonderful? I do remember that my reaction to the election recount frenzy was annoyed impatience. At some point, into December, I just wanted it over, I didn’t care who had won.
This movie puts a face on events for me. I don’t know how accurate and unbiased it is about the events of that year, but some of the issues outraged me. Refusing to recount, and instead insisting a recompilation of memory cards was sufficient? Hand-recounting only counties that could swing in favor of Gore? Delaying the recount by wrangling about every single ballot? Denying thousands of voters their franchise because of an overzealous flush of felons from the rolls? If I were one of the voters that had been denied the right to vote, I’d have been in front of the media and the courts on that issue!
The Florida Secretary of State was portrayed as a total ditzy, self-centered airhead. Was she really that way, and if so, how in the heck did she arrive at such a position of influence?
At then end of the day, I don’t know whether justice was served or the end result of the election was fair. I do agree that the process needed to be pushed through to completion and the election awarded, and that seemed to be a central theme of many of the judicial decisions surrounding the contest.