~~ Mapping A Sample Argument ~~
AN ARGUMENT HAS FOUR PARTS OR COMPONENTS:
· the writer's claim
· logical reasoning and evidence in support of the claim
· anticipating disagreement: acknowledgment and perhaps accommodation
· refutation of counterpositions
CLAIM. Americans should recognize the legality and necessity of hand
counting votes cast in several Florida counties where such votes have been requested,
because the counting of votes which were not counted otherwise may be the deciding
factor in the 2000 Presidential Election.
AND EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM
· Hand counts are a legal part of the election process, as stated in
· Humans are more accurate than counting machines because they are able
to recognize punched holes a machine would ignore. The court has ruled that
"lightly punched" ballots should be counted, though counting machines
are incapable of counting them.
· Voting irregularities in Florida warrant the extra measures that will
ensure a fair counting of votes.
· Florida statutes are friendly to hand counting; they favor hand counting
as more accurate than machine counting.
· FACT: The Bush campaign sought and completed hand counts in six Florida
counties that were advantageous to Bush. It appears disingenuous for them to
object in the counties Gore has requested to be recounted.
· FACT: Hand counts have been used before; in fact, they are considered
by some to be commonplace.
· FACT: Florida's Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, is closely affiliated
with the Republican Party-she worked for the Bush campaign-which makes her refusal
to accept recounts that may favor Gore suspect. She's been ordered by the court
to use discretion in deciding what votes
· The Republican party unfairly (possibly illegally) manipulated absentee
ballots when they were given access to voter registration ID #s to include on
forms they filled out for the Republican candidate and then sent overseas.
· Citizens have claimed they were rushed at the polls, discriminated
against at the polls (legal action pending in court), and inordinately confused
at the polls because of a redesigned butterfly ballot (which may prove illegal).
Exit polls, which favored Gore winning the state and which later did not hold
up, indicate that many people's votes were not counted as they were cast. People
thought they voted one way but discovered later they had voted another.
Acknowledging, Accommodating, and Refuting Counterpositions
(1). Hand counting is "subjective" and the counters are "partisan"
(biased against the opposite party's candidate), meaning they are biased against
Bush. They are "playing God," trying to "divine the will of the
people" when they hold ballot cards up to the light. They look like "Carnac"
(a late night talk show character created by Johnny Carson).
REFUTATION: The subjectivity involved in the hand count is counterbalanced or
relieved by several factors: (1) reasonable objective standards for interpreting
the voter's intention are determined, revised as deemed necessary, and evenly
applied; (2) three observers, including one from each party, are present as
each ballot is counted, making one person's (or one party's) "subjective"
or biased interpretation improbable if not impossible; and (3) holding a ballot
up to the light to help one determine whether a hole has been punched doesn't
constitute "playing God" or attempting to "divine truth;"
rather, it is a logical way to determine whether someone has tried to punch
a hole in the ballot card but for some reason has failed to punch the chad all
the way through. It may appear funny but it seems unkind to ridicule people
who are only doing their job. In any case it is entirely beside the point-a
red herring-whether or not the worker looks like 'Carnac' while performing this
(2). The manual count is too "selective." It's only being conducted
in counties that favor Gore.
REFUTATION: It may be true that the counties where the recount is requested
favor Gore. However, the Bush campaign could have exercised its right to request
manual recounts elsewhere and they didn't (ahead of the deadline). They have
received manual counts where they have requested them.
ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (3). Hand counting is an attempt to "reinvent" the
REFUTATION: If the process of hand counting is clearly allowed for by law, and
has been routinely applied in many other elections, and has even been applied
in this election, it can hardly be considered a "reinvention" of the
process. On the contrary, as written in the Florida state statute, it is an
established part of the process.
ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (4). We should only use manual counts when it is proven that
the machines have failed.
REFUTATION: When manual recounts reveal, as in one county, 50 votes that were
not otherwise counted, this constitutes "machine failure."
ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (5). Hand counts represent the Gore campaign's attempt to
continue counting perpetually until "they get the result they want."
REFUTATION: No one representing the Gore campaign has requested a "perpetual"
count. They have, however, requested a hand count. However, it is routine to
perform a machine recount (sometimes more than one) before hand counting. This
may lead to the perception that multiple recounts are actually "perpetual"
recounts, although this is not the case. Furthermore, perpetual recounts are
not possible by law, even should the Gore team desire them; whereas, hand counts
are provided for by law.
Every citizen has the right to have his/her vote counted, and should not be
disenfranchised by a machine which fails to count the vote as it was cast. The
manual recount process is fair, sufficiently free of bias, and reasonable accurate;
therefore, all Americans should support it