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October 29, 2004

Fingers Crossed
Absentee voters in Hong Kong

The League of Women Voters workers help a U.S. citizen living in Hong Kong fill out his election ballot at the local U.S. Consulate General October 26, 2004. (AP/Anat Givon)

The big story this week is what may be coming next week. We vote on Tuesday, but may not know the result for days or weeks. Millions of voters will cast provisional ballots -- the states expect an unprecedented number of absentee, military, and overseas ballots. Eligibility of these voters may be questioned at the polls and both parties have assembled thousands of lawyers to challenge the ballot counts, especially in critical swing states.
Paul Gigot
Paul Gigot
"10,000 lawyers on either side are we really looking at another Florida writ large this time from 2000?"
Susan Lee
Susan Lee
"There is an enormous incentive to litigate aggressively. Generally in all elections the error rate is one to two percent. So when lawyers start looking, they'll find something and they can actually change the results."
Daniel Henninger
Daniel Henninger
"Is there an efficient legal way of shutting this process down? Is there any silver bullet? I asked an expert who said 'Absolutely not. Once this starts it's a doomsday machine.'"
John Fund
John Fund
"That many lawyers represent weapons of mass destruction against our democracy. They are going to be looking for trouble and litigating ludicrous things -- turning election day into 'election month.'"
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PHOTO ESSAY: First Votes

ARCHIVE: Paul Gigot Commentary

ARCHIVE: Susan Lee Commentary

ARCHIVE: Daniel Henninger Commentary

ARCHIVE: Dorothy Rabinowitz Commentary