Friday, December 03, 2004

The Wall Street Journal: Don't Count the Triple-X Ballots

Today The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) weighs in on Puerto Rico's on going electoral dispute in a column titled Puerto Rico's Florida and sides with the idea that the triple-X ballots - or "pivazos" as they have been locally termed - should be discarded. The column concludes by stating:
We don't know who's the winner here -- preliminary results show Mr. Acevedo Vila ahead by a hair -- but it seems obvious that the triple-X ballots deserve to be discarded as confusing and possibly fraudulent. Then do a recount and declare a victor -- before January 2, the date the current governor's term ends. If not, there's a nasty political crisis in the offing that could be worse than Florida.
It compares the situation with Bush v. Gore stating that "[i]f all this sounds a lot like Bush v. Gore and the 2000 Florida recount, that's because it is. And it's not just the palm trees in the background. The principle at stake is the same: Election laws ought to mean something; you can't change the rules after votes have been cast." And it then takes a swipe at what the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico did:
There is another parallel with Florida 2000 -- an activist state Supreme Court, which first grabbed the case from a lower court and then ordered that the mixed ballots be counted. The rule, however, is that federal courts decide who has jurisdiction in these cases, and a federal judge has ordered that the triple-X ballots be set aside until he can determine whether they are valid.
Hmm, . . . who would have ever thought of our Supreme Court as an activist one. A Court that takes forever to hand down decisions, practically at flash speed resolved that all was okay with the triple-X ballots and -by the way- without having any evidence whatsoever before it or anything that could be called a record from the lower court to look at. This one The Wall Street Journal got right.