Media Advisory: Brennan Center's Prof. Burt Neuborne Answers 15 Questions about the Presidential Election and Florida's Disputed Ballots

November 13, 2000

For Immediate Release

November 13, 20000

Contact Information:

Scott Schell, 212 998-6318

Media Advisory: Brennan Center’s Prof. Burt Neuborne Answers 15 Questions About the Presidential Election and Florida’s Disputed Ballots

Clarification of Issues Seeks to Improve Public Understanding of Historic Political Moment

What: Questions and Answers about the Presidential Election and Florida’s disputed vote count.

In offering answers to 15 straightforward questions about this historic political moment, Prof. Neuborne and the Brennan Center attempt to add context, perspective, and a measure of dispassionate analysis to the public discourse. With the benefit of long experience observing the dynamics of American democracy, Prof. Neuborne and the Brennan Center seek to clarify issues that hold great significance for the American people, issues that will affect the public’s view both of the resolution of the presidential election and the legitimacy of the next presidential administration.

Who: Professor Burt Neuborne, Legal Director, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Professor Neuborne has been with the Brennan Center since its inception in 1995. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. To that end, the Center has represented Republicans, most notably Senator John McCain in his successful effort to appear on the New York State Presidential Primary ballot; third-party candidates, such as Ralph Nader is his efforts to obtain ballot status in several states; and Democrats, including a Missouri state legislator in connection with Missouri’s efforts to limit the size of campaign contributions.

Professor Neuborne has, for 20 years, been one of the nation’s most active civil liberties lawyers. A nationally renowned scholar, Professor Neuborne is the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, where he has taught since 1974. He received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990.

Also available for comment are: E. Joshua Rosenkranz, President of the Brennan Center, and Nancy Northup, Director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.

Why: Each day following last Tuesday’s Presidential Election has brought with it a heavy dose of dramatic events, challenging the press to keep abreast of unfolding stories and leaving the American public with commentary and analysis that often generates more heat than light. The Bush and Gore campaigns both have exhibited an understandable tendency to couch each issue in highly partisan terms. The public debate over the proceedings in Florida will benefit from commentary that takes into account the long term health of our democracy.

Issues Addressed:

The issues addressed by Prof. Neuborne include:
1. Does the difficulty in declaring a clear winner in the 2000 Presidential election indicate that American democracy is in a state of crises?
2. The Gore campaign is seeking hand-counts in four districts with heavy Democratic turnouts. Shouldn’t the Bush campaign be permitted to designate areas where it wishes a hand-count?
3. What about the allegations of voter confusion in Palm Beach County?
4. Can anything be done about the lost Palm Beach County votes?
5. What if the outcome of the Presidential election turns on the disputed Palm Beach votes?
6. Does that mean that a challenge to the Palm Beach results should lose?
7. Does that mean that a challenge to the Palm Beach elections won’t be brought?
8. Can we keep the Electoral College, but modify it to reduce the risk of a split between the popular vote and the Electoral College that may occur this year?

Click here to see the complete Q&A