Florida election attorney talks lessons learned from 2000 recount

Posted at 1:25 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 19:15:14-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Many of us can remember what it was like in Florida during the Bush vs. Gore recount in 2000.

Ben Kuehne is an experienced election lawyer based in South Florida and played a key role on the Gore team during the 2000 recount.

"Is there any reason to compare what’s happening now with what happened in Florida with the recount? Or is it apples and oranges here?" WPTV's Tory Dunnan asked Kuehne.

"There are huge reasons to find similarity," Kuehne said. "Count the votes. Not count the votes. Count all the votes. Not count all the votes. That is the legal presumption that underlines all of this litigation. That was the legal issue foremost in Florida."

Kuehne is analyzing the lawsuits now filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign.

"It seems to be more an obstructive road. Let’s not count votes. Let's not have voters get their votes counted because of what might be technical deficiencies, even though there are probably no such technical deficiencies. That seems to be the claim," Kuehne said

Kuehne believes, like in 2000, we will see citizens coming together to get involved in resolving and completing the election.

"This is a citizen recruitment effort that is so similar and we first saw it opening up on the national stage in Florida," Kuehne said.

Kuehne believes that in this go arouna, Florida did some things right, like investing in technology that is fast and accurate, a wide range of options for voting that allowed for early processing, and an emphasis was placed on getting citizens involved in process, helping at the polls and becoming poll watchers.

"Those three improvements made Florida," Kuehne said. "Florida showed that the court system and the citizens can work together to come up to an outcome, whether we agree or disagree with election 2000, it was decided and accepted by the public.

Kuehne said Florida's election system learned a lot of lessons from 2000.

"Florida showed that the court system and the citizens can work together to come up to an outcome. Whether we agree or disagree with Election 2000, it was decided and accepted by the public," Kuehne said.

And what about the question of concession?

"Plainly, the constitution makes clear that when the electoral college convenes and when those results are finalized, that is the last word. There is no review, no challenge. That is the automatic statement of transfer of power, period," Kuehne said.