The rumor that there are 1 million uncounted absentee ballots in California has been flying around the Web for, oh, 37 days now. Is it true?
According to the gossip, California election officials deemed the ballots irrelevant because Al Gore won the state by nearly 1.3 million votes. University of Utah law professor Michael McConnell repeated the story Thursday in his Slate dialogue with Alan Brinkley. If those ballots are counted, McConnell says, Bush may be shown to be the winner of the national popular vote.
The rumor is false. In an effort to quash it, the California secretary of state has put up a clickable button on his Web page that declares, "All Ballots Have Been Counted." A notice on another page states: "All ballots have been counted and are reflected in the official canvass."
Explainer thanks Mickey Kaus, who reported this story in his "Hit Parade" on Nov. 30.