E.J. Dionne Jr. suggested a list of "Election Dangers to Be Avoided" [op-ed, May 25]. However, he did not address legitimate Republican complaints about the 2000 Florida recount. Since electoral legitimacy requires acceptance of the result by both sides, I would like to suggest adding these dangers to avoid:
* No state race should be called by the national media until all the polls in the state have closed. Just because members of the national media don't realize that the Florida Panhandle is in the central time zone, voters there -- Republican though they may be -- shouldn't have their votes effectively declared invalid an hour before the polls close, as happened in 2000.
* Any recount should be conducted statewide according to commonly accepted criteria. This would avoid the gaming of the system that was attempted in 2000, in which recounts were conducted only in counties likely to favor the challenger, according to whatever criteria were most likely to give him the best result. This is unfair to the candidate who comes out ahead, because he has no standing to make challenges.
* Absentee ballots from service members overseas need to be treated with the utmost care and subjected to ballot-counting criteria that are, at a minimum, no more stringent than those applied to regular ballots. With so many Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, even the tiniest appearance of an attempt to disenfranchise them will cause an outcry that could irrevocably taint an election.