The problems with paper ballots
Posted May 19, 2006 22:33 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: The problems with paper ballots
Parent article: Diebold election insecurity systems
It's entirely possible that Bush won Florida in 2000 because people mistakenly voted for Buchannon or various other combinations of stupid design.
You can state it even more strongly. It is a near certainty that that happened. It may not be obvious to people who don't have a good command of statistics, but it's inescapable to those who do.
We've reached a level of polling technology where the exit polls (and even telephone polls) are more accurate at measuring who voters want to win than the ballots are (and hundreds of times cheaper!). You may remember that in 2000, several news organizations reported with certainty that Gore had won, and had to retract that when the official counts came in in Palm Beach County Florida. That's because the exit polls asked voters who they thought they voted for, while the ballots showed who they actually voted for, and those were different.
To those who didn't follow or don't remember the statistics in question: Arch-conservative independent presidential candidate Buchanan got way more votes on that ballot than independents usually get and than Buchanan got in similar counties. The same voters who voted for Buchanan also voted for the liberal Democrat senate candidate. And the ballot was designed so that a mark next to Democrat Gore's name was also a mark next to Buchanan's name.
The same inconsistencies could be seen in several other races on that ballot.
There were easily enough miscast votes to make the difference in who won Florida, and the vote was close enough among the rest of the states that that made the difference in who won the whole election.
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