View Full Version : Why are all the new votes Gore votes?
11-10-2000, 05:01 PM
So, after the Florida recount, 3583 more ballots were counted. 1063 went to Bush, 2520 to Gore.
Absent external forces, I'd expect the new votes counted by the recount to split the same way as the rest of the FLorida votes. Since the Bush/Gore vote basically spilt 50/50 in FL (we'll forget about the other candidates for now), wouldn't you expect the new found from the recount to split the same way? I'd have expected 50% of the 2520 for Gore, 50% for Bush.
But Gore actually got 70% of the new votes (the votes added after the recount). If you flip a coin 2520 times, what are the odds it comes up heads 70% (or more) of the time?
Can anyone think of an explanation (other than a statistical anomaly) for why Gore got 70% of the new votes, when he got 50% of the original count?
11-10-2000, 05:34 PM
11-10-2000, 05:38 PM
Maybe the counters had trouble telling which hole was punched.
11-10-2000, 05:50 PM
This may answer part of your question. (http://foxnews.com/election_night/111000/lawsuits_park.sml)
"In rural North Florida, county officials spent Wednesday culling through 2,073 ballots that a ballot-scanning machine had rejected.
In some instances, overenthusiastic voters had voted twice for a candidate, made stray marks, underlined their choices or decorated them with stars, exclamation points and smiley faces.
Gadsden County officials looked at each questionable ballot to determine whether they could make out the voter's intended vote. In the end, there were an additional 170 votes for Gore, 17 more for Bush. The state Republican Party has said it may issue a legal challenge.
'They're not simply recounting the votes they counted [election] night, they're adding ballots by taking into consideration ballots that were not considered,' Tallahassee GOP lawyer Ken Sukhia told The Palm Beach Post."
It appears that they are even counting some ballots that were not entered properly.
11-10-2000, 10:00 PM
OK. So maybe the first time all the ballots were scanned, some of them were rejected by the machine. During the recount, they were more diligent and kept feeding the ballots into the machine and made the machines accept more votes. Like feeding a dollar bill into a vending machine: you can smooth the bill out a little and maybe the machine will take it the next time. So I understand why the vote count might go up in the recount.
So, say all the new votes are ballots that were "smoothed out" enough so the polling machine finally accepted them. Why would the "smoothed out" new ballots favor Gore? It means that more Gore votes were damaged and wouldn't go through the machine. Why would more Gore ballots be damaged than Bush ballots?
I'd expect the number of damaged ballots, those that could be massaged so the voting machines eventually accepted them, to split along the same lines as the original count.
Maybe more ballots from low-income precints were damaged than from high-income precints. Maybe more ballots were damaged in predominantly African-American precints than in predominantly white precints. Maybe Gore voters are less proficient at filling out ballots than Bush voters. I don't know if the precint by precint data backs up any of these guesses.
Can anyone come up with an explanation why the new votes favor Gore?
[This message has been edited by jamcracker (edited November 10, 2000).]
I wondered that myself. I can only assume that the mistakes were made mostly in predominantly democratic strongholds, but I honestly don't know.
Save Our Rockets and Comets
11-11-2000, 05:11 PM
The recount found more Gore votes because more Gore counties used punch-out ballots as opposed to optical scan (filling bubbles with pencils). You can see how punch-out tabs might be hanging by a thread (the technical term is 'chad') and misread by the machine more often than the optical ballot.
This Salon article (http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/11/11/tallahassee/index.html) has the scoop. This particular point is addressed on page 2.
11-11-2000, 05:17 PM
I think it's pretty clear that it's because Jeb Bush is Dubya's brother, so they tried to hide votes and such.
"He was under more balls than a midget hooker."-Bobby Hill
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