Did Your Vote Count? - Guess Again (Political)

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This is from the Washington Times...

The uncounted ballots in Florida which have played a key role in Democratic challenges are just a drop in the bucket of ballots dismissed nationwide because of voter error, say political observers.

An estimated 180,000 votes were dismissed in Florida out of 6.1 million votes cast because of improper voting procedures.

However, more than 2 million ballots were tossed out in all 50 states and also will not be counted, said Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate.

Mr. Gans estimates that between 1 percent and 1.8 percent of votes cast or 2.1 million to 2.8 million ballots were eliminated nationally.

"These are people who by one form or another did not accurately do their ballot, and it was thereby thrown out for one reason or another," Mr. Gans said. ****************************************** Do you see anything wrong here? .

Let's call it a 1.5% error rate and apply that to everyday life.

Out of every 100 days you drive a vehicle, 1 1/2 days will be involved in a traffic accident.

1 1/2 aircraft will crash for every 100 that take off.

For every 100 times you log onto the Countryside web site, the web server screws up. (Hmmmmm - that's probably right :)

For every 100 days you come home from work, your wife says "We're going OUT to eat! (more like every 50 days for me)

******************************************* But we're not talking about assembly line rejects, we're talking about votes. If you screw up at work, someone will tell you. If you screw up in traffic, someone will, uh "tell" you. If you screw up in the voting booth, no one says nothin'. Your secret becomes your reject and you'll never know it. .

I think I'm going to follow my brother-in-law's lead and use an absentee ballot in the next election. Anything's better that those blasted punch card thingies.


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), November 28, 2000


Your numbers are wonderful, but untrue. Remember the old adage, "Numbers don't lie, but liar's figure".

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), November 28, 2000.

If you cant follow the directions on the "punch card thingies" or the ones posted on the wall or the ones that the poll worker gives you verbally or any of the directions that are published in the paper or the ones often times posted in the booth then youre vote shouldnt count. Its your responsibility to remove the chad. If you left 'em hanging then too bad, you are disqualified. If you punched multiple candidates for the same office then too bad, you are disqualified.

If you cant handle the responsibility then you dont get the right.

-- William in Wi (thetoebes@webtv.net), November 28, 2000.

No, I can't say I've EVER worried that my vote wouldn't count. I follow the directions, double check to make sure I didn't make any errors and walk away confident that my vote will be counted. Simple. What I will worry about in the future is that if I don't vote for a candidate for a particular office (as in, leave a blank space) that some crook may go to court saying I INTENDED to vote for him. I did leave a couple of blank spaces in this last election, though not for president, but so far our county is still honest enough to count them for what they are - NO VOTE for any of those candidates. I used to be non-partisan, until the current den of thieves took over the White House. I have voted Republican ever since. My dh is a lifelong Democrat, he has voted straight Republican for the last 8 years. My son-in-law is (was) an Independent, he is now voting Republican. They can't tell me Democrats didn't vote for Bush, or Nader, or Buchanan, or not at all.

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), November 28, 2000.

Craig, Numbers can be fun , very fun indeed. Look at all the fun Prince Albert is having. Lets say I get to vote in 20 prez elections in my life. I figure my scratch mark will count more times than it doesn't. The best any of us can do, is try to put the best man in and gear up to do it again in 4 years. Thats why I like our connect the arrow ballots, less opportunity for screw up.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), November 28, 2000.

Lenette that is something that didn't even occur to me. I left several spots on my ballot blank because frankly I didn't know anything about the person running for office. I sure would hate for someone to guess my 'intent' on those I left blank and insert the candidate they liked...I'll fill out ballots fully from now on. These were all local elections and since I just moved here I felt I didn't have any business voting for someone I didn't know the track record on. I had no idea that many votes were thrown out. I've voted on the type of punch cards they used in Florida and they aren't hard to understand and they sure aren't hard to punch through. I'm sure a lot of people have been thinking this but to this time I have never heard anyone say it so I'll bite the bullet. Florida is a big retirement area and seems like to me probably the cards that were sort of muddled or misunderstood were for the most part cast by elderly folks. I took care of my Granny till she died and bless her heart she got confused easily. I wonder if this isn't a fairly large contributing factor to the number of votes that get rejected. I'd very much like to see a simple ballot adopted in all 50 states that is simple enough for everyone to understand. Our elderly people are the most likely to vote and that should be kept in mind when designing a ballot.

-- Amanda in Mo (aseley@townsqr.com), November 28, 2000.

Craig- Look at it the other way. There was a 98.5% success rate. Pretty impressive in any human endeavor. I would guess that at least 1.5 mistakes are made per 100 airline takeoffs. Why don't we hear of them? They mostly don't lead to catastrophic accidents. It can be as easy as leaving the runway 10 feet before or after optimum. A mistake yes, hardly fatal. I've had to make corrections in my typing of this response. Sure, I could be 100 percent accurate in all that I do, I just couldn't do much. The cost, both monetarily and time wise, of perfection is prohibitive. The cost of interpreting voter "intent" is even higher.

-- ray s. (mmoetc@yahoo.com), November 28, 2000.

Tired of all the talk. Tomorrow " Old Glory" will go up upside down. Country in distress. E mailing all my congressmen tonight. I voted for all of them, and I expect them to represent me. Time for all the Gore B.S. to be over. I have been Gored enough!

-- Skinner (bjones@tnns.net), November 28, 2000.

I was digusted in that Arkansas doesnt allow write in votes and if one doesnt like any of the candidates or if somebody is running unopposed, I have no option but to not vote for that office. Now some idiot someday is going to go back over my ballot and guess who I intended to vote for. Give me a break.

As to those butterfly ballots, stupid idea. Too easy to screw up without proper instruction. No matter what some here think should be a manual dextery test for those whose votes should count, I think all votes should count and voting should be as idiot proof as possible. I had never experienced butterfly ballot so didnt know they existed until news blitz this election. I've always used the ancient voting machine or a paper ballot. I still really resent not being able to write in a candidates name. If I want to write in my cats name or simply "abstain", I should have the ability to do so. I want the powers that be to know I care enough to vote, just cant stand the given choices. Wasnt it those champions of democracy, the Communists, that made voting mandatory, but only gave voters one choice for each office? Arent states like Arkansas close to this same wonderful model of democracy? On news blitz it looked like those butterfly ballots also didnt allow anyway to vote for anybody not officially on the ballot. If that person didnt like Al or W or any of the 3rd party candidates then they only had choice of not punching space for any candidate.

-- Hermit John (hermit@hilltop_homestead.zzn.com), November 28, 2000.

I have used those butterfly ballots and they are not hard to understand.Those same people who are now complaining can juggle 15 bingo cards and keep up with 10 sets of lotto numbers at the same time. The fat lady sang.Now it's time for Gore to crawl back under his rock in DC and take that trio of human sewage(Daly,Jackson and Sharples) with him when he does.Give us a break down here.

-- JT in Florida (Gone2seed@hotmail.com), November 28, 2000.

you know thats how the kept blacks from voting keep the ballet hard to understand. Bob in s.e.ks.

-- Bobco (bobco@hit.net), November 28, 2000.

It has ocurred to me that perhaps Gore is just stalling. Otherwise, his behavior is getting harder to understand. However, by stalling, he is letting the ballot and vote "discrepancy" issues time to surface on their own (to wit the Seminole County absentee ballot problem, among others...those that are being filed by private citizens, etc.) so that he can still take the political "high road" (not slinging mud or calling names) whilst the shenanigans get brought to light by others. Thus, exposure of the "discrepancies" (like that word?) surfaces while he doesn't get sullied in the process. Smart strategy in a way...

You may not agree with this, but it's an interesting theory, and you may want to see how it plays out in the next week...who knows?

btw, if you want a link to what I referred to (Seminole County), you can get the URL at the "voter fraud" thread.

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), November 28, 2000.

Excuse me? I hope I misunderstood the last post or that it was somehow meant other than it came across. I will defend anyone's right to debate issues and ideas but what does the color of ones skin have to do with anything? I've known blacks I haven't liked, but then I've known many white folks I haven't liked either. If I dislike someone it's because of their ACTIONS, not their appearance.

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), November 28, 2000.

JT in Florida! I understand this is a partisan debate although I could care less about that part. I voted LIBERTARIAN and strongly dislike both Bush and Gore and wish they'd both just go away or be disqualified or whatever. What I want to know is if these supposed wonderful butterfly ballots allow a voter to write in a vote or is Florida like Arkansas and disenfranchises those wishing to vote for 'none of the above' by writing in a vote. If they exclude write ins then they are faulty no matter what else. Also any ballot form that invites this silly guessing game by political partisans is not a good idea. Since we now have such a huge population that makes hand counting impractical, I'd say we either need an updated computerized voting machine or more likely vote by internet, either from home computer or an interactive computer at voting place for those without other access. This would also do away with arguments of "too time consuming to count" that has done away with write-in votes in many states. Computer could easily count and store votes even if every voter voted for a different candidate. It would also allow those USA citizens living or traveling abroad (including those in military) to have their votes counted and acknowleged in a timely manner. Every vote needs to be respected and acknowleged.

-- Hermit John (hermit@hilltop_homestead.zzn.com), November 29, 2000.

I feel if someone cannot figure out these simple ballots and does not have enough sense to ask for help, they have NO business voting in the first place!!!

-- bwilliams (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), November 29, 2000.

Hmmmmm Hermit John, I wasn't defending the butterfly ballot just saying it wasn't hard to understand. I think it's time for Florida to standardize it's ballots statewide. And yes,you can write in in Fl.

-- JT in Florida (gone2seed@hotmail.com), November 29, 2000.

Well,I sure am coming in late on this discussion,but I've been off my computer for a time.

There have been times when I have not voted for a particular race-I stood with stylus ready to punch,but decided I didn't know who I should choose and so left that section unpunched (but perhaps dimpled).

Frankly,I hope that Gore will graciously concede and how!

God Bless,


-- Tracy Jo Neff (tntneff@ifriendly.com), December 05, 2000.

Please check out the Miami Herald's interesting analysis regarding how voting statistics project Gore winning the election (even if they toss out the weird stuff.) Of course, there are arguments about how valid this study is, but it's resonably credible, and shows a very compelling reason why the Republicans have been so keen on preventing any more vote counting in Florida.


On the first page, about half way down..."What If the Vote Were Flawless" is the title...details from the link there. It's long, so I didn't cut and past to the Forum. It takes a careful reading, too.

And no need to post about this being a moot point. I'm just providing it in the public interest!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), December 05, 2000.

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