Re: election: I wonder.....

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Nov 11 2000 - 03:51:08 MST

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> More election news from inside Florida.
> I reported yesterday that there was a 5 minute time limit for voting in Palm
> Beach County, a fact that I have not heard on the national news. Today, the
> local news added a new bit of information.
> Poll workers today confirmed that people asking for help or asking for a
> second ballot were not given extensions on time. People who took their time
> allotment before asking for help were not allowed to vote because they ran
> out of time. People who took their time, voted, and then discovered that
> their card was double-punched were not allowed to get a new ballot because
> they had run out of time. Many erroneous ballots were knowingly submitted.
> (I wondered how people knew that they punched the wrong hole!) Poll workers
> say that about 20,000 ballots were discarded because they were
> double-punched, and another 10,000 were discarded because the did not have
> either candidate punched.

What? This is outrageous. The poll workers in California were
super-helpful. Almost annoyingly so. I have never heard of a 5 minute
time limit to vote. If this is the case then we should go to internet
voting immediately. That way we could make it uniform and let people
take their time. The only limit is having a big enough channel and
large enough queues for the demand. People can take all day playing
with the pages involved if they have their own computer or web tv.

> This was legal under the time-limit rule which was approved by both parties
> and lawfully applied.
> Another fun fact: Write-in votes for Gore or Bush were not counted by the
> computer. If neither candidate was punched, the card was ignored.
> Apparently many people were so confused about which hole to punch, that they
> used the write-in slot instead. These extra votes will appear during the
> count by hand. The count has already added about 800 more votes. The hand
> count will add even more.
> How can we trust any count if it changes every time? Wouldn't we want the
> count to remain stable?

I imagine there is no way to utterly stabilize it as the system was
relatively poorly designed and the results subject to some
interpretation in any case. GIGO rules.

- samantha

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