Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project information is not accurate.

The presidential election of 2000 highlighted problems with punch-card balloting systems. "Hanging chad" became a part of the American lexicon. What the
discussion ignored was that the Florida counties involved in the controvery had been using old, poorly designed and inadequately maintained punch card systems that were long outmoded.

In one county, the ballot was poorly designed as voters had to flip to a second page. Unfortunately, many did not do so.

Florid had been using old... punch card systems that were long outmoded, says Illinois Ballot Integrity Project.

Refuted by Year 2000 article

Voting-machine errors discovered 4 years ago

By George Bennett and Marc Caputo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 8, 2000

Elections officials were alarmed by an "unusually high" number of voters who had trouble punching their ballots for president on Palm Beach County's newest type of voting machine.

Another chapter in the dimpled chad drama surrounding this year's contested presidential election?

Actually, it happened four years ago.

Former Elections Supervisor Jackie Winchester said in a memo to state elections officials after the 1996 presidential election that the county had registered an unusual number of under-votes in 10 precincts that used new Data Punch machines.

A Palm Beach Post analysis last month found that precincts using Data Punch machines in this election had a 4.4 percent under-vote rate, compared with a 1.5 percent rate on older, more expensive Votomatic machines used elsewhere in the county. The Data Punch machines accounted for nearly half of all 10,311 under-votes in this year's election.

An under-vote is recorded when a voter skips a race or when the perforated "chad" next to a candidate's name isn't detached thoroughly enough to be read by a tabulating machine. Under-votes and attempts to count them have become key issues in Florida's close presidential race.

Winchester's memo doesn't name the 10 precincts, but she said Thursday she believed they were the precincts with the highest number of under-votes that year. Those precincts had a 16 percent under-vote rate in 1996.

The under-vote rate was 2.3 percent for the rest of the county in that year's presidential race between President Clinton and Bob Dole.

The 10 problem precincts used new Data Punch machines, Winchester's memo said.

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