How many "confused voters" does it take to install a Republican?

Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 05:56 PM

WTW long ago reported on the lone remaining contested congressional race from last November, in Florida's 13th Congressional district.

The election result that put a Republican in that seat was contested based on an "undervote" of 18,000--that many people voted for other races on their ballot, but not the congressional race--in a single Florida county.  Odd, huh?

Now there are two reports on "what happened" to produce this very strange undervote.  The MSM is generally sticking with the language of the election official from Florida that "as many as 18,000 votes were lost in a disputed Congressional race due to voter confusion rather than malfunctioning software."

Funnier than DeLay bitching about the supposed financial advantage of the liberal Dems, huh?

That report continues:

Florida election officials announced yesterday that an examination of voting software did not find any malfunctions that could have caused up to 18,000 votes to be lost in a disputed Congressional race in Sarasota County, and they suggested that voter confusion over a poor ballot design was mainly to blame.

The finding, reached unanimously by a team of computer experts from several universities, could finally settle last fall's closest federal election.
The questions about the electronic machines arose because many voters complained that they had had trouble getting their votes to register for Ms. Jennings, and the machines did not have a back-up paper trail that might have provided clues about any problems. The report said some voters might have accidentally touched the screen twice, thus negating their votes, while most of the others probably overlooked the race on the flawed ballot.

"Might" have touched the screen twice...most of the others "probably" overlooked the race....

You bet, I buy that, I have no doubts about the legitimacy of these election results.  It would be real easy for 18,000 voters in a single county to just "overlook" the race for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

How F'ing dumb do the clowns in Florida think the rest of us are?  That's insulting.  And, as you undoubtedly already imagined, the conclusion is ridiculous.

While some voters in Sarasota bristled yesterday at the idea that they had done anything wrong in casting their votes, or that nearly 13 percent of all voters could have failed to spot the race on the ballot, members of the investigative team said that those remained the only plausible theories.

The report acknowledged that the huge undervote -- in which voters cast a ballot in other races but not for the Congressional seat -- was both "abnormal and unexpected." But it said that all eight members of the investigative team, including some experts who have long been skeptical about the paperless machines, agreed that the basic programming "did not cause or contribute to" the loss of votes.

If you want to know more of the details about why this is such a crock, how the reported conclusions of the panel are, let's say not quite representative of the real spirit of the report, and what kind of folks ran this little scam, check out the Brad Blog piece on this fiasco, including the reaction from People for the American Way that this load of crap is, in fact, a load of crap that amounts to a "whitewash."

Suffice it to say here that (1) everybody involved had a real strong interest in finding that the election was legitimate, (2) the report's only valid finding is that the "experts" were unable to locate any machine or coding flaw that would account for the undervote, (3) so they assume that it must have been voter error, (4) a good vote heist would not, of course, leave behind a trail to allow such experts to find the device used to cancel the votes, and (5) the report's conclusions really do not address the many specific complaints from voters in the county that they were unable to get machines to vote for the Democrat.

AND, once again, how come all the statistical anomalies that occur with e-voting machines almost always end up working to the advantage of the Republicans.