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  • Thursday, November 04, 2004


    Palast on the Election

    I don't view the info below as a reason to contest the election but I do think it's a scandal. It is often taken as a given that showing up and voting will mean that your vote will be counted. This illustrates that isn't so. The sheer rate of "spoilage" is astonishing to me. From - Kerry Won:

    "The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called 'spoilage.' Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded. When the bobble-head boobs on the tube tell you Ohio or any state was won by 51 percent to 49 percent, don't you believe it ... it has never happened in the United States, because the total never reaches a neat 100 percent. The television totals simply subtract out the spoiled vote.

    And not all vote spoil equally. Most of those votes, say every official report, come from African American and minority precincts. (To learn more, click here.)

    We saw this in Florida in 2000. Exit polls showed Gore with a plurality of at least 50,000, but it didn't match the official count. That's because the official, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, excluded 179,855 spoiled votes. In Florida, as in Ohio, most of these votes lost were cast on punch cards where the hole wasn't punched through completely -- leaving a 'hanging chad,' -- or was punched extra times. Whose cards were discarded? Expert statisticians investigating spoilage for the government calculated that 54 percent of the ballots thrown in the dumpster were cast by black folks. (To read the report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, click here.)

    And here's the key: Florida is terribly typical. The majority of ballots thrown out
    (there will be nearly 2 million tossed out from Tuesday's election) will have been cast by African American and other minority citizens."

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