Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 07/18/04)

United States. November 2000.
Inaccurate Tabulation Equipment lost presidential votes

In the 2000 election, over 80.6 million people voted in 38 states, but only 79 million votes were recorded for the presidential race. Election officials agree that inaccurate tabulating equipment was a substantial cause of the "undervotes." This means that as many as 1.6 million votes for president were uncounted.

The other 12 states did not count the number of ballots cast, so the "undervote" percentage is not available.

Election officials in 12 states did not report how many ballots were cast when they certified 26,349,619 votes for president four years ago, making it impossible to know how many votes were lost because of inaccurate counting machines or other tabulation errors.*

... "This is really embarrassing," said Deforest Soaries Jr.

... "My vote got flushed," she [Texas political activist Madeleine Hervey] said.

... Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia reported complete election figures four years ago. There were 80,644,664 ballots cast, but only 79,039,401 presidential votes counted. Much of the 1,605,263-vote difference was caused by inaccurate tabulating equipment, state and local officials agree.

* Votes at risk in some states. Scripps Howard News Service. July 9, 2004. By Thomas Hargrove and Michael Collins.

... the system we have for testing and certifying
voting equipment in this country
is not only broken, but is virtually nonexistent.
~ Michael Shamos
to the U.S. House Science subcommittee
on June 24, 2004