11/19/2004

Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project - Up to 6 million votes lost in 2000 presidential election, Voting Technology Project reveals

Oh what a difference 4 years and government dough make! -- law
Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project

Up to 6 million votes lost in 2000 presidential election, Voting Technology Project reveals

PASADENA, Calif.- Though over 100 million Americans went to the polls on election day 2000, as many as 6 million might just have well have spent the day fishing. Researchers at Caltech and MIT call these "lost votes" and think the number of uncounted votes could easily be cut by more than half in the 2004 election with just three simple reforms.

RIBBIT: Shuki Bruck unveils the unofficial mascot of the VTP during the release of the Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project Report.
This study shows that the voting problem is much worse than we expected," said Caltech president David Baltimore, who initiated the nonpartisan study after the November election debacle.

"It is remarkable that we in America put up with a system where as many as six out of every hundred voters are unable to get their vote counted. Twenty-first-century technology should be able to do much better than this," Baltimore said.

According to the comprehensive Caltech-MIT study, faulty and outdated voting technology together with registration problems were largely to blame for many of the 4-to-6 million votes lost during the 2000 election.

With respect to the votes that simply weren't counted, the researchers found that punch-card methods and some direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines were especially prone to error. Lever machines, optically scanned, and hand-counted paper ballots were somewhat less likely to result in spoiled or "residual" votes. Optical scanning, moreover, was better than lever machines.

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