VOTING IRREGULARITIES REPORTED IN FLORIDA - Mitch Perry

11/19/04

A research team at the University of California at Berkeley are reporting that they have found irregularities with electronic voting machines in Florida that MAY have awarded between 130,000 to 260,000 or more excess votes to George W. Bush in this year s Presidential election.

The research was led by Cal professor Michael Hout, who hosted a nationwide teleconference from the Berkeley Campus today.

In 2000, ,Florida s Presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush was separated by only 537 votes&.But the election between Bush and Democrat John Kerry was not nearly so close this year, with Bush receiving more than 380,000 votes than the Democratic challenger.

But Professor Hout said the percentage of the vote that Bush received this year in the 3 heavily Democratic South Florida Counties of Miami/Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, went disproportionately more for Bush than is mathematically possible, leading his students to do more investigating. All 3 counties use touch-screen voting equipment.

Hout alluded to all the criticism from opponents of touch-screen voting in the months leading up to the 2004 election and how important it is to document actual problems, not just conjecture (roll tape#1 o.q. false claims )

Hout said his graduate students began downloading data from Ohio and Florida after John Kerry conceded 2 weeks ago&He said they soon discovered something odd in the data, and they then went to their Professors, to see if their results would stand up to scrutiny.

After more tests, Hout said that the anomoulous discrepancy in the counties that had touch screen voting held up. And Professor Hout said that he was skeptical about some charges that have since been debunked about the vote in Florida, such as the votes in other Democratic counties that went for Bush, all in Northern Florida where such Dixiecrats consistently vote GOP but maintain their Democratic registrations. (roll tape#2 o.q. electronic voting in Florida )

The Berkeley professors say that their statistical models accounted for a large number of factors that might help explain the patterns. They include socioeconomic and demographic factors and to the list they added whether the county s voting technology was touch screen or optical scanning equipment.(roll tape# o.q. with electronic voting )

University of California Professor Michael Hout said the purpose behind the study is for somebody preferably responsible journalists take their data and try to determine if there was a problem with the Touch screen voting machines, as many predicted their would be . (roll tape#3 o.q. with a group of fellow skeptics )

While Professor Hout was answering his first question of the news conference, the phone line connecting reporters all across the country went out, and did not resume.

To inspect the report for yourself, you can go to the web at ucdata.Berkeley.edu

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