Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Wednesday, December 8
 
More on the Florida Electronic Voting Report
Wired News has this story on the debunking of the study by Michael Hout and his associates at U.C. Berkeley, which purported to find that the use of electronic voting machines in Florida resulted in 130,000-260,000 extra votes for Bush. Wired reports that:
A study by Berkeley grad students and a professor showing anomalies with electronic-voting machines in Florida has been debunked by numerous academics who say the students used a faulty equation to reach their results and should never have released the study before getting it peer-reviewed.
See here, here, and here for my prior posts on the Hout study.

My take: It was apparent from the beginning that there were some serious problems with the Hout study, even to a relatively untrained empirical eye such as mine. The latest story is quite remarkable, given that Wired has been one of the most aggressively skeptical media outlets when it comes to electronic voting. When the data are in from Florida and other states, as they are in Georgia (see here), we're likely to see that the use of electronic and precinct-count optical scan voting technology resulted in a significant decrease in the number of uncounted votes -- with particularly significant benefits for minority voters. We're also likely to find that, contrary to some of the conspiracy theories that continue to make the rounds, electronic voting technology wasn't used to steal the election. See here for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's description of some of the more pervasive theories that have been making the rounds.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University