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back to article 3,400 votes vanish from Florida election

Florida elections officials are determining whether they can give their counterparts in Palm Beach County more time to certify voting results of an election last week, following the revelation that more than 3,400 ballots have vanished into thin air. Arthur Anderson, Palm Beach's supervisor of Elections certified the results …

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Wait.. a special compromise?

TO NOT COUNT VOTES?!? What the fuck? What is it snoop dogg says? VOTE OR DIE!

I mean, I knew elections were sleazy.. but to actually have an agreement to not count 700 votes? Ugh. Florida needs to be evicted from the US.. maybe we can make it a British territory again.

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Paris Hilton

Obviously...

... they're just getting in early before the big one happens in November.

Was it just me, or was GWBs speech at the convention remarkably similar to the Nashi literature before the Russian election?

http://lrtranslations.blogspot.com/2007/02/nashi-election-broadsheets.html

A lot of things like: "When he takes office next January" and very similar language.

....

Paris, because I don;t think she'd be able to keep track of the ballots either, but at least she'd look good trying.

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Obviously not

"Was it just me, or was GWBs speech at the convention remarkably similar to the Nashi literature before the Russian election?"

It's just you.

By the way - the counties in Florida that had election problems (the one in the story, along with almost all of the ones in the 2000 elections) had Democrats as election officials. Funny how that worked out.

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this is better than the 2000 election when Gore had -16000 votes in one precinct

Volusia County, FL had one of their machines tally -16000 votes for Gore in 2000. That's right, you read negative sixteen thousand votes.

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Paris Hilton

@Neil Hunt

So, to whom do we compare Obama's "O-Force One" and mock presidential seal? Or is this a whole new level of arrogance?

Anyway, the whole electronic voting issue has me concerned. When I walk into my precinct and see one of these Diebold -- er, excuse me -- SEQUOIA machines, do I cast my vote knowing the system is likely to eat my vote or make my selections for me, or do I walk out with the knowledge that it is highly likely my vote would not count thanks to a system with known flaws?

Really, this is a rhetorical question, I am simply pointing out that we know these systems are flawed and have been from inception, and yet they are still in use. What name will the systems have for the next election, and how many times can Diebold launder its reputation by sticking on a new name? Any lawsuits yet against it for fucking up election results?

Paris, likely to eat my vote.

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Paris Hilton

Pedant alert

"3,400" makes no sense. Strictly speaking that should have been 3.5*10^3, but I'll settle for 3500. Rounding is not difficult, and it's definitely not done with a rusty knife.

Paris, 'cause she's... round?

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Tom
Silver badge

@cirby

Of course the counties with problems had democratic officials - the people who run these scams are not so stupid as to ask a republican official to tally even on a good day.

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Again?

How many of these time-saving, money-saving, faultless voting machines must people invent each election? Who is getting rich from all these crap voting machines? How much money has been wasted on all the new systems?

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Anonymous Coward

Election needs to be re-run

It means they have to rerun the election because you don't know if someone added 3400 votes to rig the first outcome, or took away 3400 votes to rig the later one.

All you know is your voting process is completely f**ked and your fraud monitoring pitiful, and therefore the election needs a complete do-over. This time with better monitoring.

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@ Chris

"Florida needs to be evicted from the US.. maybe we can make it a British territory again."

We're not falling for that - we've got enough problems paying our own pensions without taking on 90% of America's retirees as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Electronic till skimming

The fact they found the discrepency of 3400 is GOOD, it was noted because 3400 paper votes differed from the count on the scanners. That is why paper trails are good.

This is why avoiding paper trails, like the new electronic till do is bad:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/technology/30zapper.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

(Shops run software to make undetectable changes to the till totals so they can skim cash out of the till).

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@ Alan W. Rateliff, II

Diebold is now "Premier Election Solutions". Sequoia and ES&S are the other big two voting machine companies. (All pretty much as bad as each other...)

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Florida? British?

This was in an alternative universe? My recollection is that the Spanish held Florida until the USA, under Andrew Jackson, got hold of it through aggressive, illegal wars rightly decried at the time by other countries.

So the USA was doing this from the start, and corruption in elections, if anyone cares to read up about it, was also built in from the start. Not that the Brits can hold their heads up over their own record, historically.

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@cirby

Regardless of the Florida debacle in 2000, the overall election result was :

Bush 50,456,002 votes (47.9%)

Gore 50,999,897 votes (48.4%)

Result? Bush wins! That's the greatest democracy on earth for you.

The entire electoral process is a crock.

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@Alan W. Rateliff, II

>Or is this a whole new level of arrogance?

Arrogance peaked when GWB asked a reporter who he thought he was talking to.

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Happy

He's just not popular!

@James

" Al Gore had -16000 votes " -- seems like a reasonable reflection of his popularity.

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Happy

Sherlock Holmes

Would probably have concluded the 3,478 votes were double counted in the first count.

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Trust in me...

'Arthur Anderson, Palm Beach's supervisor of Elections certified the results Tuesday, but that was before at least two members of the county's canvassing board were informed of the discrepancy.'

The guy is called Arthur Anderson, I wouldn't trust him to supervise a wall let alone an election. The first rule of IT - never trust Arthur Anderson.

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Pirate

Voter's revenge

Should throw out the entire count and and make it mandatory that when votes disappear, the winner is to be determined by a fight in a mud filled pit with a minimum of two alligators per contestant as personal attendants.Such brawls will either fixed the missing ballots problem or enhance it if no one likes the candidates.

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@Hollerith

No, it was in this universe. Go and read some books.

Britain gained Florida by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. It returned to Spanish control in 1783 when the British colonies rebelled against the crown.

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Reliable

Back to paper and pencil, then. I've never understood why that was so difficult - you can still use electro-mechanical counting to speed things up. ATM's seem to have that technology cracked - they've certainly never given me too many notes...

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'nuff said

http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/5492/smashedxm0.jpg

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Paris Hilton

@rd232

Ah, whoops. Thank you for the correction. I got my inept voting systems mixed up.

Paris, inept and mixed up.

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Stop

@Anonymous Coward

"Regardless of the Florida debacle in 2000, the overall election result was:

Bush 50,456,002 votes (47.9%)

Gore 50,999,897 votes (48.4%)

Result? Bush wins! That's the greatest democracy on earth for you. The entire electoral process is a crock."

John F. Kennedy won in the same way. Except unlike Gore, Nixon didn't challenge it in the courts even though he legally could have.

In both elections, the winner carried the electoral vote majority, which is all that matters in the American presidential election. Read up on our electoral process before blasting it, will ya?

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FIXING SS

"Florida needs to be evicted from the US.. maybe we can make it a British territory again."

We're not falling for that - we've got enough problems paying our own pensions without taking on 90% of America's retirees as .

How else do you think we are going to fix social security

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Unhappy

lost & found

They've 'found' most of the votes. 2,700 were 'located' and the miscreant in charge of IT services fro the county electoral office (who, in the opinion of the Palm Beach Post, is the person who 'lost' the votes and who should be fired...) is 'confident' that the remaining 778 will be 'located'.

<http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2008/09/04/0904ballots.html>

<http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/opinion/epaper/2008/09/04/a10a_engelhardtcol_0904.html?cxntlid=inform_artr>

Poor Arthur "Deer in the Headlights" Anderson, who got elected in the first place primarily because he was NOT Theresa 'Butterfly Ballot' La Plore, merely carried the can for Jeff "I Know Nothing" Dart.

Ain't politricks fun?

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@Jonathan Tate

Just because it worked for JFK doesn't make it right. It's still a crock, whichever way you want to spin it. As for Nixon, he was a crook. He probably already had a natural inclination to avoid courtrooms back then.

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Alert

Typo.

$5.5m optical-scam machines

There. Fixed that for you.

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Unhappy

Damn Republicans!

Those Republicans are stealing votes again. It's 2000 all over again!

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Paris Hilton

Could be worse

In Seattle, when they "recount" the votes they always "find" thousands of perviously uncounted ballots. In 2004 when the losing candidate was still down by thousands of votes after the second recount, she won the third hand recount (since everyone knows that a candidate hiring someone to count your ballots manually is always more accurate than having an unbiased machine count it), they still managed to "find" a few thousand "uncounted" ballots, which allowed her to win the 4th ballot counting bu around 150 votes and is now the governor. Unlike Gore who didn't win any of the Florida recounts and thus never had enough electoral votes to win.

Paris because she's smarter than the people running the elections around here.

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