Machine vs. hand counting
Mark.Scarberry at PEPPERDINE.EDU
Sat Nov 11 09:32:18 PST 2000
I am somewhat troubled by the Republicans going to court to block hand
recounts. On the other hand, I am also troubled by hand recounts only being
done in counties or precincts that are heavily Democratic. If the machines
are unable to read a certain percent of the ballots (perhaps because the
punches didn't go quite all the way through), then it is unfair to hand
recount some precincts and not others.
I also understand that there were about a thousand Palm Beach county ballots
which did not have a vote for any presidential candidate. This does not
surprise me; it seems quite normal that 1/4 of 1% of voters would decide not
to pick a presidential candidate either because they don't like any of them
or because they just can't decide which to support. It does not seem to be a
basis for arguing that the machines must be failing to read ballots
My questions are
1. Does anyone know whether hand recounts are likely to be more accurate
than machine recounts?
2. Is James Baker right when he says that repeated handling of ballots,
especially hand counting, introduces errors?
3. Is there time for a hand recount of all Florida ballots?
Perhaps someone on the list will have some hard information on these points.
Pepperdine Univ. School of Law
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