Machine vs. hand counting
crossf at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Sun Nov 12 00:46:53 PST 2000
There's been much discussion of the selective hand count, but additional
things need to be kept in mind:
1) These counties were not overwhelmingly pro-Gore. A hand count logically
would favor him but not necessarily by a lot (if done county-wide).
2) The significant effect of the hand count would vary considerably by type
of ballot. E.g., the "hanging chard" punchout ballots potentially could
yield a lot of new votes, while machines or ordinary paper ballots would
yield many less.
The key seems to be the number of ballots where there was no vote recorded
for president, presumably punching errors. There were a lot of these in
Palm Beach, they say. The selective recount claim depends on the number in
other counties, which seems to be unestablished.
3) I understand that the Republicans could not seek a hand count in their
counties for the technical reason that they submitted results for final
certification. If this is accurate, it seems like a possibly major
I think Sam Issacharoff's reasoning is accurate, but I think he realizes
that such reasoning is not going to be compelling in the context where
"accuracy" is a so much more persuasive appeal. Americans, including many
lawprofs, are pretty naive, I think, about democracy.
Herbert D. Kelleher Centennial Professor of Business Law
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
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