In 2001, a consortium of news organizations, assisted by professional statisticians (NORC), examined numerous hypothetical ways of recounting all the Florida ballots. The study was conducted over a period of 10 months. The consortium examined 175,010 ballots that vote-counting machines had rejected. In each alternative way of recounting the rejected ballots, the number of additional votes for Gore was smaller than the 537-vote lead that state election officials ultimately awarded Bush. Under the strategy that Al Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida recount — filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties — Bush would have kept his lead, according to the ballot review conducted by the consortium. Likewise, if Florida's 67 counties had carried out the hand recount of disputed ballots ordered by the Florida Supreme Court on December 8, applying the standards that election officials said they would have used, Bush would have emerged the victor by 493 votes. On the other hand, the study also found that if the official vote-counting standards had not rejected ballots containing overvotes (where a voter selects more than one candidate in a race where each voter may only choose one candidate) a statewide tally would have resulted in Gore emerging as the victor by 60 to 171 votes. These tallies conducted by the NORC consortium are caveated with the statement: "But no study of this type can accurately recreate Election Day 2000 or predict what might have emerged from individual battles over more than 6 million votes in Florida's 67 counties."

    Florida also received an additional 2,411 overseas ballots after the 7 PM deadline on election day. Florida officials rejected these overseas ballots, mostly from members of the United States Armed Forces. By rejecting those ballots, Florida provided Gore a 202-vote lead in the state. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida on December 8, 2000, overturned these rejections and ordered that all federal write-in ballots previously rejected be counted. The effect of these additional overseas ballots provided Bush with a 537-vote lead in the state. The ruling also noted:

        Service personnel give up many things when they enter the military, including the free exercise of some civil rights enjoyed by civilians at home. The sacrifice should not go beyond the surrender of rights that are incompatible with military duties. These men and women of our Armed Forces should be able to expect as much and no less, because of their induction into military service, than those of us who remain at home pursuing normal activities. It certainly would appear unnecessary that our soldiers and sailors and merchant marines must make a special effort to retain the right to vote.

    The subsequent analysis revealed that black-majority precincts had three times as many rejected ballots as white precincts. "For minorities, the ballot survey found, a recount would not have redressed the inequities because most ballots were beyond retrieving. But a recount could have restored the votes of thousands of older voters whose dimpled and double-voted ballots were indecipherable to machines but would have been clear in a ballot-by-ballot review." The ballot review later conducted by a consortium of news organizations did not have access to these decisive ballots, which in many cases had disappeared and could not be produced.


Watched this last night. It was like The Usual Suspects except real. I think the editor of The Daily Beast called Roger Stone "an evil Forrest Gump, sleazing his way through four decades of American politics."

Roger Stone is the kind of guy who takes credit for the Brooks Brothers Riot because it ups his street cred.

posted by francopoli: 522 days ago