Study: Black Votes Affected Most

By Dan Keating and John Mintz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001; Page A03

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 • Dead Heat
 • Ballot Review
 • Results/Reform

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An examination of 175,010 Florida ballots that were not counted in the 2000 presidential election provided further evidence that the ballots of voters in the state's black neighborhoods were most likely to go uncounted last November.

One reason black voters had more uncounted ballots, according to the study by The Washington Post and other media organizations, was that ballots in predominantly black neighborhoods were twice as likely to have no indication of any vote for president. In heavily black areas, 13 of every 1,000 ballots had no mark, compared to 6 in 1,000 in white neighborhoods.

Another reason was the disproportionate number of "overvotes" – instances where more than one mark was made on a ballot.

Black precincts had a heavy concentration of overvotes that were rejected by counting machines on election day. White precincts using the same technology – Votomatic punch cards – had a different pattern of errors: They had a higher rate of incomplete punches such as dimples or "hanging chads."


• Dead Heat:
A review of the events surrounding the 36-day Florida ballot controversy.
• Ballot Review:
What the consortium found in its study of the Florida vote.

• Results/Reform:
Experts discuss study results and election reform.

• Full-screen Video:
View the entire video series (16:21 mins.) full screen.

• Bush and Cheney: Speaking to reporters after finding out a recount is needed in Florida. (11/8)
• Vice President Gore : In his first public statement, Gore says there should be no "rush to judgment." (11/8)
• Protest in Palm Beach: Chanting "Gore Got More," protesters took to the streets to demand a revote. (11/9)
• The Post's David Broder: A look at past close calls on Election Night. (11/10)
• Recounting in Palm Beach : County canvassing board decides to resume manual recount. (11/14)
• Harris Denies Requests: Secretary of State denies attempts by counties to submit hand recounts. (11/15)
• Bush Claims Victory: Harris certifies the vote in Florida, naming Bush the winner. (11/26)
• Gore Contests Election: Vice President defends his decision, saying "let the people have their say." (11/27)
• New Palm Beach Case: Florida Supreme Court announces new Palm Beach case. (11/28)
• Palm Beach Ballots Travel: Under an armed security escort, the Palm Beach ballots are taken to Tallahasse. (11/30)
• Fla. Supreme Court on Appeal: The Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear Gore's appeal of a ruling that upheld Bush's statewide victory. (12/5)
• Fla. High Court Rules for Gore: Sharply divided court orders manual recounts in Florida. (12/8)
• U.S. Supreme Court Arguments: Audio from a hearing on Bush's claim that manual recounts should be ruled unconstitutional. (12/11)
• Jesse Jackson Calls for Probe: At a rally in Tallahassee, the activist calls for an investigation by the Justice Department. (12/13)
• Gore Concedes: After more than a month of complicated legal batttles and challenges, Gore surrenders in the battle for the White House. (12/13)
• Bush Accepts Presidency:   George W. Bush accepts the presidency and calls for bipartisanship. (12/13)
• Post's Dan Keating: Discusses Consortium's ballot review results on MSNBC. (11/12)

November 2000
• Election Hangs on Florida Recount (11/8)
• Gore Decides to 'Stay and Fight' for Victory (11/8)

December 2000
• Divided U.S. Supreme Court Orders Freeze on Fla. Count (12/10)
• A Moment in History, With Mule to Boot (12/12)
• Bush Claims Presidency as Gore Concedes (12/13)

January 2001
• Gore Presides as Congress Makes Bush Win Official (1/7)
• Democrats Split On What Went Wrong (1/25)
• Fla. 'Overvotes' Hit Democrats the Hardest (1/27)

February 2001
• Another Look at Fla. Ballots -- For the Archives (2/6)
• Election Panel Calls for Changes in Fla. (2/24)

March 2001
• Two Justices Support Court's Intervention (3/30)

April 2001
• From Election Audit, Mostly Uncertainty (4/5)

May 2001
• Florida Lawmakers Approve Election System Overhaul (5/5)
• Florida Ballot Examination (Cont'd) (5/6)
• Botched Name Purge Denied Some the Right to Vote (5/31)

June 2001
• Human Factor Was at Core of Vote Fiasco (6/1)
• Rights Panel Criticizes Florida's Bush, Harris (6/9)
• Florida's Harris Attacks U.S. Report as Partisan (5/31)

July 2001
• Study Finds Millions of Votes Lost (7/17)
• Report Urges New Voting Standards (7/31)

August 2001
• Justice Finds the Positive in Bush v. Gore (8/5)
• Report Urges Expanding Federal Role in Elections (8/10)

September 2001
• Report: Recount Vote Left Wounds in Some Justices (9/10)

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