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Thursday, September 18, 2003

Experts apparently disagree over the accuracy of punch card voting. The ACLU of California asserted that punch cards exhibit far too much inaccuracy, and disenfranchised thousands of voters in the process. The judges of Ninth Circuit agreed. But researchers say this argument is fallacious.

From Fox News:

"According to the California ACLU, punch-card machines, still used in six counties, have an error rate of 2.5 percent, meaning as many as 40,000 votes could be invalidated...

But other state voting methods that the ACLU finds acceptable are also prone to error, researchers point out. Optical scanners, for example, have an error rate of 2.3 percent, and could invalidate as many as 36,000 votes in the counties where they are used...

Computer touch screens with an error rate of 3 percent could leave 48,000 votes uncounted, and 'Datavote,' a different type of punch-card system used in 20 counties, has an error rate of more than 3 percent — putting as many as 51,200 votes at risk."

Based on this data, no one can, with intellectual honesty, say that punch cards are any more error-prone than any other method. In can be argued that it is AS efficient as an other.

Neal Boortz, in fact, cites further evidence from Cal-Tech and MIT that punch cards are, in fact, the most reliable voting method:

"Here are the error rates .. the percentages of votes cast with errors, using different types of machines:

Optical scanners have an error rate of 3.3%
Touch screen systems have an error rate of 3.0%
Data Vote systems have an error rate of 3.2%
Punch Cards? They have an error rate of 2.5% ... the best of the bunch."

This is scientifically researched data from two of the nation's most prominent research institutions. So I ask, given these facts, where is the disenfranchisement?


.: posted by Dave 1:15 PM

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