Lost votes: A special report on 175,021 Florida ballots cast but not countedA special report: St. Petersburg Times

photo
[Times photo: Jennifer Davis]


Certified margin: Bush by 537 votes
Statewide recount margin: Bush by 493
Margin with overvotes: Gore by 107 votes.
photo
[Photos: AP]

 The St. Petersburg Times and several other media organizations analyzed 175,010 Florida ballots that were cast but not counted during last year's presidential election. Here are the results of and reaction to that analysis.

Lost votes: The data
Click here to view the NORC data

Times chat
Special elections chat: Times metro editor Tim Nickens answered reader questions on this special report on TimesChat. Read the transcript.

Lost votes: Related graphics

67 Counties 67 Recounts
A look at what would’ve happened in the 2000 Florida presidential election if the U.S. Supreme Court had not intervened

Is this a vote? You be the judge
Would you count the ballots on this page?

Florida’s confusing ballots
Poor ballot design confused thousands of people-- four of the worst examples

Percent of error
Other states and the worst counties

What would have happened if...
... the U.S. Supreme Court hadn't stopped the recount?

Where the problems were
A look at some of the counties with many rejected ballots

Two days of chaos
Memos from court rulings

Where votes didn't count
Pinellas precincts where people were most likely to cast invalid ballots

Tale of two precincts
Two precincts in Hillsborough County that had the most errors

Bay area results

Florida’s 10 big election problems
Five problems that were fixed and five problems that were not fixed

The changing face of Florida elections

Pages in time
A look back at some of the front pages from some of the memorable days following the Nov. 7 elections

Photo gallery: A last look
Expert legal teams. Bush operatives. Gore operatives. Recount. Recuse. Response. Butterflies. Certify. Criticize. And all forms of chad – pregnant, dimpled, hanging and tri. Any other news in the nation stopped for these words and images for five weeks last year.

Recount: Bush
Bush would have won by 493 votes if Supreme Court hadn't intervened. More Floridians wanted Gore, but thousands botched their ballots.

Without overvotes Gore was doomed
Thousands of votes were rejected because of extra marks emphasizing the voters' real choice.

The public will be the ultimate judge
The ballot review presented today is the most comprehensive classification yet of votes cast but not counted in the 2000 presidential election.

Confusion, inexperience led 2,500 voters to err
Many ballot mistakes were made by infrequent voters in Democratic-leaning districts, especially ones with low education levels and high poverty.

Why do we look back now? Because we choose to know
So much has changed since a group of newspapers embarked on this project that the question arises: why? With our safety and prosperity in peril, why proceed with an examination of all the Florida ballots that were cast but not counted in last year's presidential election?

Across state, chaos takes hold
An order to recount 44,000 undervoted ballots ignites a 23-hour ordeal that frays nerves and inflames tempers. Then, fax machines spew orders to stop.

Republicans, Democrats meet analysis with a shrug
While some express shock at the number of lost votes, most consider the 2000 election a distant memory.

Despite election fixes, questions remain
Florida officials quickly acted to improve the voting process, including banning punch cards and approving statewide recount standards, but many observers say the changes don't go far enough.

931 votes hinged on a chad in bay area
Punch card technology and voter ignorance led to a troubling number of invalidated ballots.

Citrus County: Ballot type minimized problems
INVERNESS -- Four years ago, long before "hanging chad" became a household phrase, Citrus County's new elections supervisor made an announcement: I want to scrap our punch card voting system and modernize.

Hernando: County voting error is slight
The discounted ballots in Hernando were 0.3 percent. An independent examination finds a recount would have made very little difference in the vote counts from last year.

Pasco: Recount would not alter county vote
Hold the magnifying glass at any angle. Pasco County still voted for Al Gore.

Hillsborough: Distinct precincts, similar problems
Belmont Heights and Sun City Center have disparate demographics but at least one thing in common: high numbers of uncounted votes.

Pinellas: a question of race
A disproportionate number of ballots in black districts got tossed out. Why? The question defies an answer.

Credits
This St. Petersburg Times review of election ballots was directed by Chuck Murphy, who also served as the Times representative to the media consortium. Computer analysis was conducted by Constance Humburg, with assistance from Steve Kircher. The special report was edited by David Dahl, Tim Nickens and Neil Brown, and it was designed by Patty Cox, Don Morris and Jim Webster. Online presentation coordinated by Roger Fischer, Desiree Perry, Joyce Edmondson and Bob McGovern.

© Copyright 2006 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.