Friday, November 05, 2004

Classic Rovian Misdirection

Here are some hard facts about Florida's voting.

It wasn't the touchscreen, paperless voting that produced the anomolous results. It was the optical scan voting in very small Florida counties that produced an amazing number of huge Bush majorities in counties in which the overwhelming majority of registered voters are democrats.

The following table is a list of all the counties in Florida in which there were approximately 20,000 or fewer votes cast. What you see over and over again is that counties with huge majorities of registered democrats voted overwhelmingly republican. If you focus on the percentages in the leftmost column, the "percent change" is the amount by which actual votes cast exceed the vote that would have been projected by assuming that each voter in the county voted in accordance with their party affiliation. A "100%" or higher figure for republicans indicates a huge Bush majority in a county that was overwhelmingly comprised of registered democrats. This phenomenon is simply not observed in the larger counties. Only two counties in which 20,000 or more votes were cast had a 100% republican vote variation from the projected vote based on party affiliation (and both of those counties, Columbia and Putnam, were also relaively small, i.e., approximately 30,000 or fewer votes cast), and yet every single county in Florida in which 20,000 or fewer votes were cast exhibited a 90% pro-Bush variance relative to projections based on party affiliation. There are 38 counties in Florida where more votes were cast than in Putnam county, and not a single one approached a 90% variance (the highest such variance being 61% in Bay county).

The other side of the story is that a similar phenomenon, albeit less pronounced, is observed in the 2000 election. But Jeb was Gov in 2000, too. And remember, no one recounted the small counties, as Gore focused his firepower on the larger counties with potentially rich undercount totals. The interesting thing is that this phenomenon is virtually absent in the last pre-Jeb election in Florida, 1996, in which Bill Clinton even won some of these small counties. Sure, Bill was a southernor, but Gore was too. And Gore actually got a higher percentage of the statewide vote in 2000 than Clinton received in 1996.

Bottom line: since the Bushies have taken control of Florida, we've seen a tidal shift in the small counties to almost Saddam-like republican majorities.

There's a paper trail somewhere. It would be startling to find that they hadn't already covered their tracks, but even if they have there are people who know about this, and someone who will confound the Rove postulate that humans are infintely corruptible.

These are small counties. Let's do some manual recounts and compare to the op-scan totals. It will not be a huge undertaking.


Blogger Rob D. said...

I'm glad I found this post. I've done some more analysis of the same numbers from Florida. Here's an excerpt from my blog post on the subject:

What Wrong with Liberty, Florida?

Liberty County in Florida has 320 registered Republicans and 3,597 registered Democrats, and 158 voters registered to other parties or "No Party".

On November 2nd, 2004, Liberty country delivered 1,927 votes for Bush, 1,070 votes for Kerry, and 24 for other candidates. Yes those numbers are correct, straight from official postings of the Florida Secretary of State's office as of yesterday.

A county with only 320 Republicans gave Bush 1,927 votes. That is 6 times more votes for Bush than there are registered Republicans (602% to be exact).

For that to happen, based on the voter turnout rate of 74% in Liberty county, about 1600 Democrats had to switch sides to vote for Bush. That's 60% of all the Democrats who voted there.

Sorry, that strikes me as impossible. Exit polls in Florida showed 11% of Democrats voting for Bush, nowhere near 60%.

Was this a temporary madness limited to isolated people in one small county? It doesn't look like it. Here are the numbers from a few other Florida counties:

Baker County: Registered REP: 3,126 Bush Votes: 7,738 248%
Calhoun County: Registered REP: 993 Bush Votes: 3,780 381%
Franklin County: Registered REP: 1,212 Bush Votes: 3,472 286%
Gadsden County: Registered REP: 3,012 Bush Votes: 6,253 208%
Hamilton County: Registered REP: 1,140 Bush Votes: 2,792 245%
Holmes County: Registered REP: 2,344 Bush Votes: 6,410 273%
Lafayette County: Registered REP: 570 Bush Votes: 2,460 432%
Liberty County: Registered REP: 320 Bush Votes: 1,927 602%
Jackson County: Registered REP: 5,962 Bush Votes: 12,115 203%

Someone needs to call for recounts in Florida now!

For more info, check my blog at

6:16 PM  
Blogger tas said...

I checked the votes for these counties in 1996, and while Clinton did a bette job then Gore or Kerry, he still lost quite a few and I didn't see him breaking 50%. And I don't think they used the computerized voting systems back then, so.. I'm not sure if there's much to go off of here, especially since Kerry lost Florida by a couple hundred thousand votes and that total isn't going to be made up by these counties, if anything was happening in them.

5:15 AM  
Blogger David said...

I also posted on these numbers, especially with regard to small, heavily-Democratic Calhoun, Hardee, Liberty, and Madison counties. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have a hard time believing that either the registration or vote tallies (or both) are correct.

After the 2000 election, every precinct in the state was gone over with a fine-toothed comb, and I never remember hearing about counties with a 10-1 Democratic registration advantage going Republican. It would have been too obvious. It would have been too obvious this time around as well.

I wouldn't put election fraud past them, but surely they've got to know the way to do it is to inflate Bush numbers in Republican jurisdictions. Massively skewing Democratic counties is a sure way to get caught. Additionally, areas where Democrats are this dominant are very likely to have Democratic elections officials. It just doesn't fit. I'm not saying there weren't shenanigans, only that we'll have to look elsewhere for them.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parts of Florida have party registration that is a vestige of the solid South of Jim Crow days. Those counties are predominately in the north, along the Georgia border, and in the panhandle.

It would not be particularly surprising for such areas to have a majority of registered Democrats and vote totals favoring Republicans. Those areas are full of "Zell Miller" Democrats.

Where in Florida are the counties you list?

Dwight Meredith

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, I checked a Florida map and it appears that most of the counties listed are indeed from the panhandle and rural northern part of the state. The party registragtion figures for such counties are simply not a reliable guide to the voting preferences of those counties in national elections.

Everyone knew before the election that the panhandle was Bush country regardless of the party registration figures. And so, much to my dismay, it proved.

Dwight Meredith

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I notice is that the number of votes is a very high percentage of the registered voters. In many cases there's a 78% voter turnout in these counties. Isn't that a little high?

What was the average turnout nationwide or in Florida as a whole?

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously y'all haven't been keeping up on your homework ... read "Votescam" by the Collier brothers, being published and distributed by their duaghter/niece, available at The vote corruption in Florida has been going on for many decades and doesn't necessarily require any computerized cheating. That's only the latest tool they've been learning to master ...

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