This is from an AFP article on concerns about new voting machines:
High-tech electronic voting machines were supposed to help do away with the sorts of problems that ensued after the hard-fought 2000 presidential election in which then-Texas Governor George W. Bush eked out the narrowest of victories over vice president Al Gore.
Back then, legions of vote-counters painstakingly handchecked thousands of paper ballots over weeks before Bush was declared the winner.
That's not quite what happened, though, is it? While legions of vote-counters were checking thousands of paper ballots, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and told them to stop counting. Then, when several media groups got together to finish the count, they found that Al Gore would have won Florida if all the ballots had been counted according to the voter's intent:
Out of Palm Beach County emerged one of the least restrictive standards for determining a valid punch-card ballot. The county elections board determined that a chad hanging by up to two corners was valid and that a dimple or a chad detached in only one corner could also count if there were similar marks in other races on the same ballot. If that standard had been adopted statewide, the study shows a slim, 42-vote margin for Gore.
Inclusion of overvotes
In addition to undervotes, thousands of ballots in the Florida presidential election were invalidated because they had too many marks. This happened, for example, when a voter correctly marked a candidate and also wrote in that candidate's name. The consortium looked at what might have happened if a statewide recount had included these overvotes as well and found that Gore would have had a margin of fewer than 200 votes.
And, of course, if you throw in the flawed ballots, Gore wins by a couple thousand votes. If Florida hadn't disenfranchised thousands of legal voters, Gore wins easily:
If Vice President Al Gore is wondering where his Florida votes went, rather than sift through a pile of chad, he might want to look at a "scrub list" of 173,000 names targeted to be knocked off the Florida voter registry by a division of the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. A close examination suggests thousands of voters may have lost their right to vote based on a flaw-ridden list that included purported "felons" provided by a private firm with tight Republican ties.
Early in the year, the company, ChoicePoint, gave Florida officials a list with the names of 8,000 ex-felons to "scrub" from their list of voters. But it turns out none on the list were guilty of felonies, only misdemeanors. The company acknowledged the error, and blamed it on the original source of the list -- the state of Texas.