Issue 5 - Christmas 2000
STATISTICIANS claim they have proved that there is a 97.5 per cent chance that Al Gore was robbed of more than 2000 votes in the US election.
Well a physicist, Lee Fisher has Analysis of the US Presidential vote in Florida seems to strongly supports claims that ballot paper confusion lost Democrat Gore crucial votes.
Some Palm Beach County voters complained that the design of the ballot paper was so confusing that they unintentionally voted for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan, instead of Gore.
And a statistical analysis of the votes for Buchanan backs up the claims. Buchanan won 3,407 votes in Palm Beach, but in other counties in Florida he won around 1,000 votes at most.
Greg Adams of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh said: "Palm Beach sticks out as an outlier from all of the other Florida counties."
The case is strengthened by the fact that in the last presidential election in 1996, Palm Beach residents voted in a similar pattern as the rest of the state.
After drawing up a graph to highlight the irregularity, Adams added: "All of the plots, for all of the counties, except Palm Beach, follow a regular pattern."
Craig Fox of Duke University performed a separate statistical analysis of Florida votes, and reached the same conclusion.
Fox said: "There is a 97.5 per cent chance that Gore was short-changed at least 2008 votes."
At the time of publication, Reublican George W. Bush was favourite to win the state, and the presidency, but by a margin of less than the irregularity.
Source: New Scientist
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