11 June 2010

W – What a wonderful world it would be without 531 U.S. 98 (2000).

I still remember that night, and reading on the internets that somehow Fox News had received a call saying that the exit polls in Florida were mistaken and that Bush, not Gore, was really the winner. The major, and legitimate, news agencies used the same exit polling criteria as the always had in the past. Never before had they been mistaken. But this one dark night in the year 2000, November the 7th, inexplicably, all the networks got it wrong, yet some anonymous caller to fox news somehow knew that W could overcome the exit polls and win in the not so great state of Florida.

Even though I am not just the voice of the North but the voice of Reason in my spare time, I do admittedly have a few interesting character flaws. The most annoying is the need for things to make sense. And while some people can make sense of some things, for some reason I get mired in trying to find what would cause a person or persons to perform an action that on the surface makes no sense, or how would someone or something arrive at a seemingly odd conclusion. As THE DUDE so aptly stated, “It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…” “I am the walrus.” “You know what I’m trying to say…” “I am the walrus.” “Shut the fuck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!” When present with an odd circumstance, to find the answer you have to decide, “What is the motivation?”

Back to 2000-11-07 and the exit polls. Statistical models used in exit polling for decades correctly pronounced Gore the winner in Florida. What happened? How did some caller know more than these exit pollsters? When I look at the resultant issues, one that jumped out at me was the issue of the chad. Having around punch cards and pre-scored punch cards, I was amazed to hear that there was a discussion about “dimpled chads.” In my experience, it was IMPOSSIBLE to put enough pressure on pre-scored card stock with a voting stylus to leave a dimple without popping the chad. IMPOSSIBLE. So how would someone do such a thing? Simple. If you put card stock on a table and press hard with a stylus, you can dimple the hell out of one, but if there is nothing behind the chad, it will pop. If a hole in the voting booth is blocked, the normal pressure used to pop the card would result in a dimple. If there are 20 voting booths in a precinct, and only one of them has a blocked port, upwards of 5% of the vote can be manipulated. We will always remember the charade of the county workers looking at the dimpled chads in the Gore box. Some talking heads were referring to one of the pictures as “Karnac,” and how these workers were “trying to divine the will of the voter.” They made a joke out of this, and yet no one asked the simple fucking question, “How in the hell you can put a dimple on pre-scored card stock?” End result: voters coming out of the polling place, when asked by exit pollsters would have said they voted for Gore. Upwards of 5% of these voters, the ones using a booth with a blocked port, left a dimpled chad on their ballot which never got counted. 5%. Enough for the exit pollsters to give the nod to Gore. Combine this with the West Palm Beach issue of a confusing ballot alignment (which gave a stunned Pat Buchanan a outlandish amount of votes in a county where he never campaigned nor would have expected so many votes), and again, when leaving the polls, people responded that they voted for Gore, and those votes were never properly counted. This is how exit polls get it wrong.

Now the question: How would someone know that the exit polls were wrong? How would someone know enough to make the call to fox news and tell them to wait…?? The million dollar question. As THE DUDE said, “It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…” Someone knew the dice were loaded. If someone is asked who they voted for AFTER voting, the answer would have been 100% accurate. Except that night in Florida.

Will the country ever recover? Gore may not have been the best choice, but there is no way in hell he would done as much damage as the W administration.

Filed under:La Voz de la Razon — la voz @ 22:55 pm
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