As a Palm Beach County, FL
resident with a reasonably high intellect (yes, I know the futility
of trying to justify this statement, and I'm not going there
), I can personally say the ballots were confusing
. Yes, I double-checked mine, but it was also only the second time I've ever voted in a presidental election
(i.e., I was WORRIED about screwing up anyway), and unlike many voters, I was not in a hurry.
As soon as I arrived at work after voting, people around me were already discussing the ballots. I work at a newspaper, and the calls from people worried about the ballots started Tuesday morning and have not stopped since. When I got an early look at the numbers, one of the first things I did was node Palm Beach County's Screwed Up Ballots.
Forget for a moment whether or not this actually has anything to do with "intellect". Forget for a moment that we're not living in some fantasy world run solely by evil geniuses who never make simple mistakes. Forget the inherent silliness of assuming that Palm Beach County has a higher percentage of morons than anywhere else. Let go of the desire to focus on the easy target this provides. The fact is that our local supervisor of elections re-designed the ballots in some weird, half-assed way that is in violation of two or three Florida voting statutes. When you hear the GOP propaganda that "These ballots were used in blah blah blah other states/counties", they are talking about the STYLE of ballot, not the moronic, possibly illegal layout of presidential candidates that is - pay attention now - inconsistent with the instructions that were distributed with the sample ballot.
For an interesting statistical analysis of just how badly this skewed the voting, see http://madison.hss.cmu.edu/.
Small response to psydereal
's response: The "liberal media
" is actually not that pervasive in Florida; the paper I work for is definitely somewhat liberal, but we are surrounded by the Sun Sentinel
to the south, and the Orlando Sentinel
to the north, both of which are conservative Tribune
papers, both of which officially endorsed Bush
: So, let me get this straight
If Democratic voters make a simple mistake on a confusing ballot, they're morons.
If the military postal service somehow forgets to postmark a bunch of absentee ballots, it's due to "time constraints".
Sure, makes perfect sense to me.