Undeterred by criticism from Stephen Colbert, Robert F. Kennedy Jr is back on the "stolen elections" beat; this time with a story for Rolling Stone about how Diebold voting machines will hand the election to Republicans no matter what the polls say. Crack research by the Kennedy team put him in touch with everyone who'd ever agreed with him.
Electronic voting machines also caused widespread problems in Florida, where Bush bested Kerry by 381,000 votes. When statistical experts from the University of California examined the state's official tally, they discovered a disturbing pattern: "The data show with 99.0 percent certainty that a county's use of electronic voting is associated with a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush. Compared to counties with paper ballots, counties with electronic voting machines were significantly more likely to show increases in support for President Bush between 2000 and 2004." The three counties with the most discrepancies—Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade—were also the most heavily Democratic. Electronic voting machines, the report concluded, may have improperly awarded as many as 260,000 votes to Bush. "No matter how many factors and variables we took into consideration, the significant correlation in the votes for President Bush and electronic voting cannot be explained," said Michael Hout, a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
(For some reason these scholars never crunch the numbers for my old home state of Virginia, which uses electronic voting machines and in 2005 handed an ass-kicking victory to Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, after he'd only been tied in the polls.)
The reception of electronic voting is fast getting hysterical; after election officials in Maryland's Democratic bedrock Montgomery County forgot to bring all of the machine parts to the polls, Gov. Robert Ehrlich indulged the Kennedys of his state (he has experience with them) by suggesting nobody vote on electronic voting machines; everybody, fill out absentee ballots instead!