Alexander Hamilton, a senior author of the US
The London Times
Study: Gore Would Not Have Picked Up Many Votes
MIAMI Former vice president Al Gore would not have picked up many new votes in Miami-Dade County and might have lost ground in the county if the hand count of ballots that he requested had been completed, according to an independent study done for USA TODAY, The Miami Herald and Knight Ridder Newspapers. Gore would have had a net gain of 49 votes if the most-lenient standard counting even faintly dimpled chads had been used, the study found. If the standard had been more stringent, George W. Bush probably would have gained votes.
The results are a blow to Democratic claims that Gore would have won the election if a hand recount had occurred. Democrats had expected to net about 600 additional votes in Miami-Dade. That would have been enough to overcome Bush's 537-vote margin.
The Florida Supreme Court had ordered a hand count of undervotes, which are the ballots that didn't register a preference when votes were counted by machine. However, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the hand count, making Bush the next president.
USA TODAY, The Miami Herald and Knight Ridder hired the national accounting firm BDO Seidman to examine all 60,000 undervotes in Florida's 67 counties. The results from Miami-Dade are the first released by the news organizations. Full results are expected within weeks.
BDO Seidman reported that 4,892 of 10,646 undervote ballots in Miami-Dade had no mark whatsoever. It found that 1,555 ballots had some indication the voter wanted Gore and 1,506 indicated Bush. The remainder were either marked, but not on a candidate's name, or were for other candidates.
Dimpled chads accounted for 1,202 of the 1,555 potential Gore votes and 1,092 of the 1,506 potential Bush votes.
If the most-lenient standard had been used to judge votes, and dimpled chads had been counted, Gore benefited slightly. When stricter standards applied, Bush won the county.