Are Chads Democrats? An Analysis of the Florida Presidential Recount

32 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2000  

Matthew I. Spiegel

Yale University - Yale School of Management, International Center for Finance

Date Written: December 2, 2000

Abstract

This paper presents the results from a statistical analysis of the first Florida recount. The findings indicate that it is highly unlikely that the relative increase in Gore's vote total can be explained by mechanical reading errors. Rather it appears partisan biases influenced the outcome. Estimates indicate that on average if a ballot's status changed from no vote to a vote, the chance that it went to Gore was about 15% higher than one would expect given his fraction of that county's vote. Overall then, controlling for each candidate's vote in a county and the type of ballot used, this paper estimates that Gore picked up 903 "too many" votes in the recount relative to what would have been expected by chance machine read errors. If humans influenced the results how did they do it? During the recount the ballots were put through the tabulating machines several times. However, machine readings tend to vary from run to run and this means humans, partisan humans, have to decide which of several tallies to report. Potentially, this discretion allowed the preferences of those conducting the recount to impact the reported totals.

JEL Classification: D7, H0, K4

Suggested Citation

Spiegel, Matthew I., Are Chads Democrats? An Analysis of the Florida Presidential Recount (December 2, 2000). Yale ICF Working Paper No. 00-23; Yale SOM Working Paper No. ICF - 00-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=252330 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.252330

Matthew I. Spiegel (Contact Author)

Yale University - Yale School of Management, International Center for Finance ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
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203-432-6017 (Phone)
203-432-8931 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://som.yale.edu/~spiegel

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