Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2000

Many minority ballots thrown out in Chicago

December 28, 2000


— One of every six ballots in the presidential election was thrown out in many black precincts of Chicago, while almost every vote was counted in some of its suburbs, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Voters in Chicago's Cook County confronted an array of complications, including a lengthy and confusing ballot 21 pages with 400 candidates. They also used punch-card voting machines that can be difficult to operate, according a precinct-by-precinct analysis.

The Nov. 7 election also was the state's first presidential election since elimination of the "straight party" vote, which let people vote for an entire slate of candidates with one punch. And the GOP-led state Senate blocked Cook County from using a device on its machines that would alert voters to mistakes and give them a second chance to cast ballots.

In Cook County, the rate of disqualified ballots ranged from one of every 20 ballots in precincts that are less than 30 percent black to one of every 12 in those that are more than two-thirds black, the newspaper found.

Chicago had 51 precincts where at least one of every six ballots lacked a vote for president. Ninety percent of the people who lived in those areas are black or Hispanic, and they voted overwhelmingly for Al Gore, the Democrat.

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