A few definitions and a little background:
undervote=someone voted but no vote was recorded.
This occurs when:
- a voter signs in for a ballot but fails to vote,
- a machine screws up and does not register the vote (or someone messes with the count.)
An undervote rate of .5% is normal in a presidential race. In 2004 New Mexico saw undervote rates up to 34 times higher than normal (almost 17%) in many minority precincts. Undervote rates were higher in DRE than paper precincts, especially minority precincts.
DRE=Direct Recording Electronic device (A DRE is a voting machine, either touchscreen or pushbutton- like an ATM). Not to be confused with This DRE which is an equally unpleasant process.
And a little more history: After the travesty of elections in New Mexico in 2004, the state got rid of DRE voting machines in favor of optical scanned paper ballots for the 2006 election.
And how did that work out for them? Let's see after the flip....
I gotta admit. I'm a sucker for multicolored charts and bar graphs. Unfortunately I am too much of a wimp at HTML to be able to render them here.
So pretty please... take a look at the nice little purple, green and blue bar graphs here at bradblog, and then come back and read some more.
An aside (If you are like me, and you hate the bradblog's ukky brown on green color scheme. Please take a moment to email brad and let him know you want him to switch his default to the nice white one.)
Ok, back to the matter at hand. Did you notice that those purple and blue bars representing undervote rates shot up in 2004 when you compared precincts with DRE's to those with paper ballots?
Like up to almost 8% average undervote rate for native american precincts, and over 6% for hispanic precincts? And then back down again in 2006 when those precincts changed to paper to an average of under 2% ?
Anyway, what the chart basically says is that alot of brown people in NM got their votes taken away in 2004.
And it really seems to give another data point supporting the idea that paper ballots = more people get their votes counted. In this case, especially more minority people get their votes counted. Any clue as to why this isn't the law of the land yet?
By the way, the report was compiled by Ellen Thiesen of http://www.votersunite.org/. I don't know her personally, but I do know that she is one of those people working behind the scenes quietly in the election integrity (volunteer)biz that we all owe alot of gratitude to.