Earlier: Florida Foul-Up Focuses Attention on America's Huge but Hidden Minority: The Easily Confused and 2012: Florida 2000: The 50-50 Principle Exemplified
It’s not remembered much, but what cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000 was that blacks messed up their ballots that they tried to cast in person at a higher rate than whites did, judging by the demographics of precincts.
More Florida voters attempted to vote for poor Al than for Bush, but more Bush voters successfully executed. Here’s a New York Times article from the middle of the recount:
COUNTING THE VOTE: DUVAL COUNTY; Democrats Rue Ballot Foul-Up In a 2nd County
By RAYMOND BONNER with JOSH BARBANEL
Published: November 17, 2000
Democrats in Duval County prepared meticulously for Election Day. They registered thousands of voters and ferried enough people to the polls in predominantly African-American precincts to give a solid boost to Vice President Al Gore in a county expected to swing reliably into Gov. George W. Bush’s column.
But the results of Duval County’s vote left Democrats here shaking their heads. More than 26,000 ballots were invalidated, the vast majority because they contained votes for more than one presidential candidate. Nearly 9,000 of the votes were thrown out in the predominantly African-American communities around Jacksonville, where Mr. Gore scored 10-to-1 ratios of victory, according to an analysis of the vote by The New York Times.
The percentage of invalidated votes here was far higher than that recorded in Palm Beach County, which has become the focus of national attention and where Democrats have argued that so many people were disenfranchised it may be necessary to let them vote again. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have demanded a hand recount or new election in Duval County.
Local election officials attributed the outcome to a ballot that had the name of presidential candidates on two pages, which they said many voters found confusing. Many voters, they said, voted once on each page. The election officials said they would not use such a ballot in the future.
Rodney G. Gregory, a lawyer for the Democrats in Duval County, said the party shared the blame for the confusion. Mr. Gregory said Democratic Party workers instructed voters, many persuaded to go to the polls for the first time, to cast ballots in every race and ”be sure to punch a hole on every page.”
”The get-out-the vote folks messed it up,” Mr. Gregory said ruefully.
If Mr. Gregory’s assessment is correct, and thousands of Gore supporters were inadvertently misled into invalidating their ballots, this county alone would have been enough to give Mr. Gore the electoral votes of Florida, and thus the White House.
The voters turned out by Democrats, Mr. Gregory said, took the instructions to vote in every race to mean: ”I’ve got to vote for Gore. I’ve got to be sure Bush doesn’t get elected. I’ve got to vote on every page.”
Here’s La Griffe du Lion’s analysis of how the standard IQ gap between the races explains much about the different rates of failing to execute voting properly.
The Democrats missed several opportunities before and after the 2000 election to help Gore win because they didn’t understand that the IQ gap meant that their black voters would mess up more often.
I have no idea if the Democrats have figured that out since then. On one hand, it would be very much in their interest to keep in mind the racial IQ gap when thinking about voting procedures. On the other hand: crimethink!
As a friend said, the 2020 election may turn on whether Millennials can figure out how to mail a letter…