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2000 Florida Ballots Project
Overview
General Information
Project Sponsors
Methodology
Ballot Types
Frequently Asked Questions
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General Information

In the United States presidential election of November 2000, approximately 180,000 ballots in Florida’s 67 counties were uncertified because they failed to register a "valid" vote for President. These ballots included those in which no vote was recorded (undervotes) and those in which people voted for more than one candidate (overvotes). The 2000 Florida Ballots Project examined the undervotes and overvotes.

The goal of the project was not to declare a "winner," but rather to carefully examine the ballots to assess the relative reliability of the three major types of ballot systems used in Florida. The results of this assessment may help state legislatures, other decision-makers, and developers of ballot systems to work toward more reliable ballot systems in the future. The data archive containing the results of the work are now available to the public via this website.

Project Mission Statement

The intent of the 2000 Florida Ballots Project was different from other Florida-vote-counting efforts in several crucial respects:

  • First, the information was collected by NORC, a research organization with an excellent reputation, developed over half a century, for nonpartisan data collection and analysis.

  • Second, the ballot examination included not only the undervotes (ballots with no registered vote for president) but also the overvotes (ballots with more than one vote for president).

  • Third, the project did not identify "winners". Its goal was to assess the reliability of the voting systems themselves, using the highest standards of scientific accuracy and reliability.

    Every voting system yields slightly different results with each pass through the ballots. The 2000 Florida Ballots Project used the extent of this variation to assess the relative reliability of the different systems used in Florida. The results of the assessment may help state and local governments improve their ability to assess the will of the voters, through selecting systems that count ballots with a high degree of reliability.