BHHRG

About BHHRG

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

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An account of the US midterm elections: The ghost of 2000
HITS: 1931 | 29-11-2002, 09:10 | Comments: (0) | Categories: United States , Politics, Elections

Haitians demonstrating outside Miami's Immigration & Naturalization Service building in Little Haiti on the night of 4th November 2002
Background
During the 2000 US election, international news media – particularly US media outlets such as CNN, CBS, etc. – were unable to announce a winner on the night of polling day, reportedly because the result was “too close to call.” To some extent, the US media’s tradition of “calling” elections when only a fraction (sometimes as low as 3%) of votes has been counted did indeed contribute to the embarrassing spectacle in the world’s largest Western democracy, since the hullabaloo surrounding the close finish in Florida intensified an already chaotic situation. The practice of “exit polls” has been standard for television news networks for decades, and journalist Lynn Landes of
www.Ecotalk.org has speculated on a link between vote-rigging in America and the computerization of election outcome predictions from 1964 onward (see “Election Night Projections – Cover for Vote-Rigging Since 1964?” Dissident Voice, Sept. 23, 2002). The acceptance by election officials of predicted outcomes also meant that the laborious task of counting postal ballots was dumped in some states up to and including 2000 because it was decided that they could not influence the predicted outcome where sufficiently wide anticipated margins based on exit polls and partial counts already existed. This meant that exact results including hand-filled early/postal ballots were often not provided.

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