TV news barely noticed Ohio voting machine glitch that gave Bush 3,893 votes


On November 5, the Associated Press reported that a glitch in a suburban Ohio town's electronic voting system resulted in 3,893 extra votes for President George W. Bush. While the story was reported by every major national newspaper, including The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times, in addition to major regional Ohio papers including the Cleveland Plain Dealer and The Cincinnati Enquirer, only two cable news shows reported the discovery. Network news ignored it completely.

According to the AP, "Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. Bush's total should have been recorded as 365."

An MMFA Nexis search on November 8 showed that of cable and network TV outlets, only MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann and CNN's Inside Politics mentioned the story. On Inside Politics, host Judy Woodruff noted that "a machine there gave George W. Bush more than 3,800 extra votes." Olbermann remarked on Countdown that "[t]he bonus 3,893 [votes] he [Bush] got will be subtracted from the final state count," adding: "Democrats and critics of our Rube Goldberg election processes say that it is an extraordinary coincidence that all the reports of voting machines going crazy turn out with the machines giving votes to Mr. Bush or subtracting them from Senator Kerry."

Posted In
Elections, Voting Rights & Issues
2004 Elections
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