Why i made these charts

Like a lot of people in the U.S., i was pissed-off and saddened by the election of Bush to the Presidency in 2004. In January through March of 2003, i protested against part II of the War in Iraq, because i thought and still think that it's both morally wrong and a mistake. I'm a non-affiliated voter -- this was my first election to vote for a Democrat or Republican Presidential candidate. Previously i voted Green, Libertarian or not at all. But this time, i felt that Bush had been doing too much damage and is too dangerous, so i voted for Kerry, despite the fact that Kerry had nearly zero chance of winning my home state of Texas.

I was surprised that Bush won both Florida and Ohio. I thought Kerry would carry one or the other of those two critical states -- probably Florida. I definitely consider that fraud is a possible explanation for some of the irregularities in the Florida vote, but i think there are other plausible non-fraud explanations. I've yet to see a compelling case made for fraud on the level that would have changed the outcome of the Florida vote.

But rather than just stew on it, i decided to start exploring at least a little bit of the election. There's information on the Internet, and it was pretty easy to get the results and voter registration info from the Florida election, as well as some other info from the U.S. census to explore some ideas of connections between various demographics and voting trends.

It took a lot of time to produce these pathetic little charts. I'm not a statistician or graphic artist, so it's quite possible everyone in the world will think the charts suck. It took me about 30 hours to put them together. And i've got a day job.

Do i think W cheated this election? I haven't seen anything in the numbers and the charts i've made that really screams "Fraud!" There are some strange results in some counties. And voter fraud has been part of U.S. elections: Kennedy in Chicago, LBJ in Texas. And the U.S. Supreme Court effectively putting Bush in office in 2000 by a five to four vote was pretty stinky, given that two of the five justices that voted for Bush's position had children or a spouse working for the Bush campaign. (They should have recused themselves, but apparently it was more important to get Bush in office than to appear honest.)

And we have a new problem now: computers are easily manipulated and there aren't many paper trails or some other form of robust verification where it matters.


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