Election gizmos had many residents overvoting, or picking two candidates for one office
-By Reuven Blau
December 5, 2011- Some 60,000 votes in last year’s elections in New York were tossed out because voters accidentally voted for two candidates, a new study has found.
The report, released Monday by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, said the mistaken double votes were caused by confusion over the new optical-scan voting system.
The voters got confused and wound up selecting two candidates — mistakes known as “overvotes” that were quietly disqualified, according to the report.
Roughly 20,000 of the 60,000 in over-votes were in the gubernatorial contest.
The old lever-operated machines don’t allow for over-voting, which the study predicted could lead to more than 100,000 scrapped votes next year, when more people show up to the polls to select a president.
“There’s a serious problem here," said Lawrence Norden, acting director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “For the first time, there were tens of thousands of people who lost their votes on the new system and we have to make adjustment to make sure we don’t see a repeat of this.”