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Deja Vu



The two states whose electoral votes decided the presidential races in 2000 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio) are provoking anxiety this time around, also. In Palm Beach County, Fla. (home of the "butterfly ballot" in 2000), 3,478 optical-scan votes disappeared between primary-night counting on Aug. 26 and the official recount a few days later (flipping the outcome of at least one race).

Also in August, Ohio officials claimed that they had fixed a software-logic tabulating error in Premier Election Systems machines used in some counties (but, according to a spokesman for Premier, a company formerly known as Diebold, that error had been present for the last 10 years).

(Also in August, the Ohio secretary of state ordered election officials to end the practice of taking voting machines home at night during election season "for safekeeping," even though such "sleepovers" had been encouraged in order to protect the machines from tampering.)

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