Erasing history: Why votes are sometimes reported incorrectly

From Bob Waldrop:

The January 1993 issue of Campaigns and Elections has a second article of great interest to Libertarians. "And with all precincts reporting, the winner is ... but who's counting, anyway?" discusses the News Election Service vote total election scam. Some gems from the article:

"The vote percentages reported by television networks on election night were often inaccurate -- and not just because they were unofficial estimates. In most cases, vote totals of the top two candidates. . . added up to 100 percent, even if a third-party candidate polled more than 1% of the vote."

"'The results we report are 100% of what we count,' said Bob Flaherty, executived director of the News Election Service. . . The problem, however, lies in what they don't count. . . NES only reported totals for 'candidates who have a meaningful impact on the race', said Flaherty."

"When the number of votes cast for a third candidate was not deemed 'meaningful', NES simply made the votes. . . total 100%. That means that in any given race in which a third party candidate received even 1% of the vote, the returns dictated by the NES and quoted by its five major news services were inaccurate."

The article then discusses the Pennsylvania Senate race, where Libertarian John Perry received 5% of the vote.

"Results for that race provided by AP two days after the election still reported 51% for Specter and 49% for Yeakel."

The article discussed Jim Hudson in Georgia.

"NES did consider Hudson to be a newsworthy candidate, and all the networks made mention of him on election night."

"Many publications including Campaigns and Elections use figures from AP instead of going through the tedious process of calling the boards of election in every state ... So, the results in the Pennsylvania Senate race, Illinois 8th CD and other incorrectly reported three way races in 1992 will go down in history -- wrong."