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Highlights

Following the 2000 presidential election, concerns were raised about the election process, including the ability of some voting equipment to render a complete and accurate vote count. Furthermore, minorities and disadvantaged voters were seen as more likely to have their votes not counted because they may have used less reliable voting equipment than affluent white voters. GAO found that although the state in which counties are located had more of an effect on the number of uncounted presidential votes than did counties' demographic characteristics or voting equipment, there were statistically significant effects on uncounted presidential votes. State differences accounted for 26 percent of the total variation in uncounted presidential votes across counties. State differences may have included such factors as statewide voter education efforts, state standards for determining what is a valid vote, the use of straight party ballots, the number of candidates on the ballot, the use of provisional ballots, and the extent to which absentee or early voting occurred.

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