"Down and Dirty"

In this excerpt from his book on the Bush-Gore election, Jake Tapper analyzes how Gore lost the political war over the overseas ballots -- ballots that the New York Times recently revealed were tallied unfairly.

Published July 17, 2001 7:00PM (EDT)

On Sunday, the New York Times released the results of its study of disputed overseas ballots in the Florida election. The investigation found that "overseas ballots were judged by vastly different standards depending on where they were counted." In counties led by Bush, 6 out of 10 defective ballots were applied to the final, certified vote, whereas counties where Gore was the victor counted only 2 in 10 of the ballots the Times described as "questionable." In its analysis of the 2,490 overseas ballots counted in the state's official tally, more than 680 of the ballots were "questionable" according to the paper. Though Bush's final lead was a meager 537 votes, an expert cited by the Times said that lead could have dwindled to 245 if some of the problem ballots had been disqualified.

In his book "Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency," Jake Tapper also investigated discrepancies and behind-the-scenes battles in the tally of overseas ballots that may have tipped the presidency in favor of George W. Bush. Read the excerpt here.

By Salon Staff

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