liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

election fraud

It seems that the question of election fraud is too inevitable. Wouldn't Republicans want a verifiable recount as much as Democrats? Then why don't we have one?

There's something wrong with that reasoning. A verifiable recount is univerally understood to be a prerequisite in a fair election.

That's problem number 1 with the 2004 election.

There's too much partisan concern over victory or defeat and too little objective interest in fairness. Such a process can never satisfy the public confidence.

It seems like the blogs about fraud raise some interesting and compelling questions:

1. The 88,000 overvotes in Palm Beach County;

2. The 3,000 overvotes registered in one Ohio precinct;

3. The exit polls showing the election going for Kerry until after 10:00 PM EST and the beginning of computerized vote tabulation at central office computers;

4. The known vulnerability of electronic voting machines and computerized vote tabulations;

5. The partisan corporate voting machine manufacturing interests.

We are just going to have to wait for a critical mass of coherent, hard evidence to materialize, though, before the momentum will carry this story into the mainstream. Too much is attributable to human error and is sporadic, anecdotal or speculative.

Sure, everybody's seen the statistics on the Florida optical scan machines and the county boards of elections websites that show amazing discrepancies with reasonable variations -- anomolous patters in no paper trail states.

But we really need a groundbreaking confession or smoking gun in order to plant the story with a fixture that can be built on. Has anyone recorded interviews or observations with exit poll workers or experts?

Right now, we are all waiting for BBV to provide such a keystone to this story, or there won't be any way to further construct it -- other than painstakingly going around interviewing election board vote tabulation officers and scrutinizing registration, turnout and tallies for precincts across America.

On the other hand, if the FOIA requests really turn up something substantive -- like glaring malfunctions, anomolies, then that will generate some momentum to the story.

While we're on the subject,

What is the Margin of Error for an exit poll?
Every number estimated from a sample may depart from the official vote count. The difference between a sample result and the number one would get if everyone who cast a vote was interviewed in exactly the same way is called the sampling error. That does not mean the sample result is wrong. Instead, it refers to the potential error due to sampling. The margin of error for a 95% confidence interval is about +/- 3% for a typical characteristic from the national exit poll and +/-4% for a typical state exit poll. Characteristics that are more concentrated in a few polling places, such as race, have larger sampling errors. Other nonsampling factors may increase the total error.

That's from the FAQ section at National Election Pool.

This is the best yet, the Cuyahoga County precinct by precinct results.


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