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VOTERGATE! Suppression in Ohio, and the best evidence yet in Florida

by Bill Simpich Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004 at 8:01 PM
lawland@pacbell.net

A neutral body must conduct the recount - not Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State. Meanwhile, a well-vetted study from a reputable UC Berkeley research team has found that electronic voting machines in Florida apparently mistallied hundreds of thousands of votes.



A neutral body must conduct the recount - not Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State

A presidential recount will happen in Ohio. Green candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik have requested it and raised the money. (http://www.votecobb.org)

Thousands of volunteers from Ohio and nationwide are sought as observers. 70% of Ohio’s votes are by punch cards, which historically disenfranchise African Americans and people of color. Ralph Nader is doing the same in 11 selected precincts in New Hampshire that used Diebold optical scanners and the percentages favor Bush by 5-15% higher than normal.

Ohio has been the center of voter suppression tactics, with Columbus and the surrounding Franklin County as ground zero. Bob Fithrakis of the Columbus Free Press (http://www.freepress.org) reports that the Republican elections director held back voting machines to African American precincts and dispersed many of the other machines to affluent suburbs in Franklin County.

Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign) must be taken off the count. Among other stunts, Blackwell has attempted to destroy thousands of new voter registrations because they were not printed on the “proper” 80-pound card stock. Three dozen “caging lists” (http://www.gregpalast.com) reveal spreadsheets listing names and addresses of voters to be blocked on any pretext. Every single address was in African American majority precincts.

More than 700 attended public hearings near Columbus on November 13 and 15, offering testimony of too few machines, standing in line for many hours, and cars being towed from a polling site. Similar tactics were used throughout the state, including Kenyon College. As one student said, “We don’t want praise. We want people to know how angry we are.”

A well-vetted study from a reputable UC Berkeley research team has found that electronic voting machines in Florida apparently mistallied hundreds of thousands of votes

The aforementioned hearings were held at the New Life Church, the location of the polling station in the Republican suburb of Gahanna where a faulty electronic voting machine cartridge tabulated 4000 extra votes for President Bush. The race is on to find out how many similar errors have occurred in Ohio or elsewhere before the Electoral College meets on December 13. www (at) blackboxvoting.org is vote auditing in Ohio and elsewhere.

The best evidence came out on November 18, when a team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Professor Michael Hout (a member of the National Academy of Sciences) found evidence that electronic-voting counties in Florida could have mistakenly awarded up to 260,000 votes to President George Bush (their press release is attached below). The UC Berkeley team found that President Bush received tens of thousands more votes in electronic-voting Democratic counties than past voting patterns would have suggested. Although the study was not peer-reviewed, seven professors proofread the study and agreed with the conclusions. No such pattern turned up in counties using optical scanning machines.

The Contra Costa Tri-Valley Herald wrote that: “A reputable MIT political scientist succeeded in replicating the analysis Thursday at the request of the Herald and The Associated Press. He said an investigation is warranted. "There is an interesting pattern here that I hope someone looks into," said MIT Arts and Social Sciences Dean Charles Stewart III, a researcher in the MIT-Caltech Voting Technology Project. " See http://www.trivalleyherald.com/Stories/0,1413,86~10669~2545298,00.html

Andrew Beveridge (andy (at) troll.soc.qc.edu), a sociology professor at Queens College and a consultant to the New York Times, spoke highly of Michael Hout, saying he was someone whose work has to be taken seriously. He described the Berkeley study as highly professional and said "the paper is quite disturbing." He said it "really raises the issue — we don't know what's going on" in electronic voting machines. "This kind of analysis is exactly why we need more analysis and a paper trail."

Earlier studies have focused on the released exit polls. Former MIT professor David Anick finds that the odds of Bush making an average gain of 4.15% in each one of the 16 states included in the media’s 4 pm exit polling is one in 50,000. (www (at) bluelemur.org, Nov. 8) U. Penn professor Steve Freeman calculates 250 million to one. (www (at) ilcaonline.freeman.pdf) Activists call for the release of the full exit polling for all states by county, as the above data is the only data made public by the networks (who own it). County exit polls would be the best evidence in testing for fraud.



UC Berkeley Research team: Florida E-Voting Machines Mistallied 130,000+ Votes to Bush

by UC Berkeley Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004 at 10:46 AM

Today, the University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election

Today the University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods - what the team says can be deemed a "smoke alarm." Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance - the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally disclosed results of the study at a press conference today at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, where they called on Florida voting officials to investigate.

The three counties where the voting anomalies were most prevalent were also the most heavily Democratic: Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, respectively. Statistical patterns in counties that did not have e-touch voting machines predict a 28,000 vote decrease in President Bush's support in Broward County; machines tallied an increase of 51,000 votes - a net gain of 81,000 for the incumbent. President Bush should have lost 8,900 votes in Palm Beach County, but instead gained 41,000 - a difference of 49,900. He should have gained only 18,400 votes in Miami-Dade County but saw a gain of 37,000 - a difference of 19,300 votes.

"For the sake of all future elections involving electronic voting - someone must investigate and explain the statistical anomalies in Florida," says Professor Michael Hout. "We're calling on voting officials in Florida to take action."

The research team is comprised of doctoral students and faculty in the UC Berkeley sociology department, and led by Sociology Professor Michael Hout, a nationally-known expert on statistical methods and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center.

For its research, the team used multiple-regression analysis, a statistical method widely used in the social and physical sciences to distinguish the individual effects of many variables on quantitative outcomes like vote totals. This multiple-regression analysis takes into account of the following variables by county:

* number of voters

* median income

* Hispanic/Latino population

* change in voter turnout between 2000 and 2004

* support for Senator Dole in the 1996 election

* support for President Bush in the 2000 election.

* use of electronic voting or paper ballots



"No matter how many factors and variables we took into consideration, the significant correlation in the votes for President Bush and electronic voting cannot be explained," said Hout. "The study shows, that a county's use of electronic voting resulted in a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush. There is just a trivial probability of evidence like this appearing in a population where the true difference is zero - less than once in a thousand chances."

The data used in this study came from public sources including CNN.com, the 2000 US Census, and the Verified Voting Foundation. For a copy of the working paper, raw data and other information used in the study can be found at: http://ucdata.berkeley.edu/.

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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Simple Simple Simon Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004 at 9:50 PM
Wrong, Simple Meyer London Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2004 at 3:56 PM
all close states should be recounted more rational Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004 at 3:27 AM
I don't think the exit polls are the problem Sheepdog Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004 at 6:27 AM
Just too delicious Scrumptious Head Saturday, Dec. 04, 2004 at 4:12 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Dec. 09, 2004 at 2:50 AM
exit polling more rational Thursday, Dec. 09, 2004 at 3:09 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Thursday, Dec. 09, 2004 at 5:10 PM
Hey One-Eyed - ARcollegeGirl Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004 at 4:48 PM

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